Journalists are different from bloggers. Journalists gather and report facts so that we can form educated opinions about issues important to us. Bloggers editorialize with opinion, and the recent column by "Say Anything" blogger Rob Port is just that. It is more opinion than fact ("Is Jack Dalrymple a post-boom governor?", Page A4, April 16).
For example, Port says that North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple fumbled criticism by the Democrats that the state did not have a proper prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Port could have done a search that would have revealed that Dalrymple re-affirmed and ratified an executive order in 2014 that prohibits all such discrimination in state government. What matters is Dalrymple's intent to protect state employees from discrimination.
Port goes on to say that Dalrymple has led some kind of uncontrolled spending spree in Bismarck. What Port does not acknowledge is that the governor can recommend funding, but only the Legislature can appropriate state funds. Because the Legislature is controlled by a two-thirds Republican majority, I guess he is saying most Republicans are guilty of overspending. I disagree. Most people remember Dalrymple as a tough chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in the 1990s, when budgets were really tight.
By the way, the spending that Port refers to includes all of the state's support for western North Dakota, statewide infrastructure improvements, education funding, funding for UND's new medical school building and law school renovation, as well as major investments making Grand Forks a national hub for unmanned aerial systems.
Despite Port's unsubstantiated doom-and-gloom view of the state's budget and revenues, I think the Legislature and governor have done a very good job addressing the priorities of our growing state. Unlike in other states, the governor and Legislature have worked together to provide historic tax relief while funding the needs of our growing state and while also maintaining healthy reserves that will carry North Dakota through any downturn.
As for Dalrymple, he has proven to be an effective and successful leader who continues to move North Dakota forward during both good times and challenging times.