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Letter to the editor: Government works best when there is bipartisanship

As many baseball owners see the season coming to an end with no playoff bid in sight, they are eager to waive and trade players and find new leadership for the team’s future. And, politically, so should North Dakota. In about 80 days the owners — North Dakota citizens — will vote to keep the same old team or add some new players with new ideas, energy and vision.

The Republican supermajority doesn’t see it that way. They will tell you we’ve never had it better. And, yes, the state’s economy is strong. Industry is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. It’s exploring, developing and producing raw and refined products. It’s making a profit for shareholders while creating new jobs for many others.

The problem isn’t what industry is doing. It’s what state government is failing to do.

Republicans have had total control of the state government during the last nine years of energy development. They now have supermajorities in the North Dakota Legislature. What do they have to show for it?

They have left communities begging, defending and then waiting for help to handle the new realities of crime, unaffordable housing, crumbling roads and deadly highways.

Republican supermajority leaders have shown disdain for anyone with a new idea. Republican state officials have scoffed at new, innovative ideas for pipeline safety, rail safety, increased infrastructure investments — not to mention comprehensive tax reform and early childhood education.

If this is how the Republican supermajority acts with only 10,000 wells drilled and a $1.5 billion surplus, imagine how they will act when another projected 40,000 wells are drilled, and we have another couple billion dollars locked away.

North Dakota Democrats believe government works best when there’s balance and bipartisanship. We don’t have that in Bismarck today. Even many moderate Republicans no longer recognize their party. These good and sensible moderates are increasingly marginalized in their own party by forces emboldened by the Republican Party’s supermajority status.

The surest way to restore common sense consensus to policymaking and civility to our politics is to elect North Dakota Democrats.

Fortunately, for moderate Republicans and independents, North Dakota Democratic candidates are offering creative proposals that balance the needs of communities and industry, invests in our infrastructure and people, reforms taxes and diversifies our economy.

This November, exercise your right to vote and join North Dakota Democrats in building a bipartisan team to lead our state forward.

(Valeu is chairman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party)