Community Columnists

The more things change, the more they stay the same (Part 2)

Of the four men arrested in connection with the burglaries and incident resulting in the murder of the officers, Arthur Buck, was the only one convicted of murder. The remaining suspects, convicted of various lower level theft and burglary offenses, served out minor sentences. After pleading ...

Sen. Heitkamp pretends at the accessibility North Dakotans demand

Tessa Gould is not a household name in North Dakota. Most of you readers probably don’t know who she is. But if you work at a media outlet which has published or broadcast something which can be perceived as critical of Sen. Heidi Heitkamp you probably have an intimate knowledge of ...

The more things change, the more they stay the same (Part 1)

Crime, and how we as a people respond to it, has been in our nation’s conscience since the earliest days of our republic. Our founders taught us an engaged and empowered people with a healthy dose of skepticism toward government is critical to preserve the peace. At the same time, they ...

The politics of ND’s big bad budget bind

Gov. Doug Burgum released his budget guidelines for the 2019-2012 biennium this week, and the tone of his fiscal message was grim. We’re in for more cuts. Burgum is asking that state agencies deliver budget recommendations for lawmakers, who will meet for their regular session in January, ...

Is it time to stop electing sheriffs?

The past couple of weeks I’ve been listening to the exceptional podcast “In the Dark” produced by Minnesota-based American Public Media. The topic of the podcast’s first season, first released in 2016, is the Jacob Wetterling case, but toward the end of the series is an episode ...

Smart trade policy – not tariffs – needed to support ND farmers

In North Dakota, we know how important agriculture is – we live and breathe it. Our families and neighbors work on combines before sunrise, prep for late planting seasons, monitor daily commodity price shifts, and make calls to get products to market. But low commodity prices, drought, and ...

There is a whiff of desperation coming from the heitkamp campaign

It’s mid-April, and the general election is still months away, so I realize invoking a word like “desperate” to describe any political campaign is a bit of a stretch. Still, there is a stink of desperation coming from the left side of North Dakota politics these days, emanating in ...

Raise Your $80,000 for the National Debt

Dear U. S. Government: (Please pass this message to the person in charge today. If no one is in charge, send it to Mexico. They can deduct it from the cost of the wall.) The Congressional Budget Office did more harm to cardiac patients than a personal letter from the IRS. The CBO has been ...

Tax reform renewing confidence in America

Taxes have been on the minds of North Dakotans this week as we have completed our state and federal returns to meet the annual filing deadline. Actually, they have been a topic of robust discussion since December, when President Trump signed into law historic tax reform legislation passed by ...

Charity that softens the heart

Working as a criminal defense lawyer has hardened my shell and softened my heart. I often say that I have learned more about the heart of God, redemption, forgiveness, grace, and transformations at work than I have ever learned in church. People always amaze me. On December 8, 2017, the Minot ...

North Dakota’s new spill rules provide a clearer picture of the problem

The headline read: “80 percent of ND oil spills wouldn’t have been reported under new law.” It accompanied a recent article by my colleague Patrick Springer. The subject of his reporting are new spill rules, passed during the 2017 legislative session and implemented in August, which ...

$15 minimum wage will stir 2018 election

An initiated measure will be on the ballot this year proposing to move the state minimum wage in three steps from $7.25 to $15 by 2021. Needless to say, the proposal will stir election politics. Controversial? Michael Saltsman of the Employment Policies Institute is already writing against ...

Listening to residents

When I was first elected to the North Dakota House of Representative in 2012, I made a promise to the constituents I represented that I would work just as hard for them in the Legislature as I did to earn their vote. I won this seat, which was long-held by Republicans, because Democrats, ...

Is it uphill against the wind for GOP?

Looking at the significant shifts in Republican fortunes in Pennsylvania and Alabama, North Dakota Democrats feel that it could be downhill with the wind to their backs in 2018, something like the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964 when an impressive number of Democrats were swept into ...

An open letter to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from an alleged snowflake

Dear Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, I was bemused recently to hear that you, from the sycophantic environs of your brother’s radio show, referred to me as a “snowflake.” Your brother, perhaps hoping he might goad me into giving his show some press by way of rebuttal, was griping about me as ...

It’s wrong to let political candidates pay for convention delegates

The state endorsing conventions held by North Dakota’s political parties are supposed to be an opportunity for activists from around the state, representing their local legislative districts, to endorse their preferred statewide candidates. They are not supposed to be a competition to see ...

It’s wrong to let political candidates pay for convention delegates

The state endorsing conventions held by North Dakota’s political parties are supposed to be an opportunity for activists from around the state, representing their local legislative districts, to endorse their preferred statewide candidates. They are not supposed to be a competition to see ...

March 29 National Vietnam War Veterans Day

President Trump signed the National Vietnam War Veterans Day Act on March 29, 2017. The bill provides for the U.S. flag to be flown on a special day of recognition honoring those that served in the Vietnam War, their own Vietnam War Veterans Day. Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day was first ...