Mitt Romney isn’t the only Republican candidate in an important race who faces smears based on business dealings of a company that occurred when he had no role in its operation. In the North Dakota Senate race, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp has run an ad that attempts to hold Republican Rick Berg responsible for alleged misconduct by a residential property rental company called Goldmark Property Management, Inc. Goldmark Property Management has been the target of tenant complaints and has been cited for alleged fire safety violations.
But Berg, part of the Power Line Pick Six, does not own Goldmark Property Management; nor has he ever had a management, shareholding, invested interest, or even employment relationship with it. He did own a predecessor company, but ended that relationship in 1987 to venture into commercial real estate, rather than residential rentals.
In 1996, Berg founded Goldmark Commercial Corporation, which later became Goldmark Schlossman Commerical Real Estate Services. According to the Berg campaign, this company does not rent residential apartments, does not work with residential residents, and does not have any ownership interests, fiduciary responsibilities, or legal affiliation with Goldmark Property Management, Inc. Berg ended his ownership and management involvement with it in 2011 when he began serving in Congress.
Accordingly, Politico, hardly a pro-Berg source, has concluded that “Berg does not, as alleged by Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, have any formal legal ties to or control over Goldmark Property Management.” And Politico finds laughable Heitkamp’s claim that Berg’s business relationships somehow is connected to his views on Social Security reform, a claim that has made “even some Democrats. . .wince.”
Heitkamp’s ridiculous attack smacks of understandable desperation. North Dakota is a conservative state, making Berg, a conservative congressman, the odds on favorite to win this seat for the Republicans. But Heitkamp has managed to hang in the race (the RCP average has Berg up by only 5 points) by posing as a moderate. Now, she hopes to close the remaining gap by smearing Berg in basically the same way Team Obama has smeared Romney.
This is a critical race for Republicans. Without picking up the North Dakota seat (held now by Democrat Kent Conrad), the Republicans have virtually no shot at winning control of the Senate.
You can fight back against the smearing of Rick by supporting his candidacy here.