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Kevin Cramer Needs to Resign From North Dakota's Public Service Commission PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 22:35

CramerI don't  have all the details regarding who Kevin Cramer has been in bed with in the past, but I do know that -- as a public utility regulator -- he's certainly opened himself up for criticism for jumping in bed with the industries he is supposed to regulate in his capacity as a member of North Dakota's Public Service Commission.

Cramer -- while currently serves as a member of North Dakota's Public Service Commission -- is running for United States House of Representatives. He's recruited some big money for his campaign finance committee.  And the people on his committee come straight out of the industries he's supposed to impartially regulate at the PSC.  

Who's on his committee?  

Well, for starters, there's Gary Emineth, burrito chef, former NDGOP chairman and North Dakota's lone Rick Perry for Prostitute-In-Chief fan club member. Surprisingly, Emineth is one of the few people on Cramer's committee who does NOT present an obvious conflict of interest.

Who does?  Who's on Cramer's campaign finance committee?  

From Cramer's website:

Harold Hamm of Enid, OK – CEO and Executive Chairman of Continental Resources....

Martin A. White, of Mandan, ND – [  ] White served as the President and CEO of MDU Resources – North Dakota’s only Fortune 500 company – from 1997 until his retirement in 2006 and also as Chairman of the Board of MDU Resources from 2001 to 2006... [ ]

Ronald D. Offutt of Fargo, ND – Founder and Chairman of the R. D. Offutt Company and RDO Equipment Company... [ ]

Michael J. Armstrong of Dickinson, ND – President and sole stockholder of The Armstrong Corporation and Armstrong Operating, Inc. Armstrong is a member of numerous energy industry organizations... [ ]

Judith Ekberg Johnson of Bismarck, ND – Former President and CEO of Meyer Broadcasting Company... [ ]

Dan Traynor of Devils Lake, ND – Attorney at Law, former NDGOP State Chairman. Traynor is a member of the Defense Research Institute, North Dakota Defense Lawyers Association... [ ]

John Pierce of Moorhead, MN – Director of Planned Giving, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota... [ ]

KevinCramer's Website

I read that list and had an immediate reaction and an immediate thought: If Kevin Cramer had any integrity, he would resign from North Dakota's Public Service Commission today.  Not tomorrow or next week.  Today.

Think about this for just a split second (skip this part if you're a tea partier; I don't want anybody to hurt 'emselfs). If you think about it for just a moment and you are a reasonable, rational, ethical person, you will see what I'm talking about...

Cramer -- in his capacity as a PSC member -- is charged by us, the citizens, with presiding as an impartial regulator over hearings at which permits are granted or denied.  Three or four of the members of his campaign finance committee come straight out of industries Cramer's decisions directly impact.  Armstrong "is a member of numerous energy industry organizations,"  Hamm is a proud member of the Koch Brothers' Crime Family's "Million Dollar Club" as CEO for Continental Resources, a huge oil company with billions of dollars in interests in North Dakota's Bakken Shale oil field.  You don't even have to wonder quietly to yourself whether RDO sells any equipment to the companies working in the oil field, including Hamm's company.  

This Martin A. White fellow, since leaving his multi-million dollar job at MDU, is apparently a director of Buckeye GP LLC, which appears to be a pipeline company.  More power to him.  But should he really be serving on the campaign finance committee for someone who's charged with regulating his industry?  

And Cramer sits on the adjudicatory panel that issues rulings relating to oil pipelines that benefit these oil companies?  And he signs orders authorizing oil companies companies to extend power service to their oil well pads?  Whenever they need it?  

It smells bad.  Rotten, in fact.  If Cramer is going to run for Congress and be funded by big oil companies and pipeline companies and others who've made millions and billions in the industry Cramer is supposed to objectively regulate, Cramer needs to resign.

But first he'd need to recognize there's a problem.

Fat chance.

(Click here for some important follow-up information to this story.)

Comments (6)add comment

nimrod said:

Now that, my friends, is chutzpah.
December 07, 2011
Votes: +0

big jake said:

I'm not so sure that Cramer represents "chutzpah". It is more Dick Armey, tea party, Koch Brothers form of arrogance and entitlement. This great country belongs to them and not us.

He should definitely resign. The Governor, if he had integrity, would quietly ask him too and if he says no, then publicly demand it. The Governor could improve his questionable ethical standards in just one shot.

I have no hope that this will happen. This is North Dakota. The infection, and it must be an infection, has crept from the Bible Belt and the Old South and worked its way north. I suspect that the disease while difficult to eradicat, may suffer doom under the weight of its own devices. As the tranfer of wealth continues unabated, it will nail most of them---us to.

I find no explanation for this other than the possibility that because we have had a spineless, top-down run Democratic party with the Directors successful action of dismantling local units and fixing our party so that our Washington delegation had all control and the trade-off of state and local politics being delegated to the Republicans, as the culprit. There still is a lot of really good folks who care about our state and understand that it is the democratic party that exists for the benefit of the great majority and may return if any hope arrived. A state or nation with a one party system cannot work. Cramer is the poster boy for the kind of destructive politics that has taken over the nation. I hope that "this too shall pass".

December 07, 2011
Votes: +6

nimrod said:

Big Jake, you are right on. There is no longer any question about PSC regulating anybody. It's clear from Cramer's political relationships that PSC treats the regulated community as its clients. Good thing for Cramer that Republican legislators have successfully killed efforts to establish a state ethics commission. Who needs ethical standards, or a commission to investigate ethical lapses?
December 08, 2011
Votes: +1

Big Running said:

I agree with Big Jake that the ND Democratic Party is a spineless bunch. Ryan Taylor seems like he is not quite sure about his candidate status. Nobody knows who he is and he is doing nothing to change that. I really think he'll be lucky to get 25% of the vote; get ready for 4 more years of GOP cronism Cramer and Dalyrmple style.
December 08, 2011
Votes: +0

nimrod said:

Why is the ND Dem Party sleeping through the radicalization of ND GOP politics and the Kochification of state government?
December 08, 2011
Votes: +0

Star said:

Maybe we could get an investigative reporter from the "foolem" or the "teabune" to do a thorough investigative report? Or one of outstanding tv stations? Or ......Damn,we are screwed unless we being this information out!
December 08, 2011
Votes: +0

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