Port: North Dakota higher ed board member, and Bastiat lawmaker, promote My Pillow guy's election conspiracy video

"Tell the world … and pray that this info gets to the people who can, and will, take action!" SBHE member Danita Bye wrote in her email promoting the video.

Former Lt. Gov. Michelle Fischbach, from left, and Trump Campaign Honorary Co-Chair Mike Lindell accept the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life endorsement from Jan Ochsner on behalf of President Trump and Vice President Pence as MN GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan and North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer look on Saturday, Oct. 31, at the Moorhead Trump Victory Office. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
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MINOT, N.D. — Danita Bye is a sales and leadership consultant and author of the book "Millennials Matter."

Last year she was appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum to fill a seat on the State Board of Higher Education that Judge Dan Traynor vacated upon his appointment to the federal bench .

She's also been promoting an election conspiracy theory video produced by Donald Trump confidant and pillow impresario Mike Lindell .

The video (yes, I watched it) has the aspirations of a documentary but executes as a fever dream of conspiracy-addled nonsense. Evidence as clear as any other that the Trump movement seems intent on becoming exactly what its enemies accuse it of being.

It has been aired on the OANN cable news channel, though even those Trump loyalists slapped a massive disclaimer on it before airing. Newsmax, another overtly pro-Trump cable offering, cut off Lindell's microphone when he started ranting about a stolen election earlier this week .


With election technology companies filing massive lawsuits against Trump allies who have maligned them in their increasingly bizarre denunciations of the 2020 election results, it's not hard to understand why Newsmax and OANN would want some distance from Lindell even as they continue to give him a platform.

I've watched Lindell's video with the same sort of curiosity I have for a certain genre of science fiction thrillers. I won't promote it by linking it here, but I'm sure you can find it on your own if you wish.

"Tell the world … and pray that this info gets to the people who can, and will, take action!" Bye writes in her email promoting the video.

Her message was sent to an undisclosed list of recipients, but one was Rep. Terry Jones , a member of the secretive Bastiat Caucus representing a New Town area district, and he forwarded to the House and Senate caucus in the Legislature.


Jones apologized earlier this year for emailing to his legislative colleagues a video promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory that has been credited, by some, as one of the inspirations for the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"Did Burgum appoint a QAnon person to the board of higher education?" asked one senator who forwarded me Jones' latest email.

When I first reached out to Bye, she was hesitant to comment on the email, wanting to know if what I intended to write would be "positive or negative" and asking if I'd watched the video. She requested time to craft a response to me. When I followed up with her after not receiving a response, my call went directly to voicemail.

After publication, Bye did provide a brief comment, saying only that she's "concerned about data security."

Burgum spokesman Mike Nowatzki said he hadn't seen Bye's email or the Lindell video and had no comment.

This isn't Lindell's first appearance in North Dakota politics. He spoke at a Trump campaign rally in 2018 and promoted Bastiat-aligned lawmaker Rep. Dan Johnston ( also an aficionado of QAnon conspiracies ) in his primary campaign for Treasurer.

Danita Bye Email by Rob Port on Scribd


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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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