It’s quickly become a tradition of sorts. Progressive activists visit U.S. Senator Dean Heller’s (R) Las Vegas district office on #ResistTrumpTuesdays to demand he do more to stand up to President Donald Trump’s agenda. As Heller continues to approve more of Trump’s controversial Cabinet Nominees, activists made a special Valentine’s Day visit to ask him to show more love to his constituents (and less to Trump).
Overall, they all had this message for Heller: Show more love for Nevada, not Trump.
Senator Heller himself was not present to receive any of these Valentine’s Day gifts, but his Las Vegas staffer Jack Finn was. Protesters swarmed Finn when he came outside. A few were clearly fired up and ready to go. Others had specific questions about Heller’s recent votes for Trump Cabinet picks and his upcoming vote for U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch. Others just wanted to know why Senator Heller has been so difficult to reach.
Finn would not specifically commit to the February 23 date MoveOn protesters requested for a public town hall. Senator Heller will be in Las Vegas on the 23rd for a private fundraiser. Finn did not say much about Heller’s voting record. He did, however, reassure the crowd that Senator Heller cares about what his constituents have to say.
Watch Heller staffer Jack Finn interact with #ResistTrumpTuesday protesters.
Not all who attended seemed convinced of that last point. Reed is a constituent of Heller’s who told Jack Finn he and other protesters present were not being paid to demonstrate. When Reed spoke with me, he expressed his disappointment in Heller and other Congressional Republicans in caving into Trump’s demands.
“Our government has proven to be corrupt at every turn of Trump’s Administration. It’s no longer a partisan issue. It’s about the security of Americans. Every action and every appointee Trump and the GOP make endangers our country.”
This was a sentiment shared by Jeff, a U.S. Navy and Army veteran who was particularly enraged by the Trump Administration’s close ties to the Kremlin. The 24-year military veteran simply wants Heller to “get out of the way” if he doesn’t stop “rubber-stamping” Trump.
LGBTQ and immigrant civil rights activist Erika Castro echoed Reed’s and Jeff’s concerns about Heller’s voting in lockstep with Trump. She also noted constituents’ difficulty (including her own) in even reaching someone at any of Heller’s offices. “We need to hold Senator Heller accountable. We need to speak with him, but he hasn’t answered his phones.”
Emily Zamora from iAmerica also declared “unacceptable” Heller’s recent reclusiveness. “Constituents should have a chance to speak with him without paying.” Zamora also criticized Heller’s mostly muted criticism of Trump’s most controversial actions. She denounced Heller’s silence on his Republican Party’s push to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a suitable replacement. And she excoriated Heller for offering no help in stopping Trump’s executive actions on immigration, actions that “instill a sense of fear” in immigrant communities.
Senator Heller has thus far voted for all of Trump’s Cabinet Nominees.
This count includes Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary, Jeff Sessions for Attorney General, Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, and the latest vote for Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary. He has also voted along party lines to advance Trump’s policy agenda so far. Heller has yet to cast a key vote against the wishes of the Trump Administration.