What Do You Do When The Government, The Private Sector And The Media Get In Bed With One Another?
According to the Grand Forks Herald, Governor Jack Dalrymple seems to be communicating an intent to stay in office for at least the next eight years with the introduction of a plan he’s calling “2020 & Beyond.” Dalrymple is currently finishing the term left behind by John Hoeven, who was elected to the US Senate, and if he is elected to two terms of his own (though North Dakota doesn’t have term limits) would serve as North Dakota’s governor until 2020.
That would seem to communicate Dalrymple’s intent on leading the state for at least two terms of his own, though it takes an awful lot of hubris to presume to plan for almost a decade into the future (and to do so before you even have your party’s nomination to run for another term). There’s an old saying I like (even though I’m an atheist) which goes, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans.”
But beyond the specific political ramifications for Dalrymple’s planning, there are a couple of participants in the endeavor the presence of whom make me feel more than a little uneasy.
For instance, joining Dalrymple in his announcement is the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, the almost ubiquitous political group which poses itself as the “Voice of North Dakota Business.” Another member of the “steering committee” which helped develop Dalrymple’s plan? Bill Marcil, Jr., currently the publisher of the Fargo Forum (the state’s largest newspaper) which is itself the flagship property of Forum Communications, a media company which owns no fewer than 14 media properties in the state including print, television and radio.
Forum Communications, by the way, is chaired by William C. Marcil, Sr.
So in this announcement for an eight-year plan for North Dakota we have a politician from what is perhaps the state’s most powerful political network (the one begun by John Hoeven 12 years ago when he was first elected governor), one of the most powerful private sector lobbying forces in the state and a member of the family which owns most of the media outlets in the state who is himself the publisher of the state’s largest newspaper.
If that doesn’t meet the definition of “collusion” I don’t know what does.
There’s nothing North Dakota citizens can do about the Chamber of Commerce (outside of cutting off their flow of tax dollars, that is) or Forum Communications, but I’m beginning to thin it would be better to elect almost anyone other than Jack Dalrymple if only to shatter this crony party before it gets started.Tags: bill marcil jr, election 2012, forum communications, jack dalrymple, north dakota chamber of commerce, North Dakota News