Heidi Heitkamp understands it’s hard to run on unpopular Democratic policies in a state that heavily leans Republican. This is especially true in North Dakota, where Romney has a solid 14 point lead over Obama. So the Democratic candidate for US Senate has decided not to. Heitkamp would rather focus on questioning her Republican opponent Rick Berg’s business career than the issues facing the state. The DSCC recently released another ad attempting to link Berg to a company he doesn’t work for:
Berg’s campaign has repeatedly defended their candidate and questioned the veracity of the ads. Finally, the DSCC was forced to admit dishonesty and pull them. Although they will still run revised versions attacking Berg’s connections to Goldmark, he’ll continue to rightly defend himself.
Here are the facts:
• Rick Berg started a company named Midwest Management Co. He left in 1987.
• In 1994, seven years after Berg had moved on, that company changed its name and became Goldmark Property.
• Goldmark Property has allegedly engaged in questionable practices. These evil actions include fire code violations and allegations of mistreating tenants.
• He recently worked for a company, Goldmark Schlossman Commercial Real Estate Services, an independent entity from Goldmark Property and there are no legal ties between the two companies.
• Berg listed Goldmark Property as his employer on campaign forms. He has insisted that this was due to a clerical error.
That’s it. Heitkamp’s primary attack against Berg is centered around these facts. There's nothing scandalous and nothing that reflects negatively on Berg. Even if everything Heitkamp says is true, it doesn’t reveal anything about Berg’s ability to lead and represent North Dakota in the Senate. It doesn’t mean he has poor character or engaged in illegal or unsavory activity. It’s a ridiculous argument and shows the desperation of Heitkamp’s campaign, although attacking an individual’s success is nothing new this election cycle.
Unfortunately, Heitkamp’s attacks may be working to some degree. A new poll shows Berg tied with Heitkamp 47-47 in the only race in the state where the Republican does not have a clear advantage. This could be explained by his lower favorability ratings. 46% of likely voters recognize Heitkamp favorably as opposed to 42% recognizing Berg the same way. This is only a slight advantage, but could make all the difference on Election Day. Properly shutting down Heitkamp’s personal attacks, no matter how ridiculous, is essential for Rick Berg given these latest numbers.