Americans for Prosperity is a conservative-leaning, free-market-promoting group that operates in numerous states across the nation.
While the group has faced no small amount of criticism and backlash nationally, you may be surprised to learn that their Fargo office, headquarters for their North Dakota chapter, has been vandalized repeatedly since opening.
The most recent attack happened just recently, with large anarchy symbols painted across the windows and door of the group’s storefront.
“With spray paint, it’s happened two or three times,” Sierra Heitkamp, the grassroots director for AFP of North Dakota. “This is the first time it’s ever been spraypainted since I’ve been hired.”
Heitkamp – who, yes, is a relative of former Democratic U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp – was hired by AFP in September.
There have been other, smaller acts of vandalism too, Heitkamp told me.
“There have been many instances where people come and put anarchy bumper stickers or signs and tape them onto our windows,” she said. “We had to move the AFP logo inside because people put their cigarettes out on it.”
“Every time it happens, we contact police just to document it,” she continued. “We’ve had to put three security systems in the Fargo offices, and it hasn’t caught anything.”
Due to the lack of evidence identifying a responsible party, the cops haven’t been able to mount much of an investigation.
“We’re going to have to up our security system again,” Heitkamp told me, and that’s not the only expense AFP will be facing. “We talked to our landlord, and he has to go out and buy paint remover. We’ll get charged for that. It’s the little things that add up,” she said. “This time, they painted on the metal frame, and they sprayed into our lock, so we may have to replace those things.”
This isn’t the only example of left-wing political activism going to troubling extremes (by North Dakota standards, anyway) in the Fargo area. Just a couple of weeks ago, a presentation to a legislative committee made by a representative of ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council, a right-leaning group) was interrupted by members of the Red River Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America who shouted invective and expletives.
It’s a real shame. Say what you want about North Dakota politics, but both our political leaders and the political process is very open here. But if we continue to see these sorts of attacks, that may change out of necessity, to the detriment of us all.