John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — The Koch political network's decision to publicly give the cold shoulder to Rep. Kevin Cramer this week doesn't mean out-of-state groups aren't raining cash on North Dakota's Senate race. Beyond the millions the candidates have raised themselves — Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp maintains a wide advantage over her Republican opponent — outside spending in support or opposition of the candidates is ramping up. Outside spending is made independently of candidates' committees and includes party committees and super PACs.
BISMARCK — In what one justice admitted was a “surprising outcome,” the North Dakota Supreme Court ordered a recount of June primary ballots Friday, Aug. 3, after the Libertarian candidate for secretary of state failed to garner enough votes to extend his campaign to November.
BISMARCK — All three members of North Dakota's congressional delegation will negotiate a new farm bill with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Sen. John Hoeven announcing their conference committee appointments Wednesday, Aug. 1. Heitkamp and Hoeven are both members of the Senate's agriculture committee and will be two of nine senators on the farm bill conference committee. The multi-year bill includes everything from nutrition assistance to crop insurance and commodity supports. The current farm bill is set to expire at the end of September.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven said he’ll support Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court after meeting with him Wednesday, Aug. 1, as Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced she would meet the nominee in two weeks. Hoeven said Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, is “highly qualified” and has a “deep respect for the Constitution.”
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Supreme Court's ruling resolving the dispute between Gov. Doug Burgum and the Legislature will have implications beyond the issues raised in the court case, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Tuesday, July 31.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Supreme Court determined four out of five of Gov. Doug Burgum's vetoes challenged by state lawmakers are ineffective in a long-awaited decision issued Monday, July 30. But in a defeat for the Legislature, the court also said parts of two other bills were unconstitutional because they gave an interim legislative committee too much power. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who defended Burgum, welcomed the decision in a statement released late Monday afternoon.
BISMARCK — Profits at the North Dakota Mill and Elevator soared to $14.2 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, marking the third-largest haul in the operation's nearly 100-year history, according to information presented to state regulators Friday, July 27. The report showed a 46 percent jump over the previous fiscal year's profits. The state-owned flour mill hit a record $16.7 million in fiscal year 2015 before dipping below $10 million in each of the next two years.
BISMARCK — Five years after North Dakota lawmakers set aside millions in oil and gas tax revenues for conservation projects, leaders of outdoor groups said the program has been successful. North Dakota's Outdoor Heritage Fund, created amid booming state revenues thanks to rapid oil development, has helped finance 130 projects with $37 million through 11 grant rounds. The three-member Industrial Commission is preparing to consider another round of applications.
BISMARCK — Nearly a decade removed from Congress, former North Dakota Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy is eyeing a more permanent return to his home state — eventually. Pomeroy and his wife, Mary, split time between the Washington, D.C., area, where he works at a law firm focusing on "public policy advocacy," and North Dakota. The two have a home near family in Grand Forks, where Mary still fills in as a substitute teacher.
BISMARCK — Backed by rosy oil tax figures, North Dakota Republican lawmakers unveiled a $280 million plan to fund infrastructure projects outside of the state's oil patch Thursday, July 26. The proposal would add three "buckets" to the existing oil tax distribution structure. A $115 million pool would be dedicated to infrastructure in cities and another one would be set aside for counties and townships, while airports would have a $50 million bucket.