Bette Grande, Rick Berg Release Web Videos UPDATE: Duane Sand Too

A couple of interesting videos from North Dakota candidates. First up, US Senate candidate Rick Berg who released this video with his mom:

I like the video, especially the “there’s no free lunch” comment. That’s good, populist conservatism. Everything costs somebody something. But one thing that always strikes me about Berg is how stiff he is. Even goofing with his mom in this video comes off a little…forced.

Berg is a hard-driving campaigner, and very well-informed on policy, but a smooth communicator he is not.

State Rep. Bette Grande, who is running for the US House, also released this longer video (which her campaign has told me was sent out to delegates) introducing her as a candidate:

Grande definitely needs this sort of an effort if she is to shoulder in with front-runners Kevin Cramer (well-known after winning two statewide elections to the PSC by wide margins) and Shane Goettle (a well-funded political insider), but for my taste she dwells on religion and the pro-life issue a bit too long. I am, admittedly, not a religious person, but the upcoming election cycle is going to be dominated by fiscal issues, and I think Rep. Grande would get more traction out of focusing her efforts there.

I am pro-life, and I appreciate Rep. Grande’s pro-life record, but she also has a very good record on pension reforms and other fiscal matters that I wish she’d spend more time talking about.

Update: I forgot to mention that Duane Sand has his first ad out as well:

I’m with Sand on building the Keystone XL pipeline, but then so is the guy Sand is challenging for the Senate nomination. This isn’t an area of policy on which Berg and Sand disagree. If Sand wants to win the nomination, he needs to tell voters how he’s different than Rick Berg, not how he’s the same.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Tim Heise

    Good videos.

  • Camsaure

    I’d vote Grande over Berg any day. Berg has blown his chances with me. And Geottle I am not willing to chance him being a Rino.

    • melissapaulik

      I wish Grande was running against Berg! Nevertheless, she has my vote for House.

  • Ndconservative2011

    Both videos are quite good.  I wonder how Kevin Cramer can come up with the title of front runner after losing endorsements in the past.  Sure he won the office of PSC on two occasions, but cannot capture the Republican vote when it comes to senate or house.  In my opinion, Shane Goettle and Brian Kalk are the two front runners. 

  • Jay

    I agree Berg seemed a bit forced in his ad, but overall it was well done.

  • Game

    I am really glad that Bette Grande is so proud of “standing up” to “Planned Parenthood” in the North Dakota Legislature.

    Now, since North Dakota does not have a Planned Parenthood, and the closest one in Moorhead MN  does not provide abortion services , it is obvious she pulled that talking point off the national scrap heap and ran with it. 

    I really would have liked to have seen her do well, I really like some parts of her story. But it is quickly becoming obvious that she lacks any kind of intellectual integrity and that she is not ready for the big time.

    • Janne Myrdal

      Well, the misinformation is NOT in Rep. Grande’s video, but rather in your response above.  If you are so fooled as to think ND does not have PLanned Parenthood present, then why have they been represented and giving testimony against the very bills Rep. Garnde mentions in this video.  I was present when they did, and have heard their proclaimed opposition to her poition more times than I can count.  As long as I have attended commitee meetings during legislative sessions in Bismarck,and that is a while, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota (yep there it is, that is the name of the Upper Midwest branch of PP, which I cld prove by linking their web address and several DPI issues they have been involved with in ND, but why give them more “air time” here)  has been present  And they have fervently opposed every bill relating to the Life issue that Rep. Grande has sponsored or co-sponsored.
      So, no sir, you are dead wrong here.  Her intellectual integrity on this issue is way above questioning, as it always has been and will continue to be.  Next time, please check your facts before you wrongfully accuse someone.  This seems to be way above your paygrade.
      Rep. Grande is beyond ready for what you call “big time” as she has proven to North Dakotans over and over again that she will walk though the fire if need be to stand strong on her convictions!  Something that is sorely needed in Washington.  What we DO NOT need is another middle of the road, so called conservative ‘ready for the big game” candidate which it seems you support. A “big game”which by the way is played with rules that smells of crony capitalism and corruption, making deals to be re-elected and cowtowing to special interest groups.  That I guerantee

      • Janne Myrdal

        oops,  meant guarantee. 

