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Published February 24, 2024

ND Legacy Fund, Taxes, Term Limits with Senate Majority Leader David Hogue

Written by
Jonathan Starr
| The Dakotan

Join us for a compelling discussion with Senate Majority Leader David Hogue from District 38 in North Dakota. As part of The Dakotan's Election Central, we explore key topics including the North Dakota Legacy Fund, Property Taxes, and Term Limits. Senator Hogue also shares his views on the role of God in politics, providing a unique perspective on these important issues. Tune in for an engaging conversation that sheds light on the future of North Dakota.

https://youtu.be/bjwCljMY_F4

We provide the full transcript of the video, but there could be spelling errors.

00;00;04;00 - 00;00;26;00
Speaker 1
Welcome to another edition of the Dakotans Election Central, where we are comprehensively covering the 2024 North Dakota election cycle. To see more interviews like the one you're going to see right now, you can go to mydakotan.com and click on election Central and there you'll see a bunch more of these. But today we are excited to be joined by North Dakota state Senator David Hogue.

00;00;26;00 - 00;00;27;01
Speaker 1
Thank you for joining us today.

00;00;27;02 - 00;00;28;23
Speaker 2
Thank you for having me, Jonathan.

00;00;28;25 - 00;00;36;17
Speaker 1
Absolutely. You've been in this since 2008. Tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to get into politics.

00;00;36;19 - 00;00;57;28
Speaker 2
Okay. Well, my background, I'm North Dakota Farm kid, grew up on our family farm, which we still have today, a spot eight miles north of Bismarck, along the Missouri River. I went to school in the in the Catholic school system in Bismarck, went to Cornell College for my undergraduate degree, went to unde law school.

00;00;58;03 - 00;00;58;24
Speaker 1
Okay.

00;00;58;26 - 00;01;28;14
Speaker 2
At the same time, I joined the North Dakota Army National Guard and did that for 25 years and met my wife at my first job. And so we we got married. We moved to Minot back in 1988, practicing law since 1988. Wow. And raised a couple of kids. And they're both adult kids now. And they're getting married this year, too.

00;01;28;15 - 00;01;30;04
Speaker 2
So we have exciting weddings.

00;01;30;04 - 00;01;32;10
Speaker 1
That's the good year to do it.

00;01;32;13 - 00;01;35;23
Speaker 2
I'm going to have to I'm going to have to take a second job.

00;01;35;25 - 00;01;46;02
Speaker 1
We'll do it. Yeah, that will be difficult. So it sounds like a pretty exciting history going after Cornell. That's a little bit away from North Dakota. What what made you want to come back?

00;01;46;04 - 00;02;09;21
Speaker 2
Well, I've always wanted to to like I said, I'm a farm kid. I like to I like to be on the farm. I mean, I spend some time. I don't I don't do the farming because it's too hard for me from Minot. But I like to get back to the farm, like to do to horse around. I have just enough cows that I can I can wear a belt buckle, a go.

00;02;09;23 - 00;02;17;08
Speaker 2
I'm a rancher. I couldn't get that out of my system. Yeah. So, yeah, I've just always wanted to come back to North Dakota.

00;02;17;11 - 00;02;22;22
Speaker 1
That's neat. What inspired you to get into politics specifically?

00;02;22;24 - 00;02;35;15
Speaker 2
You know what? I. I think it's probably the same thing that inspired me to become an attorney. I love to have discussions about policy issues. Yeah, I just feel like that's. It's an interesting area for me.

00;02;35;21 - 00;03;03;09
Speaker 1
Right. Absolutely. So you've been in the Senate since 2008, but you are now the Senate majority leader. And that's we hear about that on the National politics because those are leaders and the minority leaders get a lot of attention. But in the state Senate, what does that involve as far as what's kind of the the job description that goes along with that?

00;03;03;11 - 00;03;05;10
Speaker 1
Well, different than than just regular.

