Author Archives: Rob Port

New citizens take the oath of allegiance at a naturalization ceremony held at the New-York Historical Society, Sept. 18, 2017. A program by the New-York Historical Society uses art to help green card holders prepare for the naturalization test. (Devin Yalkin/The New York Times)

Survey Says Most North Dakotans Would Flunk the U.S. Citizenship Test

Survey Says Most North Dakotans Would Flunk the U.S. Citizenship Test

According to a survey commissioned by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, most North Dakotans can’t pass the citizenship test immigrants must take to gain residency in the United States. But that’s not unusual. Almost all of the states would flunk the test, according to the data. In fact, North Dakota had the 9th highest scores in

Plain Talk: A Prosecutor and a Defense Attorney Debate North Dakota’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws

On this episode of Plain Talk, civil asset forfeiture has been a hot topic in Bismarck. Proposed legislation would creating new reporting requirements for how law enforcement uses the procedure, and it would also require a conviction for a crime before any assets are forfeited. McLean County State’s Attorney Ladd Erickson and Fargo-based defense attorney

Protesters organized by the Democratic Socialists of America protest the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. (Gabriella Angotti-Jones/Copyright 2018 The New York Times)

Rise in Praise for Socialism (Including From North Dakota Democrats) Should Alarm Us All

For some reason there have been a spate of pro-socialism letters to the editor in the Red River Valley of late. A letter to the editor of the Fargo Forum this week derided President Donald Trump’s stand against socialism during his State of the Union speech by making the rather bizarre claim that “socialism and

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum in El Paso, Texas, Feb. 11, 2019. (Sarah Silbiger/Copyright 2018 The New York Times)

Republicans Supporting Trump’s Border Emergency Are Acting Like We’ll Never Have Another Democratic President

Even despite signing a compromise deal from Congress which funds a portion of his border wall priority, President Donald Trump has decided to go nuclear. In addition to what Congress has approved, the President announced he will declare a national emergency, using his executive powers to redirect billions of additional dollars to building a border

UND president Mark Kennedy, The Grand Forks Herald's person of the year for 2017, has been described as the "consummate professional" by Kathleen Neset who was the chair of the State Board of Higher Education when Kennedy was hired. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

UND Employee to Be Allowed to Work From Texas Got a Promotion and $30,000 Raise in November

Yesterday I broke news about an unusual employment arrangement granted to University of North Dakota President Mark Kennedy’s chief of staff. Under the terms, Angelique Foster would be allowed to work from her new home in Texas while collecting all of her current $114,000 per year salary and enjoying up to $25,000 per year in

State Rep. Jake Blum (R-Grand Forks) speaks on the House floor in favor of HB1264, his bill to raise North Dakota's speed limits.

Rep. Jake Blum: State Agencies Lobbying via Fiscal Notes Must End

This guest post was submitted by state Rep. Jake Blum (R-Grand Forks). Yesterday’s floor debate on House Bill 1264, regarding a speed limit increase on both interstate and multi-lane highways spurred a vigorous exchange from both proponents, and opponents of the bill. However, this debate soon evolved into a larger showcase of all that is

Plain Talk: Congressman Armstrong Takes Listener Questions, House Passes Bill to Eliminate Income Taxes With Legacy Fund

On this episode of Plain Talk, yesterday the state House passed a bill to eliminate North Dakota’s income taxes using Legacy Fund earnings. Is it a good idea or bad? Democrats are claiming the bill will make the state more dependent on oil taxes, but is that true? Also, Congressman Kelly Armstrong answers listener questions

State Rep. Craig Headland Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

House Passes Bill to Use Legacy Fund to Replace the Income Tax, Democrats Incorrectly Say It Will Make State More Reliant on Oil Taxes

Not so long ago I interviewed Rep. Craig Headland for Plain Talk about his bill to use Legacy Fund earnings to replace the personal and corporate income taxes. Here’s the audio: The bill, HB1530, would transfer Legacy Fund earnings into an income tax reduction fund. Over time that fund would be used to replace income

State Rep. Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo) speaks during floor debate over a bill to raise North Dakota's speed limits.

Video: Lawmakers Rip Department of Transportation for “Ridiculous” $50 Million Fiscal Note on Speed Limit Bill

Yesterday the state House failed to pass HB1264 which would have North Dakota’s speed limit on multi-lane highways to 75 mph for state highways and 80 mph for the interstates. I wrote “failed to pass” instead of “voted down” because the vote was actually a tie. It was 46 to 46, with 2 lawmakers not

Angelique Foster receives the President’s Medal from UND President Mark Kennedy UND Photo

UND Plans to Spend up to $25,000 Per Year Letting Chief of Staff Work From Home…in Texas

UPDATE: This post originally indicated that Foster would be working from North Carolina, where she is from originally. That was based on previous information from UND indicating that Foster was resigning to be closer to family. I have since learned that Foster will be moving to Texas, and commuting from there to UND. I’ve updated

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