At a recent town hall event a number of people stood to complain about being intimidated by armed federal agents who come to discuss conservation easements on their property.
Over the weekend my colleague John Hageman wrote an article about the third party attack ads which are flooding North Dakota’s Senate race now, something which will be the case until November.
MINOT, N.D.—In 2009 the North Dakota Legislature passed a constitutional amendment to create a fund out of a portion of taxes on oil and gas development. It was approved by the voters, as all constitutional amendments in our state must be, in the 2010 election. Today what is now called the Legacy Fund has a balance of going on $5 billion and is widely praised by newspaper editors and politicians and gadflies from around the state as one of the wisest policy moves our state has made in decades.
Recently you may have seen a fundraising pitch from a group calling themselves the Conservative Campaign Committee launching a project they’re calling Operation North Dakota. The goal of the operation, per their release on the subject , is to defeat incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp, but her opponent Kevin Cramer doesn’t want their help.
When President Donald Trump decided to do something about something Republicans and Democrats alike acknowledge is a problem – China’s unfair and often illegal trade practices – it created blow back in the form of China using tariffs to attack products Americans export to that country. Soybeans a notable example from our region.
Yesterday the Koch brothers network of political organizations made national headlines when they decided to announce that the wouldn’t be supporting Congressman Kevin Cramer’s bid to unseat Democratic Senate incumbent Heidi Heitkamp. Tim Phillips, head of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity group, even went so far as to call Cramer an “adversary.”
MINOT, N.D.—There are some who defend initiated ballot measures, the method through which distracted voters decide complicated policy questions, as some sort of an egalitarian ideal. They want us to believe that legislating at the ballot box is the purest form of the people doing the people's business. Something on a higher moral order than what is produced by all those greedy politicians in the North Dakota Legislature. The ballot measure aficionados gloss over some glaring problems. Like voter apathy.
This probably doesn’t matter very much: COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The political groups affiliated with billionaire conservative businessman Charles Koch will not support Rep. Kevin Cramer’s (R-N.D.) bid against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), citing Cramer’s record on spending.
It’s ironic that when Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s talk radio host brother really wants to reach an audience he turns to my employers at the Forum Communications Company.
MINOT, N.D.—The Shirky Principle, named for technology writer Clay Shirky, holds that institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. We could adapt the saying for politics by arguing politicians do not want to solve problems which are politically advantageous to them. It is through that lens we should see North Dakota U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's carping about the Trump administration's handling of trade issues.