Carol Jean Larsen, Bismarck
Public Service Commissioners Kevin Kramer and Brian Kalk have been caught taking political campaign contributions from the companies they are supposed to be regulating in their duties as elected officials. They are in violation of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. The Act is very clear.
Kramer and Kalk's refusal to acknowledge their political campaign errors and then simply return several thousand dollars in donations has now resulted in a law suit. The Public Service Commission, where Kramer and Kalk sit as two of the three commissioners, has now hired an out-of-state law firm to defend Kramer and Kalk. Does this make any sense? Taxpayer dollars will be spent to defend elected officials for their political campaign related problems.
Kramer and Kalk should either be paying for their own legal representation or perhaps knock on the door of the N.D. Republican Party. Or, of course, they could just do the right thing and return the inappropriate campaign donations.