10-25-14 Letters to the Editor
County commission against Measure 5
North Dakota is prospering and our counties are growing, and that’s great news. But when there is growth, there are certain needs that have to be addressed. The big ones are always infrastructure, roads and schools, and we rely on the state to help us manage those needs.
Many people may not be aware that the only way a county commission can raise revenue is through property taxes. Right now, the state is providing additional funding that has been used to reduce property taxes but still give counties the funds we need to take care of county infrastructure problems. If Measure 5 passes, it could impact state funding to our local county. Measure 5 would take $150 million every year away from the state’s general fund, which would affect local projects.
We all support conservation but we need a balanced approach that considers all the needs across the state. When there is flexibility in the budgeting process, there is room to accommodate all the needs in the state. Measure 5 takes that flexibility away and puts our counties at risk by removing $150 million per year from the state’s general fund.
Right now, our county has a bright future. But all that becomes uncertain if funding isn’t available to keep up with our growing needs. Measure 5 threatens our growth by taking away $150 million per year, no matter what.
North Dakota has a unique opportunity to address the needs in our local counties along with our needs for conservation, but that is only as long as the state has the flexibility to adjust funding priorities as those needs change.
(We) support conservation but Measure 5 is not the right approach for our North Dakota counties. Please join (us) in voting no on Measure 5.
Duane Johnston, Mike Christenson, Joe Bohl, Dave Migler, Rick Larson
What research really says about Measure 1
This letter is in response to the many letters that have been written by people that, unfortunately, believe the lies that are being broadcast on mass media. Incidentally, the campaign being waged to shoot down Measure 1 is over 95 percent paid for by out-of-state interest groups, primarily Planned Parenthood.
First of all, the amendment is not “self-executing”. This means that it will not change ANY existing law we have in the books. What it will do is protect common sense laws that our legislature passes that are designed to protect the people, ALL people of all ages. It will prevent rogue judges from making up their own interpretation of our constitution to conform to their agenda.
Secondly, Measure 1 will not have an impact on IVF. It will not make it illegal to pursue this route to having a child. Although one IVF doctor has made claims that she will no longer have a job if Measure 1 passes, there are other IVF doctors that have endorsed Measure 1. I hardly think they would do this if it meant the demise of their livelihood.
Thirdly, Measure 1 will not interfere with our end-of-life care. Experts in law, healthcare, bioethics, and elder care have released a statement confirming that Measure 1 will not impact the ability of North Dakotans or their families to make health care decisions at the end of life.
In response to the reason some churches are getting involved with this Measure, I would have to say that I would be very disappointed in my pastor if he did not stand up for life. Simply reading the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:29-37, will provide a glimpse as to why the church gets involved with this sort of issue. There are some that ignore the helpless, but my pastor has chosen to step up to the plate and do what he can to protect those who cannot help themselves.
There are many, many other lies being generated such as: miscarriages will be illegal, treatment of ectopic pregnancies will be illegal, birth control will be illegal and living wills will be nullified. These are only a few of the scary, horrible things that they say will happen. Who is “they”? Primarily, Planned Parenthood is the organization that is spouting these things. Why are they doing this? Their goal is to prevent our state from placing any restrictions on the abortion industry, plain and simple. The strange thing is, Measure 1 will not even stop abortions. But it does allow our legislature to regulate the industry and to place certain common sense laws in place that help to protect the women and girls that seek to have one.
This is the wording of Measure 1: “The inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development must be recognized and protected.” What is so scary about these words? Now, please tell me which human being you think should not have a right to life. If you cannot think of any, please vote YES on Measure 1.
Dr. Richard Lagasse, DVM
Representatives for Measure 7
As legislators, most of us were present for the various debates on our state’s current pharmacy laws, which have now led to initiated Measure 7 on the ballot this November. We believe Measure 7 should pass for the following reasons.
First and foremost, competition lowers prices. This is a plain fact of economics and one that we feel should be allowed to work in the pharmacy industry for the benefit of North Dakotans. This was proven yet again by a study released last week by Dr. David Flynn, of the University of North Dakota; and Dr. Rajesh Balkrishnan, of the University of Michigan, who determined North Dakotans pay an average of $85 per prescription drug, yet our South Dakota neighbors pay an average of $57 per prescription drug.
Secondly, government should never pick winners and losers, especially when it comes to free-market enterprise. This law was enacted in 1963 to prevent the potential conflict of interest when physicians own pharmacies. It was not intended to bar retailers. In fact, many of these “big box” retailers were only opening their very first stores at that time.
Third, our growing population is demanding additional goods and services. We have put billions of dollars into infrastructure, roads and schools to support this growth, yet this archaic law is still in place. We are doing a disservice to North Dakotans by not allowing more health care options into the state to meet these needs.
