Mike Fedorchak, the North Dakota director for Americans for Prosperity, was on the radio show today talking about his group’s surprising praise for Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
The fiscally conservative group, backed by the Koch brothers, is running digital ads thanking Heitkamp for her vote on legislation deregulating banks.
“By no means is this supporting or an endorsement of Senator Heitkamp,” Fedorchak told me of the ads.
“I don’t want people be confused that this ad is about politics,” he added. “It’s about policy.”
I asked him about the complaints I’ve been hearing from some Republicans/conservatives in the state – that the ad undermines Heitkamp’s opponent, Congressman Kevin Cramer, who will undoubtedly vote how the Kochs/Americans for Prosperity would like more often than Heitkamp – and Fedorchak acknowledged the point.
“I can appreciate that point of view,” he said, adding that some might view the ad as a “head scratcher.” But he said Americans for Prosperity is a principled group that cares about policies more than politics, and he thinks voters will get the politics behind Heitkamp’s election year maneuvering.
“Senator Heitkamp has recently been touting her conservative policies,” he said. “Maybe she will join the Republican party.”
I also spoke with North Dakota Labor Commissioner Michelle Kommer about her announcement today, along with Governor Doug Burgum, of a new initiative aimed at addressing North Dakota’s workforce shortages. Craig Stevens of the GAIN Coalition, a group that was vocal in supporting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, was also on to discuss the one year anniversary of the line being put into service.
Here’s the full audio of today’s show. If you can’t listen live from 12-2pm on weekdays on WDAY 970 AM, get the podcast.