- Member for
- 3 years 10 months
Confronted with shrinking revenues and neglected maintenance, UND Interim President Ed Schafer didn't hesitate: He freed up enough money to tackle the maintenance backlog. He did this by slashing costs. Confronted with shrinking revenues and long-neglected maintenance, should North Dakota State University President Dean Bresciani do the same?
Donald Trump is speaking in Bismarck today. Republican Congressman Kevin Cramer—one of North Dakota's savvier politicians—early on supported Trump. But will Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, win North Dakota in November? If Trump's success at beating the polls, besting 16 experienced rivals and likely capturing the nomination tells us anything, it is that there are no settled truths or absolute certainties in American politics.
What a crushing disappointment: not only that the Minnesota Legislature ended its session in chaos, with lawmakers still waving bills and shouting as the clock struck midnight, but that the ending came with session's most crucial issues left unresolved. Bonding and transportation; transportation and bonding, has been the mantra across Minnesota for the past two months. Hundreds of millions of dollars in highway and transit spending and worthwhile projects were on the line—and have been left there, dangling still.
Grand Forks is a place of order. Crime is low, schools are good, parks are extensive, utilities are reliable. So, in the mayor's race, the question is not whether city government is bad. The question is whether it's too expensive. There's a gigantic difference, as anyone who lives in a badly run city would agree. But badly run is exactly what Grand Forks could have been, if decisions made after the flood of 1997 had gone the wrong way.
Q. Why did you decide to run for the City Council in 2000? After the flood of 1997, a lot of things were going on, and there were a lot of unhappy people. One night I was working, and I looked up, and there were Jerry Lucke and Bob Brooks; they were both on the council at the time. They sat down and said, "We need some help." They had a 14-person council, and they said, "This isn't working. It's too cumbersome." I said, well, let's work on that.
"In 333 B.C., Alexander the Great, on his march through Anatolia, reached Gordium, the capital of Phrygia," the Encyclopedia Brittanica recounts. "There he was shown the chariot of the ancient founder of the city, Gordius, with its yoke lashed to the pole by means of an intricate knot with its end hidden. According to tradition, this knot was to be untied only by the future conqueror of Asia. "In the popular account, Alexander sliced through the knot with his sword."
Maybe we're all making it too complicated. Maybe there's an easy way for North Dakota Democrats to gain seats in the Legislature and regain their statewide popularity: They should take their lead from the state's most popular Democrat, Heidi Heitkamp. Because it's all a matter of triangulation—and Heitkamp has the key angles down. Heitkamp's formula for political success is the same as the one used by former Democratic senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan:
In his recent commencement address at Howard University, President Barack Obama said that social change "requires listening to those with whom you disagree, and being prepared to compromise." On the challenging issue of whether transgender rights demand the opening of locker rooms, showers, bathrooms and college dorm-room assignments to members of the opposite sex, the president should have taken his own advice.
It's unanimous, as far as we can tell: Every newspaper that has editorialized on the subject has urged the Minnesota Legislature to strike deals on bonding and transportation. That's a powerful reflection of civic-minded opinion on the topic. And Republican lawmakers, take note: You're the ones whom these editorials accuse of being the hold-outs. Republican leaders in St. Paul must stop stalling—and start dealing. Here is a roundup of recent editorials on bonding and transportation. □ □ □
It's early yet. The June 14 primary election in North Dakota still is a month away. Then again, it's only a month away—actually, just under a month, as of today. In any case, it's worth pointing out a political curiosity about the very big Measure 1 on the ballot, which is that a campaign of strong and vocal support for the measure hasn't yet developed. Or if it has, we haven't seen it.