Entries by Tyler Axness

An Open Letter To The Democratic National Committee From A Rural Democrat

Dear Democratic National Committee, I’m writing you as a recently defeated Democratic State Senator in the “Red State” of North Dakota to talk about rural America. I’ve heard you may be interested in learning about us after the results of the 2016 election. Some of you have taken to the national airwaves to talk about reconnecting with our life styles here in the […]

Would Removing “Election” From The Allegation Make It Serious For You?

Over a dozen U.S. Intelligence Agencies have pointed to Russians hacking and interfering with the 2016 U.S. election. For years experts have said the next form of attack will be cyber and questions were raised if we were ready. Well, this is potentially a direct cyber attack on an American institution we hold dear, free and open […]

Is Swapping One Position for Two Shrinking Government?

Governor Burgum announced the staff for his office on Thursday and along with it a “new model to deliver results.” There certainly are some recognizable names. I don’t really have anything against the people Burgum decided to hire. Of course, the one hire that leaves me shaking my head is Ron Rauschenberger serving as the senior advisor. Rauschenberger has served as Chief of Staff […]

Why Don’t We Trust Journalists Anymore?

Today I hosted “News and Views with Joel Heitkamp” on KFGO 790AM based in Fargo, ND. I had hoped to have some time to talk about the subject of a FiveThirtyEight article sent to me this week but ran out of time. The article interprets a Gallup poll that shows Americans basically have little to no trust […]

Don’t Expect WSI Changes Anytime Soon

I’ve had a few readers send me an article written by Patrick Springer of the Fargo Forum. Yesterday, Springer’s article, “Firefighter’s battle turns from catastrophic stroke to workers’ comp cuts” left many people angry and shaking their heads. Springer has done great work covering Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI) over the years, and this article is […]

Retention Bonuses and Cabinet Appointments

Remember those Jack Dalrymple retention bonuses during the 2013-2015 biennium? The rather large bonuses given out to his staff to the sum of approximately $100,000 caused a bit of a stink across the state. Legislators from both parties pushed back on the decision claiming these bonuses were excessive. During the GOP Gubernatorial primary, both Wayne Stenehjem and Doug […]

Legislature May Debate Two Budgets Next Session

Last week we informed readers that legislative leadership seemingly rejected Governor Dalrymple’s final budget before leaving office later this week. Legislators can go ahead and say they “delayed” action on Dalrymple’s budget all they want. This language is likely to save face. I’m told members of the Dalrymple cabinet immediately went to the Attorney General’s office for an opinion on the […]

UPDATED Committee Assignments of the 65th Legislative Session.

The Appropriations Committee has a few new faces this session. This committee will have a tall task in finalizing the budget for the next biennium. Among the new members is Dem-NPL State Senator John Grabinger. Grabinger replaces David O’Connell who was defeated in November. I think it is a good fit as Grabinger has experience […]

Legislature Rejects Dalrymple Budget

At 10:00 am today, Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple presented his final budget to the Legislative Assembly. As you likely know, Dalrymple decided to not seek another term. Doug Burgum will take over later in the month. The budget has been met with mixed reviews from those I’ve talked to. For the short glance I’ve had the opportunity to […]

Smart Oversight is Long Overdue

It is long past due for the State of North Dakota to be smart about energy oversight. On December 6th an oil pipeline leak was discovered near Belfield, ND. The “significant” leak that impacted a tributary of the Little Missouri River was found by a landowner according to reports. Sound familiar? It should. One of the […]