Tag Archives: print column

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum presents his two-year budget proposal to state lawmakers Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

Print Column: Legislative Pettiness Leads to Marginalization of Burgum’s Conservative Budget

Print Column: Legislative Pettiness Leads to Marginalization of Burgum’s Conservative Budget

MINOT, N.D. — Traditionally in North Dakota the governor’s executive budget, delivered to lawmakers as an address in December, is introduced as actual spending bills at the beginning of the actual legislative session in January. Last week legislative leaders changed the rules. While Burgum’s budget proposals will be available to lawmakers, the actual legislation introduced

Print Column: Burgum’s Proposed Pension Bailout Must Be Tied to Real Reforms

MINOT, N.D. — It’s not the sexiest political topic, so you might be forgiven if you’re unaware of North Dakota’s chronic problems with underfunded pensions. But the problems are real, and while Gov. Doug Burgum proposes addressing the issue with a cash infusion from the state’s reserves, that bailout needs to be coupled with real

Print Column: Public Must Keep a Sharp Eye on Relationship Between Local Politicians, Opioid Lawyers

MINOT, N.D. — More and more local governments in North Dakota are deciding to join themselves to lawsuits against the opioid industry over the objections of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. Stenehjem joined North Dakota with several other states in a lawsuit against Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, and has warned local governments that joining separate suits

Print Column: ADHD, August Birthdays and Why I’m a Conservative

MINOT, N.D. — Ideology takes a back seat in modern politics, and that’s not a good thing. People identifying themselves as “conservative” or “progressive” are associating themselves less with a school of thought than with the avatars representing those terms in our national political war. I’m talking about the cults of personality around people like

Print Column: Burgum Can’t Paint Over the Mold Problem in Higher Education

MINOT, N.D. — I am dubious of a proposal to change the governance structure of the North Dakota University System. The idea comes from a task force Gov. Doug Burgum created to consider the issue, and it would replace our current eight-voting-member State Board of Higher Education with three boards consisting of nearly 40 members.

Print Column: Heitkamps Feel They’re Entitled to Power, and That’s Exactly Why They Shouldn’t Have It

MINOT, N.D. — Believe it or not, the point of politics isn’t the campaigns. Those are supposed to be nothing more than the means by which we choose who gets to do the much more important job of governing. Sadly, it can seem as though the whole governing thing is just something the politicians do

Print Column: Measure 1 Should Be Challenged in Court Immediately

MINOT, N.D. — Measure 1, approved by 54 percent of North Dakota voters this last week, is a clear example of the deep flaws in legislating at the ballot box. I don’t blame busy voters, inundated with messaging from a myriad of campaigns, for approving the measure. Most of them probably heard little about it

Print Column: Heitkamp Drags North Dakota Through the Mud to the Finish Line

MINOT, N.D. – A dangerous place to be is between U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and the object of her relentless, overweening ambition. Those of us who have been victims of the incumbent’s ruthless tactics are perhaps more aware of it than most. Earlier this year, when it became clear my criticism was inconvenient for Heitkamp’s

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