Community Columnists

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 ...

Common-sense approach to health care

No issue touches all of us and our families more closely than health care. Access to professional medical services when and where we need them is a key factor in our quality of life. These services need to be available to all people regardless of financial position. The Patient Protection ...

Who expected Sen. Heitkamp to be in this much trouble this early?

Last week Senate incumbent Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign rolled out her first video advertising of the election cycle. Like many observers, I was surprised to see that it was a rerun. An ad featuring Heitkamp and her family goofing on one another which the campaign used in 2012. Why would ...

Fighting Russian fake news in upcoming election

"He said to his friend, ‘If the British march By land or sea from the town tonight, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal light’.” Well, I’m no Paul Revere and my horse is lame But I’m hanging a lantern all the same This time the ...

Heed Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Are you doing enough to prevent skin cancer? May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and with summertime just around the corner, it’s time to remind yourself and your loved ones of the steps you should take to reduce your risk. Skin cancer is dangerous, but in most cases, you can prevent it. ...

Let’s all be thankful Democrats haven’t been in charge of ND oil policy

"The for sale sign is out,” Whiting Petroleum Corp. CEO Brad Holly told the Denver Business Journal recently. “We’re trying to sell all our properties in Colorado.” That’s a pretty big deal, because as it happens Whiting, founded in 1980, is actually headquartered in Colorado where ...

Bitcoin bites Homeland Security Committee

"I got to warn you people that the community is just about bankrupt,” Auditor Orville Jordan warned the Homeland Security Committee as they jockeyed for the warmest metal chair in the house. For the daredevils, the ones with cracked seats were best. “We just got another check from the ...

National Park Week winds down

As National Park Week (April 21-29) winds down, many in our country are celebrating and thinking about our beloved national parks. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors come from around the world to enjoy the legacy and wonder of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. This is no surprise to ...

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 ...