Community Columnists

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 ...

Stop throwing pies

In this moment of American politics we spend little time debating actual policy. For the politicians and pundits, policy has become merely an excuse for a protracted national soap opera. A thin veneer over what is little more than a pie throwing contest. Take state Rep. Mary Adams, a ...

Bill’s rejection disappointing for N.D. cities

By the end of the 2019 North Dakota Legislature, lawmakers will have discussed, debated, and voted on more than 950 bills and resolutions. One bill that had great potential to positively impact the future of North Dakota is Senate Bill 2275. Unfortunately, the bill was given a Do Not Pass ...

We can’t love God and hate Muslims

Hate caught up with New Zealand last week when a white supremacist slaughtered 50 Muslims at prayer in two mosques. With a lapse in memory of history, we’re looking at evil hopes of a new Aryan race. White nationalism is sweeping the western world, casting hate wherever minorities appear. ...

When will they do the right thing?

History unfolds before us daily, and when this stained chapter is put to rest, history will not view kindly those who failed to stand up for American ideals and against this dangerous presidency. That’s not political rhetoric. It’s fact. President Trump, amidst a swirl of investigations, ...

We are too deferential to law enforcement

America’s vast military might resides under civilian control. The commander-in-chief of our armed forces is the President of the United States, and for good reason. Law enforcement, too, is under civilian control. Or it’s supposed to be anyway. Given the deference shown toward cops it can ...

Vaccination of children pays: Let’s do it!

The editors of the March 7, 2019, MMWR, the Centers for Disease Control’s flagship weekly on disease outbreaks in the U.S. and around the world, did something unusual. The same MMWR that alerted the world to HIV/AIDS in the 1980s or the go-to report on the outbreaks of swine flu, bird flu and ...

Look! History is repeating itself again

The old adage that history repeats itself because no one was listening the first time is playing out for us again in Washington, D.C., and Bismarck. In Washington, we are hearing a chorus from the new left to impeach President Trump – and do it now. Now these folks have good reason for ...

Those nanny state blue laws

Last week, Sen. Oley Larsen, R-Minot, did a victory lap celebrating the North Dakota House’s rejection of a primary seat belt bill. For those unfamiliar, a quick introduction... Oley’s the guy who tried to force Bible studies into the curriculum. Oley doesn’t believe in separation of ...

Completion of NAWS finally on the horizon

One of the most important projects in our City’s history is the Northwest Area Water Supply project. The State Water Commission began construction on NAWS in April 2002. Minot has long been a regional leader on water issues, and a key element of NAWS’ success is the City’s commitment to ...

Recreational marijuana coming in back door

All states in the Union except four, including North Dakota, have annual legislative sessions. But we wait until we have enough business for a session or problems go to Washington to be solved. By the time the biennial crowd hits Bismarck, conflicts have multiplied and the Legislature takes ...