David Clark Thompson's Mission
My decision to run for the office of North Dakota Attorney General in 2018 derives principally from what can only be accurately described as corruption within the North Dakota Industrial Commission – the most powerful agency of our state government which regulates the entire oil and gas industry here. There are three members of the Industrial Commission – the Attorney General, the Agriculture Commissioner, and the Governor.
In an investigative project, which I co-authored with Fargo lawyer Erik Escarramán back in 2012, it was documented that Industrial Commission members had accepted campaign contributions from oil and gas industry interests. After having accepted these funds, these Industrial Commission members voted as administrative law judges to approve the contributors’ projects. Mr. Escarraman and I stated at the time that these practices violated North Dakota’s Class C Felony Bribery statute. In response, the Industrial Commission held back the minutes of its meetings from publication for the entire biennium of 2013-2015, according to a report of the North Dakota State Auditor. And in April of this year, it was revealed by the Bismarck Tribune that the Industrial Commission had not published the minutes of its meetings since July of 2017. Over the past several years, a flood of money from oil and gas industry interests has pervasively made its way into our political system – seriously corrupting it. The New York Times addressed the corrosive effects of this oil and gas money influence in an investigative series by Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Sontag. Addressing this issue will be a monumental challenge, but if elected by the people of North Dakota to be their Attorney General, I will face this crisis as my top priority.