You probably think the title of this blog post isn't fair. Well, you'd be wrong.
Doug Goehring is trying to win an election. He's tried before, but his campaigns have always been failures. He has been the boss at the Farm Bureau, where they're advocating for the elimination of school lunch programs, crop insurance and every other farm program. His organization wants to turn America's food production over to China. (Click here for more on that.) Those of you who've been around a couple years might also recall Goehring was at the center of a huge scandal involving Nodak Mutual Insurance just four years ago.
So now he's on the campaign trail, again, advocating the Farm Bureau's plan to destroy North Dakota's agricultural future. Here are excerpts from today's story in the Dickinson Press:
Do I have a vision for it? No,” Goehring said. “I think anyone who comes in and says they do is foolish because they can’t think about all the different situations that exist out here.”
Lauth asked what Goehring’s position on “fracking” fluid disclosure.
“We are on information overload in this society,” Goehring said. “I’m not in favor of doing that because when that information’s out, people just take it and run. And sometimes you have those that, maybe even through good intentions, end up taking something and doing a lot of damage.”
“I think the toughest thing for this legislature has been we don’t want to grow government, but in response to being responsible and providing service, I think the legislature now sees that we have to do that,” Goehring said.
You should go check out Kevin Cramer's website for his Public Service Commission campaign. Keep in mind, Kevin Cramer is running for a seat on the Public Service Commission. He essentially wants you to vote for him to be a judge on the board that regulates public utilities. So what sorts of things would you expect to read about when you go to look at his website? You might want to know how he'll approach a rate increase case, generally. You might want to know whether he has any innovative ideas about what should be done with the regulation of public utilities. You might want to know whether he thinks he can find a balance between the interests of the utilities, and the interests of utility consumers.
Sounds okay, right?
Go to his website (click here) and here are some of the things you will -- instead -- have to wade through:
Cramer seems to have forgotten he isn't running against Earl Pomeroy for a seat on the U.S. House of Representatives. He has a rant going after Congressman Pomeroy for voting for "universal health care"; something Pomeroy hasn't done. (Note to Kevin: There's a big difference between "universal health care" and the bill Pomeroy voted for. Huge difference. Look it up.]
Here's a snippet from Cramer's "Values" section, under "Policy":
Pro-Life - Life begins at conception.
Traditional Marriage - Same sex marriage does not sustain humanity or demonstrate responsibility and is therefore an act against humanity.
I'd be interested to hear Cramer explain how these "values" have anything to do with a utility rate case, or request for approval of a pipeline plan.
On his campaign website, you'll find elligies or eulogies Cramer apparently wrote or gave. Again, I can see putting that on your Facebook page, but this is his campaign website for his run for the North Dakota Public Service Commission. How does his eulogy for anybody have anything to do with his qualifications to be a public utility regulator?
Then there is this photo from Cramer's campaign website photo gallery:
What is this photo? There's no caption on the website. Is it a PSC meeting? Is it a campaign event? Whatever this photo is, how does it relate to Kevin Cramer's qualifications to serve on the North Dakota Public Service Commission?
Compare Cramer's campaign website to Democratic-NPL candidate Brad Crabtree's website. (Click here) The first difference that stood out for me is that Crabtree has biographical information on his website. (I couldn't find a bio for Cramer on his website. I wonder why that is?) But the main difference seems to be that Crabtree has detailed policy statements on things that relate to the position of public service commissioner.
It appears Cramer's only qualification to hold office is that he knows a bunch of political insiders.
We all know John Hoeven is using state resources to promote his campaign. That's what he's doing every time he shows up with a gold-plated shovel or giant scissors at some ground-breaking or ribbon-cutting ceremony. That's what he's doing every time he sends out some ridiculous, pointless press release that the local media types all clamor to publish, verbatim.
OpenSecrets.org is usually a pretty reliable resource for this kind of information. But did Governor John Hoeven really direct the State of North Dakota to give his U.S. Senate political campaign $13,500?!?
You may have heard that Senators Dorgan and Conrad will be making a multiple-stop tour over the next couple days, celebrating the candidacy of Congressman Pomeroy, who, among other things, serves as chairman of the Social Security subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee. Congressman Pomery will also, obviously, be on the tour.
Here's info from the press thing that's been going around:
(BISMARCK, N.D.) — Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan announced today that they are enthusiastically endorsing Earl Pomeroy for Congress saying he is the one candidate with the intellect, passion and commitment to tackle the challenges facing North Dakota.
