ND Democrat: “You know this assembly has fallen into disrepute when I have to stand up to defend free enterprise.”


There was a humorous moment on the floor of the North Dakota House today while debating a bill addressing insurance companies using languages other than English in their policies and marketing information.

The bill, HB1196, would allow insurance companies to use other languages but would require that any legal disputes arising be based on the English versions of the policies/marketing.

Nothing in state law, I should point out, prevents insurance companies from using different languages now.

Anyway, after some on the floor objected to the use of other languages Rep. Glassheim, who would probably admit to you sits somewhere just to the right of Marx on the left-right political spectrum, rose to the the Republican-dominated chamber that “you know this assembly has fallen into disrepute when i have to stand up to defend free enterprise.”

It’s worth noting that there is some grounds for legitimate objection to this bill. Rep. Jim Kasper noted that opening this door could allow insurance companies to be accused of discrimination if they don’t translate their policies.

The Democrats are eternally pushing new laws creating ever more expansive victim groups who can file suit over perceived discrimination. That sort of foolishness has unintended consequences.

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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  • S2

    Notice how Rep. Carlson has his back turned to the Speaker and isn’t listening to a single word Rep. Glassheim is saying. Always respectful of other’s opinions, that one.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com Goon

      That’s because Rep. Glassheim is a gas bag and has nothing of substance to say.

  • whowon

    Wow, the headline grabbed my attention for sure, Democrats are getting funnier these days.

  • jd

    Does anyone think he looks like Herman Munster when he laughs at the start of the video?

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      He certainly cracked himself up, didn’t he?

      • jd

        One of those times that I laugh because someone else is laughing so hard.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      I’ve always found Glassheim to be a very engaging, personable guy even though he’s wrong about just about everything.

      • ec99

        Having observed him for many years on the GF city council, it was clear there was never any expensive boondoggle he wouldn’t waste taxpayer money on.

      • ec99

        I always found it amazing that a liberal from New York City could be elected to both city council and state legislature in xenophobic North Dakota.

  • rusty9

    Carlson is in the clip. The Majority Leader and the Minority Leader sit across the aisle from each other. He is the bald guy wearing the Camel Hair Sport Coat. He is watching Eliot talk the whole time.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      The camera always gets me spun around, but I didn’t think that was him.

      Oh well.

      The legislators are always doing all sorts of stuff when people are talking. it’s no big deal.

  • Lianne

    Has there been question or objection to legal disputes being written in English? Is that the reason for this bill? I usually don’t see Rep. Ruby sponsoring silly bills.

  • http://flamemeister.com flamemeister

    In legal language—I would say especially in legal language—it is extremely difficult to translate the nuances of meaning in one language into the equivalents in another. Looks like the just the ticket for longer and more expensive legal haggling.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    ND has nothing but contempt for anything that is non-subsidized by the government.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    This is just xenophobia in ND. Why shouldn’t private parties be able to choose the language of their contract. Heaven forbid they can choose their law and they select Sharia.

    • http://sayanything.flywheelsites.com Rob

      They’re allowed to use any language they want now, which you’d know if you’d bothered to inform yourself before libeling an entire state.

      The bill in question would only set English as the controlling language used in any legal dispute.

      • Thresherman

        “The bill in question would only set English as the controlling language used in any legal dispute.”

        And that is the crux of the issue. To allow several languages to define the same legal contract would result in legal morass. Remember that even in just one language attorneys delight on arguing how many angels can dance on the point of a pin or the definition of the word “is”. To have a situation where there is no direct translation for certain words or phrases would be no more than the creation of a massive jobs program for an already bloated legal industry. It is exactly this sort of ham-handed government intrusion into private industry that causes costs to explode and makes it hard for many to afford.

      • Matthew Hawkins

        This would make all insurance contracts in English with everything else being a translation.

        I think parties should be able to contract how they want.

        Insurance companies are big enough to protect themselves, they don’t need the legislature to protect them from immigrants.

  • WOOF

    They should teach Canadian in the schools, eh ?

    • Hal513

      Hey woof…where’s there “stripped resources?”
      You dope.