Heidi Heitkamp’s Political Allies Hire Actors to Play Stereotypical “Cranky” and “Trusting” North Dakotans With Accents


Priorities USA is a Super PAC founded by Barack Obama campaign alumni which supported the Obama campaign in 2012 as well as the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016. They’ve gotten involved in the 2018 election campaign by running ads attacking Congressman Kevin Cramer.

You’ve probably seen the ad being promoted on Facebook:

Here’s one version of the ad they’re running:

[fcc_jw_player key=”UPm2XRER” /]

You can watch all the different iterations of the ad, as well as information about how many people they’re reaching and how much money has been put behind each ad, right here thanks to Facebook’s new political advertising database.

What’s more interesting than the claims made in the ad itself (talking points Politifact ranked as “half true” previously) is how it came to be.

According to a listing on BreakdownServices.com, a casting service, Priorities USA seems to have hired actors to film the ad in Maryland.

The listing called for a “Caucasian male” to play a “cranky” man with a North Dakota accent. It also calls for a “Caucasian female” to play a “normally trusting” and “midwest nice” North Dakotan. Again, with accent. It says the parts are in a political ad “attacking Kevin Cramer in North Dakota.”

This listing is, at the time of this publication, accessible at BreakdownServices.com after registration:

The optics here are pretty bad.

Not only is it not a great look for Heitiamp to have a Super PAC which spent millions backing the national campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (the latter failing to get even 30 percent of the vote here in North Dakota in 2016), but said PAC hired out-of-state actors to play to stereotypes of North Dakotans.

It’s…a little insulting.

Couple this with Heitkamp getting well over 90 percent of her itemized, individual campaign contributions from out of state and her campaign begins to look like a well-funded effort to put one over on a bunch of rubes.