N.D. POLITICS NOTEBOOK: Acting U.S. surgeon general visits Bismarck
BISMARCK - Acting U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu did not mention President Bush at all during remarks in Bismarck to school children and substance abuse professionals, last week though he did answer "yes" when a student asked him if he ha...
BISMARCK - Acting U.S. Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu did not mention President Bush at all during remarks in Bismarck to school children and substance abuse professionals, last week though he did answer "yes" when a student asked him if he has ever met the president.
He also added, "I have met a number of presidents" in his 37 years as a career officer in the U.S. Public Health Service.
The visit contrasts with the claims of the last U.S. surgeon general, Richard Carmona. This summer, a year after he left office, Carmona testified to a U.S. House committee that the Bush administration had pushed him to be more active in promoting the president's agenda, sometimes at the expense of science, and allegedly instructed him to mention Bush at least three times per page during speeches.
Condi group unhappy
Fargo's Crystal Dueker, communications director for a group that wants Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice drafted for president, says her group was double-crossed by the South Carolina Republican Party.
Dueker said Think Condi had been told by state party chairman that it could put Rice on the South Carolina ballot if it raised the state's $35,000 filing fee. But last week, the chairman said he was mistaken, and Think Condi would need Rice's signature to do it. Rice has repeatedly told interviewers she is not running.
Doting on Dodd
The first meeting of North Dakotans supporting presidential candidate Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., was to have been last week in Fargo but was called off because of the organizer's illness.
Brad Handlin, North Dakota state coordinator for Dodd's campaign, and Dodd fans will gather at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the West Acres Mall food court in Fargo. They'll discuss a trip to Sioux City, Iowa, among other topics.
N.D. led the way
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem was happy to see the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals side with the state of Indiana last week in a case involving those pesky "robo-calls."
Indiana, like North Dakota, bans all automated telemarketing, including political messages, unless the recipient has previously agreed to accept such calls. Indiana's law has been on the books about 20 years.
The group that sued over the Indiana law was Virginia-based FreeEats.com , the same company that Stenehjem tangled with in court a couple of years ago. Eventually the state won the ultimate victory when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear FreeEats' appeal of the decision in North Dakota's favor.
Dorgan and Ditka
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is to preside over a hearing Tuesday when the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee takes up the subject of the National Football League's retirement system.
Witnesses scheduled include NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Chicago Bears coach and tight end Mike Ditka.
Dorgan said players allege the NFL retirement system delays or tries to avoid altogether paying disability payments to players with longterm injuries. The NFL says the charge is exaggerated.
NDSU Dems rally
North Dakota State University Democrats plan a rally from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday near the fountain by the South Engineering building. They're hoping to jump-start the group's new school year.
Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald.