Community Columnists

Sentencing guidelines would promote efficiency and uniformity

Twenty-two states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have sentencing guidelines for criminal offenses in their jurisdictions. Those guidelines convey a recommended range of punishment for specific crimes. Four of the eight states in our federal Eighth Circuit have them. North ...

With parenting, maybe less is more

Two things happened in the last week which got me thinking about parenting. First I saw “It,” a film adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel about a killer clown taken down by a group of plucky kids. The book version of the story was set in the late 1950’s. The film moved that ...

Regional FOP on city staff pay change in budget

This letter is written to you on behalf of the local law enforcement members and associate members of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Souris Valley Regional Lodge #7, employed by the Minot Police Department. The FOP is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the world, ...

GOP ‘outsiders’ really the ultimate insiders

To steal a line from the always-classy football player Adrian Peterson, North Dakota establishment Republicans had their best-laid succession plans run up their donkey last year when self-branded “outsider” Doug Burgum trounced the party insiders’ hand-picked candidate Wayne Stenehjem in ...

Don’t let local governments pass the property tax buck

As expected, some elected leaders in local government are hiking property taxes and passing the blame on to the Legislature. Lawmakers do deserve some blame. They chose to use a portion of budget surpluses driven by the oil and crop price boom of years past to buy down local property ...

Bail reform addresses overpopulation and potential injustices

There are a lot of new jails in western North Dakota, to address overpopulation. Williams, Burleigh-Morton, McKenzie, Mountrail, and now Ward County have built new facilities in the last few years alone. However, these jails aren’t just holding convicted prisoners – they’re also holding ...

Restore America’s competitive edge through tax reform

Actions taken by President Trump and his administration during his nearly eight months in office have been a wind at our back for North Dakota’s economy. Whether rolling back overreaching regulations that threatened our coal industry and our farmers’ livelihoods, providing relief for ...

Rewriting history won’t change it

In the present toxic political environment, it may be safer to write about abortion and guns than the statues of Confederate war heroes. However, every student of American history ought to be distressed by proposals to rewrite our past. The issue of destroying Confederate statues was ...

Meanwhile, in the real world, things aren’t so cynical

"Fifteen years ago, the internet was an escape from the real world,” Bloomberg View columnist Noah Smith posted on Twitter recently. “Now, the real world is an escape from the internet.” That statement hit home for me. It must have done so for a lot of other people, too, as it has been ...

Congress needs to kill the health insurance tax

The surly conflagration of partisan politics in Congress recently assured the death of large-call health care reform. Now, lawmakers are left with only two choices: They can continue to play the blame game or they can start fixing what’s wrong with the existing law. Enough time has already ...

Is a reinvigorated NPL what North Dakota Democrats need to win?

MINOT — Allow me to quantify the depths of failure the North Dakota Democratic-NPL party has achieved in recent election cycles. Republicans currently have a 38 to 9 majority in the state Senate and a 81 to 13 majority in the state House of Representatives. Democrats hold not a single ...

Some good news and bad news for the NDGOP heading into 2018

I have some good news and bad news for North Dakota Republicans who are anxious to maintain and expand their grip on elected office. First, the bad news. Tom Campbell, a state Senator from Grafton, has not inspired a lot of confidence since noisily announcing a challenge to U.S. Senate ...

Imperative that Congress should reauthorize NFIP prior to its expiration

The current National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reauthorization expires on September 30, 2017. As flood insurance is an important issue for the North Dakota Insurance Department, for our state and for the thousands of consumers in North Dakota who are affected by the decisions being made at ...

ND politicos are treating Trump like an election year asset

Will President Donald Trump be an albatross around the neck of Republican candidates in North Dakota during the 2018 election cycle? Former state lawmaker Kylie Oversen, the titular chairwoman of the state Democratic Party, seems to think so. She says fear created by Trump’s leadership is ...

Republicans raise crop of candidates

Like weeds in a summer garden, Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate keep cropping up. To be strictly accurate, these are candidates for the Republican endorsement for the U.S. Senate. So far, there’s only one of these. There’s lots of talk about others, though, because the ...

Deploying violence against speech, even hateful speech, is no act of heroism

Will North Dakota get its own version of Charlottesville? A Fargo man named Peter Tefft, a self-described “white nationalist” whose family made national headlines for disowning him after he participated in the Charlottesville protest, has alluded to possibility of a similar event in his ...

God okays slaying of the Koreanites

"Go ahead and nuke them,” Spiritual Chancellor Robert urged the Emperor as he wondered what to do about the Koreanite unbelievers who now possessed weapons of fire and fury that could reach his kingdom. “God chose you to be emperor; God gives you unlimited fire and fury,” Holy Bob said, ...

A proposed state law would have protected Charlottesville driver

On Saturday, nonviolent anti-Nazi protestor Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville when a car driven by a white nationalist slammed into other cars, sending them into a crowd. Nineteen others were injured. That driver, James Fields, Jr., now faces multiple criminal charges in Virginia, ...