The FEC filing deadline for 2011 fundraising was January 31st, but despite that Democrat Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp’s report hasn’t been posted on the FEC website yet. This, to me, smacks of a tactic. “In my experience, candidates with poor results or something to hide like to file as late as possible, hoping their pre-spin makes the news,” a reader wrote to me this morning.
It is interesting how many of the candidates (not just Heitkamp) release their spin on their fundraising numbers to the media first in a press release, and then file their actual FEC reports days or even weeks later. Thus, reporters hungry to be first with the news report based on the spin-filled press release, and are less likely to cover the issue again when the official report comes out.
Regardless, despite a full report still not being available, some of the political action committees (PACs) that have contributed to Heitkamp’s campaign have reported their numbers, giving us at least a partial picture of where Heitkamp is getting her money.
In that picture are unions, trial lawyers and Democrat Senators:
The American Association for Justice used to be called the Association of Trial Lawyers. The union PACs are self-explanatory. The rest are PACs run by various Democrat Senators including Mark Warner, Kristen Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, Jack Reed, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor and Tom Harkin.
It’s not surprising that Heitkamp would be getting a lot of money from the trial lawyers given her cozy, apparently quid pro quo relationship with Jack McConnell, a trial lawyer Heitkamp appointed to represent North Dakota in the tobacco class action lawsuits (an appointment which contributed to the millions he earns from that settlement to this day) who, contemporaneously to that appointment, contributed tens of thousands of dollars to both Heitkam’s 2000 gubernatorial campaign and the North Dakota Democrat Party.