Commentary: Final thoughts on Tuesday's election
FARGO — With the election just three days away, here are some final thoughts…
— U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s ad naming sexual assault victims was an inexcusable careless blunder. The staffer responsible deserved to be fired for the damage she caused to several women. However, Heitkamp impressively took responsibility for the enormous error with her apology. Lost in the shuffle is what prompted the ad: U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer’s insensitive and out of touch comments on sexual assault.
— Apparently we’re not going to see Valley News Live do fact check news stories on anti-Heitkamp ads, like we saw with anti-Cramer ads. If VNL did those stories, they would have determined that Heitkamp is a moderate (not a liberal), that she supports veterans, the “death tax” only affects the extremely wealthy with multimillion dollar estates, and Heitkamp worked with law enforcement during the Dakota Access Pipeline battle.
— Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney is right in asking that the city be reimbursed for extra security costs for President Trump’s latest trip to Fargo on behalf of Cramer. That event was not open to the public, was not official presidential business, and raised $1 million for the Cramer campaign. Funds for those extra costs should have come from the Cramer campaign, not local taxpayers. If Democratic candidates bring in big shots who require extra police security, then Democrats should pay the city back too.
— Voter fraud in North Dakota is nonexistent. The North Dakota voter identification law is more about preventing people, notably Native Americans and college students, from voting for Democrats, than about preventing voter fraud.
— If you’re not sure yet on how to vote on recreational marijuana, consider the case of Becky and Brandon Muhs of West Fargo. Becky has stage four cancer and used to take medical marijuana in states where it is legal. Becky and Brandon had to move back to North Dakota, and he gave her marijuana to make her feel better and keep her alive. For that effort, he was sent to prison for a year. If recreational marijuana passes, Brandon’s criminal record will be rightfully expunged.
— One of the objectives of North Dakota Measure 1, the Ethics Measure, is to take away the obscene influence of money and lobbyists on our elected leaders. It would prevent lobbyists from providing free trips, free meals and free gifts to those elected. Thus, it doesn’t surprise me that the leading donors opposing this measure are the energy companies. Those are the companies giving out the freebies. They would like to keep business as usual.
— Whenever local citizens put measures on the ballot, opponents always claim the measures are poorly worded and principally motivated by out of state special interests. Don’t be fooled, and fall for these scare tactics.
— If Heidi Heitkamp loses, what is Forum News Service columnist Rob Port going to write about over the next six years?