Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where's the Scandal, Dean Heller?

Much has been said about the horrifying "SCANDAL!!!" that Shelley Berkley has been caught in. It's just so gruesomely awful, I tell you! It's... It's...

To all the national pundits who immediately decided to write off Dem Rep. Shelley Berkley's chances in the wake of the House Ethics Committee deciding to continue an investigation into her efforts to save Nevada's only kidney transplant center, I can tell you that the DSCC didn't just reserve $2.3 million in fall ad time to make you look foolish. But it does mean they think you are very wrong in your assessment.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller immediately pounced, though, with a new ad attacking Berkley over these ethics issues. But as commenter DCCyclone astutely observes, the spot is more notable for what it doesn't say. Heller doesn't utter a word about the actual underlying issue—it just vaguely tosses around a claim of corruption—because the transplant center is popular, and rescuing it is a positive for Berkley, even if her nephrologist husband did happen to benefit. As DCC says, "Heller's own ad implicitly admits you can't talk about the issue itself without disarming the attack." What's more, Heller himself tried to save the program, too, so he's not well-situated to make an issue of this.

Oh, so that's what it is. Dean Heller may be pounding his chest while he's doing a victory lap, but he really looks foolish in doing so. For goodness sake, he joined with Shelley Berkley to save UMC's kidney transplant program!

And my gawd, when did saving Nevada's only kidney transplant program become such a "SCANDAL!!!"? And if she's in so much trouble for preventing dialysis patients on Medicare from losing their treatment, then I'll be damned. Even considering that her husband is a nephrologist, there's no evidence proving any wrongdoing.

So why is Dean Heller pounding his chest and doing a victory lap? Even though there's no evidence of wrongdoing, Heller is using this story to paint Berkley as "corrupt" and damage her poll numbers. Oh, and running against a "corrupt" opponent is much easier than running on one's own record, especially if that one is Dean Heller.

After all, he was appointed to the US Senate by Brian Sandoval in a craven attempt to keep John Ensign's Senate seat in Republican hands. As soon as he was appointed, he immediately chose cheap political theater over helping Nevada's working families. He then doubled down on killing Medicare, and he even threatened to destroy the federal government AND the world economy if he didn't see enough middle class families suffer under the debt deal.

But wait, there's more! Dean Heller didn't bother listening to the constituents outside his office demanding he stop bailing out the fossil fuel industry at the expense of working families. He didn't even bother asking his constituents about his unbalanced nonsense plan to throw America into another Great Depression. Oh, and he didn't even bother apologizing to Nevada Latinos for farting in their faces while demanding their votes. And to add even more insult to injury, Dean Heller also went out of his way to wage war against Nevada's women while also managing to demean LGBTQ families.

Perhaps Dean Heller truly thinks we'll just eat up all his "moderate" baloney while slapping Shelley Berkley with a bunch of trumped up charges. I think he's in for a very rude awakening. And I'm seeing past the hyped up "scandal" and noticing the real dirty deed here.

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