The Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control – you know them from their preachy, ubiquitous advertising as “BreatheND” – was an anti-tobacco state agency shut down by lawmakers earlier this year.
Last year I was talking politics with a Republican friend of mine, and noted with interest the number of Democratic voters Governor Doug Burgum (then a gubernatorial candidate) had drawn to the Republican primary ticket.
One of the luxuries of being a thoroughly marginalized and not terribly relevant political entity like the North Dakota Democratic Party is that it tamps down the amount of intraparty squabbling. When you don't have that many people in your party to begin with, when the struggle is to find candidates — any candidates — to fill spots on the ballot, it cuts down on the arguing. North Dakota Republicans have no such luxuries. A byproduct of their electoral success over the years is a sprawling party full of eager candidates anxious to campaign and serve.
Earlier this year I was the first to report that Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller was considering seeking the NDGOP’s endorsement to run for the U.S. Senate. That would mean challenging Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.
Ryan Rauschenberger, North Dakota’s Republican tax commissioner, is an extremely intelligent and competent man. A dedicated public servant. On a personal level, he’s a warm and genuinely nice person. Rare things in the world of politics. Which is why it’s heartbreaking to watch as he deals with alcohol addiction.
Brian Faison, the Athletics Director at the University of North Dakota, retired earlier this week. Only my colleague, Grand Forks Herald sports reporter Tom Miller, doesn’t buy that it was a retirement. In a column he opines that Faison was pushed out but the university is keeping it quiet. Miller notes that UND hired a consultant to talk with members of the athletics department about leadership. He supposes that this was a prelude to Faison getting the axe.
Fully aware that she’s in a vulnerable electoral position in the 2018 political cycle, first term North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been working on filling her campaign coffers so that she can effectively fight off any Republican challenge. But most of itemized donations from individuals to her campaign have been, by far, from out of state.
The political extremists in the anti-oil movement have promised to make Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement project into the next #NoDAPL movement. Given that the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline were hugely violent, and saw millions of dollars worth of vandalism and economic damage perpetrated in the region, the folks of Minnesota should feel a sense of trepidation. Last night Duluth residents got a taste of just how ugly things can get.
Will Senator Heidi Heitkamp back President Donald Trump on tax reform?
Here's one from the "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" department. Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed a law exempting applicants for state government jobs from open records laws during the early rounds of the hiring process. I was a reluctant supporter of the change. The premise for the reform is that North Dakota's very strong, very broad transparency laws diminish the number of people who apply for openings.