Associated Press Fact Checks Heitkamp Surrogate’s “Crooked Cramer” Claims and Finds Them Wanting

Congressman Kevin Cramer visits with Madison Rodgers, left, and Sierra Heitkamp of the North Dakota Young Republicans Friday at the state Republican convention at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Since Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign style isn’t so much to persuade voters on the issues but rather to inspire hatred for her opponents, her political surrogates have been out calling her opponent this election cycle, Congressman Kevin Cramer, a “scam artist” and worse.

David Thompson – a crank with a long history making wild political accusations who also happens to be the candidate for Attorney General for the North Dakota Democratic Party this cycle – has even gone so far as to file a complaint with the FEC suggesting that Cramer was inappropriately reimbursing himself for mileage from his campaign.

I did the math on Thompson’s complaint in a previous post and found that the “implausible” amount of miles Cramer traveled in the first quarter reporting period of 2018 worked out to about 23.5 miles per day.

Now the Associated Press has taken a look at the case against Cramer from Democrats and they found that Cramer did, in fact, travel all the miles he said he did:

NORTH DAKOTA DEMOCRATS: “Implausible mileage reimbursements to Kevin and Kris Cramer: The campaign’s reimbursement of $1,152.75 to Rep. Cramer and $531.38 to Kris Cramer for first quarter mileage expenses is highly unusual and almost implausible.”

THE FACTS: It’s not only plausible, it’s true. North Dakota is a big state (69,001 square land miles) and Kevin Cramer is its only U.S. House member. Cramer did drive more than 2,300 miles according to an AP analysis, which mapped the locations to substantiate the mileage and also checked with event organizers and media reports to verify Kevin Cramer’s attendance. The mileage reimbursements he and his wife made to themselves were correct.

Remember that this isn’t just some off-the-cuff partisan accusation made in the heat of the political brawl. The Democrats filed an official FEC complaint over this nonsense.

Will they reimburse the taxpayers for the resources wasted on reviewing this completely spurious?

Probably not but if Thompson, Heitkamp, and their political party had any integrity they’d apologize.

But here’s one thing Heitkamp can do: Why not disclose how many miles she’s put in on the campaign trail?

Cramer accessibility to the public is noteworthy. Heitkamp, meanwhile, typically doesn’t like candid interactions with the public. If Cramer’s campaign travel is an issue, why is it not fair to ask how much time Heitkamp is really putting in on the trail?

Especially since Democrats clearly thought Cramer’s mileage was too much to be believed.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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