Heitkamp May Not Not Like The EPA, But Those Starring In Her Campaign Commercials Sure Do
If you tuned in last week to SayAnythingBlog.com, you had the opportunity to learn a bit more about how Democratic candidate for US Senate Heidi Heitkamp (and organizations supporting her) have had a little fun stretching the truth or otherwise making it up in some of their advertising. But, I guess that is what candidates who want you to believe they are ahead in the polls do when they are instead most likely behind.
Lets recap a bit. Last Tuesday we learned that Fargo truck driver Robert Trefethren, who wanted Rick Berg to explain to his two sons why they can’t go to college, actually has a third son in college with hopes of attending law or graduate school. This son was mysteriously not invited to the 12:40pm family breakfast featured in the commercial (check the clock on the wall in the ad at the very beginning). Then on Thursday, more truth was uncovered on the Representative Rick Berg – Goldmark faux scandal; this time relating to Berg’s real estate license application and his involvement with Goldmark Property Management. In reality, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the application or Berg’s claims that he is not involved in the company, but that is not stopping the ad from being run (even though stations are now refusing to do so, most likely because they are afraid of being sued).
A newer Heidi ad has been circulating the airwaves lately. Admittedly, this one does not take as much license with reality as some others, but it definitely feigns reality somewhat. This one features small businessman Jonathan Bry and his Bismarck-based Flexitoys company, which appears to manufacture a knock off of the popular Lego building blocks. This ad and it’s script have been difficult to find in the Google-verse (if anyone has a link to either, feel free to post in the comments), but the basic theme of the approximately 30 second ad is:
- * While Mr. Bry’s title is not listed, one can’t help but be left with the impression that the ad writers want you to believe he is the owner of Flexitoys.
- *The ad writers want to paint a picture Mr. Bry is a typical hard working small business owner in North Dakota, and therefor representative of small business owners as a whole in this state.
- * In typical Heidi ad fashion, because Rick Berg is rich he is therefore evil. It is saturated with class envy.
After watching the ad for the umteenth time, things just didn’t seem right about Mr. Bry and his story, so we decided to check him out. As with so many Heitkamp ads, things are not always what her campaign and ad agency would have you believe. Here is the Paul Harvey-esque “rest of the story”:
1. Bry may not actually own Flexitoys, although it is not clear whether he has some degree of ownership interest in the company or not. Instead, Reid Bennet is listed by business directory Manta.com as it’s President, with Bry being listed by the same website as the manager of the business. A big deal? Not really, but when added to the other issues below it simply reinforces how this Heidi ad like others stretches reality through inference, similar to how the Trefethren ad stretched reality by not speaking of the third son in college.
2. Bry has some unusual interests not typical of a small business owner or manager in North Dakota. Here he is in an April 2011 Bismarck Tribune photo engaged in protest at the State Capitol, with a group of environmental advocates, prior to a North Dakota Public Service Commission forum on the possible business impact of Environmental Protection Agency rules. They even have their own guitar player, so you know this environmental protest wasn’t staged.
Yes, that’s Bry — with a sign saying “(this business owner/ manager) want EPA Protection”.
He is also connected to the Sierra Club, whose stated goals are very much in conflict with North Dakota interests (and it would seem Heitkamp’s platform as featured in a new commercial, which promises a new oil refinery in the state), especially regarding oil, gas, and coal production. He has even testified on their behalf at government hearings, so his interest in the organization has been more than just as a dues-paying member.
3. Last, it is no surprise most business owners are extremely concerned with Obamacare, especially as the 2014 full implementation date looms on the horizon. A recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and National Association of Manufacturers found two-thirds of respondents who offer their employees health insurance think Obamacare will cause insurance costs to increase, and more than one in five say they will consider dropping health insurance coverage for their employees because of Obamacare. We can safely assume the survey numbers in North Dakota, where Obamacare cost Representative Earl Pomeroy his House seat and put writing on the wall for Senators Dorgan and Conrad, would be higher if sampling was restricted to businesses here.
That is, except for Bry, who said the following in a Bismarck Tribune article rerun on NDBusinessWatch.com (emphasis ours):
The rare domestic toy producer, the company has to compete with overseas companies that pay a fraction of the wages American workers earn. Bry said that the company’s management in California is looking at how the bill could help it cover workers. Flexitoys does not cover workers now, he said, but tries to pay them enough to buy coverage for themselves.
“I think that all businesses should be required [to offer health insurance], even if you have two employees,” Bry said. “I think that full-time people deserve insurance.”
What typical North Dakota business owner would prefer being mandated to offer health insurance over having a choice with how they could possibly offer it, be it through a benefit package or paying workers more so they can shop for their own plan? It also makes us wonder if Bry will cut pay if Obamacare goes into full effect in 2014.
But this ad is in keeping with a common theme weaved through much of Heitkamp’s messaging. Just like the business owner featured in this ad is in reality not typical of most North Dakota ones even though we are supposed to believe he is, her image is painted 180 degrees opposite of who she really is and what she stands for so we believe she best represents North Dakota values — when she does not. She attempts to paint herself as an independent who will buck mainstream Democratic ideals, but in reality she is a liberal democrat who will not support a repeal of Obamacare, thinks Obama is amazing, aligns herself with far left organizations seeking to jeopardize the national security of our country, and lets her true colors show once she has left the state to raise funds alongside her openly liberal party counterparts.
Sorry Heidi, how can we believe what you say about anything?Tags: Barack Obama, big government, Byron Dorgan, Domestic Issues, Earl Pomeroy, Economy, election 2012, Flexitoys, Heidi Heitkamp, Jonathan Bry, Kent Conrad, North Dakota News, obamacare, Politics, Rick Berg