      • Game

        Planned Parenthood has provided zero abortions in North Dakota while Bette Grande served. You cannot deny that. “Standing up” to a paid lobbyist out of Minneapolis in the North Dakota Legislature does not matter at all in the effort to end abortions. It is also a very easy thing for a North Dakotan Republican to do. It is exactly what everybody expects a North Dakotan Republican to do.
        It is nothing more than a pure political stunt to get high fives from people on the extreme right. Obviously, you proved that worked for her.

        Perhaps if Bette wanted to show some courage and be pro-life, she would fight to ensure that women and babies had access to health care. That would take courage for a republican to do. Being pro-life is much bigger than abortion.

        • Janne Myrdal

          Women do not have access to healthcare?  Where?????   For the record, HB1297, oh by the way Rep Grande’s bill that is being currently challenged in court, is all about the rights of women!  Maybe read up on it for the weekend, might be good education for you! And to be so naive as to think that all ND republicans are willing to fight PP is really sad.  I generally have as a rule to never respond to folks on the web, or anywhere for that sake, who do not have the courage to state their identity, so will say no more as it seems futile to say the least.  But again, your facts are no facts at all, as seemingly you have never been involved in anything relating to PP or their profile in ND

          • Game

            I have actually met the PP lobbyist a time or two. Not to impressed by him. I knew he had little political relevance, so I wasted little time on him. I don’t have to “read up” on anything to show me how Bette feels on access to health care for women. She says, in her video that she supports making it harder and more expensive for women to get health coverage. She supports laws allow for denial of coverage for such conditions as pregnancy, prior C-sections, fertility treatments, or past medical treatment for a sexual assault .  She supports a policy that allows women to be charged higher premiums because of a pre-existing condition or their gender. She supports making it legal to deny coverage to victims of domestic violence and making it legal to refuse to provide coverage for any domestic abuse survivors.Political courage is not taking the established line of your party and proclaiming to be more extreme on the issue than the rest of your party. Political courage is standing up for what is right even when it does not win you high fives from your party. If Bette Grande wanted to stand up for the right to women to have equal access to health care, despite her party being against it, that would show political courage.I don’t tell my real name on this blog because republicans are vindictive people and they would attack my professional life if they knew who I was.  I am a pro-life, Christian Democrat. They would take me out in a heartbeat.

          • Janne Myrdal

            oh boy, bunch of unreal and unfounded accusations all over again.  And yep, republicans and conservatives are sooo dangerous. 

          • Tankerpilot215

            Pro life democrat?  Ha ha  Yeah, real believable.

  • Guest

    Generally agree with you about Rick appearing forced, but this one didn’t strike me like that. A little smiley, though.

    All in all, good ad. 

  • Ratbite

    I will not support a ‘Momma’s boy” that has to have his mother fight his battles. Looks like Rick has a serve case of Potomac fever since he won’t debate.

  • Dakota_Mel

    I like Grande’s video. I wish she had focused more on some of the other issues because she is so incredibly strong there too. And those are the issues she’s less known for. She can explain what principled conservativism is like none of the other candidates.

    Sand’s video isn’t bad, but it exemplifies my problem with Sand – it’s a no brainer and it’s not that deep. He seems to have his pet issues, but when asked about something that is a little more complex, he’s not that articulate.

    At this point, I don’t really care what Rick’s Mom has to say. I’d rather hear from Rick himself – Saturday night at the debate!

  • ec99

    Ok, I’ll say it since no one else will:  Bette’s still a babe.

  • mychalkboard

    I agree with Dakota_Mel, Grande is strong on many issues.  One video couldn’t possibly cover all the issues.  She’s the only one I see in the race that has demonstrated a spine to take on important issues like pension reform, as an example. It’s easy to be informed about her views by going to 

    Fortunately for ND voters she doesn’t fit the description of a Rino.  Bette has proven her intellect and her integrity over the 15 years she has served as a citizen legislator.

    • Janne Myrdal

      Well said,.  Who else in this race has the record she has?  None.  Folks might say they are conservative and principled, – I would prefer they can prove it.  Rep. Grande’s record proves it.  I am sure she will come out with more videos on issues like energy and taxes.  After all , she hails from Williston, understands the energy issue more than most, and has been heavily involved in tax issues in teh ND House.  She, unlike many candidates, does not have to SAY she is a conservative, – her “fruit” proves she is.  That is enough for me.

  • ec99

    Yet another candidate who’s going to “shake up the beltway Boys.”  What a crock.  She will be told how to vote from the time she gets there. 

    • Camsaure

      You mean just like Berg and Hoeven?