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Nevada Wonk

Democratic PAC to air radio spot criticizing Rep. Joe Heck for budget vote

Updated Thursday, April 21, 2011 | 4:38 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev. speaks during a town hall meeting at Green Valley High School in Henderson Wednesday, February 2, 2011.

A new political group is launching a radio blitz against Rep. Joe Heck, criticizing him for voting in favor of a Republican budget plan that restructures Medicare.

The plan calls for transforming Medicare into a voucher-like system that subsidizes purchases of private insurance rather than a program in which the government pays medical bills directly.

The House Majority PAC, created by a group of former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee workers, calls Heck "crazy" for supporting the idea.

"Nevada is known as a place where people come to have fun and even take a little risk," the radio spot says. "But now our Congressman Joe Heck has gone way too far, risking the future of the middle class."

The GOP budget plan also proposed tax breaks for the rich.

"House Republicans like Joe Heck have no problem asking Nevada seniors, middle-class families and veterans to make sacrifices, yet refuse to do the same for big corporations and millionaires who would receive trillions in new tax breaks," House Majority Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tyler Houlton called the ad "misleading" and "shameless."

"While the Republican plan preserves and protects Medicare for future generations, the Democrats' plan will lead to severe cuts in benefits for seniors and drastic tax increases in the coming years," he said.

The 60-second ad will run in Southern Nevada's 3rd Congressional District for more than a week. It hits airwaves today.

The House Majority is running similar spots in nine other hotly-contested Congressional districts.

A PAC spokesman wouldn't say how much the group will spend but said it will be in the six figures.

Democrats learned a hard lesson in 2010 when outside political groups like American Crossroads spent millions of dollars campaigning for Republican Congressional candidates, helping them take control of the House.

Democrats don't plan to let that happen again in 2012. They are rapidly creating competing independent expenditure groups to go head to head with Republican PACs this time around.

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