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Weekenders - July 26, 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Fuglie   

(Cross-posted, with permission, from the Prairie Blog.)

porchesTHE CHANCELLORS’S NEW CAR

“I’m not coming from San Francisco. I am not a Beverly Hills person,” he said. “Most of my board members never (wear) ties … and they drive pickup trucks,—and in fact, I will be driving a truck too.”

That was the new North Dakota University System Chancellor Hamid Shirvani, quoted inThe Bismarck Tribune, shortly after being hired last spring. So what kind of truck did Shirvani show up in when he started work here this month? Um, well, it wasn’t exactly a pickup. It was a new Porsche with the dealer’s registration sticker still in the window. Says he bought it July 6. I haven’t been over to the Capitol lately, but friends tell me tongues are wagging every morning when he wheels the Porsche into the Capitol parking lot. There just aren’t a lot of those parked there most days.

AND THE BOOM GOES ON. OR NOT. YOU DECIDE.

Well, things are just hopping along in the Bakken. North Dakota’s doors are wide open. Here’s part of a story from The Bismarck Tribune this week.

North Dakota’s oil production could be more than 2 million barrels a day by 2025 — about three times the current rate — according to a state-funded study released Wednesday. Bentek Energy LLC, an analysis firm based in Evergreen, Colo., also predicts in its study that natural gas production could quintuple to some 3 billion cubic feet by 2025 in the Williston Basin, which includes the Dakotas and Montana.

North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad, North Dakota Petroleum Council Director Ron Ness and Alison Ritter, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Mineral Resources, said North Dakota’s natural gas potential could be parlayed into value-added industries from fertilizer to petroleum products in the state and beyond.

“This is an invitation for industry to come in and invest in North Dakota, if they haven’t already,” Ritter said.

Or not. Here’s part of a story from the Oil and Gas Journal this week.

The pace of oil drilling could slow in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and also in the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas if US prices were to drop below $80/bbl for a sustained period, said Baker Hughes Inc.’s president and chief executive officer.

“I think the shoe’s dropping in South Texas, no doubt about it,” Martin S. Craighead said during a July 20 second-quarter Baker Hughes earnings conference call. “I’m a little bit more concerned about the Bakken than I am (about) the Permian [basin],” he said.

Separately, Barclays Capital analyst Amrita Sen wrote in a July 10 research note thatNorth Dakota might be experiencing a slowdown after the state has repeatedly reported record drilling. “The largest drillers in the Bakken are all reducing their rig counts this month, although none acknowledge a change in drilling plans,” Sen said, citing a sharp drop in oil prices during June. That oil price drop cast doubts about the viability of shale production at prices below $80/bbl.

Well, Gee, I suppose we better all be hoping for the price of oil to stay above $80 a barrel. And that will keep our gas prices hanging in there close to $4.00 a gallon too.

NOW THAT’S A REALLY BOLD CHARGE

The Fargo Forum reported Monday that Joseph Etelt of Fargo was arrested for walking down a Fargo street wearing nothing but shoes and socks early Sunday morning. The charge, according to the Forum story: Suspicion of indecent exposure. Suspicion? Ya think? When police asked why he was naked, he replied “Why not?” Drunk, too. Really drunk. Well, at least he was walking, not driving.

BaeslerHONEST, HONEY, IT’S JUST TEMPORARY

There’s a funny story going around political circles these days about Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Kirsten Baesler’s breast implants (no, she didn’t do it just for the campaign—she did it a couple years ago—although she may have had a long-term plan and this was the beginning of her implementation). Seems Kirsten didn’t bother to tell her then-husband (they have since divorced—he claims infidelity, she claims he was a drunk) that she was going to do it, and so to explain it to him when she came home, she told him a story about having a biopsy or lump removed or something like that, and, and claimed her doctor said there would be some “swelling” for a while.  Except that the “swelling” didn’t seem to go down. Still, her husband  remained convinced (love really IS blind sometimes) that it was just a matter of time, until his sister finally took him aside and said something like “Dude. She got a boob job.” Turns out he was about the only one who bought the “swelling” story. Friends of the couple say she caused quite a stir in church when she walked down the aisle wearing a tight blouse shortly after the procedure.

