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Wayne Stenehjem Is Selling North Dakota PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chet   
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 03:46

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is selling North Dakota a bill of goods.  Yesterday he signed on to the Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions in the health care reform legislation recently passed by Congress and signed into law.

This is nothing more and nothing less than a public relations stunt by Wayne Stenehjem.  He knows the lawsuit is a loser.  He took a constitutional law class in law school.  He knows.  

But if you don't know why the lawsuit is so frivolous, read the letter from Georgia Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker.  It is the most succinct explanation of the flaws in the frivolous Florida lawsuit that I've seen so far.  Read away...

Perdue Letter

But do you know what else this is?  I think this is another illegal corporate campaign contribution to Wayne Stenehjem.  Wayne Stenehjem (on behalf of North Dakota) is only willing to commit $1,000 towards the attorney fee fund in this case? 

Think about that.  Stenehjem has committed over sixty thousand dollars to defending North Dakota's Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) in a claim by a top government employee seeking compensation for being wrongfully terminated after blowing the whistle on his bosses.  And they've only got $1,000 to defend the United States Constitution?  


A thousand dollars.  The law firm hired by Stenehjem to handle this case for North Dakota bills $250 per hour, and Stenehjem is in for four hours, tops.  Stenehjem will spend $100,000 to defend a state agency that wrongfully terminates an employee, but will only spend $1,000 defending the United States constitution?

It's a dog of a case, and Stenehjem knows it.  That's why he's only in for $1,000.  That should help him minimize the embarassment when the State of North Dakota loses the lawsuit.  But the ridiculous case is popular with the Teabagger crowd.  I think this is nothing more and nothing less than the donation of a marketing/campaign issue to Wayne Stenehjem in the form of what is essentially free legal work from Stenehjem's favorite corporate Florida law firm. 

Wayne Stenehjem ought to be ashamed of himself, playing politics with his elected office.  He's an officer of the court, sworn to uphold the state and federal constitution, and he's dancing on the brink of possibly getting Rule 11 sanctions imposed against the State of North Dakota.  The only way he wins in this case is if forum shopping has paid off, and an activist Florida judge creates some new law.

There are other problems with the Florida case, too.  Like, did any of these Attorneys General ever think about the fact that a court won't strike the entire 2,000 page law?  They'd just strike the provision(s) the activist court thinks is/are unconstitutional, leaving in place all of the rest of the law.  Have any of them thought about what the impact of doing that might be?

North Dakota deserves better legal representation.

Comments (14)add comment

AdamFromND said:

He's only doing this because he wants to run for Gov in 2012. If you read into the AG's filling suit they are 99% republicans and most of them are more than likely going to run for the office of Gov in either 2010 or 2012 and this suit is a good way to rally the base for a primary run.
April 06, 2010
Votes: +1

jjabel said:

I agree with Chet...motives are nothing more than to appease the Teabagger crowd. Stenehjem probably looked at it this way...Hey, let’s spend $1K to get $5K from Scheels!
April 06, 2010
Votes: -1

Cherj said:

As a senior citizen, and a so called Teabagger, let me tell you that it's not that we don't want healthcare reform; it's that we don't want the government running our lives--trust me, this is already happening. Why would it take 2700+ pages to reform health??? Oh yes, there is way more than healthcare in that bill. We paid all our lives a social security, medicare tax; guess what--they are broke. Then we have Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac; guess what--they are broke. See any coalition here---they are run by the GOVERNMENT. How can the government run healthcare when they can't control themselves. Just wait til one of those new 16,000 IRS agents call you or stop in to make sure you have health insurance.
April 06, 2010
Votes: +1

doug d riley said:

if you
if you want the ag to quickly bail out,just tell him that wsi is in the middle of the healthcare bill having secert meetings,or just send him back to italy to look at how they handle organised crime.....
April 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Chet said:

So many right-wing talking points, so little time...
You are a senior citizen who does not want the government running your life. Yet you are surely benefiting from social security and medicare, right? If you want the government out of your life, why don't you volunteer to relinquish your benefits under those two socialist, government programs? You're going to have social security and medicare. It's young people who might not. For the good of the country, as a person who is against government involvement in citizens' lives, give up your government benefits. Do it today.

You are concerned that social security and medicare and fannie and freddy are broke. Where have you been when Republicans were deregulating the financial industry which caused all of those programs to go broke? Where where you when Democrats needed support to get those programs fixed? Were you voting for Republicans? So you're complaint is that you got what you paid for? You got what you voted for?

Where did you hear there will be 16,000 new IRS agents? Glen Beck? Newt Gingrich? Well, they're lying to you. Read this.

You know why it takes 2,700 to write a health reform bill? Because fixing a broken, corrupt health insurance and health care industry isn't as easy as writing a hard-paged, infant-version of a Dr. Seuss book. You don't solve big problems with three page solutions. My 8 (almost 9) year old son talks about how all the kids at his school think a 20 page book is a long book. He's read most of the Harry Potter books. He likes long kids' novels. Now, I'm not saying he's smarter than all the other 8 year olds, but I watching him grow and learn is helping me to understand why people are complaining about a bill that's 2,700 pages long. The length of the bill does not make it a "bad bill." If something's bad about the bill, it's in some part of the content. Americans don't like it because we're too lazy to read the bill. We're a fast-food nation, educated by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. We don't have time to READ THE BILL, but we have all the time in the world to complain about what Glen Beck tells us is in it.

Read the bill. Or at least get information about what's in the bill from more than one source. Then come back. Then we'll talk.

