Community Columnists

Heidi Heitkamp’s hypocritical hate machine

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp wins elections by inspiring hate for her opponents. That’s what she did in 2012 when her surrogates branded her opponent Rick Berg as a “slumlord” while the national Democratic apparatus ran ads which suggested he “attacks women.” Heitkamp is attempting the ...

Ballot Commission offers modest changes

The 19-member Initiated and Referred Measures Study Commission has passed four recommendations to the Legislative Management Committee for further action before the upcoming 2019 legislative session. The first proposal calls for inclusion of a fiscal impact of the proposed initiated or ...

Deep pocketed interests routinely buy their way onto North Dakota’s ballot

Criticize North Dakota’s initiated measure laws, the process whereby citizens can collect signatures and enact policy directly through a vote, and you’ll be targeted for scorn and personal attacks. There are many in North Dakota and beyond who believe that initiated measures are a purer ...

Primary voting trends continue to be ugly for ND Democrats

There was a lot griping about the turnout on primary day. While nobody should be happy about less than 20 percent of the eligible electorate turning out to vote the voting numbers were in line with what we see historically. The 2018 primary saw more votes than the primary in the last ...

June flotsam & jetsam

It’s hard to determine what the best part of June in Minot is. Is it the weather? Is it the outdoor opportunities for fun now that the weather is more moderate? Is it the close time proximity to the North Dakota State Fair? But with anticipation of all these things on many people’s minds, ...

The King can do no wrong

It was a great day of celebration in the shire when Senior Jester Muckle started the apprentice training of Junior Jester Macduf, chosen by the King to be the head jester of the realm. From their vantage point in Witherdumb Castle, they could see the colored flags flapping in the wind, the ...

Should the state have the power to compel us to live?

According to law enforcement reports, on June 1 a Fargo couple put their will on their kitchen table and then went into their garage to attempt suicide by inhaling carbon monoxide fumes. That didn’t work for Louis and Ila Averson, both 85 and suffering from poor health, so Louis got his ...

Carrot rebellion stirs Homeland Security Committee

It was an unhappy group of campers that gathered in the community hall for the spring conference of the Homeland Security Committee. The sun was shining but they were not. Chairperson Ork Dorken didn’t even get a second bang of his Coke bottle before Orville Jordan, the retired Soo Line ...

Episodes of a sprawling national reality show

Does it really matter if the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles visit the White House or not? When President Donald Trump canceled the visit this week it was already clear that most of the players wouldn’t be coming, their absence a protest against Trump himself and his ...

Gutting BLM methane rule hurts ND taxpayers

Every year millions of taxpayer dollars are lost on wasted natural gas in North Dakota and other western states. With the country facing increasing debt and growing deficits this is no time to give away billions of dollars to profitable businesses. The Department of the Interior administers ...

Heitkamp’s path to victory narrows

The 2018 election cycle was always going to be a high wire act for incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. An exercise in peeling off enough Republican voters from her Republican opponent to win without hemorrhaging so many voters from her liberal base that she loses. For added difficulty, Heitkamp ...

D-Day and The Fallen 9000

The World War II invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, code named Operation Overlord, ranks as one of the boldest and most successful large-scale invasions in military history. Approximately 160,000 American, British, and Canadian forces crossed the English Channel with the support of 7,000 ...

Human decency should trump politics

Will Gardner’s decision to halt his campaign as the Republican candidate for Secretary of State has revealed a lot of ugliness in North Dakota’s political circles. Gardner, for those of you who don’t know, was convicted of a disorderly conduct charge in 2006. His crime was sneaking ...

Enticing doctors’ spouses to small towns

"Well, the mayor has appointed us as the Commission to Attract a New Doctor,” Harry “Butch” Wayssen announced to the group gathered in the city library to deliberate. The fifth member, Marilyn Dosset, was late, waiting for her oatmeal-coconut cookies to finish baking. “My new friend, ...

The public deserves better vetting of candidates

On my radio show Monday, as I discussed Republican Will Gardner’s departure from the Secretary of State race, I tried to remember the last time a Democrat had won an election for an executive branch office North Dakota. I couldn’t do it. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was the last Democrat to win ...

Ethics of the 1900s no longer good enough

In a study of state governments, the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan organization of investigative journalists, gave North Dakota a big fat “F” for its failure to protect the integrity of its governmental processes. The Center looked at lobbyists, conflicts of interest, ...

Senate must put aside partisan politics and confirm Gina Haspel

President Trump has nominated one of the most qualified professionals in Washington to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As her confirmation proceeds in the Senate, those who do not support CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel are putting partisan politics ahead of choosing the ...

Critics cry shut up, but my criticism on senator is sound

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her network of operatives and supporters are out to make me Public Enemy No. 1. The problem is that the senator’s approval numbers are tanking ahead of what promises to be the most vigorously contested election of her life. The solution, it seems, is to paint yours ...

Cramer’s admission is Hamm-handed

You would hope a reluctant candidate for the U.S. Senate would be swayed to run for such an important office, first of all, by the unrelenting drive to serve citizens of his state. Failing that, if the candidate was still undecided, perhaps the final factor in running for Senate would be to ...