Remember back in 2011 when North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon – appointed to that position by President Obama directly from the Democrat National Committee – tried to prosecute some oil companies over a couple of dozen dead ducks?
Purdon filed criminal charges – yes, criminal charges – against six oil companies under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act after roughly two dozen dead birds found near their production areas. This was the result of a months-long investigation by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
That Purdon’s charges, filed in August of 2011, were a waste of federal resources was obvious from the start. A person could probably find more dead waterfowl in the ditches along the state’s highways on any given day resulting from collisions with motor vehicles than Purdon and his investigators were able to find at oil sites in the state after months of searching.
If accidentally killing a duck is a federal crime, then anyone who has ever pried one from the grill of their car is a criminal.
But I digress.
I’m bringing up Mr. Purdon’s attempted prosecution of duck murder in the first degree because it’s pertinent to one of the most hotly contested measures on the statewide ballot this year. North Dakotans are currently voting on Measure 5, which would divert hundreds of millions of dollars worth of oil tax revenues to a conservation slush fund from which groups like Ducks Unlimited (which has spent millions backing the measure) can get grants.
Not a bad return on investment if they get their way, no? A few million spent pushing a measure through, with a potential return of millions upon millions more in grants.
Where does Mr. Purdon fit into all this? Well, his wife is Carmen Miller, who is currently the Great Plains Region policy director for Ducks Unlimited and one of the organizers behind Measure 5.
Which makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? We’re told that Measure 5 isn’t about hurting the energy or agriculture industry. And yet, one of the key personnel involved in pushing the measure is married to a man who tried to turn oil companies into criminals because a few dead ducks were found on their property.
Something to keep in mind the next time some Measure 5 supporter is telling you how benign this legislation is.