Author Archives: Rob Port

Dave Glatt, the environmental health section chief for the Department of Health, talks Thursday, July 18, 2013, about the state's efforts to crack down on oil waste in western North Dakota. (TJ Jerke/Forum News Service)

North Dakota Regulators Owe the Public a Better Explanation for Spill Underreporting

North Dakota Regulators Owe the Public a Better Explanation for Spill Underreporting

“I get it – people want more information.” That’s what North Dakota Environmental Quality Chief Dave Glatt told the Associated Press, responding to controversy over a situation were hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid natural gas was described as merely 10 gallons in an official state report. But does Glatt get it? So far

David Koch

So Long David Koch

I’m saddened to hear that David Koch – industrialist, philanthropist, and hugely influential political activists – has passed away. Given how hated David and his brother Charles were among certain political circles I suspect there will be a lot of dancing-on-his-grave going on today. Which is unfortunate. Whatever you might think of the political inclinations

Gov. Doug Burgum, right, speaks with Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford as they walk down Second Avenue with Mayor Shaun Sipma, left. Minot Daily News photo

It Turns Out Elections Really Do Matter

An update to a hyper local story in my hometown is useful for participants in the American form of government across the nation. Despite all the cynicism about politics, the insistence that the politicians are indifferent to the moods of voters, it turns out elections really do matter. First, some back story. Earlier this year

Plain Talk: Senator Cramer Sees “Pervasive Antisemitism” Among Democrats, Says Tax Cuts Didn’t Cause Budget Deficits

On this episode of Plain Talk, Senator Kevin Cramer decried what he sees as “pervasive antisemitism in the Democratic party.” Though questioned on that characterization, he backed off it a bit. “Maybe ‘pervasive’ is the wrong word for it, but the Democratic party leadership is becoming far too comfortable with it,” he said. His comments

iStock photo

A Payroll Tax Cut Is a Terrible Idea Without Social Security and Medicare Reform

The Trump administration is kicking around the idea of a payroll tax cut, though it’s hard to know how seriously the idea is on the scale of building a border wall to buying Greenland. “Yeah, we’re looking at various tax reductions. But I’m looking at that all the time, anyway,” President Trump told reporters earlier

Former Fargo Park District executive director Joel Vettel

North Dakota’s Public Officials Should Be Required to Record Meetings Even When They’re Closed to the Public

Most of you reading this probably don’t live in Fargo, so you might not much care that the local park board there violated open meetings law, but if you’re a resident of North Dakota you should be paying attention because how this situation is being handled could very well be how some government entity in

Diane Luttschwager reads to a class at Hagan Elementary School in Williston on the first day of school in 2013. Forum News Service Photo by Amy Dalrymple

Print Column: North Dakota Teachers Are Spending Millions on Their Own Supplies and It’s Ridiculous

MINOT, N.D. — Most school teachers have to buy supplies for their classrooms with money from their own pockets. It’s happening nationally. In a study released in 2018 the U.S. Department of Education found 94 percent of teachers had gone out of pocket for things they needed for the classroom, with the average amount coming in at

A bin contains examples of the types of drugs seized by the Minnesota CEE-VI Drug Task Force, a unit that investigates drug cases in Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties. Agents give 20 to 40 community education presentations each year. Anne Polta / Forum News Service

Prohibition Is a Crock: Americans (Probably) Spend as Much on Recreational Drugs as They Do on Booze

A newly-issued Rand Corporation report (see below) indicates that Americans spent almost $150 billion on illegal drugs in 2016. To put that into perspective, Americans spent roughly $227 billion on alcohol the same year. The two numbers are seemingly far apart, until you realize the limitations of the drugs metric. For one thing, Rand only

WDAY photo

Guest Post: The ACLU’s Blueprint for Prison Reform

This post was written by Dane DeKrey, advocacy director for the ACLU of North Dakota. Imagine you own a business. Nobody is buying your product and you’re losing money. Despite this, you decide to double down and scale up production. This goes on year after year, and you’re digging an ever-deeper hole. Your stubborn commitment

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Moorhead, MN. File photo

Planned Parenthood’s Withdrawal From Title X Programs Is a Win for Both Sides of the Abortion Debate

Today Planned Parenthood, the ostensible health care organization which seems more like a branch of the Democratic party these days, announced they would no longer be participating in the federal government’s Title X family planning programming. It’s good news, and not just for the pro-life side of the abortion debate who can tout a long-sought

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