Entries in North Dakota (6)


North Dakota Voters to Decide Whether Life Begins at Conception

Governor's Office, ND(FARGO, N.D.) -- North Dakota voters will be asked in 2014 to decide whether life begins at the moment of conception, after state legislators passed two abortion bills that pro-choice supporters said could “regulate abortion out of existence.”

As the bills head to Gov. Jack Dalrymple for his approval, protests are being planned around the oil-rich state for Monday.

The North Dakota Coalition for Privacy in Health Care has planned “Stand Up for Women” rallies in Bismarck, Fargo and Minot to protest the package of bills that received final approval from legislators on Friday.

One of the measures that passed was a so-called personhood resolution that says a fertilized egg has the same right to life as a person. With the approval by the House, the decision on whether to add the wording to the state’s constitution will be put before North Dakota voters in November 2014.

Along with the personhood resolution that will be put to a public vote next year, legislators agreed to ban abortion at 20 weeks except in the case of a medical emergency and will require all doctors who perform abortions to have admitting rights to a local hospital.

“This deals with the health and safety of women having abortions,” state Rep. Vernon Laning, R-Bismarck said, according to the Bismarck Tribune.

In a state with only one abortion clinic — the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo — the mandate would effectively “regulate abortion out of existence,” according to the clinic’s website.

“Admitting privileges are not easily come by under any circumstances, but more importantly, such a requirement gives hospitals the power to decide whether abortion is even available in the state,” the clinic said in a statement.

Dalrymple, a Republican, has not indicated his stance on the bills, but it is possible that even if he vetoed them, there could be enough support in the legislature to override his decision.

The Arkansas Legislature passed a law banning almost all abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy earlier this month, over the veto of a Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who called it “unconstitutional.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


What to Watch in Tuesday’s Voting Contests

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Voters take to the polls to cast their ballots in Arizona, Maine, Virginia, Nevada, North Dakota and South Carolina on Tuesday.  Residents of these respective states will decide on a series of contests including a special election, a crowded Republican Senate primary and a decision on whether to change a university nickname.

Here are the top four things to watch in Tuesday’s voting contests:

1.) Special Election in Arizona

The race to fill the seat left open by the retirement of former Rep. Gabby Giffords, who stepped down from Congress in January, takes place Tuesday in Arizona’s 8th congressional district.  Ron Barber, Giffords’ former district director, and Jesse Kelly, a former marine who also ran against Giffords in 2010, will face off in the Republican-leaning district.  Polling shows Barber in the lead but the race is far from certain.

2.) Senate Primaries in Maine

When Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe announced her decision to retire in February, the Senate map for Democrats briefly looked very exciting.  Maine is considered to be a relatively blue state, and the state boasted a deep bench of potential Democratic contenders.  But both parties were thrown for a loop when former Independent Gov. Angus King announced he would be jumping in the race.  With many assuming King would ultimately end up caucusing with the Democrats (King has so far refused to commit to either party), the more-well known Dems in the state opted not to enter the race, while Republicans continued to enter in droves.  Six Republicans and four Democrats are on the ballot Tuesday, with an interesting three-way race soon to follow.

3.) North Dakota’s Nickname Referendum

In North Dakota, turnout is expected to be driven by two ballot measures -- a referendum to ban property taxes in the state, and a referendum on whether to discontinue the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname.  The referendum -- known as Senate Bill 2370 -- asks voters to decide whether they would prefer to allow the university to discontinue the nickname or logo, or require the university to use said nickname and logo.  The school’s mascot has been under fire for some time, and the debate over retirement has been on-going.  Supporters of the measure argue that the nickname negatively affects the school’s athletics program (in addition, of course, to the argument that the nickname is offensive).  Polling indicates a majority of support for the measure.

If it passed, the nickname would not be changed until January, 2015 at the earliest, and it is not know what the new nickname and logo might be.  UND would join a relatively large group of universities who have retired Native American nicknames and mascots over the past several decades including Miami University, Seattle University and the College of William and Mary.

