Heads up, possible future presidential candidate spotters: U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota will speak at a major Democratic gathering in Des Moines on June 17. Alternating each summer between the capital city and Cedar Rapids, the Hall of Fame is typically the Iowa Democratic Party’s second-largest event of the year, after the to-be-renamed Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.
I enclose below today’s announcement from the Iowa Democratic Party and some background on Heitkamp, who was North Dakota’s attorney general before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. Ticket sales (starting at $50) won’t be as brisk as for last summer’s event, which drew all five declared Democratic presidential candidates, but no doubt many activists will be interested to see Heitkamp in person. Her appearance may also draw some protesters, as she has been a "loud and proud" supporter of North Dakota’s oil extraction industry, and the proposed Dakota Access (Bakken) pipeline is a hot topic in this state’s environmental community.
This year’s Hall of Fame honorees include Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal in the elected official category, Iowa Federation of Labor President Ken Sagar as "outstanding supporter," and State Representative Sharon Steckman for "oustanding leadership." Scroll down to read the full list.
UPDATE: Should have mentioned that Heitkamp has the most conservative voting record in the Senate Democratic caucus, according to the Progressive Punch database. You can view ratings of votes on various types of issues here. Heitkamp has a "perfect" progressive record in only one category: fair taxation. As is common among Democrats representing tough states or districts, Heitkamp’s votes have become more conservative since Republicans gained a Senate majority (and therefore control over what comes to the floor).Continue Reading...