Author Archives: Rob Port

Scott Davis, executive director of the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission, working in his office. Special to The Forum

Plain Talk: Oil and Gas Moratorium Would Set ND Tribe Back “30 Years” Commissioner Says

Plain Talk: Oil and Gas Moratorium Would Set ND Tribe Back “30 Years” Commissioner Says

President Joe Biden’s brand new administration has already taken swift action, by way of executive orders, on all manner of policy fronts. One notable area is energy, where Biden has already withdrawn an already-issued permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Now he’s expected to sign a new order halting new oil and gas development on federal lands. What could

Mugshot of organized crime figure Al Capone, taken in 1939. (FBI archive photo)

Mugshots Shouldn’t Be a Public Record

MINOT, N.D. — When you see a mugshot, do you immediately think “criminal”? You probably do. Who could blame you? The mugshot is an iconic sort of image. That staring-into-the-camera perspective, usually alongside a second image taken from the side, with some sort of a placard usually visible toward the bottom, is unmistakable. Shots of

A guard stands by as inmates at the North Dakota State Penitentiary walk between cell units in Bismarck in this 2015 file photo. (Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune)

Prosecutor Sues Judge in Bizarre DUI Case Before North Dakota Supreme Court

MINOT, N.D. — Why would a state prosecutor sue a district court judge? Well, it’s complicated but in a nutshell, the prosecutor thinks North Dakota’s prisons are being too easy on repeat DUI offenders, and he’s undertaken a unique strategy to keep those offenders in county jails where they serve more time. In State of North

OneFargo leader Wess Philome and Forum News Service columnist Rob Port engage in a dialogue about current events, livestreamed on Facebook.

The Importance of Not Dismissing People You Disagree With

MINOT, N.D. — I write a lot about the importance of engaging with people you disagree with. It’s not healthy for any of us to live in a bubble. Yet there are so many sources — from social media algorithms to cable news programming — which are feeding us only what we want to hear.

We Cannot Let Children Be Hurt So That Priests Can Keep Their Vows

MINOT, N.D. — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in Bismarck is looking to change an exemption to North Dakota’s mandatory reporter law established for clergy. Sen. Judy Lee, a Republican from Fargo, has introduced Senate Bill 2180. Co-sponsoring it are two other Republicans (though at least one, Rep. Mike Brandenburg of Edgeley, has withdrawn his support) as well as two

State Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, set up a table and asked citizens to challenge his argument against North Dakota mask mandate. (Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service, via Twitter)

The Bastiat Caucus Is an Embarrassment to the NDGOP

MINOT, N.D. — Last year, Bastiat Caucus founder, Rep. Rick Becker of Bismarck, in an indignant letter to the editor, claimed there are “30 dues-paying legislators in the Bastiat Caucus this biennium.” That’s a big number. If it’s true, it would mean that this rump caucus of Trump-aligned politicians, while representing only a minority of the NDGOP caucus,

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to his supporters at the Save America Rally on the Ellipse on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, near the White House in Washington, D.C. Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Trump Must Still Be Convicted

The conviction would still matter. Many Trump apologists would have us believe that the impeachment and pending conviction vote are pointless now that Trump has left office. They’d like us to believe that these things are just exercises in the sort of petty partisan politics that have become rote in Washington, D.C. They are wrong.

An oil well pumps at sunrset in western North Dakota's Bakken Formation. Forum News Service file photo

Plain Talk: Lawmaker Wants to Use the Legacy Fund to Address North Dakota’s Legacy Problems

North Dakota’s Legacy Fund, since it was created by the Legislature and approved by voters in 2010, has turned a slice of the state’s oil tax revenues into a nearly $8 billion pot of money. That balance is invested in stocks and bonds across the nation, and the world, including in some ways that, as

Sheyenne, N.D., farmer Peter Larson carved the Biden-Harris logo in a soybean field to show support for the Democratic presidential ticket. Submitted photo

Biden Begins by Kicking Oil Country in the Teeth

Environmental activists may be cheering, but here in North Dakota, an epicenter of support for Trump in no small part because of the belligerence Democrats have shown toward the oil and gas industry, renewed hostility to pipelines means real harm for real people. Continue reading…