John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
- Member for
- 5 years 10 months
BISMARCK — A proposed constitutional amendment seeks to clear up any "ambiguity" about noncitizens voting in North Dakota elections. A petition submitted to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office Monday, May 14, for review would add a line to the North Dakota Constitution allowing only a "qualified elector" to vote in federal, state and local elections here. Supporters will need 26,904 signatures before midnight, July 9, to have the measure on the general election ballot.
BISMARCK — Heidi Heitkamp criticized North Dakota lawmakers this week for passing what she called unnecessary voter identification laws in the years after she was first elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, drawing a rebuke from Republicans. In an interview Thursday, May 10, Heitkamp said the laws "clearly target" Native Americans and college students, two groups that tend to favor Democrats. She said there's "absolutely no proof" of voter fraud in North Dakota.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Department of Transportation was selected for a national program aimed at hastening drones' integration into the skies, state and federal officials announced Wednesday, May 9.
BISMARCK — The reaction from members of North Dakota's congressional delegation to President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal fell along party lines Tuesday, May 8.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Insurance Department is seeking to hire a consultant to analyze potential health care reforms, Republican Commissioner Jon Godfread said Tuesday, May 8.
BISMARCK — Opposing sides of the court battling over North Dakota's voter identification laws will enter settlement talks later this month. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland granted a request Monday, May 7, from attorneys for several members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa for a settlement conference with the state of North Dakota. The judge set the conference for May 29 at the federal courthouse in Bismarck. "We'll see what happens," Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger said.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System may have a new leader in place by the end of the month. The PERS Board extended a job offer to Scott Miller last month, interim executive director Sharon Schiermeister said Monday, May 7. Miller is the retirement program administrator for the city of Phoenix Employees' Retirement System, according to his LinkedIn page. Miller has accepted the offer, which is contingent on him passing a background check, Schiermeister said.
BISMARCK — A new form of gambling that has taken off in Minnesota is expected to populate North Dakota establishments in the coming months. North Dakota legislators last year legalized electronic pull tabs, the paper versions of which can already be found in dispensing devices and jars across the state. The electronic ones will take the form of a "cabinet" with a screen that players will use to "open" the pull tabs to reveal winning combinations of symbols.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Democrats pounced on the state Republican Party for promoting a poll that found only about a third of voters think Heidi Heitkamp deserves to be re-elected Thursday, May 3, the day of the funeral for the Democratic senator's mother. A Republican official, meanwhile, said the social media post was inadvertent. The poll, released by Morning Consult, found 44 percent approve of Heitkamp's performance, compared to 42 percent who disapprove. But only 35 percent said she should be re-elected, compared to 49 percent who said it's time for somebody new.
BISMARCK — The head of the North Dakota Trade Office said there are "still transactions happening" despite a report that China is "shunning" U.S. soybeans amid a trade dispute between the two countries. Bloomberg quoted the head of the world's largest oilseed processor Wednesday, May 2, as saying China is "very deliberately not buying anything from the U.S." and is shifting to other markets such as Brazil. But NDTO Executive Director Simon Wilson said Thursday he's heard that "it's actually pretty difficult for China to stop purchasing U.S. soybeans."