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Print Column: Lawmakers Should Come Back Into Session to Fix Their Shameful Auditor Mistake

Print Column: Lawmakers Should Come Back Into Session to Fix Their Shameful Auditor Mistake

MINOT, N.D. — During the waning days of the 2019 legislative session the budget for the state auditor’s office was sneakily amended to severely limit the autonomy of that office. The amendment requires the auditor to go begging to the Legislature for permission to conduct performance audits. The Legislature, essentially, gave themselves a veto over

Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo during floor debate Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Lawmaker Sees No Problem Voting for Legislation Limiting Auditor’s Powers Despite Family Connection to Controversial Audit

Watch the floor debates in the North Dakota legislature long enough and you’ll eventually see a lawmaker stand up and ask to be excused from voting on an issue because of a conflict of interest. Sometimes it’s in earnest; sometimes it’s a joke. At one point in this session one wag jokingly asked to be

The Department of Transportation building in Bismarck

DOT Attempted to Obscure That Director Under Investigation Was on Paid Leave

Earlier this year Glenn Jackson, the former director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s drivers license division, was placed on leave pending an investigation into his conduct with female subordinates. He ultimately resigned this month (you can read the entire investigation report into his conduct here). What’s bizarre is how the DOT has handled

Oil tanker cars are lined up at a crude oil rail loading terminal in Tioga, N.D. File photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Democratic Presidential Candidate Signs Bill Implementing a “De Facto Ban” on North Dakota Oil Shipments

Washington Governor Jay Inslee just signed legislation in his state imposing regulations on oil shipped by rail which are so stringent they act (to use the words of North Dakota’s congressional delegation) as a “de facto ban.” Inslee has justified the move by saying the state is stepping up to fill a safety vacuum left

State Auditor Joshua Gallion testifies last week before a legislative conference committee about his office's budget. Gallion has told legislators that without additional resources, his office may have to decline to perform some audit requests. Diane Newberry / North Dakota Newspaper Association

Guest Post: Legislature Was Right to Tie the Hands of the Auditor

This guest post was submitted by Roscoe Streyle, a resident of Minot and former state lawmaker. There has been a big fuss by the State Auditor and some of his minions about legislative action to bring about some semblance of organization and communication with the legislature about doing performance audits.  I think a review of

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) listens to Michael Cohen testify before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 27, 2019. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Copyright 2019 The New York Times)

Plain Talk: Armstrong Says Congress Does Do Other Stuff Besides Talking About Mueller, Trump

It can be hard to tell at times, but Congressman Kelly Armstrong says Congress does actually do things aside from hold hearings about the Mueller investigation and President Donald Trump’s alleged obstruction and collusion. On this episode of Plain Talk he describes progress on bipartisan legislation to address opioid abuse, but acknowledged that the Democratic

North Dakota Republican Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, right, listens while Gov. Doug Burgum speaks during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol Friday, April 26, 2019. John Hageman / Forum News Service

Don’t Let Them Fool You, Lawmakers Knew Exactly What They Were Doing to the Auditor’s Authority

Now that there has been some public blow back over legislation gutting the autonomy of the state Auditor, certain state lawmakers are in full walk-back mode. There is even some talk of calling the Legislature back into session to address the issue, which was likely prompted by news of a nascent referendum campaign. I hope

Petitioners File photo

Referendum Campaign Forming to Put Question of Auditor’s Power on the Ballot

There has been a lot of controversy over legislation, sneaked into the budget for the Auditor’s office during the closing days of this year’s legislative session, which limits the powers of the state Auditor. Per that legislation, which was signed by Governor Doug Burgum (with feeble justification), the Auditor must now go begging to a legislative

Senator Kevin Cramer David Samson / The Forum

Plain Talk: Senator Cramer Says Trump Scandals Are “Uninteresting to the Vast Majority of People”

From local columnists to national television pundits, the political media can’t get enough of President Donald Trump. His tweets and his rallies, his tax returns and sometimes even the actual policies of his administration, are all fodder for intense scrutiny. On this episode of Plain Talk Senator Kevin Cramer, responding to a listener question, says

Mark Kennedy Grand Forks Herald file photo

Guest Post: Suggestions for Reviving the University of North Dakota

This guest post was written by William J. Brotherton, a UND graduate, a North Dakota and Texas attorney, and an adopted member of the Spirit Lake Sioux. He is the author of Burlington Northern Adventures: Railroading in the Days of the Caboose. He lives in Argyle, Texas. Now that the University of North Dakota will

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