Fargo Forum Actually Covers Heitkamp’s YWCA Controversy
Last week, after the Rick Berg for Senate campaign put out an ad featuring a former board member of the Cass County YWCA extolling the candidate’s virtues, the current leadership of that organization called for the ad to be pulled. They stated in their demand that they are a non-profit organization and didn’t want to appear to be backing a candidate.
That might have been a fair demand, except that they made the demand in an extremely public and hostile manner. It was clear to me that the demand was less about protecting the organization and more about politics. And, after looking a little deeper and getting some tips from you readers, it turns out I was right. The current leadership of the YWCA just happens to be Heitkamp’s niece, which I think is no coincidence to how this matter was handled.
One of the themes of Heitkamp’s campaign has been this notion that Rick Berg “attacks” women or is part of the “war on women.” Obviously an ad showing that Berg has actually helped an organization like the YWCA in the past, and doesn’t “attack” or declare “war” on women at all was pretty inconvenient for Heitkamp’s narrative. So it appears the campaign used a family connection to throw dirt on the ad.
Pretty scummy if you ask me. What’s surprising, though, is that the Forum has actually picked up that story. They give me credit for finding the link between Heitkamp and the YWCA (it actually goes to you tipsters out there), but I wish they would have made the focus of the article less me than the connection between Heitkamp and the YWCA. Kudos to them, though, for picking the story up and for covering it fairly.
By the way, it turns out that Heitkamp’s niece Erin Prochnow (the executive director of the Cass County YWCA) was an intern for former Rep. Earl Pomeroy for six months in 2001, and a full time field representative for former Senator Byron Dorgan from 2004 – 2008.
Which means the YWCA is being run by a Democrat political operative who used the organization for a direct attack on a federal candidate. Maybe the IRS ought to review the organization’s tax exempt status given these actions, and the apparent coordination with the Heitkamp campaign.Tags: erin prochnow, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg, ywca