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Joe Richardson, Fargo, Published October 27 2012

Letter: North Dakotans ready to reward Kevin Cramer for his corruption

Yes! North Dakota is given an “F” on the “Corruption Risk Report Card” where we rank 43rd among the states, according to the State Integrity Investigation, a project of the Center for Public Integrity. While some see “F” as a failure, others see it as meaning freedom. Freedom from accountability, freedom from any external expectations, freedom from the burdens of knowledge, freedom to dine in the trough of corporate cash contributions prior to ruling, theoretically in the public interest, on requests by the very same contributing corporations.

Yes, The Forum and Grand Forks Herald in their Oct. 25 endorsement of Kevin Cramer rewarded one of the state’s best, if not the best, practitioners of pay and play.

I saved an article from the Jamestown Sun published Oct. 26, 2010, in which Cramer characterized contributions from companies that had matters pending, awaiting his vote, before the Public Service Commission as being “noble activism by a corporate citizen.” Further he adds, “We expect people to demonstrate their corporate citizenship by supporting people that are good public servants. I don’t see that as bad or wrong. I don’t think most North Dakotans will, either.”

Obviously Cramer believes that corporations are citizens – why shouldn’t they be given a vote, too – and that those who bribe are noble citizens. He nailed it two years ago when he was running for the Public Service Commission, saying North Dakotans don’t care. He was right. He was rewarded then and hasn’t changed his ways since then. He is about to be rewarded now.

We need more of this kind of thinking in Washington. Cramer can take these values to where the coin of the realm becomes even more valuable. The notion of “corporate citizens” will be cheered, and companies will be ecstatic over a new congressman who believes bribery is noble. The nation will learn to be as grateful as we North Dakotans are for a lesson in the value of open corruption, while Cramer’s campaign coffers swell to obesity.