Port: Is it to much to ask that these politicians have the courage of their convictions?


MINOT, N.D. — Rick Becker, a former Republican and a former state lawmaker, is upset about a tech startup getting a $600,000 loan from the state of North Dakota, as well as a $1.25 million investment from the state’s Wonder Fund.

The piqued politician railed against the deal, telling the Bismarck Tribune it’s a “giveaway” and “corporate welfare” and a “wonderful example” of “the Republican Party” going “completely against what it claims to be about.”

We can have a debate about whether or not this investment is a wise one or if economic development policies that hand out government loans and invest taxpayer dollars are prudent.

I think so. I acknowledge that the threat of cronyism is real and that politicians and bureaucrats often make unwise investment decisions, but I also know that North Dakota has, since statehood, been crippled by a lack of economic diversity and a paucity of capital. That’s not going to change if we don’t take the initiative to prime the pump.

But let’s put a pin in that debate, for the moment, and talk about the tidal wave of hypocrisy emanating from Rick Becker.

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