Governor Sandoval had two choices he could have made. One—to appoint a partisan person who doesn’t currently hold office to fill Sen. Ensign’s seat and be done with it. Or two, appoint Rep. Heller to fill Sen. Ensign’s seat through the end of the term and spend some serious bucks our state doesn’t have to hold an election ($350,000, just in Washoe County) to replace Rep. Heller. So much for effective management of Taxpayer dollars as Gov. Sandoval just appointed Rep. Dean Heller to fill Sen. Ensign’s seat through the end of his term.
“The people of Nevada deserve a new senator who can begin work immediately. Too many important issues face our state and our nation to name a caretaker to this important position; Nevada needs an experienced voice in Washington, D.C., ” Gov. Sandoval said in a press release.
What the people of Nevada need is a Senator who listens to all of his constituents, not just those of the GOP persuasion. The people of CD2 know that’s not the case with Rep. Heller. As just one example, his Facebook page is a textbook exercise in group-think, in that only people who walk and quack like a GOP automaton are given permission to comment on his wall. As a Senator, he would be responsible for representing ALL residents of Nevada, and those in the south will quickly find out just how deaf he can be to issues at odds with the GOP party-line. Gov. Sandoval may think Rep. Heller is capable of representing all Nevadans, but those of us on the other side of the divide would beg to differ with that opinion.
In terms of filling Rep. Heller’s House seat, there are two possible outcomes as to who would appear on the special election ballot. There are two conflicting provision that define how candidates candidates are selected. In one case, the nominees of both major parties either would be selected by the state party committees. In the other case, it would be an open election where anyone (including Ms. Angle) could declare themselves to be a candidate. In either case, the winner of the special election would take Rep. Heller’s seat in the House. I’ll bet you can guess which of those options is preferred by the state’s GOP establishment. Nevada Republican Sharron Angle, who isn’t a favorite of party insiders in the state, denounced both scenarios Tuesday, pledging to run for the seat in 2012, no matter what.
Heller voted for the unconstitutional “government shutdown prevention act” (HR1255), voted to repeal Health Care Reform (HR2), voted to strip funding for NPR (HR1076) and voted to repeal the Prevention & Public Health Fund (HR1217). He also voted for the infamous Ryan budget (HConRes34), claiming to be defending the Medicare and Medicaid changes as necessary steps to preserve the programs for future generations (see my other posts for a discussion of that one). Berkley voted against the Ryan budget, arguing that it would effectively end Medicare. Heller’s appointment sets him up as an incumbent for the 2012 election against his Democratic challenger, Rep. Shelley Berkley, which according to a recent survey from Public Policy Polling (D) would give Heller a narrow lead of 47%-43% over Berkley.