Legislature Considering Bill To Toughen Petition Fraud Penalty, Also Considering Resolution To Honor Petition Fraudsters


There is a heavy vibe of irony coming from the ND legislature this week.

Yesterday I wrote about a resolution being introduced to honor the NDSU bison football team, ten members of which (including four starters) were convicted for filing fraudulent petition signatures, something that subsequently derailed two initiated measure campaigns costing organizers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But what also happened yesterday is that the House Political Subdivisions Committee heard testimony from Secretary of State Al Jaeger in favor of HB1397 which would make the crime the NDSU football players committed a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Even given the scale of the crime committed by the NDSU players, which included tens of thousands of bogus signatures, they could only be charged with a misdemeanor under the law. They each got only 50 hours of community service and a $325 fine.

The committee hasn’t taken action yet on the bill as of the time of this post, but it would be ironic if the legislature both passed a bill to make petition fraud a felony, and passed a resolution to honor a group of players who would have been felons under that bill.

The resolution honor the football team, as well as the coaching staff and administrators who turned the petition fraud into a public relations fiasco by stonewalling calls for accountability, will likely pass on a voice vote, but it would be nice if at least one brave legislator called for a roll call vote and opened it up for debate. Because, at the very least, we should recognize that NDSU’s football championship is tainted.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. 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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  • Joe mauer

    Another miserable rant from a miserable little person. Speaking of cults, look at the small number of like minded posters who agree with your ramblings. It seems when i come over here it’s the same 5-6 guys who always agree with you.

    • PK

      How is Rob ranting here? It is news what he’s covering isn’t it? Those are real bills introduced in the legislature that he’s writing about. Isn’t it a little ironic? And why is the legislature wasting time with the resolution to “honor” the football team anyway? It’s stupid. Why would the legislature pay any attention to grown men running around in a field playing a children’s game? How can’t you guys recognize that petition fraud is more important than sports? You to realize that every oppressive state throughout history has used sports and entertainment as a diversion from the tyranny right? Who’s winning the super bowl this weekend? When’s our debt going to hit $17 trillion and when’s World War III really going to get going? Did you here about that decorated combat veteran who got randomly pulled over in New York and had 5 30rn AR mags and is being charged with 5 counts of felony possession of illegal firearms? I’m guessing not, go 49ers….

      • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

        “Ranting” is just something small-minded people say when they hear something they don’t like but can’t really come up with anything coherent to say in rebuttal.

        • joe mauer

          So you agree with me then, thanks. Explain also to your followers what “ramblings” are, I’m sure that also caused confusion.

          • PK

            I’m not a follower of anybody but Christ. Most people on here seem to have their own mind and opinions. They also seem to be rather intelligent and informed about the world, so i don’t really understand your comments. Who’s confused? I think most people here have it together. Are you a product of NDSU? If so, you should get your money back.

          • joe mauer

            “Ramblings” See PK”S last two responses for those confused about the meaning of “Ramblings”. Thanks for the examples.

          • PK

            Oh boy, you sure showed me. How old are you? I think you’re late for recess. I heard they’re playing kickball. Get going young man.

          • two_amber_lamps

            He wouldn’t go within a 100 yards of a kickball game… always gets the ball in the face. Plus, Joey long ago got tired of getting picked last. Therefore he stays inside during recess and busily pecks away at a keyboard.

          • joe mauer

            You two are examples of rob’s small minded followers. I bet he makes you wash his car and walk his dog.

          • PK

            I don’t even know Rob. You accuse people of being small minded, but you haven’t said anything that could be called an argument. Why not contribute to the conversation? Please, inform me why Rob’s story is a miserable rant and how i’m a cult follower of Rob because i’m pointing out how stupid it is to defend criminals because they play football. I’m not anti-NDSU or anti-football. I’m anti-fraud. Honestly, i don’t think this is an important story Rob wrote about, but it is news. I’ll defend someone, even if i don’t agree with them, from a bully that has no intellectual argument. So please, since you’re so large minded, give an actual argument for why Rob shouldn’t write about these guys breaking the law. Why is this issue off limits? Why should someone get ridiculed for reporting news and their opinion? I look forward to an intellectual debate.

          • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

            Please, inform me why Rob’s story is a miserable rant and how i’m a cult follower of Rob because i’m pointing out how stupid it is to defend criminals because they play football.

            That’s easy. Joe doesn’t really have any rebuttal, so he’d rather just call everyone names.

          • joe mauer

            You guys have a good weekend and a good time at your next meeting. Pk don’t drink the koolaid if rob offers you some.

          • PK

            What, the Super Bowl pre-game show is on already? Dang, i was looking forward to your response, but don’t let me keep you from your gladiatorial events. I wouldn’t want to bore you with pointless stuff like petition fraud, national debt and nuclear war. Take care.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Wow Comrade… you’re just one ad hominem attack after another. Do you by chance have anything relevant to say or are you merely content to snipe from the treeline?

            I suppose, consistently being picked last in grade school has probably left you emotionally scarred. I hope you grow out of it, but I have my doubts.

  • borborygmi


    • two_amber_lamps


  • aces1180

    Thanks for the early morning laugh! Have a great day!

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob


  • Game

    I kind of feel like you are beating a dead horse a little here Rob.

    • Roy_Bean

      Another way of saying “what difference does it make”. Ted Kennedy drowned his intern, “what difference does it make”, Robert Byrd was a leader in the Kook Klutz Klan, “what difference does it make”, Bill Clinton assaulted too many women to count, “what difference does it make”.

      If this is a felony level offense then we shouldn’t be making heroes of people who committed the offense.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Maybe, but it’s important. I think far too many people are giving NDSU a pass on this.

  • Patrick R. Pfeiffer

    I take umbrage at that remark Joe! Rob is NOT a little person!!!!

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Hey! I resemble that remark!

  • jimmypop

    do the bills have the same sponsors?

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob


  • John_Wayne_American

    For those of you who think Rob and the folks that initiated this bill are ranting or making a mountain out of a mole hill, put yourself in the shoes of the other petition carriers that worked all summer gathering signatures all for not.

    It was as wrong for those how forged the sigs, as it was for those Hockey players and softball players who bought some booze for their fellow players. the difference was how the coaching staff handled it.

    I love Bison football, but those players should have been parked on the bench for the 1st 2 or 3 games of the season. it would have made all the difference in the world of public opinion and no difference in the outcome of the season.

  • OldConserv2011

    It’s the ultimate irony and I’ve already made calls to my representatives asking them to consider asking for a role call. But I’ll be shocked if any of them actually does.

    As for all of the cultist Bison followers who seem to go into spastic convulsions every time you post something related to NDSU, it’s a losing battle. Their blind devotion to a game and some delusional sense of victorious valor prohibits them from ever realizing that the purpose of a university is simply to educate. Besides that, from what I’ve observed, their every response provides evidence that NDSU doesn’t test pending graduates to determine their level of reading comprehension.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      Besides that, from what I’ve observed, their every response provides evidence that NDSU doesn’t test pending graduates to determine their level of reading comprehension.

      I’ve observed this phenomena as well. So the extent that Bison football fans can be used as a representative sample of NDSU graduates, it’s a poor reflection on the university’s academic track record.

  • libertarian

    you are a tool

  • libertarian

    rob was clearly always picked last at recess

  • Vugg

    i wonder if the drudge report would be interested in seeing a resolution honoring our student/athlete/cons alongside a copy of the police report. “fine” examples of young men we want our kids to look up to.

  • Lynn Bergman

    The team leaders on my UND hockey team face a year in jail for buying alcohol for minors. I applaud the secretary of state.