Author Archives: Rob Port

A group of #NoDAPL protesters face off with police near the construction area for the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Video: #NoDAPL Protesters Attack Police Line at Drill Pad

Video: #NoDAPL Protesters Attack Police Line at Drill Pad

In renewed and violent protests a group of what appears to be a couple dozen #NoDAPL activists attacked a police line near the construction zone for the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline has been largely completed up to the crossing of the Lake Oahe reservoir, and preparations have been made to bore under that body

Fargo businessman Doug Burgum during a debate with Wayne Stenehjem at Avalon Events Center in Fargo on Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Rick Abbott / The Forum

Burgum Cuts Dalrymple’s Budget by Another $159 Million

Last month, shortly before leaving office, former Governor Jack Dalrymple delivered an executive budget to the Legislature. Which is a little unusual, that the outgoing governor would get to write a budget for the first two years of the incoming governor’s term in office. But it is what it is. Anyway, since his State of

State Rep. Lawrence Klemin, a Republican from Bismarck, requests that his proposed internet censorship legislation be withdrawn.

No Time Is Ever the Right Time to Propose Censorship Legislation

My Sunday newspaper column was about a collection of embarrassing incidents here at the dawn of the 2017 legislative session, among them the introduction (and subsequent withdrawal) of a bipartisan internet censorship bill which would have required a content filter for every internet capable device sold in our state. The legislation – which would have

North Dakota Public Service Commission members (from left) Randy Christmann, Julie Fedorchak and Brian Kalk listen during a work session on the proposed Brady Wind Energy Center in Stark County on Friday, May 6, 2016, at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Photo by Mike Nowatzki / Forum News Service

Legislation Seeks to Crack Down on Government Competing With the Private Sector

Should the government be in competition with the private sector? I think the immediate answer most would have to that question would be “no,” but it happens a lot. The government often provides services, both for itself and the public, which are also provided by the private sector. Finding the appropriate level of taxpayer-funded services

A truck crosses the Long X Bridge on U.S. Highway 85 south of Watford City, N.D., Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. Kathleen J. Bryan/Forum News Service

NDDOT Attaches Ridiculous Fiscal Note to Bill to Increase the Speed Limit

Before the Legislature in Bismarck for this session are two bills to increase North Dakota’s speed limits. One is SB2057, introduced by Senator Lonnie Laffen, a Republican from Grand Forks, to raise the speed limit on the state’s interstates to 80mph. The other is HB1184, introduced by Rep. Ben Koppelman, a Republican from West Fargo.

A monument to Ringling Brothers Circus workers who died in the 19th century in Richland County, ND. Photo via

The Ringling Brothers Circus Has a Monument in North Dakota

News over the weekend is that the iconic Ringling Brothers Circus will, after 146 years, be shutting down. I’ve never been a circus enthusiast, nor am I an animal rights activist, so I find myself ambivalent about the news. The idea of the travelling circus has always struck a fantastical tone with me, thanks mostly

State Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Rep. Nelson: Minimum Wage Hike Needed Because Business Aren’t Paying Workers Enough to Survive

State Rep. Marvin Nelson wants to increase North Dakota’s minimum wage because he’s “tired of paying other people’s wages” he told me today during an interview on my radio show. He’s introduced legislation to do just that, sponsoring HB1263 (PDF) which would raise the wage minimum to $9.25 per hour on January 1, 2018, and

dean bresciani
NDSU President Dean Bresciani Photo via NDSU

Bresciani’s Open Records Travails Brought up During Ohio University Forum

Earlier this month we learned that embattled NDSU President Dean Bresciani was a finalist to be the next president of Ohio University. This news led to much garment-rending and gnashing of teeth from the myopic alumni and football fanatics who make up Bresciani’s political base of support. If only those of us who expect honest

ND Lawmakers Want to Study Full-on Marijuana Legalizaton

Two Democratic lawmakers – Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla and Rep. Josh Boschee of Fargo – have introduced HCR3007 (read it below) which asks that Legislative Management consider studying the legalization of marijuana and report back to the Legislature. It’s a good step. As we learned during the 2016 election cycle, North Dakotans have more


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