“I deeply regret this mistake and we are in the process of issuing a retraction”
The campaign of Heidi Heitkamp, the incumbent Democratic Senator of North Dakota, came under fire this week for sharing the names of women who are sexual abuse survivors in an ad, without their permission. Some of the women named say they are not even abuse survivors.
Heitkamp has since apologized.
James Arkin writes at Politico:
Heitkamp apologizes after ad mistakenly named women as sexual assault survivors
North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp apologized Tuesday after her campaign included names of several women without their permission in an open letter from sexual assault survivors criticizing her Republican opponent.
Heitkamp’s campaign ran the open letter targeting GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer on Sunday in an ad in several North Dakota newspapers, criticizing recent comments Cramer made about the #MeToo movement and sexual assault survivors. The ad was signed by more than 100 women. But a conservative blog on Tuesday posted Facebook comments from several women who said their names were included without their knowledge or permission, and Heitkamp acknowledged the mistake and apologized.
“We recently discovered that several of the women’s names who were provided to us did not authorize their names to be shared or were not survivors of abuse,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “I deeply regret this mistake and we are in the process of issuing a retraction, personally apologizing to each of the people impacted by this and taking the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.”
FOX News covered the story last night:
According to CNN, some legal action may follow:
The misstep has led some women misidentified in the ad to decry the Democratic candidate and question how their names landed on the list, with one group of women saying they are seeking “a lawyer who will take our case” because the ad has “interfered with, or downright ruined, our lives.”…
“Heidi Heitkamp’s political agenda has interfered with, or downright ruined, our lives,” they wrote. “Survivors of assault who had taken care to avoid the subject were suddenly bombarded by questions asking them to explain to their loved ones why their name appeared on this list. Women who have never been assaulted spent the day reassuring loved ones of their safety.”
The group of women went on to say that their “privacy was violated on this day” so they have begun to “search for a lawyer who will take our case.”
Heitkamp’s campaign was in trouble before this debacle. According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Republican Kevin Cramer is leading Heitkamp by 8.7 points.DONATE
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