The saga of the bogus talking point deployed by Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s office as political cover for her vote against tax reform continues today.
Last week I wrote about Heitkamp claiming that North Dakotans could get a $10,000 tax hike if the tax reform expires, something that’s absolutely false. That resulted in the Senator deleting her mentions of the talking point on social media and elsewhere. Yesterday, though, I wrote about emails Heitkamp has been sending to constituents citing the phony number.
Today a number of SAB readers have forwarded me new emails Heitkamp sent out retracting the previous email:
“In my previous correspondence to you on tax reform, I mistakenly used a statistic that wasn’t accurate,” the new email reads. “Please see the below updated letter that is accurate. Providing you with factual, correct, and helpful information is a priority for me. Thank you again for reaching out to express your thoughts.”
The full email is below.
It’s good that Senator Heitkamp is correcting the false information she sent constituents about tax reform – North Dakota voters should be extremely dubious of any further claims Heitkamp and her allies make about the legislation given this debacle – but it’s not enough.
Heitkamp has a very large following through her various legislative and social media platforms. She has done nothing in those venues to correct the misinformation she perpetrated. She made this talking point so pervasive that, when it was exposed to be false, journalists had to issue corrections as well:
This story has been updated with a correction. I didn’t adequately double-check the analysis Heitkamp’s office cited. That’s on me. https://t.co/uRJ3aXzO2v
— John Hageman (@jhageman_) December 9, 2017
The honest thing to do would be for Heitkamp to own the error. Make an announcement, explain how it happened, and we can all move on.