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Sen. John Grabinger, Published May 28 2013

Letter: GOP leadership endorsed imprudent priorities for ND

Members of the Republican Party have suggested over and over that they were able to provide real relief and do what’s best for North Dakotans. It’s become increasingly difficult to decipher if members of the GOP leadership believe their own rhetoric, or if they are holding tight to it in order to convince the rest of us that their imprudent priorities and lack of concern for the people in our state is anything more than smoke and mirrors.

Regardless of which of those is true, what has become clear is that telling the truth is optional in recounting what actually happened during the 63rd legislative session. At every turn, it seems there’s someone trying to re-create history and convince us all that the 2013 session was some sort of pro-North Dakota, pro-business, pro-family miracle, instead of the embarrassing spectacle that it actually was.

There are very real truths and very real lies that have been circulating following the conclusion of the session. One is that the GOP did anything of note for North Dakota-owned and

-operated businesses. While they gave deep tax cuts to out-of-state corporations, they did close to nothing to help small, local business owners. Supporting local business not only bolsters the brick-and-mortar establishments we have come to love and rely on in our state, it also supports local families, which should be priority one for those who represent us.

It was stated recently that “A responsible government is one that, in times of excess, returns its surplus to those taxpayers who have paid it.” I think this statement lends some insight into the problems we have with the current leadership. In my opinion, “responsible government” and good leadership addresses real issues first – overcrowded classrooms, the housing crisis, crumbling roads, real property tax relief for North Dakota residents and local businesses – and then utilizes “excess” to invests in the future.

Putting North Dakotans ahead of political expediency is not just the right thing to do; it’s also good business. The potential for our state is great, but if we continue down the same, failed path that started during this past legislative session, all of that potential will be wasted.

Grabinger, D-Jamestown, represents District 12 in the North Dakota Senate.