Monday, July 03, 2017

Those Who Will Gain The Most If Trump Trashes Healthcare For Billionaire Tax Cuts, Are On The Warpath-- Against Dean Heller


Yesterday we embedded the TV ad the shady Trump-Pence SuperPAC, America First Policies, ran to slam Nevada Republican Dean Heller for standing up for Nevadans getting healthcare through the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion and refusing to vote for TrumpCare. Trump wants revenge and Pence wants to send a signal to other Republicans that there's a political price to pay for putting constituents ahead of party-- even for a weak and vulnerable incumbent in a swing state that went for Hillary over Trump 539,260 (47.92%) to 512,058 (45.50%). The targets of that ad were as much Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan or Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine and Jerry Moran of Kansas as just Heller. But Heller, reported Jonathan Martin in the NY Times was getting hell back home-- and not from angry Democrats and independents at town halls.

Two billionaire mob gangsters closely associated with the Trump Regime, Sheldon Adelson and Steve Wynn, are threatening to finance a Trumpist primary challenge against Heller, probably political laughing stock Danny Tarkanian.
“All of the Trump supporters I talk to are furious with Heller,” said Danny Tarkanian, the son of the legendary Nevada basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian and a frequent Republican candidate for office in the state. Mr. Tarkanian said he was considering taking on the senator next year and had been encouraged to do so by some of the president’s ardent grass-roots admirers.

The political fallout from Mr. Heller’s high-profile news conference a week ago offers a vivid illustration of the new fault lines on the right in the Trump era. After years of fierce clashing between Republican hard-liners and mainstream conservatives, the purity-versus-pragmatist wars have given way to a new, Trump-centered debate that highlights how fully the president has taken over the party.

On the other hand, Mr. Heller faces enormous grass-roots pressure to stand his ground against the bill. He has clung tightly to his state’s popular Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, a staunch opponent of the repeal who accepted the Medicaid expansion dollars in the Affordable Care Act. More than 200,000 Nevadans have gained insurance through Medicaid since the passage of the health law.

What angered the Republican rank and file about Mr. Heller’s critique was not so much his unease with the compromise Senate legislation-- a measure that many on the far right are also displeased with-- but that he would so purposefully undermine the president’s agenda.

And it is not just party activists who are displeased with the senator.

Mr. Adelson and Mr. Wynn, two of Las Vegas’s leading gambling titans, each contacted Mr. Heller at the request of the White House last week to complain about his opposition to the Republican-written health overhaul, according to multiple Republican officials.

One ally of Mr. Heller’s acknowledged that Mr. Adelson and Mr. Wynn were unhappy with the senator at the moment and that their relationship needed some repair work.

Both billionaire donors are close to Mr. Trump, a fellow tycoon. Mr. Adelson played a pivotal role in Mr. Trump’s election, showering Republican groups last year with tens of millions of dollars. Mr. Wynn is the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and oversaw a fund-raiser on Wednesday at the president’s Washington hotel that Mr. Trump said had raised about $7 million for the party committee and his re-election campaign.

Earlier that day, America First Policies held a donor meeting for those who were in the capital for that evening’s fund-raiser. Every contributor who raised the issue of the anti-Heller campaign-- an extraordinary offensive against a vulnerable senator in one’s own party-- expressed approval of the attacks, according to an attendee.

Ronald M. Cameron, a major Republican donor who gave the maximum $5,400 donation to Mr. Heller’s re-election campaign this year, said he would consider investing in primary race challenges to Republican lawmakers who oppose the health care bill or other White House legislative priorities.

“I might support a challenger, and would certainly withhold support from someone that I thought was against Trump’s agenda,” said Mr. Cameron, an Arkansas poultry magnate who donated more than $2 million to committees supporting Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and attended the Wednesday fund-raiser for his re-election.

Mr. Cameron-- who was solicited by America First but said he had not donated to the group-- said that he was not familiar with the group’s ads against Mr. Heller, but that he did not object to the idea of publicly calling out lawmakers who oppose the health care bill.

They should “shape up or get out of the way,” he said.

Mr. Trump himself, while acknowledging the complaints of the Republican senators at the White House meeting, has in other private sessions with his aides and allies made clear that he very much approved of the onslaught against Mr. Heller. At the wedding of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last Saturday and then again in the White House this week, he told advisers that he supported the ad blitz, according to multiple Republican officials who have spoken to the president.

Officials with America First insist that Mr. Trump and the White House staff all supported their decision to target Mr. Heller. But there has been some unease in the administration over the strategy, which created a significant rift with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and other Republican senators at the very moment they were trying to forge consensus around the repeal bill.

...Mr. Trump and Mr. Heller have little in the way of a relationship. The senator never supported the president’s campaign, and Mr. Trump identifies him with a larger group of Nevada Republicans, including Mr. Sandoval, who either remained on the sidelines throughout 2016 or spurned him in the wake of the “Access Hollywood” tape disclosure last October.

The day after Mr. Trump was revealed to have boasted on that tape about sexually assaulting women, a pair of Republican lawmakers in Nevada made a show of abandoning their party nominee at a rally outside Las Vegas. In doing so, Representative Joe Heck, who was running for the Senate, and Representative Cresent Hardy, who was seeking re-election, enraged Mr. Trump’s supporters.

Both lost their campaigns, making Nevada a rare bright spot in an otherwise lackluster year for Democrats.

To Nevada conservatives, it was an instructive moment-- and one they said Mr. Heller appears not to have learned a lesson from.

“He’s making a tragic mistake that I thought had already been learned by the G.O.P. delegation in Nevada,” said Wayne Allyn Root, a conservative talk show host and columnist in Las Vegas. “When you abandon Trump, you don’t get one Democrat, but you lose Republicans.”
Root may be correct about Democrats and Republicans, but elections in Nevada are decided by independents-- and they are overwhelmingly opposed to Trumpcare and, at this point, to Trump himself. The 2 polls the American Medical Association hired Republican firms to conduct in Nevada found that only 18% of Nevadans think TrumpCare is a good idea. 36% of Republicans think it's a good idea, as do 4% of Democrats. Independents-- the key to Heller's chance at reelection-- by a margin of 55% ("bad idea") to 17% ("good idea") disapprove of TrumpCare. This is the reality Heller is looking at in his state:

The polling also found that "the Medicaid program in the state is viewed favorably (58%) or neutral (20%). There are very few voters with unfavorable (14%) views of the program in the state. A plurality of voters want to keep Medicaid funding levels where they are today (43%), 33% want funding to be increased, and only 10% want to decrease funding for the Medicaid program. It is important to note that nearly six in ten voters (59%) either themselves, someone in their household or they know someone who is covered by Medicaid."

Labels: , , , , ,


At 5:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from his rather surprising view of drumpfdeath, heller is pretty worthless as a human being in congress. So being primaried by an even more worthless pos in NV doesn't concern me much.
What does concern me is which opportunistic former R scummer will pull out of the Ds' open sewer to run against whichever R pos ends up winning their primary.
Given that choice, it's entirely possible that a very large number of the Is will just give up and NV will end up luging down the 4-decade-long lesser evilism slope and elect the "worse than heller" hellhound.

But, as always, what REALLY makes me lose all hope is the big numbers (who are not billionaires) who still support the drumpfsterfire and drumpfdeath for tax cuts for the billionaires.

If the US were a healthy society of fully formed human beings, nothing associated with that pos would poll above 1%. We are a terminally ill society.


Post a Comment

<< Home