Plain Talk: Wrigley is still fired up, and Boschee reflects on the legislative session


MINOT, N.D. — North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley is still fired up about a bill to implement mandatory minimum sentences for certain crimes – that was later amended to “presumptive minimums” – which was defeated in the state House of Representatives.

There was controversy over how the bill was handled in committee and Wrigley’s involvement in advocating for it, but on this episode of Plain Talk, Wrigley made it clear he is not backing down.

“I’m going to talk about this stuff publicly,” he said, committing to a campaign during the interim before the next legislative session to promote this issue.

Wrigley said he wasn’t intending to take a “personal swipe” at Rep. Shannon Roers Jones when he said her experience as a lawyer was strictly on the civil side of the law, though he added that the comment “was factual.” He also took aim at some of his other legislative critics, including Rep. Landon Bahl, who he described as inexperienced – “it shows,” Wrigley quipped – and Rep. Bernie Satrom, who he said was “slanderous” in his characterization of discussions about the bill.

Former House Minority Leader Josh Boschee also joined the program, and answered questions about why he’s suddenly the former minority leader at the end of this legislative session when typically that sort of change in leadership happens at the beginning of the session.

Boschee said he felt it was time for his replacement, Rep. Zac Ista, to get experience in the role.

Boschee is up for re-election next year, and when asked if he’ll seek another term, gave an answer that leaves some wiggle room. “I have every intention of running, but we’ll see how things play out over the next year,” he said, though he also joked that it was a poor question to ask a lawmaker just after the end of a grueling session.

Speaking of which, Boschee also gave some reflections on the just-concluded session, arguing that the Republican majority in the House didn’t have good leadership. He said former Rep. Al Carlson, the majority leader when Boschee was first elected, would tell his caucus that they could only introduce so many controversial bills per session.

“He had control of his caucus,” Boschee said.

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