This Week’s Rundown

Here is a rundown of what you might have missed in North Dakota politics this week sprinkled with a dash of sarcasm. Consider it a cheat sheet for tonight’s happy hour discussion. Cheers to the weekend.

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The Weekend

Thanks to an open record request from the Associated Press, it was revealed that Governor Doug Burgum actually repaid nearly$40,000 for his luxurious Super Bowl trip. Originally reported at $37,000, the open record exposed concerts, private parties, meals, and other events. Earlier, I gave the office credit for being open about this and not appearing to cover anything up. Oops. Burgum and his staff have been in the Governor’s office for over a year now. The transition from private sector CEO to public servant is appearing to be a difficult task.


The Dem-NPL announced former Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker at their convention in Grand Forks. In the infamous words of Biden, that’s “a big f&!king deal.”


The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) released a catchy attack ad against Heidi Heitkamp. Entitled “High Five Heidi” it is based on a local right-wing media spin. Politifact rated the partisan charge as “false.” No surprise, it didn’t stop the NRSC or the NDGOP from running with the false attack ad. The high five joins their other charge deemed “false” by Politifact about Heitkamp’s voting record in accordance with President Trump.


Congressman Kevin Cramer introduced his interns. Reminder, he pays his wife for her partisan political work, but not his interns for their work on behalf of North Dakota constituents.

Dem-NPL Chairwoman Kylie Oversen jumped in the race for Tax Commissioner. She will challenge Ryan Rauschenberger should she earn the nomination. Meanwhile, the Dem-NPL Party appears to be struggling to fill out their statewide ballot. Where the hell is everyone?


State Senator Kelly Armstrong made it official. He is seeking the NDGOP nomination for Congress. Meanwhile, State Senator Tom Campbell who has spent nearly $800,000 of his own money on getting people to know him can’t find anyone to remove the knife from his back.

A tax reform gathering was held in Fargo and sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger was in attendance. It certainly looked more like a campaign event than official state business. The Tax Department Facebook shared it which is a little questionable. I’m sure it was a mere coincidence the tax reform event was held in Fargo on the same day the Cass County GOP held their organizing conventions. I wonder if tax payers picked up the tab for Rauschenberger’s trip out east?


Senator John Hoeven urged President Trump to nominate Drew Wrigley for U.S. Attorney in North Dakota. If it moves forward, get the popcorn ready for that confirmation hearing. Why do the same people bemoan government while consistently wanting a government job? Maybe it’s health insurance? Wait, Wrigley works at a private health insurance company right now. Meanwhile, Susan Bala is suing the State of North Dakota for $30 million.

News came out that District 21 Republicans expelled a white supremacist from their organization at Thursday’s gathering. Last week, the same white supremacist attended and cheered Cramer’s announcement for the U.S. Senate. We should recognize and applaud Connor Swanson, the Chair of the District for taking a stand.