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Print Column: The Socialists Started a Softball Team

Print Column: The Socialists Started a Softball Team

MINOT, N.D. — The Red River Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America have started themselves a softball team. Their goal is “raising visibility and connecting with the community.” This isn’t an uncommon tactic for social movements. Churches hold dances. Political parties hold pie auctions. Jim Jones, the infamous socialist who led hundreds to

Print Column: It Won’t Be a Sexy Ballot Measure, but It Will Be an Important One

MINOT, N.D. — A coalition of interests met in Bismarck recently to discuss a ballot measure — a proposed amendment to the state constitution — which would invest Legacy Fund dollars into an infrastructure loan program for the state. I’m sure many of you read that sentence and promptly fell asleep, because the nuances of policy behind

Print Column: Forget Governor, Is Heitkamp Angling for a Cabinet Appointment?

MINOT, N.D. — Recently Joel Heitkamp, brother of former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, has been begging the question about whether or not his sister will run for governor. It’s a business move. Anyone who has seen the numbers knows Heitkamp’s radio audience is so old it’s shrinking due to death. He’s trying to wring the

Print Column: Heitkamp Preaches Moderation to National Dems Even as State Party Moves Further Left

MINOT, N.D. — “There are opportunities for Democrats to win back rural America, but they have to know how to win.” That’s what former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said in a recent interview, occasioned by her activism on behalf of the One Country Project. That’s an advocacy and lobbying group co-founded by Heitkamp to help

Print Column: North Dakota Is Fun, Despite What Some Dumb Spam “Study” Says

MINOT, N.D. ⁠— A humble request made to my fellow members of the news media: Please stop creating spam headlines for companies like WalletHub or NerdWallet. These companies send out press releases touting “studies” or “surveys” which are usually some ranking of states or communities. Local journalists, always hungry for content in an age where

Print Column: Legislature’s Decision to Gut Auditor’s Powers Looks Worse and Worse

MINOT, N.D. — The State Board of Higher Education is getting a babysitter for North Dakota State School of Science President John Richman. “The state’s university system may keep a closer eye on North Dakota State College of Science management after a state audit found problems with how the school handled business regarding its planned career academy,”

Print Column: North Dakota’s Pro-Marijuana Movement Has Fractured Making Legalization Far Less Likely

MINOT, N.D. — There is a very large faction of North Dakotans who want marijuana legalized for recreational use. After approving medical marijuana in 2016, over 132,000 voters – more than 40% of turnout – voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2018. Not a majority, but certainly a strong minority. Something for activists to build

Print Column: Xcel’s Coal-Free Plan Is Politics Not Reality

MINOT, N.D. — “Xcel Energy plans to shutter its two remaining coal plants in the Upper Midwest a decade earlier than scheduled — a move that will make the utility coal-free in the region by 2030,” Mary Divine reported for the St. Paul Pioneer Press this week. That’s big news. All the more so because it’s

Print Column: In the Fight Over Oil, It’s Progressives Against Progress

MINOT, N.D. — The fight over the Davis Refinery, a crude oil project backed by Meridian Energy Group, has been an intriguing one to follow. In many ways it is a familiar story, pitting the energy industry and its desire for modern infrastructure against a political faction which would rather keep oil in the ground.

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