Community Columnists

$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 ...

Start the conversation

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and though colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in the U.S., it’s not discussed openly. More than 140,000 men and women in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2018 and 50,630 will die of the disease. In ...

Addressing immigration with crocodile tears

The lack of a clear national policy has been leading to hardship, grief and turmoil for millions of immigrants who came to the United States with a dream of success in the land of opportunity. For the past months, the 700,000 undocumented immigrants, brought here as children by their parents ...

Schools shouldn’t have excused students for anti-gun protests

This past week, the school walk out protests, organized across the nation by left-wing groups, were executed with a degree of maturity I frankly didn’t expect. Good work, kids. I’m sincerely glad you took the time to have your say, even though you’re mostly wrong. The kids promoted ...

Spend a portion of the principal of Legacy fund

As your State Treasurer and a North Dakota taxpayer, I am finding the recent news articles regarding the introduction of a legislative bill to spend dollars from the principal of the Legacy Fund very interesting. I’ll say it again, spend a portion of the principal of the fund … not just ...

If you want to restrict access to guns, the burden of proof is on you

I was recently invited to be a guest on the Good Talk podcast (an excellent program based out of Minot). Not surprisingly, given current events, our discussion turned to the issue of gun control. I’ve been fascinated at the way this debate has been formulated. My default position is we ...

There’s no gold in the golden years

Being in the vanguard of the aged population, it is my duty to warn the younger folks along the way about their unrealistic expectations of the golden years. Cutting to the chase, there is no gold in the golden years. The term “golden years” was created by an advertising executive whose ...

Considering guns, God and James Madison

"No one can interfere in my God-given right to guns” is a refrain often heard in the heated rhetoric between weapon owners and regulation advocates. Being that God has been dragged into this cutting issue of American politics, this claim becomes both secular and theological. Every time it ...

Heitkamp supports denying Americans their rights without due process

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp wants the government to be able to deny you constitutionally-protected rights not because you’ve been convicted of a crime, or found to be incompetent or dangerous through some legal process, but rather because the government has decided to put you on a list. I’m not ...

March 3 commemorates National Anthem

It was the War of 1812; a conflict fought between the United States, Great Britain, and their respective allies, primarily over freedom of the seas. The British took Washington, D.C. in August of 1814, then moved up the Chesapeake Bay to take Baltimore. On September 12, they arrived at Fort ...

What if school shootings aren’t actually an epidemic?

Seen through the prism of myopic and sensationalist media coverage, not to mention the self-aggrandizing and almost ubiquitous lecturing from politicians and media pundits and celebrities, it’s easy to perceive that America has an epidemic of mass shootings. Their narrative holds that ...

Senate race will be down, dirty as it gets

Congressman Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., now a wannabe U.S. senator, has never won a tough election. He’s been in only two that were real tests, both against Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., (1996 and 1998), and Cramer handily lost both. One of those losses was distinguished by Cramer’s odious ...

Ole makes a preliminary inquiry in heaven

"Okay, Ole Barfson, you come out now,” St. Peter barked gruffly (lovingly, of course) to a cloud that was floating by his work station as he was adding and deleting names on his high speed computer. “How did you know I was in there?” Ole asked as he brushed off stars that had ...