Heitkamp says unauthorized list of abuse victims' names could be from 'Facebook feed'

  • U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp

    U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp Bloomberg

Updated 10/20/2018 7:20 PM

North Dakota U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp apologized last week for a newspaper ad that listed names of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence without their permission, according to The Washington Post.

A statement from the Democrat's campaign said it had "recently discovered that several of the women's names who were provided to us did not authorize their names to be shared or were not survivors of abuse."


The ad include names of 127 women, the Post said.

Heitkamp said during a radio show she didn't know how her campaign obtained the names but they might have come from a "Facebook feed" that was forwarded to her staff, the Post reported.

The ad was an open letter to her Republican opponent Kevin Cramer, the Post said.

"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," the statement said.

Rubio falsely claimed hurricane aid blocked

As Florida residents recovered from the destruction left by Hurricane Michael, Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio falsely claimed Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum did not effectively respond to Hurricane Hermine in 2016, PolitiFact reported.

"When they had a hurricane up there, they didn't have power for weeks because he stood in the way of crews being able to come in and restore power, because they weren't members of the right union or something," Rubio told supporters of Republican candidate Ron DeSantis on Oct. 15.

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The Sept. 1, 2016, storm took out a majority of the city's power, affecting 95,000 residents, PolitiFact said.

But a report filed months after the event said power was restored to 90 percent of the residents within a week and nearly all customers had power by Sept. 9.

Rob McGarrah, Tallahassee's general manager of utilities, did not immediately accept help from Florida Power and Light, which offered 575 personnel, PolitiFact reported. Tallahassee's government requires that decision to be made by McGarrah, not the mayor or city commissioners.

There is no evidence decisions following the hurricane were based on union affiliation, according to PolitiFact. In a Facebook post days after the storm, Gillum said, "We are happy to accept any help from any person or organization that is going to accelerate the speed at which we can safely restore power to our residents."

Cosby not involved in prison food fight

False stories claiming Bill Cosby was involved in prison food fights began circulating online and on social media shortly after the comedian was incarcerated, according to The Associated Press.


Cosby, 81, "was not slapped with a chicken patty or a hot dog bun during food fights," AP said. Reports other inmates were throwing food at the former actor are false.

Cosby, inmate No. NN7687 in a Pennsylvania prison, doesn't eat in the main dining room with fellow inmates and has not been involved in any food fights, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokeswoman Amy Worden told AP.

Cosby was convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004 and was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison last month, according to The Associated Press.

Cosby's incarceration began in isolation, according to The Washington Post.

He walked the yard by himself and was alone for meals, including a lunch with strawberry gelatin for desert.

"He didn't have Jell-O," Worden told the Post. "The word 'Jell-O' may appear on the menu, but it is not a Jell-O brand product."

Twitter posts falsely claimed Trump chess prowess.
Twitter posts falsely claimed Trump chess prowess. -
Barron Trump not a chess grandmaster

A recent series of Twitter posts claimed Barron Trump, 12, son of President Donald Trump, was the youngest person to be awarded the title of Chess Grandmaster.

Not true, <URL destination="https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/barron-trump-chess/">according to Snopes.com.

</URL>Snopes also pointed to other false claims tweeted this month: Barron Trump has an IQ of 146; the president is one of the most celebrated chess players of all time and studied under chess legend Bobby Fischer; and the mainstream media ignored the Trump family's many chess-related accomplishments.

Much of the false information originated from an October 2017 article published on the website The Daily Chronicle, Snopes said.

The site, which states they are "About the Facts, Not Feelings," acknowledges publishing "satirical" content.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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