John Crabtree letter: Rural North Dakota not full of beggars
Since the North Dakota Legislature adjourned almost a month ago, I have read every overview of the session I could find. In particular I enjoyed Janell Cole's list in The Forum of the best and worst quotes and comments from the 2005 session. I wa...
Since the North Dakota Legislature adjourned almost a month ago, I have read every overview of the session I could find. In particular I enjoyed Janell Cole's list in The Forum of the best and worst quotes and comments from the 2005 session. I want to offer just one additional observation - the worst insult of North Dakota's 59th legislative assembly.
According to Sen. Jon Andrist, R-Crosby, all my neighbors and I are beggars because we live in a rural community. Seems that in Sen. Andrist's view rural North Dakotans are beggars and none of us should expect more for our communities than the scraps that fall from someone else's table.
Andrist's statement during debate of the last economic development reform bill of the session was the grand champion of insults to rural North Dakota. Democrats raised the issue of focusing economic development on creating jobs with decent wages, and Andrist responded by saying that rural citizens should accept taxpayer funded creation of low-wage jobs because, "beggars can't be choosers."
A North Dakota senator should know better than to write off rural North Dakotans in such a disrespectful fashion. Rural North Dakotans, just like our urban neighbors, work hard, raise kids and support our communities and our state in many, many ways. We are citizens of this great state and nation and we have much to offer.
We have hopes and dreams as well as doubts and fears. Moreover, we know that the solutions to the challenges that North Dakota faces will be found here - on our rural main streets, on our farms and ranches, and in our cities - not on Wall Street or in corporate boardrooms. We are proud, patriotic Americans and we get to choose who represents us in Bismarck. We are not beggars. We have no reason to beg.