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Published August 09 2010

Forum editorial: Secretary of state wins roses

PRAIRIE ROSES: To North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger for handling the pharmacy law petitioners’ mistake with the professionalism and care that has come to characterize his tenure in office. Petitioners failed to include members of the sponsoring committee on the first page of all the petitions as required by law. Jaeger informed the sponsors the petitions therefore are insufficient to qualify for placement of the measure on the ballot. A spokesman for the petitioners conceded the error, and she fully understood Jaeger’s responsibility under the law. The petition had more than enough signatures to qualify, but the law regarding names of the committee is clear. It’s a mistake that might not be fixable. Jaeger handled the matter as the law dictated.

LEAFY SPURGE: To Tom Freier of the North Dakota Family Alliance for misrepresenting the overturning of California’s Proposition 8 (a voter-approved same-sex marriage ban) as “an attack on the Constitution,” and “one judge made a decision to overturn the will of the people.” It is nothing of the sort. If anything, it’s the start of a legal process – enshrined in American jurisprudence – that likely will reach the U.S. Supreme Court. A legal blueprint as old as the nation is being followed, and a spokesman for a responsible organization should understand that. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the judge’s Prop 8 decision, the process has not been hijacked. It’s just getting started.

PRAIRIE ROSES: To Bismarck attorney Timothy Purdon on his confirmation as U.S. attorney for North Dakota. It was a long time coming, but last week the U.S. Senate acted on Purdon and 20 other delayed U.S. attorney appointments. Purdon drew criticism because he’s been an active partisan. But, as former U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley noted months ago in a Forum commentary, the U.S. attorney is a politically appointed position. While managing the office and prosecuting cases are nonpartisan responsibilities, the appointment process by its nature has a political element in it. That being said, Purdon was found to be qualified for the job. We wish him all success.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the strangely silent critics

of the federal stimulus program, who have nothing to say when those dollars benefit North Dakotans. Latest example: $24 million in grants from the USDA for broadband service in rural areas.

A Nome, N.D.-based company got

$2 million for improvements in Hope, Sanborn and Tower City.

A Griggs County co-op will get

$22 million for affordable and reliable rural service in eastern North Dakota. The money comes from the American Recovery

and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus. Golly, where are the critics? Now is the time for the anti-stimulus, anti-Congress politicians to stand up for their principles and tell those rural broadband users they shouldn’t have better service if it’s funded by that awful stimulus money.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.