Former Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp helping dems ‘reconnect with rural America.’ So, of course she’s speaking at USD Law School.

Because Democrats in the midwest haven’t had much success in the last few years, those that used to be successful are on speaking tours to help Democrats understand how they can connect with voters, including former US Senator Heidi Heitkamp:

Hillary Clinton won just six total counties in all of Iowa in the 2016 presidential election. Trump took the other 93, often by large margins, including with 60% or 70% or more in many rural counties. In an effort to tamp down those lopsided margins in rural Iowa, One Country Project, an organization launched by former Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, has added J.D. Scholten to their team.


“The way Democrats campaign is very urban; the field programs are very urban. But they need to be everywhere, and connect with anyone and have a message for not just agricultural folks, but everyone in rural areas,” Scholten explained. “And I wouldn’t say that Republicans are doing a great job of getting out there; just their messaging of lower taxes, and that’s it pretty much – or the simplification of their messages.”

Read the story here.

With Heitkamp out promoting hard democrat messaging and the election of her party’s candidates, who would want to promote her and provide a big soapbox for her views in South Dakota? The Noon Democrat Forum in Sioux Falls? A big Democrat state party dinner?

Of course not. Don’t be silly. With her views, Heitkamp is speaking at the USD Law School.

I’ll be curious to see when the school brings in a conservative speaker – and particularly one actively engaged in trying to elect Republicans as Heitkamp is doing for Democrats –  to address the group.

91 Replies to “Former Democrat Senator Heidi Heitkamp helping dems ‘reconnect with rural America.’ So, of course she’s speaking at USD Law School.”

  1. tara volesky

    Heitkamp turned her back on her prairie populist roots of the Non Partisan League once she got to the Senate and became a shill for Big Oil and Big Ag. She lost because she sold out to special interests. Both parties answer to their doners instead of the people. The Democrats need to step up their game. Take a lesson out of the Republican playbook.

  2. Vito

    Liberals at USD bringing in liberal activists to promote more liberalism on the taxpayer dime. Not shocking. Time to cut their budget so they get the message!

  3. Jacko

    Fulton was liberal Democratic operative and Herseth’s top person in South Dakota. USD keeps falling flat on its face and getting exposed for all the liberals that run that place.

  4. tara volesky

    A public research institution located in Brookings, South Dakota State University was founded in 1881. SDSU offers information and support for its LGBTQ+ students through its LGBTQ+ resource center. The center connects students to the SDSU Gender and Sexualities Alliance — a campus organization that educates students about LGBTQ+ issues and gender identity. SDSU provides a list of gender-inclusive restrooms on campus and offers counseling services with a counselor experienced in LGBTQ+ issues. In addition to providing information about on-campus resources, the LGBTQ+ resource center provides a list of community resources, including LGBTQ+-friendly businesses, churches, and healthcare organizations.

    SDSU offers an on-campus housing option for LGBTQ+ students called Allied for Acceptance; this community prioritizes inclusiveness. The campus also hosts safe zone trainings to educate the community about LGBTQ+ identities, with the goal of training allies to create a more inclusive community. SDSU has USD beat.

  5. Concerned parent

    I would never let my children attend a public university with such perverted policies unless they were allowed to pack heat to protect themselves.

    Hey legislature, how about bringing back a tweaked version of Senate Bill 122 to prohibit the Board of Regents and Board of Technical Education from adopting policies that would restrict or limit a person’s ability to carry a firearm on any campus that expends public dollars to encourage or enroll LGBTQ+ students or faculty.

    how about a bill to allow students to carry concealed firearms on any state campus that allows or encourages LGBTQ+.

    1. Anonymous

      You feel the need to carry a weapon at a SD State university due to fear of being attacked by an LGBTQ person? Where is this fear coming from? Never heard of this before and it’s fascinating.

      1. Anonymous

        Piling on to this question as well. What sort of lunatic demands a firearm if they are going to attend school with gay people?

          1. Anonymous

            “Didn’t say gay.”

            You said LGBTQ. You know what the L and G stand for, right?

            You are an abominable, hideous person, and it’s a safe bet your daughter is as well.

      2. Concerned parent

        I didn’t use the word attack. My concern is my beautiful daughter using a restroom while a trans-person (an individual that dresses up like a woman but is really a man with man anatomy) bothers her when she is most vulnerable. I want her to have the confidence to say, “Slick, you try to come in my stall and I’m going to F***ing blow you away.”

