Tag Archives: ethics

Plain Talk: Republican Senator Says Democrat Complaints About Ethics Legislation Are “Posturing”

Plain Talk: Republican Senator Says Democrat Complaints About Ethics Legislation Are “Posturing”

On this episode of Plain Talk, Republican state Senator David Hogue describes the tricky process of implementing with statute the constitutional amendment voters approved last year with Measure 1. The so-called “ethics” measure, which free speech groups criticized as too burdensome on political activities, must be implemented because it’s in the state’s constitution now. But

Ben Tucker, who farms near St. Thomas, N.D., is one of many private citizens who bring ideas to the Legislature and seek help from lawmakers and Legislative Council staff to guide them through the legislative process. Diane Newberry / North Dakota Newspaper Association

This Is the Sort of Citizen Activist Measure 1 Will Hurt

Over the weekend reporter Diane Newberry from the North Dakota Newspaper Association had a very interesting report about citizen-driven politics at the state Legislature, focusing on an activist named Ben Tucker who has been working on the expansion of Medicaid benefits. Tucker is from St. Thomas, and his lobbying activities at the Legislature are backed

Dina Butcher, left, hands North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger a proposed petition for a ballot measure to add anti-corruption policies to the state constitution Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 at the state Capitol in Bismarck. John Hageman / Forum News Service

Offer of Free Ballet Tickets Sets Off Emailed War of Words Among Lawmakers, Measure 1 Activist

A legislative source forwarded me an email exchange which illustrates perfectly the Legislature’s efforts to implement Measure 1 (ethics) approved by voters last year. And why many observers, including myself and the ACLU, opposed the measure as an infringement on speech and political activity unreasonable to the point of being unconstitutional. The whole thing is

Alex Hilzendeger, left, and Norton Lovold hold a banner in front of boxes of petitions outside the state capitol in Bismarck TOM STROMME/Bismarck Tribune

Of Course Ethics Investigations Should Be Secret

During the last election cycle a left-wing, Democrat-aligned group filed an ethics complaint against Republican candidate Tom Campbell because one of his campaign ads featured him standing in front of a truck with his business logo on it. The complaint was announced to the media by the left wing groups filing it. The complaint went

The Pioneer Family” statue seen in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Forum file photo

If We’re Really Concerned About Ethics in North Dakota We Should Have Given Lawmakers Their Free Lunch*

There is a lot of Sturm und Drang about ethics in North Dakota right now. Most of it – especially the clouds of smug coming from the Measure 1 supporters – isn’t so much about ethics as a group of partisan cranks out to shift the state’s political winds by regulating political activity. Because what do you

If the Voters Approve Bad Policy, Does That Make It Good Policy?

I talked about this on today’s podcast, but I thought the Fargo Forum’s Sunday editorial was worth responding to in the form of a blog post as well. (Full disclosure, I’m employed by the Forum Communications Company.) “Legislative leaders are taking steps to gut the constitutional amendment that voters approved in the November election to establish

Plain Talk: If the Voters Cast Their Ballots for Bad Policy, Does That Suddenly Make It Good Policy?

On this episode of the Plain Talk Podcast, state Rep. Jake Blum (R-Grand Forks) talks about his legislation to raise speed limits on North Dakota’s highways and interstates. Also, the Fargo Forum suddenly editorial lashes out at Republican lawmakers for supposedly disrespecting the will of the people when it comes to implementing Measure 1, which

Dina Butcher, left, hands North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger a proposed petition for a ballot measure to add anti-corruption policies to the state constitution Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 at the state Capitol in Bismarck. John Hageman / Forum News Service

Shocker: Partisans Behind Measure 1 Don’t Like Republican Bill to Implement It

Although they masqueraded as a bipartisan coalition the North Dakotans for Public Integrity, a local front group for the far left organizations which bankrolled the campaign behind Measure 1, were anything but. They are partisan Democrats, and Measure 1 is about restricting political speech and activity in North Dakota so that Democrats can win more

Plain Talk Podcast: Sealing Criminal Records, Blue Laws, Measure 1, and Why Initiated Measures Make for Bad Policy

Are initiated measures a good way to make public policy? I don’t think so, and I talk about it in this episode of the Plain Talk podcast. Measure 1 – a constitutional amendment approved by voters in the 2018 election – is one reason why many, like me, feel that way. Also Rep. Shannon Roers

Governor Doug Burgum along with First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum attending Super Bowl festivities in Minneapolis in 2018. Photo via Twitter

Governor Burgum’s Super Bowl Trip Couldn’t Have Happened Under His Office’s New Ethics Policy

Earlier this year Governor Doug Burgum, who rode into office on the back of a campaign which castigated a supposed “good old boys club” in Bismarck, accepted a trip to the Super Bowl that was worth roughly $40,000. The trip was paid for by Xcel Energy, which has the largest electrical utility customer base in

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