Despite it being a terrible (and blatantly unconstitutional, in many regards) proposal, North Dakota voters approved Measure 1 in the election last week. I believe the measure should be immediately challenged in court , but probably before that can happen the Legislature has some work to do. Because in many areas the ballot measure’s language requires that the Legislature implement its directions as statute.
Much of the turmoil in North Dakota’s university system in recent years has been a product of the struggle by the State Board of Higher Education, and the Legislature, to get the state’s 11 public campuses to work together as a unified system. The NDUS is addled by parochialism, particularly at the largest institutions in Fargo and Grand Forks where arrogant administrators backed by powerful alumni and large hometown legislative delegations have consistently defied unity efforts.
Kylie Oversen, candidate for Tax Commission and erstwhile chair of the North Dakota Democratic Party, has made a lot of hay on the campaign trail over her opponent’s struggles with alcohol. She’s run two ads attacking incumbent Republican Ryan Rauschenberger’s arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol last year. Here’s the first one, which was posted online about a month ago. It features actual video from the arrest:
President Trump has made multiple visits to Fargo this election cycle in support of U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer, and the reaction from incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s surrogates in the press was to get bent out of shape about the cost of security. Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney even requested that Republicans reimburse law enforcement expenses .
A reader alerted me to this curious message on Facebook which tells voters they may lose their hunting licenses in other states if they vote. Facebook keeps a searchable database of the political ads which run on their platform. I searched for this particular ad to verify it, and it’s real . Paid for by the North Dakota Democratic-NPL.
For weeks now we’ve all been inundated with messages telling us it’s our civic duty to get out and vote. To a point, I agree, though I’d add a caveat. It’s your duty to understand the candidates and issues on the ballot first. Having accomplished that, it is then your duty to vote. If you haven’t taken that first step, though, it is not your duty to vote. In fact, it’s your duty to do the opposite and refrain from canceling out other, well considered votes with your random ballot.
Over the weekend a reader sent me some photos of a mailer sent out by the North Dakota Democratic party which was pretty clearly to look, at first glance, like an endorsement of independent Secretary of State candidate Michael Coachman.
There is scant publicly-available polling in North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race, despite the competition garnering national attention, and that’s been frustrating. While the polling we do have shows Cramer with a strong lead, it’s hard to hang your hat on any conclusions based on few data points.
MINOT, N.D. — There are very real ways in which we could amend state law to improve accountability and transparency for our state government. Disclosures for lobbyist spending could be more accessible. They could be more frequent, and more robust in their detail as well.
A few weeks ago two independent polls commissioned by media outlets showed Congressman Kevin Cramer with double-digit leads over Democratic Senate incumbent Heidi Heitkamp. One poll from Gray Television showed Cramer with a 10 point lead. A Fox News poll showed Cramer with a 12 point lead. Since then Heitkamp cast a controversial vote against the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and saw her campaign embroiled in scandal over the outing of sexual assault survivors. Now a new poll from Gray Television shows Cramer with 16 point lead over Heitkamp.