Koch Brothers Praise Heidi Heitkamp, Confuse the Hell Out of Everyone


Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., talks to retired truck drivers about the pension crisis that threatens their livelihood Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at Marlin's restaurant in Fargo. Tu-Uyen Tran / The Forum

The Koch Brothers and the various groups they fund are a bête noire for our friends on the left. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, currently in the throes of a re-election campaign here in North Dakota, routinely uses messages about those supposedly sinister Koch brothers as a fundraising device.

Heck, not so long ago Heitkamp campaign flack Julia Krieger was attacking me on Twitter for supposedly being a part of the Koch brothers cabal:

But now Americans for Prosperity, one of the groups funded by the Kochs, is funding digital advertising praising Senator Heitkamp for her recent vote for banking deregulation:

Americans for Prosperity, an arm of the influential network supported by conservative billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is unleashing a digital advertising campaign on Friday thanking Heitkamp for co-sponsoring the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protect Act, a bill that rolls back Dodd-Frank regulations mainly on community banks, or those with less than $100 billion in assets. It recently passed in Congress with bipartisan support.

“Congress achieved a significant milestone in lifting some of the toughest restrictions Dodd-Frank placed on small banks and their consumers. This was a bipartisan effort made possible by lawmakers like Heidi Heitkamp who put politics aside to work together,” Tim Phillips, president for Americans for Prosperity, said in a statement.

“While we don’t agree with Sen. Heitkamp on everything, particularly her vote against tax relief, we commend her for taking a stand against the leaders of her party to do the right thing. We hope to find common ground and work with Sen. Heitkamp on other issues moving forward including making tax relief permanent,” he added.

Here’s an image of the ad AFP is running:

This comes after Americans for Prosperity was critical of Heitkamp for her vote against tax reform last year.

To say that this decision by the Koch-funded group to praise a Democrat in a hotly-contested Senate race is surprising is putting it mildly. Not least because, again, the Democrats talk about the Koch brothers the way Republicans talk about George Soros.

It’s also timely news for the Heitkamp campaign which has been investing a lot of political capital in promoting the idea that she has a better relationship with President Donald Trump than Congressman Kevin Cramer does. The North Dakota Democratic party was even mocking Cramer recently for supposedly being sad that Heitkamp got stand closer to Trump at the signing of the banking bill.

I can’t imagine that the Cramer campaign is happy about what AFP is doing, though the group has always advertised itself as loyal to issues over political parties.

I’ll have Mike Fedorcha, AFP’s state director for North Dakota, on my radio show later today.