Letter: Are ND legislators dishonest or uninformed?

McCulley questions statements from legislators regarding North Dakota's Century Code.

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As a marketing major at Minot State University, my classmates and I learned that claims in advertising must be factual, not deceptive. The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from misleading and unfair practices. Marketing utilizes many honest techniques, although recent events at the Capitol make me wonder: Is there truthfulness in legislation?

When targeting a federal grant partnership between North Dakota State University and Planned Parenthood, Sen. Janne Myrdal, R-Edinburg, referenced ND Century Code 14-02.3-01. She stated, on the Senate floor, that the language in her provision is “taken right out of Century Code…this is already law in North Dakota.”

While questioning NDSU Provost Margaret Fitzgerald and President Dean Bresciani about the grant partnership, Rep. Mike Nathe, R-Bismarck, claimed that this statute is “solid law.”


  • Crowd rallies at NDSU to condemn legislation that would penalize universities with ties to abortion providers "It's bad policy," said UND professor and faculty representative to the State Board of Higher Education Liz Legerski, adding it would set a precedent in the state for legislators to target other grants and long-established research programs if they dislike the connections.
  • Letter: Sen. Myrdal is only telling half of the story As an attorney, I would face significant consequences if I were to make the kind of inaccurate and deceptive claims Senator Myrdal is making. We ought to hold elected officials to higher standards of truth.

According to testimony from NDUS Vice Chancellor Lisa Johnson and a letter from attorney, DuaneLillehaug, the code in question was declared "unenforceable" in 1995 by a federal court. Does this mean that our legislators were deceiving us or simply not doing their homework?
It seems to be misleading and unfair practice to cite an invalidated law. I wish constituents had protection from this false advertising.


Alivia McCulley lives in Minot, N.D.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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