Why Is Heidi Heitkamp Buying Health Insurance From A Non-Profit Environmental Activist Group?
After Heidi Heitkamp refused to release it to the media earlier this week, the FEC has made her October quarterly campaign disclosure report available on the internet. You can read all 1,443 pages of it here (interesting note, Heitkamp spent more than she raised again last quarter), but while scrolling through it something interesting caught my eye.
Heitkamp’s campaign made a disbursement to the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago for “health insurance.”
I thought that might be a mistake, that maybe somebody in Heitkamp’s campaign put the disbursement in the wrong category, but the campaign has made other disbursements to the same group for the same amount on at least four other occasions, and each was for the purpose of “health insurance.”
Who is the Environmental Law & Policy Center? Here’s their website. They have an office in Jamestown, ND and engage in about what you’d expect an environmental activist group to do. They fight coal mining. They support expensive “green energy” mandates. They oppose fracking, though it doesn’t appear as though the North Dakota chapter has done so, but last year they teamed up with the Dakota Resource Council here in the state (the group that is suing members of the Public Service Commission to remove North Dakota’s local control of surface mining) on environmental issues in the Bakken oil patch.
The question is, why is Heitkamp paying this group for health insurance? A search of North Dakota’s licensed insurance agencies indicates that they aren’t licensed to sell insurance. The only conclusion I can draw is that this group has put some of Heitkamp’s staff on their group insurance policy, and Heitkamp’s campaign is reimbursing them.
Which would be…odd.
Heitkamp has worked long and hard to put distance between her self and environmental activism. She’s cast herself as oil and coal friendly, and even gone so far as to attack the Obama administration for its positions on environmental policy.
But apparently she has such a cozy relationship with this group she can put her campaign staff on their insurance policy.
I placed calls to both the Jamestown, ND office for this group and their Chicago headquarters and haven’t received a call back from either.
This arrangement doesn’t reflect well on this group either. They’re a non-profit, which means that they must steer clear of partisan politics, yet apparently they’re allowing a partisan Senate candidate put her campaign staff on their insurance policy.Tags: election 2012, environmental law & policy center, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg