Dear Editor: 

What are you afraid of, North Dakota? 

I received a mailer just today featuring the DEM-NPL candidates, paid for by the Dakota Leadership PAC, which Gov. Doug Burgum’s money funds. 

To my surprise, the candidates, Paul Hanson, John Pederson and Zack Blotsky, were pictured with Bernie Sanders. None of these people has met Bernie Sanders, nor have they received money from Sanders.

However, he was cleverly Photoshopped into their picture, with the banner of “A liberal takeover of North Dakota.”

 These candidates are “Bankrolled by a supporter of an anti-North Dakota agenda.” 

Wow, that sounds scary.  

This is exactly the mean, divisive politics that have taken over this country.  

If pushing a liberal agenda is being inclusive of all people and standing against a platform that excludes people based upon a gender preference, well, that’s certainly liberal.

 If going out into the communities of District 20 and speaking to people of both parties about what they need done down in Bismarck to help the people of this district meet their commitments and make their lives better, hmmm, maybe liberal?

 Maybe being concerned that health care in our rural hospitals and nursing homes being dramatically reduced because they rely upon the expanded Medicaid that is tied to the Affordable Care Act under assault by this state’s attorney general is liberal.  

Maybe questioning why at least some monies sent to this state in the CARES Act weren’t initially sent to schools and colleges in order to help with extra costs due to this pandemic instead of bailing out oil, might be liberal. 

Or maybe this is all just caring about the people in District 20.

This flyer makes three points about the three candidates.  

First, they will decimate North Dakota’s energy industry.  

Well, Blotsky works for members of the energy industry.  

There isn’t one statement, other than holding the oil industry accountable for environmental infractions and fines, that would lead to decimation of the industry.  

Second, they will raise taxes.

Again, all three of these candidates are taxpayers also.  No one has spoken to raising taxes. 

Finally, they oppose Burgum’s reforms. That was the best this super PAC could come up with? 

Far be it for anyone in the state to oppose party reforms, even if they are wrong.

Finally, there is no evidence that I can see when I go to the website listed as a source that these candidates received any money or have any connection to Sanders.  

I taught English and speech for many years. When I spoke of argumentation, I always warned students about people who tried to use fear in order to force you into making a decision. 

Fear is based upon an emotional reaction which circumvents rational thinking.  

The divisive accusations are beneath the Republican candidates who are running against Hanson, Pederson and Blotsky. I hardly think three down-to-earth, caring individuals are something to fear. 

What are you really afraid of, North Dakota?


Phyllis Kadrmas