Rick Berg Tries To Cover Up Shoddy Business Record, Misleads North Dakotans About His Long, Deep Ties to Goldmark
Berg Said Yesterday He Had “No Involvement” With Goldmark Firm He Helped Found, Listed As Employer & Served As Longtime Spokesman For
New Evidence Shows Berg Listed Himself as Owner of Goldmark Property Management in 2007
FARGO – Rep. Rick Berg, desperate to run away from a business record that includes a C- rating from the Better Business Bureau and fire safety code violations, left his job as North Dakota’s lone Congressman, flew from Washington, D.C., and unmistakably lied to North Dakota voters yesterday about his involvement with Goldmark Property Management. New evidence today gives even more proof that Rick Berg was involved with the firm.
“Rick Berg talks about his business experience on the campaign trail but North Dakotans deserve to know what that record entails,” said Brandon Lorenz, spokesman for the Heitkamp campaign. “Rick Berg founded a property management firm that has been repeatedly cited by the Better Business Bureau for bad business practices. Berg’s firm was cited for repeatedly ignoring fire safety codes in properties and failing to pay back rent deposits. Now, Rick Berg is outright lying to North Dakotans in order to hide his longtime involvement with the firm.”
What Berg said yesterday: “I’ve had absolutely no involvement in the company she cited in her ad; no ownership, no management, no employment, no involvement.” Watch him make that claim here.
But the facts just don’t match up. New documents discovered today, dated to 2007, show Berg cited “Goldmark Properties” as his employer on political campaign contributions. It is an obvious reference to “Goldmark Property Management” the firm Berg founded. He did not list “Goldmark Schlossman Commercial Real Estate Services” as his employer, the firm he now claims has employed him for decade.
Here’s the truth:
1. Just Last Month, Goldmark Property Management Cited Rick Berg as a Senior Vice President of Their Company. Last month GPM tried to hide Berg’s role with the company by taking down a page on their website that highlighted Rick Berg’s leadership of the company. See it here. [Goldmark.com, August 2012]
2. While in the Legislature, Rick Berg has served as a spokesman for Goldmark Property Management. In a 2003, the Associated Press described Berg as “Spokesman for Goldmark Property Management,” writing: “Security is being increased around 26 apartment and townhouse complexes in the southwest part of this city, after the theft of master keys Entrance locks to the buildings and more than 600 housing units need to be changed, said Rick Berg, spokesman for Goldmark Property Management. ‘What a mess,’ he said.” [Associated Press, 12/12/03]
3. For Over a Decade, North Dakota Media has Reported that Rick Berg is an Owner of Goldmark Property Management. In May 2001, the Grand Forks Herald reported, “Rick Berg is a partner in all the Goldmark companies… Berg, a native of Hettinger, N.D., is one of four partners in the Goldmark family of companies, which are related by cross-ownership among the partners… The Goldmark companies, founded in 1981, include GCC, Goldmark Property Management and Goldmark Development Corp.” [Grand Forks Herald, 5/12/01] In November 2006, the AP reported that “Berg, 47, was first elected to the Legislature in 1984. He is an owner and senior vice president of Goldmark Property Management Inc., of Fargo, a commercial property developer and management company.” [Associated Press, 11/14/06]
4. Rick Berg Identifies Goldmark Property Management as His Employer. In 2000, Berg made a $500 campaign contribution to Al Carlson and listed his employer as “Goldmark Property Management.” [Center for Responsive Politics, accessed 9/12/12]
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