00;03;05;13 - 00;03;39;08
Speaker 2
Well, I would I would I would describe the Senate majority leader as the leader of the Senate. It involves. My favorite part is mentoring. Mentoring new senators who are not acquainted with the process are not familiar with statutory laws, budgets, things of that nature. So try to get them up to speed as quickly as possible so that there's mentorship that's involved.

00;03;39;11 - 00;04;06;15
Speaker 2
There's assigning people to committees, and we always try to assign people to where they want to go. Because my philosophy is if you're if you're a on a committee where you want to be, you'll do a better job for the state of North Dakota. Right? Assigning chairmanships of those committees, making other appointments, sort of controlling the calendar and what comes to the floor.

00;04;06;15 - 00;04;34;03
Speaker 2
And when interfacing with the governor's office about major policy issues where we agree and disagree. Interfacing with the other house as well, because as you know, there's two separate houses, Right. And and people I think have a tendency to think that they are in lockstep with one another when the reality is they're not always okay. And I could give you one example is just on tax relief.

00;04;34;05 - 00;04;35;07
Speaker 1
Yeah.

00;04;35;09 - 00;04;50;06
Speaker 2
You know, the House is very focused, I would say, on more focused on income tax relief. And the Senate is more focused on on property tax relief. Right. So there's there's differences that, you know, have to be reconciled, and that's part of the majority leader's job.

00;04;50;13 - 00;05;13;00
Speaker 1
Absolutely. One of the things you mentioned was mentorship, which brings us to an interesting question with term limits. And obviously, that's something that's going that's in effect. And we're going to start feeling the effects of that. Not in about four years. You're one of the you obviously will be if you're reelected. You'll eventually be limited.

00;05;13;03 - 00;05;29;23
Speaker 1
But you only get one more time to run. This will be your last time able to be running in the Senate. You'll have sort of six years under that new law, and you can't run beyond that. How does that affect that mentorship? We're going to have a lot of fresh people coming in and soon we're going to be losing the experience that we have.

00;05;29;25 - 00;05;36;11
Speaker 1
Is this something that is going to be a negative effect of the term limits of people being as experienced?

00;05;36;17 - 00;06;02;29
Speaker 2
I, I think it will. I think it will have a negative impact. It will shift the balance of power away from the legislators as a policymaking branch. And by default, it will go to agency heads and to lobbyists. That's my feeling. And the reason I feel that way is it takes a while to get up to speed on budgets, on policy.

00;06;03;04 - 00;06;28;14
Speaker 2
Right. And and what we have to remember, I feel with with legislators is it's a part time job where there you campaign in the fall and then you're you you you know you get up to speed. You try to get up to speed, but you're there for four months. Right. And there is not the time to become familiar with all of the issues you need to be acquainted with.

00;06;28;17 - 00;07;06;11
Speaker 2
And so I think it will hurt if I was to rewrite that constitutional provision, I would I would say 12 years be better. But eight is just too short because if if you think about it, we'll have minimum turnover of 25% at every election cycle. Right? Because every every two years there's elections. Yes. And so the reason I say is minimum, because you'll also have people that choose not to run.

00;07;06;13 - 00;07;10;02
Speaker 2
Right. For whatever reason. And you'll have people that are defeated.

00;07;10;05 - 00;07;10;21
Speaker 1

00;07;10;24 - 00;07;30;26
Speaker 2
And so, as an example, the past two sessions without term limits impacting every anyone, we had ten new senators out of 47 last session. We know we're going to have at least seven more. Wow. So one third over one third turnover. Yeah. In a four year cycle. That's just too much. Right. I mean.

00;07;30;29 - 00;07;32;00
Speaker 1
Without term limits.

00;07;32;00 - 00;07;45;03
Speaker 2
Right. So I certainly agree that getting new blood, getting new people in is important. But when you have this mechanism, that minimum that puts a minimum term of 25% a year, that's too much.

00;07;45;09 - 00;08;11;14
Speaker 1
Right. And so then you lose that leadership. So the stuff that we don't see, you'll have a new majority leader for sure every eight years, potentially even more often than that. Yes. And so you can have a lot of fresh faces there. Not not the mentorship is there's a lot less mentorship. Is there something that you think would be important for those people that are coming in to do maybe get a hold of a retired or forced to be retired, a legislator, stuff like that.

00;08;11;16 - 00;08;32;29
Speaker 2
Yeah, there are. In fact, I'm trying to implement them this interim. One of the things that I would like to implement is our legislative council. That's the full time staff. Okay. We've determined that we have fewer staff members per legislator than any other state in the country. Wow. And what we don't have, it's it's a it's a pretty small staff.

00;08;33;02 - 00;08;53;22
Speaker 2
We have lawyers that draft the bills for us and we have fiscal people that help us write budgets and help us count the money. What we don't have are people that guide us on policy can tell us what are other states doing okay. In terms of this issue or that issue.

00;08;53;26 - 00;08;54;16
Speaker 1
Yeah.

00;08;54;18 - 00;09;11;08
Speaker 2
And that's that's an area where I want our legislative council to grow because I feel like we need to have someone within legislative council that young legislators can turn to for information about a specific policy issue.

00;09;11;13 - 00;09;11;22
Speaker 1
Right.

00;09;11;23 - 00;09;25;11
Speaker 2
And to me, that's that's one way to address the the lack of knowledge and experience that you're likely to have when you're turning over 25% every every session.

00;09;25;16 - 00;09;50;11
Speaker 1
Absolutely. Yeah. And then we don't have to go into this discussion. But then you get to the part of who's actually able to run. When you're looking for 25 or more people, 25% or more running every time. And the lack of flexibility you get right, you're going to turn to retirees or extremely young people that don't are into their careers yet or things like that.

00;09;50;14 - 00;10;05;16
Speaker 1
let's talk about some of the work that you've done in Congress. What are some of the over the last many years? What are some of the bills or issues that you look back and like? That's something that I'm happy that I was able to help with or get into place or something along those lines.

00;10;05;19 - 00;10;16;20
Speaker 2
Okay. Well, thank you for that question. I would say the one of the things I'm most proud of is the drafting of the constitutional measure that created the legacy fund.

00;10;16;26 - 00;10;18;11
Speaker 1
Okay.

00;10;18;13 - 00;10;25;19
Speaker 2
I'll give you a little history, because a history happens to be important. So I came into the legislature in 2009 as a green freshman.

00;10;25;22 - 00;10;26;17
Speaker 1
Okay.

00;10;26;20 - 00;10;57;26
Speaker 2
And the previous legislature in 2007 had put a constitutional measure on the ballot to create something like a legacy fund. The voters rejected it. They rejected it. And so the leadership in the legislature at that time is like, well, the people won't support the creation of a legacy fund. So forget about it. Well, we we did draft something in both the House and the Senate had a version and we couldn't agree going all the way to the end of the session.

00;10;57;28 - 00;11;18;04
Speaker 2
And that's where you appoint these so-called conference committees where the House and Senate get together. And my my finance and tax chairman was Senator Dwight Cook, who just passed away. He appointed me as the chair on the on the Senate side because I had taken an interest in it. And I wasn't discouraged because I hadn't dealt with it right previously.

00;11;18;08 - 00;11;38;13
Speaker 2
Yeah. And Representative Kim Koppelman, who was the chair of their House committee, and we formed the conference committee and we literally drafted that what is now the Legacy Fund back in April of 2009. Okay. And that's the measure that went on the ballot that the people did adopt.

00;11;38;14 - 00;11;38;23
Speaker 1
Wow.

00;11;39;00 - 00;11;54;13
Speaker 2
And so I, I keep a careful eye on the legacy fund board, its earnings and folks who are trying to tap into it. Yeah. And I make sure I try to make sure that it's it serves its its purpose for what we thought it should do back then.

