Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is under fire again, this time for using a World War II veteran’s photo without his permission. Last week, Heitkamp apologized for naming victims of domestic violence without their permission, some of whom were not even domestic violence victims.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Heitkamp wrote about Lynn Aas, a World War II veteran she met last year when he was awarded the Legion of Honor by France for his service in the war.
“Lynn is not happy that Heidi did this,” said David Aad, Lynn’s son. “We have posted a comment requesting that it be taken down.”
“Lynn wants to make it clear that no one from the Heitkamp campaign contacted him to ask for permission for this,” David continued. “He does not want this to be viewed as an endorsement of her campaign.”
Heitkamp currently trails Republican Kevin Cramer by 16 points as the election date draws near.
Heitkamp apologized on Tuesday of last week for publishing an ad that listed alleged sexual assault survivors. Many of the women listed in the ad said that they had not given her their permission to be listed or were not even sexual assault survivors.
“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,” Heitkamp apologized in a statement.
Heitkamp voted against the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
The ad was formulated as an open letter to North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, where it listed a number of women as “survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, or rape.”
Not long after the ad first appeared, some of the women listed in the ad were shocked to see their names on the list. Kady Miller, Keely Beck, Lexi Zhorela, and Eve Lancaster were among those who say they did not give Heitkamp their permission to be listed in the campaign ad.
“I definitely want to clarify right away that I am NOT a domestic/sexual assault survivor,” said one woman, who identified herself as Miller. “I’ve never supported Heitkamp and this is very wrong of her campaign to slander people’s names!”
“I never once gave the okay for it to be used,” said another woman, identifying herself as Zhorela. “My name was tagged in a Facebook post apparently at random.”
“This is another example of Heidi Heitkamp exploiting whoever she can for political gain,” said Jake Wilkins, communications director for the North Dakota Republican Party. “With a campaign built on lies, misinformation, and manufactured controversy, it’s no wonder Heitkamp is the most vulnerable Senator in the country.”
“This is what happens when desperate people do things for their own personal political gain,” said her opponent, Rep. Kevin Cramer. “She proved a point that her personal politics matter more than someone’s personal pain.”