REPEAT OFFENDERS

Last week you read about a company named Halek Operating ND, LLC (LLC, incidentally, means Limited Liability Corporation, which, if history is any teacher, could prove to be prophetic, at least in this case) getting slapped with a $1.5 million fine by the North Dakota Industrial Commission for oilfield waste violations—specifically, for dumping 800,000 gallons of saltwater down a well. Yes, you read that right. Eight hundred thousand gallons. The Industrial Commission is North Dakota Republicans Governor Jack Dalrymple, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

“There will not be any exceptions or leniency when these things happen,” Dalrymple said during the discussion.

Yeah, right.

No sooner had Dalrymple made that statement and voted “aye” on the motion, than industry lackey Lynn Helms, who’s supposed to be the state’s top oil “regulator” jumped in quickly with a caveat: The company has the right to challenge the fine and ask for a hearing. Which meant “Hey, guys, now that my bosses have had their front page headline for acting tough here, don’t worry, we’ll set up a hearing and see what we can do about that outrageous amount.”

What? You say, you’re finding it hard to believe a state official would think like that? Well, don’t believe me. Read this story. Last year, the very same company received an Industrial Commission fine of almost $600,000 for not cleaning up an oil spill. The result of that case: A hearing, and the company ended up paying only about $60,000, about ten per cent of the original fine. Helms managed to save the company about half a million dollars. Oh, and the company had to post a $20,000 bond, in case it happened again.

Well, it’s happened again. No exceptions or leniency, Governor? Uh huh. Do you think maybe if they had actually had to pay that $600,000 fine last year, they’d have been a little more careful about dumping 800,000 gallons of saltwater down a well this year? We’ll see if that $20,000 bond is enough to cover their $1.5 million fine. Wanna bet? I think I’m gonna find out when that hearing is and sit in. Anyone want to join me?

The Dickinson Press (owned by Forum Communications of Fargo) Publisher and Editor, Harvey Brock and Jenifer McBride, wrote a great editorial about this the other day. You can read it here.

A couple of humorous side notes to this story:

  • If you go to the Halek Operating ND LLC website, the company that dumped 800,000 gallons of salt water down a well, you’ll find this statement—one of the great Freudian slips I’ve seen lately—on their home page: Our goal is to discover oil and gas reserves in North Dakota with the potential of brining steady returns to our clients.
  • I put a note about this story on my Facebook page last week, and speculated that the criminal charges against the guy charged with doing this would probably eventually be dropped. One of my Facebook (and personal) friends, Monte Rogneby, who has a great sense of humor, happens to be the guy’s attorney. He commented: “Can I hope the criminal charges go away? :-)

A WILD GOOSE CHASE

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department this week sent out a press release announcing they were going to request a 15-goose daily limit for the early Canada Goose hunting season which begins in about 3 weeks. There’s a lot of geese around, the boys at Game and Fish say, so let’s open up on them. Yeah, right. Y’know, I really long for the days of Dale Henager and Lloyd Jones, who were both good biologists, but weren’t grandstanders like the current Game and Fish Commissioner and his staff. That’s right. These guys are just grandstanding—gee, we’re sorry, the oil industry has really taken over the deer habitat, we’re cutting deer licenses in half, but hey, we’re going to let you shoot 15 geese a day.

Here’s what’s wrong with this. The season runs from August 15 into September. The Canada geese are sitting around on small lakes in family groups of 5 or 10, not in the big flocks of hundreds you need to find to have a big goose shoot. So you can’t go out in the evening and scout big flocks, then set out decoys in the morning, and shoot lots of geese. Realistically, no one is going to get the opportunity to shoot 15 geese in a day. Second, no one is going to want to take home 15 giant Canada geese. Sheesh, the freezer would be full the first day of a season that lasts until late December. Most of us don’t shoot 15 geese in a season, much less in a day.

I really hope we elect a new governor in November so we can clean house at Game and Fish.


Comments (28)add comment

Linda O. said:

...
I also noticed that the only "attack" ad taking place was the one we are forced to watch. And of course there is nothing to back up the allegations these "women who have too much time on their hands" are suggesting.

The woman sitting across from Ilene is Neva Carlisle. Where is her hat?! The lady sitting to Ilene's left is unknown to me, but she could be an extra in the movie Fargo.

I know Ilene and next time I see her out and about somewhere plan to ask her what she was thinking when she agreed to participate in a misleading/lying ad on behalf of the Slumlord Millionare.

 
July 29, 2012
Votes: +1

big jake said:

...
The Chancellor's new car speaks for itself. It is the epitome of the state of higher education all across the nation. It is pathetic. Higher ed has become a racket. It enjoys the luxury of what happens when we institutionalize whatever, higher ed, healthcare, and the list goes on. They have rendered themselves exampt from the rules.

Dalrymple and the boys are what they have always been---a greedy, self-centered bunch with no regard for our state or its citizens. They come first. We have been growing this type for a long time. Romney is a prime example. Perhaps it will collapse via its own corruption.

The candidate for Sup. of Public Instruction is another matter. I ahbor the type of politics that is going to come from this. Most of the information comes from court records. The real failure here is that the arrogance of the Republicans causes them to believe that they are beyond reproack. Kirsten is the victim. Her personal like should not be on display howerver, it is here friends here that are the source of the problem. It will be impossible to keep this quiet. The other candidate, Tracy Potter, would never even consider going near this stuff. It would be a betrayal of his beliefs. As it should be. She could minimize this issue but I doubt that here handlers would consider that. A reflection of their beliefs.
 
July 29, 2012
Votes: +1

disguisted said:

...
This is a gross article on Kirsten Baesler’s breasts. What would you do if Republicans wrote an article about Heidi Heidkamp having, let's say, floppy boobs. Seriously you say Republicans have a war on woman...and then you write a disgusting article about her breast implants.

Wasn't Jim Fuglie Democrat Chairman? Now he's talking about Kirsten's Breasts. Sounds like a pervert.
 
July 29, 2012
Votes: +7

K Watson said:

Dude, my eyes are up here
What in the fresh hell are you doing writing an article about a woman's breasts?
 
July 29, 2012
Votes: +4

AppleWoman said:

Apt
Yeah, let's compare Baesler and Heitkamp. Baesler used a cancer scare to deceive the man with whom she said marriage vows, snuck off and had cosmetic surgery, continuing with the lie for a month or more afterwards. Heitkamp actually had cancer and with the support of her family and friends, and lots of prayer, faced it down. Baesler's husband was deceived into forming a prayer group in response to Baesler's faked cancer scare while Heidi's family and friends prayed for a cure for real cancer. Medical care for Heitkamp's real medical condition was probably paid for with health insurance money, while Baesler likeky snuck family money for her procedure, since health insurance doesn't usually pay for curing a faked cancer scare.

With the string of lies she told for months and months, it's not surprising her husband accused her of infiidelity.

It's business as usual in the party of family values.
 
July 29, 2012
Votes: +3

Jason said:

...
The problem is this is all hearsay. Besides. It is still tactless to write about a woman and her choice to get a boob job. And then to talk about her family issues with it. Why are we bringing in personal family issues into campaign.

You're really disgusting Fuglie. And your hipocracy is Fuglie too.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +1

Jim Fuglie said:

...
Well, Gee, I just thought it was a funny story. I’m not part of any campaign. I don’t have a dog in this fight. I do know that anyone who chooses to run for public office better be prepared to have pretty much every detail of their life on the “front page.” That’s the nature of the game. (And maybe that has something to do with why I have never run for public office.) Oh, and Jason, I may be old, but my hips are just fine. And a noted to "disguisted" (Chad, you're going to have to get a spellchecker on your blog), I really like that phrase "Kirsten's Breasts" with a capital B. Elevates the topic to a whole new level. Wish I'd thought of it.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: -1

nimrod said:

...
I'll point out that the ND GOP dug into and used information from Mike Every's divorce and child support case files, when Mike was running for statewide office.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +0

Chet said:

My My My
Yes, Jim, you seem to have struck a nerve here.

A story about the Chancellor's truck leads off. Then stuff about polluters in the oil fields. There's stuff about whether the boom should be expected to be long- or short-term. There's Kirsten Baesler lying about money. And Jason's comment is "this is all hearsay." Well, though I'm sure Jason's position on "facts" isn't going to change just because I say this, but... this has nothing to do with hearsay.

Jason, I'd urge you to look up the word "hearsay" a time or two, as it may take a couple readings for the definition to sink in. This has nothing to do with hearsay. If you're focusing solely on the Baesler dishonesty story, it's actually from affidavits of parties in a case that lead to a "Finding of Fact" by a judge in a court of law. That takes it out of the realm of "hearsay" completely. (See "Findings of Fact Conclusions of Law and Order for Judgment" dated August 11, 2011, in Burleigh County Case No. 08-10-C-373, at p. 4, ¶ 16. ("Kirsten has hidden the spending of funds for cosmetic surgery."); See, also, Rule 801(d)(d), NDREvid. If you want me to post the Findings online (they are a public record) let me know and I'll think about it.

To K Watson... If I build a 100 foot tall castle tower on the front of my house and paint it fluorescent orange, with lime green polka-dots; If I elect to drive a 15 foot-tall yellow monster truck with flames painted on the side; If I wad up three pairs of long socks and shove them into the crotch area of my underpants every day while getting dressed for work (and leave them there all day); If I wear a purple wizard costume and carry a staff around as I skateboard through town... I surrender a certain amount of my right to say "Hey, what are you staring at?" Perhaps not all of it, but definitely some.

If I stole from my employer, a bank, my family or anyone else in order to pay for the castle tower, the monster truck, the socks or the wizard costume, and it's in a Judge's court order and I'm running for office, I'd better expect it to be talked about.

I'll ask Jim to stop writing about Republican candidates for public office lying about money when they stop lying about money. The next money she'll be lying about will be tax money.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +2

Marty said:

...
I removed my initial comment on this (referencing "Real Housewives") because it was ambiguous even to myself: I honestly don't know if I meant to (and should) criticise Jim for telling a trashy story befitting Bravo or MTV, or was I mocking Baesler for it? Maybe both. Sorry to anyone and everyone.

But there is an interesting discussion to be had here about what's in bounds and what's out of bounds, and why? If negative personal stories are out of bounds, are positive ones as well? e.g. what church they belong to, what volunteer work they do, whether they teach Sunday School, etc? Aren't they running on "character" when they include that information in their bio? If so, don't they open the door to stories like this? It's worth a discussion, I think.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: -1

greywar said:

Wait, who is engaging in a War on Women again?
I thought it was Republicans who were threatened and obsessed with mammary glands? Seems like this Fuglie guy has serious misogyny issues to work through.

Come back to politics when and if you become an actual adult.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +2

What the Heck said:

Wow
Who does that??? The story is trashy but the "lady" brought it on herself. Makes Charlie Sheen seem classy. At least he's honest about his peccadillos. This is a story about integrity. The boobs are a distraction.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +2

Jason said:

...
The Boobs were a central point as well as his parenthesed comments.

And Fuglie, it doesn't matter if you are running for office. It matters that your wrote this disgusting story.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +0

Old Harley Guy said:

...
Once again Jason, if you dont like whats being written on this blog why do you keep reading and commenting?
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +2

Disgusted said:

...
This is Disgusted, not Disguisted. To avoid confusion would you please change your name.
Comments about Fish and Game are very apt. It has become just another part of Oil Czar Helms' realm. Only the most blatant attempt to lease critical badlands habitat last winter elicited even some mild public comment that did lead to some good relults. There is no attempt to restrict oil drilling where it might affect wildlife habitat. They won't even talk about it. One of their PR people, Doug Leir, a regular on KFGO radio in Fargo, can give a thirty minute talk about mule deer, elk and bighorn sheep in the badlands and never once mention the word oil. Population declines are all about severe winters never about loss of habitat. After 40 years of effort and millions of public and private dollars spent it is utterly predictable that the few hundred bighorn sheep in North Dakota will be gone within the next five years.
Likesise the State Parks and Recreation Department. The oil industry is about to trash Little Missouri State Park and they have no comment.
And the State Lands department continues to lease the peoples land for a dollar an acre.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +0

What the Heck said:

Maybe Jason could do better
How would you tell this story? The spouse lied about use of marital assets by claiming to have had a biopsy for cancer. Unbeknownst to the spouse cash was used to acquire new assets which were implanted in thieving lying spouse's body. Personally I like Jim's version better.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +2

random said:

...
That picture of Kirsten Baesler should be titled, "Look What I Got For Christmas".

Good article, Jim.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +1

big jake said:

...
What in the hell is wrong with some of you? The story and it comes from Court documents, is not about breasts. It is about basic dishonesty. It is about her doing what she did. It is not judgemental or at least not from me End of story.

Disgusted, you and Jason need to take reading lessons. Or maybe you have listened to Rush and the boys so long that you can only see what validates your beliefs, even if it is not there.

How can anyone with an IQ of over 50 suggest any comparison to Heitkamp?

Stop drinking the tea if you can. I notice that many out there are so addicted to the lying of the tea baggers, evangelicals, assorted other right wingers and most Republicans that you just can't quit. Too bad some real conservatives are not on the scene. We could have adult and intellectually honest discussions about our various views of the world around us. That is essential in our democratic republic.

You guys have placed shame on our valued priciples of honest and polite debate.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +2

Observer said:

There is a difference
The above poster is correct. Chad and Jim are bringing up her tits for political gain while Heidi brought her own up for political gain.
 
July 30, 2012
Votes: +0

nimrod said:

...
Who bought up what for political gain?
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +0

big jake said:

...
I need some clarification. How does one get breast cancer for politicalo gain? I can take issue with Heidi on a variety of issues. Not the fact that she is a cancer survivor. What in the hell is wrong with you guys?

Stupid comes to mind. Your Momma wears combat boots is in this realm.

The republicans seem to think that they can just do what they want. The circumstances in their candidates divorce is public and should have been fixed at the outset. I don't think they are that stupid just republican arrogance. Both of those issues are legitimate. Like Romney's tax returns and other financial details, it is an issue and they have chosen to make it one. Does the term accountable ring a bell?
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +2

nimrod said:

...
The only things "brought up" for political gain were Rick Berg's eyelids.
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +1

Observer said:

Tsk, tsk
Jake, who said that Heidi got cancer for political gain? She's used her cancer in recent political ads to garner sympathy, but nobody has said that she got cancer for political gain.

I agree about Every, that was dirty. Instead they should have focused on his shady use of public property for personal use.

Accountability does ring a bell, now where are those Fast and Furious documents? Unlike Baesler's cans, people actually died as a result of that controversy.
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: -1

Marty said:

...
I haven't seen the ad(s) that Observer refers to, but I recall when Heidi was running against Hoeven it was not viewed as anything positive to Heidi that she had breast cancer. There were discussions about whether she would drop out of the race; if not, would she be healthy and strong enough to do the job. It likely cost her a significant number of votes. Observer, do you think anyone would actually vote based on sympathy? Do you really think that Heidi actually thinks people vote based on sympathy? Seems more likely that the ads might be intended either to address concerns people might have about her health or to try to get people to see her as a real, likeable human being. Kind of like how Baesler lists "former sunday school teacher" as a qualification on her website.
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +2

big jake said:

...
Observer, it seems that you brought this up for political gain. TSK Tsk.

Fast and furious, was just plain stupid and a reflection of the bureaucratic bumblers that have grown in every administration. By the way, like Solyndra, fast and furious was begun under the watch of "W". It would be good to keep your facts straight.

POLITICAL GAIN? How about Cramer wearing his big wooden cross? It really is an embarrassment. I have seem most of Heidi's ads, I think. I disagree with her on a lot of stuff but the ads are pretty good. Berg's ads are intended to inflame, divide and mislead. They are fraud right up front. Typical Rush/Rove style nonsense intended to fool the fools. It has worked for quite a while. I can only hope that this too shall pass.

Can Jason or observer get any kind of grasp of any of this stuff? Not yet. This is not about political disagreement or policy or ideology. It is about believing and spreading lies. Pure Rush. Shame Shame
 
July 31, 2012
Votes: +3

Jason said:

...
I absolutely think that Heidi is hoping people vote with sympathy. I fought and survived breast cancer.

And yes I also think people vote for sympathy. It may not be a lot of them but it for sure happens.

They also vote ignorantly. I had several 18 year old young adults tell me that they voted for Obama last election. When I asked them why they said "He's going to change everything!" I asked them what is he going to change? "Stuff that's going on in Washington." What kind of stuff? "I dunno. But he's amazing."

I don't care if you want to vote based on your screwed up ideals...But make sure that you know what they are.

So yes people vote ignorantly and sympathetically. Reason one why Obama was elected and reason why Heidi used her Breast Cancer for sympathy votes. (That being said, it is a fight and I am happy that she survived something as ugly as cancer)
 
August 01, 2012
Votes: -2

Marty said:

...
Do you think she got more or less votes because of her breast cancer when she ran for governor against Hoeven? (Maybe you are too young to remember?) If people voted on sympathy, she would have gotten more votes. She didn't - at least not according the the polls, if I recall correctly. She was running pretty tight with Hoeven, then came the announcement about her cancer, and she dropped. Where were the sympathy votes.

That's not to say it never happens. It would be tough to vote against the Giffords (?) in an election after someone put a bullet in her head. Perhaps there were sympathy votes there.

But that's not what Heidi is going for. But listen, we're probably pretty close to being on the same page here; I'm just saying, it's not exactly "sympathy" that she's playing on. It's something else. Like that she's a "fighter," like that she's a real person who's shown perserverence (spell check, please), like to show people she's someone who has had to deal with some real life struggles and problems. That's different than seeking their sympathy vote. Instead, it is pretty much the same as Berg's warm and fuzzy ad that I saw this morning, about him wanting to make better America for his 12-year old son Jack. It's about personalizing themselves, not sympathy.

Semantics, perhaps. Like I said, we're on the same page, pretty much. People do often vote, not sympathetically necessarily, but based on who they might feel they understand and relate to as a real person. So that's why Heidi might talk about things like her cancer and Berg might talk about his 12-year-old son Jack. Its why Baesler says she's a sunday school teacher and why all the politicians were flannel shirts and jeans in public. And it's why Romney isn't running away with this race right now.
 
August 01, 2012
Votes: +0

Jason said:

...
I think I could agree with you on most of it. I don't remember the Hoeven/Heidkamp race being very close even before she was diagnosed. I think they probably didn't sympathy vote because Breast Cancer is very dangerous and can be a long battle. How can someone be in office and fight a battle like that. That's my guess on why she didn't get the vote. Though I do not think she had a chance to win that election anyway.

But I also agree that she's using it to show she's a fighter. Or just using it to show that she's a woman that has the same issues as other woman to make her feel more accessible to woman voters. Especially when democrats are saying Republicans have a completely fictional "War on Woman".
 
August 01, 2012
Votes: -4

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