00;11;54;15 - 00;11;59;11
Speaker 1
Well, what was some of that purpose back then when you're creating it, what was the purpose that you were thinking it should be?

00;11;59;13 - 00;12;23;19
Speaker 2
Well, the the primary purpose is to recognize is that our natural resources, oil and gas that funds it is is a finite resource. And so if we're collecting all of this revenue off the oil and gas industry and that revenue is going to go away someday, we ought to put it in a in a sovereign wealth fund that could be used for future generations.

00;12;23;25 - 00;12;49;01
Speaker 2
Right. And so that's why you saw a lot of the provisions are we didn't we didn't touch the money in the first four years. We can't spend the principle without a two thirds vote. And so all we have access to is the earnings. Yeah. And so that was all calc related to make sure that fund is available in perpetuity for future generations.

00;12;49;02 - 00;12;59;09
Speaker 1
Right. Very cool. Looking forward to this next session. What are some of the issues that you think are really important for North Dakota right now?

00;12;59;11 - 00;13;31;06
Speaker 2
Well, a couple I mentioned the legacy fund, and because now it's starting to throw off about 350 million a year. 700 million a biennium. And when you see that level of income, people are very tempted to say, well, I want 10 million for this project. And yeah, what I call parochial projects. And I'm adamantly opposed to incorporating that into the legacy fund earnings spending.

00;13;31;06 - 00;13;40;00
Speaker 2
The earnings, what how we've spent it in the past. Things that benefit virtually the entire state.

00;13;40;02 - 00;13;40;24
Speaker 1
Yeah.

00;13;40;26 - 00;14;05;13
Speaker 2
We we took money to 100 million of the legacy fund earnings to beef up our highway construction fund because you know we haven't raised our gas tax since 2006. Is it still at $0.23 a gallon? Well, but the cost of building a road has doubled in that time. Yeah. So we use a legacy fund to help defray those expenses rather than raising taxes on everybody at the gas pump.

00;14;05;18 - 00;14;07;20
Speaker 1
Right.

00;14;07;23 - 00;14;33;01
Speaker 2
So I guess that that's one of them, one of my primary focuses. The other one is our tax structure. You know, we're getting push to reform or eliminate property taxes. Right. And I certainly want to take a hard look at reducing the tax burden on primary residences, because that seems to be where the biggest push is coming from.

00;14;33;05 - 00;15;02;05
Speaker 1
Yeah. So about the tax reform or whatever ends up being for property tax. there's obviously the property tax constitutional measure that is been floating around for a while and there's I'm sure others there's one that we heard of recently that will be a legislative measure to help reform it. How do you think is the best approach? Do you think doing a constitutional amendment where it's set in stone can't be touched or a legislative measure is the best approach for that?

00;15;02;07 - 00;15;23;00
Speaker 2
I don't support constitutional measures that deal with tax structure because, you know, tax structure is something you want to be able to change based on changing circumstances. Right. As an example, when the if the like, I would like to see the legacy fund double its principal in the next ten years and I think we can get up past 20 million.

00;15;23;06 - 00;15;36;22
Speaker 2
Yeah. At that point it becomes quite a source of revenue for the state and we might want to change our tax structure at that time. And if it's something's locked away in the Constitution, it's you're not able to do that.

00;15;36;26 - 00;15;38;17
Speaker 1
Right.

00;15;38;19 - 00;15;58;10
Speaker 2
You know, we've been slowly, progressively reducing the state income tax to this where 60% of North Dakotans don't pay any income tax. Right. I think we can keep moving that. But to say, to wipe it all out and then you can't ever have it again, I don't think that's sound policy. Right.

00;15;58;12 - 00;16;06;10
Speaker 1
That makes sense. What do you see as some of the biggest challenges or opportunities in North Dakota in the coming years?

00;16;06;12 - 00;16;32;13
Speaker 2
Well, I. I just got done giving a little presentation where I, I maintain that our future is incredibly bright. There's over $40 billion that want to come and invest in North Dakota if we stay on track, because there are there are ways to leverage our oil and gas industry.

00;16;32;18 - 00;16;33;08
Speaker 1
Okay.

00;16;33;11 - 00;17;02;16
Speaker 2
As an example, there's a company called Sarah Lawn that wants to build a gas to liquids plant up near Williston, make diesel fuel, clean diesel fuel, jet fuel. And they're going to take the excess gas that we that we don't have a use for in the Bakken and turn it into renewable fuels. Wow. Tremendous opportunity. There's two companies that are competing to build a fertilizer plant in North Dakota.

00;17;02;24 - 00;17;31;19
Speaker 2
These are three, $4 billion projects. And of course, we import a lot of fertilizers. Can't our farmers can't get enough because we're not close to any any source. We have one company that produces fertilizer. Okay. But it's not enough to fulfill the demand. So a lot of those large projects are really exciting and it's just basically leveraging our energy industry.

00;17;31;21 - 00;18;04;06
Speaker 2
So I think our biggest challenge is to make sure we stay focused on the big picture, which is let's not let our road infrastructure, our railroad infrastructure, our transmission, electrical transmission, infrastructure and pipelines, they're all important for North Dakota because they all help us either export our our raw materials or serve us in other ways that that leverage what we have here.

00;18;04;09 - 00;18;31;06
Speaker 1
Very good. Let's take a look at obviously, you're in a race in District 38. You guys will be having your industry convention here very soon. But looking at North Dakota politics and your guys's district, race, how do you feel the future is? We have a lot of infighting going on. More on the state level potentially in your local race a little bit as well, but mainly the state level.

00;18;31;09 - 00;18;57;11
Speaker 1
There's a lot of infighting going on. We now have a lot of turnover, which is something that we haven't seen. We've had a lot of stability in politics in the last ten years for at least for North Dakota and for the Republican side. Do you feel like right now is a pivotal moment for politics in North Dakota? Do you feel like it's a pivotal moment for the Republican Party where changes now could have some effects down the road?

00;18;57;13 - 00;18;59;02
Speaker 1
Or how do you feel?

00;18;59;04 - 00;19;30;26
Speaker 2
Well, that's a good question. I would answer it partly. You know, the Republican brand is a very good brand now. And I can tell that because everybody wants it. Yeah. Everybody who's seeking public office wants that. Our brand. There's very few that don't. Right. And so when you see these skirmishes at the district level and the state level, where you have two, three, four people vying for that Republican endorsement, that tells me the brand is pretty strong.

00;19;31;01 - 00;19;54;08
Speaker 2
Yeah. And I think that's the healthy part of of our our party where the Republican Party is recognized as conservatives. We have certain principles that we stand up for. And the apparently the vast majority of North Dakotans support that. And so, again, if you're up if you're wanting to to run for public office, you want that far.

00;19;54;10 - 00;19;59;13
Speaker 1
Right? Right. You want to go ahead and endorse anybody on the state level, you know, counties.

00;19;59;13 - 00;20;04;02
Speaker 2
And you we've got outstanding, outstanding candidates, I'll say that right.

00;20;04;05 - 00;20;21;02
Speaker 1
Yeah. And it has been interesting to see names continued to fill in. And I think that was my off the wall question I was going to throw at you. Are you going to put your name in for for governor or for or for you as representative? But obviously.

00;20;21;04 - 00;20;21;19
Speaker 2
You.

00;20;21;20 - 00;20;44;13
Speaker 1
Can't. Yeah. This time. Very fun. Very good. But let's go ahead and have some fun. Let's have some rapid fire questions. I haven't done this yet, but. Well, let's do this. So I'm just going to ask you random questions and you answer them however you see fit. You can plead the fifth episode. Choose. We'll start. Started off really hard.

