Today Congressman Kevin Cramer posted this picture on his Facebook page showing himself, Senator John Hoeven and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (among other dignitaries) breaking ground at the Norther Plains Commerce Center. Bobcat, which once upon a time had fled the industrial park which has been heavily subsidized by the government, has returned and is building a new facility there.
It wasn’t so long ago that the City of Bismarck was facing millions of losses on the park. Lucky for them, and the taxpayers, the economic activity resulting from the oil boom has bailed them out.
But as I see the politicians on hand to grandstand at today’s groundbreaking, I think back to another picture of another groundbreaking at the Northern Plains Commerce Center including Senators Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad as well as Rep. Earl Pomeroy. Even then-Governor John Hoeven was on hand:
It’s striking how these politicians are always on hand for ribbon-cuttings and groundbreakings when things are going good. But the moment these economic development projects go south, as they so often do, they’re nowhere to be found.
In related news, somewhere there has to be a museum of golden shovels and oversized scissors used in events like these, right?