Yesterday the local chapter of “Democratic Socialists of America” swarmed outside Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign office to deliver letters urging the Senator to vote no on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
These socialists wanted to influence their “swing vote” Senator and let her know “where North Dakota stood.” (REMINDER: Over 60% of North Dakotans support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.)
Heidi Heitkamp has been following her liberal Democrat party boss Chuck Schumer’s orders to stay as neutral as long as possible, but eventually the charade will have to end. Will Heitkamp vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh and fall out-of-step with the liberals she needs to have any hope of winning? Or will she succumb to the pressure from her extremist, liberal base and oppose the will of a majority of North Dakotans?
Reactions to this announcement further highlighted the stark differences between Heidi Heitkamp and Kevin Cramer.
Heitkamp’s team has previously used this process to play politics with North Dakota’s agricultural community. As John Hageman points out in the story below, “A Heitkamp campaign spokeswoman previously called Cramer’s appointment ‘politics at its worst.’” The Heitkamp campaign spent days using over-the-top rhetoric to attack Cramer as unqualified to write farm policy because he’s not on the Agriculture Committee — a bizarre line of attack given that while her campaign is fixated on health care, Heitkamp does not serve on the Senate HELP Committee.
But when they go low, Cramer goes high.
Rep. Cramer congratulated his colleagues for their appointment, calling the move a “big victory for North Dakota,” and saying he will “deliver the maximum benefits” for his state. This is yet another sign that Kevin Cramer’s top priority is doing what’s best for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers, rather than playing cheap politics.
In case you missed it…
Heitkamp, Hoeven join farm bill conference committee
John Hageman | Forum News Service
BISMARCK — All three members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation will negotiate a new farm bill with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Sen. John Hoeven announcing their conference committee appointments Wednesday, Aug. 1.
Heitkamp and Hoeven will be two of nine senators on the farm bill conference committee. The multi-year bill includes everything from nutrition assistance to crop insurance and commodity supports.
The current farm bill is set to expire at the end of September.
Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who is challenging Heitkamp this fall, was named as one of 47 House farm bill negotiators last month. Democratic Reps. Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, both of Minnesota, joined him.
Roger Johnson, the former North Dakota agriculture commissioner who’s now president of the National Farmers Union, said he doesn’t remember North Dakota ever achieving the same level of representation during farm bill negotiations. But he noted both senators are members of that chamber’s ag committee and the House appointed many conferees.
“Still, (North Dakota) should be well represented — hopefully they all argue for the same things!” he said in an email.
Heitkamp’s office said she’ll have jurisdiction over “every piece” of the bill because she’s on the ag committee. Cramer was appointed through his membership on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and he previously said his jurisdiction would include renewable fuel standards and rural broadband.
A Heitkamp campaign spokeswoman previously called Cramer’s appointment “politics at its worst,” noting that he doesn’t sit on the ag committee and has been more defensive of President Donald Trump’s “reckless” trade policies.
But Heitkamp herself said Wednesday that the appointments were an “excellent thing” for North Dakota. On Twitter, Cramer likewise called it a “big victory” for the state.
In a statement, Heitkamp said completing the farm bill is her “top priority” and called the Senate’s version of the legislation a “strong, bipartisan” bill. The House narrowly passed its version with new food stamp work requirements without any Democratic votes.
Heitkamp and Hoeven both said in interviews that the debate over food stamps, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, would be the biggest sticking point in the negotiations. Heitkamp suggested the House language would be dead on arrival in the Senate and noted there are already work requirements in the program.
Both Heitkamp and Hoeven were hopeful the bill can be completed before the end of September, although Hoeven said it could “drag out some” with the SNAP debate. And the House’s August recess could complicate the calendar.
“Right now our farmers are facing a lot of uncertainty with the trade issue and low ag prices and so we need to try to get this done as soon as we can,” Hoeven said.
Heidi Heitkamp just announced she will meet with Supreme Court nominee Judge Kavanaugh on August 15th, 37 days after he was nominated by President Trump. This is by far the longest it has taken Heitkamp to meet with a Supreme Court nominee.
|Nominee||Date of Nomination||Date of Meeting||Days Between|
North Dakotans deserve to know: why the holdup?
“Caught in a no-win situation, Heidi Heitkamp is taking Chuck Schumer’s advice at the expense of North Dakotans, who want to see Judge Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court,” said NDGOP Spokesman Jake Wilkins. “Heitkamp likes to talk about how independent she is, but on the issues that matter most, Heitkamp is just another loyal foot soldier in Chuck Schumer’s band of Washington obstructionists.”
His record stands in stark contrast with Heidi Heitkamp’s long list of bad votes, harmful positions, and grave errors in judgment on foreign policy.
REMINDER– Heidi Heitkamp:
- Voted repeatedly to support and defend Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.
- Opposed forcing Iran to recognize Israel and release American hostages.
- Wanted Obama’s ‘Russian Reset’ but called Russia an ‘Existential Threat’ under President Trump.
- Rejected the use of military force to take down Assad in Syria.
- Flip-flopped on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
- Stood against military officials who called for increased missile defense funding.
- Supported Freedom Act provisions that weakened intelligence community tools.
- Resisted moves to arm those fighting ISIS.
- Voted against the Ambassador to Israel’s nomination.
- Aligned with J Street, a liberal advocacy group used to oppose Israeli leaders.
- Called ‘hyper-partisanship’ our greatest internal vulnerability while continuing partisan attacks on her opponents.
“Heidi Heitkamp’s out-of-touch national security stances have left North Dakota veterans and military service members worse off,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins. “North Dakota’s veterans and active duty service-members deserve a strong leader like Kevin Cramer who will fight for them in the Senate.”
The U.S. economy accelerated to a 4.1% pace of growth, a clear win for President Trump’s pro-growth policies and his economic agenda that Heidi Heitkamp so rigidly opposes.
Heitkamp has a long history of supporting liberal economic policies that would drag our economy down. She campaigned on raising taxes on job creators and, as Senator, voted against President Trump’s tax cuts that helped create new jobs while letting North Dakotans keep more of their hard-earned money.
It’s no wonder Heidi Heitkamp campaigned so hard in 2016 for her fellow liberal Hillary Clinton, who said the President’s policies “would throw us into a recession.” To quote President Trump…
“Heidi Heitkamp has stood firmly in opposition to the Trump agenda that’s brought us great economic growth,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins. “The Hillary-Heidi agenda of higher taxers and harmful regulations is out-of-touch with the needs of North Dakota, and voters will remember that in November.”
Rob Port detailed Heitkamp’s politically motivated actions, pointing out that politicians like Heitkamp “are opposed to fixing problems that are politically advantageous to them.”
As Heidi Heitkamp continues to play politics with North Dakota farmers, it’s clear Kevin Cramer is the only candidate in this race more focused on helping North Dakota farmers than his own reelection campaign.
In case you missed it…
I think we can adapt the Shirky Principle to politics by saying that politicians are opposed to fixing problems that are politically advantageous to them.
An example of this is Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s recent posturing around the issue of President Trump’s trade war which is creating some undeniable headaches for North Dakota’s agriculture industry. Soybean growers, in particular.
Back in April former North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad, a man Heitkamp has described as a mentor, suggested to the New York Times that the Trump administration “could direct the Commodity Credit Corporation, a government-owned entity, to purchase soybeans to buoy farmers’ revenues” as a way to ease some economic pain among farmers while Trump works on China.
That’s exactly what the Trump administration did:
The aid proposal, which relies in part on a depression-era Department of Agriculture program designed to bail out farmers, is the product of a months-long research effort intended to help the administration see its trade war through by warding off domestic opposition in the farming community.
The depression-era program, known as the Commodity Credit Corporation, is empowered to borrow $30 billion from the Treasury Department absent Congressional approval.