00;20;44;13 - 00;20;46;10
Speaker 1
Cats or dogs?

00;20;46;12 - 00;20;47;02
Speaker 2
Dogs.

00;20;47;02 - 00;20;53;17
Speaker 1
Dogs. They're the hunting dogs. Yeah. What's your favorite book or author?

00;20;53;19 - 00;20;59;17
Speaker 2
my favorite author is A Man who's deceased. His name was William F Buckley Jr.

00;20;59;24 - 00;21;00;18
Speaker 1
Okay.

00;21;00;20 - 00;21;08;10
Speaker 2
I grew up reading his columns for the National Review. He founded the National Review. Wow. A conservative magazine.

00;21;08;12 - 00;21;09;01
Speaker 1
Interesting.

00;21;09;01 - 00;21;22;26
Speaker 2
And he was a prolific writer, though. I mean, he wrote about politics and world affairs and just any number of things. Yeah, he was. I enjoyed his writing.

00;21;22;29 - 00;21;32;13
Speaker 1
I see. That's the kind of stuff we don't find out until we do Rapid Fire stuff. Yeah, that's why this is important. If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?

00;21;32;15 - 00;21;34;06
Speaker 2
It would be Jesus of Nazareth.

00;21;34;07 - 00;21;44;22
Speaker 1
There you go. What's your go to? Comfort food. The stressful day in the inn in Bismarck. What's your go to? Comfort food.

00;21;44;23 - 00;21;45;22
Speaker 2
It's pizza.

00;21;45;24 - 00;21;46;24
Speaker 1
It's pizza.

00;21;46;27 - 00;21;52;01
Speaker 2
Cheese. It's got to have a lot of cheese. Thin crust. Yeah. Pepperoni.

00;21;52;07 - 00;22;03;09
Speaker 1
Pepperoni. There you go. You're. You finally get time for a vacation. Do you prefer mountains or beaches or mountains? Mountains every time. Hunting? Do you enjoy skiing?

00;22;03;12 - 00;22;04;00
Speaker 2
Yes.

00;22;04;02 - 00;22;10;00
Speaker 1
Okay. There you go. What's your favorite musician or artist?

00;22;10;02 - 00;22;17;12
Speaker 2
Well, I got to go back to high school. My favorite music musician was Leonard Skynyrd.

00;22;17;18 - 00;22;19;13
Speaker 1
Okay, go back a little bit.

00;22;19;13 - 00;22;21;24
Speaker 2
Yeah. Yeah. I'm aging myself.

00;22;21;26 - 00;22;29;27
Speaker 1
But that's all right. What's a hobby or interest of yours that might surprise, surprise people.

00;22;29;29 - 00;22;31;16
Speaker 2
I enjoy cooking.

00;22;31;18 - 00;22;32;09
Speaker 1
Cooking. There you.

00;22;32;09 - 00;22;38;16
Speaker 2
Go. Usually it's beef or, you know, stuff on the grill. But I love cooking.

00;22;38;19 - 00;22;42;03
Speaker 1
I love to cook. Of favorite season.

00;22;42;06 - 00;22;44;13
Speaker 2
Or the fall hunting season. Yep.

00;22;44;15 - 00;22;49;08
Speaker 1
What's a superpower? If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

00;22;49;11 - 00;22;51;17
Speaker 2
To be invisible, visible.

00;22;51;19 - 00;22;55;24
Speaker 1
And what's a skill you've always wanted to learn?

00;22;55;27 - 00;23;12;11
Speaker 2
I have always wanted to be bilingual. And I'm not there yet. And I don't know if I'll ever get there. But I've always. I've always thought Americans are pretty. One of the few countries that really doesn't make much effort. So I've always wanted to be bilingual.

00;23;12;13 - 00;23;13;17
Speaker 1
What language?

