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Port: Burgum needs to give up on declining his salary

Gov. Doug Burgum delivers his State of the State Address in front of a joint session of the 66th legislature in the house chamber of the capitol. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

I hate that our politicians, exploiting the populist mores of the electorate, are making a spectacle out of declining their salaries.

It’s not just the government shutdown playing out at the national level, part of which has included politicians (including North Dakota’s Senator John Hoeven and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, though not Senator Kevin Cramer) donating their salaries in solidarity with federal workers who are out of work. It’s also politicians like Governor Doug Burgum, who made a campaign promise during his successful run in 2016 to refuse his salary.

This is supposed to illustrate to us how down-to-earth, compassionate, and fiscally conservative these people are.

All it tells me is they’re a bunch of rich people for whom political power is compensation enough. Which, seen from that perspective, is not a good look.

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