Gary Emineth: The Truth Of The Matter In The Burgum Vs. Stenehjem Campaign


As most of you already know, back on May 19th, I endorsed Doug Burgum and Brent Sanford for Governor and Lt. Governor. This is the right team, with the right experience, to lead our state through the significant fiscal challenges we face.

Last week, Gov. Ed Schafer joined me in endorsing Burgum and Sanford, echoing my comments when Ed said he “believes in Doug’s character, and his abilities” and that Doug is “just what we need” to lead North Dakota.

Until now, I have focused on the strengths of Doug and Brent’s candidacy. But streams of misinformation, false ads and untrue blog posts regarding Doug’s campaign over the past 72 hours has made this impossible. So this letter is a response to that propaganda and means to set the record straight before the important decision voters will make on June 14th.

Most of the false facts and misinformation I have taken offense to have emerged from shadow groups established by cronies of the Stenehjem campaign.

These groups were designed with the sole purpose of giving Stenehjem cover while his henchmen made the attacks on his behalf. Meanwhile, Stenehjem has the audacity to constantly claim he is running a “positive” campaign. All while his shadow groups launch some of the most disturbingly false attacks I have seen in my time in politics.

There are numerous red flags that have come up for me from the Stenehjem campaign, but I want to take this chance to address three of them that I know are important to you.

Burgum/Sanford are Pro-Life

On the life issue, both Burgum’s and Stenehjem’s positions follow the basic Republican platform. They have both said they would have signed the anti-abortion bills passed in March of 2013 and oppose abortion except in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother.

However, Stenehjem’s history on abortion has been much more liberal.

Stenehjem’s pro-choice position goes back to 1991, when Wayne Stenehjem voted AGAINST HB1515-a bill that would have prohibited abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother (in direct contradiction of the position he claims to hold today).

Stenehjem actively opposed the legislation, seconding both “Do Not Pass” and “Without Recommendation” motions in committee and even requesting testimony in opposition from the ACLU.

The bill’s text and its legislative history are available by clicking on the links below:

1991 HB 1515 Summary
1991 HB 1515 Text
HB 1515 Senate Roll Call 1991
HB Senate Roll Call 1991

The issue goes even further, though. In 1995, Stenehjem voted for Senate Bill 2539- a bill that would have lifted our ban on taxpayer-funded abortions. Thankfully, this legislation failed. Had it not? Under Obamacare, taxpayer-funded abortions would have been allowed.

Burgum/Sanford are against Common Core

Doug Burgum is against Common Core, which gives authority over content and standards to the federal government. Doug has been consistently advocating for local control, and for North Dakota establishing our own standards, with the goal of having the highest standards in the country.

Stenehjem and his running mate Nicole Poolman were active supporters of Common Core until April of this year. Only after Republican convention delegates in Fargo sent a strong message against Common Core did Stenehjem and Poolman flip-flop and come out against Common Core.

Burgum/Sanford are Pro Energy

The baseless attacks against Doug’s support of the energy industry are nothing short of laughable. Burgum has provided in writing, to both the coal and oil industries, his support and policy framework. Everything from his governing philosophy to his public statements to his choice of Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford as his Lieutenant Governor demonstrate his commitment to the energy industry.

He understands the key role that the industry plays to North Dakota’s economy.

Stenehjem’s attacks through a fake fronts, including one led by his own campaign consultant, will remembered as an embarrassment to all involved after Burgum becomes our next Governor.

Burgum/Sanford are the right leaders for North Dakota

Anyone who follows economic news knows that the state of North Dakota is facing a crisis with its budget and our economy. Addressing our challenges requires a team with a vision, courage, and abilities to lead our state and challenge the status quo and the “good old boys” network that is controlling the failing Stenehjem campaign.

Ed Schafer’s first elected office was Governor, and the state thrived under his leadership. Doug’s private sector experience, managing a multi-billion dollar budgets, collaborating with tens of thousands of partners and customers and leading thousands of employees, has given him the skills needed to govern our state effectively.

Doug Burgum is exactly who we need as governor.

Along with Brent’s small business, mayoral, and financial executive experience they are the perfect team for serving the entire state of North Dakota.

I hope you will join me in voting for Doug Burgum and Brent Sanford on June 14th.