With Filibuster Vote Heitkamp Proves To Be A Loyal, Bought-Off Partisan

Heidi Heitkamp

So much for Heidi Heitkamp’s self-described “independence.” The candidate campaigned on being anything but a loyal liberal partisan, but in her first big test Heitkamp did exactly what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told her to.

The Grand Forks Herald is full of praise for Heitkamp today for not voting to gut the filibuster, and to be sure I think she voted the right way on the matter (though I’d have preferred them to leave well enough alone), but Heitkamp’s vote should be see in the context of the promises she made.

In the earliest days of her campaign for the US Senate, Heitkamp pledged her support to Senators Udall and Merkley who were leading the left-wing charge for filibuster reform. She maintained support for her pledge to Udall/Merkley filibuster reform throughout her campaign. But now that she’s in the Senate, Heitkamp voted exactly how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told her to, and helped kill the very reform she supported.

This, of course, would be the same Senator Reid who poured millions into helping Heitkamp get elected. In addition to direct contributions from his leadership PAC totaling in the thousands, Reid’s Majority PAC also spent $3.37 million on independent advertising supporting Heitkamp and attacking her opponent Rick Berg.

That kind of money buys a lot of loyalty.

The outcome of this vote is gratifying. The minority will continue to have protections in the US Senate. But ends don’t justify means, and what Heidi Heitkamp just showed us is that she’ll abandon promises made when Majority Leader Reid needs her vote.

That doesn’t portend good things for other promises Heitkamp has made.

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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  • Rick Olson

    This really is no big news. Harry Reid’s Majority PAC bankrolled a large chunk of Sen. Heitkamp’s campaign. Now that she is in the Senate, she will toe Reid’s line or risk being assigned office space the size of a broom closet and be assigned to some of the U.S. Senate’s most insignificant committees.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Yes, that’s kind of news rick.

      • Rick Olson

        I was not arguing the fact that this indeed is news. What I was trying to say is this: This story really isn’t big news in the sense that we knew this was going to happen. It didn’t take a genius to figure that out.

        Bottom line is this. Harry Reid doesn’t invest over $3 million into a would-be senator’s campaign without there being at least a few major strings attached.

        Reid saw Heidi’s campaign against Rick Berg as being winnable, and it turned out he was correct. Otherwise, Majority PAC wouldn’t have put one dime into the race had Rick Berg had a runaway lead in the polls. Heidi will now be forced to vote in lockstep with Reid’s agenda, or suffer the consequences whatever they may be, if she doesn’t. So much for being an “independent” voice.

        You’re right, Rob. In six years, nobody will remember this. Heidi’s banking not only on the voters having short term memories, but she’s also banking on the waves of newcomers who will move here during her six years in office. She’s also counting on the fact that many of those newcomers will not likely be aware of much of her past.

  • Roy_Bean

    By voting against the long tradition of the filibuster Heidi cast her vote for the most draconian gun control measures you can imagine. Heidi lied once again.

    • Guest

      Voting against the long tradition of the filibuster? LOL, can you read? Nothing of substance changed. The new rules passed with nearly 90 votes in the Senate. Thanks for showing the depths of stupidity and ignorance conservatives resort to, however!

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Well of course nothing substantially changed. That was the right oucome.

        It doesn’t change the fact that Heitkamp flipped on her previous promise on filibuster reform when Reid told her to.

        That doesn’t speak highly for Heitkamp’s character.

        • Guest

          What the hell are you talking about? Hietkamp never promised she’d gut the filibuster. http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/275549-senate-democratic-freshmen-call-for-talking-filibuster-set-up-fight-with-old-bulls Not only have you made up a position for her, you’re attacking her violating a position that you oppose too! The depths of you hackery know no limits.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            You’re wrong. She pledged her support to the Merkley/Udall proposal, and then she flip flopped.

          • Guest

            “Of the nine newest senators to join the Senate Democratic Conference, only Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) declined to explicitly support the talking filibuster.:
            Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/275549-senate-democratic-freshmen-call-for-talking-filibuster-set-up-fight-with-old-bulls#ixzz2J0fYff42
            Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Meet the Filibuster Reformers

            byJeff Merkley

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/31/1153236/-Meet-the-Filibuster-Reformers

            I guess Heitkamp was for filibuster reform…before she was against it!