        This scenerio would never happen is the universities were as concerned about protecting everyday South Dakota kids as they were about protecting the LGBTQ+

        1. Anonymous

          This is hilarious. Are you really more afraid of a trans person over a straight male rapist who isn’t going to be deterred by a sign on a door? It’s almost like you think gun zones work because you are protected by a sign. That sign isn’t going to stop someone from assaulting your daughter and she is much more likely to be attacked by a straight male over a trans male.

        2. Anonymous

          You realize those concerns are unfounded right? Whoever they are just want to do their business and leave the restroom. If they allow weapons it will be people like you that put everyone on edge and then someone thinks something is going on when it is not and someone gets hurt or killed and it ends up being the type of idiot re-enforcing all this fear mongering nonsense.

        3. Anonymous

          God help us! How do some of these people leave their house and do what would be mundane routine errands to everyday South Dakotans but these fear mongers think there is some imaginary threat just waiting to strike, It is like at the grade school in the little town in western Minnesota where Dr. Virji a Muslim family physician and volunteered to medically help US troops stationed in Kuwait son was asked. Is you’re mom a part-time suicide bomber?

        4. Anonymous

          Concerned Parent:

          You do realize that more people have been attacked by Catholic priests than Trans individuals right?

          Can we start living in a world of reality and common sense? Your statements show how out of touch with reality you are and how much you desperately need to open your eyes and mind to the world you’re living in today.

          I really hope you’re one of those keyboard warriors who talks a big game but forgets to vote in elections… because you’re failing on the expectation that voters are informed.

          1. Ananymous

            You do realize that more people have been attacked by teachers than priests and trans combined right?

      3. Anonymous

        You don’t need to feel anything to carry a gun.
        It’s your God given right to self defense.

        Your comment suggests you don’t know anything about guns or crime.

            1. Anonymous

              Oh really? You will be there standing at the gates of heaven judging or here on Earth judging who goes to heaven or the eternal pits of hell?

          1. Anonymous

            Sure I do. Crime happens and guns stop crime more than they kill innocent people.

            Any other facts you want to know?

        1. Anonymous

          But this person made it ABUNDANTLY clear that they felt the need to carry a firearm because of trans people, which is objectively stupid. Stop moving the goalposts.

  6. Lawmaker

    Liberals are in charge at USD and will never change their ways. It will take the governor and the legislature to aggressively intervene and put in new people. This dean of the law school bringing in his liberal friends to speak might be the place to start.

  7. Anon

    The universities are refusing to follow laws passed by big majorities of the legislature and they refuse to actually foster intellectual diversity. The liberals are in charge and they won’t give an inch.

    The Fulton connection to Senator Heitkamp is because he was Herseth’s political fixer in the state and Heitkamps chief of staff was Herseth’s chief of staff. Same person. Tessa Golden. It’s just the usual liberal network backslapping each other and thumbing their noses at the law.

    1. Ann Onymity

      “Fixer” and “Fulton” don’t belong in the same sentence at all. Was he then-Governor Rounds’ “fixer?” I know not. Mr. Fulton is a good, thoughtful man, a fine member of church and community. We miss him and his family here in Pierre, but he will be a great Dean of the Law School.

  8. tara volesky

    Say, which party has been in charge the last 40 years. Time to stop making excuses and take responsibility for your votes and appointments.

  9. Anonymous

    So a former North Dakota US Senator being a moderate Democrat who the hard left always accused of being a DINO is going to be a guest speaker at USD Law school and now there are calls for major intervention in the BOR, legislation, and university administration? This persecution complex by the right is just as bad as the victimization the hard left encourages. Give it a rest and quit making issues where they don’t exist. If you are really that worried send you’re kid to a religious based private school that fits more of you’re overall beliefs. They offer plenty of scholarships and one could join the military to offset college costs.

  10. Yote

    This all sounds familiar. USD was always trying to ram liberalism down our throats while I was there. There were no conservative professors. It’s a rigged game

  11. a friend of education

    I don’t see any problem with USD inviting Heitkamp to speak. So what that she’s liberal?

    Problems arise only if USD invites no (or almost no) Republicans to speak. More than half the US Senate is Republican. Most citizens of the Dakotas are Republicans. University students deserve the opportunity to hear a variety of perspectives: left, right, conservative, progressive, libertarian, etc. Listeners can accept or reject whatever ideas overtly political speakers (such as Heitkamp) present.

    I don’t keep score. I recall a few Republicans speaking. But if 90% of USD speakers are dems, that’s viewpoint discrimination. It’s unjust & it smacks of indoctrination. And it goes both ways. If 90% of USD’s invited speakers were registered Republicans, that wouldn’t be cool, either.

    1. tara volesky

      Great points FOE. People are just going drama over a D coming to speak. Go invite somebody like Mitt Romney, or Jesse Ventura.

    2. Anonymous

      My only issue is they are having a dumb person coming to speak.

      I don’t care who speaks there as long as anybody can.

      Susan Wimmer doesn’t think that way. She needs to be voted out.

      1. a friend of education

        Is Heitkamp dumb? I’ve no idea, but (if so) I’m surprised. It’s no mean feat to become a us senator. I suspect she’s clever, but I’ve not met her. If she’s published terrific books, I’ve not read em.

        Elizabeth Warren is a senator. She has 1-2 smart books to her credit, along with some rubbish. She’s not dumb, although she currently professes to believe a few dumb things.

        Yet, I agree with you, Anonymous, about one thing. USD dis-serves its students & state when it fails to welcome conservative speakers. If we invite Democrats, such as Heitkamp, we must invite Republicans. If we invite liberals, invite conservatives. Tara suggests Mitt Romney, Bernie Sanders, & Andrew Yang. Why not? I’d skip Romney’s address, personally, but I’ll grant that he’s an important political figure. Add to that list perhaps Michigan’s Jon James, Denmark’s Bjørn Lomborg, the UK’s Nigel Farage, Doug Murray, the aforementioned Liz Warren, Tulsi Gabbard,& Candace Owens. What about Andrew Sullivan & Nassim Taleb? Shelby Steele & Thomas Sowell? Camille Paglia?

        Conversely, if we REFUSE to invite & welcome Republicans, we cannot invite Democrats. It’s both or neither. No, we don’t need to insist upon an exact, 50-50 parity. Go 5-7 one year and 6-6 the next. 4-5? Whatever. Not every speaker can/will accept. But if the scale tilts 90% to one side, we’ve erred. We’ve violated our cornerstone principles, exceeded our public mandate, & failed our core mission: to educate.

        1. tara volesky

          AFOE….some more common sense solutions. I am sure the President and Dean of Law would embrace this fabulous idea. Do we really need more laws? Civil communication and mediation works wonders. I could mediate the whole thing if you want me too.

    3. Lincoln County Delegate

      Spot on FOE. One of the most active offices at USD in bringing and sponsoring speakers and speaking events is the Center for Diversity & Community. A quick look at their facebook page will reveal groups like the ACLU, AFL-CIO, and South Dakota Voices for Peace all being brought in and sponsored by the CDC. These groups are all politically left leaning and bring a political message to campus.

      The issue is not the CDC bringing these groups and others in, but the absence of events sponsored and promoted by the University with groups that are not politically liberal. You will not see the University bringing in the SD Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity, Alliance Defending Freedom, etc.

      If the University wants to be involved with sponsoring these types of events and speakers they should do so in a way that presents a broad array of ideas, opinions, and viewpoints.

      1. tara volesky

        Supply and demand. It’s the students that prefer diversity. They are the ones paying the bill. If you don’t have students, you don’t have a college.

  12. Anonymous

    Fulton started the job in June. My guess is that the speaker for this annual lecture is locked-in way more than four months in advance. Watch and see who’s invited next year to get a better sense of the new dean’s vision.

    1. tara volesky

      Mr. Fulton is highly respected and has the experience and qualifications in becoming a fine Dean at the School of Law. I am sure he will keep the political BS and pettiness that is generated among a few haters from interfering with his Deanship and the Law school.

  13. Anonymous

    If you feel outraged about a United States Senator talking to students about federal response regarding current high rates of missing, trafficked, and murdered women and children in Indian Country, it may be time for some self reflection.

    1. Anonny

      The only outrage here is yours, my friend. Nothing wrong with questioning how many liberal speakers they expose students to versus conservative voices. The difference is that they’re finally going to be held to account for it during the legislative session.

