Heitkamp Deploys Man Who Married His Campaign Manager to Attack Cramer for Hiring His Wife as Campaign Manager


FILE -- Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and his bichon frise, Dakota, head to the Senate floor in Washington, Dec. 13, 2010. Over 80 current members, including Conrad, are preparing to depart Capitol Hill at the end of the 112th Congress, half of them leaving involuntarily. (Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

Throughout this election North Dakota Democrats, and Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign specifically, have attacked Congressman Kevin Cramer for employing his wife as campaign manager.

Kris Cramer has responded to these attacks, pointing out that she has an advanced degree in communications and is more than qualified to work for her husband, and based on FEC disclosures she’s getting paid far below the going rate for campaign managers anyway.

But still, the Democrats think the issue is something they can beat Cramer with, and they’re sticking to it. So it goes.

What’s odd, though, is their choice in surrogate to make this argument. Former Senator Kent Conrad did a radio interview with Senator Heitkamp’s brother yesterday, and Heitkamp’s staff has turned that segment into a press release:

Conrad is an odd choice for a couple of reasons.

For one, if we want to talk about wives who serve as campaign managers, Conrad married the manager of his 1986 campaign. In fact, they got married just months after his campaign ended, which probably means that during the campaign Conrad was employing his girlfriend? Or fiancee?

And hey, that’s great! They’re married to this day, and I think we can all be glad they found happiness. But why do Democrats think employing a significant other on your campaign only bad when Repubublicans do it?

Conrad claims Cramer has made a “cottage industry” of his campaigns, but that’s coming from a man who once got a cushy VIP mortgage from subprime lending giant Countrywide.