Are North Dakota’s Democrats Even Trying Any More?

Rep. Ron Guggisberg delivers the Democratic response to Governor Doug Burgum's State of the State address. Via Facebook

Yesterday Governor Doug Burgum gave a thorough, 90-minute “state of the state” address on the campus of Minot State University. In it he spoke of his administration’s efforts and accomplishments in 2017, the first year of Burgum’s term in office, as well as his vision going forward.

Here’s the full video of the event if you missed it:

Agree or disagree with Burgum’s account of the past year, or his plans for the coming years, it was clear the Governor made strong effort to communicate to the state’s citizens. In fact, this interim “state of the state” address isn’t even typical for North Dakota governors. They usually only deliver it every other year to the regular session of the Legislature. Ed Schafer started the practice of delivering a state of the state every year, and Governor Hoeven continued it into the first part of his term, but no other governors have done it.

Burgum was making as special effort here, and he should be commended for it.

The effort the Democrats put in for their rebuttal to Burgum? Well, it was par for the course for them, and is perhaps an example explaining why they can’t win many elections in North Dakota.

Rep. Ron Guggisberg was selected to deliver the response to Burgum. He spoke for less than ten minutes (see below) and ended up having to confess to the media that he didn’t even bother to watch Burgum’s response:

Guggisberg, who said he wasn’t able to listen to Burgum’s speech, blamed Republicans in the majority for mishandling the state’s budget and warned that North Dakotans will see property tax increases. But Burgum said the state is doing more than ever to keep property taxes down and put the onus on local officials who levy them.

In other words, it didn’t really matter what Burgum had to say, the Democrats had already picked the talking points Guggisberg was to regurgitate.

Good effort, Democrats. Enjoy another election cycle in the super minority.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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