00;23;13;19 - 00;23;16;08
Speaker 2
Spanish. Spanish.

00;23;16;10 - 00;23;36;26
Speaker 1
Transitioning back to some of the more serious. I only have one or two less. Yeah. This is more fun. Yeah. But you mentioned Jesus of Nazareth, and it's a question that I had on my list. But our country was founded on with godly fluids, influence, understanding the importance of religion. And there's even references to God in the Declaration of Independence.

00;23;36;29 - 00;23;42;20
Speaker 1
Do you think it's important to have godly influence when you are making policy decisions?

00;23;42;20 - 00;24;00;02
Speaker 2
Yes, I do. I do. And and a lot of people I would say primarily on the left and media, they're uncomfortable with this notion that the legislature should sort of set the moral tone for society. But but that's what legislatures do.

00;24;00;05 - 00;24;00;29
Speaker 1
Yeah.

00;24;01;01 - 00;24;38;12
Speaker 2
They decide, you know, whether or not an extreme example murder is morally wrong. And so we pass laws to make that clear. Right. We do the same thing with life. But people aren't in agreement with that. Yeah, but that's what we do. Right. And it could come down to things like gaming and drinking and all kinds of other activities that the legislature and the as the policymaking branch sort of sets the guideposts for our society in this case, the state of North Dakota.

00;24;38;15 - 00;24;57;04
Speaker 1
Would almost be like a foundation to actually make those decisions off of, because, I mean, in order to make a decision, you have to be tied to something, right? Right. Whether that's just what you feel is common sense or whatever. Is that something that you feel some or majority of those decisions should be tied to?

00;24;57;07 - 00;25;25;16
Speaker 2
I do. I do. We're not I don't know. I mean, it's it's like I suppose to a certain extent we're all a product of where we grew up and how we were educated and what our experiences are. And so I, I don't shy away from the idea that I grew up in the Catholic system. Yeah. And I've been taught to, for example, support life.

00;25;25;18 - 00;25;37;00
Speaker 1
Right. Right. So, yeah, that's awesome. How do you stay connected with your constituents and ensure that their voices are heard in the legislative process?

00;25;37;03 - 00;26;05;24
Speaker 2
Well, there there are several ways we're going into the campaign season that you mentioned, door to door. That is in terms of a campaign. That's probably my favorite activity. Yeah, because you learn that's where you learn what's what's important to people. And I will tell you, as many doors of as I've knocked on over the years, I would not put property taxes as being the top thing that of all people.

00;26;05;26 - 00;26;31;23
Speaker 2
They just they just don't mention it. It's more on the on the issues that we were talking about. The social issues. Right. That's what they care about. Yeah. They care about, you know, protecting women's sports. You know, who's going into who's bathroom. Those social issues that some people call the cultural warrior issues. Right. Those are the issues that people care about.

00;26;31;23 - 00;26;35;23
Speaker 2
And that's why that's why the legislature has been focusing on them.

00;26;35;25 - 00;27;11;11
Speaker 1
Right. So combining that together, the social part and the part of that biblical foundation, what kind of we've seen a some aggression of getting protections in for people that are about bathrooms, about stuff like that. There's like this aggression to get some law passed protecting people for those decisions. Do you think it's necessary to also go and pass a law that protects the pastor?

00;27;11;12 - 00;27;29;06
Speaker 1
Again, I know that we already have it, but it seems like that now we're starting to get to this day and age where it's saying, well, it's not about that. That's discriminatory and you don't have protection for that anymore. Do you think there ever becomes a day or do you think we're at a point where we need to look at it, protecting those voices as well?

00;27;29;08 - 00;28;00;27
Speaker 2
I think we have to evaluate how how frequent and recurring is the problem. And if it's if it's sufficiently recurring, we should address it. Yeah. I'll give you an example. In the last session, I had a folks from Grand Forks, folks from Jamestown. They sent me certain books that were in their public libraries. Right. That were the only way that you can describe them are disgusting.

