Does Heidi Heitkamp Have Her Interns Writing Letters To The Editor?


Prior to the Senate's vote on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and other members of the Democratic caucus file out of a strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the bill's sponsor, has 59 votes ready and is searching for the last vote needed for approval, both to pass the legislation and to buoy her chances of retaining her Senate seat in a runoff Dec. 6 against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

It’s pretty clear that Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s vote on the Iran deal isn’t a convenient one for her, politically. Thus, the Senator has been doing damage control since she cast the vote, but does that damage control include having one of her Senate interms write a letter to the editor?

Yesterday the Grand Forks Herald published a letter giving “kudos” to Senator Heitkamp for her Iran vote. “Unlike so many in our political system these days, Heitkamp reserved judgment, listened to all sides and came to the decision she thought protected our national interests,” the letter, written by one Sarah Coen-Tuff of Grand Forks, states.

This is apparently the same Sarah Coen-Tuff who is a social work major at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and joined Senator Heitkamp’s office as an intern a couple of months ago.

I’m sure that, if asked, Senator Heitkamp’s office would say that Coen-Tuff wrote the letter of her own volition and that the Senator would never, ever resort to urging interns to flood the state’s opinion pages with glowing letters after a tough vote. And we certainly can’t prove otherwise (the Senator doesn’t deign to speak with this humble political observer).

But c’mon. This sure looks like the Senator is so desperate to inoculate herself from her own Iran vote that she has her staff writing letters of support.