As a previous 15 year member of the Bismarck School Board, I was involved in the decisions to build and add on to many of the schools Bismarck students are using today.
The people of this community stepped forward to financially support these schools.
I was on the Board when the decision was made to develop the Community Bowl. Some opposed it, but look at what an asset it has been for our community. I was also active on the committee to raise private funds for the development of the Bismarck Capital Raquet and Fitness Center which has served Bismarck well, but unfortunately it is now overcrowded and needs work.
All of these projects have contributed to the health and the growth of the Bismarck community. Now the Bismarck Park District, after much study and community input, is asking us to approve a one half cent city sales tax increase to help fund a new community recreation complex that will serve everyone of every age and every interest in our community. Some say this is not the time. However, with very low interest rates, and construction costs possibly being lower, now is the time to move forward. North Dakota chose to proceed with the construction of our Capitol building during the great depression, and today we can all appreciate their forward thinking action.
The half cent city sales tax increase will not be a large financial burden to most of us, but this new facility will be a great addition to our community, serving many interests and all ages. I urge you to help the Park District lead our community forward. Please vote yes on city of Bismarck Measure No. 1.
On May 1, North Dakota relaxed COVID-19 standards for our movements as citizens. At that time, we had 1,107 cases of COVID with 23 deaths according to the ND Health Department. Today, we have 2,229 cases with 51 deaths in ND. In the U.S. we had just over 60,000 deaths on May 1 and as of this week we have more than 94,000 known deaths in the U.S. We're told there may be more in our veterans homes and nursing homes. We're not going in the right direction.
I would like to publicly thank District 28 Rep. Jeffrey Magrum for his support of North Dakota veterans. During the 2017-2019 legislative interim Rep. Magrum took the time to attend many meetings of the North Dakota Veteran Leaders. He participated in the discussions and educated himself on the current needs and priorities concerning North Dakota’s veterans.
Rep. Magrum took special interests in service to veterans, veteran transportation to medical appointments and homeless or at-risk veterans. During the 66th legislative session in 2019 Rep. Magrum developed and sponsored four legislative bills to address these important veteran issues. His efforts resulted in the successful passage of legislation which addressed these issues and provided much needed funding for transportation and veteran stand downs.
Rep. Magrum’s legislative efforts have greatly improved the services to our most vulnerable veterans and are a credit to his character. On behalf of myself and the veterans he has positively affected I offer my sincere appreciation.
Americans across the country are adapting in a new era. Many are working and learning from home. Others are coping with job loss and wondering how they will pay their monthly bills. The uncertainty spurred by COVID-19 is felt across all industries and job fields, including the electric cooperatives that keep power flowing and help drive economies across North Dakota and the nation. One in eight Americans depend on a not-for-profit electric cooperative to keep the lights on and empower their local economy. In North Dakota, more than 250,000 people depend on electric co-ops for affordable and reliable electric service.
Electricity is essential. It powers hospitals, clinics, grocery stores and, now, millions of new home offices and classrooms. Electric cooperatives are working diligently to keep their employees and consumers safe, while providing reliable and affordable electricity to some of the hardest hit local economies.
Across the country, electric cooperatives are making adjustments and working to help their communities.
Here in North Dakota, cooperatives are donating personal protective equipment to healthcare workers and volunteer first responders, working with local food banks and helping grocers maintain supply chains to rural communities.
Bringing a sense of normalcy to the communities they serve is their calling. Unfortunately, many of these same co-ops are facing potential financial distress.
As not-for-profit organizations, electric cooperatives are owned by the communities they serve and routinely return excess revenues to their consumer-members. Serving a largely rural membership results in higher fixed costs, including maintaining 42% of the nation’s distribution lines to serve 13% of electric consumers. And electric cooperative communities drive our economy, including our farmers and ranchers, small businesses, agricultural proccessors, manufacturers and energy providers. The economic health of electric co-ops is directly tied to the well-being of their local communities. As farmers, ranchers, energy producers and business owners all suffer increased economic impact from COVID-19, so will the local cooperatives. Given the uncertainty surrounding the duration of the pandemic, many electric cooperative leaders anticipate significant long-term economic consequences. As local businesses close their doors and hardworking Americans lose their jobs, newly released projections indicate unpaid electric bills will total $2.6 billion at electric cooperatives nationwide through 2022. Over the same period of time, electric cooperative operating revenue is expected to decline by $7.4 billion, driven by an estimated 5% drop in electricity sales due to lower U.S. economic output. It’s difficult to predict a precise future for cooperatives and other businesses across America, but the outlook is getting increasingly challenging. Congress has played an important role in keeping American families healthy and safe while providing key economic lifelines to small businesses. Still, additional resources will be needed to address looming operational shortfalls for American families and businesses, including electric co-ops.
