Heidi Heitkamp Should Return More Than Just Her Anti-Fracking Contributions

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The NDGOP is calling on former EPA lawyer and current US Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp to return contributions from a law firm with ties to a far-left environmental agenda including efforts to ban fracking, an oil production process without which the North Dakota oil boom would not be possible (press release below).

“The Huffington Post reported recently that Heidi Heitkamp accepted $22,400 from employees of Weitz & Luxenberg, an anti-fracking law firm,” reads the press release. “Weitz & Luxenberg have a long history of donating to extreme, anti-energy politicians and political organizations according to Center for Responsive Politics. In addition to contributing thousands to Heidi Heitkamp, the law firm also donated to Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.”

Heitkamp has worked hard on the campaign trail to distance herself from her political party, and to cast herself as being pro-fossil fuels, but it’s hard to imagine why a group of out-of-state lawyers would contribute big sums to her campaign if she were telling the truth about her agenda.

But at least these contributions from these anti-fracking lawyers have the benefit of not being tainted by ethically-dubious political ties. Heitkamp’s #1 source of political contributions this election cycle, coming in ahead of Weitz & Luxenberg at #1, is the Motley Rice law firm.

Motley Rice is Jack McConnell’s law firm, and McConnell is the lawyer Heitkamp appointed as North Dakota’s legal counsel in the tobacco class action lawsuits, the settlement of which still pays McConnell millions of dollars per year to this day. Heitkamp gave McConnell that lucrative appointment and, in exchange, McConnell and his law firm have been major contributors both to Heitkamp’s 2000 campaign for governor and to her present campaign for the US Senate.

As objectionable as Weise & Luxenberg’s position on fracking is, and as inconvenient as it is for Heitkamp’s campaign narrative, at least they’re not tied to an apparent quid pro quo between Heitkamp and her legal industry cronies.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. 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. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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