Does Anyone Really Believe Heidi Heitkamp’s Trial Lawyer Friend Worked For Free?
Perhaps the best illustration of how serious a problem Heitkamp’s pay-for-play scandal is would be this lengthy “fact check” from reliably liberal Fargo Forum reporter Kristen Daum which manages to refute no part of a Crossroads ad which brought up the scandal yesterday.
Not even Daum, who can normally be counted on to carry the Democrats’ water for them, could refute the cozy relationship between Heitkamp and trial lawyer Jack McConnnell.
Heitkamp, though, is desperately trying to refute the scandal resorting to this laughably transparent bit of spin:
In 2011 and again Thursday, Heitkamp provided documentation — verified by McConnell’s testimony to the U.S. Senate — that shows McConnell served in the North Dakota Attorney General’s office “without compensation.”
“Jack McConnell didn’t receive a dime for any legal work that he ever did for the state of North Dakota,” Heitkamp said in May 2011.
Does anyone really believe that a big-shot trial lawyer from the east coast represented North Dakota in the tobacco class action settlement out of the goodness of his heart?
McConnell, like a lot of lawyers who take on class action lawsuits, didn’t charge an hourly fee for his work or anything like that. Rather, he took a percentage from the settlement, a pay out that is still paying him millions of dollars per year even a decade a later.
Did North Dakota pay McConnell directly for his legal services? No. Did he get a big chunk of the tobacco settlement of which North Dakota was a part? Absolutely. And then McConnell and his associates showered down money on Heitkamp’s campaign and the state Democrat party.
Heitkamp’s attempts to mislead the public about her relationship with McConnell are almost worse than her appointing him in exchange for campaign contributions. Heitkamp wants us to believe it was just a coincidence that she has received, both in 2000 and now in 2012, huge amounts of support from Mr. McConnell and his law firm after she appointed him to a lucrative position.
I don’t think North Dakotans are that gullible.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, jack mcconnell, kristen daum, North Dakota News