The 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. If you’d like to submit a moment from the week, click here!

The Weekend

Word broke of Congressman Kevin Cramer’s son being admitted to the ICU. Thankfully, there have been signs of improvement. “He remains critical, but instead of planning for the worst, we are planning for recovery.” Cramer wrote in a Facebook post. We continue to hope and pray for the family.


State Senator John Grabinger, Democratic Assistant Minority Leader from Jamestown, announced he would seek the Democratic-NPL nomination for Congress. Grabinger’s entry sets up the first time in a very long time the Dem-NPL will have a contested convention for the nomination for such a high-profile race. Grabinger will challenge former Representative Ben Hanson for the nomination. Grabinger was a guest on my radio show “Afternoons Live” this week to talk about his decision. Listen here. 


#OneMoreVote for Net Neutrality took hold nation wide. The grassroots movement is to get constituents to call their Senators and urge them to support a CRA to block the FCC repeal of net neutrality. North Dakota’s John Hoeven can be that deciding vote if he listens to his constituents. He is a no right now. Heitkamp is a yes. Time is ticking for #OneMoreVote.

The first public poll in the U.S. Senate race was released. Garvis Marketing conducted the poll which showed Heitkamp leading Cramer 43-40. Cramer was within the margin of error. It confirms what many expect, that this will be a tight race.


House Majority Leader Al Carlson said the North Dakota Legislature will need to look at ways to improve school safety. He joined Joel Heitkamp on News and Views. Previous attempts in the Legislature to fund safety programs such as School Resource Officers have been rejected. Thankfully, the attempts to arm teachers have also been rejected. Rep. Luke Simmons from Dickinson looks ready to introduce this awful idea yet again in the 2019 session.


Two days after a poll showed the Democratic candidate Heitkamp narrowly leading Cramer, the Republican committee to elect Republicans to the Senate, released a poll from a Republican firm to show the Republican candidate Cramer in the lead. Count me as a little bit of skeptic. I wrote about why earlier. 

A couple of weeks ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russians for their information warfare on America. The indictment laid out how Russia is manipulating American debate on issues and candidates. Once I read the indictment, I talked to a journalist friend and asked whether or not the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and counter-protest was a part of this operation. It was just speculation. Turns out I was right. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee released a report saying Russia inflamed the debate around DAPL. The Russian attack is right in our back down in North Dakota. That better piss you off. We need to ask yet again, why in the hell isn’t this Trump administration doing anything to stop Russian information warfare on America.


President Trump tweeted “trade wars are good” the morning after he signaled he’d put tariffs on aluminum and steel. Perhaps he should get back to North Dakota and ask a family farmer whether trade wars are good.

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