No matter how they characterize it, a bill that would change the way North Dakota fills a U.S. Senate vacancy is a cynical political stunt. It should be trashed.Rep. Roscoe Streyle, R-Minot, insists his legislation is about voting, not politics. Whether or not he believes such tripe, Streyle’s legislation confirms that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., frightens the political tar out of Republicans.
The bill would strip the governor of the time-honored role of appointing to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy. Republicans are nervous because if Heitkamp runs for governor in 2016 (she’s not said she is), and wins, she would resign her Senate seat. As the new governor, she would appoint someone – certainly a Democrat – to fill out the remaining two years of her term. The state would keep a Democrat in the Senate and, for the first time in more than 20 years, a Democrat would be governor. That’s the stuff of Republican nightmares.
The bill would mandate a special election. Given requirements for a special election, North Dakota could be without one of its two U.S. senators for a year or longer. So in addition to pushing a petty political ploy, Streyle also would guarantee North Dakotans would be without full representation in the U.S. Senate for a much longer time than if the governor quickly appointed a senator.
Streyle and his supporters aren’t fooling anyone. The bill is a pre-emptive shot at Heitkamp – at her obvious political strength in the state. They have reason to worry.
Eight more stung in Grand Forks.
No luck with eHarmony? Quote:
GRAND FORKS – A prostitution sting resulted in eight arrests here Thursday night. The Grand Forks Police Department conducted the operation by putting advertisements on Backpage.com, a classified advertising website. The arrests were made at a local hotel, according to Lt. Dwight Love of the Grand Forks Police Department.
Love said the ad netted 30 to 40 responses.
“Quite honestly, we could probably do it once a week for a while and get that many,” he said. “We were pretty shocked by the level of responses we got.”
The eight men were arrested on charges of “hiring an individual to engage in sexual activity,” according to a daily jail booking sheet.
The local arrests follow the arrests of 17 men in Bismarck earlier this month.
Still, Love said he wasn’t sure if prostitution is a growing problem in the Grand Forks area.
“It’s just something recently that we’re focused on,” he said.
FARGO – Paying off old debt by issuing new bonds at lower interest rates will save the Fargo School District $185,000 a year in interest payments from its building fund, or $2.2 million over the life of the bonds, officials said.
Letter: Human rights bill deserves passage
By Zach Packineau from Fargo
As a lifelong resident of North Dakota, I wholeheartedly appreciate what our elected officials do to ensure North Dakota is a leader and a great state to live in, work, and raise families.
SB2279 would amend the North Dakota Human Rights Act and the North Dakota Fair Housing Act to provide the same protections from discrimination for all North Dakotans. This is important so that no North Dakotan has to live in fear of being fired from her job or kicked out of his apartment based on sexual orientation.
Businesses, job seekers and their families look for strong and supportive communities where they can thrive and call home. Currently, 21 other states in the country provide protections and North Dakota must be competitive to fill the 20,000 job openings in our state.
A recent poll conducted by DFM Research reported that a majority of North Dakota residents over the age of 18 support SB2279 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I urge our state legislators to follow the direction of the majority of North Dakotans in supporting SB2279. Let’s continue to keep North Dakota a leader and a great state for all families to live and work in: vote yes on SB2279.
13 protesters detained after occupying U of M president’s office, demanding more racial diversity
The group had a list of eight demands:
More faculty for the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies
The removal of racial descriptors from campus police crime alerts
The reversal of the decision to close the Postsecondary Teaching and Learning department by 2016-17
More faculty of color
A program to recruit low-income Twin Cities high schoolers
A requirement that all students take at least one ethnic studies class
A gender-neutral restroom in every building
The removal of admissions application questions concerning criminal history and school discipline, including expulsions.
FARGO – One of the state’s largest public employee unions is pushing for a law that would tackle workplace bullying and mandate protections from it in the public sector.
North Dakota United hosted its fifth workshop concerning workplace bullying and harassment on Saturday in Fargo.
The group is also advocating for an anti-workplace bullying law in the North Dakota legislature.
House Bill 1428 would mandate state entities implement and enforce employee harassment policies.
The bill reads: “The policy must clearly define harassment and specify the responsibilities of the employee, supervisor and the agency, department or institution. If an agency, department or institution does not adopt a harassment policy, the agency, department or institution must be subject to the policy adopted by the North Dakota human resource management services division.”
The bill is sponsored by Fargo Reps. Josh Boschee, D-Dist. 44, Thomas Beadle R-Dist. 27, and Kathy Hawken, R-Dist. 46, and Fargo Sen. Ronald Sorvaag, R-Dist. 45, as well as several other sponsors from throughout the state.
The bill was passed unanimously in the state House of Representatives and will be voted on in the Senate soon.
“I think it will certainly be a tool that public employees can use if they are being harassed in the workplace,” Boschee said.
North Dakota United UniServ director Jane Rupprecht said workplace harassment is prevalent in North Dakota, but there aren’t any laws against certain forms of bullying.