Lloyd Omdahl, Columnist
“This is the time to go on a warpath against immigration,” Chief Stormy Red Cloud announced as he called delegations from the five North Dakota Native American reservations to order...
The mushrooming cost of keeping North Dakota wrongdoers in confinement has led to the creation of a 16-person study committee to consider methods of reducing the prison population. A number of states have claimed substantial savings by releasing prisoners into a probation and parole system that emphasizes rehabilitation. With the loss of $1 billion in oil-related revenue, the state is ready to look at anything to save money.
The prison population in North Dakota has tripled from 578 in 1995 to 1,800 in 2015 and is expected to increase to 2,985 by 2015, all at the annual cost of $43,000 per inmate. The state corrections budget has doubled to $100 million annually in the last decade and promises to continue spiraling upward.
With the retirement of Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the partisans are trolling for a standard bearer, even though we are no longer sure what standard to bear with guys like Bernie...
Measure 4 on the November ballot is the latest attempt by the Legislature to restrict citizen use of the initiative process by which voters can propose measures for a vote of the people. If passed, it would prohibit the secretary of state from putting on the ballot any citizen proposal that would direct the expenditure of money for a specific purpose. Apparently, legislators question the intelligence of the voters. This is the latest in a never-ending series of attempts by the Legislature to make it more difficult for citizens to use the initiative.
“I say, folks, I am sure glad to be included in this Consumer Protection Institute. But how did you come up with that great name?” “Just copied the interest groups. They always have a fabricated title that suggests they’re all for the public good when they are really planning something else.” “Well, I thought it would be helpful for us to share some of our best ideas for improving profits by packaging our products to separate those indiscreet consumers from their money.
A group of nine ex-Hutterites are going to great lengths to denounce the theology and governance flaws of Hutterite colonies in North Dakota and Canada. They are now touting a second book about their experiences and taking their case to the secular world. The Hutterite religion first appeared in Europe in 1528 and was named for a dynamic leader, Jakob Hutter, in the 1600s.
President Barack Obama has come and gone. While on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation south of Bismarck, he gave a message of encouragement to all of the residents in Indian Country. He promised a better future for Indian children by breaking down the old cycles that have handicapped progress on Indian Reservations.
During the 2014 election cycle, North Dakota will be spending $700,000 on advertisements to remind voters that they now need an ID to vote and that ID voting is as “easy as pie.” The first defense for spending this huge sum of money is that it is federal money. If this money had to come from the state treasury, it would never be spent.
In the upcoming November general election, North Dakota voters will consider the Legislature’s proposal to abolish the present Board of Higher Education and replace it with a full-time three-member commission. This won’t be the first time the state has addressed the issue of higher education governance.