It may be hard to believe, but good public policy can actually be made. Unfortunately, bad policy is generally made by gullible and naïve officials. Party designation, however, has very little to do with this.
Fortunately, incumbents have a voting record we can look at to determine whether they are good at making public policy, or if they should try their hand at something else.
In the 2005 legislative session House Bill 1512 was put forth as a method of relieving the property tax burden that has hit every community in the state. The premise of HB1512 was that the way to relieve the property tax burden was to slap a 33% increase on individual and corporate income tax, and raise the state sales tax from 5% and 7%.
Fortunately Rich Wardner, and all but two members of the State Senate, saw this bad idea for what it was. The same cannot be said for one of our Representatives, Nancy Johnson (District 37 – Dickinson).
Her idea of property tax relief, apparently, is to raise taxes on businesses, workers, and consumers – it doesn’t sound like much relief to me. And it certainly doesn’t sound like sound fiscal policy – or something a conservative Republican would support.
Nancy Johnson also voted against an excellent proposal (HB3004) that was co-sponsored by Rich Wardner to require a 60% majority to increase ALL taxes at the state level. The only conclusion we can make from these votes, as well as her vote to raise the wheat tax, is that Nancy Johnson is a tax and spend liberal – despite the “R” behind her name.
I have been involved in Republican politics as an activist, as Chairman of the DSU College Republicans, and as a party worker. One thing that I have found to be true is that if the Republican option is not good on taxes, there really isn’t any reason to vote for that Republican.
Combine this with the fact that Nancy Johnson was also one of only 13 Representatives to vote against HCR 3017 “a concurrent resolution urging Congress to pass a human life amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” I wonder if she supports partial-birth abortion too?
The Republican super-majority in the legislature will likely continue, but this is an opportunity to send a message to Republicans – “don’t get too comfortable in Bismarck” – and that we as Republicans are willing to clean up our own party once in a while. Hopefully, with some luck, officials calling themselves “Republican” will get the message start acting like the Republicans they claim to be.
Till then, we should send people that will work with conservatives within our party, even if they are not Republican. This is why I am supporting Stuart Savelkoul with my 2nd of my two votes for the North Dakota State House of Representatives. I would rather send a message than plug my nose and vote for someone who pretends to be a Republican but really isn’t.
It’s time to show candidates calling themselves Republican when they really aren’t that we would rather have a young, up-and-coming Democrat, who is at least honest about what he believes and what he represents instead of a “Republican” that would be on the extreme left-wing of the Democratic Party if she was honest with herself, and the voters of District 37.