Earlier this year the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced that they were launching an ad campaign against North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, trying to tie her voting record to that of far-left Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“During her time in Washington, Heidi Heitkamp has positioned herself squarely on the left, voting with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren 84% of the time,” NRSC Communications Director Katie Martin said in a press release in February. “Heidi Heitkamp may try to pose as a moderate as the election approaches, but her record shows that she has more in common with Washington liberals than with North Dakota voters.”
Heitkamp got a little testy about the comparison. “To suggest that we’re Elizabeth Warren is ridiculous, especially when you look at voting records and where we’ve been,” she told Politico.
There is no question that Heitkamp and Warren have very different voting records, which I pointed out in February when this issue first came up. The comparison that the NRSC is making can be a little misleading, because a lot of votes Senators take aren’t all that political in nature.
Do we really care all that much that Senator Heitkamp voted with Senator Warren to name a post office building or congratulate a football team or something?
But faulty comparisons aside, Heitkamp obviously knows that any association with Senator Warren (who is on the left wing fringe of Congress) is toxic for North Dakota’s electorate. Which is why it isn’t terribly convenient that Warren’s Super PAC has given Heitkamp’s campaign $10,000 so far this election cycle, part of that big fundraising haul Heitkamp’s surrogates have been touting for weeks now.
You can see Heitkamp’s full first quarter report below. Here’s the excerpt showing the Warren contribution:
Warren’s organization donated $5,000 in the last reporting period (January 1, 2017 through March 31) and $10,000 in the election cycle to date.
Interestingly, while Heitkamp’s allies have been touting the impressive $1.6 million in fundraising in the first quarter, less than half came actual individuals. The rest came from other political committees (PAC’s such as Warren’s, etc.):
To be fair, Cramer’s report has less than 27 percent of its (much smaller) total contributions coming from individuals, but Cramer by his own admission hasn’t been fundraising for 2018 yet. Heitkamp clearly has been.
I haven’t had a chance yet to analyze the contributions in Heitkamp’s report in depth yet. So far the FEC only has the scanned images of Heitkamp’s report. To do an analysis I have to get that data into a spreadsheet and since we’re talking about a more than 700 page report that’s a lot of work.
Eventually I’ll probably put up a post with an in-depth comparison of Heitkamp and Cramer, but for now the impression I get from Heitkamp’s report is that a lot of her itemized individual contributions are coming from out of state.
Oh and since some people apparently think donations from people who work in the oil and gas industry are a bad thing, I see Heitkamp has contributions from Ryan Lance (CEO of ConocoPhillips), Apache Corp PAC, Halliburton PAC, Cabot Oil, and Gas PAC.
Those donations aren’t surprising at all. Heitkamp has a pretty solid record supporting the oil and gas industry, to her credit.
Here’s the full report: