I have been consistently critical of Senator Heidi Heitkamp for collecting well over 90 percent of her itemized, individual contributions from out of state. I mean, the Senator reported in her year-end report to the FEC for 2017 that she received three times more contributions from New Yorkers than she did from North Dakotans.
According to that same report, over 94 percent of Heitkamp’s itemized contributions from individuals came from outside of North Dakota. Her opponent Congressman Kevin Cramer, who at the end of 2017 hadn’t announced his Senate campaign yet, received about 51 percent of those contributions from out of state.
(While the candidates have filed their April Quarterly reports for the first quarter of 2018 the FEC hasn’t processed the individual contributions yet for their online database.)
Anyway, the defense I hear from Democrats when I make the point about Heitkamp’s out-of-state is that nobody cares. It’s not a big deal.
Except, it apparently is a big deal when Republicans get out of state contributions. Witness Democratic party chairwoman Kylie Oversen, who is also the party’s candidate for tax commissioner, griping about incumbent Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger getting out of state contributions:
You can see Rauschenberger’s year-end finance report here. About 42 percent of the $70,000 raised by the incumbent did come from out of state (with the caveat that some of that comes from political committees for industries that are pretty important to North Dakota). That is what it is, and it’s important for voters to understand where the Tax Commissioner’s financial support comes from.
But can we acknowledge the hypocrisy of Oversen bashing Rauschenberger for getting less than half of his money in 2017 from out of state when the Democrat on the top of the ballot in North Dakota this cycle, Heitkamp, received more than 94 percent of her individual contributions from out of state?
By the way, if we look at only contributions from individuals as we do with Heitkamp, Rauschenberger’s take from out of state drops to about 38 percent of the total.
So, in summary, a Republican getting 38 percent of his campaign contributions from individuals in North Dakota is bad and the chair of the North Dakota Democratic Party is calling it out. But Heitkamp getting more than 94 percent of her individual campaign contributions from out of state is just fine?