Community Columnists

Measure One to fight corruption

With the goal of protecting North Dakota governments from corruption, Measure No.1 has been placed on the Nov. 6 general election ballot as a constitutional amendment. Initiated by a citizen’s committee, the proposal covers campaign finances, transparency, lobbying, and conflicts of ...

ND’s Senate race far from over

Conventional wisdom says that Kevin Cramer leads Heidi Heitkamp in the U.S. Senate race in North Dakota. That might be right, based on the fundamentals, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to win. The U.S. Senate campaign in North Dakota is far from over. The fundamentals are against ...

Trump’s next visit to North Dakota should be to Indian country

"What have you got to lose?” That was President Donald Trump’s entreaty to North Dakota’s Native American voters during a recent visit to Fargo in support of Congressman Kevin Cramer’s campaign to unseat incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp. It’s an echo of a similar argument Trump ...

Talking Trinity: Trinity breaks more ground this week

A Breaking More Ground Ceremony for a new hetalthcare campus and medical district in Minot will be held Thursday. The groundbreaking for the new Trinity Health Healthcare Campus and Medical District will be at the northwest corner of the new healthcare campus and medical district property ...

Seeking justice, fairness in senate race

(Oskar and Olsok Thorvildsen, representing the local chapter of the World Association for Fairness, Justice and Equality, exited the elevator on the seventh floor of the state capitol where the Board of Equalization was holding its annual meeting to correct property assessments.) Oskar ...

North Dakota finances are a house of cards

We have the well-plugging fund, budget stabilization fund, abandoned mine fund, highway tax distribution fund, Legacy Fund, coal development fund, Center of Excellence Fund and a few dozen more funds listed on the home page of the state treasurer. I would also recommend checking the five ...

Heidi Heitkamp must think we’re all very stupid

When asked recently by The Hill newspaper whether or not she’d like former President Barack Obama to campaign for her here in North Dakota, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was blunt in response. “Nope, no,” the paper quoted her as saying. Of course Heitkamp doesn’t want Obama on the campaign ...

Winning elections by dividing is bad for society

It’s a fashionable thing, particularly in election years, to bemoan the tone of modern politics. I understand why – the word “obnoxious” may as well have been invented to describe desperate political campaigns raining down hyperbole and opprobrium on the electorate – but to describe ...

Labor and other neglected days of honor

Out of the bitter labor-management conflicts of the 1880s and 1890s evolved what is known today as Labor Day, passed into law in 1894. But it has gone the way of several other holidays, honored more for its shopping opportunities than recognition of the working people. Few spend Memorial Day ...

The absurdity of identity politics when identity is self-identified

There’s some weird stuff going on in the national Democratic Party, otherwise known as the organization North Dakota Democrats like Heidi Heitkamp and Mac Schneider like to pretend they aren’t a part of during election years. In recent weeks the party has had to address the problem of ...

A prison experiment unlike anything in U.S.

"North Dakota is conducting a prison experiment unlike anything else in the United States.” So says Governing Magazine, a nationwide publication for state and local government officials, in a four-page interview by David Kidd with North Dakota legislative committees and the Department of ...

Hate ugly politics and hypocritical politicians? Blame the voters

We are now in the heart of the election season. Early voting has made the campaigning during this part of the cycle even more intense. While Election Day is still months away in November, early voting in North Dakota begins next month. The campaigns are still trying to make their cases, and ...

Yard signs are grass roots democracy

Hold that hammer, political activist, before driving that yard sign into the ground. Your life and your sign may be in mortal danger. Not everybody likes those political poppies that compete with dandelions and crabgrass as the most hated of unwanted exhibitions on neatly trimmed yards. Most ...

Tom, forget impeachment and do good

om Steyer, a smart investor who turned straw into gold by converting a puny $8 million into $30 billion in 20 years in the stock market, is now spreading his wealth by sponsoring a $10 million campaign to impeach President Donald Trump. So far, he has gathered 5,000,000 signatures on his ...

Stockpiling other people’s money is a lousy goal for the government

In 2009 the North Dakota Legislature passed a constitutional amendment to create a fund out of a portion of taxes on oil and gas development. It was approved by the voters, as all constitutional amendments in our state must be, in the 2010 election. Today what is now called the Legacy Fund ...

Big ideas, big results

North Dakotans have benefited greatly over the last decade by the world class oil play in the Bakken. As revenues began rolling in from oil taxes, the Republican led legislature, along with the voters, put various funds into place to make sure that the money was both spent responsibly and saved ...

Fighting ‘Godless Communism’ in North Dakota

The Air Force plane drifted down to the tarmac of Osan Air Base in South Korea, sidled up the ramp and open the cargo bay. Fifty-five service members respectfully brought out the remains of 55 soldiers who had lost their lives in the Korean Conflict It took 75 years for them to come ...