Community Columnists

Economic Fear Drive Shepherds to Sanhedrin

"Speaking for the shepherds in the Bethlehem area, we want something done about this Jesus person,’ Isaac, son of Methish, demanded of the Sanhedrin, governing body of the Jews, as shepherds crowded onto the open courtyard. Fortunately, it was an outdoor meeting. “We certainly share ...

Oddly, no pitchforks being sharpened for UND president

The pitchforks are being sharpened and the torches soaked in kerosene, we presume. What else should we expect from the great state of North Dakota now that a university president has overstepped his bounds as a humble public servant? We should expect the angry mobs behind their keyboards ...

Hey Shailene Woodley, come back to North Dakota and clean up your mess

i don’t doubt for a moment the sincerity of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. They’re wrong, of course. Their concerns are overblown. Their notions about tribal land, while born of a tragic and regrettable history, are simply unworkable in ...

Books to read in unsettled times

Last week, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill requiring high school students to read “The Federalist Papers.” Exactly how this law will be enforced and who will be punished if it isn’t are matters of deep puzzlement. The goal of the legislation is clear enough. ...

ND Dems don’t mind losing on gay rights bill because it keeps issue alive

For the fourth time in the last decade, legislation to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity failed in the North Dakota Legislature last week. Not surprisingly that news inspired frustration and disappointment among some, including U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, ...

Managing the ‘People’s money’

As Treasurer for North Dakota, I am once again blessed to inform and educate the voters and readers of the duties of the treasurer’s office. It’s a well-known fact Senator Mathern was my opponent in the 2016 campaign and throughout his campaign, his message was to eliminate the office. Now ...

Shared parenting rears head in ND again, this time in Legislature

We’ve spent time in this space discussing how the North Dakota Legislature is ignoring the will of the people by carving up an initiated measure legalizing medical marijuana that was approved by nearly 64 percent of the voters. The point is not medical marijuana. How you feel about that ...

Close the state treasurer’s office once and for all

As a candidate for the office of State Treasurer during the last election, I highlighted the inefficiency and redundancy of the treasurer’s office. This helped start a conversation about the need to eliminate redundant government functions and close the treasurer’s office once and for ...

Legislators have themselves to blame for Measure 5 mess

In keeping with the spirit of the 2017 session, North Dakota legislators shot dead an initiated measure passed by a massive majority of voters and then ran it over with their cars, just for kicks. This is the Legislature’s way of telling you the people to stay out of the business of making ...

Medical marijuana measure forgot to legalize medical marijuana

The medical marijuana measure which earned nearly 64 percent of the vote in November is a mess. It set out to legalize access to marijuana treatments, but its drafters forgot to legalize that access. The measure, as it is currently written, sets out an arduous bureaucratic process through ...

Manufacturing matters to North Dakota’s future

Let’s face facts: North Dakota is a commodity-based economy. It always has been and always will be. Agriculture and energy are the pillars supporting North Dakota’s economy. These sectors not only drive much of our economy, they also, in many ways, define our culture and philosophy. But, ...

North Dakota is in SAD state of affairs

By last count, North Dakota has 757,000 people and by now 757,000 cases of SAD, also known as seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression. We don’t get enough sun. It is alleged that we get around 60 percent of the possible sunshine. This calculation must be made by someone ...

What happened to Burgum, the tech-loving candidate?

Doug Burgum was supposed to be the techy guy, supporting innovation and entrepreneurship and diversification to make North Dakota less dependent on the swings of a commodity-based economy. Remember when he said that during his campaign for governor? Here’s a refresher course, lifted ...

With violence and extremism, the left has lost the moral high ground on Trump

I  desperately want Donald Trump to be a good President. If he could unravel the harmful policies of the Obama administration, and take a wrecking ball to entrenched bureaucratic and political power in Washington D.C., he could go down as one of our nation’s greatest leaders. Or he could ...

ND created its own budget woes

The question in North Dakota politics this winter is — or ought to be — how did we get into this budget mess? One popular answer is that we spent too much. Another passes the blame: oil prices fell. So did farm commodity prices. Even taken together, these answers don’t completely ...

What North Dakota needs from the EPA

There are a few basic things North Dakotans and the nation need from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s choice to head the EPA, will make sure the agency delivers them. The first is to end EPA’s eight-year war against ...

Devil is in details of Property Tax Reform

Through the ages, the property tax has been denounced as the scourge of the civilized world. So using the words “tax reform” is like ringing the fire bell so that the Dalmatians can alert the neighborhood. Republicans and Democrats, governors and legislators alike seem resolved to reform ...

North Dakota – legendarily easy for killing people

North Dakota legislators sure want to encourage you to maim and kill people. Maybe they’re ticked off at the dip in oil prices. Maybe they’re stressed out from all this talk of budget cuts. Or maybe it’s a pitch for out-of-state tourists bored with more mundane activities like ...

Two ways state lawmakers can heal relations with the state’s tribes

The end seems nigh for the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to push forward construction on that project with the Obama administration had delayed with political maneuvering. That move has already sparked outrage from the often ...