Port: Sorry, but the executive and legislative branches are not the same as the judicial branch


MINOT, N.D. — All due respect to Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who has announced that he’ll be winding up a wonderful and very consequential career in North Dakota politics at the end of his current term (listen to my interview with him at the link), but his recent opinion issued to the state Ethics Commission is bunk.

And the reason, I believe, is that Stenehjem fell into a vocabulary trap.

What occasioned the opinion was a request from the commission for some clarity on their authority to regulate campaign contributions. The commissioners have come under fire from the partisan, left-wing activists who organized the ballot measure creating the commission for being reticent in cracking down on what they perceive as a conflict of interest.

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