Joe Heck’s Big Oil Koch Cash

Joe Heck’s Senate campaign has received an unprecedented level of support from the Koch brothers’ political machine, including over $7 million in negative advertising from Freedom Partners Action Fund and the first instance of the Kochs’ LIBRE Initiative “explicitly backing” a candidate. In return, Heck has been a loyal puppet, consistently supporting the Kochs’ interests at the expense of environmental protections and the development of clean energy jobs in Nevada. While preaching steadfast opposition to “crony capitalism,” the Kochs have an interest in preserving tax breaks for big oil, an interest unsurprisingly protected by Heck.

Joe Heck, fearing backlash from his wealthy patrons, has taken every available opportunity to undermine clean energy in Nevada–arguing that the government should “get out of the business” of investing in renewables–while protecting government subsidies for fossil fuels. There’s no question that Heck would continue his fight against renewable energy in the United States Senate.

Background:

Koch Spending In Nevada

Freedom Partners Spend Over $7.6 Million On The Nevada Senate Race

Freedom Partners Action Fund Spent At Least $7,609,635 On The Nevada Senate Race. According to a FEC filing, Freedom Partners Action Fund spent at least $7,609,635.90 on the Nevada Senate race between Joe Heck and Catherine Cortez Masto. [FEC Independent Expenditure Filing, 9/28/16]

Americans For Prosperity Spent Over $300,000 On The Nevada Senate Race

Americans For Prosperity Spent At Least $301,224 On The Nevada Senate Race. According to a FEC filing, Americans for Prosperity spent at least $301,224.96 on the Nevada Senate race between Joe Heck and Catherine Cortez Masto. [FEC Independent Expenditure Filing, 10/5/16]

Concerned Veterans For America Bought Over $700,000 Worth Of Ads Supporting Joe Heck

Concerned Veterans For America Spent $700,000 On An Ad Buy Voicing Their Support For Nevada Republican Senate Candidate Joe Heck. According to the New York Times, “The Koch network is unleashing its first political ad of 2016, right in Senator Harry Reid’s backyard. As early as Wednesday, television viewers across Nevada will start to see an ad showing military veterans voicing their support for Representative Joe Heck, the Republican challenger for Mr. Reid’s seat when he retires at the end of his term. The ad is part of a $700,000 broadcast and digital buy from the Concerned Veterans for America, an organization dedicated to overhauling the Veterans Affairs Department from a conservative viewpoint and part of the vast political network affiliated with the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch.” [New York Times, 3/1/16]

  • CVA Vice President For Political And Legislative Action Dan Caldwell: “We Don’t Generally Look At It Through A Political Lens” But “We Hope It Does Send A Message To Harry Reid And To Others In The Race That These Are Issues That Are Important To Veterans.” According to the New York Times, “‘We don’t generally look at it through a political lens,’ Daniel Caldwell, the vice president for political and legislative action at the Concerned Veterans for America, said of the ad. But he said: ‘We hope it does send a message to Harry Reid and to others in the race that these are issues that are important to veterans. We would hope that Harry Reid and others are paying attention to these ads.’” [New York Times, 3/1/16]

Concerned Veterans For America Launched A Six Figure Digital Ad Buy Campaign Targeting Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). According to Concerned Veterans for America, “Today Concerned Veterans for America (CVA) is out with four new digital ads in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Florida, in a six-figure buy spread across the three states. Three of the ads highlight the records of Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV), Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) on leading the charge for meaningful reform at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and supporting the VA Accountability Act – a bill that would make it easier to fire bad VA employees. A fourth ad highlights Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and his vote against the VA Accountability Act.” [Concerned Veterans for America, 9/28/16]

Concerned Veterans For America And The LIBRE Institute Directly Endorsed Joe Heck

The New York Times Reported That Advocacy By Concerned Veterans For America And The LIBRE Initiative On Behalf Of Sens. Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey And Rep. Joe Heck Were The “First Time” That Koch Network Groups Made A “Direct Endorsement Of Senate Candidates.” According to The New York Times, “For the first time, some political groups under the umbrella of the billionaire conservative donors Charles G. and David H. Koch are embracing direct endorsement of Senate candidates — a marked shift from the more generic, issue-oriented ads and outreach such nonprofit organizations typically employ to steer voters to chosen candidates. […] One group, Concerned Veterans for America, began significant voter contact efforts this week on behalf of two Republicans in tough re-election fights: Senators Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio of Florida. Libre, another group funded by the Koch-aligned Freedom Partners in hopes of making inroads among Hispanic voters, is explicitly backing Mr. Rubio and Representative Joe Heck, the Republican running against Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, in the critical Nevada Senate race.” [New York Times, 10/6/16]

Koch Industries Gave To Heck 2010 – 2015:

