Happy autumn everyone! Wendy is in Minot today for one of our Fall Frontline Seminars and informed me it was snowing. Goodness gracious! It’s the first week of October only. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the cold but the forecast seems to be screaming at me to get ready. I think Mother Nature wins this one. Again!
Of course, it’s also the political season in North Dakota with mid-term elections just a month away and the 66th Assembly of the North Dakota Legislature exactly three months from today. At the federal level, all eyes are on the North Dakota Senate race with Congressman Cramer challenging Senator Heitkamp for that coveted seat. As you know by the deluge of ads, a boatload of money is being spent by the national parties, the campaigns themselves and other special interest groups on this particular race. It’s a tight race and will play significantly into which party comes out of this election with a majority in the Senate when the election dust clears.
While the Senate race in our state has gobbled up most of the limelight, state representative Kelly Armstrong and former state senator Mac Schneider are battling for North Dakota’s lone seat in the US House of Representatives. Both individuals are very well known in North Dakota political circles. Both federal races should be very interesting to watch as we head into the home stretch.
At the state level, we also have a number of interesting races with the odd numbered district candidates taking their turn in the election gauntlet. ICBND and your generous PAC dollars have been very active in this process as well distributing nearly $20,000 to candidates on both sides of the aisle who support community banking. ICBND looks forward to working with the legislature to advance the mission of community banking in our state.
Before I close, I do have one important request. Please do your homework on Measure 1 before you go to the polls. The ICBND Board of Directors has approved ICBND’s formal opposition to Measure 1 and authorized financial support of that opposition. Let me be very clear - ICBND is not opposed to better ethics and transparency laws and believes elected officials should be subject to high ethical standards and that transparency in elections, and government actions, is vital. However, the writing of this constitutional measure has broad-reaching implications beyond its intent. I will let you do your own research, but I want to leave you with three important points regarding the Measure. First, it’s carelessly written by out of state interests. Second, the Measure creates a costly new branch of government. And finally, the Measure would override every other article of our North Dakota Constitution. We just don’t need it!