00;28;01;02 - 00;28;01;16
Speaker 1
Yeah.

00;28;01;19 - 00;28;16;03
Speaker 2
They were books where young boys were sodomizing other young boys, teaching one another how to masturbate while. And it's like, okay, this can't be happening in our state.

00;28;16;06 - 00;28;16;21
Speaker 1
Right.

00;28;16;24 - 00;28;41;18
Speaker 2
And when you do the investigation, it was a couple of areas. Isolated incidents. But it was more than one. Yeah. And the librarians were asked to remove those books or not allow them to be accessible to young people. And they declined to do that. Okay. So, you know, the we we passed a bill that addressed that issue.

00;28;41;23 - 00;29;11;27
Speaker 2
And, of course, you know, some people said that's book banning. It's book banning. But again, we go back to what is the job of the legislature is to set the moral tone for society. Yeah. And people people cringe at that idea. But there has to be someone who who puts up the the guide rails. Right. And yes, this pornography was not prevalent, but yet it was it was in a couple areas where we just thought it needs to be addressed.

00;29;12;03 - 00;29;38;10
Speaker 1
Yeah, absolutely. I'll ask one more question and we'll come to a close. But do you feel when should Congress or our state Congress be reactive? I want you to be proactive because obviously, I think it was a very good answer, a very balanced answer you gave of we're not going to go and fight everything. That's one issue at a time or that has happened once.

00;29;38;10 - 00;29;54;23
Speaker 1
Let's go make a law against that. Right? Right. That would be a little bit excessive. We'd have so many laws. But then also there's stuff that comes that we don't want to have happen in the first place. What where does where the law's be made that our proactive laws and where should they be made that are reactive?

00;29;54;26 - 00;30;01;12
Speaker 2
Well, I Jonathan, I tend to think we should be mostly reactive. Again, we're a citizen legislature.

00;30;01;15 - 00;30;02;00
Speaker 1
Yeah.

00;30;02;02 - 00;30;25;24
Speaker 2
And my belief is we come to Bismarck, we go to Mars, Bach, we go away from our families, we drop our day jobs to go down there to do two things. One is to write budgets for state agencies, right? And the second is to solve and address problems that are known to exist. And so if the problem has not raised itself, maybe it's happening in another state.

00;30;25;28 - 00;30;52;07
Speaker 2
Yeah, I'm not a fan of trying to trying to legislate and be proactive where the problem hasn't been shown to exist in North Dakota. Yeah. And the reason for that is I think it probably goes back to my my military training is one of the things the army always focused on is spend most of your time defining and identifying the problem.

00;30;52;09 - 00;31;14;01
Speaker 2
Because if you spend enough time in defining the problem, the solution typically will suggest itself. And where we don't have a problem, I don't support this idea of being proactive. is this happens? Right. So we got to react. Yeah, because another part of it is, frankly, we don't have the time.

00;31;14;07 - 00;31;33;08
Speaker 1
Yeah. Yeah. There's a lot of bad guys in the world and they're not all on at our door, right? Absolutely. Well, I really appreciate you joining us today. It's been a great discussion. I enjoyed the rapid fire question. That was a good time. I was. Lastly, if somebody wants to reach out to you or support you, what would be the best way for them to do that?

00;31;33;10 - 00;31;37;22
Speaker 2
Just call me at 8520381.

00;31;37;24 - 00;31;58;26
Speaker 1
There you go. Phone number right there. Well, thank you for joining us. This has been another episode of the Decadence Election Central, where we are comprehensively covering the 2024 North Dakota election cycle. Be sure to go to my record in conflict Election Central, where you will find other interviews just like the one you just watched. Stop by Facebook like and subscribe there.

00;31;58;29 - 00;32;04;22
Speaker 1
Stop by our YouTube channel like and subscribe. Become part of the Dakota community. We love to have you. Thank you and have a great day.

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