Friends Of Joe Heck Accepted $61,000 In Contributions From Koch Industries PAC. According to campaign finance reports obtained via the Federal Elections Commission, between September 2010 and May 2015, Friends of Joe Heck accepted $61,000 in contributions from Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee. Details in the table below: Date Donor Recipient Employer Amount 9/21/10 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $4,000.00 8/6/10 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $1,000.00 6/8/10 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $5,000.00 9/30/12 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $3,000.00 8/1/12 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $2,000.00 6/11/12 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $2,000.00 4/26/12 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $1,000.00 6/28/11 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $2,000.00 5/21/14 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $2,500.00 3/31/14 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $2,500.00 9/26/13 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $1,000.00 6/6/13 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $4,000.00 5/14/15 Koch Industries Inc Political Action Committee (KOCHPAC) Friends Of Joe Heck N/A $5,000.00
Total: $61,000 [Friends Of Joe Heck, FEC Reports, 2010-2016]

Joe Heck Is A Koch Favorite

Politico: Joe Heck “Is Considered Among The Koch Favorites” To Challenge Harry Reid In 2016. According to Politico, “‘Americans for Prosperity’s Nevada chapter has really been filling a void in terms of conservative grass-roots activism in Nevada,’ said Grant Hewitt, a Nevada GOP consultant. Hewitt in 2010 ran the campaign of Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), who has benefited from AFP ads this year and is considered among the Koch favorites to challenge Reid in 2016. AFP, according to Hewitt, has ‘made an incredible effort at volunteer recruitment and voter contact. … it sure looks like they’re building for something bigger, and you have to figure Reid is high on their list.’” [Politico, 8/19/14]

… And Heck Supported The Kochs’ Climate Destroying Agenda

Heck Signed The AFP Pledge To “Oppose Any Legislation Relating To Climate Change That Includes A Net Increase In Government Revenue”

2010: Americans For Prosperity Said That Heck Pledged To “Oppose Any Legislation Relating To Climate Change That Includes A Net Increase In Government Revenue.” According to Americans for prosperity, “Joe Heck joined many of his colleagues in standing up for what is right by signing the “No Climate Tax Pledge.” Heck and other lawmakers pledge to oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” [Americans For Prosperity – We Appreciate Joe Heck, accessed 9/13/15]

Heck Voted To Protect Tax Breaks For Big Oil

2011: Heck Effectively Voted To Maintain Several Tax Benefits To Major Integrated Oil Companies For Two Weeks. In March 2011, Heck effectively voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, “would [have] prohibit[ed] any major integrated oil company from being eligible for any tax benefit or relief under related provisions of the tax code.” The underlying bill, according to Congressional Quarterly, provided “funding authority for two weeks […] to allow all government agencies and programs to continue operating at an annualized rate that is $4 billion less than the comparable FY 2010 levels.” The vote was on a motion to recommit the joint resolution with instructions to report back the bill with the specified amendment; the House rejected the motion by a vote of 176 to 249. [House Vote 153, 3/1/11; Congressional Quarterly, 3/1/11; Congressional Quarterly, 2/28/11]

2012: Heck Voted To Maintain Loan Guarantees For Fossil Fuel And Nuclear Energy Projects For One Year. In June 2012, Heck voted against an amendment that, according to Congressional Quarterly, that would [have] bar[red] the use of funds in the bill [the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013] to provide new loan guarantees under the demonstration project title of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which authorizes loans for fossil fuel, nuclear and other demonstration projects. The amendment also would [have] reduce[d] funding for the Innovative Loan Guarantee Program by $33 million.” According to the CRS Summary of H. Amdt. 1200, the “[a]mendment sought to put a moratorium for FY 2013 on any new loan guarantees under the section 1703 loan guarantee program and reduces administrative costs which will not be necessary if the program is suspended by $33 million.” The House rejected the amendment by a vote of 136 to 282. [House Vote 328, 6/5/12; Congressional Quarterly, 6/5/12; CRS Summary of H. Amdt. 120, 6/5/12]

2012: Heck Voted Against The FY 2013 Democratic Budget, Which Ended Tax Subsidies For Oil and Gas Companies. In  March 2012, Heck voted to oppose ending tax subsidies for oil and gas companies as part of the Democrats’ proposed budget resolution covering FY 2013 to 2022. According to Budget Committee Democrats, “The Democratic resolution end s tax subsidies for the major integrated oil and gas companies – the five largest oil companies together earned more than $1 trillion in profits during the last decade and don’t need these tax breaks.” The vote was on an amendment to the House budget resolution replacing the entire budget with the House Democrats’ proposed budget; the amendment failed by a vote of 163 to 252. [House Vote 150, 3/29/12; House Budget Committee Democrats, 3/28/12]

2012: Heck Said The Government Should “Get Out Of The Business” Of Investing In Renewable Energy. According to Public Radio International, “President Obama says government investments in wind and solar have supported nearly a quarter million jobs over the past four years. Many Republicans argue the pricetag for those jobs was too high, a waste of taxpayer money. ‘We’ve got to get out of the business of picking winners and losers,’ said Joe Heck. ‘Because I think the last round has shown that we’ve done pretty well at picking losers, not winners.’” [Public Radio International, 10/17/12]