North Dakota’s Top Elected Officials, Except Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Call on Obama to Help End #NoDAPL Rioting

In a post earlier today I took aim at President Barack Obama for what I perceive as enabling the increasingly violent #NoDAPL rioting here in North Dakota.

What I didn’t know is that our state’s top elected leaders – Governor Jack Dalrymple, Senator John Hoeven, and Rep. Kevin Cramer – would be sending a letter to the Obama administration asking him to issue the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe and to send federal resources to our state to deal with the extremists who have assembled in Morton County to fight the project.

You can read the letter below, but it’s very interesting to me that Senator Heidi Heitkamp did not sign on to it. What could she possibly be objecting to?

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”Senator Hoeven’s office took the lead,” Jeff Zent, spokesman for Governor Jack Dalrymple, told me of he letter this morning. “We certainly invited Senator Heitkamp to sign on. Apparently she declined to do that.”[/mks_pullquote]

The letter points out that the Dakota Access pipeline has already been through an exacting regulatory process both on the state and federal level, and that further delays at this point are, at best, unlikely to reveal anything that process hasn’t already covered and, at worse, enabling continued rioting by violent extremists.

Does Senator Heitkamp dispute these points? If she does I would argue, given how this pipeline has become one of the most pressing issues in our state, that she owes us an explanation.

I’ve sent an inquiry to her press people about it. I’ll update if they respond, but I’m not hopeful since Senator Heitkamp and her people typically don’t bother to respond to me. Interestingly, as I wrote this post, Heitkamp’s office did send out their own press release which says pretty much the same thing the letter signed by Dalrymple, etc. says.

Why couldn’t Heitkamp have joined with our other state leaders to make their message bipartisan?

This is certainly not the time for partisan posturing, if that is what is motivating North Dakota’s only Democrat elected to statewide office.

“Senator Hoeven’s office took the lead,” Jeff Zent, spokesman for Governor Jack Dalrymple, told me of he letter this morning. “We certainly invited Senator Heitkamp to sign on. Apparently she declined to do that.”

Hoeven spokesman Don Canton also confirmed that Heitkamp was invited to sign the letter and that she declined. Canton said he wasn’t aware of a specific reason Heitkamp gave for declining.

Here’s the letter:

[scribd id=332072169 key=key-t7LcV9NfM0SXi6ssW2D3 mode=scroll]

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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