    2. Anonymous

      The FBI has jurisdiction in Indian Country so I don’t know why you wasted your time writing that comment.

      1. Anonymous

        You do understand that they teach classes like Criminal Law and Indian Jurisdiction at the law school, right? Why wouldn’t this topic be relevant? Not a deep thinker are you?

        1. Ananymous

          I’m a very deep thinker. That’s why I understand that she is not an expert in that area so she is not qualified to speak on that subject.

          You’re not a very deep thinker are you?

  14. USD Grad


    What is going wrong with my school?

    1. Jupiter Base Lansing

      I was protesting the Vietnam War while at USD and as far as I’m concerned Heidkamp was a Republican. Those speakers you point out as liberal are stubborn and stuck in the mud German conservatives by my standards. I’ll contact my anti-fascist friends at ANTIFA if you want true LIBERAL speakers. The kids will love them and want to join!

  15. tara volesky

    Get somebody interesting like Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang or President Trump. Stay away from establishment politicians.

    1. Anonymous

      or they could really throw them for a loop and invite Lora Hubbel to speak. Mental health professionals will be available for the audience afterwards.

  16. tara volesky

    Lora would be very interesting. How about the ultra conservative against 3 Liberals? A debate would be fun along with engaging the student body. We had a great time spending a day at USD attending the Gear-up meeting with Professor Damgaard and also attending the Indian affairs meeting which was a complete joke.

  17. Troy

    Has the Regents fired the President yet? Is Fulton this frickin’ stupid? The University has a credibility problem with the majority of the state and they do this? It is an “in your face” statement of mammoth proportions.

    If the Legislature doesn’t do something significant (and not a redux of their wimpy, worthless, faux diversity bill), the entire bunch deserves a primary.

    To be clear: significant is to tell the Board of Regents at the beginning of the Legislature to clean house at the top at two of the largest three Universities Before the budget bill is passed or they will begin slashing funding for administration staff.

  18. tara volesky

    Clean house???? Can’t you state why??? Because they are liberal???? Could you please explain? Thanks.

  19. Ann Onymity

    Jackal, “Fire Fulton”? Really? He doesn’t answer to the Governor.
    It’s a good thing for our small, way-too-red state that there is a Board of Regents to isolate the university system from the whims of the Legislature and the Governor. Y’all realize that the Board is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate?

    1. Anonymous


      The regents answer to the taxpayers of South Dakota through the Governor and Legislature.

      I suggest every taxpayer contact both to tell them how they feel about Fulton and the presidents of the Universities.

  20. Meckling

    Does Fulton earn a million and get a taxpayer funded jet like the USD president does? or do they share the USD jet? All these liberals just protect one another. Troy is right–cut budgets until they reform

  21. tara volesky

    Fulton earns $10 million that he receives from those LIBERALS in Pierre. lol. So if Bill Janklow was Governor, what college would he be closing with all the declining enrollment except for DSU.

  22. tara volesky

    AFOE….some more common sense solutions. I am sure the President and Dean of Law would embrace this fabulous idea. Do we really need more laws? Civil communication and mediation works wonders. I could mediate the whole thing if you want me too.

  23. Anonymous

    In all fairness, I think they
    got Ann Coulter to speak one year, but that was some time ago.

    1. tara volesky

      Where there any LIBERALS protesting and doing damage to school property? Did they have to cancel the event like they did at UC Berkeley?

  24. Anne Beal

    These comments are hilarious. Heitkamp turned her back on her populist roots by becoming a shill for Big Ag and Big Oil? That would be a curious thing for a Senator from Rhode Island, but a Senator from North Dakota? What else would she be a shill for? There’s nothing else there.

    Then all the business about SDSU being so inclusive. That’s nice. You can do anything you want there except brandish firearms. There should be a separate dorm for gun owners. Everyone in it can be heavily armed. It would be the Ultimate Safe Zone. If all the LGBTQ students are getting special accommodations, where are the special accommodations for the gun owners? They should protest. They are being discriminated against. As can be seen in the comments here, nobody understands people who want to carry firearms. They need their own dorm. Plus all the students who don’t own guns should be required to attend sensitivity seminars to explore the roots of their hostility to gun owners. It’s a serious problem.