Unheralded

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — The Heidi-Kevin Show

OK, people, I’m warning you, I took Ambien, so anything could happen. Then again, I might simply nod off. It would be much worse if you nodded off. Now would be a perfect time for that energy drink, or if you want something less stimulating, crack cocaine. I now keep my energy drinks in a gun safe because of what …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Who’s Got Money, Who Doesn’t? And Who Didn’t File A Report?

AND THE WINNER IS … Ryan Rauschenberger! North Dakota’s election laws require all candidates for statewide and legislative offices to file campaign finance disclosure statements three times a year — before the primary election, before the general election and at the end of the year. All contributions greater than $200 from an individual or a political action committee must be …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Here I Come To Save The Day

President Donald Trump’s propensity to just make stuff up and spit it out to the media, or via Twitter, is contagious. I’m afraid Al Jaeger has caught the bug. C’mon, Al, you’re better than this. Dang. Background: At the State Republican Convention a month or so ago, convention delegates, disregarding Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s 25 years of loyal service …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Potpourri

Laurel or Yanny? Weird week. Everyone was weighing in on the Laurel or Yanny question. Some heard the robotic voice on the Internet say “Yanny”, others heard “Laurel.” Others thought their iPad was possessed by Stephen Hawking, Linda Blair or M. Night Shyamalan. The president heard “covfefe”. As for me, I distinctly heard, “Paul is dead.” and I think, in …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Monday Morning Update On Will Gardner

Although Peeping Will Gardner has said he will “withdraw from the election of Secretary of State,” because it’s “the best decision for my family and me,” (you can read more about that in earlier post) the ballot for the June 12 primary election is already printed, and his name is on it. So, on June 12, voters will go to …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘If If There’s Anything You Ever Did In Your Life You Don’t Want To See On The Front Page Of The Paper …’

From time to time over the years, I’ve received phone calls from aspiring politicians seeking advice on whether to run for some public office. Generally, it’s something like, “Hey, Jim, I’m thinking about running for dogcatcher. I’m wondering what you think about that. You got any advice for me?” My first response is always the same. “Well, that’s great. It …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Another Kerfuffle

I’d like to begin this week by saying, “That darn Heidi Heitkamp.” I’m referring, of course, to last week’s column in The Forum in which Mike McFeely ever-so-gently, in his curmudgeonly way, suggested that fellow columnist Rob Port might try writing about someone other than Heidi Heitkamp. Like maybe Joel Heitkamp. I mean, I ain’t exactly Sherlock Holmes, but if …

RON SCHALOW: Poor Paranoid Lying Port

My buddy, Rob Port, used the coveted space for his Sunday column to set up a hypothetical Festivus pole, air his grievances and sob over his keyboard. My sources say he paced in the hall for a solid 45 seconds before getting winded and falling into a heap of self-pity. The feats of strength portion of Festivus was canceled, due …

RON SCHALOW: Port And Cramer — Making Collusion Fun Again

I bought a gizmo that is supposed to drive away vermin by emitting a super high-pitched sound. I wanted a herd of hard-partying ants on a sugar high to take a hike. Or take a long walk off a short pier, like my uncles used to tell me on a regular basis. It’s undignified to live with insects that strut …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Race For An Open Seat In Congress

North Dakota’s Democrats will hold their state convention in Grand Forks later this week, and the highlight, if there’s to be one, will be choosing a candidate to run for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. So I’ve been thinking a bit about politics and conventions, especially past ones, similar to what we might see this …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Memories Of A Great Governor

Calm was the day in late July And bright was the sun across the sky But inside his chest the calm had broken Governor Sinner had started croakin’. I laughed the first time I read that, and I’m still laughing every time I think about it. It’s a poem written by a sixth-grader from Turtle Lake, N.D., about Gov. George …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Seems To Be A Lot Of POS’s Around These Days

North Dakota’s district political conventions are about over, and state conventions are coming up, so I thought I might write a few political columns for the next few weeks. I’ve been hanging out around politics for a few years, and still have a pretty good memory (something my wife would dispute), and I still know a lot of the players …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Musical Chairs Leaves Land Commissioner Without A Job

I really thought (and kind of hoped) when I read in the paper Friday morning that the State Land Board had said good-bye to its longtime North Dakota State Land Commissioner, Lance Gaebe, that the next story I would read about him would be his appointment as director of the USDA Rural Development office in North Dakota. But Donald Trump, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Anybody Want To Have A Fundraiser? Here’s A List

This one is for North Dakotans — and those who follow North Dakota politics. I received an e-mail this week from some thoughtful person who thought I might be interested in a fundraising event for State Rep. Al Carlson, the Republican legislative leader. Turns out I wasn’t interested in the fundraiser, but I was interested in the e-mail. The e-mail, which …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Bully For Billy

If you didn’t like Billy Kretschmar, the fault was not his. Billy was a fixture in the North Dakota House of Representatives from 1974 to 2016, with one lost election in between, and during that time, most politicians would have developed fierce enemies. If Billy had them, I don’t know who they are. When I deconstructed his career in a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Ben Hanson For Congress: A Good Idea

So it begins. North Dakota has its first official candidate in the 2018 election. Given all the weird shit (read: Trump) that’s been going on over the past eight months or so, I’m eager for a fresh start, and my young friend, Ben Hanson, has provided that. Thank you, Ben. Ben sent me an e-mail shortly after midnight last night …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Herb Meschke: A Brilliant Mind In A Broken Body

They’ll bury Herb Meschke later this week. I don’t know if it will be in the North Dakota Bad Lands, where he was born and raised, or in Minot, where he spent most of his life. Wherever it is, his presence will enhance the stature of the cemetery. Herb was a cowboy, a lawyer, a legislator, a judge and a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Beware The Ides Of March

An apology to my readers. I was born with a weak spine. Literally but not figuratively — I hope. So, I’ve had these recurring back problems since I reached middle age. They’re usually fixable, but it takes some time, and I’m in one of those time periods right now. The doctors started working on it in early February, and they …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Rerun

I think I’m just going to rerun this column from the Unheralded.Fish website from two years ago about this time of the year in every odd-numbered year from now on. Nothing seems to change. Why should I spend a bunch of time writing something new? Nobody seems to be paying any attention anyway. JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — …

RON SCHALOW: Where We Are Now — Our Sad State Of Affairs

I could start this Fish thing with something less nauseating, but political talk is required this close to an election. It’s a rule — or something. There’s no point in adding more words to the Trump and Clinton compost pile, but I will anyway. One is a grabby psychopath pig, that smells like an ugly 4-months dead squid. Or so …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Lack Of Legislative Ethics Code Leaves Integrity In Question

Once upon a time, there was a legislator who had to report campaign donations by amount and by donor … one who had to disclose how his funds were spent … one who would explain why a donor was not creating a conflict of interest. Once upon a time, this same legislator was bound by a code of ethics. It …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Crossing Over-Thank You, Dick Dobson, For The Reminder

By most measures, Dick Dobson should be about 150 years old. He’s got some hard miles on him, but at 81, he’s still got his memory and his health, and at that age, you can’t ask for much more. For those of you who don’t remember him, Dobson is the former editor and publisher of the Minot Daily News, and …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What The Hell Just Happened?

WTF? Nobody — not me, not you, not Doug Burgum — could have predicted that outcome. Some predicted a Burgum win. Not me, although I had this nagging feeling every time I saw Ed Schafer on TV that maybe, just maybe, it could happen. But too many times I have predicted an election outcome because I wanted that outcome, not because I …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — High Praise

Well, high praise from Pat Finken on Monday, in the form of an email from the Brighter Future Fund. Finken’s superpac, Brighter Future Fund (yeah, right) is a big supporter of Wayne Stenehjem. Finked created his superpac in 2012 with money from the North Dakota Republican Party and a bunch of big GOP donors like Jim Roers, Steve Scheel and Jim Arthaud …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Voting For Burgum: A Primer For Democrats

It was late afternoon on an dreary late October day in 1990. I was stopped at the Fifth Street railroad crossing in downtown Bismarck, waiting for a train to go by on the tracks in front of me. I looked to my left and there, in the car beside me, was Ed Schafer. He spotted me about the same time. He …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Half-Assed Apology

Two things about the article I wrote about campaign signs the other day: I’m going to make a half-assed apology to John Warford for saying he had an illegal campaign sign in his yard because, It turns out the Wayne Stenehjem campaign sign I wrote about wasn’t illegal. Warford in a minute. First the sign. Bismarck did indeed pass a city ordinance …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — These Are A Few Of Our Favorite Things

One of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s favorite things is to challenge laws passed by other governmental bodies, especially the federal government (and now, it seems, local governments, too). One of Kathleen Wrigley’s favorite things is to see her picture in the paper. One of Odney Advertising’s favorite things is to collect nice commissions on ads placed on behalf of political …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Turns Out Nobody’s Looking Out For The Little Missouri

A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article here about the Little Missouri State Scenic River Commission and how important it had been to protecting the integrity of North Dakota’s only “State Scenic River” during our first oil boom in the 1970s and ’80s. If you missed it, you can go here to catch up. Well, we’ve had another boom …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Accidental Senators

They’re going to bury Jim Pomeroy today. Former State Sen. Jim Pomeroy. Jim was a lot of things in his life. A minister. A carpenter. A musician. A counselor to the aged, sick and infirm. A husband. A father. A grandfather. A volunteer. A loyal Democrat. A cousin to a U.S. congressman. He was those things on purpose. He was a …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Elections Can Make You Toss Your Cookies

As I write this article on April 4, my 77th birthday, I am reminded of what happened on this day in 1972. The election for municipal judge was held on that day. This being my first and only run for elective office, I went with my wife, my best friend and his wife to see John Wayne in “The Cowboys” …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Couple Of Reasons Why I Like Politics

SPEAKING OF NEW DRESSES Wednesday, I wrote a long story about lieutenant governors, mostly, and in it, I poked some fun at my friend, Jim Poolman. If you missed it, click here. But here’s another addition to the story, and it demonstrates why I like Jim Poolman. He has a sense of humor and a thick skin. Last night, I was sitting in …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Of Lieutenant Governors And Knit Dresses

WAIT A MINUTE OK, the story below about state Sen. Nicole Poolman is funny, but according to her husband, it is not quite true. Almost, but not quite. The real story is even funnier. Way at the very end of this blog, I repeated a story that’s been making the rounds in political circles these days. A story about state …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Super Tuesday? Not In North Dakota

Super Tuesday. Republicans and Democrats all over America will  line up tomorrow to cast their votes for their favorite presidential candidates. By the end of the night, we might have a pretty clear picture of who the two national party candidates will be, although 34 states and a handful of territories won’t have completed their processes yet. Including North Dakota. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Doug Burgum: We Are Facing New Economic Reality In North Dakota: Fed Data Shows N.D. As One Of Worst-Performing States

Note: In Monday’s article, I discussed the North Dakota governor’s race, in light of the economic downturn the state is suffering. Today, one of the candidates for governor, Doug Burgum, discusses the state’s economic plight in an op-ed he e-mailed to the North Dakota media late Monday.  — Jim Fuglie By Doug Burgum The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia for …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Oh, Woe Is Me, I’m A Democrat

What’s a Democrat to do? Just when the North Dakota Republican Party appears more vulnerable than it has been in almost 25 years, the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party has retrenched into a hole so deep that it’s unlikely Democrats here will be able to climb out of it in time to compete in an election about 280 days hence. The …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Whither The Meadowlark? A Message For North Dakotans Who Enjoy The Outdoors

Here’s a question for some of you who spend a lot of time in the outdoors in the fall: How was your pheasant season? “Good enough, I guess,” would be my response. All of us who hunt pheasants in North Dakota are loathe to say anything gloomier than that, because saying “It wasn’t all that great” might mean admitting: We …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — RIP, Buckshot Hoffner … One Of The Great Ones

Sebastian Fabian Hoffner, 91, Bismarck, died Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, at St. Vincent’s Care Center in Bismarck. Mass of Christian burial will be said for him at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 22) in St. Boniface Church, Esmond, N.D. The praying of a rosary will begin at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Nicknamed “Buckshot” from a young age, he was born …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All The Lawyers

You might remember that memorable line, uttered by Dick the butcher, from perhaps the least memorable of Shakespeare’s plays, “Henry VI.” I thought of it today because I was thinking about lawyers. And governors. It’s been 30 years since North Dakota had a lawyer in the governor’s chair. That’s about to end. Because it looks like the race for governor …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The End of the Drew Wrigley Story … For Now

“Then there’s the strange case of Drew Wrigley, the lieutenant governor and, many thought, heir apparent to the office. Wrigley has gotten himself tangled up in a messy personal situation that probably precludes his nomination …” That’s what I wrote a month ago today, on a quiet Tuesday morning, in an article ostensibly about Jack Dalrymple’s performance as governor (you …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — For Wayne Stenehjem, It’s Campaign Decision Time And It Will Be Fun To Watch

The first decision of Wayne Stenehjem’s soon-to-be-officially announced campaign for North Dakota Governor comes today, when the three-person Industrial Commission, of which he is a member, decides to give the Oil Industry a big wet kiss on the lips or a tiny slap on the hands. At issue is whether the commission will stick to its guns and enforce its …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Keep Your Pants Zipped

Way back when I was a mere news puppy, wise old editors counseled us on all the news that was — and, specifically, wasn’t — fit to print. “Remember that our subscribers read the paper over breakfast,” they’d caution. “The kids are at the table, too.” Those were the words we lived by. Today’s edition of our local daily newspaper …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — President Clinton, Gov. Stenehjem

Two comments on the state of politics today: John Hoeven lied. Start practicing now, so you are ready, in 2017, to say “Gov. Stenehjem” and “President Clinton.” First John Hoeven. I am glad that it took me a few days to get around to writing this because last week I was walking through a dusty parking lot in the Bad …