As Congress considers another stimulus package, lawmakers should provide federal funds to address looming operational shortfalls for electric co-ops that are working to keep the lights on and suspend disconnections for members experiencing financial difficulties during the pandemic. Among other measures, Congress should also allow electric cooperatives to take advantage of low interest rates for existing Department of Agriculture loans, expand funding to build out rural broadband, and expedite federal disaster funds to co-ops that have restored the electric grid after natural disasters. These are challenging times for North Dakota, particularly for rural residents. To get through this crisis, the need for reliable and affordable electricity—and financially strong cooperatives to provide it—is more important than ever.
In response to Mr. Fewson's recent letter, I believe you owe an apology to the teachers of the Mandan School District if not all teachers for your derogatory remarks. After having three days notice that they were being thrown into a teaching environment that they were never prepared for, they have had to deal with issues such as students lacking internet capabilities, lack of supervision at home to secure the distance learning experience, outside influences creating a chaotic atmosphere. This has not been easy for the teacher. I know personally since I have one in the family. Her dedication to attempting to deal with these issues has been far more demanding than preparing for daily classroom instruction. Apparently Mr. Fewson is able to keep the undivided attention of his 10- and 12-year-old for hours each day when they are not focusing on school. I would venture to say he was hoping that the distance learning experience would provide daycare for his children so he could concentrate on his work. Teachers deserve a big thank you and support from parents.
As a District 8 legislator, I am ashamed and embarrassed with all the false information that has been put out by the Dakota Leadership PAC and am very sad to see how low our governor and two candidates in Bismarck are willing to go.
Campaign finance reporting on the Secretary of State’s website show that the newly created Dakota Leadership PAC (February 2020) has a personal donation of $195,000 from Governor Burgum and with several large out-of-state contributions, the PAC now has $414,000 to support political campaigns. The PAC is heavily targeting House Appropriations Chairman Rep. Jeff Delzer of District 8 as well as conservative candidates in selected races.
Taking down one legislator will be a message to other legislators: You serve at the pleasure of the governor. So who can afford to run a campaign in North Dakota unless you come up with hundreds of thousands of dollars? Governor Burgum is making this next legislative session extremely difficult as he is creating a great divide between the executive and legislative branches.
There are very few in the Legislature that have the budgetary and agency knowledge as Rep. Delzer. He has received awards from the Lignite Council, the American Conservative Union Foundation and is one of the most conservative legislators in the state. Jeff can proudly run on his record.
It’s hard to imagine $414,000 being spent in the primary, but the flurry of TV and radio ads along with an avalanche of over-sized postcards and malicious mailings makes it look plausible. The voters of District 8 will have an opportunity to reject this sort of big money takeover. As for me, Republican or not, Governor Burgum has lost my vote.
I have been heartened to see so many examples of North Dakotans going above and beyond to help one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like several of my friends, family and fellow quilting fans coming together to sew masks for those who are in need. When this crisis passes, our charitable spirit will be vital to helping communities across North Dakota rebuild and recover.
As our leaders work to address the devastating impacts of COVID-19, I hope they keep the nonprofits who have been so critical to the health of North Dakotans in mind. Many organizations in the charitable community have taken a devastating financial hit during this crisis, including one that is very important to me: the American Cancer Society (ACS).
When several of my loved ones were diagnosed with cancer, ACS was there for me. ACS supplied wigs for my mom during her chemotherapy, and overall helped us cope and have more ease of mind through those tougher times.
Now ACS needs our help. As a larger nonprofit, the American Cancer Society cannot access much of the relief that was part of the original CARES Act. I’m urging Senator Cramer to ensure the next stimulus package includes relief for nonprofits with more than 500 employees and further strengthens the charitable giving tax deduction.
Cancer hasn’t stopped, so neither can we. Senator Cramer, help support ACS and the millions of cancer patients and survivors like my family who rely on its services.
As a local rancher, former U.S. Marshal, and resident of Burleigh County for over 20 years, I would urge the voters of District 28 to reelect Representative Jeff Magrum to the state house.
On Feb. 9, many citizens from all areas of District 28 took time from their busy lives to travel to Wishek to attend the Republican endorsing convention. I was also at this convention. As delegates, we listened to the candidates speak about how they could serve our district in the state legislature. On the first ballot, Jeff received almost twice as many votes as the next candidate -- safely securing the nomination. The delegates overwhelmingly endorsed Jeff Magrum.
The voters of District 28 are now being bombarded with a political smear campaign through radio, TV, mailings, and yard signs promoting an unendorsed group. This campaign misrepresents the vote at the February convention, as the delegates certainly did not endorse this group to represent District 28. The voters of District 28 deserve better than a smear campaign based on deception. Backroom dealings, misrepresentations, and political favors should not determine who represents us in the state legislature. It is our choice as voters, not theirs as politicians.
Jeff has been a strong leader for District 28 in the North Dakota House. Throughout his term, he has listened to his constituents and brought their interests to the state legislature. Jeff recognizes the money being spent comes from hardworking taxpayers. He fights to make sure our tax dollars are not being wasted on frivolous special interests and bloated government programs. District 28 has a strong constituent minded representative in Jeff Magrum. I would encourage the citizens of our district to support Jeff in the upcoming election.
I am writing this letter to publicly endorse Doug Larsen for state senator of district 34. I proudly served under Doug while assigned to HHC 1-112th Aviation Battalion, North Dakota National Guard and have remained friends ever since. Doug is an exceptional Army Aviation officer, leader, mentor and a commander that truly cares about each and every soldier under his command. For as good of an officer Doug was, he is an even better businessman. Doug has owned and operated several small businesses and has made each of them successful with his hard work, drive and determination. In this economically challenged environment we currently find our state and nation battling, Doug has the knowledge, skills and ability to help get North Dakota back on track. Doug is a problem solver that willingly accepts even the toughest challenges and works tirelessly to ensure a positive outcome. If you vote for Doug I promise you he will always fight the good fight and not disappoint. Electing Doug Larsen to a Senate seat in District 34 would strengthen our state as much as his leadership in the North Dakota National Guard strengthened our nation.
It is alarming to many of us that a power group known as the Dakota Leadership PAC with roots in Fargo would buy $48,000 in television advertising and are likely to spend over $100,000 to defeat District 8 Rep. Jeff Delzer. Why is this massive amount of money being spent by a Fargo based group to disrupt the District 8 election?
Mike Jacobs of the Grand Forks Herald, one of the most respected journalists in the state, has written several articles about this onslaught against Jeff Delzer. Delzer is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and has also served as Speaker of the House. You do not hold these positions unless you have the support and trust of your legislative colleagues from across the state.
In my thirty-two years as a state legislator from a rural district I have never seen such a campaign directed against an incumbent legislator by special interests from outside a district.
We are faced with fiscal challenges from the virus, the drop in oil prices, low farm prices, and the destruction of our coal industry. Delzer’s conservative and responsible leadership is well tested and will be greatly needed in the upcoming session.
The actions of the Dakota Leadership PAC are an affront to the voters of District 8. He is your district’s senior member and it would be a travesty to see him removed from representing you because a group from Fargo has an unknown political agenda. Voters of District 8, I ask you to please support Rep. Jeff Delzer in the June primary. It is the right thing to do for District 8 and the state of North Dakota.
Bismarck voters: please remember it was the 2019 city commission that decided to double your water rates. They said it was only fair and revenue was falling short of expenses. What wasn't fair was only residential customers were asked to make up the revenue shortfall.
I see only one is on the June ballot for reelection and he won't be getting my vote just as the others won't be getting it in future elections. I encourage you to vote the same.
I urge those who vote in the District 28 Republican primary to cast one vote for Representative Jeff Magrum.
I served two years in the North Dakota House and 12 years in the Senate. I received mailing in mid-April chastising Rep. Magrum for eight NO votes. I have done some research and concluded that had I still been in the Legislature I would have voted the same as Rep. Magrum.
The other two candidates should be running in the Democratic primary. I urge one vote for Magrum.
I am excited to vote for Thomas Beadle for State Treasurer. He has been a leader for our state in the legislature and has been instrumental in bringing new education technologies to our state.
I met Thomas after he introduced legislation in 2013 to reduce textbook costs for college students across North Dakota. At the time, I was with the ND University System and was in charge of researching and leading the initiative. Thanks to Thomas, we were able to secure a small amount of funding in 2015 to implement Open Educational Resources system-wide. With support from students, faculty and staff across the NDUS, that small initial investment now saves ND's college and university students around $2 million EACH YEAR.
As a legislator, Thomas solved problems and made the future better for ND students. As a person, he’s down to earth, dependable, trustworthy, and a man of his word. He has the work ethic, integrity and innovation that our state needs in the Treasurer’s office. I know Thomas will do a great job for our state, and I urge you to vote for him too.
Why hasn’t North Dakota media unleashed outrage regarding Governor Burgum’s $195,000 donation to his own PAC? There is deafening silence and at least one media outlet in this state should be screaming this news without fear of retribution from Burgum’s office or the Republican machine. Smaller social media outlets and a North Dakota blogger are the only ones touching it right now.
