National articles

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

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

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

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

Ernesto Burbank (left) of the Navaho Dene Nation and Michael Niemi of Duluth are chained together to a door at Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Duluth to protest the proposed Enbridge pipeline. Bob King / Forum News Service

Maybe Banks and Credit Card Companies Shouldn’t Be the Arbiters of American Political Activity

A modern tactic of the American left is to pressure certain institutions – banks, credit companies, universities, etc. – into suppressing political or social activity they don’t like. For instance, mobs of campus activists routinely bully administrators into inhibiting, and at times even prohibiting, right-of-center speech. Another example is activists bringing pressure on banks and

DOT Not Commenting on Use of Suspended Director’s Signature on Legal Documents Citing Potential “Litigation” or “Controversy”

Last week Glenn Jackson resigned from his position as the director of the driver’s license division at the North Dakota Department of Transportation. He had been on mandatory leave since February pending an investigation into his professional behavior – an investigation which revealed accusations that, among other things, he had treated young female employees differently

The North Dakota Department of Transportation building in Bismarck Photo via the NDDOT

Former DOT Drivers License Director Allegedly Told Female Subordinate She Reminded Him of a Character in a Romance Novel He Wrote

Glenn Jackson was director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s drivers license division until he resigned last week. He’d been on leave since February pending an investigation into accusations that he, among other things, was showing favoritism to young, female employees. As you can see from the full investigation report into those accusations (below),

Josh Gallion, center, accepts the endorsement for state auditor at the North Dakota GOP Convention in Fargo on Sunday, April 3, 2016. Rick Abbott / The Forum

Auditor Josh Gallion Says “No Comment” on Whether or Not He’ll Run for Re-Election

Today’s Plain Talk features an interview with state Auditor Josh Gallion, focusing on the controversy over the Legislature removing the bulk of his office’s autonomy. The interview is revealing in terms of just what is changing with the Auditor’s office, the job of which is to hold the rest of state government accountable, but one

North Dakota Auditor Josh Gallion

Burgum Signs Bill Gutting Auditor’s Office Authority Saying It Will Save Money

In the closing days of the Legislative sessions state lawmakers amended the budget bill for the Auditor’s Office to include language effectively gutting that office’s authority to conduct performance audits. Those audits must now be approved by the Legislature or its audit committee. Today Governor Doug Burgum announced that he had signed the remaining bills

The school district's signs are placed on school properties and do not include the word 'yes.' (Kayla Henson / The Dickinson Press)

Why Is a Construction Firm Printing Campaign Signs for a School District?

Over in Dickinson there is a bit of a kerfuffle over campaign signs promoting an upcoming bond election for a new high school. The story behind those signs is of statewide interest. At issue are the presence of campaign signs on school district property. Some say the signs – which say “vote for our future”

State Auditor Josh Gallion presents his Governor's Travel and Use of State Resources report to members of the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Bismarck. 6-27-2018

Legislature Sends Bill to Governor Burgum Gutting the Authority of the State Auditor’s Office

Since taking office, Republican state Auditor Josh Gallion has been aggressive in pursuing his duties. In the wake of controversy over a Super Bowl trip paid for by an energy company, Gallion’s office went after Governor Doug Burgum’s travel expenses. His office also made headlines when they found that several state agencies, including the Tourism