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Bender: Oversight isn't in the GOP playbook

Tony Bender

I'll admit it. I'm prejudiced against dummies. Not all of them. Just the duplicitous dumb ones who think they're smart.

You see how this leads directly to politics.

I know I've been hard on Republicans, but it's their own dang fault. If they weren't so adamant about the 2nd Amendment, I wouldn't be able to shoot fish in a barrel.

For example, I watched Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-ND, playing Angry Birds on his phone last week during the U.S. House Judiciary Committee vote to hold William Barr in contempt. Slouching sideways, Armstrong mumbled his obligatory “no” vote without looking up.

Allow me to translate the body language: “I'm so cool. See, I did a legislation! I'm a big boy! Look at me! I'm indifferent. Why am I being bothered with this? Remember that time I tweeted about AOC? That was awesome.”

Harsh? Perhaps. But I can be as objective as the next leftie fake news guy. I'll unfairly malign Democrats, too. If Kylie Oversen wins her next election, I'm taking her down. In fact, I'm starting right now. She smiles too much. Someone that happy clearly hasn't suffered enough to possibly represent my interests. Too much optimism is bad for government.

I always vote for the person who frowns the most. If Brit Hume ever runs for president, I'll manage his campaign. I'm not sure if he's glum because of current events or because he has hemorrhoids, but more gloom would be uplifting about now.

If you're a fan of accountability, it was dismal session in North Dakota. Rep. Keith Kempenich, R-Bowman, slithered a last-minute amendment into a bill to hamstring Auditor Josh Gallion's ability to do his job — to expose mistakes, inefficiency and corruption in a state that somehow misplaced $262 million.

Now, everyone's claiming they didn't know Kempenich's amendment was in the bill.

I guess they had to pass it to find out what's in it.

It's just coincidence that Gallion recently revealed that former legislator Tony Grindberg, in his role as an administrator at NDSCS, helped steer a $39,500 contract to the ad agency where his wife is CFO. Meanwhile, Grindberg's stepson, Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, like Sgt. Schultz of Hogan's Heroes, knew nothing about the plan to shut Gallion down.

Gallion's audits have uncovered more than $100 million hoarded by agencies who still had their hands out for more. He also questioned the $695,000 the governor spent on airfare over two years. Doug Burgum, who came to Bismarck to reinvent the good old boy network, has become Gov. Rubber Stamp. He signed Kempenich's Good Old Boy Protection Act, presumably grinning like Oversen the whole time.

An audit “isn’t supposed to embarrass people,” Kempenich argued. Sure. We wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of government snowflakes with their hands in your cookie jar. Best to leash that RINO Gallion before he investigates the incestuous relationship between state government and the energy industry.

Doesn't he know oversight isn't in the GOP playbook? Republicans spent much of the session dismantling the ethics bill you approved. And they're trying to prevent you from bossing them around with more initiated measures.

You peasants need to just shut up and pay the bills.

Tony Bender writes an exclusive weekly column for Forum News Service.