This is a time to get together and eat and talk , just time for our friends. There is no format, dues, agenda etc., We can meet anytime or place we decide, picnic pot luck, local food, anything we want to, even invite speakers. But for now please show up, eat and talk to like minded friends. No need to RSVP just stop by and eat. email Trana if you like.
Anybody got anything that's interesting for me?
|Center for American Progress|
|Crooks and Liars|
|One Thousand Reasons|
|Progressive States Network|
|Real Clear Politics|
|Talking Points Memo|
|Benson County News|
|Burke County Tribune|
|Devils Lake Journal|
|Emmons County Record|
|Grand Forks Herald|
|Grant County News|
|McKenzie County Farmer|
|Minot Daily News|
|New Town News|
|Ransom County Gazette|
|Renville County Farmer|
|Valley City Times|
|Wahpeton Daily News|
|Walsh County Record|
|West Fargo Pioneer|
|The Big Empty|
|2 Focus Inn|
|Political Prairie Fire|
|Prairie Sun Rising|
|Teller of Truths|
|Hear Me Roar|
|IW of ND Advocates|
|Rural Bus Route|
|Flat and Treeless|
|Bismarck ND Blog|
|ND Energy Legislation|
|The City Beat|
|Grand Forks Life|
|Middle Border Sun|
|Clean Cut Kid|
|Justice for Women|
|Big Sky Democrats|
|Don't Worry Abt The Govt|
|Democracy In Action|
|Too Much Dog Hair|
|Boyd Drive Follies|
|Who I Voted For in the 2012 North Dakota General Election, And Why.|
|Written by Chet|
I voted early this year. I (almost) never do that, but did it this year. I usually like the old-fashioned feeling of walking into the polling place on election day, scoping out who the "players" are on the scene, and getting my little "I voted" sticker to wear the rest of the day. It feels civically responsible.
One campaign volunteer said, in response to me saying this, that I sounded "like every 83 year old woman we get on the phone."
Thanks for that.
So here's how it ended up for me...
U.S. Senate: Heidi Heitkamp vs. Rick Berg
Berg's business experience as a slumlord does not work to his advantage. Rick Berg's lying on campaign disclosures about his business holdings still bothers me. His abuse of the franking privilege, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on offensive political campaign materials at taxpayer expense, still bothers me. His legislative vote to make it a felony for a rape victim to have an abortion is still troubling. Berg's March 14th fundraiser is an issue. Berg is not just less likeable, he's unlikable. In Washington, he's "gone Washington." He's a guaranteed obstructionist vote for Mitch McConnell, voting for a budget that would have shaved the Farm Bill down to nothing, and doing next-to-nothing to get the House to vote on the Farm Bill. So now we have no Farm Bill. He does these things because he's anothher right-wing partisan lap-dog in the U.S. House. We need someone in Congress who can at least TRY to make things happen.
I will be the first to admit that while Heidi Heitkamp was Attorney General, I did not agree with every decision she made. But I am not a purist on things like this. I think you have to look at an elected official's record, as a whole, and Heitkamp was a pretty good Attorney General, overall. She was a zealous advocate for the people of the state of North Dakota, she ran her office relatively well, and her staff -- including a lot of Republicans -- liked her a lot. Since leaving elected office, she has been deeply involved with the energy industry, serving on the board of directors for Dakota Gasification Company and working on other public interest issues. Send her to Washington and she promises to work hard for North Dakota. I trust her.
Heitkamp by a country mile.
U.S. House: Pam Gulleson vs. Kevin Cramer
In the race between Pam Gulleson and Kevin Cramer, I have to vote for Pam Gulleson. Cramer -- who claims to be a conservative capitalist -- hasn't had a real job in the private sector since he worked at the local Tasty Freeze in the 1960s. He's been a political hack his whole adult life, working in partisan political appointment positions always. He was given a partisan appointment in the tourism department. He redistributed tax dollars to business friends while at the Department of Commerce. He's a radical teabagger who, as a PSC member, has been collecting campaign contributions from people at company he pretends to regulate, and many people believe those contributions are illegal bribes under our bribery statute. And I agree with those people. I won't even get into Cramer's fundamentalist religious views, or what he did with a campaign manager during one of his earlier runs for statewide office.
Hands down, Gulleson.
Governor/Lt. Governor: Ryan Taylor / Ellen Chaffee vs. Jack Dalrymple / Drew Wrigley
These are all pretty easy for me, but this is the easiest one for me. I guarantee you that if every voter in North Dakota got to spend 30 minutes talking one-on-one with Ryan Taylor and 30 minutes talking with Jack Dalrymple, every single person in this state would agree Ryan Taylor would be a much better Governor than Jack Dalrymple. Dalrymple isn't even a North Dakotan, really. He was born and raised in Minnesota and went to private prep schools out on the East Coast. Even today, when given a chance, Dalrymple escapes to his apartment in Paris or his yacht in Cabo. I could accept all of that if he weren't a shill for the oil and gas industry. He's treating North Dakota like he treated Dakota Grower's Pasta, parting it out and pocketing the proceeds of the sale. Dalrymple is also facing an official criminal investigation for (allegedly) accepting briges. There is a rule in the law that juries have to presume people are innocent until proven guilty, but that only applies to juries. It does not apply to the victim of a crime who knows who his or her attacker is. It does not apply to a parent who finds cookie crumbs all over the toddler's shirt and face. And it does not apply to you or me when we look at the $80,000 bribes in campaign contributions Darlymple took from people with vested interests in pending matters before the Industrial Commission.
Taylor is eloquent, passionate, smart, politically savvy and, most importantly, he'll work hard to make sure North Dakota's natural resources are developed in a reasonable, rational, sustainable way, while all property-owners' rights are respected.
Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction (DPI): Tracy Potter vs. Kirsten Baesler
Between the theft conviction in Mandan (later scrubbed from her record) and the lying to her husband about finding a lump in her breast (last year) in order to skulk off and steal thousands of dollars from the family nest-egg to buy her self a boob-job and the exaggerating of her résumé, Baesler would make herself dangerously not-credible as a candidate for dog catcher. Yet none of these things could stop the equally not-credible Bismarck Teabune from supporting her. (I'm only marginally surprised the Tribune editorial didn't gush about these great accomplishments of hers, too.) If elected, she would set a bad example for the teachers and school administrators she oversees, and voters would be setting a bad example for their own children if they vote for her.
Potter was a first rate state senator (in my district), leading the charge on the property tax reform measures eventually adopted by the entire legislature and in cleaning antiquated, unenforced legislation from the books. He runs an organization now that employs a huge staff and has shown himself to be a first rate historical author. This one is easy.
Public Service Commissioner: Brad Crabtree vs. Randy Christman
As you can probably tell from my previous endorsements (see above), I don't like candidates who take bribes. Christmann isn't in a position yet to take bribes, but he is in a position to reject campaign contributions from people we would expect him to regulate, if elected. Crabtree has committed to rejecting any such contributions. We could use one or two statewide elected officials in North Dakota who have some integrity. But the main differences between Crabtree and Christmann is that Crabtree is smart, he's pro-energy development, and he has integrity.
Voted for Crabtree.
State Auditor: Scot Kelsh vs. Randy Peterson
One of the "perks" of having mostly young, intellectually incurious local press people, many of whom aren't from North Dakota and none of whom know how to do historical research in the absense of any historical perspective, is that they can be fooled fairly easily by transparent political tricks. If they ever figured out that Randy Peterson spent his whole life as "Randy" and started going by "Bob" only so voters would confuse him with his father, "Bob" Sr., they most certainly wouldn't "get" how horribly dishonest and cynical it is o do that. I find it hard to justify voting for anybody who stops going by their real name just so people will confuse him with his father, who had the job before him.
For contrast, Kelsh is intelligent, energetic and -- importantly -- honest.
Voted for Kelsh.
State Treasurer: Ross Mushik vs. Kelly Schmidt
Kelly Schmidt is dangerously incompetent. The good news is she says she's not a criminal. She is so bad at being State Treasurer that her office has been forced -- literally -- to hire someone else (who doesn't have their head up their butt) to do the job of the State Treasurer for her, because the person North Dakotans elected to do the job is incapable of doing the job. Why would someone think this? Look at the fact she screwed up the Dickinson State University library construction project. Look at the fact she tried to have all the veterans on the ACOVA board (the "V" in "ACOVA" stands for "veterans"; look it up) replaced with... Kelly Schmidt. Look at how she lied to the folks who run the veterans' postwar trust fund. She's tried to get away with paying for personal club memberships and other things with our tax dollars. She's taken public money that's been entrusted to her and disasterously removed it from moderate risk/low fee investments into high risk/high fee investments. Yet somehow, someone in her office managed to miraculously get a fairly clean audit -- for the first time, ever -- about a month ago.
I've known Ross much of my life. We both spent summer weekends on the same lake in Western North Dakota, growing up. He's a good guy and a hard worker. And he's far from incompetent.
Voted for Mushik.
Insurance Commissioner: Tom Potter vs. Adam Hamm
Tom Potter was a college finance professor at the University of North Dakota for 25 years. He's co-authored a textbook. Before getting his PhD in finance Tom was a lawyer. He is also a Presbyterian pastor. It's possible he might be too intelligent to be an elected North Dakota official.
I'll admit that Hamm has done less harm than I thought he'd do as Insurance Commissioner. My main complaint about him may explain why he hasn't caused that much harm: He spends so much time promoting himself at the NAIC, that he's never around the office doing the job we elected him to do. He's like a "mini-me" of Jim Poolman, who left the position after one of the companies he was supposed to be regulating "made him an offer he couldn't refuse" in an apparent quid pro quo exchange for legislation favorable to that company.
Voted for Potter.
[To see how you should vote on the ballot measures, and why, click here.]
Disillusioned Citizen said:
What the Heck said:
big jake said:
Chetsucks, Low-rated comment [Show]
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
nimrod's leftist cousin said:
What the Heck said:
Norm DePlume said:
Steve C. said:
nimrod's brainstem said:
Norm DePlume said: