Law Enforcement Officer Put In Danger By Heitkamp Surrogate Over Campaign Sign Controversy
It’s been amusing to watch how angry Democrats in North Dakota are over campaign yard signs put up around the Fargo area tying liberal Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp to Barack Obama. They’re making accusations of “dirty politics,” which is not often something you about a candidate being tied to another candidate from his/her own party.
It is a testament to just how unpopular President Obama is in North Dakota, and just how desperate Heitkamp is to distance herself from him, that these signs are considered a political “attack.”
Regardless, Democrats have been carrying on as if the placement of these signs (some of which were put, illegally, on public property) were some major crime. Things really got ugly on the KFGO radio show of Heidi Heitkamp’s brother, Joel Heitkamp, who accused retired Deputy US Marshall Jake Werner of placing the signs even going so far as to post a picture of Mr. Werner’s truck on the KFGO website as well as broadcasting his home address, his home telephone number and his wife’s name.
I spoke with Mr. Werner this morning about the matter, and he denies having anything to do with the Heitkamp/Obama signs pointing out that the picture of his truck was taken at the Woodrow Wilson school (now private property) where he was helping another campaign volunteer fix Rick Berg campaign signs the morning after the Obama/Heitkamp signs were placed. He said he was contacted by a Fargo police officer and questioned about his wereabouts the night the Obama/Heitkamp signs went up, and he said both he and his truck were at home all evening.
The picture KFGO has sensationalized as “evidence” of Werner’s involvement was taken hours after the signs in question had been put up at a location some distance away from where they were put up.
Mr. Werner, who in his career dealt with dangerous criminals including domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh, expressed concern about his private information being broadcast over the radio because of his law enforcement career. He said that he and his wife have always tried to keep their information private, but that on Heitkamp’s show someone claimed to have obtained his information via his license plate number (that is not public data, by the way, and the misuse of it is illegal).
This isn’t the first time KFGO has singled out Mr. Werner. Back in September I wrote about claims from KFGO that a Rick Berg ad featuring Werner was being investigated by federal officials because of the use of Werner’s federal job title. I asked Werner about that and he said he’s never been contacted about any investigation into that matter, and that further the use of his former job title is perfectly acceptable.
When we get close to election day political campaigns, especially those that sense they’re losing, tend to go a little crazy. But this is beyond the regular “political silly season” stuff. This was a dangerous, and potentially slanderous, smear on a former law enforcement officer.
Mr. Werner told me that he is in the process of contacting an attorney to explore the possibility of legal proceedings against KFGO and/or Joel Heitkamp.Tags: election 2012, Heidi Heitkamp, jake werner, North Dakota News, Rick Berg