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The Face of Rick Berg's "North Dakota Way": Josh Hursa PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   

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[UPDATED X 2, in red]

North Dakota Congressman Rick Berg has made "the North Dakota Way" a central theme of his campaign for the United States Senate seat being abandoned by Senator Kent Conrad.  What's been fascinating is watching Berg define his version of "the North Dakota Way."  A story developed over the weekend that should give us all a pretty good idea of what Rick Berg's "North Dakota Way" is all about.

A young man showed up at a parade in Linton, North Dakota (pop. 1,020), on Thursday of last week (June 21st) and approached a campaign staffer for Heidi Heitkamp.  Linton is a small town about 70 minutes south and east of Bismarck.  At some point in the conversation the young man indicated he was unemployed, he said he was from Billings, Montana, and was staying with his brother in Bismarck for the summer.  He said things complimentary to Sen. John Tester (D-Montana), and said things complimentary of Heidi Heitkamp.  He was given a volunteer card by the staffer.

The next day -- Friday, June 22nd -- the same young man showed up at the Heitkamp campaign headquarters in Mandan, North Dakota, and asked if anyone was making volunteer calls. He apparently wanted to volunteer to make calls.  No calls were being made that day, so he left. On Saturday, June 23rd, the same young man showed up at the parade in Beulah, North Dakota, (pop. 2,900).  Beulah is about 80 or 90 minutes north and west of Bismarck.  The young man asked to get a volunteer t-shirt and was given one. He put it on. He was asked whether he would sign up to volunteer for the campaign and declined.  At about that point, this young man pulled a "flip-cam" out of his pocket, turned it on, and he got all up in Heidi Heitkamp's grill, asking her questions. I don't know what the questions were, but -- based upon what I've been told -- they were pretty much the sorts of typical right-wing garbage you'd expect to get from a script prepared for a fake attack "journalist" like Shawn Hannity or Bill O'Reilly. I'm sure you'll be watching the video some time soon.

He was asked to identify himself and identified himself only as "Josh" and said something about "Revealing Politics." He continued his bullying, antagonistic tactics, trying to elicit a response, following Heitkamp through most or all of the parade route. He wore a "Heidi" shirt the whole time he harassed her.  (See pictures herein.)

He followed Heitkamp around shooting video of her as she interacted with parade watchers, supporters and friends.

This is what Rick Berg's "North Dakota Way" looks like.  This young man -- Josh -- is what we can look forward to from Republicans in North Dakota for the next several months.

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So... who is "Josh" and what is "Revealing Politics"?

Well... Here's the biographical information for "Revealing Politics" contributor, Joshua Hursa:

Joshua Hursa was born in California and raised in New Jersey. He started off in politics at age sixteen, volunteering for his local state assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll in his office and his re-election campaign. In college, Josh served for two years as the Rider University College Republican chairman and worked for U.S. Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ). Moving to Colorado in 2009, he worked for Colorado State Representative Cindy Acree (R-Aurora) as both an intern and an aide. In 2010, he worked for Colorado State Treasurer Candidate JJ Ament as statewide Field Director.  Recently, Josh has worked for the National Republican Congressional Committee as a shadow for Democrat State Representative and congressional candidate Sal Pace (D-Pueblo). He served on numerous boards in the city of Aurora and currently serves as Membership Director of the Denver Metro Young Republicans.  Josh and his wife Dorothy and their newborn daughter Charlotte live in Denver, Colorado.

Revealing Politics

Josh's most recent "like" on his Facebook page is "Media Trackers."  I could write an entire blog post on "Media Trackers" and maybe one day will.

On Josh's "LinkedIn" page, he identifies himself as a current employee -- an account manager -- at "Sunward Consolidation Group."  

JoshHursaFB001

Here's Joshua Hursa's current Facebook profile picture (Facebook) --- >

Same guy, right?

Josh is obviously a right-wing hatchet man. He obviously lied, on behalf of Rick Berg's support system, to infiltrate Heidi Heitkamp's campaign. He lied about being from Montana.  He lied about being unemployed. He lied about supporting Senator Tester and Heitkamp. He lied about wanting to volunteer to make phone calls for Heidi. Nobody should be surprised that he's working to support Rick Berg. With a lying track record like this guy has, he'll fit right in with North Dakota's Republican leaders.

Contacted for a comment on this story, Heitkamp's campaign spokesman Brandon Lorenz provided the following statement:

"It's unfortunate that out of state trackers feel the need to deceive campaign staff in order to get video of Heidi. Maybe if Rep. Berg would take us up on our offer and agree to do more than one debate -- we've challenged him to seven -- they would get the video they need and get their questions answered."

Regarding Josh's employer, "Revealing Politics," like many of the highly-secretive, nonprofit, Koch Brothers Crime Family financed Fake News and advocacy outlets (e.g. "The Franklin Center" and "The Sam Adams Alliance."), it is a 501(c) nonprofit organization.  It was formed on March 1, 2012, and uses Denver attorney "Kevin E. Holst" as its registered agent. Holst is a lawyer at the "Sherman & Howard" law firm in Denver.  

When it registered as a business in Colorado, "Revealing Politics" listed its address as 1445 Market Street, Suite 300, Denver, Colorado  80202.  That address is the address of the "Hale Westfall LLP" Law firm.  Hale Westfall is a law firm worth digging into. Attorney and named partner Richard Westfall is currently "General Counsel for the Colorado Republican Party." (Source) Attorney Ryan Call, at the firm, "currently serves as the Chairman of the Denver County Republican Party." (Source) It is clearly a Republican Party outcropping.

Interestingly, "Revealing Politics" is run by Kelly "I live in a different paradigm" Maher who also runs a blog called "whosaidyousaid." "Whosaidyousaid" is a registered trade name used by an organization called "Citizen Media." (Source) "Citizen Media" is a "nonprofit corporation"  limited liability company that spent a bunch of untraceable money on billboards in 2008 2010, attacking Barack Obama and other Democrats, which until recently used, as its registered agent, a gentleman named "Peter Krumholz" (source) who is a partner at the law firm of ... 

 

wait for it...

 

Hale Westfall, LLP.  (Source)  ("Revealing Politics" changed its registered agent to "Kevin E. Holst" in April of 2012.)  I've tried to track down a copy of the 990 nonprofit tax return for "Citizen Media" in the usual places, but I can't seem to find it. Maybe they don't believe in filing tax returns.  Since "Citizen Media" is a for-profit company, its tax returns are private. It's unlikely anybody will will ever know who paid Citizen Media to put up the attack ads it bought.

The cool thing about being a 501(c)(4) nonprofit whose principal place of business is nothing more than a filing cabinet in a Denver law office is that you can keep secret everything about your organization, including your funding sources.  Here's what "Revealing Politics" head honcho Kelly Maher says about it...

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"We're a 501(c)(4), so we're not required to disclose our donors," Maher says. "We're not an express advocacy group, but an education and awareness group. But I can tell you that they're Colorado dollars -- a group of conservative donors who are interested in what we've been able to accomplish thus far."

WhoSaidYouSaid launched in December 2009, with Maher and partner Mary Smith creating what the former calls "a video-based blog format." Why? "There's a generation of young voters coming forward who grew up, as I did, watching Sesame Street. They're really used to processing information by video, and generally in under a minute."

Westword.com

Yeah.  "Education and awareness group" nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  

Let's be really clear about one thing here: This is Koch Brothers Crime Family money, again, coming into North Dakota for Rick Berg. It may or may not be the Koch Brothers themselves laundering their money through Denver, but it's certainly a member of the "Koch Brothers Million Dollar Crime Family."  When Maher says Revealing Politics is a 501(c)(4) supported only by Colorado dollars, you should believe that just as much as you should believe that her lacky, stalker Josh Hursa, is from Montana and that he wanted to volunteer to make phone calls to help Heidi Heitkamp's campaign.

Thanks, Josh, for making more clear to us what Rick Berg means whan he says "North Dakota Way."  He means lying, cheating and stealing to try to get ahead. He means stalking and harassing people. 

Thanks for showing us how slum lord Rick Berg and the thugs who support him plan to run his campaign in 2012.


Comments (10)add comment

big jake said:

...
This is reminiscent of the Nixon campaign. Remember Donald Segreti? I think he was convicted of something. He was labeled as on of Nixon's dirty tricksters. Similar today.

Law and order and blaming liberals and liberal judges for the decline of America including our morals. Sound familiar? It was an intentional ploy to divide the country. It worked as well then as it appears to be now but now we have the unlimited money of the right wing noise machine that is corrupting our sacred right of free speech. Money does that.

Back in the Nixon era, the democrats were as confused as we are now in regard as to how to take these evil fake patriots on. Better learn. This is going to be a long season.
 
June 25, 2012
Votes: +3

Chet said:

Coupla things...
First, Jake, I do not remember Donald Segreti. When he was doing his dirty "ratf___ing" tricks for Nixon (I just read his wikipedia page), I wasn't very politically active. (I was too busy learning how to read.)

Funny follow-up to this story: Josh's security settings on his Facebook page miraculously got locked down some time shortly after I posted this blog post. And we started experiencing a bunch of traffic from Denver.

Coincidence?

Poor guy probably feels like someone invaded his personal space. There's probably a strange, unrecognizable feeling in the empty space in his chest where most people's hearts would be.
 
