Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Political notebook: Every's exit surprise to many

Some of Mike Every's Democratic-NPL colleagues knew he was thinking about dropping out of the race for North Dakota tax commissioner, but it still took them by surprise the day he actually did.

Some of Mike Every's Democratic-NPL colleagues knew he was thinking about dropping out of the race for North Dakota tax commissioner, but it still took them by surprise the day he actually did.

His announcement Wednesday came a couple of weeks after news reports that he had fallen behind in child support payments.

That Every didn't let party headquarters or his state chairman know the announcement was coming is a stunning lack of courtesy, some in the party and other political observers say.

Apparently such a faux pas is not easily forgiven and, according to some, could create more ill will with fellow Democrats than the original embarrassment of late support payments.

Executive Director Vern Thompson learned of Every's decision in a call from Associated Press Capitol reporter Dale Wetzel. Wetzel was the only recipient of Every's announcement.


For Thompson, it had to have stung hard. Thompson is a mentor of Every's. They are both from Minnewaukan. Every succeeded Thompson in the District 23 Senate seat and also succeeded Thompson as mayor of Minnewaukan.

Wellstone vote near

Supporters of a mental health bill pushed by U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone before his 2002 death say a vote is close in the U.S. Senate.

Wellstone's green campaign bus recently left its museum home and traveled from St. Paul to Washington, D.C., stopping along the way for rallies supporting the measure, which would require health insurers to cover mental health problems like they cover physical ailments.

An Associated Press story recently reported that insurance companies last year spent $13 million lobbying to defeat the legislation.

Two candidates

There are now two candidates for speaker of the House in the 2005 North Dakota Legislature. Rep. Matt Klein, R-Minot, said he is interested in seeking the post.

That's in addition to a candidate mentioned in news reports last week, Rep. Jeff Delzer, R-Underwood.


Klein is known for his sometimes ultra-brief floor speeches, such as, "This is a good bill. Give it a green light."

He was first elected in 1992. He serves on the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee and is chairman of the Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Delzer's candidacy raises humorous - or maybe not-so-humorous - inquiries about whether advocates for senior citizens and North Dakotans with disabilities would be forming a campaign committee to ensure that Delzer is picked as speaker.

That's because the speaker does not serve on any of the Legislature's committees that act on bills. Delzer was chairman last session of the House Appropriations section that handled human service program budgets. His micro-managing style, such as inquiries about what a state agency spends on its postage meter, created lots of grumbling.

He's been in the House since 1995 and also served in the 1991 session.

Franken insight

Al Franken, the comedian and probable future U.S. Senate candidate from Minnesota, provides a little insight into the vice presidential selection process: Presidential candidates look at 10 criteria for selecting a vice presidential candidate. The first one is whether he would help the ticket get elected. The rest don't matter.

Franken, raised in Minnesota, is expected to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman in four years.


Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, is not overly impressed with Franken, known as a liberal Democrat.

"I thought his performances were at times funny - a little inconsistent," he said about Franken's "Saturday Night Live" career.

'Rewriting history'

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., was irritated last week when he heard that President Bush's campaign Web site claimed his administration "pushed for" the 2002 farm bill.

"The president is rewriting history," Conrad said. "As one of the primary Senate sponsors of the farm bill, I can tell you that President Bush and his administration pushed for nothing, nothing except delay and deferral of this important legislation that now benefits the people of rural America."

Conrad cites a White House "statement of administration policy" on the bill just as the House of Representatives was starting debate. It said "the administration does not support HR2646 and urges the House of Representatives to defer action on the bill ... now is not the appropriate time for consideration of this bill." He said the administration also opposed the Senate version.

In the end, Bush signed the bill, Conrad says, but that is all.

Another Pomeroy


U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy's office reports a Minnesota congressional candidate is no relation to the lone North Dakota congressman.

Leigh Pomeroy of Mankato received the Democratic endorsement to challenge Republican Rep. Gil Gutknecht in the 1st Congressional District, which stretches across southern Minnesota. The new candidate's only political experience was losing a Mankato City Council election. Gutknecht has been in Congress nearly a decade.

Governors meet

Gov. John Hoeven spent the weekend in Seattle at the National Governors Association meeting, where he was chairman of the group's Health and Human Services Committee. The panel discussed how to make health care affordable and provide care to a growing number of uninsured Americans.

He left Friday and returned Sunday night.

Coleman assignments

Sen. Norm Coleman has at least three jobs for President Bush's re-election campaign.

First, he was named co-chairman - with Gov. Tim Pawlenty - of Minnesota's re-election effort. Then the Jewish Minnesota senator took to the road trying to convince Jews that Bush was their candidate. Now The Associated Press reports he is helping lead a Senate GOP "truth squad" to highlight Democratic candidate John Kerry's Senate record.


Coleman said part of his newest assignment will be to debunk Kerry claims that he is the best candidate to represent conservative Midwestern values.

Readers can reach Forum Capitol reporters Janell Cole at (701) 224-0830 or Don Davis at (651) 290-0707.

What To Read Next
Get Local