Follow us on Facebook

Latest Comments

ND Outdoors Sites


Featured Link


Login Form

Support NorthDecoder

Search This Site


Amazon Search Widget

Feature Stories

The Low Road

Amazon Search

JoomlaWatch 1.2.12 - Joomla Monitor and Live Stats by Matej Koval
ND's Only Democratic Statewide Partisan Race Official To Resign PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Tuesday, 10 March 2009 09:47
Video clip of ND Ag Commisioner Roger Johnson
at the DNC Convention in Denver in August 2008

North Dakota's partisan Republicans should be celebrating in the streets today.  Soon they'll be handed the only partisan-race office currently held by a Democratic-NPLer in North Dkaota.  North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson was elected as the president of the National Farmers Union organization today and will resign his office as ND Ag Commissioner soon.

Gov. John Hoeven will name a successor to fill out the remaining two years on Johnson’s term.

Hoeven is expected to pick a fellow Republican. The appointee would be the first Republican in the office in 20 years. Democrat Sarah Vogel served two terms before Johnson. Another Democrat. Republican Kent Jones served from 1981 to 1988.

Ron Rauschenberger, Hoeven’s chief of staff, said the governor has not set a timeline for deciding on Johnson’s successor. He said half a dozen people have expressed interest in the job, including Lance Gaebe, Hoeven’s deputy chief of staff and agriculture policy adviser, and Doug Goehring, who twice was defeated by Johnson.

Fargo Forum

I assume it will be Goehring.  Gaebe, a nice enough guy, has never run for office (has he?), probably doesn't have the kind of background needed for the job and has never been in charge of a statewide political campaign, to my knowledge.   Goehring ran a couple close races against Johnson, despite the controversy surrounding his role in scandals at the Nodak Mutual insurance.  (Click here and click here for more on that.)  Goehring would likely continue to have the ultra-conservative Farm Bureau behind him.  But our lazy, inneffective press barely followed or understood the Goehring-Nodak-Poolman story when it was happening, and nobody in North Dakota's media was smart enough to understand it even after I dumbed it down and spoon-fed it to them.

It will be interesting to see which political hack Hoeven puts into this position.  And it'll be interesting to watch the Republicans and their mouthpieces at their official newspaper, the Bismarck Tribune, go after Johnson for leaving in a way they will continue to ignorantly characterize as being "similar" to Jim Poolman's departure.  But that's okay.  An ineffective, disinformational, lazy media isn't quite so bad once you get used to it. 

Comments (13)add comment

I have issues said:

As a democrat...
...I consider Roger my friend. That said, I cannot express how deeply disappointed I am with this situation.

To be clear...I do not consider it similar to the resignation of Poolman. Poolman went to work for Industry. Roger will continue to work for farmers and ranchers...for the people. It is not the same whatsoever.

I feel deeply betrayed by Roger. Go ahead and attack me for this but I am only saying what I feel. IF Goehring is the appointee, Roger has turned over his elected seat to his defeated opponent. Goehring is corrupt and if he is the chosen one will soon turn North Dakota agriculture over to big agribusiness corporations and fill the state with CAFO's. Family agriculture as we know it will be over.

I can't see how Roger can do this to the people of North Dakota. Yes, he can do good things for National Farmers Union but he was elected by us. We gave money to his campaign so he could get re-elected. He was given a direction by the people and we trusted that he would fulfill his obligation to us.

Not only will we lose our ag commissioner...we lose a seat on the Industrial Commission and the State Water Commission.

Yes, as a democrat I feel betrayed. As a resident of North Dakota, I feel betrayed. As a voter, I feel betrayed.

March 11, 2009
Votes: +2

Truth said:

So if Hoeven appoints a Democrat to the post, will he be a political hack as well?
March 11, 2009
Votes: +1

Chet said:

Generally speaking, lots of people expect people's future behavior will be consistent with their past record. Is that a perfect way to predict future behavior? No. Absolutely not. But when someone has always consistently acted a certain way, there's no reason to expect them to act otherwise.

Hoeven has a perfect or nearly perfect record of appointing political hacks any time he's ever had an opportunity to make an appointment. Though Hoeven has made lots and lots of appointments, I can only think of one exception to that rule. Other than that, if he's ever appointed a non-hack to anything, I haven't seen or heard anything of it. I'll admit I might have missed one somewhere, but I doubt it.

Might Hoeven prove me wrong and appoint someone other than a political hack? Sure. The temperature in Bismarck might be 95 degrees tomorrow too. And the sun might come up in the west. Would you volunteer to hold your breath until he appoints a non-political hack, Truth?

Be honest.
March 11, 2009
Votes: -1

Out west said:

Don't count out Jack Dalrymple. He might like a real job.
March 11, 2009
Votes: +0

nimrod said:

Who needs a job?
Well, I'm thinking that Drew Wrigley will be needing a job. Even though Obama shocked all the "Keep Wrigley" cheerleaders by not asking for the resignations of all sitting US Attorneys. Of course, Wrigley would have to turn it down, because Hoeven would not be acting with the appropriate spirit of "bipartisanship" demanded by the Republicans. I'm thinking Clare Carlson is regretting his appointment to WSI. Dollars to doughnuts he's lobbying real hard to switch appointments.
March 11, 2009
Votes: +0

Truth said:

I'll hold my breath. I think that maybe just maybe for Hoeven's political future he may consider appointing a Democrat. If he does, will you come on here and call him a political hack or not because it will be a Democrat.

If I remember right, Dems have said with elections come consequences, so Hoeven won the election and he has the right to appoint whom he wants much like Obama. So whomever Obama appoints are they political hacks as well or perhaps not because they are Demcorats. Just pointing out what I believe is the hypocricsy of the Democrats once again. Its good to use the language of elections and consequences when it serves the Democrats purposes but when a Republican uses the same tactics the Democarts are upset and resort to name calling.
March 11, 2009
Votes: +0

Democrat said:


This is to As a Democrat:

I think it is pathetic that we are so arrogant to blame Roger for moving on.

For 12 years he has carried the water, and still remained our only elected statewide official.

I think we all need to take some responsibility rather than play the blame game and pity ourselves because we no longer have a statewide elected official. “Oh No—we lost are only Democrat.”

News FLASH—We have had 12 years to elect others.

What did you want to happen? Roger to remain the only elected official for 40 years.

We all need to wake up and start developing NEW people to run for office and participate in the process to fill some of these positions so we do not have to rely on one person for more than a decade.

The fact that we only have a couple qualified democrats to fill his place is the problem.

We always blame others; other people, we blame the state party, we blame the weather.

I have an idea, how about we quit blaming those that have served, and start developing and attracting new people.

How about we quit referring to the Democratic Party as they and start to realize that “WE ARE THE PARTY?”

If you don’t like something ,what are you going to do to change it?
March 11, 2009
Votes: +3

nimrod said:

Yeah, but . . .
Now, Roger had a (D) behind his name, but what did he do, at the state level, that reflected the Democratic party platform rather than the Republican party platform? I'm not throwin' stones, I'm just wonderin'.
March 11, 2009
Votes: +0

Kaylea said:

Johnson not the only dem in statewide elected office
Ok, sure technically Roger Johnson is the only one with the (Dem-NPL) behind his name on the ballot but there are numerous statewide officials who love big government just as much as Johnson. I don't get why the democrats complain about Hoeven and other statewide officials when they are far more left than right. They despise limited government, individual liberties and personal responsibilities of course they would never say it. Hoeven has grown the state budget 25% over the biennium! What more could big spending dems ask for? Christ! Its about damn time that we get some real conservative/libertarian minded statewide officials because presently there is not one!
March 11, 2009
Votes: -2

Adam said:

to Kaylea:
I think there is a quote that goes something like "Republicans complain that government doesn't work and then they get into office and prove it." This is certainly not the case with every Republican or every "fiscal conservative" but in this state, I have had enough experience with the Republican party leadership in this state to be ready to fire the lot of them.

I simply don't trust people that believe in shrinking the size of government and in the end wind up leaving the budget unbalanced and spend more money on less than any liberal would be able to get away with.

I frankly am unswayed with the meme that says that government is bad and it should be continually diminished to a smaller and smaller role in society until it can be, as Grover Norquist said "drowned in a bathtub."

Good government has a necessary, helpful, and productive role to play in society in cases where the free market fails to provide an efficient result. Government cannot always provide a perfectly efficient result, but it can-in some cases-provide a more efficient result than unregulated free markets. If you don't understand that, you probably will not get my vote. there are too many examples in history of the government not doing its job and sending the markets and our economy into a tailspin.

Now, to Hoeven specifically, he is a PR genius, but I don't know of any program he has created that has given us more jobs, a better economy, a safer environment, or a larger population(something he promised when he ran in 2000 by the way and has failed at). He takes ideas that Democrats present and brands them as his own and he takes credit for all the work that our congressional delegation does to help our state. He does attend a lot of ribbon cutting events though(because he has a guy working full time to find events for him to attend)...I guess you can call that an accomplishment...

Are the State Dems perfect? No, but the NDGOP has had far too much power for far too long...
March 12, 2009 | url
Votes: +1

Chet said:

To Kaylea
The days of Republicans claiming Democrats are for "big government" ended when Ronald Reagan grew the U.S. government by 25 to 30 percent. And, from what I hear, Reagan is the example by which all of North Dakota's most conservative Republicans set their clock. They even went so far as to rename their state party headquarters after the original big spender.
March 12, 2009
Votes: +2

nimrod said:

Off topic and on topic
Off topic: Republicans are blind to their own hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is not a problem when the only consistent principles defining your party are fear and greed. On topic: I am not holding my breath -- the next ND Ag Secretary will be Clare Carlson. The only problem is that Hoeven will have to deal with him more frequently if Carlson is Ag Secretary, than if he is Number 2 at the WSI money factory. I like Goehring, but I don't think Hoeven does.
March 12, 2009
Votes: +0

Truth said:

Biden - "Gimme a f*&$#ing break,"
Where's the outrage from the DEMS about the VP using this type of language (http://blogs.abcnews.com/polit...oe-no.html).

The MSM and members of the hate filled left sure poured it onto Cheney - oh wait, another case of Democrate being hypocritical.
March 15, 2009
Votes: +2

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters