Senator Heitkamp Holds Zero Recess Town Halls, But Sends Operatives To Republican Town Halls

2013-09-03 16.49.58

Rep. Kevin Cramer is the only member of North Dakota’s congressional delegation to hold in-person, open-forum, free-to-attend town halls during this August recess (in addition to his weekly, one-hour open phones gig on statewide talk radio). He held one of those town halls in Minot today at a coffee shop.

About the only newsworthy development from Cramer was his position on Syria (Cramer says if he had to vote today he’d say no to authorizing war, but he also said he’d have liked it if the President had called Congress back into session right away), but more interesting was who else was in attendance at Cramer’s event.

2013-09-03 17.11.57In the picture above (which is blurry thanks to my crappy camera phone which doesn’t work great in dim settings) you can see Rep. Cramer standing with a microphone on the left, and on the right a young woman in black named Heidi who Cramer acknowledged as a “tracker” sent there by North Dakota Democrats.

These sort of trackers aren’t unusual. They’ve become a staple of political campaigns in the digital age. They hope to catch someone like Cramer saying or doing something silly (or, at least, something they can make to seem silly) so they can put it on the internet and make political hay. Republicans do it too. That’s how the game works these days, and that’s just fine.

These are public events. There are worse things than political brawling over things politicians actually say and do in public.

But what’s interesting about the presence of this tracker at Rep. Cramer’s town hall is that Senator Heidi Heitkamp, the only Democrat in the state’s congressional delegation (indeed, the only Democrat elected to statewide office) has held exactly zero town hall events this August (other than that Twitter town hall flop which drew less than 10 participants). Nor does she have any planned.

Senator Heitkamp, in fact, is already back in Washington DC.

Which means that while Democrats are more than happy to send their operatives to Cramer’s town hall event (and I suspect a couple of the questioners there were Democrat plants given the scripts they were reading while asking questions, but whatever) Senator Heidi Heitkamp is unwilling to hold any events of her own.

That’s telling, isn’t it?

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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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  • JD

    So has “voter remorse” over Senator Heitkamp set in yet?

    • Rick Olson

      Yes it has. Some time ago. Remember, Heidi won by only about a half percent margin of victory. Just barely above the number required for an automatic recount under state law. Rick Berg took the high road and did not insist upon a recount. He chose not to drag out the process by insisting upon a recount. However, I will agree with the others. Why isn’t she more out in front with the public. Why isn’t she hosting any Town Halls that are open to the public and not just photo ops filled with handpicked Democratic Party supporters?

  • Roy_Bean

    So Heidi, like her hero Barry, has found that it’s easier to throw rocks at people with ideas than it is to come up with ideas of her own.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That seems to be the case so far.

  • devilschild

    So predictable.

  • two_amber_lamps

    Until the likes of Hoeven and Kramer are prepared to call Lie-di out about her tactics the left is going to beat them over the head with these sort of ploys time and again.

    They’re too busy trying to be nice… leftists don’t understand fair.

    • SusanBeehler

      Like you understand fair?

      • two_amber_lamps

        Says she who thinks fair is dictated by the power and authority of an authoritarian government… crummy statist you are MrsSuzyBCrazyPills.

  • Opinionated

    Funny she could not seem to,shut up,or get too enough microphones, or beg Rick Berg to debate her before she was elected…. Now, crickets..Chirp chirp

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      That’s a good point. Democrats were quick to show up at Rick Berg town hall events – and to his credit he held several – and Heitkamp used some of the footage and questioning at those events in her campaign.

      But she won’t hold her own town hall.

      Not surprising.

      • SusanBeehler

        She was in my town and spoke, you must of missed the memo.

        • Lianne

          Speaking vs a town hall meeting. They are two quite different venues.

          • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

            Not to the statists it’s not. It was probably a very Heidi friendly event.

        • devilschild

          When?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I think even you know the difference between a town hall meeting and a speech, Susan.

        • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

          Good for you, do you want a medal?

    • sbark

      N.Dak needs to copy the Texas Tea Pary…..have a Heidi townhall with a cardboard lifesize cutout of her up on stage………

      • Opinionated

        That would be a great idea and we could have her brother speak for her

        • sbark

          I think the Cardboard cutout could say as much as Heidi might well say……Joel would just omit enough to muddle thru

      • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

        That was an awesome idea… I guess the Texas Tea Party got a very good response to that vent as well.

        • sbark

          credit to Texas Tea party via Red State .com

  • C. Y.

    Hopefully this will be Hoeven’s last term in the senate as he makes a good political partner for Heidi.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      Hoeven has been an utter dissapointment, been there less than two years and he’s already an establishment RINO.

  • Rick Olson

    Yes it is. She’s basking in the relative cloak of anonymity that comes with being a freshman senator. She really doesn’t have to come out in public until a couple of years before her next re-election campaign. She’s also counting on the influx of newcomers to North Dakota between now and when her next re-election bid takes place in 2018 … people who don’t know her that will put her over the top again.

  • SusanBeehler

    Who is the mystery woman? Isn’t a town hall supposed to allow people who live in town.

    • Jesus

      Dip Shj^^, so you know that she does NOT live in that town?

      WOW!

      How many fingers am I holding up?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      It’s not a mystery woman. Here name is Heidi, and she works for the Democrat party.

      And Senator Heitkamp is a hypocrite, because even as she sends her operatives to try and catch Rep. Cramer in a slip-up, she holds zero town halls of her own.

      Please, read for comprehension.

  • SusanBeehler

    Instead of reporting on who was there, I would think what Rep Cramer said would be more newsworthy or in your case blog worthy.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      It’s a good thing then I wrote a separate post about the most newsworthy thing Rep. Cramer said, which were his comments on Syria.

      I wrote both posts, because both were newsworthy.

  • Jesus

    Rob, any time you desire to Ph’ck yourself, go ahead!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well, that’s not exactly a rational rebuttal to my criticism of Senator Heitkamp for refusing to engage her constituents face-to-face in a town hall setting yet still trying to make political hay out of Rep. Cramer’s event, but whatever.

    • OldConserv2011

      And yet another thoughtful argument from the left. Typical response, though usually the pattern is; claim racism, claim sexism, and then resort to obscenities. Old Jesus just took a shortcut and went straight to the obscenities.

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