Print Column: The Ugly, Nasty, Awful Heitkamp Political Machine


MINOT, N.D.—This week Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign attempted to dunk on its opponent, Congressman Kevin Cramer, with a print ad accusing him of being insensitive.

It very quickly turned into a self own.

The ad was shaped in the form of an open letter from sexual assault survivors to Cramer responding to some of his comments related to the controversy around Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but some of the named women didn’t give their permission to be used in the ad.

Thirteen women named in the ad are now on the record saying they didn’t want to be named.

In a Facebook post, one of them said she isn’t even a sexual assault survivor.

Another woman said privately she didn’t learn of her inclusion in the ad until she got a call from father who, in turn, had been getting calls from friends and family thinking she’d been raped or assaulted.

It’s an awful situation. One would expect someone, like Heitkamp, who has vociferously touted her record on sexual assault would be more careful in how the names of sexual assault survivors are used.

Sadly, sticking it to Cramer seems to have won out over the senator’s better judgment.

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