“The company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline is a major campaign contributor to North Dakota U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer,” my colleague Mike McFeely wrote yesterday.
He sees this as a scandal, apparently.
“The congressman, as expected, is wholly unapologetic. Optics be darned,” he writes.
Optics? What optics?
Congressman Cramer represents North Dakota. A state where energy development, and the infrastructure which serves that development, are hugely important things.
Of course people and organizations with ties to the energy industry are supporting him. I’m sure Congressman Cramer has and will continue to enjoy the support of other industries important in our state, like agriculture and tourism.
I’d even go so far to wager that Senator Heitkamp, when she finally gets around to releasing her fundraising reports after she leaked dollar figure details to the media weeks ago, will have a lot of overlap with Cramer when it comes to contributions from the energy industry.
Because Heitkamp, who is nothing if not a savvy politician, knows that supporting our state’s biggest industries is the right thing to do.
I mean, when it comes to energy issues, is there really any difference between Cramer and Heitkamp?
Heitkamp, like Cramer, knows there’s no such thing as “bad optics” when it comes to supporting oil and coal in North Dakota.
What’s next? Are we going to go fainting into the bushes because labor organizations support Democrats?
That Cramer received these contributions is no surprise to anyone. “Frankly, I’d be surprised if they didn’t support me,” Cramer told McFeely.
That McFeely highlighted this in a scornful accomplishes two things.
First, it communicates to voters that Cramer enjoys the on-going support of industries which provide jobs and prosperity to a lot of people in our state, both directly and indirection.
Second, it illustrates just how out of touch North Dakota’s liberals are when it comes to the realities of North Dakota politics.
Senator Heitkamp’s allies, apparently running scared ahead of a potential challenge from the Congressman, have been on a mission to tar and feather Cramer in recent weeks.
Time will tell if that strategy is effective, but this particular talking point is a big loser.