Corruption in the North Dakota Industrial Commission
As I explain in detail in my Mission Statement, Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who has been in office for the past 17 years, is responsible for corruption in the North Dakota Industrial Commission, the most powerful agency in this state’s government. Addressing this 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.
Wayne Stenehjem’s Suppression of North Dakotans’ Right to Vote
Working hand-in-glove with Republican Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has repeatedly sought to make it harder for North Dakota citizens to vote. Stenehjem unsuccessfully attempted to defend a 2017 law by which, “(a)t least 4,998 otherwise eligible Native Americans (and 64,618 non-Native voters) currently do not possess a qualifying voter ID under the new law.” Brakebill v. Jaeger, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56603, 2018 WL 1612190 (D.N.D. April 3, 2018). Rejecting Stenehjem’s arguments to the contrary, United States District Judge Daniel L. Hovland, who was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, held that, “’the record before the Court has revealed no evidence of voter fraud in the past, and no evidence of voter fraud in 2016.” Stenehjem has now appealed Judge Hovland’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. There is no legitimate reason why the State of North Dakota should be pursing this appeal, which the disenfranchisement of at least 69,616 voters is the objective. In addition to the litigation costs incurred by the state on its own behalf in this litigation, the parties challenging the unconstitutional voter suppression have racked up at least $1.1-million in fees and expenses which Judge Hovland may require the state to pay.
Wayne Stenehjem’s Embarrassing and Expensive (for Taxpayers) Susan Bala Case
Susan Bala is the former owner of Racing Services, Inc., a closed-circuit horse race gambling site. Bala’s story began in 2003 when she was charged with illegal gambling, not paying taxes, and spent 17 months in federal prison before having her conviction overturned. As a result of Bala’s litigation, the courts ruled that the State of North Dakota had to repay her $13.5-million — plus interest. Depending on a forthcoming decision of the court, the taxpayers of North Dakota may end up paying close to $26-million once the interest is finally calculated. Yet, as Bala herself points out, she will never get back the last 14 years of her life fighting this battle against the state. No amount of money can compensate for that, not to mention the loss of her business. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem is directly responsible for all of this.