This escalated quickly.
As Twitchy reported earlier Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was busy apologizing (sincerely, we might add) for a campaign ad which outed women as sexual assault survivors (sometimes incorrectly) and also used their names without their knowledge or permission.
The campaign printed names of "victims" without explicitly getting their signed permission. Many of the women say they never experienced assault.
This is campaign 101 and MAJOR legal mistake. Using someone's name or likeness in a paid ad is grounds for a lawsuit.
— Adrienne (@AdrienneRoyer) October 16, 2018
That news broke this morning, and now a group of women who appeared in the campaign ad have issued a statement saying Heitkamp’s political agenda has ruined their lives, and they’re searching for a lawyer.
Harsh new statement from a group of women misidentified in the Heitkamp ad: "Heidi Heitkamp's political agenda has interfered with, or downright ruined, our lives."
The women threatened legal action and said they have begun to "search for a lawyer." https://t.co/GMkUVvEkcS
— Dan Merica (@merica) October 17, 2018
As well they should. And they’ll win. https://t.co/u9OPFwTU8Y
— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) October 17, 2018
The women: "Survivors of assault who had taken care to avoid the subject were suddenly bombarded by questions asking them to explain to their loved ones why their name appeared on this list. Women who have never been assaulted spent the day reassuring loved ones of their safety." https://t.co/QJuFPqqN89
— Dan Merica (@merica) October 17, 2018
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp issued a personal apology on Tuesday after her campaign identified some women as survivors of abuse in an ad without their knowledge or consent.
The misstep has led some women misidentified in the ad to decry the Democratic candidate and question how their names landed on the list, with one group of women saying they are seeking “a lawyer who will take our case” because the ad has “interfered with, or downright ruined, our lives.”
The letter featured over 120 names at the bottom, but several women have come forward to say they were either included without their permission or were not survivors of “domestic violence, sexual assault, or rape,” as specified in the letter.
Heitkamp says she’s “personally apologizing” to every woman affected, but it looks like that’s not going to cut it.
Holy shit, she's finished. Not just this election but in politics
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) October 17, 2018
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) October 17, 2018
Gigantic own goal by Heitkamp. This seat is gone, and with it any reasonable chance of Dems taking the Senate
— Gregg Reis (@ReisGregg) October 17, 2018
— Derek Leo (@derekmke) October 17, 2018
Hard to overstate just how big of a campaign management mistake this is, never mind the political, legal and human implications. => https://t.co/0ECuOqswbi
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) October 17, 2018
She not only listed victims of sexual abuse without their consent, but the list also included women who were not victims of sexual abuse. Published their names in a newspaper ad without their consent. Wow. https://t.co/Hssu8rp0r0
— Foggy Anabasis (@foggyanabasis) October 17, 2018
— Blake Gober (@blakegober) October 17, 2018
I wonder if she can look herself in the mirror now.
— MATTMcAllister (@Catfatmatty) October 17, 2018
A wave dissipates with a few smartly placed blunders like this. https://t.co/WuaZo45xnS
— Jonathan Funke (@jrfunke) October 17, 2018
It's hard to think of a worse gaffe aside from like, murdering your opponent https://t.co/TwpJo4LUTa
— 🎃Spooky Name Here Justin Arnold👻 (@JustinOArnold) October 17, 2018
Amazing self immolation by Heitkamp. It seems like handling survivors carefully would be a top priority. Trusted the wrong aide or something. ugh. https://t.co/qFUuatqvmx
— Mark A Kruger (@musepolsci) October 17, 2018
Creepy Porn Lawyer on line 1……..
— Secret Squirrel (@SecritSqrl) October 17, 2018
That's a Sen. Feinstein-level blunder. https://t.co/X6GlgFrjUw
— Rick Moore (@RickMoore) October 17, 2018
At this point how does @HeidiHeitkamp remain in this race?
— Michael McAdams (@M_McAdams) October 17, 2018
Liberals think every woman is a victim.
— Elizabeth (@destiny_113) October 17, 2018
'This is on me': Dem Sen. Heidi Heitkamp apologizes for 'colossal error' https://t.co/86gEWYO2sb
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) October 16, 2018