Congressman Dr. Joe Heck (R-NV) held a town hall meeting for veterans last night in Henderson NV. If you’ve been living under a rock this past week you missed the grand opening of “Pyramidgate,” a little statement uttered by Rep. Heck that opened the floodgates of shock and criticism. On June 2nd, Rep. Heck called Social Security a “pyramid scheme” and since then has been either trying to back pedal on his statement or agreeing with it once again. But one thing’s for sure, despite whatever position he takes on it, the media has been reporting it relentlessly and the issue isn’t one that’s going to go away anytime soon.
So, when it was announced that Rep. Heck was hosting a town hall meeting last night, I was interested in hearing what the man had to say on the subject. Alas, it was only open to veterans so I wasn’t there. But thanks to the work of local reporters John L. Smith, Delen Goldberg and Christy Silva, I got a pretty good taste of what went down. And it was about what you’d expect.
Except for the bit about Disney.
Read ‘em and weep.
@RepJoeHeck doesn’t support #DREAMAct as written now. Says he worries pple will join military to get citizenship. Calls it “back door draft”
@RepJoeHeck says 2012 VA budget will be $127.8 billion, $8.7 billion more than this year. “We realize we have increasing demands,” Heck says
@RepJoeHeck outlining #veterans bills being discussed in Washington DC. Homeowners assistance, Stolen Valor Act, TriCare
Construction on VA Hospital in Vegas should be finished by end of year. Should be open to patients next June. #veterans
@RepJoeHeck working the audience, shaking hands, introducing himself. About 50 people here. #nv03
Heck will take questions but staff reminds people this is a veterans town hall and asks that ?s remain on topic. Does #socialsecurity count?
We have to make sure that we are ready to take care of their specific needs- Heck on women in military
Heck now being hit with the small matter of the 1.2 million vets who might lose benefits under Ryan plan.
Rep. Heck says Ryan budget will have no “direct impact” on vets. Oops.
Man asks @RepJoeHeck if Ryan budget will hurt veterans. Heck says no. Man in audience says yes. #nv03
For future generations there may need to be changes for longterm sustainability-Heck on Social Security. No direct mention of scheme
Million dollar question for @RepJoeHeck: Where do you stand on Social Security and Medicare? #nv03
Heck gives emphatic endorsement of Social Security and Medicare. Changes left for “future generations.”
@RepJoeHeck is asked where he stands on Social Security “We have a lot of veterans coming back, we need to protect our benefits”
Review Journal reporters asks about scheme comment and possible changes
“At this point I am not going to comment on that question” Heck says
Heck staff tells me he won’t take questions from reporters after town hall
No followup question allowed on Social Security issue.
Turns out Heck loves vets. That much is perfectly clear.
Heck goes on at some length to explain that the 2006 Clean Indoor Air Act was a state issue. Hey, what about hose veterans’ questions?
Man asks @RepJoeHeck why he voted for billions for defense but against $100 increase in combat pay.
@RepJoeHeck says because of way bill was written. Says he’d consider pay increase if it were part of stand-alone bill and money available
Come on @RepJoeHeck , even Rep Weiner took questions from press, is #pyramidgate worse than #weinergate ?
This crowd at @repjoeheck town hall does not care about scheme comment. They want their veterans benefits.
Heck expresses support for traumatized female vets. But will their needs receive support?
Man asks whether @RepJoeHeck worried about country’s revenue given big oil tax cuts. Heck says yes. #nv03
Heck promises to support Nevada green energy initiative he’s been accused of trying to eliminate.
You can’t ask about scheme comment, but man is asking about national anthem at teen sports games and @RepJoeHeck is answering
Vet: “Government is looking to save money but continues to duplicate services.” Heck says 30 Dept of Ed programs cut/consolidated. #nv03
Is there a bill to get rid of combat pay? @RepJoeHeck says no
Man asking question about copyright on Seal Team 6 and @RepJoeHeck says Disney has decided not to do it
Man asking @RepJoeHeck about #Disney trying to trademark “Seal Team 6.” Really?
@BrnEyeSuss: @DelenGoldberg do any of the #Vet’s seam angry at Heck? // No. Very friendly crowd.
Woman asks housing question. She’s not a vet. @RepJoeHeck answers. But no comment on #pyramidgate.
Heck addresses housing mortgage question, vows to help.
Townhall at American Legion Post 40 begins to wind down.
Ironically, @RepJoeHeck ended speech by offering to answer any additional questions. #nv03 #pyramidgate
I live in @RepJoeHeck’s district. He completely ignored me when I asked him questions tonight. He’s usually accessible
@RepJoeHeck runs away from reporters after town hall and refuses to answer questions. #nv03 #pyramidgate
So many well-known animated character phrases come to mind, but only one Disney phrase seems appropriate at this time.
Oh, bother. (Winnie The Pooh)
It's not about the me. It's about the we.