Yet perhaps because the Trump-is-hurting-farmers narrative is too politically convenient for Senator Heitkamp as she trails in the polling of her re-election campaign she’s attacking the very policy proposal her own political mentor suggested.
In a statement quoted by the Associated Press, Heitkamp says Trump’s package “still barely compensates for the losses to farmers and ranchers.” Heitkamp’s political allies at the North Dakota Farmer’s Union, which is basically a branch of the North Dakota Democratic Party at this point, are also downplaying Trump’s policy.
Again, politicians are opposed to fixing problems that are politically advantageous to them. Heitkamp was never going to thank the Trump administration for providing a safety net for farmers as his get-tough negotiations with China produce some economic turbulence. Her campaign has invested a lot of money in rhetoric in messaging about the trade war.
They aren’t going to just throw that away.
Though, to be sure, Trump’s bailout is not really a fix and it is really expensive. Yet those deploying that criticism are seeing the trees and not the forest.
Like it or not, we’re in a trade war with China. A communist country which controls every aspect of their industry and economy. The whole point of China’s retaliatory tariffs is to create political and social pressure on Trump in order to get him to knuckle under.
Backing down from China might be what’s best for Senator Heitkamp’s campaign, but at this point it’s probably not what’s best for our nation in the long term.
Heitkamp has failed to help secure our nation’s borders, politicized the farm bill, supported Obamacare, ignored the needs of our military, opposed tax relief for North Dakotans, undermined the President on trade, and callously celebrated a pro-choice victory for Chuck Schumer.
“The Vice President’s visit is a good reminder that Heidi Heitkamp is completely out-of-step with this administration and her state,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins. “Heitkamp has opposed the Trump-Pence agenda on every major issue, and North Dakota voters won’t forget that in November.”
Not only is this group’s attack so weak and desperate that they were fact-checked in their own pitched story, but they have already shown themselves as out-of-touch with North Dakota voters, wildly accusing President Trump of treason just last week:
“VoteVets’ involvement is nothing more than another sign that out-of-touch, liberal groups are worried about losing their friend and ally Heidi Heitkamp,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins. “Kevin Cramer is running on his actual record of support for our nation’s veterans and our military. Heitkamp’s team clearly can’t do the same.”
Yesterday, North Dakota Democrats released a digital ad falsely claiming Kevin Cramer is ignoring the concerns of North Dakota farmers. This falsehood came just one day after Cramer was appointed to the Farm Bill Conference Committee, a move Cramer welcomed so he could be a strong voice for North Dakota’s farmers, ranchers, and producers.
When Heitkamp’s team heard about this victory for North Dakota, they blasted this great opportunity as “politics at its worst” only because it might hurt her chances at re-election.
Heitkamp is clearly so desperate to distract from her out-of-touch, liberal voting record that she’s trying to turn good news for her state into another partisan, political fight. Unfortunately for her, she has no good reason to oppose Cramer’s involvement with the Farm Bill, though that’s not stopping her team from trying.
“Heidi Heitkamp’s shameless efforts to distract and divide are not going to resonate in North Dakota,” said North Dakota Republican Party spokesman Jake Wilkins. “Heitkamp should quit trying to score cheap political points and follow Kevin Cramer’s lead by focusing on increasing job growth, cracking down on illegal immigration and serving North Dakota’s agricultural community.”
But you wouldn’t know this from listening to Heidi Heitkamp.
Heitkamp’s team shamelessly called this victory for North Dakota farmers “politics at its worst.” Her allies curiously tried to argue Cramer’s appointment doesn’t matter since it was through a different committee, even though ND Democrat Earl Pomeroy was appointed the same way in 2008.
When will Heidi Heitkamp finally end these partisan attacks and focus on serving the needs of North Dakotans?
“Heidi Heitkamp is so out of touch and desperately trying to win reelection that she’s forgotten what is good for her state,” said Jake Wilkins, North Dakota Republican Party spokesman. “While Kevin Cramer is focused on being a strong voice for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers, it’s clear Heidi Heitkamp only wants to disparage her opponent to save her failing campaign.”