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Michael Connor, Published March 31 2012

Stories cast shadows on our state

Two recent in North Dakota newspapers provide a sad commentary on the direction our state is taking.

The first, “Coal mine conflict of interest?” (Forum Communications), brings information to light on the actions of two elected members of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, Kevin Cramer and Brian Kalk, accepting campaign contributions from a coal mining company that has a possible project planned that will require PSC approval. For these two individuals to claim they were “lawful and legal donations” makes one wonder about the principles these elected official hold to. Whether the donations were legal, I believe most North Dakotans would consider it pushing the envelope just a tad.

The other article, “Oil Patch trash ripe with ‘trucker bombs’ ” (Associated Press), informs us about the disgusting habits of some individuals who apparently either can’t or are not permitted to answer nature’s call in a civilized manner. The habit is bad enough, but what really makes a person wonder is reading the direct quote of an official of the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, who does acknowledge it is a “huge issue” but tries to excuse their actions as he states, “... one of the biggest problems is there isn’t a lot of places for these guys to properly dispose of the receptacles.” He then continues on to say, “... I don’t know it’s a case of being disrespectful.”

The people who have to clean up this toxic human waste would probably suggest the truckers might try keeping the “bombs” in their vehicles until they arrive at their destinations.

Since the association assures us the individuals doing this are not “disrespectful,” maybe they could just put the jug in a plastic bag and take care of emptying the contents the next time they are near a bathroom.

PSC members taking campaign contributions from companies they are supposed to oversee and folks who throw their “bombs.” Sort of makes one wonder what direction North Dakota is heading in.

Connor lives in rural Starkweather, N.D.