On Sunday some dummy wrote a print column about how North Dakota’s Democrats should avoid hubris when it comes to the U.S. Senate race this year. That dummy was me, and my point was that 2018 Democrats talking about Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s chances of re-election have begun to sound like Republicans in 2012 talking about Rick Berg’s chances of beating Heitkamp.
Back in 2012 I requested from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office an opinion on open meetings law as it applied to a supposedly public meeting of North Dakota State’s Technology and Research Park which was held in Minneapolis. How in the world can a meeting be open to North Dakotans if it is held hundreds of miles outside of North Dakota? Unfortunately, Stenehjem’s office has found that the meeting was in keeping with the law. You can read the whole opinion below, but here’s an excerpt:
The full audio of today’s radio show is below. You can tune in weekdays from 12-2pm on WDAY 970 AM and 93.1 FM in the Fargo area or subscribe to the podcast and have the audio delivered directly to your device daily. Congressman Kevin Cramer was on today for his weekly open phones segment, taking questions from the audience, and one of those questions came from Twitter: How is a party that has such strong control in the state unable to find a candidate capable of beating Heidi Heitkamp (including yourself).
When Governor Doug Burgum went to the Super Bowl over the weekend his tickets were paid for by Xcel Energy. A utility company heavily regulated by the state. As I wrote earlier this week, Burgum should have paid for his own ticket . That would have been the right thing to do.
Some interesting notes from the world of North Dakota politics as the 2018 political cycle begins in earnest. Many political observers have been telling me that incumbent Secretary of State Al Jaeger may be helped by the news that Fargo Democrat Josh Boschee has announced a campaign for the office. Jaeger is widely seen as having become less efficient and effective at his job. He's been in office for a long, long time. He was first elected in 1992, the same year Bill Clinton was elected to his first term in office and Jay Leno took over The Tonight Show.
According to a Statement of Candidacy filed with the FEC (see below), a woman named Tiffany Abentroth is running for the U.S. House in North Dakota, a race that would pit her against three-term incumbent Republican Kevin Cramer for the NDGOP nomination. Former state lawmaker Ben Hanson is currently the only announced U.S. House candidate for North Dakota Democrats. But who is Abentroth? Nobody I’ve spoken to in North Dakota political circles has heard of her before. I’ve been writing about politics in North Dakota for going on 15 years now and I’ve never heard of her either.
Governor Doug Burgum attended the Super Bowl this weekend, and Xcel Energy picked up the tab. Burgum’s staff tried to cover the trip with a veneer of official duty. “Nowatzki says Burgum will use the opportunity to talk to the company about ‘improving services and infrastructure for North Dakota,'” the Associated Press reported .
I've been having a lot of conversations with liberal friends of mine about North Dakota's 2018 Senate race. They're awfully confident. So much so they remind me of another group of people. Republicans in the 2012 election cycle (including this right-of-center observer, I must sheepishly admit). We were so very confident back then that Rick Berg, fresh off the 2010 cycle where he upset 10-term incumbent Earl Pomeroy for North Dakota's at-large U.S. House seat, would steamroll Heidi Heitkamp and flip that Senate seat to Republicans too.
It's the same Tom Campbell, in case you didn’t get the joke. I’m probably not as funny as I think I am. Anyway, this is not so good: Republican state Sen. Tom Campbell's campaign says he's raised more than $1 million for his U.S. Senate campaign, with nearly three-quarters of it coming from himself.
Governor Doug Burgum put a period at the end of the sentence of his first year in office by delivering a ( special interest sponsored ) State of the State address on the Minot State University campus. But according to Morning consult, which polls the popularity of governors on a quarterly interval, during that first year Burgum’s approval among North Dakotans has fallen.