Women Outraged After Heitkamp Campaign Outs Them as Sexual Abuse Survivors
“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.
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Uh huh. And will they “retract” all the people who saw this information – and shouldn’t have?
Leftists use people. They are takers. Heidi’s only care is whether this incident hurts her campaign.
That just means they’re in denial. Didn’t you know that almost all women have been sexually assaulted/abused/whichever-term-is-currently-being-used-to-imply-rape-without-actually-saying-so? They must have blocked those memories, and should go to a good therapist to have them retrieved. Dr Ford can recommend someone. In the meantime they should be grateful that Heitkamp has their backs even if they don’t have hers.
How, exactly, do you issue a “retraction” when you have disclosed something that an individual did not want disclosed to the public?
How, exactly, do you “undo” the damage which was done by the publication of information which was not desired to be made public, and it sounds like for some, may have been ENTIRELY without their permission, consent or even knowledge.
I think the individuals whose names were shared without their permission would be WELL within their rights to sue Sen. Heitkamp in her personal capacity for Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress. Any enterprising North Dakota attorneys want to go and make a name for themselves. Depending on how many there are, you might qualify for Class Action status.
“…it sounds like for some, may have been ENTIRELY without their permission, consent or even knowledge.”
Or even any basis in fact.
This is somewhat similar to what former Reagan Labor Secretary Ray Donovan said after his acquittal of conspiracy and fraud charges brought by the Bronx (NY) County DA, “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?”
Wouldn’t GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer also have basis to sue Heitkamp since the letter was a criticism of him AND Heitkamp essentially forged signatures to authenticate the letter?
It would also be welcome push-back against #MeToo mob hysteria.
I don’t see how he’d have any cause of action. It’s a free country, it’s not against the law to criticize him, even dishonestly.
oh, the schadenfreude is strong this midterm….
I need to be a better Christian and not rejoice in the misfortunes of the Dems….
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Apologies are not ‘get out of jail free’ cards.
Apologize, then do the time.
I would just like to point out the “voted with Trump over half the time” thing. It’s probably true, but meaningless and misleading. I think Pelosi voted “with Trump” over half the time too.
Whenever you hear someone using this line, even if they’re a Republican, they’re lying to you about something.
When the Dems know they will lose a vote, Schumer will release senators to appease the folks back home.
“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.
So which sleazy organization “created” the list? That is what I want to know about this huge screw-up.
The fact that Heitkamp did not name the creator of the list speaks volumes.
The headline should read: “Heitkamp discovers how to un-ring a bell!”
Legally I understand that running a paid ad with people’s names that you haven’t spoken to and gotten permission from is a MAJOR violation and exposes Heitkamp to huge lawsuits from women she exposed who also are NOT victims of abuse.
My understanding is that this is going to cost her millions.
The word “survivor” is becoming increasingly used – like students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that weren’t even in the building where the shooting was taking place. I guess if a Delta flight to Miami crashes and you are on a Delta flight to Minneapolis that day, you’re a “survivor.”
Seems like I’d make an even bigger deal about the men in these women’s lives who have been falsely accused by Heitkamp.
This is what the Dems missed about the Kavanaugh smear….. it splattered on lots of people living private lives:
Ford’s accusations encompassed 4 other people
Ramirez’s encompassed 20 some odd people and his fellow classmates at Yale
Sweatnik implicated about every person who lived in Georgetown about that same time or who went to the prep school
and by the time it was done, the American people had a fairly good view of how a political lie can destroy innocent bystanders, much less what it does to the intended target.