NDGOP Criticized for Social Media Post on Day of Funeral for Heitkamp’s Mother

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D - ND)

When I heard about the passing of Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s mother earlier this week, I wondered if such a sad event in the lives of the Heitkamp family may just be another opportunity to call a political truce, for a time, in a hotly contested mid-term U.S. Senate race. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite turn out that way— at least not for some people.

It just so happens that new polling from Morning Consult shows Senator Heitkamp in trouble. As would be expected, various news sources picked up the story yesterday and ran with it. But feathers were ruffled – and understandably so – when someone with the NDGOP shared an article about the polling with the accompanying message, “People have had ENOUGH!”

If you’re wondering why that’s so problematic, it’s because yesterday was also the funeral of Doreen Heitkamp— Heidi Heitkamp’s mother. As you can imagine, this didn’t go over well with some folks in the Dem-NPL. As a result, one of their former employee’s submitted a letter to the Forum yesterday afternoon in which she expressed her view that this was a “new low” and that the NDGOP owes “Heidi and the entire Heitkamp family an apology”.

Not everyone associated with the Dem-NPL felt the same though. NDGOP Executive Director Dane Ferguson explained that a staffer was supposed to schedule the post to publish later, but ended up posting it immediately. Once it was recognized, it was taken down, but of course it was too late. By then it had already been seen. Nevertheless, Dem-NPL spokesman Alex Rich accepted Ferguson’s explanation by saying:

“We don’t want to see this as a new nadir for partisan politics. If it was an actual accident … then we accept that.”

In her aforementioned letter to the Forum, the author conveniently failed to acknowledge the actions of Heitkamp’s opponent, Congressman Kevin Cramer. On his Facebook page earlier in the day, Congressman Cramer posted the following message:

“Kris and I are keeping the entire Heitkamp family in our prayers today as they say goodbye to a special mother and grandmother. We pray God will comfort them as they remember Doreen’s remarkable life and legacy.”

There’s little doubt that Cramer was being sincere. After all, he knows what it’s like to lose a loved one. Back in March, the Cramer’s lost their son Isaac. It was an unfortunate and tragic loss in which Senator Heitkamp expressed her condolences to the Cramer family. So far as I can see, both Senator Heitkamp and Congressman Cramer have shown compassion and empathy towards one another after losing their loved ones.

As regrettable as the NDGOP’s social media post was, I don’t think the former Dem-NPL employee’s letter to the Forum was any better. In fact, it might have been worse. Publicly criticizing the NDGOP for a post – that was removed – on the same day that you’re slamming them for posting it seems a bit disingenuous to me.



  1. http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Sen-Heitkamps-mother-passes-away-481310541.html
  2. https://morningconsult.com/form/political-intelligence-midterms-may-2018/
  3. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/obituaries/doreen-heitkamp/article_4ec80a3c-13d8-5f45-86d7-0df35170d99b.html
  4. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/dems-pounce-on-gop-for-promoting-poll-day-of-heitkamp/article_76d08c36-9671-54fc-adf1-42a77613d572.html#tracking-source=home-the-latest
  5. https://www.inforum.com/opinion/letters/4440795-letter-ndgop-and-forum-owe-heitkamp-family-apology
  6. http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/rep-kevin-cramer-s-son-dies-at-mayo-clinic-methodist/article_69d42aff-f736-5a48-9e96-964e7209eef5.html
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About T. Arthur Mason 874 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.