On Friday the YWCA, a nonprofit serving homeless women and children, released a statement saying it had contacted the Berg campaign asking it to remove an ad called “Making a Difference” because it was perceived to be an endorsement of his campaign.
“As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the YWCA Cass Clay did not, cannot and will not endorse, support or engage in political campaigns or elections,” the group said in a statement.
Berg on Friday released a statement saying stations had been notified that a new ad was on the way.
“Rick Berg cares deeply about the YWCA and its mission,” the statement read. “We fully respect the YWCA’s non-profit tax status and this ad is intended to be a personal testimonial of Rick’s commitment to our community, not an endorsement from the YWCA. To address the YWCA's concerns, we have immediately notified stations that an updated ad is coming. The new version clarifies this is not an endorsement from the YWCA and Tammy Miller is a former board president.”
The content of the new ad is the same, but the following text appears as a disclaimer at the beginning:
“This is a personal testimonial, not an endorsement by the YWCA. The YWCA is a private non-profit organization. As such, it cannot and does not endorse, support, or engage in political activity.”
On Thursday, conservative super-PAC Crossroads GPS pulled an ad it launched just the day before that attacks Berg’s Democratic challenger for Senate, Heidi Heitkamp, on her spending record as state attorney general.
The ad accuses Heitkamp of spending taxpayer dollars on private planes. The Heitkamp campaign countered with a fact-check questioning the veracity of the ad and a letter to the station airing the ad asking the station to remove it from rotation.
According to the Heitkamp campaign, the planes were given by the federal government to North Dakota free of charge, and were not private, but rather used to do surveillance on drug dealers. Shortly after, a Crossroads GPS spokesman confirmed that the ad had been voluntarily removed from rotation due to a “content issue,” but that the super-PAC had not seen the letter and had not received any notice from North Dakota stations concerning the ad.