Rick Berg Campaign Plagiarizes Democrat Ad From 2011?

Here’s Rick Berg’s recently-released campaign ad, his first for the 2012 cycle, which features him and his mother goofing around.

Here’s an ad Delaware Democrat Ward Armstrong ran in 2011:

Outside of a few variances in the script, they’re pretty much the same. North Dakota Democrats – desperate to talk about anything but the state of the economy, the state of the national budget and Obamacare – have already pitched the story to North Dakota’s most biased reporter Kristen Daum who naturally ran their talking points.

That Daum has time for trivia like this, but no time for Heidi Heitkamp’s extra-special trial lawyer campaign fund, is telling. Daum might as well be blogging for the Democrats.

So what happened with Berg’s ad? I’m guessing he’s hired a political advertising firm that is recycling ads. Probably the Berg campaign didn’t even know the ad formula had been used before in another campaign.

Maybe the Berg campaign’s advertising firm ought to be fired.

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.

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  • I H8 GOPers

    He didn’t plagiarize,  we let him use our scripts and ad company. We want as many liberals in office as possible.

  • noblindersonme

    interesting – Berg and his mom are bragging how he grew up on a farm doing chores yaddda yadda . Wow ! Ok he grew up on a afrm , and left , quit  whatever….
     Doesn’t that somehow make the argument that ,since the democrat candidate for governor is a active lifelong farmer /rancher , is even more qualified to understand how hardworking  good ole NDakotans live and work? 
     Or is it better to just be just from a farm , and have those memories , than to actually be hands on / shit on your boots type of man of  even better hard- work credentials ???
     Ryan Taylor has already taken crap here for his cowboy rural roots , but Berg wants to be given the high five from his party for his past! When’s the last time Berg has cranked a wrench , pulled a teat, threw a bale. or even showered AFTER work!  Tyalor is running in a marathon or something soon to promote  his campaign, all the while serving in the legislature as head of his party , raising some young kids , and raising cows  and writing some of the best counrty cowboy stories around! 
     Now there is a guy who don’t need some Hollywod slick commercial to tell us what a swell fella he is!!! 

    • noblindersonme

      sorry pardners about my spellinf and stufff  , my farm fingers aint as nimble as you neocon types are, by golly I reckon I got em banged up a bit too often workin!
       btw Port here is calling the pot black cuz Daum is just running some partisan talking points and dwelling on ‘trivia’ and being a prop for the dem party ,yadda yadda. My God – Port – take that sort of stuff away from you and you are nothing .
      Guys in a clown suit should not mock others for lookin silly!

      • noblindersonme

        and don’t get all thin skinned again cuz I called you on that!
         I or anyone here can enumerate extensively your excursions into trival matters and partisan talking points and being a bobbing head shill for the GOP, and as Senfeld says ” not there is anything wrong with that’ , but quite acting as if that behavior is so destructive when you are more than eager to embrace it yourself.

      • Twinkie225

        Rob doesn’t say he is something he is not.  Get real.  Duam tries to pretend she’s down the line, but she clearly is not. 
        I don’t always agree with Rob, but he is honest and I respect him for that.  Duam on the other hand…  I’m not saying she’s a liar and honestly, I respect her talent, but don’t pretend you are something you are not.  That’s a Heitkamp move.

      • cherz1967

        Sometimes an idiot off of the farm is just and idiot off of the farm.  Idiot.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      What was the chance that the Democrats would find someone even dumber than Dullrymple to run for governor?

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    In equally shocking related news; lots of television commercials have extremely attractive; scantily-clad women in them.

  • Twinkie225

    Rob is right, this is trivial.  Look in politics everyone “borrows” from everyone.  You can take Presidential ads from one era and find how it copied from another whether it be messaging or images.  How many ads in North Dakota alone show a guy walking down main street in bodunk, ND talking about some “important issue.”  How many this year will have a windwill in the background or the farm?  This is just another distraction from the fact that Heidi Heitkamp supports Obamacare, is anti 2nd Amendment, and is in the back pocket of the trial lawyers.

    Rob nailed it on this one.  Duam is a good writer, but she needs to be honest and just say she’s a Democrat hack. 

  • Rick Olson

    Is this all the Democrats have?  They have to jump on non-issues like this one?  As long as the ad that was used in the Virginia campaign was not copyrighted, then there is no claim.  Berg and his mom were free to use that idea.

    If calling attention to non-issues like this one is all the Democrats can drum up, is it any wonder that their entire ticket is going to go down in North Dakota in 2012?  If this is the best that Heidi Heitkamp, Pam Gulleson, their handlers and the others can come up with; then they might as well start getting ready right now to get throttled come the election on Nov. 6th.

    I predict that Berg will win by at least 70 percent of the vote.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

       Is this all the Democrats have?

      Pretty much.  Whatever allows them to avoid topics like Obamacare, the national debt, the economy, all the trial lawyer money Heitkamp takes, etc., etc.

      • $8194357

        That and scream racist…

      • Rick Olson

        Then again, when you have an ever-so-willing media here in the state that pretty much reports everything that comes out of a politician’s yap word for word (present company excluded, Rob); this is exactly where stories like the advertisement flap get their start.  Both the Democrats (and the Republicans to a certain extent) know the media will run with any story that gets fed to them.  In other words, there’s plenty of free publicity to be had courtesy of the North Dakota media in this state.

