CNBC report finds Heller took money from Adelson immediately following Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran Deal
Heller’s health care and GOP tax bill votes benefited Adelson at cost to Nevadans
Senator Dean Heller’s votes last year to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pass the Republican tax bill are still bringing in special interest mega-donor money, despite the pain he’s causing Nevadans. His latest FEC report shows that Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam Adelson gave Heller the maximum contribution of $10,800 — a handsome reward to the Senator who chooses campaign money ahead of the best interests of Silver State voters.
Last year, after promising to protect health care for the most vulnerable Nevadans, Heller switched his position and voted to repeal major parts of the ACA, putting the health care coverage of thousands of Nevadans – along with 16 million Americans – at risk. His reversal came after receiving threatening calls from mega-donors like Adelson and pressure from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who influences millions of dollars in special interest money. Now Graham-Cassidy-Heller is back from the dead with a new conservative group working with Senate Republicans to repeal the ACA and the question remains: will Heller once again do the bidding of his mega-donors?
Heller, with a backbone made of jello, also gave into Adelson on the Republican tax bill. Although the tax bill eliminates a key component of the Affordable Care Act, jacking up health insurance premiums for thousands of Nevadans on the state exchange, it gave huge handouts to mega-donors. Adelson’s company alone has already gotten a $670 million first-quarter income tax benefit this year. In addition to giving the maximum contribution to Heller, Adelson recently kicked back $30 million to Speaker Paul Ryan’s Super PAC. Not a bad rate of return for the billionaire.
As CNBC reports, the Adelson money also came just one week after President Trump announced he would withdraw from the Iran Nuclear Agreement, which could lead to a nuclear-armed Iran or increased conflict in the Middle East. Adelson pushed Trump to withdraw from the agreement – a position which mirrors Heller’s.
It’s not surprising that Heller is in Adelson’s pocket. The billionaire casino magnate has proven to be one of the GOP’s biggest mega-donors, contributing $183 million to Republican groups, including $175 million to Super PACs.
Heller’s votes may have risked the health, finances, and national security of Nevada, but they sure do keep the campaign money flowing. His record of catering to his mega-donors at the expense of his constituents earned Heller a position on End Citizens United’s Big Money 20, a list of Washington’s worst politicians who rig the system in favor of their special interest donors.