As AG Heidi Heitkamp Made Secret Purchases Of Airplanes, Handed Out Lavishes Pay Raises
Heidi Heitkamp has been posturing herself as quite the fiscal conservative lately. She’s claiming to support a balanced budget amendment (with so many exceptions for entitlement spending that it would be mathematically impossible to actually balance the budget) and she’s saying that she would reduce her Senate office’s budget, if elected, and turn down any pay raises.
Those are nice thought, though all pretty unserious in terms of actually solving the nation’s budget problems. We aren’t going to balance the national budget on cut pay and reduced budgets for Congress.
But even supposing we could, would Heitkamp actually follow through on those promises? It’s a little hard to believe election-year conversions to fiscal conservatism, and the folks at American Crossroads are pointing out that Heitkamp was pretty lavish when spending state tax dollars back when she was Attorney General in the 1990′s:
In 1993 “The State Attorney General’s Office Acquired In May A Couple Of Four-Seater T-42 Beachcraft Barons. They Are 1965 Model, Twin-Engine Planes Valued At $102,000. “The state attorney general’s office acquired in May a couple of four-seater T-42 Bachcraft Barons. They are 1965 model, twin-engine planes valued at $102,000. One will be used strictly for drug enforcement acitivities [sic] in North Dakota, said Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp. The other will be stripped down and used for spare parts.” (Kristine Donatelle, Bismarck Tribune, 7/27/93)
“One Hangup, If Any, Is That Some Lawmakers Are Miffed That Heitkamp Declined To Inform Them About Such A Major Acquisition.” (Kristine Donatelle, Bismarck Tribune, 7/27/93)
Heitkamp Claimed That She Can Spend Her Budgeted Amount As She Pleases Without Informing Anyone. “Though Heitkamp says she’s willing to talk to lawmakers who call her, under the law, Heitkamp says she is not obligated to inform them. As long as the attorney general’s office functions within the constraint of its operating budget appropriation, it has the flexibility to spend as it sees fit, she says. State budget officials also concur. Heitkamp explained why informing lawmakers ‘never even crossed our mind.’” (Kristine Donatelle, Bismarck Tribune, 7/27/93)
Heitkamp Gave Her Staff 15-30% Pay Raises, Far Above The Standard 3% For Public Employees. “She claimed that other attorneys were making more money for doing the same thing. She thereby justified her decision to increase staff attorneys salaries at the attorney general’s office. These raises varied from 15 percent annual increases to over 30 percent annual increases — a far cry above the 3 percent raises authorized for other state employees.” (Ward K. Johnson, Letter To The Editor, Bismarck Tribune, 12/5/94) (“Heitkamp Says Raises Overdue,” Bismarck Tribune, 11/21/94)
Heidi Heitkamp has a serious credibility problem. She’s one candidate when she campaigns in North Dakota, and a different candidate entirely when she’s jetting around the country fundraising with her fellow liberal Democrats. She was headlining pro-Obamacare rallies for the SEIU back before she decided to run for the Senate, now on the campaign trail she doesn’t want to talk about Obamacare at all.
She talks the talk of a fiscal conservative now, how do we know that’s what she’ll be in Washington DC?Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News