Author Archives: Rob Port

Brand new masks are handed out to people as they arrive to get free COVID-19 testing on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Moorhead Armory. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

The Mask Debate Has Jumped the Shark

The Mask Debate Has Jumped the Shark

MINOT, N.D. — We need to stop debating masks. It’s pointless. Local politicians in Minot and Fargo have passed symbolic “mandates” they do not have the authority to enforce – seemingly to satisfy the pique of a cranky old rock star who griped about it on Twitter. The language approved by a 5-2 vote of the Minot City Council literally says masks

North Dakota legislators discuss the process of allocating North Dakota oil taxes to state "savings accounts" including the Legacy Fund and Common Schools Trust Fund. Nick Broadway/ WDAY

Poll Shows Strong Majorities Want Legacy Fund Invested in North Dakota by North Dakotans

MINOT, N.D. — The Legacy Fund has a problem. The roughly $6 billion pot of money, created from a portion of oil tax revenues by the Legislature in 2009, is almost entirely invested outside of the borders of North Dakota. What’s more, some of those out-of-state investments are morally dubious, including financial backing for the Chinese

Signage requiring shoppers to wear masks to fight the spread COVID-19 is displayed outside of Vinyl Giant in downtown Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

The Politicians Blame Each Other, but Anti-Masking Sentiment Starts With Individuals

MINOT, N.D. — Campaign politics is the art of taking complex problems and boiling them down to simplistic talking points so that they can be blamed on your opponent. Witness Shelley Lenz, the Democratic-NPL gubernatorial candidate, making her opponent, incumbent Republican Doug Burgum, the villain in North Dakota’s October surge in the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC has outlined low, moderate and high risk options for Halloween 2020. iStock

Indignant Lectures From Martinets With Medical Degrees Are Not What We Need Right Now

MINOT, N.D. — “North Dakota’s doctors are fed up,” reports my colleagues Jeremy Turley and Adam Willis. Their story is about doctors ripping Gov. Doug Burgum for not instituting a mask mandate and not deferring to doctors when making policy during the ongoing pandemic. I’ve written before about the deference issue, and the simple answer is

Jason Anderson

In Latest Gaffe, Democratic-NPL Fails to Certify Write-in Candidate for Insurance Commissioner

MINOT, N.D. — For the most part, candidates representing the Democratic-NPL don’t do very well in North Dakota because the Democratic party brand is toxic in our state for many excellent reasons. But you really can’t ignore how incompetent the party is when it comes to the basics of running campaigns. The Democratic-NPL’s adventures in

North Dakota State University students line up to take pictures with the masked bison statue on campus during orientation day on Friday, Aug. 21, in Fargo. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Will the Election Cure Coronavirus?

MINOT, N.D. — Every day, we hear it. The incessant drumbeat about the coronavirus. New cases. New deaths. New food fights over what we ought to do and what we ought to stop doing. Do you wonder if the tone of all this will change after the election? Continue reading…

Dave Andahl. Special to The Forum

Port: Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem Rules That Deceased Candidate Is Somehow Still Eligible for Office

MINOT, N.D. — District 8 has become a political battleground this election season. That was true even before Republican state House candidate Dave Andahl died, tragically, as a Republican faction backed by Governor Doug Burgum and his personal wealth took on sitting Republican incumbent Rep. Jeff Delzer. Andahl and his running mate Dave Nehring defeated

Superintendent of Schools Kirsten Baesler and Underwood Superintendent of Schools Brandt Dick.

Plain Talk: Brandt Dick, Challenger for Superintendent, Says North Dakota ‘Going the Wrong Way’ on Test Scores

This episode of Plain Talk was intended to be a conversation with North Dakota’s candidates for superintendent. Sadly, the incumbent, Kirsten Baesler, opted not to participate, claiming she didn’t have enough time to make it work, though she did offer me a one-on-one interview later in the week. Go figure. The challenger, Brandt Dick, did

Kevin Cramer speaks alongside President Donald Trump on June 27 at Scheels Arena in Fargo. Trump came to the city twice to campaign for Cramer, who unseated incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in November. Forum file photo

Trumpian Obstinance, Backed by Republicans Like Sen. Cramer, Is Making Conservatives Look Silly

MINOT, N.D. — Perhaps Donald Trump’s greatest contribution to the Republican Party’s legacy will be a shift, prompted by his rise to the presidency, from a conservatism defined by a platform of ideas that annoy liberals to simply annoying liberals. With the budget deficit now measured in the trillions, and the bulk of his policies