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Commentary: Tax commissioner Rauschenberger is testing ND's new attitudes on addiction

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger announces his campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination for North Dakota Tax Commissioner office on Wednesday, Feb.5, 2014, at the Fargo Holiday Inn. David Samson / The Forum

Ryan Rauschenberger, North Dakota’s Republican tax commissioner, is an extremely intelligent and competent man. A dedicated public servant. On a personal level, he’s a warm and genuinely nice person. Rare things in the world of politics.

Which is why it’s heartbreaking to watch as he deals with alcohol addiction.

Back in September of 2014 I broke a story about Rauschenberger’s struggles with drinking. After his SUV was involved in a drunk driving incident (he had loaned it to a friend) I called him on the phone to discuss it. As we spoke he sounded inebriated. He admitted to drinking with his friend and loaning him the SUV, but the timing of it stunk to me. They had been drinking during daylight hours on a weekday.

Why was our tax commissioner day drinking with a friend on a Tuesday?

Click to read the rest at Say Anything.