NORTH DAKOTA | ND-sen

Dem AG Nominee Files FEC Complaint Against Cramer

The Republican will fly with Trump to today’s Fargo rally.

June 27, 2018, 10:29 a.m.

“Grand Forks attorney David Thompson, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL candidate for Attorney General for North Dakota,” filed an FEC complaint against Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) Tuesday morning accusing Cramer of using “campaign contributions illegally for personal use. The complaint outlined three points: Cramer is giving himself a stipend to live and eat from campaign funds, he’s reimbursing himself for travel expenses from campaign contributions, and he has missed deadlines for reimbursements, but paid himself back anyway.”

Cramer spokesman Tim Rasmussen: “This stunt by the North Dakota Democrat Party is nothing more than cheap political theatrics intended to distract the media and voters from the President’s visit tomorrow.” (High Plains Reader)

Cramer said Tuesday he will fly on Air Force One with the president to Wednesday’s Fargo rally. (Hotline reporting)

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale previewed the rally by writing that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) “sabotaged the President — and the interests of North Dakotans.” (WZFG)

GAS IN THE TANK. Billionaire energy executive Harold Hamm “helped arrange a fundraiser for” Cramer, “featuring Hamm’s home state Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Larry Nichols, the founder of Devon Energy Corp.”

“Campaign finance documents show Hamm dollars flowing to a number of groups backing Cramer, including $50,000 to the Cramer Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee. … Of Hamm’s donation, $5,000 went to Badlands PAC, a Cramer political action committee, as well as $33,900 to the” NRSC. “In all, the joint fundraising committee has supplied $155,000 to Cramer’s campaign, more than $72,000 to the Badlands PAC, and almost $65,000 to the NRSC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” Hamm “gave $5,000 to the PAC associated with Continental Resources, listed on Dec. 18, 2017. The day Cramer announced his Senate bid, Feb. 15, Continental Resources’ PAC gave $5,000 to Cramer’s campaign account. … A few days later, Hamm gave $5,400 — the individual maximum — directly to Cramer’s campaign.”

Cramer “said the oil executive has no day-to-day role in running his campaign. Cramer said they tend to talk every week or two, usually about fundraising.”

“Cramer’s energy contributions are dwarfed by those of Heitkamp, an outlier on energy and development matters in the Democratic Party. … In this campaign cycle, Heitkamp has taken in nearly $740,000 from energy and natural resources companies, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Receipts detail donations from industry heavyweights like BP PLC, ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp.” (E&E News)

TALKING TRADE. “The Senate race is shadowed by the growing threat of a trade war that could hurt North Dakota’s export-dependent farmers,” particularly soybeans. “Heitkamp is working to align herself with them.” Cramer “is walking a delicate line between backing Mr. Trump and offering sympathy to anxious constituents, many of them involved in agriculture.”

Cramer: “I don’t like tariffs but I don’t think it’s appropriate to undercut the authority of the president. … I do my part to influence him.” (Wall Street Journal)

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