Author Archives: Rob Port

Photo: Congressman Kelly Armstrong and Congressman Jim Banks while in Eagle Pass, TX to talk with law enforcement at the southern border. (Photo Curtesy of the Republican Study Committee)

LIVE at 11:10 A.m.: Congressman Kelly Armstrong Talks to Rob Port After Visit to the Southern Border Crisis Zone

LIVE at 11:10 A.m.: Congressman Kelly Armstrong Talks to Rob Port After Visit to the Southern Border Crisis Zone

There is perhaps no political conflagration in America more intractable than our debate over border security and immigration. In the long run, we need policies that facilitate lawful immigration while giving no quarter to illegal entry into our country. In the here and now, we have a crisis at the southern border, with thousands upon

With supporters and legislative backers looking on, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burbum signs House Bill 1425 into law. The bill, introduced by Rep. Mike Nathe, R-Bismarck, would direct 20% of the Legacy Fund's principal balance into investments in North Dakota businesses and infrastructure. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Doug Burgum's office)

A Sign That There Are Still Some Grown-Ups Governing in Bismarck

MINOT, N.D. — Today, Gov. Doug Burgum signed House Bill 1425 into law. It’s a big deal, a fantastic accomplishment for Rep. Mike Nathe, R-Bismarck, and the other lawmakers who backed it, and a credit to Burgum as well. Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, a member of the State Investment Board, also deserves our congratulations for pushing this idea forward. It’s a bit

Demonstrators gathered outside the North Dakota Capitol in support of a proposal to ban mask mandates on Monday, April 5, 2021. (Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service)

Please Immediately Veto the Very Stupid Ban on Mask Mandates

MINOT, N.D. — Earlier this week a hundred or so deeply misguided souls rallied at the state capitol in favor of legislation, House Bill 1323, which bans state and local government from implementing a mask mandate. And yes, it is a ban on state and local mandates. State law, and long-standing court precedent, prevent local governments

Rob Manfred (right) speaks at a press conference after being elected by team owners to be the next commissioner of Major League Baseball in 2014. At left is then-MLB commissioner Bud Selig. USA Today Sports photo

Plain Talk Live: Do We Want Big Corporations to Be Our Cultural Referees?

In Georgia, Major League Baseball reacted to the passage of election reform laws with a boycott. The sports league has moved its all-star game from Atlanta to Colorado. In North Dakota, a debate over legislation dealing with transgender athletes was dominated by rumors about what the NCAA might do to punish the state if it

Sen. Kristin Roers, R-Fargo, speaks in the North Dakota Senate chamber on March 29, 2021. Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service

The ‘Too Much Paperwork’ Argument Against Political Transparency Is a Farce

MINOT, N.D. — As soon as I publish a column arguing that North Dakota’s lawmakers earn their pay and should certainly get the modest pay increase they’ve scheduled for themselves, they go and do something that makes me think maybe they really are overpaid after all. I’m kidding. Mostly. Legislative pay is fine, but the state of

North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck. Special to The Forum

Spare Me the Bellyaching About Legislative Pay

MINOT, N.D. — To participate in American politics is to hear many hypocrites whining about the people they elect. It’s fashionable to dislike politicians. A Gallup poll in November of 2018, contemporaneous to the national mid-term election, showed 74% of Americans disapproving of Congress. That same year, 91% of the incumbents in the House of Representatives were

A man identifying himself as Alexander Simon delivers a crude diatribe about transgender issues and race to the Fargo City Commission (screen capture via City of Fargo public video stream)

Man Dressed as Woman Goes on Bizarre Rant About Transgender Issues at Fargo City Commission Meeting

MINOT, N.D. — Transgender issues are much in the news lately, both here in North Dakota and across the nation. Our transgender friends and neighbors are coming out of the shadows, and most of us are trying to have a rational and respectful debate about how to make them feel welcome and comfortable in a

Video given to the Fargo Police Department shows an ax-wielding man smashing the windows of Sen. John Hoeven's Fargo office. The damage was discovered Monday morning, Dec. 21. Photo courtesy of Fargo Police Department

Donations From Democrats to Hoeven Ax Attacker Look Worse Now That He’s Pleading Guilty

MINOT, N.D. — In early January, just days before an angry mob of disgraced former President Donald Trump’s supporters would execute a violent attack on the U.S. Capitol, I reported in this column that some prominent North Dakota Democrats had donated to a GoFundMe page set up for a man who had attacked Sen. John Hoeven’s Fargo office with an ax.

Grand Forks resident Dave Owen is the chairman of Legalize ND, the group pushing a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana. David Samson / Forum News Service

Plain Talk Live: What’s the Future of Legalized Marijuana in North Dakota?

Earlier this year, North Dakota’s House of Representatives passed bills to both legalize and decriminalize recreational marijuana. That legislation didn’t fare so well in the state Senate. Each was shot down by lawmakers. A last-ditch effort by some Senators to bring a delayed bill that would have put the question of legalization on the statewide

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 Demise of the NDGOP’s Dominance Could Come From Within

MINOT, N.D. — The North Dakota Republican Party dominates state politics. In nearly a decade and a half, no Democrat has won a statewide election here, except Heidi Heitkamp and her flukey 2012 victory in the 2012 U.S. Senate race. The Democratic-NPL hasn’t held a majority in either chamber of the state Legislature since the

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