Democrats Change Their Tune On Political Contributions To Regulators


In a recent article about Republican Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring calling the CEO of CP Rail “arrogant,” the incumbent’s Democrat challenger Ryan Taylor made an interesting comment about PAC (political action committee) contributions received by Goehring.

“‘It’s in the nature of campaign finance for an incumbent agriculture commissioner’ to receive PAC contributions,” Taylor told Ag Week reporter Jonathan Knutson.

That’s certainly a change in tone from last cycle when Taylor, who was running for Governor against Jack Dalrymple, demanded that his opponent return contributions from energy industry-related PAC’s. In fact, during that campaign Taylor issued a “white paper” about ethics in which he complained about these exact sort of contributions.

I guess that righteous indignation has died out since the last political election. In fact, Democrats haven’t made a peep about these sort of contributions in 2014 at all, despite investing a lot of time in 2012 claiming that Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk, Rep. Kevin Cramer, and Public Service Commission candidate Randy Christmann had all acted unethically by taking contributions from interests they also regulated.

In fact, the Democrats’ allies at the left-wing Dakota Resource Council even filed an election year lawsuit against Kalk and Cramer claiming that they’d broken the law in accepting contributions from the coal industry, though it was ultimately dismissed.

Once the election year was over, naturally.

These accusations – though the garnered plenty of media coverage and condemnation from the state’s left-wing newspaper boards – didn’t get a lot of traction from voters.

Maybe because voters think even the coal and oil industry have a right to engage in the political process.