by Grand Forks Herald
December 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm in Grand Forks Herald
A national party wondering what to do next should turn to the island of prosperity on the plains.
Tags: GOP, Opinion, Our Opinion, Politics 21 Comments »
Compared to most of the Republican party, Republicans like Hoeven believe in good government, not some hard line position of less government at all costs and are pragmatic rather than rigid ideologues. The republican party needs more of them and fewer Boehners and McConnells.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 7
True Fish … the Tea Party did not support Hoeven for a reason: he did not pass the various litmus tests they adhere to. I think that is a good thing. If the GOP is to ever regain power they have to represent all of their constituents, not just the dwindling number of angry white folk. As the last two election cycles have clearly pointed out, there simply are not enough angry white men left to elect a president.
Like or Dislike: 18 9
It will be interesting to compare Hoeven’s apparent willingness to compromise with Cramer’s hard-line stance in regard to revenue increases.
Like or Dislike: 17 3
I moved to ND in 2002. At that time the biggest worry was the population drain. We still had not recovered from the floods and it looked like we might not.
Fast forward 10 years and we are the belle of the ball. What changed? The answer is simple: something completely outside our control. It became economically viable to retrieve the oil that has always been there.
Everyone’s insistence on holding us and our way of life up as a shining example to the rest of the world to follow is a little on the unjustified side. Before you hit the thumbs down, think it through:
If the oil boom had not happened would we be figuring out what to do with the excess population and inadequate infrastructure or would we still be worried about the brain drain from ND to MNPLS?
Explain to me exactly what in our legislative process resulted in a billion dollar surplus? What did our legislators do that the other 49 states did not?
We are riding a boom. I welcome it. Just don’t be so vain as to think we caused it. We are simply lucky.
If they outlawed fracking tomorrow ND would be trying to figure out how to stop the brain drain a month from now.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 12
Flyingnurse, your explanation is too simple and ignores many basic facts. Yes, the oil boom has greatly benefited North Dakota. However, since before the most recent oil boom North Dakota’s economy was growing at a rate almost double that of every other state except Wyoming (which still lagged far behind). North Dakota had a budget surplus before the oil boom and has had a budget surplus through every year including through the financial crisis. Alaska, until just recently, produced double the oil as North Dakota yet had almost double the unemployment rate. The largest producing field in the Bakken formation is located in Montana, not North Dakota, yet Montana has almost double the unemployment rate. Several well written articles that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal acknowledge that the oil boom has definitely had a positive benefit, but also note that the Bank of North Dakota’s unique role in providing both loan guarantees and parallel financing for economic development have enable North Dakota business to expand even during the financial crisis. Commodity prices and yields for have been at all-time highs for the past several years. The sale of farmland on the eastern half of the state is at all-time highs and implement dealerships are booming for reasons unrelated to the oil boom. Add to that the fact the North Dakota is not burden by unmanageable public employee pension obligations and there is plenty of good news to go around. Some luck, certainly. All luck as you suggest, absolutely not. As for whether it is attributable to the Legislature, in a way yes; the Legislature has either intentionally or serendipitously managed to stay out of the way and avoided messing things up; they succeeded by not doing anything.
Like or Dislike: 13 10
I appreciate your run down. I stand corrected. I am curious about one statement though: “North Dakota’s economy was growing at a rate almost double that of every other state except Wyoming.”
How and where was our economy booming? What sector? I admit when the rest of the nation is bordering on a depression, doubling 1% – 2% growth is not that impressive; I am just curious where it was happening at.
I take your point. At least we were not going backward.
Like or Dislike: 10 6
The 80′s boom put a lot of money around the state. I’m guessing some of that had to do with the ability to boost the economy ever since.
Like or Dislike: 7 6
Actually the Tech sector in and around Fargo has had amazing movement because of Doug Bergum and Microsoft. They have brought a lot of other techie type companies into the area. While this is not the only reason, it has been a part of what has been happening. All of this is due to the tireless efforts of Congressman Dorgan and the Economic Corridor he has tried to build in the RRV.
Like or Dislike: 7 4
The growth was a percentage, since ND was at the bottom of the national pay scale, it could boast the biggest percentage increases even while the dollar increases were not as much as many states. Only when the oil hit on top did the actual increases climb ND up the pay scale.
People might remember how teachers were at 59th before Hoeven gave them guaranteed raises and then they were 49th. Thing was, that was where the rest of the state was paid also.
Now we have ag and oil both largely because of things outside the state.
It is not to say management was all bad. The state did not give employees unsustainable pie in the sky extravagent pensions.
The most suscessful Republican politicians have actually been rural oriented Democrats calling themselves Republicans. This gives them the best of both worlds, the yellow dog Republican vote and the moderates, more than enough to win in ND.
Like or Dislike: 1 1
Strategists should take note that large numbers of Democrats voted for Dalrymple and large numbers of Republicans voted for Heitkamp.
Receiving 3 or more pieces of paper every week attacking Heitkamp only made me view Berg’s tactics- namely, channeling out-of-state influence into the race- as mean and inefficient. Heitkamp, meanwhile, only had to keep her mouth shut and let her years of experience speak for her.
I hope it’s that we prefer pragmatists over ideologues.
Like or Dislike: 21 7
Knoxjimbo, in my opinion Berg was unelected. Certainly candidates other than Heitkamp may have failed, but if what you suggest were true, by implication you’d have to be saying that every other statewide democratic candidate was unqualified; I don’t think that is true, and I think most were very qualified. Republicans won every other statewide election, in most cases by very comfortable margins, indicating a broad acceptance of that platform. Even Cramer, who is arguably further to the right than Berg, won with a fairly comfortable margin, again indicating a broad acceptance of that platform. The Republicans not only won the State House and State Senate, they did so with super-majorities, again indicating a broad acceptance of that platform. Heitkamp didn’t pick up Republican votes because in that isolated election some Republicans decided to reject the Republican party’s platform, otherwise there is no way in hades that Cramer and Dalrymple win with such large margins. It simply doesn’t make since that every other election was lopsided in favor of the Republicans unless there was something specific to Berg (not republican policy positions) that voters didn’t like. Berg, whether true or not, was effectively painted as a self-interested, dishonest, fat cat. I simply don’t buy the implication that all the other Democrats were unqualified.
Like or Dislike: 12 4
Dalrymple had the great fortune of having an opponent who was basically only known in the west part of the state with the least amount of voters. A week before the election he was 30 points ahead of Mr. “Who?” (No relation to Dr. Who. A character who has people throughout the universe willing to vote him in) So that election really was one outside the box.
Like or Dislike: 15 2
The Poly Sci classes will be discussing Berg’s loss for quite some time. I knew all about his business dealings with Goldmark, but I never knew he was a fixture in the state legislature for 20+ years. It is interesting his campaign did not point that out, especially while Heidi was having Hot Dish with Heidi events all over the place, cementing her street cred as a hometown girl.
I do not buy Berg’s retirement. We will see him again. What else is he going to do?
Like or Dislike: 11 6
You had to ask that question, didn’t you? And here I was hoping I’d never have to hear from that guy again. Made my skin crawl….
Like or Dislike: 14 8
You are kidding right? Do you remember the commercial with the CEO of Border States about the YWCA, that happened when he was in State office, not federal. All of his commercials that boasted things that he did for North Dakotans happened before he went federal.
Like or Dislike: 5 3
As a point of reference, the average Senator votes “the party line” 93.5% of the time. Even those that are considered “pragmatic” still vote the “party line” over 80% of the time. Granted, these statistics include every vote, even resolutions honoring sports teams; even if you look at votes on bills that are contested, the rate of “party line” voting doesn’t drop significantly. If you expect that Senator elect Heitkamp is going to be voting anything other than the “party line” in over 90% percent of the votes I think you’ll be disappointed. Note that this is not a knock on the Senator elect, it is just a function of how congress works. It is always amusing during the election when the challenger asserts that candidate x voted the party line over 90% of the time; it is a true statement but fails to disclose that that includes all of the votes honoring sports teams, congratulating astronauts etc. . . . I don’t gamble, but I would be willing to bet that Senator elect Heitkamp will likely be near the average and vote the party line over 90% of the time.
Like or Dislike: 4 3
Cramer is a mirror image of Berg-a tea party favorite-go figure…
Like or Dislike: 14 5
Cramer was a mistake, and it will be corrected if he runs again.
Like or Dislike: 0 1
Look, lets not try to over think any of this. Berg lost by a very narrow margin. He lost because he ran a very nasty campaign against a very decent WOMAN. He also failed to be patient enough to even finish ONE TERM in the House. He just couldnt wait to get his hands on the BIG seat. He felt ENTITLED to it…after doing NOTHING in his current seat. He came across as a self absorbed, ideologue sleaze bag, backed by big/out of state interests. All this working against him and he BARELY lost.
Bottom line…this is still a very hard right leaning state, where you have to screw things up very badly to be unseated.
Like or Dislike: 9 4
ND is lucky in that it has vast natural rescources that make the state budget one that is in the black. It has also spurred employmment. Not every state is blessed in that way.
There is another factor too. North Dakotans are very practicle people, are problem solvers and tend to be self reliant. We also live in close proximity to each other and have to rub elbows with both the aflluent, the working and middle class and those who are less fortunate. We understand the plight of others.
In other words, we can’t ignore problems because we see them or know people who are going through tough times. I think it is these characteristics that make North Dakotans less likley to follow fring groups and political movements. We are also far from Washington which also helps. We are forced to be sensible and to solve our own problems. Maybe it’s the old pioneering spirit that lives on in all of us. We are fortunate to have these qualities.
Like or Dislike: 0 0
When you begin your journey 16 trillion behind the start/finish line and try to compare that to ND, well that is unrealistic. Too many among us aren’t willing to accept that to get back to zero we need drastic spending cuts. Spending cuts don’t win elections nation wide; free stuff wins elections. One, two or even 10 great states can’t win votes in Congress or win enough votes to change the true fiscal problems we face. The Senators and Congressmen elected to the two bodies of the legislative branches vote more often than not, to keep what they think is their “job.” We the people have a government that is self-serving. The people have lost their say because the system rewards those already elected. Change is hard to come by when job one is saving themselves, (holding office is first and foremost).
Like or Dislike: 1 0
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