Community Columnists

Congressional hearing on voter ID was a shame and a sham

You probably read some headlines last week about a congressional hearing, hosted on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, at which North Dakota’s voter ID laws were characterized as a calculated effort to suppress Native American voters. In truth the field hearing was a sham. A partisan ...

100 days of action

April 13 marked my 100th day as North Dakota’s congressman. This milestone offers an opportunity to look back at what has been accomplished so far for North Dakota and the American people. In my first 100 days, I’ve focused on issues that matter to our state. I’ve sought to help our ...

Citizens academies offer unique look inside police, fire departments

f you haven’t had the opportunity to participate in one of the Citizens Academies held by the Minot Fire Department or the Minot Police Department, I’d strongly encourage you to give it a try. The experience will truly open your eyes to what our Police and Fire departments do on a daily ...

Can democracy survive big money?

For the past several months, the political dialogue has been focused on the involvement of Russian operatives in the American democratic processes. Whether or not American politicians were involved in collusion has been the primary point of inquiry. Those who have suspected evil have talked ...

God is angry with North Dakota

Last week, as we dug out from yet another “bomb cyclone,” I wondered why it’s been such a brutal winter. I know, you think because I’m a tree-hugging liberal, I’m going to say “climate change.” Nope. (I got paid $5,000 from the Koch Brothers to deny it.) Actually, I’ve had an ...

Don’t let politicians deflect criticism by playing victim

The idea that President Donald Trump put Rep. Ilhan Omar in danger because he tweeted criticism of her is absurd. And yet, it’s become a talking point for Democrats up to and including certain candidates who would like to replace Trump in the White House. Trump’s criticism of Omar’s ...

North Dakota should stay the course on prison reform

There is nothing magic about being released from prison. When they return to the community, men and women leaving state custody bring with them whatever problems, habits, and mentalities they had behind bars — only enhanced by the stress of trying to rebuild their lives from scratch. ...

A look inside the Minot Fire Department

One of our goals at the Minot Fire Department is to continue to educate the citizens of Minot on our mission and to take advantage of more community outreach opportunities. We are excited for our partnership with The Minot Daily News that includes a new weekly version of incident reporting as ...

A Night To Remember: Christmas Day 2018

It was late in the evening on Christmas Day. The kids had fallen asleep in their beds after a long festive day of gift opening, food, and traveling to our house outside the city of Bottineau. Before retiring for the evening, I had several things that needed to be returned to the furnace room. I ...

What it takes to be president

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., has announced he’s running for president. I don’t know much about him, but every time someone new declares their candidacy, I want them to be president. I think the same of any person I meet on the street, and some dogs. It’s early, but I have a prediction: ...

Should the Legacy Fund be used only to grow government?

North Dakota House Republicans have resurrected an idea to use Legacy Fund earnings as a way to reduce and eventually eliminate the state’s income tax. This is a unique idea among proposals for how to use the billions we’ve tucked away in that piggy bank in that it’s the only one which ...

Small firms benefiting from a growing and prosperous economy

The old saying that a rising tide lifts all boats rings true given today’s growing economy. The U.S. economy’s historic boom benefits all Americans as job creation soars and wages rise. The economy outperformed expectations for the second year in a row in 2018. More than 2.6 million jobs ...

Spring: The sounds of progress are in the air

Finally, after a long, cold winter, it’s spring. And while we perhaps haven’t quite completely thawed from February’s bone-chilling temperatures, at the City of Minot, spring means it’s time for cleaning and construction. As the weather continues to warm and the last reminders of ...

What is a legacy fund?

We have almost reached the end of the legislative session and don’t know what kind of higher education boards suits North Dakota. Neither have we figured out what a “legacy” fund is. North Dakota has had one for 10 years and no one seems to know what it is. It was created when the ...

Adventures in legislating

I’m not sure if we’re evolving or in decline. In Pierre, S.D., where they’re aggressively vying for the title of “Dumbest Dakota,” Gov. Kristie Noem vetoed what she apparently views as recreational hemp. She did sign a bill mandating that “In God We Trust” be displayed in ...

North Dakota is still seeing a rising tide of anti-vaccination sentiment

"Measles Count in US This Year Already More Than All of 2018” is a headline which popped up in my feeds this week. It was not an April Fool’s prank (a holiday feels a bit superfluous in the strange days of 2019). The headline is real news from The Associated Press. “The number of U.S. ...

Fiscal conservatism should be a choice, not a product of cooked books

"Delzer has been selling us this doom and gloom since the start in regards to the numbers,” one North Dakota Republican state lawmaker told me this week. The Delzer in question is Rep. Jeff Delzer, a Republican from Underwood and chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee which ...

Not socialism but a national community

"America will never be a socialist nation,” prophesied President Trump in his Feb.5 State of the Union Address. He may have been wrong about some things in the past but this time he is absolutely right. Communism will never work anywhere in the world as long as human beings are human ...

It’s too soon to make Trump a saint

It was a good day for a bad president when William Barr released a four-page CliffsNotes version of the 22-month Mueller investigation, declaring there’s no case for collusion. This, despite 102 known Russian contacts — including a meeting in Trump Tower — and a string of documented lies ...