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 — Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp defended herself against a barrage of attacks over her stance on so-called "sanctuary cities" Tuesday, Aug. 21, even as Republicans acknowledge North Dakota doesn't have those immigration policies.
BISMARCK — North Dakota politicians and the head of its coal industry group welcomed a proposed Trump administration rule on power plant pollution Tuesday, Aug. 21, while a local environmentalist derided it as a "gift" to the industry. The Environmental Protection Agency revealed the "Affordable Clean Energy" rule Tuesday, which would replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan. The earlier rule never went into effect after legal challenges but would have required North Dakota to cut carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 45 percent by 2030, causing concern among utility executives.
BISMARCK — North Dakota voters will decide whether to amend the state's laws and constitution on four separate measures this fall. The measures range from legalizing recreational marijuana to allowing volunteer emergency responders to apply for red personalized vehicle plates. Voters will also choose whether to establish a state ethics commission to investigate politician malfeasance and to make it clear that only U.S. citizens can vote in North Dakota elections.
BISMARCK — A North Dakota lawmaker warned the state's $5.5 billion Legacy Fund could be targeted through the initiated measure process and called for setting a "precedent" for the growing pot of money Thursday, Aug. 16. Republican state Sen. David Hogue of Minot backs an idea to use a slice of the Legacy Fund, including its principal, for a loan program to help finance local infrastructure projects. He said it has become "incredibly easy" for groups to amend the state's constitution, including with out-of-state money, making the fund vulnerable.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said she didn't come away from her meeting with Judge Brett Kavanaugh Wednesday, Aug. 15, with enough information to say whether she'll support his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. In an interview late Wednesday afternoon, Heitkamp said they had a "wide-ranging" and "high-level" discussion that lasted about an hour at her office in Washington, D.C. But she'll watch his confirmation hearings in September before making a final call. "I think that's the true job interview," she said.
BISMARCK — The race for North Dakota secretary of state may become more crowded with a former lieutenant governor candidate launching an independent run Tuesday, Aug. 14. Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office confirmed Wednesday that Michael Coachman submitted signatures in an attempt to appear on the November ballot. The office is now tasked with determining whether he gathered 1,000 valid signatures.
BISMARCK — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will visit North Dakota next week amid some worry over President Donald Trump's trade strategy. Ross will be joined by Stephen Censky, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's deputy secretary, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer announced Tuesday, Aug. 14. They'll be in Fargo next Thursday, but further details weren't included in a media advisory.
BISMARCK — A federal appeals court said Tuesday, Aug. 14, the state of Minnesota owes North Dakota $1.3 million in attorney fees after losing a lawsuit over its clean energy law. Minnesota's appeal over the attorney fees came after North Dakota's successful fight against its eastern neighbor's law, dubbed the Next Generation Energy Act. North Dakota argued the law violated the U.S. Constitution's commerce clause by restricting electricity imports that would increase carbon dioxide emissions.
BISMARCK — A retired farmer from Max, N.D., hopes voters will send a "thank-you note" to volunteer emergency responders by passing his ballot measure allowing them to apply for red personalized vehicle plates. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Monday, Aug. 13, that the effort led by Norval Semchenko garnered 15,039 valid signatures, about 1,600 more than needed to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
BISMARCK — North Dakotans will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana this fall, two years after voters approved the drug’s medical use. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said Monday, Aug. 13, the group pushing a ballot measure submitted 14,637 valid signatures last month, about 1,200 more than it needed to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.