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May 5, 2015

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Heller named ‘porker of the month’ by D.C. watchdog group


Leila Navidi

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. talks to the media after his victory at the Palazzo in Las Vegas after midnight on Wednesday, November 7, 2012.

Updated Wednesday, June 26, 2013 | 12:31 p.m.

A Washington-based watchdog group today named Sen. Dean Heller its "porker of the month" for supporting a provision in the immigration bill that would ensure continued federal funding for a tourism promotion agency.

The group, Citizens Against Government Waste, accused Heller of hinging his support for immigration reform on the provision that would direct up to $100 million a year to Brand USA beyond the 2015 cutoff written in the original version of the measure. The federal money is used as match for private dollars raised by the organization that promotes travel to destinations across the country.

Today on the Senate floor, Heller publicly declared he will support the overall immigration reform bill, after a key border security amendment was passed earlier this week.

Heller's spokeswoman Chandler Smith disputed the basis of the designation.

"Again, facts get in the way of a special interest agenda," Smith said. "This provision was included in the underlying bill and not the amendment. While Senator Heller supports the measure, he never had one conversation with any Senator about including this in the immigration bill. In fact, he would have preferred for this to have been handled with stand-alone legislation.”

In its press release, the group erroneously claimed Heller was responsible for the language change in the original bill, which was changed by the Judiciary Committee, on which Heller does not sit.

The watchdog group also criticized Heller for introducing an amendment that would give Nevada a seat on the Southern Border Security Commission, arguing the Silver State shouldn't be granted represented on the panel because it's not on the Mexican border.

"For attempting to force taxpayers to gamble on Sin City’s advertisements, and for trying to re-draw the border far from Mexico, Sen. Dean Heller is CAGW’s June 2013 Porker of the Month," the group said in a press release.

The group describes the "porker of the month" as "a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

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  1. This is the "Las Vegas Kickback".

    Heller is a rino anyway, nobody should be surprised.

  2. I don't care which party a politician belongs to, pork in any federal legislation is theft as taxpayers of all 50 states pay.

    While I'm in favor of immigration reform I cannot support this monstrosity of a bill written by special interests/staffers and unread by those voting for it. The back door trading, selling yours or my future for votes may be the way things are done but it is wrong, dishonest and destructive to the nations future and the union.

    A discrete piece of legislation not filled with unrelated items or semi-related items would be the proper way to treat this important issue and more importantly the American people.

    This is another 1,000+ pages of crap not read by those who vote for it and who stupidly justify their actions by saying in a condescending manner that no one reads the bills and without the horse trading nothing would be passed. Published reports reveal it's full of so many loopholes and exceptions that it is close to worthless.

    At this point, Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative, Independent, etc., it doesn't matter. I'm fed up with the whole bunch and wish we could fire them on the spot, 'en masse, start over and do it every year until they get the point. I don't now what it's going to take for congress to get the message, maybe nothing short of the most awful remedy our nation went through at its birth. We're not there yet, but I can see it on the horizon.

    Tammany Hall had nothing on this bunch and our own Senator Harry Reid is the ring leader. What an embarrassment this is, what a black stain on our history.