The Dakota Leadership PAC $48,000 to Nehring and Andahl’s campaigns is a cannonball across Jeff Delzer’s bow. Delzer has strongly been against Burgum’s spending plans. It’s obvious Burgum is buying candidates to remove legislators he openly dislikes; it’s a foregone conclusion.
In the state’s history, has any governor given this amount? It’s appalling, especially since the PAC was formed in February 2020. North Dakota residents should be as offended by the governor’s arrogance and king-like demeanor.
The 2021 legislative session is going to be a mess and a power fight by Burgum’s chosen crew. I’ll be awaiting Majority Leader Chet Pollert’s ousting on Burgum’s behest. After watching the political affiliations and games – I’m pretty sure it is easy to figure out which Bismarck representative will be gunning for Pollert’s spot.
I am left-leaning – but I’m going to cheer on some of the long-standing Republicans as they create their own circus to undermine the Governor and his cronies. Rep. Rick Becker should be flying high with his own plan and caucus to derail Burgum’s efforts.
The average citizen needs to dig into campaign contributions through the Secretary of State’s office – it gets curiouser and curiouser the more you dive into names and numbers.
I will make the popcorn and a few of you can join me in the upper deck of the House of Representatives. It is going to be a wild wreck starting early January.
As people get to know Bonnie Storbakken, and learn what she stands for, it will be easy to conclude why she is qualified to be the next South Central District Court Judge. For us, who have known Bonnie for over 15 years, it is not just about helping but in leading her campaign.
Over the years, Bonnie has grown in this community and as a professional. Bonnie has built her own business, honed her skills as a practicing attorney, earned her reputation as a fair mediator and served the great state of North Dakota through several years of public service, including as the Labor Commission and General Counsel for Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
Bonnie’s diverse background of legal and professional experiences lends itself to a broad understanding of issues that come before the judicial system. Her years of private practice provided her experiences in family, criminal, civil, property, estate, and administrative law, mediation, along with spending time in the state’s attorney office.
Bonnie is a quick study and tireless worker. She comprehends complex situations and digs into details. In addition to being fair and honest, Bonnie is compassionate about her work. Most important, though, Bonnie has earned a reputation of having excellent judicial temperament—just what we all want and need in a judge.
For us, it was easy to say yes when Bonnie asked us to lead her campaign. We encourage others to learn more about her and we ask you to vote for Bonnie Storbakken for South Central District Judge in the upcoming June Primary and General Election.
The elimination of the office of state treasurer has been an ongoing, national campaign for 40 years or more. North Dakota is not the only state in which the effort has been made, repeatedly, to remove the treasurer as a Constitutional office. Here when Democrats controlled this office, Republicans were whipped into shape to call for elimination of this office. As soon as Republicans held the office, Democrats assumed the leadership of the attack. One wonders why this concerted effort exists at all. What is wrong with having a state treasurer? Could it be that having a single officer overseeing all the money that comes into and goes out of the state... having a single line at the end of the biennium...could it be that this accountability inconveniences those who would benefit from a broader, and consequently less transparent, system for accepting and distributing the citizens' money?
Meanwhile, there are presently two candidates vying for the Republican nomination for this job. One of them voted during the 65th session to eliminate the Office of Treasurer. That candidate also voted to "rein in" the state auditor (who apparently stirred up a hornet's nest inside the crony Capitalist network). Why would the voters elect someone who is on record in opposition to two of the most necessary agencies of government?
The other candidate, Rep. Dan Johnston, opposed elimination of the Office of Treasurer, and voted against the effort to tie the hands of the auditor. By the way, Dan has a proven record of support for the careful expenditure of your tax dollars, having spoken and voted against both the $5 million dollar appropriation for a cactus greenhouse at the Peace Garden, and the $35 million dollar "loan" for the Teddy Roosevelt Library!
I urge support for Dan Johnston for state treasurer.
We are in uncharted territory right now with coronavirus affecting our way of life. There is no denying that it has had a big impact on businesses in North Dakota and our economy at large. As a business broker, I work with companies across our state every day, and the impact is real.
We need a leader in state government to be responsive to our citizens and our businesses. We need a leader who will manage our state well, and invest our Legacy fund wisely.
The treasurer’s race is up this year, and for the first time in sixteen years we will have a new leader. I have worked with Thomas Beadle in business for years, and he has been a champion for economic development in the House. I know he is the only candidate ready to lead.
These are tough times, and we need a steady hand we can trust in charge of the state’s checkbook. Beadle has the experience with state budgets, the business background, and temperament to serve us well.