Start by reading this. It's only 3 pages long.
April 06, 2010
Votes: +2

freelanceterry said:

So...all the AG is spending on this lawsuit is 1k??? First, teabaggers should be pissed at that. Second, it proves that it's a political ploy. Third, I wonder what how much he was paid during his interview on News and Views this a.m.??? Is that factored into the $1,000? He also told Joel that the gov. agrees w/ the lawsuit....which I guess, also means he agrees w/ what amounts to be a 1990 Suburban w/ 200k+ miles and crappy tires as the resources ND is able to back it?
April 06, 2010
Votes: -1

Cherj said:

Chet, my my so much anger.

I am the senior citizen. I worked all my life so I could take care of MYSELF. 5 years ago I got a disease and became disabled; therefore I was required to sign up for Medicare which costs me $100 per month (it's required, not free. If I had a choice I would still be working and taking care of myself.

Deregulation was a bad idea, Republicans guilty, Democrats Barney Frank & Chris Dodd (Banking Committee) are on video saying everything was OK with Freddie & Fannie before it tanked. They also pushed banks to loan to people who chould not afford houses. Plenty of blame on both sides, but it's all the government running things badly -- exactly my point.

16000 IRS came from a Democrat Congressman.

The reason young people won't get Soc Sec is because the money was supposed to be in that fund -- BUT- Jimmy Carter authorized that money could be taken from the fund for other things.

Don't assume I haven't read the bill Chet; and I am more intelligent than getting my info from FOX, Limbaugh, Beck, Colmes, NBC, MSNBC, CNN etc.

Stop assuming no one but you know anything. Do it today.
April 06, 2010
Votes: +0

Chet said:

To Cherj
Go back and read what I wrote. This time take all the anger "in my voice" out of your head.

See? No anger here. I'm pretty happy.

I'm not going to address all your inaccurate right-wing talking points. I'll address one. The 16,000 number comes from a wildly inaccurate Republican caucus report. Read all about it by clicking here.

Read the bill and come back and we'll talk.

Good day.
April 06, 2010
Votes: +0

nimrod said:

Who'd you vote for in 2000?
I recall a big part of Gore's presidential campaign platform in 2000 consisted of a plan to "save" Social Security. That was too hard for almost-a-majority of voters to understand, so they voted for Bush. What did he and the Republican congressional majority do to make government work better? Oh yeah, enacted No Child Left Behind, which intruded on local school district curriculum planning so that every public school in the country now spends weeks teaching kids to take nationally standardized tests. Conservatives spout off about less government, then get in office and expand government programs, spend like drunken sailors, and fatten their cronies wallets.
April 07, 2010
Votes: +0

Chet said:

"Political Theater"
The Constitutional Accountability Center has done a thorough analysis of the frivolous lawsuit Wayne Stenehjem has signed us all up for.
To help set the record straight, CAC has prepared an issue brief entitled "The States, Health Care Reform, and the Constitution." This issue brief demonstrates that Congress clearly had the authority to pass health care reform--including the individual mandate--and that the legal challenges to the Act filed by a handful of State Attorneys General are more political theater than genuine constitutional argument. The issue brief also explains why state efforts to block implementation of the Act outright--known as state "nullification" of federal law--are an attack on the Constitution and purely symbolic at best. Finally, the issue brief highlights aspects of the Act that preserve the role of the States as "laboratories of democracy," allowing the States considerable flexibility to shape insurance exchanges or even opt out of the Act--including opting out of the individual mandate--so long as they create an alternative system that meets certain coverage and cost containment requirements.

A copy of the issue brief can be found here.

April 07, 2010
Votes: +1

What the Heck said:

hate to say this
I've been wondering how long before our visionary leaders will be pushing to 'opt out' of health care reform? If folks out there think for one minute they're going to create an alternative solution that takes care of those who need it most, think again.

April 07, 2010
Votes: +1

Marty said:

to Cherj
Re: 16000 IRS agents -- I don't know if factcheck.org is partisan or nonpartisan, but their response to the "16000 IRS agents" claim seems credible: http://www.factcheck.org/2010/03/irs-expansion/

Would you agree?
April 07, 2010
Votes: +0

doug d riley said:

i just read
that a lady with some back-bone has just been endorsed for attorney general of north dakota,THE NAMES(BOND JAMES BOND)but you can call her JEAN BOECHLER,a fargo attorney,i hope that she knows that theres going to be some really rough waters ahead,if shes as clean an honest as the story says,then wsi is going to through everything plus the kitchen sink at her,if she has the back-bone i PREY she does,then the injured workers have a chance,a small gleam of light,take a big sump pump inside wsi a start sucking the shit out ,chet would like to bring in high dollar teachers,which will bring in so9me serious students but if you do'nt start cleaning up the surrounding neighborhood,that means chasing out corrupt officials an pure scum like what runs wsi this state will just become a larger cesspool......
April 08, 2010
Votes: +0

big jake said:

In my absence, it is sad commentary to note that the intellect reflected herein and in our society at large has continued to deteriorate. I make this statement not in regard to any general disagreement, philosophical, political, or religious, but with a contempt for overt incendiary actions and the domination of lies in our instant media society. We have been on this downward spiral for some time with not signs of reaching its peak.

To be fair, many of the Decoder scribes are logical and civil, in particular when compared to the Bis. Tribune. Make no mistake, the current situation is not about any legitimate differing viewpoints. It is far more malevolent than just watching the lemmings leap---I would welcome that and sell tickets for the event. No such luck. Not unlike Germany of the 1930's, powerful forces are behind the scenes and the manipulation appears to be so easy. If you recall, that frenzy did not have a very good outcome.

It is time for some new voices to get off the sidelines. It is abunduntly clear that the Democrats have either no capacity or intent to stand up----at least here in ND with Potter being the exception.

Imagine a country being led by Palin or Beck. That alone should be enough to move us. WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 08, 2010
Votes: +2

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