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Here’s the link, before the election Heitkamp was absolutely for the Merkley/Udall reform.

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/31/1153236/-Meet-the-Filibuster-Reformers

            You can go ahead and apologize for being wrong now.

          • Guest

            LOL, did you just desperately have to go google up anything to support your meritless arguments? That’s just a campaign fundraising letter and even than doesn’t make any substantive proposal reforms that you can attack her for violating. You can go ahead and apologize for being a complete hack now.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Right, so actual evidence that Senator Merkley was fundraising on Heitkamp’s behalf based on her support for his filibuster reforms is irrelevant.

            Because reasons.

            You’re always entertaining, kid.

          • Guest

            What a surprise, Rob couldn’t find anything to support his argument besides huge assumptions about what vague support for reform would look like and then attacking Heitkamp for not going along with those presumptions.

            You’re always a hack, Rob.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            Merkley was one of the sponsors of the filibuster reform Reid passed over. Merkley also fundraised for Heitkamp before the election based on her support for his filibuster reforms.

            But, clearly, Senator Reid gave her a lot more money than Senator Merkley did.

            Which tells us a lot about Heitkamp’s priorities, doesn’t it?

          • Guest

            Still couldn’t find anything to support the position that she’d voted to gut the filibuster. Thanks for your constructive admission that you’re wrong and a complete hack.

          • Onslaught1066

          • Guest

            Keep posting Shaton1066! It’s nice to know you’re just wasting your life with such pointless posts and having only a negligible effect on the world

          • Onslaught1066

          • Guest

            Keep posting Shaton1066! It’s nice to know you’re just wasting your life with such pointless posts and having only a negligible effect on the world

          • Onslaught1066

          • Onslaught1066

            You mean the way you desperately scour the internet for the first thing you find that agrees with your twisted view point, then claim it as a fact when you know darn well it is only some other nitwits opinion?

            Gosh, Gusty, accusing others of that which you are guilty?

            SOP for you.

          • Guest

            You mean the way you desperately scour the internet for the fist thing you find that agrees with your twisted view point, then claim it as a fact when you know darn well it is only some other nitwits opinion?

            Thank you for describing what you do with every post you make, Onshat1066

            Gosh, Shaton1066, accusing others of that which you are guilty?

          • Onslaught1066

            That’s what I’m talking about. You have an opinion, you somehow believe it to be a fact and there you go making an ass of yourself.

            If you should happen to stumble across a fact while aimlessly drifting through life, you will be sure to post it here for us, won’t you?

          • Guest

            Facts were posted in every discussion we’ve had, but your standard retort for anything you don’t agree with is that it’s a fact, not an opinion. Oh Shaton1066, you’re such a sh*thead! Thanks for wasting your life away with such moronic posts, it’s comforting to know you’re okay with having such a negligible effect on the world.

          • Onslaught1066

            No, your opinions were posted in every discussion.

            That you choose to delude yourself is your problem.

            I feel no compulsion to enable you in your creation of a rich fantasy life.

          • Guest

            No, fact were posted in every discussion. That you choose to be a typical sh*theaded Shaton1066 and paste your opinion/fact diatribe at every turn is your own problem. I feel no compulsion to enable your fantasy that everything you disagree with is an opinion.

          • Onslaught1066

            That is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

            But facts are facts, and you got none.

          • Guest

            Facts were posted in every discussion. That you choose to be a typical sh*theaded Shaton1066 and paste your opinion/fact diatribe at every turn is your own problem. I feel no compulsion to enable your fantasy that everything you disagree with is an opinion.

          • Onslaught1066

            Ah, the mating call of the desperately clueless.

            if you happen across a fact someday you will be sure to post it here, won’t you?

          • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

            Guest must be Hannitized or Back Door Boob?

          • Onslaught1066

            He’s too articulate to be hanniturd, Boob has no fear of showing his stupidity under his own handle.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Agreed…. it’s a new mutation of yet another same ol’ iteration of leftard idiocy.

            Too late to make a vaccine… get the bleach.

          • two_amber_lamps

            I’m inclined to believe it’s a newly evolved disease, but then it’s difficult to say. The usual libtard suspects have a tendency to sockpuppet and devolve so it’s difficult to keep track of.

            Leftist = Virus

          • Guest

            Yawn..

            Keep posting two_amber_lamps, it’s nice to know that if you’re just wasting your life away making uninspired insults.

          • two_amber_lamps

            7-11 slave, uninspired insults are about all you’re worth. I’ll save my good material for more worthy foes. I guess you didn’t follow my instructions on taking aspirin and taking a nice cold bath. Figures, you’ve failed at everything else in life, why stop now?

            What a shame, still burdening your Mom like that. She must be truly disappointed.

          • Guest

            Yawn..

            Keep posting two_amber_lamps, it’s nice to know that if you’re just wasting your life away making uninspired insults.

          • Guest Observer

            Or Emily Quinn

          • Onslaught1066

            Not archaic enough, Quinn still thinks it’s 1889.

          • ObservingTheProcess

            Come on now Joel. You can quit protecting your sister.

          • Guest Observer

            Morning Joel!

          • DelawareBeachHouse

            More Daily Kos

            Two freshmen Democrats wobbly now on the talking filibuster

            Rob’s right.

            http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/04/1176380/-Two-freshmen-Democrats-wobbly-now-on-the-talking-filibuster

          • Guest

            Holy crap, can you possibly be that stupid? That article specifically said she was considering the options for reform and certainly doesn’t make any promises or statements about what she supported. Read the article before you try to use it as evidence, moron.

          • opinion8ed

            Joel is this you?

          • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

            You’re quoting the liberal Hill as a credible source.

          • Guest

            Typical Republican response, attack the source. Rob cited the freakin’ Dailykos and you have the profound stupidity to decry me using the Hill which Rob has posted from many times. Thanks for making your side look even more pathetic!

        • Guest

          Tell us then Rob, what should Heidi have done today that you wouldn’t attack her for? Seems you’d attack her no matter what she did.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            As far as I’m concerned she was between a rock and a hard place. I’m glad she voted the way she did, but I think it’s telling in that it shows she’s a vote for whatever Harry Reid wants.

          • Guest

            Thanks for admitting that she can’t win with you hacks no matter what she does.

          • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

            I think I’m taking a well-defined and consistent position. I’m glad she voted the right way. I wish she’d done it for the right reasons.

          • Guest

            How exactly did you divine that she did it for the wrong reasons? Did every single Republican and Democrat who voted for the session’s rules also do it for the wrong reasons? Seems to me you just assumed she did because you’re a complete hack.

          • Thresherman

            No matter what she does? How can you say that when she is yet to live up to her word? If she starts using her office like she campaigned she would we would be pleasantly surprised and would note it. But I guess it is just fine with you if she campaigns on lies and governs the other way.

          • Guest

            Jesus Christ you people are so f*cking unreasonable. You’d think you’d be happy the filibuster isn’t changing, but now you’re upset she’d didn’t keep her word on some promise that she’d gut the filibuster that she never made. There’s just nothing she could’ve done to please unreasonable sh*theads like you.

          • Guest

            Yet to live up to her word? That’s all she’s done, but partisan tards like you aren’t ever satisfied.

          • Onslaught1066

            in your opinion.

          • Guest

            It’s a fact, Shaton1066. Prove it wrong if you think otherwise. Oh, Shaton1066, you’re such a sh*thead!

          • Onslaught1066

            Gusty the idiot, does not know fact from opinion, hence it needs someone to tell when fact is fact and when it spouts sh*t.

            Sorry kid, you’re on your own.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Well, I propose a test and we shall use Mr. 7-11 Slave Gusty’s logic.

            Postulate A: “Guest” consumes copious amounts of fecal matter.

            Now according to his logic, regardless if Postulate A is a verifiable fact or opinion, it is now up to Mr. Gusty to prove Postulate A wrong.

            Ok “Guest”…. get busy.

        • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

          Hey Rob I can’t believe that anyone would think that Heidi would do anything other than vote the left wing party line… I do find if funny that she tried to say that she was a moderate. Since the MSM won’t hold her accountable it will be nice to have Rob to keep her honest.

  • Guest

    This just proves Rob’s a hack. The filibuster remains essentially unchanged, which even Rob admits. Yet, he has his cake and eats it too. Minority rights are essentially unchanged and they can still demand 60 votes to proceed to a vote, yet Heitkamp is still attacked.

