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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Monday, June 25

Congressman Dean Heller Town Hall Meeting - CALLED ME AT HOME FOR REAL!

At the age of 44 I don’t get impressed by much anymore, but tonight I was impressed and inspired. Some may laugh at me if it’s old school to you, but I’d never heard of it before. MY CONGRESSMAN CALLED ME AT HOME…YES AT HOME!

Unlike the dreaded usual “recorded messages” you receive asking for political donations, or a canned message stating a position on a particular piece of legislation…tonight my congressman called me FOR REAL. I had barely walked through the door after work and the phone rang. I pick it up, and it was an obvious recording from Congressman Dean Heller’s office. I was just about to hang up (since I knew it was a recording), when I actually began to listen a bit (after all I did vote for the guy and I like him). The message stated that he was about to hold a teleconference Town Hall Meeting, and if I wanted to listen in press one. I was also instructed that if I wanted an opportunity to speak to him directly in the process of this call to press the # (pound) key. I actually did the ole’ redneck thing where you pull the phone away from your ear and look at it thinking, “BULLSHIT”… but I pressed one and pound just to see…after all, you can ALWAYS HANG UP! And, I have donated to politicians before (on Wal-Mart levels :)...but I've NEVER given money to Dean Heller. I figure I give him enough in that my taxpayer dollars pay his salary!

Well, guess what. He actually came on the line and announced that he was in his Washington DC office and he was holding a teleconference Town Hall Meeting and would be discussing issues ongoing in Congress, AND our personal local tragedy, the Angora Fire in South Lake Tahoe. He addressed Immigration, Iraq, Taxes, Economy and any other issue currently pertinent. As constituents, we were encouraged to ask or comment about anything on our minds.

I listened intently (this call lasted over one hour). Persons did come on the phone and ask or comment to him directly. As one would figure, whether Democrat or Republican…there were a couple of morons, but mostly the questions and/or comments were very legitimate and well spoken, and both parties were represented. It was live, and he did speak to each person directly. It truly WAS a town hall meeting where he was speaking directly to those of us in the community. As one can imagine, if he called every registered voter (even if just those in his party), or everyone in the county…one hour only allows so many calls. However, at the end of the teleconference there was an opportunity to leave a message, and he vowed to respond.

Outside the comments or discussions on our local tragedy, I will point out his viewpoints on issues dealing with the nation. Following that, I will state that I exercised my right to leave a message, and I will follow it up with a letter... Time didn’t allow for me to speak to him, and I didn’t get picked…my comments will be outside the realm, and beyond the normal because he, or those that called in already said anything I would have. If, and when I get a response to my letter/e-mail/phone call...I will follow up here on this blog. I left my name, my business affiliations, and my intention to write about the meeting on my blog.

  • IMMIGRATION: I am happy to know that Heller is AGAINST the current bill. The very first caller in the meeting was for it, and a very elderly lady. She was frail and weak of voice, but strong in her opinion that it should pass. As kind as anyone could be (Heller), and as well spoken as she was...he calmly told her how it was not good for our country and stated all the obvious reasons why, and that under no circumstance would he vote for it. He cited $$$ that this bill's passing would cost $2.6 TRILLION dollars. He went into (at great length due to so many callers' rants) that this bill also allows for illegal immigrants to receive Social Security benefits...UNACCEPTABLE. He also sides with folks like me that have no doubt that immigrant workers (farm workers), and casino maids, kitchen help, etc. that so many realize that some won't do at that low of wage IS IMPORTANT TO AMERICA. He also cited scenarios not unlike the ones from my upbringing in Texas that it's VERY POSSIBLE, AND PRETTY EASY to document seasonal workers coming across the border, and to allow those people to come in, and then leave when harvest season is over. I believe that too...DOCUMENTED, AND PERMITTED persons are WELCOME in this country. ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL, and must stopped. He also commented on the fact that so much "hidden" or "overlooked" legislation is in the current bill that it would be an absolute travesty for our leaders to pass it. He also cited one incident in Elko where officers stopped a van in which 17 (SEVENTEEN) persons filed out. When asked for ID, the 17 persons provided 17 sequential social security numbers. This officer went above and beyond what was "REQUIRED" of him, and reported them to INS. He was given ORDERS to LET THEM GO! WTF???

  • KARL ROVE: Obviously more than one Nevadan is concerned about the fact that Karl Rove leaked or "outed" a protected member of the CIA. Elder constituents were concerned that he didn't get his just punishment. I will say that Heller was a bit vague here (but I didn't follow this story at length, and it isn't among my top concerns)...but it was to a few Nevadans. Heller did make the comment that he thought Scooter Libby was the fall guy...I guess if I had to make a statement, and if Rove truly did put at risk the safety of a CIA agent, it should be made known, and he should be held accountable. At the very least, we should know if he screwed up, after all...without CIA, or spies, no country or sovereign nation could exist, and they are a necessary evil. Was Valerie Plame really an agent of that magnitude?, or was she just a person with some CIA stroke...we'll never know...they never tell us the truth anyway. What Dean Heller DID say though that made a lot of sense, was to mention that for any Congressional or Senatorial person that was investigated and convicted, he voted for legislation that would out them and TAKE AWAY their pension for retirement.

  • TAXES: Along with many Nevadans, taxes are a concern. The Democratic leaders are trying to reverse Bush's tax cuts of 2001-2002 that most want to make permanent. Dean Heller voted against this through matters active with Tim Wallberg, as with true numbers...this would in fact raise the national problem by $400 BILLION DOLLARS. Many average persons could in fact incur a personal tax increase of $3000. Small businesses would be hit with numbers far above $3000. Since I own three small businesses, of course I oppose too. For the lowest tax bracket tax payers, these changes could mean an increase of 50%150% for some. The REAL PROBLEM is government spending. Mr. Heller actually taught me something tonight (or reminded me of the obvious I guess since I do own a business). If we increase the taxes of the "rich" or the "largest tax brackets", are we silly enough to NOT REALIZE that the cost is not passed on to the customer? I'm just a peon in the business world, but even I know that if I incur a cost, it must be passed on to the customer in order for my company to survive. HUGE COMPANIES that control the VERY BASIC of our needs, like GASOLINE, FOOD, CLOTHING, etc... will surely find a way to raise our prices in order to make up for tax increases. CONTROL SPENDING, you control the bottom line! When I've taken away all that I can in uncontrollable expenses, whether it be in my household, or my companies...and NOT take AWAY anything from the people that actually make my living (my employees), then the ONLY way for me to reduce costs and RAISE THE CORPORATE BOTTOM LINE, is to REDUCE SPENDING...kind of like a DUH, HUH? Thank goodness Dean Heller is involved with the Small Business Committee. After all, his background was the position of the Secretary of State of Nevada, where he served the small business owners of Nevada WELL.

  • IRAQ: I would have liked Heller to have expanded on this more, but his constituents were concerned more with other subjects (surprising to me), but he did say that he still votes for the war. I am to a position now that I would like us to come home. Not because I don't support the war, but because the pussies of Washington try to make war nice. War is NOT nice, and in my opinion, you either BLOW THEM UP and leave, or you don't go there in the first place...and some made that statement. Mr. Heller however (judging by his candidness and honesty of other subjects, just might know more than we do)... He says if you want a TRUE picture of what needs to happen...read the IRAQ STUDY REPORT in its entirety. It's 84 pages, and I have not read it yet...but I provided the link, so read it...I will...and see if I still agree. He says that General Petraeus is a good man, and he said this, "We need to LEAVE Iraq more intelligently than we entered it". I'm a pretty die hard Republican, but even I have doubted staying in Iraq of late for the simple reason that our "leaders" keep us there for the wrong reasons. Dean Heller seems to believe that with a successful surge, we can accomplish some good "riddance of enemies", but more importantly REMOVE OUR SOLDIERS from the front lines and place them to more of a teaching, training, and protective mode. He doesn't deny that he feels we'll be in Iraq for a long while, but if the American people support the Iraq Study Report, we'll at least take our soldiers off the front line, and save lives. He believes that enough to give it a shot, and until I read the entire 84 pages...I'm going to hold off on my final decision there. I have very mixed emotions on the war lately...mostly because I don't think anybody on TV or in my government is actually telling me the truth. TRUTH I can vote on...bullshit is bullshit.

  • SOCIAL SECURITY: I'm 44, I have for a long time thought that my Social Security Dollars were stolen. But, I also own a business. It ALL TRULY does go back to spending and the bottom line. If our leaders hadn't misspent our SSN dollars, we'd all have a nice check. Social Security, for the ELECTED leaders, has always been like the "Sock Money". All of us have been putting money in the sock for a rainy day, and those people YOU DON'T hold accountable have been "sneaking money" out of the sock. They place IOU'S for that money, and also GIVE IT TO FELONS! Illegal persons have received money to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars for years. Why? You continue to elect officials that let it happen. You DON'T READ the bills your representatives vote on. The current immigration bill will allow over 12 TWELVE MILLION (that's just the ones we know about) PEOPLE COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS. These people NEVER PAID ONE DIME into it. Just try for one moment to grasp the layman's view of this... You have a coffee can in your house that you put your "extra" money into. You are saving it for something VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU... Someone you don't even know comes along every fiscal quarter or so and takes out a few hundred, or a few twenty dollar bills out of your can. YOU WOULDN'T NOTICE??? Wake up America...wake the F up!

  • PORK: I would suppose (since until a year or so ago I didn't even know) that most of you don't even know what the term Pork Spending means. PORK SPENDING is the term used to define the "secret" little plans your elected officials in Congress place into each bill, or legislation that is passed in Washington. It could be something like (legitimate pork) $500,000 to build a swimming pool in some obscure town. YOU don't even know about it, because YOU don't take the time to read about what your government is voting on. Congressman Dean Heller has voted for mandatory DISCLOSURE LEGISLATION that would make it MANDATORY that leaders each have to make PUBLIC which items they advocated needless spending on. Don't you think it's important that you know how your elected officials are spending YOUR MONEY??? If not, just bend over and take the screwing, and while you are letting your government screw you from behind, open your wallet and let them have the $10 your wife/husband gave you for lunch money. It's that simple.
I can only hope that more than a year or so will not ruin Dean Heller in Congress and steal his soul. For now, he is representing the state of Nevada well, and has managed to take advantage of new technology in order to reach his voters. I pray for him that he stands his ground, and doesn't worry about being popular in a quagmire of morons, and that he continues to represent the people that believe, and believe in him and put him in his place for a reason...to represent US...WE THE PEOPLE...OF NEVADA...OF RENO, ELKO, TAHOE, VEGAS, CALIENTE, HAWTHORNE, HENDERSON, PATRICK, GERLACH, PORTOLA, QUINCY, BURNING MAN IN THE BLACK ROCK DESERT, FERNLEY, FALLON, LOVELOCK, CARSON CITY, MINDEN, GARDNERVILLE, YERINGTON, TONOPAH, WINNEMUCCA, DAYTON, GOLD HILL, PYRAMID LAKE, SPARKS, VIRGINIA CITY, WASHOE VALLEY, (even if some of you are "technically" in California... All of Nevada Dean Heller cares about, whether you are in his district or not. Care back, make a stand.