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Getting Burgum on national debate stage crucial

I had something interesting on my Facebook feed the other day: an ad for North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, promising $1 if I donated to his campaign. The first 50,000 people to do so received a $20 “Biden Relief Card.” It’s a $20 Visa or Mastercard debit card. All you had to do was donate $1.

Ethically, I’m not sure how I feel about this. It is illegal in the United States to buy a vote. But this isn’t buying a vote. What Governor Burgum is trying to obtain is his golden ticket. That golden ticket is a chance to debate on the national stage. He wants to be on that stage in Milwaukee, Wis., on Wednesday, Aug. 23, for the first televised debate of Republican Presidential hopefuls. To do so, he will need to have received 1% of the national interest, or 40,000 donations.

The plan is brilliant. It raises some questions. Does it violate any election laws? How many people are only going to donate $1? How many people won’t pay the $5.95 processing fee? Well, me for one. I’m cheap and wanted to see if I was going to get a free $19 gift card.

This is not an endorsement of Governor Burgum for president. But this is an endorsement of getting Governor Burgum on the national stage to debate. It is crucial. Whether you agree or disagree with his politics, Governor Burgum being on the national stage and setting forth his platform and the direction he wants to take this country is important.

There are a lot of candidates in the field. Eight have already qualified to debate in Milwaukee. Governor Burgum, so far, is not one of them. Getting Governor Burgum on that stage is paramount. Why? The only way to decide and see where he lands against the rest of the field is to give him a chance to debate.

Every candidate has a press secretary and a team that goes over every statement a candidate issues with a fine-tooth comb. You test a candidate’s mettle by putting them on the debate stage and having them answer questions while getting pushed by moderators and other candidates. There is only so much you can practice under that type of pressure.

I don’t believe what Governor Burgum is doing violates any type of election law, and I’m sure it will be scrutinized by his opponents at great length. I’m also confident that he had a very good team of lawyers go over those election laws to make sure he wasn’t, and if it means Governor Burgum is on the big stage in Milwaukee, the idea will end up being brilliant.

On that stage, Governor Burgum can jump directly into the national picture with one good debate. A debate that sets him apart from the rest of the field. Or there’s always the alternative — he crashes and burns under the bright lights.

But either way, it is of the utmost importance for Governor Burgum to be on that stage; it is the only way we will truly learn his mettle and his platform.

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