Tag Archives: print column

Print Column: Shouldn’t the Law Be Legal?

Print Column: Shouldn’t the Law Be Legal?

MINOT, N.D. — As we approach the home stretch of the 2018 campaigns North Dakota’s Democrats are trying to make a campaign issue out of a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obamacare. Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, not to mention his former employee U.S. House candidate Mac Schneider, have been all but accusing Republicans of wanting

Print Column: Initiated Measures Have Become the Domain of Rich Donors and Political Professionals

MINOT, N.D. — There are some who defend initiated ballot measures, the method through which distracted voters decide complicated policy questions, as some sort of an egalitarian ideal. They want us to believe that legislating at the ballot box is the purest form of the people doing the people’s business. Something on a higher moral

Print Column: China Wants Trump to Knuckle Under on Trade, and So Does Heidi Heitkamp

MINOT, N.D.—The Shirky Principle, named for technology writer Clay Shirky, holds that institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. We could adapt the saying for politics by arguing politicians do not want to solve problems which are politically advantageous to them. It is through that lens we should see

Print Column: Are Capricious State Regulators Contributing to ND’s Child Care Shortage?

MINOT, N.D.—One of the most bedeviling problems facing the great state of North Dakota are chronic labor shortages, as generations of policymakers can attest. A factor in labor shortages is a paucity of services such as child care. Contributing to the child care shortage, perhaps, is a regulatory regime for care providers which is both

Print Column: It’s Time for North Dakota to Legalize Pot

MINOT, N.D.—This week organizers of a ballot measure aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana turned in an estimated 18,700 signatures to the secretary of state’s office. By law they needed less than 14,000 to qualify for the November ballot. Barring some unforeseen problems with the petitions this issue will be before North Dakota voters in the

Print Column: Deep Pocketed Interests Routinely Buy Their Way Onto North Dakota’s Ballot

Criticize North Dakota’s initiated measure laws, the process whereby citizens can collect signatures and enact policy directly through a vote, and you’ll be targeted for scorn and personal attacks. There are many in North Dakota and beyond who believe that initiated measures are a purer form of democracy than what we get from the Legislature

Print Column: Let’s All Be Thankful Democrats Haven’t Been in Charge of ND Oil Policy

MINOT, N.D.—”The for sale sign is out,” Whiting Petroleum Corp. CEO Brad Holly told the Denver Business Journal recently. “We’re trying to sell all our properties in Colorado.” That’s a pretty big deal, because as it happens Whiting, founded in 1980, is actually headquartered in Colorado where it exists as the state’s largest oil company.

Print Column: The Politics of North Dakota’s Big Bad Budget Bind

MINOT, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum released his budget guidelines for the 2019-2012 biennium this week, and the tone of his fiscal message was grim. We’re in for more cuts. Burgum is asking that state agencies deliver budget recommendations for lawmakers, who will meet for their regular session in January, that reduce spending by 5