How Will Heidi Heitkamp Be Voting In The Disarmament Of America?


During North Dakota’s Senate campaign, Heidi Heitkamp’s acceptance of big money from the anti-nuke activists at the Council for a Livable World (they were Heitkamp’s #2 source of campaign contributions) was a big issue. But Republicans mostly hit Heitkamp on what her loyalty to that group might mean for her support for North Dakota’s military bases.

Heitkamp and Democrats argued that she’d never vote to downsize or close those bases, and that’s almost certainly true. Supporting military bases as economic development is good parochial politics, and whatever else Heitkamp may be, she’s a savvy politician.

But what about votes that don’t have anything to do specifically with North Dakota’s military bases? For instance, nuclear disarmament is shaping up to be a priority of President Obama’s second term:

President Barack Obama, who has advocated eliminating all U.S. nuclear weapons, is close to approving a formal strategy that calls for deep cuts in nuclear forces beyond the 1,550 warheads mandated under the 2010 New START accord.

According to an arms control official, Obama earlier this month was ready to sign a new blueprint for the deep nuclear cuts as part of the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study that has been ready for his signature for months but has been delayed until after the election. Officials familiar with that study say a draft included a recommendation to cut U.S. warhead levels to as low as 700 warheads.

The International Security Advisory Board (ISAB) report, signed by its chairman, former Defense Secretary William J. Perry, also recommends speeding up reductions or amending the New START treaty to include cuts in both tactical and strategic warheads.

The report also suggests that further nuclear cuts can be made through “parallel” U.S. and Russian reductions or even cuts by the United States alone.

President Obama seems intent on reducing America’s nuclear stockpiles with or without treaties requiring other nuclear powers to disarm as well. Informal agreements may be struck, but without a treaty, verification that other nation’s are following through on their disarmament is all but impossible.

The question is, how will Heitkamp vote on this disarmament? Given the big-money support she got from some of the loudest advocates for nuclear disarmament, I don’t think we need to guess. And remember, this disarmament may have an indirect impact on the nuclear missions here in North Dakota, something Heitkamp promised she wouldn’t harm.

I don’t like the idea of protecting military bases just for the sake of economic development. Military spending, and base deployments, should be about national security not local economies. That said, it seems North Dakotans elected in Heitkamp someone who is almost assuredly going to be a consistent vote for a weakened America in terms of nuclear weapons.

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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  • Thresherman

    Odds are that she will be licking the boots of Harry Reid on this and everything else, independently though mind you..

    • two_amber_lamps

      Independent Lickspittle to Harry the Great…. now there’s an Oxymoron…

  • Roy_Bean

    Equally important, how will she vote on the UN small arms treaty to disarm American civilians?

  • $8194357

    Depends on how close the vote is and if they can let her save face or not, IMO..

  • Rick Olson

    You know politicians, Rob. Oftentimes they say one thing in order to get votes and then turn around and do another. I really have my doubts that Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp will be a truly independent voice for North Dakota.

    You know darn well she will side with Obama’s agenda, and vote in lockstep with Harry Reid. She owes him big time for her victory over Rick Berg.

    But, I’m willing to give Heidi a chance. Either she’ll go out there and do brilliantly and keep getting re-elected over the next couple of decades or so. Or, on the other hand, she’ll go out there and completely fall flat on her face. If that happens, then a strong Republican challenger could beat her in 2018.

    We’re talking 2018 already? I will be 57 years old when that election rolls around, the Good Lord willing!!

    • Roy_Bean

      “…..But, I’m willing to give Heidi a chance…..”

      Why are you willing to give her a chance? She and the democrats attack with slanderous lies at every opportunity. She talked about her “amazing” president and his health care but before she has to worry about it for herself she gets elected to the Senate and is no longer covered by it. She ran as an independent but had the support of every left wing organization known to mankind. She was endorsed by Dead Head Ed and had the full support of MSNBC. They are already setting up the narrative against Kevin Cramer. How can you have lived 51 years and still be so gullible?

      • $8194357

        Tru that.

      • Rick Olson

        Is it like we have a choice?

        The people have spoken, and like it or not, Heidi Heitkamp will be going to the Senate. I understand how the Democrats operate, and the fact that she had the support of every left wing organization known to man … including Ed Schultz and the full support of MSNBC.

        However, the saying is true. All politics is local. All the people needed to hear was that Heidi will be North Dakota’s friend in the Senate and that’s all they needed to hear.

