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Rep. Al Carlson, Published October 26 2012

Letter: Boucher mistaken about Berg

I must respond to Merle Boucher’s factually incorrect letter in The Forum. Boucher is absolutely wrong about how Rick Berg’s term as House majority leader came to an end. Berg was not forced out by anyone. Berg announced to me and others before the session ever started that he would not be seeking another term as leader. He was retiring from the Legislature after that term and planned on running for Congress.

If two “high profile” House Republicans told Boucher that, they were either not very involved with the process or more likely they were pulling Boucher’s leg, which many of our caucus took great delight in doing. What could Boucher do? He was the minority leader and was barely holding his caucus together. I seriously doubt that members of our caucus would have involved the minority leader in our discussions for the majority party’s leadership position. That isn’t done by either party. I don’t know of any members of our caucus who got involved when the minority caucus dumped Pam Gulleson from their leadership team, nor should they.

Berg was a tremendous leader for our caucus and our state. He helped move this state forward in many areas and was instrumental in helping to establish the business-friendly atmosphere that has led to North Dakota becoming the envy of the nation, and he helped craft our energy policy long before the Bakken. He has taken those same talents to Washington, D.C., and has been a very effective voice for the people of North Dakota.

I urge the residents of our state to support the only person running for the U.S. Senate from North Dakota who has the legislative skills to hit the ground running in the Senate. I urge you to vote for Berg, a proven leader that will get the job done right.

Rep. Carlson, R-Fargo, is majority leader of the North Dakota House of Representatives.