It Wasn’t the Governor’s Job to Announce the Tax Commissioner’s DUI

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger under arrest for DUI on September 30.

North Dakota’s Democrats and their propagandists in the media are trying to manufacture a phony-baloney controversy over Governor Doug Burgum knowing about Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger’s DUI for weeks before Rauschenberger himself announced the arrest to the public.

Here’s the Democrats banging that drum on Twitter:

This narrative breaks down when you consider that news of Rauschenberger’s arrest was public almost immediately after it happened.

That information is public record, you see. Arrests. Incarcerations. Court proceedings. It’s not only available to anyone in the public, including members of the media, who want to see it but you can literally look this stuff up online.

The citation in Rauschenberger’s arrest, which happened on September 30, was documented on the state’s criminal record database by October 6. I’m sure the information was available from local police sources even quicker.

Yet the first media reports of the arrest didn’t appear until about two weeks later.

So the issue here isn’t whether Governor Doug Burgum should have divulged the information. That’s not his job.

The question, if we’re going to ask one, is why nobody in the media noticed that a statewide elected official had been arrested for DUI until roughly a month later when he announced it himself?

Someone in the media – and I’m including myself in this as I’m usually on top of these things – should have noticed. We didn’t. That’s our fault. The information was available.

But Democrats and their operatives, absent substantive issues to campaign on, want this to be a scandal for Governor Burgum.

It isn’t.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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