I’ve written some pretty negative stories about North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott in recent days, and I’ve had trouble getting him to comment on them, but today he agreed to come on my radio show and talk. The full audio is below.
“It’s pretty obvious that Dr. Feldner, who’s had 20 plus years of dedicated service to the state, was fired in part because the Chancellor needed budget money to hire his former Navy buddy,” state Rep. Roscoe Streyle, a Republican from Minot, told me yesterday. Streyle is not alone in his opinion. In recent weeks I have received dozens of emails and phone calls from people in the university system – from people who work at the NDUS office to people who work on the campuses – upset about Hagerott’s hiring of an associate of his from the Navy.
Senator John Hoeven joined me on my radio show today to talk about healthcare reform. The Senator has indicated support for the latest version of Republican-flavored reform, the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill. The gist of the bill is that it replaces Obamacare’s stringent, top-down, federal-centric regulations with block grants and flexibility for state policymakers to tackle health care. Hoeven’s North Dakota colleague, junior Senator Heidi Heitkamp, has ripped the bill.
Until last week Lisa Feldner was a vice chancellor in the North Dakota University System, but Chancellor Mark Hagerott fired her. Allegedly for “making derogatory comments to staff” and “suggesting they could lose their jobs,” my colleague Patrick Springer reported yesterday. I’m told by university system sources that Feldner was fired by email but then had her email privileges suspended before she could read it. She had to first learn of her termination from colleagues.
The national political debate is focused on the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill right now, yet another Republican effort to deal with Obamacare after campaigning on repealing and replacing that awful policy for years. Will they be successful? Or will Republicans fall on their faces again? “This was a little bit different than the last one in that it’s starting in the Senate,” Congressman Kevin Cramer told me during our weekly segment on my radio show today.
“In the parking lot of a South Fargo apartment building, a Somali man said his car was broken into and animal feces was spread all over it,” WDAY television reports .
Two things happened in the last week which got me thinking about parenting. First I saw "It," a film adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel about a killer clown taken down by a group plucky kids. The book version of the story was set in the late 1950's. The film moved that timeline forward to the 1980's. But in both versions the heroes, the kids, are living the sort of childhood few children today would recognize. They're allowed to roam and romp around the fictional Derry, Maine, with little oversight from adults, a far cry from today's helicopter parenting.
ust 42 percent of North Dakotans want to see incumbent Senator Heidi Heitkamp re-elected according to a poll commissioned by the conservative Club for Growth . More respondents – 44 percent, specifically – say they’d like to see Heitkamp replaced with someone else.
Last week the country got a heart warming story out of the White House, a rare feat in any political age. Frank “FX” Giaccio, an entrepreneurial minded eleven-year-old with his own lawn care business sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking if he could mow the lawn of the executive residence.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has officially started her re-election campaign. The news surprised exactly nobody given the millions in out of state contributions she's been stuffing into her campaign accounts since January. She chose her brother Joel Heitkamp's radio show on KFGO in Fargo for the announcement. Perhaps there is a bit of logic to that. Heitkamp's victory in 2012 putting her in the Senate was so narrow it was measured by just a few thousand votes.