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Pomeroy's remarks make news nationally: Meth focus changes

Conservatives nationwide were downright giddy last week when Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., suggested Thursday on WDAY that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean "shut up" about whether the U.S.

Conservatives nationwide were downright giddy last week when Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., suggested Thursday on WDAY that Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean "shut up" about whether the U.S. can win the war in Iraq.

Some of the conservatives who made note: Rush Limbaugh, theconservativevoice.com, pardonmyenglish.com, The Questions and Observations Blog ( www.qando.net ), the North Dakota Republican Party, blogsforbush.com ("Best Advice Given To Dean This Year"), The Drudge Report and Redstate.org.

They mostly trumpeted the concept of Democrats splitting on the Iraq war issue.

A poster at Redstate.org wrote: "It might be a bit of a squeeze, ideologically, but Earl Pomeroy could fit into the big tent. In 2003, he had an ACU rating of 40, which means the man has a pulse." ACU is the American Conservative Union.

Pomeroy said Friday he was thinking about both Republicans and Democrats when he made the remark. He's against Republicans or Democrats who use "shrill, partisan" talk about the war.


Among the follow-up attention Pomeroy got was a call from ABC News. He declined to repeat or expand on his statement and referred the network to the Associated Press story that reported the WDAY statement.

Now that most Midwestern states have limited access to cold medicine needed to make methamphetamine, attention in the Minnesota Legislature will turn to slowing use of the addictive drug.

"Clearly, there is more we can and should do," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said.

But he did not offer any specifics about what he will propose when lawmakers start meeting March 1. His budget adjustments, due next month, will give Minnesotans a clue.

In September, after just two months under new laws, Minnesota and North Dakota law enforcement officials said they were seeing far fewer meth laboratories. Minnesota now has the figures to back that up.

A state report shows that in July, August and September, Minnesota police seized78 percent fewer meth labs. That is mostly due to the fact that lawmakers last year limited the sales of pseudoephedrine-based cold and allergy medicines such as Sudafed. They must be sold only from behind a pharmacy counter, and the customer must sign a log when making a purchase.

Even though the number of labs is dropping, the number of people using meth may not be. Labs in Mexico and some Western states easily can replace the homemade variety of the drug.

In explaining the danger of meth, Pawlenty said: "The Fergus Falls hospital averages one delivery of a meth-affected baby every single week."


Kristin Hedger of Bismarck has been elected regional director of the Young Democrats of America Midwest region.

It puts her on the national YDA executive committee, where she is the only woman. Hedger is also president of the North Dakota Young Democrats of America.

Dick Franson says he is disappointed that the Army refuses to let him return to active duty, but he will run for Minnesota secretary of state instead.

The 76-year-old perennial candidate for some office or another announced last week he will file for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination. He said he wants to be the first combat Vietnam veteran elected as Minnesota secretary of state as a DFLer.

Franson has run more than two dozen times, but his only victory was once for Minneapolis City Council.

Last year, Paul Bowlinger of Bismarck left his job as state racing director to run the North American Pari-Mutuel Regulators Association, whose office he moved to Bismarck.

As of last month, NAPRA and a rival group, the Board of Racing Commissioners International have merged to form Racing Commissioners International. Bowlinger was named its executive director and he says the new group's office will be in Bismarck.

Tri-County Hospital in Wadena will receive $500,000 in federal money to expand its telemedicine service to 10 more sites.


Telemedicine allows video and computer communications of medical information from community to community, which gives people quicker and easier access to doctors and other health-care providers.

"The overall purpose of this project is to address medical professional shortages by using technology to bridge time and distance," said Maureen Ideker, the hospital's director of patient care services.

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

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