“I think somebody should go to jail,” Senator Heidi Heitkamp said during an interview with CNBC earlier this month (video at the link).
“If we can start developing a level of personal responsibility of corporate leadership with the ultimate penalty being a criminal prosecution, we’ll see changes in terms of the duty to know,” she added.
She was referring to the Wells Fargo scandal which saw the banking giant’s employees enrolling millions of their customers in financial programs without their knowledge. I pointed out at the time that this demand for jail time seemed a bit hypocritical given has received some $14,000 in campaign contributions from the Wells Fargo PAC during her first term in office.
But, per Heitkamp’s most recent FEC campaign filing which covers donations through September 30, she apparently took a $1,000 donation from the Wells Fargo PAC just nine days before calling for someone at the company to be jailed
Heitkamp has now received $15,000 in campaign contributions from the Wells Fargo PAC including $3,500 since the bank’s scandal first made headlines and $1,000 just days before she started talking jail time.
There’s nothing specifically illegal about these donations, of course. But they should make a reasonable person wonder if Hetikamp’s fiery rhetoric on this stuff (she’s also demanded jail time over the Equifax scandal) is authentic pique or the antics of a politician on the cusp of what promises to be a tough re-election campaign.
Given that Heitkamp wasn’t prone to this sort of bluster during the first five years or so of her term in office, I think it’s safe to conclude the latter option is more likely.