Another Day Without Transparency For The Fargo Forum

Fargo Forum's Ivory Tower

Given how often it appears to be happening, this may well become a feature on the blog (see past posts here). The Fargo Forum has, yet again, published a letter from a Democrat party operative without identifying who that person is.

Today’s transgression is a letter from one Dean Meyer criticizing the critics of the Democrats’ call for a special session of the state legislature to address road, bridge and infrastructure issues in western North Dakota. A reader emails in the information the Forum doesn’t bother to tel you, including the fact that Meyer just happens to be married to the Democrat legislature who, along with Senator Dorgan, is calling for the special session.

In today’s edition we have a letter titled “Smart alecks content to play politics with serious concern”. The author of the letter is Dean Meyer who is identified as thus: “Meyer is a farmer-rancher from Dickinson”. Well, yes, but he also just happens to be a former Democrat-NPL state senator, former Democrat-NPL candidate for state treasurer (he lost to Kelly Schmidt), former ND Horse Racing Commissioner (a job from which he was dismissed) and, finally, the husband of Democrat-NPL Rep. Shirley Meyer…yes, the same Shirley Meyer who called on Gov. Hoeven to have a special session of the legislature a few days ago. Funny, isn’t it, how this information just quite didn’t find its way onto the pages of North Dakota’s largest newspaper? Ha!

I’m not sure “funny” is the right word for it.

Now, again, I have no problem with people expressing their opinions up to and including Democrat letter-writing operatives. All I’m asking for is transparency. Democrats are very, very good at organizing letter campaigns to flood the state’s editorial pages with praise for whatever their party/candidates/officials are doing at any given moment.

At times it seems as though someone like Senator Kent Conrad could go out and buy a new car, and immediately we’d have half a dozen letters in the ensuing weeks praising him for his choice in model and his decision to stimulate the economy.

It’s all phony. But it’s part of politics. So if we’re going to do it, let’s be clear about who is writing the letters.

Rob Port

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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