ND House Votes For Stronger Voter ID Law, Kills Democrat Ethics And Transparency Bills


In less than an hour the North Dakota House voted on ten bills related to voting, campaigns and legislative ethics.

I’m glad Republicans voted in tougher voter ID laws, and voted to move up campaign disclosure dates, but I think they may have made a real mistake in not approving at least a couple of these Democrat transparency bills. As I’ve written previously, some of their bills were bad and would do more to facilitate political point scoring than promote ethics and transparency, but the bills requiring additional disclosures of campaign financing from legislative and statewide campaigns?

Those were good, common sense bills. Democrats are going to make ethics the theme of their 2014 campaigns, and you can bet they’ll be pointing to the votes cast today when they do. Republicans would be in a better position, politically, if they were on the record having passed a few of these bills. Not to mention the fact that they were good bills promoting sound policy.

Here are the two bills that passed.

HB1332,which passed on a 72-21 vote, strengthens North Dakota’s voter ID requirement.

HB1447, which passed on a 87-6 vote, requires local and legislative candidates to report campaign contributions 32 days before the election instead of the current 12 and also requires that the reports be filed electronically.

Here are the eight bills that failed:

HB1400, which failed on a 13-80 vote, would have cut down the number of early voting days from 15 to 8.

HB1418, which failed on a 5-88 vote, would have changed the laws surrounding the challenging of votes. This was deemed unnecessary due to the changes in HB1332 which passed.

HB1275, which failed on a 1-92 vote, was the same sort of bill as 1418 and was also deemed unnecessary due to HB1332.

HB1430, which failed on a 25-67 vote, would have required that independent political groups report contributions and expenditures.

HB1436, which failed on a 24-69 vote, would had expanded the campaign contribution reporting requirements of statewide candidates to legislative candidates.

HB1449, which failed on a 21-72 vote, would have required that both statewide and legislative candidates report campaign expenditures.

HB1444, which failed on a 22-71 vote, would have required that legislators getting reimbursed for trips to conferences and the like disclose those reimbursements.

HB1442, which failed on a 22-71 vote, would have created a statewide ethics committee comprised of members of all three branches of government.

Here’s the video of the floor debate:

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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  • Guest Observer

    Democrat ethics=Oxymoron.

  • OldConserv2011

    I know that the reason they voted against the ethics and transparency bills was because those bills were not so much intended to provide transparency but as a weapon the Democrats could use against them come election time. But hammer or not, their vote against the bills will come back to cause even more damage than they could have possibly imagine. Besides, if as Al Carlson says, the lawmakers already act in good ethical faith, then they should have no fears about how Democrats could use the ethics laws against them. It was a bad move to reject those bills.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I know that the reason they voted against the ethics and transparency bills was because those bills were not so much intended to provide transparency but as a weapon the Democrats could use against them come election time.

      I think the ethics panel and some other bills were like that. But the bill to require reporting for campaign expenditures? The bill to expand reporting of legislative campaign contributions? How would those hurt?

      They should have passed them.

      • Lianne

        Mooney was speaking in support of 1444, but when asked by Skarpol if there was anything stopping her now from sharing all that information, Mooney said no and promised she will do just that

    • Lianne

      I would agree, but when the person accused is not allowed to defend himself/herself, that is not right. If the closed session is made public afterwards even though there are not findings, the damage is done and a reputation is marred. Rep. Carlson gave Strinden a firm father/daughter, senior/freshman reprimand. There is already a book that on page 158 lays out the duties, responsibility, andETHICS of an elected legislator. I would hope that she take his advice and reads it over break . The energetic freshman do not have to re-invent the wheel.
      I have been told by a couple of friends that my sarcasm does not always com across. I will tell you, there is no sarcasm in this post. :-)

  • nimrod

    I agree with the vote outcomes except I would have supported HB1400. Election day plus absentee should cover everyone’s needs, I don’t see why early voting is at all necessary, and it seems like a waste of money to me.

  • ND Observer

    Rep. Corey Mock is famous for making exaggerated and false claims, running to the press with his charges…but then nothing comes of these charges since they are false…meanwhile the media puts the claims out in bold letters, then does not report the charges are dismissed and did not go anywhere. Dems want a forum for more false charges so they get the press and look innocent while being vile. Glad the Legislature is onto their game.

    • Hal801

      Mock is an unqualified worthless hack. After watching the legislative debates, it appears that he doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand most of the bills before him. Exaggerated and false claims are about all you will get from someone who is in way over his head.

  • WOOF

    In order to detect fraud and identify electors the

    State of North Dakota relies on Federal workers .
    The authority, the men you can count on,
    the United States Postal Service.