MINOT, N.D. — Last year, former Rep. Matt Eidson, a Democrat from Grand Forks, took summer internships working for the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Public.
I was critical, arguing that you can’t be a member of the news media and an elected official at the same time.
The objectives of those two jobs are frequently divergent in significant ways.
For instance, how could an elected official walk into a room to have candid negotiations about a thorny matter of public policy without being a reporter? How could he sit in party caucus meetings, seeing and hearing things reporters aren’t typically privy to and pretend he didn’t see those things or hear those things when it’s time to be a reporter again?
The Eidson example is moot now. It was just a summer internship, and he’s since stepped down from office for personal reasons, but state Rep. Rick Becker, a Bismarck-area Republican and founder of the controversial Bastiat Caucus, has reignited the issue.