Tag Archives: rich wardner

Sen. Oley Larsen (R-Minot) speaks to members of the House Finance & Taxation Committee in 2015. Tom Stromme / Bismarck Tribune

Publicly Oley Larsen Says He Won’t Resign, but Privately He’s Asking His Fellow Senators for Their Opinion

Publicly Oley Larsen Says He Won’t Resign, but Privately He’s Asking His Fellow Senators for Their Opinion

This morning embattled state Senator Oley Larsen (R-Minot) apologized for falsely claiming that Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is a terrorist trained by al Qaeda. He specifically said he was not apologizing to Omar, though, and he also said that he doesn’t intend to resign his position. “I’m willing to own my role in spreading misinformation

How Is It Not Racist to Call Someone a Terrorist Simply Because They’re Muslim?

I broke this story on Sunday evening. It’s now late Tuesday morning. Someone in the North Dakota Republican Party has finally got around to condemning Senator Oley Larsen (R-Minot) for perpetuating a long-debunked conspiracy theory about Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and al Qaeda. Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) has called on Larsen to apologize,

The North Dakota Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is working on a bill that relates to high-level radioactive waste storage and disposal. Mike McCleary / Bismarck Tribune

Legislature Should Consider Using Existing Platforms for Video of Committee Meetings

Several years ago the North Dakota Legislature implemented a video system for floor sessions in the House and Senate chambers. I should pause here to note that, with this blog celebrating its 16th birthday yesterday, I’ve been around long enough to remember when we only had an audio stream of floor sessions. Through RealPlayer which,

Governor Doug Burgum, left, and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner

Guest Post: Ethics Commission Front-Runner Has Corporate Ties to Large State Government Contracts

This guest post was submitted by Dustin Gawrylow, executive director of the North Dakota Watchdog Network There has been a lot of debate over the Ethics Commission that is currently being created in North Dakota as a result of the passage of the Measure #1 in 2018. Sixty-eight North Dakotans (including this writer) applied for positions

State Auditor Josh Gallion presents his Governor's Travel and Use of State Resources report to members of the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Bismarck. Bismarck Tribune photo

Legislative Leadership Flip Flops and Embraces Move to Gut State Auditor’s Powers

In the closing days of the 2019 legislative session an amendment was slipped into the budget for state Auditor Josh Gallion’s office. The amendment was approved by bipartisan majorities in both chambers – only a small faction of Republicans in the state House voted against it – and signed by Governor Doug Burgum. It forces

"The Pioneer Family" stands in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on July 14, 2016, in Bismarck. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Guest Post: The Legislature’s Appropriate Role in Overseeing State Audits

This guest post was submitted by Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, a Republican from Dickinson. The legislature has been challenged on its oversight of the State Auditor’s Office and the time has come to set the record straight.  This entire debate started when the North Dakota State Auditor requested 11 additional staff members. To better

State Auditor Josh Gallion presents his Governor's Travel and Use of State Resources report to members of the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Bismarck. 6-27-2018

Sean Foss: Lawmakers Can Tell the Auditor What to Do, but They Shouldn’t

This guest post was submitted by Fargo attorney Sean Foss. The recent dispute over the Legislature and Governor’s approval of restrictions on the State Auditor’s ability to perform performance audits has exposed numerous fault lines among our state’s leaders about who should have the ability to investigate and expose the potential misuse of public funds.

North Dakota State Auditor Josh Gallion, center, listens to Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, left, during a meeting at the state Capitol Monday, May 13, 2019. John Hageman / Forum News Service

No, Senator Wardner, the Legislature Is Not in Charge of the Auditor

The American system of government is built around the concept of distributing the powers of government over multiple branches. At the state level its implementation can vary from one jurisdiction to the next, but that core concept persists wherever you go in the country. For good reason. It’s a solid concept, one requiring some degree

North Dakota Republican Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, right, listens while Gov. Doug Burgum speaks during a bill signing ceremony at the state Capitol Friday, April 26, 2019. John Hageman / Forum News Service

Don’t Let Them Fool You, Lawmakers Knew Exactly What They Were Doing to the Auditor’s Authority

Now that there has been some public blow back over legislation gutting the autonomy of the state Auditor, certain state lawmakers are in full walk-back mode. There is even some talk of calling the Legislature back into session to address the issue, which was likely prompted by news of a nascent referendum campaign. I hope

Eight border wall prototypes in front of the existing wall between Mexico and the United States, in Otay Mesa, Calif., Oct. 30, 2017. (Josh Haner/Copyright 2018 The New York Times)

North Dakota Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Backing Trump’s Call for a Border Wall

Nationally the federal government is shut down over funding for the border wall (or fence or whatever) that President Trump campaigned on in 2016. Here in North Dakota a group of state lawmakers – including House Majority Leader Chet Pollert and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner – have signed onto a resolution calling for the

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