        In any other state, the flap over Rick Berg and his mom’s advertisement would not even be considered newsworthy.  The wire services, nor the radio and television media would even do a story about this.  Here in North Dakota, on the other hand, anything that has to do with an officeholder or a politician generally gets a fair amount of coverage.  Whether it’s newsworthy or not. 

  • Wordchipper

    Hey, wasn’t the line that Berg is using, “It’s the North Dakota Way” first coined by Blue Cross in a campaign they did about 10 years ago? There was a song about it and the line was used for years.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I hadn’t heard that one before, but Berg isn’t the only one to use it.  Dalrymple and Hoeven use it extensively too.

      The dirty secret is that the “North Dakota Way” is to strike oil then spend all the money.

  • JackButler

    A politician has stole someones idea, someone alert the media…  oh wait …. nevermind.

  • Lianne

    So,  would it have made a difference if Berg had been seated to the left of his mother?   No political inuendo intended.  OR what if they used an outdoor setting?  And, noblondersonme, What has Taylor got to do with Berg?  You do know they are not running for the same office, don’t you?  Dalryple is from farming country. 

  • Clint F

    It’s called a template.  Graphic designers, web designers, video editors and motion graphic designers use them from time to time.  For instance, if you have ever seen a TV ad for a shopping mall you’ve probably seen a template.  Maybe you’ve watched TV in a different city or state and seen an ad that looks identical to something running back here in good ol’ North Dakota but with a different business name in the ad.  It’s a cost effective way to do it.  Maybe that is what this is. 

    Generally as long as two ads don’t run into each other in the same broadcast market, this isn’t frowned upon.  The same goes with stock music and graphics libraries; they don’t send them to the same market, but I have heard music that I’ve used in videos on various radio shows, Weather Channel promos, and stuff like that.

    Really…this is the biggest “scandal” they can come up with?


    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Maybe  it is a template, Clint, but when the point of the ad is to depict a genuine moment with the candidate, using a template maybe isn’t a great idea.

      Not that I blame Berg.  I’m guessing he didn’t know it was a template.

      • $8194357

        But Earl stood on a rural gravel rode in NDak so he could get the big city DC hustle and clatter out of his head to remember his roots and ask himself what his heritiage would lead him to do…go back to DC and sit on Nancys lap and cry around on the floor of Congress “I can;t go home if I vote for Obama care”, so I better get a heck of a deal as a consultant, no?

  • Tankerpilot215

    Did the young lady at the Forum jump all over her employer who actually did plagarize something?:  http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/fargo-forum-plagiarizes-anti-oil-chain-email-for-an-editorial/

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Of course not.  When they do it, it’s ok.

      • Tankerpilot215

        Honestly, if you didn’t report that stuff, no one would. 

      • Dakotacyr

        You know if you are going to steal someone else’s ad, you might want to steal from a winning campaign.

  • borborygmi

    Who the eff cares on this ad

  • Jay

    This vaguely reminds me of the kind of inanity Dems used in the 2010 Noem/Herseth-Sandlin race in South Dakota. Kristi pummeled Herseth-Sandlin for voting “95% of the time” with Nancy Pelosi. Herseth-Sandlin’s staffers responded by saying she actually only voted 92.7% of the time with the Dem leadership. That was an amateur mistake that didn’t exactly help the Dems hold the SD-AL seat. This is another one that won’t exactly help North Dakota Dems hang onto Kent Conrad’s seat.

  • $8194357

    I really wish he would debate at some Tea Party events..He has a few things to be proud of since going to DC IMHO, but he has been RINO on quite a few…Same with Hoeven..Big government State Mill and Elvator, Bank of N.Dak. non partisian Democrats with an R behind their names…
    I used to harrass Earl, Kent and Lord Byron for doing the same things these two have done, but have come to the conclusion it is a terminal desease. No mater who goes to DC, they become elitist team players for “the greater good”, ethics, Constituion and personal accountabilty to the home folks be damned..

    But as a matter of the gang on the block mentality growing up as a kid, we all knew it was suicide to call out a kid with his mother standing there…

    • Jimmypop

      hes got a hell of a writer for his “give me more money” letters as well.

  • The Fighting Czech

    The two ads are completely different,  Mrs Berg has little Church sitting on the kitchen counter,  And Mrs Armstrong doesnt.

    This obviously proves that Mr. Berg is indeed going to force his religious values down our throats.  and Mr Armstrong’s intentions were the complete opposite…   So you see the ads are completely different.  it was just sensationalism journalism on the part of MS Daum.

    • $8194357

      Excellent attention to detail Czech…I’m chuckling but the sad truth is you nailed it..

  • Iceberg Louie

    I think the ad and the story behind it are fair representations of the candidate; an empty template.  The fact that his latest attack on Heitkamp still has Little Ricky hiding behind his mommy shows that he has so little substance that all he can do his have staffers decry “Obamacare BAD!!!” without proposing anything qualifying himself in response.