    Additionally, after months of attacks against her for not joining Senators to support the Pipeline before she was even a sitting Senator, what does Rob do when one of Heitkamp’s first actions to to join Hoeven and other Senators in voicing support for the Pipeline? He drops the issue. Apparently he’s only interested in the Pipeline when he can attack Heitkamp over it. http://www.wdaz.com/event/article/id/16117/group/homepage/ What a hack!

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Heitkamp is attacked because she did exactly what we all expected her too. When Reid told her to get in line, she got in line. She knows where her bread is buttered.

      As for the Keystone issue, kudos to Heitkamp for following through on her campaign promises. I guess I’m not surprised that you think it’s big news when she keeps her word.

      ;-)

      • Guest

        Would you have praised Heitkamp for pushing for a more strict filibuster rule? I seriously doubt it. You’d attack her for that just like you attack her now for supporting a limited reform. She can’t win. Even if it’s the right thing, it becomes the wrong thing of Reid supports it. It’s the same thing with the gun control rules. A huge majority of conservatives like criminal background checks, but when asked if the support Obama’s criminal background check requirement, suddenly they oppose it.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          I’m not attacking her for the filibuster vote at all.

          I’m pointing out that she’s in Harry Reid’s pocket. And I’m right.

          • Guest

            Your’re completely wrong, hack. Just because Heitkamp votes the same was a Reid doesn’t mean she’s in his pocket, unless all the Republicans who voted for this sessions rules are in his pocket as well. Thanks for the laugh at your pathetic desperation to find something to attack Heitkamp for in joining the bipartisan agreement.

          • opinion8ed

            Oh she is in his pocket… She thinks because her brother fights her battles at home she can do what she wants… She knows who the real bosses are.. The voters and she knows she was a squeaker.

          • Guest

            More baseless, uncited speculations that if Heitkamp did the right thing than she simply must have done it for the wrong reasons.

    • Wayne

      You miss the point. All Rob did was point out that Heitkamp will vote the way Dirty Harry wants no matter what she said during her campaign. A valid point. The beginning of a pattern.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Exactly. But our friends on the left don’t like that sort of thing pointed out.

      • Guest

        Your so blinded by partisanship that you miss your stupidity. She certainly didn’t campaign on changing the filibuster, you’re rewriting history. So what your saying is you would’ve liked Heitkamp to push for gutting the filibuster? After months of attacks against her for limiting the filibuster and pleas to not touch the issue, when that’s exactly what she does, she gets attacked for it. It just goes to show how unreasonable you all are.

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          She certainly didn’t campaign on changing the filibuster, you’re rewriting history.

          She certainly fundraised on the issue:

          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/31/1153236/-Meet-the-Filibuster-Reformers

          • Guest

            Someone certainly fundraised for her on the issue. Get your facts straight, hack. Even then, she didn’t support anything beyond a vague idea for reform, which this was, so you don’t have a scintilla of evidence that she didn’t do what she claimed beyond the wholly unsupported assumption she was going to gut the filibuster. Thank for your constructive admission you are complete hack!

        • Wayne

          “So what your saying is you would’ve liked Heitkamp to push for gutting the filibuster?”

          I said nothing of the sort. Learn how to read. Idiot. The only stupid person here is you.

          • Guest

            You’re so f*cking stupid, thanks for the laugh. It’s the only logical thing to infer from your post. If your upset she softened on the issue of the filibuster issue, that is your effectively your position. Learn to think your bullsh*t, moron.

          • Wayne

            No more needs to be said. You make my point.

  • slackwarerobert

    We need a real filibuster rule, that way they can’t spend money with other bills. Allowing these fake ones so they can move along and spend money is killing us. The bill should hold up ALL legislation till it is pulled, passed, or the new members are sworn in the next cycle.

  • opinion8ed

    One would think that the senator who barely squeaked out a win by less than 1% would keep promises to those who elected her not by those who bought her.

  • Clarence A. Herz

    Wasn’t a doubt in my mind. By the way what is Heidie’s wifes name?

  • schreib

    Yup,, her nose does appear to be turning a darker shade of brown.

  • Lynn Bergman

    She has been right a few times already; give her the benefit of the doubt. When she votes with anti-free-market liberal causes like Obamacare, I’ll be the first to pounce.

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