It is now undeniably official. Party politics for at least three legislators takes precedent over representing and fighting for their constituents.
Three North Dakota legislators from Districts 1 and 2 recently called a press conference to fight for the election of Rick Berg to a national office. To my knowledge, none of these same legislators has ever called a press conference to fight for the protection of their districts.
While their district’s roads were crumbling, sewage lagoons were overflowing, traffic fatalities were rising, law enforcement agencies were under siege, elderly were sent packing and all other infrastructures were known to be inadequate from impacts of oil and gas development, not one press conference was called. Not one.
So while they neglected to use the most convenient tool in their toolbox to bring attention to the tsunami of visible and invisible impacts thrust upon their districts, these legislators had no problem going front and center on an issue with absolutely no bearing on what they should be focusing on.
This should serve as a wake-up call for every voter in western North Dakota to review the performance of their district’s legislators.
If they can’t recall an instance where their legislators stood up to the governor, state agencies and most importantly, their party’s leadership, for the people they represent, those legislators should not be expecting their vote in November.
If voters don’t trust their memory, they should call their legislators and ask them, “Since 2008, how many press conferences have you called or letters to the editor have you written to expose the inadequacies of the state’s engagement and funding for the oil impact issues affecting our district?”
In most cases, expect a very long and awkward pause.