Protect North Dakota's Constitution is a grassroots effort empowering citizens and strengthening our constitution.
Our sponsoring group consists of North Dakota citizens who are farmers, ranchers, retired military, public servants, small business owners, oil and gas workers, and yes, bankers from every corner of the state, from Fargo to Williston, and Dickinson to Grand Forks. We are a truly grass roots effort and that will become exceedingly obvious as our movement grows.
Imagine our confusion when letters to the editor called us “Big Business,” “Big Oil,” “Big Bankers” and members of the “Good Old Boys” network. It’s as if these names were pulled from a partisan playbook and hurled at us. This is not a partisan issue, it’s not a blue issue or a red issue – this is a North Dakota issue.
The true issue - the North Dakota Constitution is under attack, facing a proposed amendment by initiated measure in every election cycle over the past decade. For comparison, the U.S. Constitution is rarely amended and requires a rigorous process including supermajority approval and ratification by the states. Our state Constitution can be changed with a simple majority of 50% plus one.
We believe our Constitution deserves a higher level of respect and that citizens should have a clear understanding of the measure before them. Our measure is simple – a Constitutional measure should address a single issue and achieve 60% approval.
Opponents say this as a “power grab” by big business that “weakens” the voter when it is quite the opposite. This is power preservation and strengthens the voter. Nothing says “mandate” like a supermajority endorsement of an idea.
Opponents claim this initiative is about the Ethics Commission measure. This is not about any individual measure. It’s about our foundational document and framework. If we are going to change it, 60% of North Dakotans should agree.
There’s one thing we do agree on - North Dakotans are smart. We encourage you to visit www.ProtectNDConstitution.com and educate yourself. We believe that when you do, you will want to join our grassroots effort and protect our Constitution.
Maj. Gen. Mike Haugen (ret.) and Jeff Zarling are co-chairs of Protect North Dakota’s Constitution
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.