Senator Heitkamp Sends Email to Constituents Retracting Misleading Tax Reform Talking Point

FILE -- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), exits the lobby of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Dec. 2, 2016. Though Donald Trump has yet to name a Democrat to his Cabinet, Heitkamp is said to be a top contender to lead the Department of Agriculture — a posting that would also trigger a special election to fill her Senate seat. (Sam Hodgson/The New York Times)

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:


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.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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