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NV Dems File FEC Complaint After Heller’s Campaign Refuses to Return Nearly $30,000 in Illegal Contributions

The Nevada State Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Republican Sen. Dean Heller’s re-election campaign, following a news report that Heller failed to return nearly $30,000 in illegal contributions from a straw-donor scheme in his 2012 race.

FEC documents obtained by Bloomberg through a public records request showed that Cancer Treatment Centers of America sent disgorgement request letters to 35 campaign committees, including Heller’s, in August 2017. Some campaign committees immediately turned over the illegal contributions, but Heller’s was not one of them—and in typical Heller fashion, his office did not return requests for comment. According to FEC records, Heller’s campaign has not refunded these contributions or disgorged them to the U.S. Treasury.

“It’s been months since Sen. Heller was told to return these illegal campaign contributions, but instead he’s hiding from the press and refusing to follow the law,” said Nevada State Democratic Party Executive Director Alana Mounce. “Sen. Heller’s attempt to flout campaign finance rules speaks volumes about his lack of respect for the office he holds and the state he represents, and the FEC should investigate these violations. It’s past time for Sen. Heller to play by the rules and immediately disgorge these illegal campaign contributions.”

This is the sixth complaint Nevada Democrats have filed against Heller and his re-election campaign over serious ethics and campaign finance issues this cycle.

  • In October, the State Party filed its first ethics complaint accusing Heller of using his position on the Finance Committee to solicit campaign donations as Republicans were preparing to pass their tax bill.
  • In January, the State Party filed another ethics complaint against Heller for repeatedly copying the senator’s official press releases and posting them in nearly identical form as articles on the campaign’s Medium account.
  • In February, the State Party filed another ethics complaint against Heller for continuing to use his official position to solicit campaign donations.
  • In March, the State Party filed another complaint – this time with the FEC – over electronic billboard ads promoting Heller that lacked proper disclaimers.
  • In April, the State Party filed yet another fifth complaint after Heller’s campaign used an official Senate photo on his campaign website.