Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Republicans Raising Taxes In North Dakota? Yep, They Did That

Wait a minute. Wait A Minute! WAIT A MINUTE! What the heck is going on here? The North Dakota Legislature raised your taxes, and everybody’s cheering! The cheerleaders? Republicans: Gov. Doug Burgum, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger. Democrats: Sen.. Heidi Heitkamp, Tax Commissioner candidate Kylie Overson. The chant: “A victory for North Dakota’s retailers!” Screw that. OK, …


Unheralded

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Wayne Stenehjem: Public Lands Enemy No. 1

We’ve got a million acres of public land, most of it excellent wildlife habitat, in western North Dakota, owned and managed by the U.S. government, which means you and me. I know, you’ve read those words before in my writings. Sorry, but I’m going to keep talking about this UNTIL SOMEBODY LISTENS! There’s a huge overlap between those public lands …


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 …

RON SCHALOW — Meet The Bastiats

“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.” ― …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Victory For The Good Guys — And The Bad Lands

In a major victory for conservationists, and for the North Dakota Bad Lands they work hard to protect, U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland of Bismarck ruled this week that the state of North Dakota and four western North Dakota counties have no right to go in and build roads in areas of the Little Missouri National Grasslands that have been inventoried …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Sellout Of Van Hook Park

WARNING: In this article, I’m going to rip some North Dakota politicians a new one. This isn’t personal, and it isn’t partisan. They’ve got it coming because of malfeasance in office. I’m not going to pull any punches. They deserve it. I know I’ve been pretty critical of some of our state’s leaders lately. Sorry. But we’ve got some really …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Long, Strange Saga Of Jason Halek Comes To An End

Well, it looks like Jason Halek (pictured above) is finally going to the pokey. Remember Jason? He’s the fellow who dumped more than 800,000 gallons of salty, oilfield wastewater into an abandoned oil well southwest of Dickinson in Stark County, North Dakota, and then attempted to cover it up. And his partner in crime, Nathan Garber, might be sitting in …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Citizens + United = Oxymoron

When the U.S. Supreme Court, on a 5-4 decision, ruled to basically eliminate caps on political spending through its decision on Citizens United — We the People lost. My comments apply to our political system and what has been happening in recent years, regardless of your political persuasion. Money has come to dominate our elections. Here are just a few examples …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Death By A Thousand Cuts

Pipelines leak. If North Dakota didn’t have such an awful reputation for not enforcing its environmental regulations in the Oil Patch, maybe we wouldn’t have a few thousand people camped out along the Cannonball River protesting the mother of all North Dakota pipelines, Dakota Access. Pipelines have been leaking oil and dangerous fracking saltwater all over western North Dakota for …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Bottom Line: In Your Face

There was a discussion at my table Saturday night about whether Indians in North Dakota have gained or lost respect as a result of the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy. There was no consensus. But what I do know is that important voices are rising in support of Tribal actions (although not so much in support of Tribal agitators), and there is …

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 …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Republican Candidates Dump Credibility For Trump

Criminal charges have been filed against three Michigan State and local officials after an investigation disclosed there were dangerous lead levels in Flint’s drinking water, which fueled public outrage. It also resulted in a visit by the president of the United States, who promised federal assistance, in no small part due to the inaction and cover-up by local politicians. The …

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 — Of Conventions And Things

Political parties exist for one primary purpose: to nominate candidates, generally of a like mind, for political office. Everything else political parties do is secondary to that. To be sure, there are other important secondary functions: to provide a platform on which those candidates base their campaigns, to provide a supporting organization and to provide money, or a means to …

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 — 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 — 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 …

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 …