Democrats Seem A Little Confused On What The “North Dakota Way” Is
Liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp may be trying to distance herself from her national party by not attending the DNC’s national convention, but that doesn’t mean her party won’t attack her Republican opponent Rick Berg on her behalf.
This is the latest ad from the DSCC attacking Berg for being rich and hating senior citizens, etc., etc. About the usual stuff you expect from our friends on the left, but close analysis of the basis of some of the claims made in the video reveals something interesting.
The ad, after pointing out the fact that Berg is wealthy (he’s a successful businessman), says he voted to raise his own pay seven times. That’s true, but it’s worth noting that Berg was voting with the legislative majority every time. The legislative majority representing a majority of North Dakotans.
The ad also claims Berg voted against raising the minimum wage in North Dakota, citing state House votes from 1997 – 2009. That’s also true, but again Berg was voting with the majority in the legislature. A majority that, again, was representing the North Dakota people.
Maybe Berg voted against raising the minimum wage because that is the North Dakota. Maybe his votes reflected the will of the people.
Frankly, I get a little tired of the “North Dakota way” getting thrown around in state politics, but setting that aside it’s worth noting that Berg didn’t get elected to the House for consecutive terms from 1984 until he was elected to the US House in 2010 because he didn’t know the “North Dakota way.” I don’t think Berg served as the chairman of the majority House Republican caucus, Speaker of the state House and House Majority Leader without knowing the “North Dakota Way.”
Maybe Democrats find Berg’s voting record in the House objectionable, but his track record clearly wasn’t all that objectionable to the majority of North Dakotans who voted to give Berg and his party control there. These controversial votes Democrats say aren’t the “North Dakota way” really are the North Dakota way. Because they’re law here.
Update: A reader emails:
I think those votes “against the minimum wage” came because the ND minimum wage is tied to the Federal wage rate. The Democrats often try to decouple our minimum wage rate from the Feds so they can champion a higher rate. Rick Berg voted against the decoupling so they say he voted against raising the minimum wage rate!
That’s accurate. Berg didn’t so much vote against raising the minimum wage as he voted against decoupling the state’s minimum wage from the federal minimum. An important distinction.Tags: dscc, election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, minimum wage, North Dakota News, Rick Berg