Author Archives: Rob Port

New North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum speaks with cabinet members on his first day of office.

Will Governor Doug Burgum Sign a Bill Instituting a $10 Million Tax Hike on Phone Lines?

Will Governor Doug Burgum Sign a Bill Instituting a $10 Million Tax Hike on Phone Lines?

Not once but twice during his campaign last year Governor Doug Burgum signed pledges to oppose increases in the state’s taxes and fees. In March Burgum signed a pledge circulated by a group of NDGOP district leaders which stated that he would “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes or user fees.”

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp during a visit to the Grand Forks Herald Editorial Board. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Senator Heidi Heitkamp Took a Mountain of Money From Special Interest Committees

“When I go to Washington, I’m not going to be for any special interest; I’ll be for the interests of North Dakota,” Senator-elect Heidi Heitkamp said in 2013 shortly after winning election to her first term in office. That’s an interesting goal for someone who, in the first quarter of her first re-election cycle, has

The Dickinson State University campus is seen in this undated Dickinson Press file photo

Bailout for Embattled Dickinson State University May Bog Down Efforts to End Legislative Session

Earlier today I wrote about some lawmakers in Bismarck expressing doubt that they can complete their legislative session on Tuesday. They already blew past their goal of being done on day 70 last week. Contributing to the delays in finishing up is a surprise Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner  dropped on his colleagues on Friday.

Sen. Heidi Hietkamp, D-N.D. David Samson / The Forum

Heidi Heitkamp Leaked Her Fundraising Numbers Early Because She Didn’t Want You to See Where the Money Came From

When a politician leaks information about their campaign finances to the media ahead of actually releasing their legally required report it’s usually because they want the public to focus on one aspect of the report and not others. Once all the journalists are done reporting on the leaked figures the report itself can seem like

Rep. Rick Becker on New Voter ID Bill: “All You Have to Have Is Enough Gumption to Go in and Get an ID”

“If you’re an actual resident I can’t imagine it getting easier,” state Rep. Rick Becker said of new voter ID legislation which passed earlier this week. HB1369 is now before Governor Doug Burgum and some, including the Grand Forks Herald editorial board, are urging a veto. But Becker says the legislation is prudent, and an

House Passes Bill Capping Property Taxes, Will Senate Follow Suit?

I’ve been writing recently about the political risk property taxes represent for North Dakota’s Republicans in the upcoming election. While this legislative session has seen a lot of budget headaches most North Dakotans aren’t going to feel much in pain. Thus, the political ramifications for the cuts are pretty minor I think. But property taxes

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

Senator Elizabeth Warren Would Really, Really Like You to Re-Elect Heidi Heitkamp

Earlier this year the National Republican Senatorial Committee announced that they were launching an ad campaign against North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, trying to tie her voting record to that of far-left Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. “During her time in Washington, Heidi Heitkamp has positioned herself squarely on the left, voting with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he speaks at his New York presidential primary night rally in Manhattan, New York, U.S., April 19, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

What if Those Demanding Trump’s Taxes Are the New Birthers?

Remember the birther movement? It was an ugly bit of American politics from the Obama era. In fact, our current President was a major figure in birtherism. The conspiracy, for the uninitiated, was that President Obama isn’t really a naturally-born U.S. citizen and thus was ineligible to be President. Feeding into the conspiracy was President

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