June 25, 2012
Votes: +5

Big Running said:

...
This is an interesting story. Certainly, this is not surprising but perhaps a hint to the Democrats to start playing some hardball. We're not in Kansas anymore you know.
 
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

big jake said:

...
Chet, stop making me feel older. 1968 was my first election. The changes in politics in the ensuing years are beyond belief. As an aside, the death of Bobby Kennedy along with King had a huge effect on the country. Our national soul was crippled and we have yet to recover. Many of us had hoped that Obama could begin the process of restoring us and as disappointed as I am, it could still be true. The level to which the anti-Obama campaign is some evidence that the elites are concerned about that too.

To Big Running, if the Democrats would find their soul or a way to discover what they believe absent to politics, a starting point would be found. It is absent. The handlers tell them what will work and they seem to follow lockstep. We don't need dirty tricks but a sound belief and the ability to articulate it.

Picture this scene: Two rooms full of people, one republican and one democrats. Listen to the chatter. ( I have done this a few times). an objective observation will be clear. One group talks about themselves and how they hold the keys to the prosperity that they are entitled to---they work hard and have moral.(they seem to really believe that). The other room talks about how to make the country work for everyone. How to include all citizens in the political process. How to level the playing field. It is really a stark distinction.

The Republican group has a plan and money to carry it out. The Democrats have a plan allright-----today, sound like a Republican but claim Democrat principles, talk about tiny issues and an increased bureacratic fix. No foundational beliefs are discussed or attempted to be. It is a losing plan. Since 1984, and the hatching of the DLC, fundamental Democrat beliefs have been pushed back in the mistaken notion that if we appeal to the conservatives, independents(mostly disaffected democrats) we will get more votes and win a few. How is that working?

Internally, nationally and here in ND, those with new ideas or criticism of the party being to far to the right are met with the old machine politics and that voice is drowned out and most of those voices eventually leave.

It is not the heart of the Democrats that is the problem. In fact it is the solution. Couple the good hearts with the knowledge and understanding of ways to accomplish policy that will reflect our real beliefs and we will win. If we don't, the path is clear. The move toward a divided nation with a few having all the wealth and the rest of us with a group of institutional folks who support their own needs.

It is a scene that returns us to the Europe that we left to seek liberty. If you are still doing OK, you may view this as an exaggeration. If you are in the growing group---tens of voiceless millions, this is the reality that they face every day.

As of this moment in history, the Democrats hold the keys to whether we change this direction or not. I would say that this is pretty damn important. Are we willing to seek answers and follow a different path, the road less traveled.

It is a choice and I would urge all of us to think about this. No guarantee that our form of government is destined to survive. It takes effort and the foregoing of self interest at some level. Is it worth the effort? That is a question that we might consider asking.
 
June 26, 2012
Votes: +3

nimrod said:

beating jason to the punch
1. It wouldn't be news if it was a Democrat tracker.
2. Democrats do it, too.

Now Jason can't post his scripted comment without looking like a copycat.

In sum -- Republicans - loyal to the party, not to the country. Morality don't matter. Dirty pool don't matter. Facts don't matter. Ethics don't matter. You don't matter.
 
June 26, 2012
Votes: +6

Jason said:

...
Grammar don't matter...
 
June 26, 2012
Votes: -2

big jake said:

...
Jason has once again lived up to his standards---on the best day, and this is one, just sophomoric ramblings. I wonder if he really thinks that this is about grammar?

I must take my own advice here and not beat up on him so bad that he leaves. He does supply comic relief and an affirmation of the quality of the opposition. Easy boys, easy. Let's not scare him away. Don't you just love a good yuk?
 
June 26, 2012
Votes: +2

Patrick said:

It's nice to see this from the other side...
It means they are afraid the Heitkamp campaign will win.
 
June 26, 2012 | url
Votes: +2

nimrod said:

...
It has made an impression on me that Berg's first campaign ads are attacks on Heidi. That has to be a first in modern ND campaigns -- attack ads first. Or it means that he doesn't have the record in Washington on which to base a positive campaign.
 
June 27, 2012
Votes: +1

Chet said:

CORRECTION!!!
I need to correct something here. Citizen Media is NOT a non-profit. It is a "for profit" limited liability company. It's got to be Colorado's version of Scott Hennen's Freedom Force Communications, the Minnesota for-profit (unincorporated) corporation that set up the non-profit that brought the Minnesota touring bus into North Dakota to advocate for lower state extraction taxes for oil companies.

It's amazing how many different avenues these guys use to do political attack ads. We know "Citizen Media" -- like "Freedom Force" -- is buying these ads "for profit," but there is no way to find out who is paying them to buy these ads.

You would think this would be a criminal violation of campaign disclosure laws. You can't avoid campaign disclosure requirements by setting up for-profit companies and laundering money through them.

Can you?
 
June 27, 2012
Votes: +1

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