House Majority Leader Al Carlson is officially running for reelection. The announcement first appeared in an article written by John Hageman of Forum Communications. Arguably the most powerful politician in the state, Carlson is also one of the most divisive. He is the driving force behind the culture of intimidation.
The official announcement came a few days after a fundraising invite for Carlson was sent to area lobbyists. The invite was sent from Pat Finken of Odney Advertising, the same ad agency that wrote Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger’s DUI statement. The invite was forwarded to me by a number of lobbyists.
Finken isn’t the only one hosting Carlson’s fundraiser. Ron Ness of the ND Petroleum Council is also throwing the party. Remember in 2015, with about ten days left in the session, Carlson rushed the permanent oil tax cut through the Legislature. Consider this a “thank you” to Al Carlson.
There are a lot of lobbyists who say that Carlson is the problem in the ND Legislature and that it’d operate more smoothly if he weren’t elected. Of course, they all say that behind the brass rail of the Capitol for fear of retaliation. My challenge to those lobbyists: put your money where your mouth is. Don’t send him campaign cash. If you really dislike his leadership, don’t enable it.