Source: Governor’s Office Taken By Surprise By All-Democrat Heitkamp Crime Summit


North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has organized a meeting in the Bakken oil patch concerning drug crime. See if you can spot any common theme among the officials invited to attend the event:

  • Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp
  • Democrat Senator Jon Tester
  • Obama administration drug czar R. Gil Kerlikowske
  • Obama-appointed US Attoney Michael Cotter from Montana
  • Obama-appointed (straight from the Democrat National Committee) US Attorney Tim Purdon

The common thread is everyone invited is a Democrat. Which sort of runs contrary to things Senator Heitkamp said about working together during her campaign. “Heidi says it’s time to put country first, put politics aside and work together,” reads her campaign website.

Yeah, right.

The event is being cast in the media as an effort to find solutions to drug crime in western North Dakota (something Purdon’s office has been working hard to pin on the oil boom), but it seems more like a political event.

In fact, a source in the capitol in Bismarck tells me that Governor Jack Dalrymple’s office was taken by surprise by the event. My source tells me that the media probably knows more about this event than the governor does.

Which makes it seem like this meeting has more to do with politics than policy. A notion that’s reinforced when Associated Press reporter Dave Kolpack writes that “Heitkamp would not be specific about possible solutions.”

If Heitkamp wanted to solve problems, wouldn’t she want to include someone from Governor Dalrymple’s office?

This meeting isn’t about solutions. It’s about creating a toothache for the public that Democrats can campaign on in 2014. And it’s not a new tactic, either. In 2010 two members of North Dakota’s all-Democrat congressional delegation – Senator Kent Conrad (who Heitkamp describes as her mentor) and Rep. Earl Pomeroy – held the same sort of exclusively partisan “hearings” on infrastructure in western North Dakota in advance of Democrats running (largely unsuccessfully) on infrastructure issues in 2010 and 2012.

When you combine the all-Democrat nature of Heitkamp and Tester’s meeting with the fact that the North Dakota Democrat party has been running certain state agencies ragged with open records requests concerning oil industry regulation, the pieces fall into place.

Heitkamp isn’t looking for solutions to problems in western North Dakota. She’s looking to manufacture discontent her party can campaign on in 2014.

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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  • Tim Hines

    Heitkamp isn’t looking for solutions to problems in western North Dakota”…Absolutely she SHOULD be including someone from the governor’s office…As well as Hoeven and other politicians from Montana with an “R” behind their names….My question for this afternoon is, to the best of your knowledge, were any of them invited? You most definitely have the right to share and spread this opinion that none of the listed parties “aren’t looking for solutions”….But I do question, after reading your posting that if “your source” and you aren’t as well….But it wouldn’t be the first time I was wrong…..

    • Rob

      As I wrote in the post, no they weren’t invited. At least not from the Governor’s office.

    • camsaure

      Why were not Hoeven and Dalrymple invited? They are actually democrats, aren’t they?

      • Tim Hines

        I have NO idea, and you get no argument from me that this is wrong on about 8 different levels….I just have my suspicions/confusion on this story and Rob’s unnamed “source” that this also isn’t showing much of an interest in trying to “solve the problem”…Now, we could debate/discuss if a governmental role needs to even be part of this discussion, but from my opinion anyways, that should be a whole different topic?

  • zipity

    How dare you question “Hidey’s” motives…!

    She is a saint!

    The Fargo Fool’em told me so.

    • Rob

      Somehow I think the state’s newspaper editors are going to conveniently forget their fetish for bipartisanship when it comes to this one.

      • Tim Hines

        I WILL say I agree with you on this!

  • Say It

    The ND Attorney General has been working hard to stop drugs in ND. He should be invited. Oops!. He is a Republican.

    • Rob

      The AG had to throw water on the fire Purdon was trying to set over tiny sequester spending reductions for the state crime lab.

  • Goon

    WOW! Thanks to all that voted for Heidi, not!.

    • Rob

      Heidi made a big deal about setting politics aside, and yet here we are.

      • two_amber_lamps

        Unfortunately ND’ers really did their homework on Hidey before they went to the polls…. NOT.

        I guess they get the government they deserve.

  • sbark

    Not all Dem’cats are criminals,…….but by golly most criminals are dem’cats……
    what better way to stay ahead of crime than a bunch of Dem’cats……

  • Fact check

    Panelists for the Glendive meeting include:
    · U.S. Attorney for Montana Mike Cotter
    · District II Alcohol and Drug Program Clinical Director Tim Anderson
    · Dawson County Sheriff Craig Anderson
    · Dawson County Attorney Olivia Norlin Rieger
    · Montana Narcotics Bureau Drug Task Force Officer Jeff Faycosh
    · District II Alcohol and Drug Program Prevention Services Director Ronda Welnel
    The Bismarck meeting will be from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central time in Room 335 of the National Energy Center of Excellence on the Bismarck State College campus.

    Panelists for the Bismarck meeting include:
    · U.S. Senator John Hoeven
    · U.S. Attorney for North Dakota Tim Purdon
    · North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem
    · Bismarck Police Chief Dan Donlin
    · Mandan Police Chief Dennis Bullinger

    • Rob

      Must be recent additions, because I’m told governor’s office was completely in the dark.

      Source please?

  • devilschild

    Neither Heidi nor Tim have the strength to stand up to the native gangs. In my memory only Kevin Cramer has taken steps to challenge the status quo on the reservations. If Heidi runs for governor of ND I would be very pleased if Kevin ran against her.

    • Tim Hines

      Really? How did I get dragged into this? I’m willing to further discuss if you are…,

  • Roy_Bean

    Drug crime? I bet they have our moron US Attorney there to talk about duck crime.

  • Truther

    Like they had any democrat involved in interim committes. I heard you scream about that, NOT.

    • Rob

      Governor Dalrymple is actually the Governor of North Dakota.

      IF the Democrats want to be included in interim committees, they should win some more elections.

      • BiggovRepubs

        Ok got it, to the victor goes the spoils. Because that is the exact same logic you used on healthcare reform after Obama made it his central campaign theme in 2008 right?

  • Guest

    Funny I seen Hoeven there?

  • Steve Rusk

    Everything Heidi does is political. She’d be nowhere near the patch unless there was a vote in it for her. You’re prescient in your analysis, as we’ll see soon enough in campaign season. This is right up Alinsky alley.