Jack Heidel, a candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Lee Terry in the Republican primary, took his opponent to task on Tuesday for failing to support three ethics bills designed to control corruption in Congress.
The bills, which have yet to hit the congressional floor, are the ‘Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act' (HR 1148), the ‘Clean up Government Act of 2011' (HR 2572) and HJR 86, which would amend the U.S. Constitution to allow Congress to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures.
“Lee Terry has not been a co-sponsor for any of these bills,” said Heidel, an elected member of the Learning Community Coordinating Council for District No. 3. “He is, in other words, getting money from special interest groups and introducing legislation that is in their interest and unpopular with the general public.”
Heidel also has criticized the congressman's legislation making it easier for “robocalls” to reach cellphones if the cell owner approved.
Terry campaign manager David Boomer said the congressman is aware of all three bills and would review them if they made it to the floor.
“In the meantime, Lee is focusing on the major job facing Congress — cutting spending,” Boomer said. “Lee's record is outstanding in that regard. The fact is, over the last three years alone, Lee has voted 157 times on the House floor to cut spending.”
Boomer said had Terry gotten enough support to make all the cuts he wanted, Congress would be spending $7 trillion less over ten years than current plans call for.
At a press conference Tuesday morning, Heidel also said Terry is “too beholden to special interests.” Heidel said that in 2011, Terry has received $550,000 in campaign contributions, and $340,000 of that has come from Political Action Committees.
Heidel said he's raised about $20,000 so far. If elected, he said, he'd accept money from PACs.
Heidel, a University of Nebraska at Omaha math professor, is one of four challengers in the 2nd Congressional District.
The others are Republican Brett Lindstrom, a financial adviser, and Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing Jr. and State Sen. Gwen Howard, both Democrats.
The primary election is May 15.