Letter: Governor understands little of what’s endured in oil country
My grandfather arrived alone from Norway in 1903, aged 15.
He departed Ellis Island with a change of clothes and a dream. He worked beside men twice his age in the logging camps of northern Minnesota. His struggles yielded enough money to take a train west to the Dakotas.
On arrival, he left Dickinson with a pack, tools and a tent, hiking 30 miles north to prove a homesteader’s claim.
My grandfather came from a country of monarchy. He was proud to now live where a citizen had a say in determining the future.
Voting was a thing sacred to him, he exercised that right with pride. Granddad was a man who saw things in black and white, right or wrong. To lie, to hide behind nuance of law, to ask for money or favor were concepts foreign to my granddad.
He would have viewed the current election cycle thus: A draft-dodging man of privilege has bankrupted U.S. companies and outsourced jobs for a living. This man secreted his wealth away from taxation off-shore. He now asks us to believe he is pro-America, worthy to lead.
In my grandfather’s beloved, adopted state of North Dakota, we have: A multimillionaire senatorial candidate that has voted his party’s line against the best interests of North Dakota, all while disingenuously posing for pictures next to completed home state projects he voted against.
For the House race, a hardworking citizen-legislator is pitted against a career politician who is embroiled in a campaign funding scandal. The man engaged $400 dollar-per-hour legal defense from out of state, at taxpayer expense, to defend him against this sordid mess.
We have an appointed governor that understands little of what we endure in oil country, sending help too little, too late. His opponent sees that money derived from natural resources needs to stay in oil/coal country, not to be taken, then given back in dribs and drabs.
Lastly, a young man of vision seeks to restore dignity to the Public Service Commission. Accepting money from the very industries he would regulate is a concept repugnant to him.
So there it is, right vs. wrong — black and white. Scenarios even my unschooled grandfather would have understood.
Heidi Heitkamp, Pam Gulleson, Ryan Taylor, Brad Crabtree for a bright future. Simple as that.
Kent Rogne, Killdeer