VoteVets Action Fund Ad Short on Facts, Long on Shady Liberal Donors
“To suggest that Dr. Heck, an Iraq war veteran and champion for our veterans in Congress, does not understand that veterans rely on the benefits they’ve earned is the most disgusting attack of this election,” said Brian Baluta, spokesman for the Heck campaign. “VoteVets has never done a single thing for our veterans. The dark money they are spending in Nevada at the behest of their ultra-liberal, union allies will not change the fact that Joe Heck has always stood up for Nevada veterans because he is a veteran. That is why an overwhelming number of vets endorse his candidacy.”
CLAIM – Joe Heck voted to shutdown the federal government
FACT – The ad cites a vote from September 30, 2013 on what is known as the “Previous Question,” a procedural vote that allows the House to proceed to consideration of another piece of legislation. Dr. Heck supported that Previous Question and voted later that same day for H. Res. 59, a bill to make continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2014 – in short, a bill to fund the government.
Over the course of the next 17 days, Dr. Heck voted for EVERY SINGLE bill to fund the government that came to the House floor. In fact, one of those bills was specifically crafted to fund veterans benefits during the shutdown.
CLAIM – Heck risked critical services for Nevada veterans.
FACT – Again, Dr. Heck voted for every bill to fund the government, including one to ensure the continued payment of veterans benefits. The ad cites a USA Today article listing several veterans groups – VoteVets not among them – that expressed concern over the government shutdown. Heck is a member of several of them – American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars – and joined them in their concern over the shutdown. That is why he continued voting for government funding measures whenever they came to the floor.
CLAIM – Heck continued taking his pay during the shutdown.
FACT – Per the Constitution, so did every single member of the House and Senate. The Washington Post explains here. But again, during the shutdown, Heck was working, voting for bills to fund the government. He supported passage of the bill to ensure compensation for furloughed federal employees. He supported passage of the Pay Our Guard and Reserve Act. He voted to fund veterans benefits.
Considered together, it is clear Dr. Heck did everything that he could as one member of the House to prevent the shutdown and once it did occur, continued voting to fund the government.
One group that definitely didn’t help prevent or end the shutdown – VoteVets.
Who is behind VoteVets?
You might think that a group named VoteVets is funded by donations from concerned veterans or that its work is focused on helping veterans. But that would be wrong. Here is what Open Secrets has to say about this group that supposedly supports veterans:
“Some of those million-plus contributions, at the time, came from other dark money nonprofits, like the Alliance for Climate Protection and Partnership Action Fund, both social welfare organizations that support liberal policies.
“Even as VoteVets’ large contributions have tapered off, it appears that most of its donors are liberal nonprofits or unions, many of which are involved in some aspect of electoral persuasion. One of its largest known donors over the last few years has been America Votes, another social welfare organization that is the self-described “coordination hub of the progressive community” and has deep ties to liberal political operatives.”
They go on to say: “Social welfare organizations like VoteVets are not supposed to be primarily political, though neither the IRS nor the FEC has shown an appetite for policing them. That, combined with the fact that they don’t have to disclose who their donors are, has made 501(c) groups — also known as “dark money” outfits — attractive vehicles for contributors with a strong desire to influence politics but just as powerful an impetus to remain in the shadows.”
Where is the outrage?
While Harry Reid and his hand-picked candidate Catherine Cortez Masto are quick to jump on outside spending groups they don’t agree with, they seem very comfortable to sit on the sidelines when the attacks are directed at Dr. Heck.
This is the very definition of hypocrisy and shows once again that Masto is nothing more than a rabid partisan with no use for facts or transparency.