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John D. Olsrud, Published October 31 2010

Berg was not a good legislator

It was my privilege to serve as director of the North Dakota Legislative Council for 25 years prior to my retirement in 2007.

Rick Berg, who is running for Congress, was a disappointment as a legislative leader. In 2007, for the first time in memory for a majority leader, he lost a procedural vote on the House floor. He used poor judgment by asking for a recorded roll call vote, which then meant his leadership failure is a matter of public record.

Berg also used poor judgment in 2005. A new legislative computer system was needed. I knew it would be a complicated, multisession project. Berg said two years was sufficient time for the project, so it could wait until 2007 and still be done by 2009. Funding was cut, the project was delayed, and when a decision was needed to select a national firm for the project, Berg made the motion, and not a single Democrat voted for it. That firm later abandoned the project, which is now in its sixth year.

Although Berg cannot be blamed for the failure of the project, he can be held responsible for underestimating the time needed and for failing to see the need for bipartisan support.

Two of the many people for whom I worked are now running for Congress. All of my experiences working with Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., have been positive, from the time he was a legislator and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to his time as an elected state official and now as a member of Congress.

I am voting for Pomeroy, a man I trust and in whom I have faith will always use good judgment.