The Senators also announced they are kicking off a statewide endorsement tour on Wednesday, October 13 and encouraged all North Dakotans to come out and show support for Earl Pomeroy.
The following is the schedule for the statewide endorsement tour:
Wednesday, October 13
West Fargo: 10:00 a.m. at the VFW, 308 Sheyenne
Valley City: 1:00 p.m. at VFW Park
Jamestown: 3:30 p.m. at Gladstone Inn, 111 2nd Street NE
Bismarck: 6:30 p.m. at the Elks Club, 900 South Washington
Thursday, October 14
Minot: 11:30 a.m. at the Minot State University, Beaver Dam, 500 University Ave W
Grand Forks: 5:30 p.m. at the Guesthouse, 710 1st Ave N
There was a candidate forum yesterday/Monday for North Dakota state legislative candidates from the Grand Forks-area, District 43. One of the Republicans got to show off his intellectual depth by discussing federal "cap and trade" legislation.
Present on the Republican side were Don Dietrich, a former state representative; Curt Kreun, a City Council member; and Lonnie Laffen. On the Democratic side were Sen. Jonell Bakke and Don Vangsnes. Rep. Lois Delmore, an English teacher, was not present at the early afternoon session.
Better paying jobs would “solve almost all the issues” the state faces, said Laffen, an architect. What stands in his way as a business owner is the uncertain regulatory environment, he said, and gave as an example of so-called “cap and trade” regulations.
He said this would mean capping oil and other energy production in this country and importing from others.
Generally, cap and trade means capping carbon dioxide emissions and trading emission rights as credits.
A few things: First, why -- at a state legislative candidate forum -- are the candidates talking about federal legislation at all? Is it because a questioner didn't understand the difference between the federal government and state government? Or does this candidate not understand the difference? These forums are typically limited in length. They only get, for example, an hour or 90 minutes. Sometimes they're only a half hour. And they were, no doubt, dividing that time amongst all three candidates. In that limited amount of time, the voters should be given an opportunity to learn where the candidates stand on STATE issues without having their time wasted on discussions about issues over which state legislators have no control. Where do the candidates stand on addressing the $120 million deferred maintenance problem in higher education? Where do they stand on infrastructure development in the western North Dakota oil fields? Where do they stand on all the state government hand-outs to big business at, for example, Workers Comp? What about health insurance for kids living in poverty? These Republicans don't want to talk about those things. Instead they want to talk about things over which they will never have any control as state legislators?!? What's next? Questions about what the candidates think about the European monetary system? Perhaps they'll talk about their position on disease vaccination efforts in Africa?!? Or maybe they'll talk about Mars exploration! It's stupid.
Speaking of stupid... kudos to the Herald writer for pointing out a FACT when faced with an uninformed, fact-challenged Republican's talking point. This candidate -- like most Republican candidates -- doesn't understand the first thing about cap-and-trade (an issue they shouldn't have been talking about in the first place) but knows a right-wing talking point when he sees it. Cap-and-trade is about "capping oil" and "importing from other countries?!?" At the Bismarck Tribune, when a political writer finds him/herself faced with something like this, the story ends up being a "he-said-she-said," presenting "both sides" of the issue where one side is fact-based and the other the uninformed Republican talking point. "Republicans say the sun comes up in the West and sets in the East. Democrats disagree and say it comes up in the east, setting in the West. The Tribune takes no position on this, though Rasmussen Polling says the the Republican position is leading by 4 points."
Third, this story describes Laffen as "an architect." What can be gleened from this story is that he has a four-year college degree and he has an interest in politics. Apparently Laffen actually has "two degrees" from North Dakota State University. When I was a student at UND, I sometimes thought NDSU sucked, but I had no idea someone could walk away from that school so completely malinformed. What are they teaching Bison people?!? They teach you folks that "cap and trade" is about capping oil wells?!?
That's a sad commentary on this country's higher education system, and specifically on NDSU.
Lastly, cap-and-trade is getting in the way of his business as a North Dakota architect?!? No, Lonnie. Your business is not hurting because of cap-and-trade legislation that hasn't even been enacted. It's hurting because it takes longer than 18 months to recover from 8 years of disasterous Republican economic policy. Like it or lump it.
This Laffen character isn't qualified to run for dog catcher. He might be a fine architect. He might be a good parent. He might be a nice person, or a "great guy to have a beer with." But he ought to stay out of politics.
Have you noticed all of the abandoned/vacant buildings, undeveloped lots and the slummiest rental properties in every town and city all have Republican political signs in the yard or banners/posters in the window?