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Larry Gauper, Fargo, Published March 04 2013

Letter: Carlson thinks he knows better about diversion, but he’s wrong

I read Rep. Al Carlson’s, R-Fargo, essay in The Forum (Feb. 28). He throws out all the work Cass County Commissioner Darrell Vanyo, the Corps of Engineers, Mayor Dennis Walaker and many others have spent years doing. Carlson thinks he knows far better, but he’s wrong.

His statements like, “I am attempting to make sure we do not get too far ahead of ourselves” demonstrates a monumental arrogance and an ego the size of an elephant. Who set Carlson up as judge and jury on what’s right for a project that he clearly hasn’t studied and that far more knowledgeable people have put thousands of hours of work into? He talks about “Oxbow solutions,” “property values” and “ring dikes” and he hasn’t a clue as to what he’s talking about.

It’s fantastic Carlson knows what the federal government will do. He does not know and he refuses to take the recommendations of Fargo officials and his own constituency. He’s more concerned about pleasing representatives from small towns in western North Dakota; but this is how he gets his power base in order to be “majority leader” in the House of Representatives.

“Leadership” must be very precious to Rep. Carlson; more important, in fact, than doing the right thing for the community he was elected to serve.

Listening to a representative from Tioga preaching on the House floor about “what’s good and right” for Fargo makes me sick. Tioga’s population was 1,239 in 2011. This is another legislator who has much power but no knowledge as to the problems of a city the size of Fargo. Thanks to Carlson, these Fargo-haters are having a field day.

How in the world can Carlson reject everything that’s been done so far on the diversion project? How can he tell Fargo we can’t use state money to continue dike building without taking out homes where they need to be removed? How do you put up dikes without removing some homes? Carlson has all the answers; maybe he can tell us. He didn’t in his Forum essay.

Fargo needs a delegation that works for Fargo, not against it. Right now, Carlson, in my opinion, is the poster icon for all that’s wrong with the Legislature – and there’s plenty.

Way to go, Al: You have achieved your goal of killing the diversion, and this has probably ensured your re-election as majority leader. Whoopee-ding! That is, of course, if District 41 continues to sleep soundly enough to re-elect you to the North Dakota House.