02 Dec Senator Dean Heller Puts His Donors Over His Constituents Once Again

For Immediate Release: December 2, 2017

Contact: Annette Magnus, annette@battlebornprogress.org & Maria-Teresa Liebermann, mariateresa@battlebornprogress.org

Heller participated in a free and public, LIBRE Initiative event today where constituents pressed him on his stance on the GOP Tax Bill, the Dream Act and more

**Click here for a video of the entire event**

 LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, following last night’s Senate vote on the GOP Tax Scam, Senator Dean Heller and the LIBRE Initiative held a public forum in Las Vegas to discuss taxes and various issues. This is the first free and public event Senator Heller has held in Southern Nevada after months of requests by constituents and various community groups for meetings and a town hall. During the entire event that was billed as a Tax bill forum, Senator Heller refused to fully answer questions from his constituents, and when pressed on the issues his constituents were escorted out of the event.

Before the event even began, event staffers threatened attendees about behavior who had done nothing. Our own Executive Director, Annette Magnus, was questioned and threatened that she would be escorted out if she caused any problems before the event began.

Stage 4 cancer patient, small business owner, and community activist, Laura Packard, was one of the constituents escorted out. After the event, she stated, “Today was my first time “meeting” my Senator, Senator Heller. I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in April. I have been calling and calling his office, begging him to protect Nevadans who rely on the Affordable Care Act, like me. I have received many form letters in response. So I went to his town hall, hoping to ask my question. I didn’t get an answer – in fact I was threatened by his unnamed staffer before the event even started. When Heller asked my question from the stage, I stood up to add to it. I was then escorted out. Heller has no time for Nevadans who aren’t billionaires, I guess. The ACA is saving my life, and even if I get to remission, I will always have a pre-existing condition. This so-called “tax cut” bill is a giveaway to the rich and is paid for by throwing patients like me under the bus. Removing the mandate means fewer healthy people will sign up for insurance, leaving the sick people like me behind. Insurance costs will spiral out of control, aka the death spiral.”

Many attendees at the forum were outraged with Senator Heller’s support of the GOP Tax Scam. When asked about the tax bill triggering billions in cuts to Medicare and other programs, Senator Heller stated, “The most important parts of this bill do not mention Medicare or Medicaid.”

“It seems like Senator Heller has no idea on how the entirety of the budget and tax process works, or he is lying to his constituents to save face for supporting such a dangerous plan,” Battle Born Progress Executive Director, Annette Magnus said. “Either way, this is dangerous, because this plan puts critical programs like Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block to pay for tax breaks for wealthy Americans and corporations. Based on the budget blueprint passed earlier this year, the GOP plans to cuts Medicare by nearly $500 billion and Medicaid by $1 trillion to pay for these tax cuts, forcing working families, seniors, children and people with disabilities to foot the bill for tax cuts for the wealthy. It’s infuriating that not only did Senator Heller misrepresent the issue, but he also allowed for his constituents asking tough questions to be disrespected during this event. At one point during the event, the Senator even bragged about how much “adrenaline” he had coming off his Tax scam vote last night. Maybe he should have a little more adrenaline about actually serving the people of Nevada instead of his corporate donors. “

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About Battle Born Progress: BBP, through strategic communication efforts, empowers, engages and mobilizes Nevada voters to build a state where everyone has a fair opportunity to succeed.

Battle Born Progress is the state partner of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), a national grassroots coalition that works to protect the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Medicare.