N.D. POLITICS NOTEBOOK: Dems spend some green to go green
BISMARCK -- Thanks to the city of Fargo's landfill, North Dakota Democrats are going green at the Democratic National Convention. North Dakota's is among the state Democratic Party delegations that are offsetting their "carbon footprint" of atten...
BISMARCK -- Thanks to the city of Fargo's landfill, North Dakota Democrats are going green at the Democratic National Convention.
North Dakota's is among the state Democratic Party delegations that are offsetting their "carbon footprint" of attending the convention Aug. 25-28 in Denver.
State party Chairman David Strauss said North Dakota reached its goal because two delegates, Chad Oban and Carmen Miller, Bismarck, bought offsets from the city of Fargo.
Because Fargo sells methane from its landfill to produce power, the city is issued credits by the Chicago Climate Exchange.
Then, Oban and Miller bought the credits from Fargo.
The Democrats said the city of Fargo retired 220,460 pounds of carbon offset credits on behalf of the 25 North Dakota's Democratic convention delegates.
The emission reduction credits more than equal the CO2 the delegates would have generated getting to the convention, the party said.
Oban said he and Miller split the $187.50 total cost of buying the credits.
Freeman in China
Fargo native and longtime George Bush pal Brad Freeman of Los Angeles is in the presidential delegation to the Beijing Olympic Games' opening ceremony Friday.
According to White House press secretary's office, the delegation includes the president and first lady; former President George H.W. Bush; U.S. Ambassador to China Clark T. Randt Jr.; New York City businessman and Bush fraternity brother Roland Betts and Lois Betts; Bush's sister, Doro Bush Koch, and Freeman, an investment banker.
Bush photo on wall
Political Web site Politico.com recently reported that despite President Bush's relative unpopularity, he shows up displayed on the walls of members of congress' offices -- including at Sen. Byron Dorgan's office.
The North Dakota Democrat told Politico's reporter, "I have almost always had a picture of the president in one form or another because the office of the president is an important office."
Politico noted Dorgan displays very few photos at his office.
"Dorgan's walls are understated, even austere, a bit like the senator himself," Politico reporter Daniel Libit wrote.
Some weeks ago, North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem criticized a national organization, ACORN, for giving the state a failing grade for not helping people going through home foreclosures.
Stenehjem had noted that ACORN's ranking was bogus because North Dakota is not caught up in the foreclosure mess ravaging the rest of the country.
Now, he's got additional ammunition.
The latest stats put out by RealtyTrac, a foreclosure marketing firm, show that in June, North Dakota was 50th among the states in number of foreclosures at a rate of one foreclosure per 27,982 households.
"We even blew South Dakota (No. 49) out of the water, and they only had one foreclosure for every 12,166 households," he notes.
Not only that, North Dakota foreclosures were down 78 percent from a year ago, which was before the national mortgage crisis began peaking.
Stenehjem notes that Minnesota, a state that ACORN had given an A+, had one foreclosure for every 1,348 households. Nevada was on top with one foreclosure for every 122 households during June, an increase of 85 percent from June 2007.
Cole reports for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Herald.