Democrat Party Chairman Needs A Lesson In Civics

Earlier this legislative session lawmakers hurried through a bill to mandate a civics test for North Dakota high school students. To pass, under the bill, these students would have to pass the same test immigrants do.

Maybe we need a civics test for political party leadership too.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#000000″ txt_color=”#ffffff”]No wonder these people can’t win elections. Their party leader isn’t even clear about what some of these offices do.[/mks_pullquote]

Democrat Party Chairman Bob Valeu – a bomb-throwing ranter who is currently presiding over a political party so marginalized and inept they couldn’t even beat a guy who spent a month of the campaign year in rehab last year – has a letter in the state’s newspapers today attacking HB1181 which would change how the state fills vacancies in its U.S. Senate seats to be on-par with how we fill vacancies in the House seat (the sponsors of that bill have a letter here on SAB today defending it).

According to Valeu, Republicans are a bunch of hypocrites because Republican governors have appointed all sorts of people to state office. He provides a laundry list of executive branch office holders who were appointed to their positions, and laughably includes Lt. Governor-turned-Governor Jack Dalrymple.

That’s right. Valeu is so ill-informed about the workings of our state that he apparently doesn’t realize that one of the reasons we elect a Lt. Governor is to take over for the Governor should he or she leave office.

No wonder these people can’t win elections. Their party leader isn’t even clear about what some of these offices do.

As for the rest of the people Valeu names, those are executive branch offices. It’s far more appropriate for the head of the executive branch to appoint people to fill vacancies in the executive branch. It’s far less appropriate for the leader of the executive branch to begin appointing replacements for the legislative branches of government.

I’m no fan of the fact that we elect Senators through the popular vote. I’d rather the 17th amendment didn’t exist. But since it does, and since we’ve been electing Senators by way of the popular vote for generations now, it’s time we made the process uniform.

No more should Governors be able to sell Senate appointments to the highest bidder, as Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich did when former Senator Barack Obama was elected to the White House. And no more should Senators leaving office early to run for Governor get a twofer when they win and get to appoint their own replacement.

Democrats clearly think Heitkamp is going to run in 2016, and they are drooling over the idea of potentially getting the governor’s seat and elevating one of their own to the U.S. Senate (which makes their accusations of partisanship laughable).

If Heitkamp wins, so be it, but North Dakotans should get to pick the next Senator if that unlikely circumstance comes to be.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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