On the radio show today newly-elected Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken joined me to discuss the recent visit to his community by the anti-gun student activists from Parkland High School, including David Hogg. Bakken spoke at a pro-2nd Amendment rally outside of the Parkland event and then was invited inside to listen to the presentation. He called the bus tour the students are on “somewhat of an orchestrated movement,” he said though he was curious as to their mission in North Dakota.
This week President Donald Trump came to Fargo in support of U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer. In doing so he took a narrative crafted by incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp, one which supposed that the President likes her more, and threw it in the trash .
There are currently five ballot measures still being circulated for signatures to make the November ballot ( and one currently under signature review ). The deadline is July 9. Today the organizers of one of those measures – the one to legalize recreational marijuana in the state – have said that they have enough signatures for the ballot.
A consistent tactic North Dakota Democrats and their various allies like to use in election years is to charge their opponents with ethics violations, even going so far as to file lawsuits and complaints which are usually dismissed after election day. Because the point of these charges isn’t so much to uncover ethical lapses as to generate negative headlines for political enemies.
Breaking news this afternoon is that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be stepping down from his position later this year. This, of course, will give President Donald Trump the opportunity to appoint another judge to the nation’s highest court. It also creates one one North Dakota political observer just described as a “nightmare scenario” for Senator Heidi Heitkamp.
MINOT, N.D.—This probably won't be President Donald Trump's only rally in North Dakota this election year. Reliable sources tell me he'll be in the state again before Election Day, probably in the Bismarck area. It is his first visit since election season began in earnest, and there are a couple of things he needs to accomplish. First, he needs to deflate North Dakota U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's attempts to portray herself as a moderate Democratic ally of his agenda.
In a column for Real Clear Politics former North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan bemoans the atrophy Democrats have suffered in elected office across the country, particularly out here in the flyover states. “Democrats Must Show Up to Win Back Heartland Voters,” reads the headline. Click here to continue reading the post.
A ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota, and to expunge past convictions for that activity, is currently being circulated for signatures by a group calling themselves LegalizeND ( read it here ).
MINOT, N.D.—Sen. Heidi Heitkamp wins elections by inspiring hate for her opponents. That's what she did in 2012 when her surrogates branded her opponent Rick Berg as a "slumlord" while the national Democratic apparatus ran ads which suggested he "attacks women." Heitkamp is attempting the same with her opponent in 2018, Congressman Kevin Cramer, and one aspect of that hate campaign is so acutely hypocritical it needs to be highlighted.
One element of the political posturing around the issue of President Donald Trump’s new zero tolerance policy at the southern border, which has resulted in the side effect of separating families in accordance with past court decisions, is that some Governors are withdrawing their state’s National Guard troops from border duty and vowing not to send any if asked by the Trump administration. This article from CNN sums up the stunt: