Community Columnists

North Dakota should raise the fuel tax

A fundamental truth about politics is that voters very often want contradictory things. This flies in the face of populist mantras about the wisdom of the masses - those chanted by the sort of people who insist we must implement speech suppressing policy such as Measure 1 simply because ...

SINCERELY, CITY HALL

It’s a priority of mine to open up the lines of communication, conversation, and collaboration with the residents of Minot and the community. As part of this effort, I will be penning a column to all of you every other week in this publication. I’d like to thank Minot Daily News Publisher ...

Partisan is a dirty word in local government

In the present acrid climate of partisan politics, it is remarkable that several legislators would even propose partisan elections for North Dakota local governments. Sponsors of the measure have had very limited hands-on experience in local government and since their rise came the political ...

What will be the legacy of the Legacy Fund?

North Dakota voters decided in 2010 to set aside 30 percent of state oil and gas tax revenues for the Legacy Fund. The trust fund was inaccessible until 2017, but now – and every two years into the future – the Legislature can use the fund’s earnings with a simple majority vote. So, we ...

North Dakota Legislature vs. The People

udging the bills that are introduced biennially, it appears that the North Dakota Legislature has a running war with the people. In that respect, this session is no exception. In November, just three months ago, the people adopted a constitutional amendment creating an ethics commission and ...

Keep public records for the public

There’s an effort underway by North Dakota counties and cities to no longer publish a register of taxpayer bills in their official local newspapers. Instead, they want to put them on their government websites, provided the county or city has a website. It’s meant as a cost-savings ...

To reduce abortions, perhaps less focus on lectures and more on birth control

Are pro-life Republicans interested in creating headlines or reducing the number of abortions? I’m pro-life, but I couldn’t help but be frustrated this week when the Republican majority in the North Dakota House of Representatives passed HB1336 on a 73-16 vote. That bill, sponsored by ...

The problem with journalism and politics is us

Between the BuzzFeed catastrophe and the Covington Catholic High School mess, I’ve been thinking a lot about journalism these past few days. This is a topic I’m not fit to weigh on, according to some. Not so long ago columnist Jack Zaleski wrote that I shouldn’t refer to my reporter ...

Homeland Committee considers legislative actions

"We got to get somebody down to that legislature,” asserted Orville Jordan as he burst into the town’s converted ZCBJ hall for a meeting of the Homeland Security Committee. All 12 of the other city electors were huddled around the old heater close to the stage. Orville was a retired depot ...

This is why N.D. Democrats can’t win elections

D o you know what’s the worst? When some joker puts on an air of intellectual superiority and asks you if you know what the definition of insanity is, as if you’ve never heard that one before. You try not to roll your eyes as they tell you it’s “doing the same thing over and over ...

Every king should have a moat

Back in the days of the Roundtable, the knights insisted that the king have a moat to be a respected member of the Council of Kings. Consequently, a tradition grew making moat ownership a prerequisite for being a king. Over in Washington D.C., the Republicans and Democrats have reached an ...

Cyntoia Brown clemency is result of media and celebrity influence, not justice

To all the would-be murderers out there, if you behave in prison, get your GED, and take some college courses, and get a few celebrities on your side, you too can be released. That’s the gist of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s paltry statement on the commutation of Cyntoia Brown, who will be ...

North Dakota is just months away from having no full-time federal judges

This is an appropriate time, here in the middle of the longest government shutdown in American history, to talk about government dysfunction. Our political leaders can’t get their work done, and while the politicians and their surrogates are all busy throwing pies at one another over who is ...

Open letter to the democratic congress

When President Donald Trump demeaned Vietnam Hero John McCain, Republicans rolled their eyes and said nothing. Democrats demonstrated political rage. When Trump talked about sexually assaulting women, Republicans rolled their eyes and said nothing. Trump dismissed it as “locker room ...

Happy New Year!

I love the start of a new year and the opportunities it brings. I am not one for resolutions, but certainly, use this time of year to assess. We all know nothing changes if nothing changes. Financial changes require goals, family discussion, and organization. Here are a few ideas to get you ...

Using the Legacy Fund to eliminate income taxes is an idea worthy of debate

I’d very much like to live without income taxes. That’s not just a personal desire. One of the biggest challenges to stability and prosperity here are labor shortages and an economy too dependent on commodity-driven industries. Agriculture and energy are great, but it’s a challenge to ...

We need to legalize marijuana, not merely decriminalize it

Last year a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in North Dakota failed at the ballot box. Despite this outcome, many of our state’s politicians recognize there is a need, and an appetite among voters, for some further loosening of our state’s laws with regard to marijuana. Enter state ...