        I know how the Democrats operate … one slanderous lie after the other, and Heidi obediently went along with her handlers.

        Rick Berg on the other hand, is not without fault in all of this. In the two years that he’s been in Congress, he’s really become disconnected with the people back home.

        The Democratic-NPLers here in North Dakota are famous for seizing upon an issue and harping on it and harping on it and beating it like a dead horse. The do nothing media in North Dakota goes right along. Rick Berg should not have tried to sidestep and doubletalk his way out of his involvement with Goldmark.
        He should have answered those questions directly. Instead, he folded like a cheap umbrella. He just couldn’t recover. He had to go on the defensive right from the starting gate and he just wasn’t able to come back.

        When I say that I’m willing to give Heidi a chance…is it like we have a choice? The election is over and the people have spoken. Like I said before, she’ll either do great and get re-elected time and again as her predecessors did; or she’ll fall flat on her face and become a one-termer, where a strong Republican challenger could beat her in 2018.

        • Roy_Bean

          Yes, we do have a choice. We can be on her like a buzzard on a gut wagon (apologies to Alf) the way they already are on Kevin Cramer. We can ask her if she will include congress in Obama care, we can ask her why they cut Socialist Insecurity but not Congressional pensions, we can ask her why her amazing president continues to take vacations that cost the tax payers $20 Million (with $8 Million of that borrowed from China). We don’t have to use the kind of lies that she did to get elected, we can use inconvenient facts against her. We don’t have to wait for her to screw up, she already has.

          • camsaure

            Right Rick, the road to Hell cannot be that bumpy can it? Can Hell be as much fun as the road to it? Look at where we are headed, it’s one thing to pay our own way but to expect our children to and Grandchildren to pay for our extravagence is another. This soft squishshy “lets get along ” don’t fly, we are fighting for more than just ourselves. We are not even giving the future generations a chance. Just tell me where I am wrong on this one.

          • Rick Olson

            I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m concerned about the future just as much as anyone is.

    • camsaure

      Yerh, give the devil a chance and he will keep you from Hell too. LOL

      • Rick Olson

        Comparing Heidi Heitkamp to the devil is a stretch. It’s also very disrespectful. I didn’t vote for her, mind you, and I voted for Romney. This just goes to show how a lot of North Dakotans split their votes. Mitt Romney and Kevin Cramer won hands down in North Dakota … but for some reason or another … Rick Berg wasn’t able to ride those coattails to victory.

        • camsaure

          DISRESPECTFUL? She is doing the work of the devil and you think I should respect her? And as for Berg “riding the coatails” That is exactly what he hoped to do, and that certainly was not enough, was it? He was lazy and did not care to defend some of his very poor votes in congress. The ND public probably also remembered he voted for the continuing budget resolution with it’s phony, meaningless spending cuts and helped orchestrate this so called “fiscal cliff” with Boener which they now try to pretend they had nothing to do with, and pretend that they are trying to save us from. Berg sold us out, that is the plain, sad truth. Would he have been better then Hidey-Ho? Yes, I guess so, but he proved to be want to be a Washington insider, an opening Hidey-Ho wisley seized upon.

          • Rick Olson

            You’re clearly entitled to your opinions. No, this was Rick Berg’s election to win and he couldn’t seal the deal. I fully agree that Heidi Heitkamp and her team were able to seize upon a number of miscuses that the congressman made, and they were able to convince the people that Heidi is the person for the job. Fine and dandy. The people have spoken. The Democratic party’s hold on that Senate seat remains unbroken, dating back to when Quentin Burdick was first elected to the Senate in 1960.

  • Clarence A. Herz

    She will vote exactly as harry tells her to.

  • ndobserver

    If Sen. Conrad is her mentor, she will be strong on military issues. Conrad was superb on defense and had the great respect of the Air Force. He was a real champion for our military bases. Sen Franken in Minnesota could care less about the military and takes no interest in them. It could go either way with Heidi,depending on which wing of the Democrat party she decides to align herself with.

    • camsaure

      Thats the way the they voted when they thought no omre was looking. Get real when the chips were down, they voted for socialism, (that being conrat etal)

  • BIG AL



  • RCND

    Of course she will support Dear Leader the Amazing, now that he will have the flexibility he promised the Soviets

  • Harold

    Heidi will pretty much vote for whatever Obama wants.

  • Lynn Bergman

    “Big Al” has it almost exactly right! The exception being that North Dakota voters didn’t vote for D&C because they are brain dead… they voted for them for their direct payments.