Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 | 12:15 p.m.
Democrats and their allies sought to capitalize on a visit today from U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, who arrived in Las Vegas to host a fundraiser for Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev.
Dozens of protesters assembled outside of the Las Vegas Country Club to meet the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, who hosted the fundraiser luncheon for Heck.
Protesters criticized Boehner for failing to act on proposals to pass immigration reform legislation and a bill that would extend unemployment insurance for more than 17,000 out-of-work Nevadans.
Heck, who represents a district that stretches from Henderson to the Arizona border, is facing a competitive race in this year’s 3rd Congressional District election. He faces Democrat Erin Bilbray, a Democratic national committeewoman and political operative who founded Emerge Nevada, a group that encourages women to participate in politics and get elected to office.
She sought to tie the meeting of Boehner and Heck to House Republican policies.
“Nevadans who need them to work to extend emergency unemployment insurance, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and pass legislation to get our economy moving again are out of luck,” Bilbray said in a statement. “It seems Speaker Boehner and Joe Heck are too busy trying to keep their jobs instead of doing their jobs.”
In a similar situation, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hosted a luncheon for Bilbray last year at Mandalay Bay, where many Democrats were on hand for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Clean Energy Summit.
That event prompted similar responses from Republicans, who sought to tie Bilbray to policies Pelosi supported in the House.
Republican protesters, however, were not on hand for that event.
Groups like ProgressNow Nevada Action, the Nevada chapter of the AFL-CIO labor union, Bilbray supporters and the Nevada State Democratic Party all advertised Boehner’s visit.