Despite Conrad’s Complaints, Pro-Heitkamp Spending In Last Week More Than Double Pro-Berg Spending


Kent Conrad is griping about last-minute Super PAC spending in North Dakota’s Senate race, and he’s making me envision him as a Scooby Doo villain with mask freshly pulled griping about how Democrats would have won the election if it “wasn’t for that darn free speech.”

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) – A rush of last-minute campaign spending by Super PACs has some people crying foul.

New ads are out, attacking U.S. Senate Candidate Heidi Heitkamp.

And U.S. Senator Kent Conrad says it’s not fair.

Conrad says the cash funding these commercials is coming from anonymous and secret sources.

He says groups don’t have to mention who the donors are until the next disclosure deadline, in December.

By that time, he says the damage will already be done.

Sen. Kent Conrad, (D) North Dakota: “These anonymous donors should be required to step up and identify themselves so North Dakotans can know who they represent.”

It’s worth mentioning that nearly $7 million in Super PAC spending has been expended supporting Heidi Heitkamp in the Senate race, according to, including nearly $1 million in the last week (more than twice the $413,641 that has been spent supporting Berg).

Yet, Conrad doesn’t seem to be griping about that money.

As for whether or not this should be allowed to happen, of course private groups should be able to engage in free speech opposing or supporting candidates without being hassled about disclosure. That’s democracy. Political contributions are a form of speech, a concept that’s been upheld more than one by the Supreme Court, and private citizens can spend their money as they wish.

It’s fashionable to hate these ads – and yes, they do get annoying – but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re speech. We should be happy that all this speech is happening, not trying to silence it with government regulation and red tape which is what Conrad is advocating.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • $8194357

    They never seem to care about Soros OSI funding so many leftist PACS and causes..

  • Jay

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Conrad.

  • VocalYokel

    Why doesn’t Gaylord just get the Hell out of the picture and spend his lamebrain…er, lameduck days grooming his dog or balancing his checkbook (that should occupy him for a while) or something where the Taxpayer’s don’t have to listen to his interminable whining.

    • Roy_Bean

      I’m pretty sure his friend Angelo balances the check book for him.

  • Kory Leach

    Of course the ads should be able to run (on both sides)! What would be great though is for them to require fact checking and full accuracy. This close enough stuff is garbage. A person shouldn’t have to fact check ads. That said, I’m hoping to see a lame duck president for the next two months!

    • Rob

      The problem, of course, is who gets to do the fact checking?

      For instance, when Heitkamp makes hay out of some vote Berg cast in the legislature, failing to note the context of that vote, she’s technically accurate but misleading.

      Should Republicans get to veto that ad?

      Seems to me like we have a good enough system in place. Let the voters decide who they’re going to believe.

  • Retire Now Conrad

    I’m gonna miss him.
    Hopefully he’ll work for a nice lobby firm that we hear from alot!