As North Dakotans, we know this state is an excellent place to live, work and raise a family. But as we grow, we need to allow industries to grow with us and for us. We encourage our fellow voters to say Yes to Measure 7 to allow the pharmacy industry to meet our growing demands.
Rep. Tom Beadle, Fargo; Rep. Mark Dosch, Bismarck; Rep. Ben Hanson, West Fargo; Rep. Brenda Heller, Bismarck; Rep. Mike Nathe, Bismarck; Rep. Jon Nelson, Rugby; Rep. Mark Owens, Grand Forks; Rep. Roscoe Streyle, Minot; Rep. Blair Thoreson, West Fargo
Shared parenting being confused
There seems to be a lot of confusion on both sides of the Shared Parenting issue as well as dis-information from the State Bar, so I would like to clear up a few points.
1. What is shared parenting? If you are living with a spouse and have a child, you currently are “shared parenting”. Measure 6 would just continue these equal parenting rights after divorce.
2. Shared parenting can be, but usually will not be, equal parenting time. A court-approved shared-parenting plan could allow for some type of 50/50 rotation or it could be 99/1. It is up to the parents to decide.
3. A court-approved parenting plan is, like current visitation orders, likely to be more myth then reality, and will mostly be something to fall back on if all else fails. The reality is the parents will informally change it anyway and anyhow they mutually agree to.
4. Shared parenting can, but usually will not, eliminate child support. In most cases, it is likely child support would continue per the present guidelines.
5. Shared parenting would not put kids in with domestic abusers, it would just require a higher level of proof of danger to the child instead of the present mere unproven allegations favored by the lawyers.
6. The lawyer ads claim good results with mandated mediation. But this is deliberately misleading because an allegation of domestic abuse, which are very common, bars mediation, and when there is a golden pot at the end of the litigation, you can be sure lawyers will find some way to allege domestic abuse and avoid less-rewarding mediation. Once into best interests, then it really is more about money for the spouse and the attorneys and little about the child.
Libertarian Candidate for Secretary of State and Libertarian State Chairman
Support Siegler for sheriff
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, the residents of Pierce County will be asked to vote their choice of the candidates for the office of County Sheriff. The 2014 Pierce County Primary Election indicated strong support for Josh Siegler – and I wholeheartedly concur.
I hired Josh as a Deputy Sheriff during my tenure as Pierce County Sheriff, and must say that I was impressed by Josh’s dedication, honesty, integrity, knowledge and common sense. His years of service for the Pierce County Sheriff’s office, as well as his current employment with the Ward County Sheriff’s Office, have broadened his experience and ability in all aspects of criminal, civil and administrative functions of the Sheriff’s Office. These qualities combine to make Josh the best choice for Pierce County Sheriff.
Robert Graber, Retired
Pierce County Sheriff
Vote yes on Measure 2
As a REALTOR and Burleigh County Commissioner, I’m writing to urge people to vote yes on Measure 2.
Measure 2 would prohibit the state and any political subdivision from implementing a transfer tax – a tax on the sale or transfer of property. Many North Dakotans may be unfamiliar with a transfer tax because we’re one of the states lucky enough not to have one. But 36 other states and the District of Columbia all charge transfer taxes, including our neighbors Minnesota and South Dakota. There is real concern that as the state limits the amount of property taxes that can be levied locally, counties and cities will turn instead to transfer taxes to increase their revenue.
Transfer taxes would have a devastating effect on North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers. Many of our state’s Ag producers are third- and fourth-generation farmers – they work the same land that has been handed down from generation-to-generation for over 100 years.
If the state or a political subdivision decided to implement a transfer tax, it could potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars to transfer the family farm to the next generation. North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers have been the backbone of our state, our heritage and our economy for more than 100 years. They shouldn’t have to pay tens of thousands of dollars just to pass the family farm on to their children.
Measure 2 would make sure our Ag producers, and all North Dakotans, are never unduly burdened by a double tax on their property.
Stop the tax. Vote Yes on Measure 2.
Vote no on Measure 2
Measure No. 2 on the statewide ballot on Nov. 4 is not particularly sexy and has therefore not earned much press or coffee shop talk. So why has it gained the attention of an office in Illinois who has spent over $1 million to support this change to the North Dakota Constitution? Why has the legislature brought this to us and asked for our opinion? It’s about a tax that does not exist. Nope, we don’t do it in North Dakota. Yet another national agenda being pushed by outside interests?
By a quick count on the Secretary of State webpage, I find 276 former attempts to amend our legal framework. Since its adoption in 1889, the ND Constitution has changed by the majority vote of the people, but not 276 times. Many are defeated. I’m voting NO on Measure No. 2 for the simple reason that to change my Constitution, you should be truthful with me. I will thank the good people at 430 N. Michigan in Chicago for their interest in amending my constitution, but will vote NO and tell them “Thanks, but No Thanks”.
Jerry M. Saude