Author Archives: Rob Port

Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Suit Over Lawyer Dues Used to Oppose Shared Parenting

Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal of Suit Over Lawyer Dues Used to Oppose Shared Parenting

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has weighed in on a lawsuit aimed at the State Bar Association of North Dakota over that organization’s use of legally-required lawyer dues to engage in political activities against a shared parenting measure in the 2014 election cycle. The plaintiff in the suit, Bismarck attorney Arnold Fleck, originally argued

Members of white nationalists clash against a group of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Stop Comparing Violent Charlottesville Counterprotesters to WWII Veterans

Since we are incapable of having a political debate in this country in 2017 without resorting to partisanship and tribalism, the violent events in Charlottesville have turned into a national game of finger pointing. The various flavors of bigot who showed up, ostensibly to protest the dismantling of Confederate-themed memorials, are beholden of an ugly

ND Democrat Says He’ll Avoid Criticizing Trump in Campaign for Congress: “I’m Not Running Against the President”

Yesterday we got news that West Fargo Democrat Ben Hanson, fresh off taking fourth place in a campaign for re-election to the state House last year, is launching a campaign for the U.S. House (listen to incumbent Rep. Kevin Cramer’s response to that news here). Anyway, in the reporting on Hanson’s announcement, he makes a

U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions about his responses to the violence, injuries and deaths at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville as he talks to the media with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (L) at his side in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Audio: Congressman Cramer Says “Liberal Media” Would Have Praised Trump’s Words on Charlottesville if They’d Come From Obama

Congressman Kevin Cramer was on my radio show today for his weekly open phones segment, and I asked him about former state lawmaker Ben Hanson announcing a run for the U.S. House for Democrats. “He’s not my challenger yet because I haven’t announced that I’m running,” Cramer said, correcting the way I referred to Hanson.

Doug Burgum, winner of the Republican gubernatorial primary, holds a press conference with running mate Brent Sanford on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

State Water Commission May Have Flubbed Meeting Where Drought Relief Was Approved

Yesterday, acting on a reader tip, I sent in an open records request to Governor Doug Burgum’s office. What I was looking for was evidence that the commission had held an illegal meeting. This afternoon Burgum’s office sent out a press release headlined, “Newly appointed State Water Commission to meet next week, address issue raised

The West Fargo Public Library posted this photo of a display of LGBT books on its Facebook page, igniting controversy. Special to The Forum

Republican Lawmakers to Library: Put Those Gay Books Back in the Closet

Apparently because they didn’t have anything better to do, a couple of Republican lawmakers from West Fargo got their skirts up over their heads because of a display at the local public library promoting LGBT-themed books. From the Fargo Forum: The library mounted the display of 24 books on LGBT topics in early August in anticipation

Republican state Senator Tom Campbell, seen here in a campaign ad announcing his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2018. Via YouTube

North Dakota Republicans, Democrats Get Utterly Uninspiring Candidates for House and Senate Races Today

For those of us who enjoy horse race politics, today was an indication that the 2018 election cycle in North Dakota may be a dull one. For the Democrats, former state lawmaker Ben Hanson of West Fargo announced his intention to run for the U.S. House. The most pertinent part of his resume may be

Police use a water cannon to put out a fire started by protesters during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. November 20, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

North Dakota Gets $10 Million Grant From the Feds to Help Pay for #NoDAPL Protest Costs

In a print column earlier this month I noted that the State of North Dakota had applied, in June, for $13.8 million in funding from the Justice Department’s Emergency Federal Law Enforcement Assistance Program. The intent of the request is to request some of the state’s roughly $38 million in costs resulting from the violent #NoDAPL

Protest organizer Kristen Kelsch hold a sign and chants across the street from the State Capitol in Bismarck. A line of police prevented Kelsch and others from hold the protest to the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Capitol grounds

The Dakota Access Pipeline Has Reduced Oil by Rail Shipments by 20 Percent in First Month of Operation

The opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline, many of them political extremists with a propensity for vandalism and violence, told us that the line was a risk. The truth beyond those talking points is more complicated, as it so often is. According to a recent report from the North Dakota Pipeline Authority (see below), rising

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