4.) Official Start of Close Key Senate Races in Virginia, Nevada and North Dakota

What do Virginia, Nevada and North Dakota have in common?  They’re all states with closely-watched, tightly contested Senate races this fall.  With Democrats holding onto the narrow majority in the Senate, Republicans are hoping to potentially pick-up seats in Virginia and North Dakota, while Democrats are hoping to pick one up in Nevada.

The candidates in these races are already virtually known (barring any surprise upsets).  In Virginia, Democrat Tim Kaine is running unopposed, and Republican George Allen is the clear front-runner in the GOP field.  In Nevada, Rep. Shelley Berkley is expected to officially claim the Democratic nomination, while Sen. Dean Heller will, in all likelihood, officially win the Republican nod.  And in North Dakota, former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination and Rep. Rick Berg is considered the likely GOP nominee.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul Loses North Dakota But Campaign Presses On

ABC News(FARGO, N.D.) -- Ron Paul’s hopes for his first win of the presidential season were dashed again Tuesday night when North Dakota handed the libertarian leaning Texas congressman another loss.

The campaign was very optimistic about a win there, even abandoning the Super Tuesday caucus state of Idaho to campaign in North Dakota Tuesday night.

He told a group of several hundred supporters at a caucus site in Fargo that he was going to win.

“This country is ready and raring,” Paul said to thunderous applause.

Paul is sticking with his strategy of focusing on small caucus states and placed big bets on three Super Tuesday states: Alaska, Idaho, and North Dakota.

The Texas congressman visited Alaska over the weekend.  Paul is the only candidate who made a trip up there, while others sent delegates or held teleconferences.

Paul then went to Idaho, and although Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have campaigned in the state, only Paul actually has a campaign office there.

Tuesday was Paul’s third visit to North Dakota in the primary season, following a February tour of the state and an event in Fargo last November.  Romney and Santorum have also visited North Dakota, while Gingrich has not.

But Paul's efforts didn't generate the wins he had hoped for.  He came in second place Tuesday night in both Idaho and North Dakota, trailing Romney and Santorum, respectively.  And in Alaska, Paul fell to third behind Romney and Santorum, according to the Alaska GOP.

Although Paul has admitted that his chances “are slim” of winning the GOP nomination, he shows no sign of slowing down.  He is already planning campaign events in Kansas on Friday and Missouri on Saturday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Romney Delivers Counter Argument to Obama's Energy Speech

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(FARGO, N.D.) -- On the same day President Obama will deliver a speech on energy in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney pivoted his stump speech to focus on that very subject, accusing Obama of not understanding energy, much like he often accuses him of not understanding the economy.

“This is a president who does not understand energy.  He is the problem; he is not the solution.  It’s time to get him out of the White House,” said Romney, speaking at the Wrigley Mechanical warehouse in Fargo, N.D.

“Now today, today the president is going to be in New Hampshire talking about energy in North Dakota.  He's about as far away from North Dakota as he can get and still be in the United States.  His idea of course is to be far enough away from the people who know what's really going on right here to maybe try and blow one past folks,” said Romney.  “But that's not going to work because of course we're all connected in the modern world.  And he's going to talk about how he's responsible for the increasing production of oil in this country, oil and gas in this country.”

Romney, who supports fracking -- a method of obtaining oil and gas by pumping fluids into the ground to break apart rocks and release sources of energy -- railed against the Obama administration for trying to regulate it.

“As a matter of fact, he's got 10 different federal agencies trying to push their way into fracking so that they can slow down the development of oil and gas in this country,” said Romney.  “And then more and more I think…no brainer decision.  When someone says we want to bring in a pipeline that’s going to create tens of thousands of jobs to bring oil in from Canada, how in the world could you say no?”

“This is a president who's not been helping the situation.  And then he takes his EPA and uses them to try and stifle the development of oil and gas in this country and coal.  And then he gets his EPA and tries to get them to start regulating fracking,” he continued.

Romney was also asked by one member of the audience about the second amendment, the second time in as many days that Romney has been asked about his stance on gun control.

“I will protect the right to bear arms in this country,” he said.  “I have a couple of guns myself, and -- shotguns, that is -- and I know that people have their own choices in this regard.  I know there will be an attack on the Second Amendment, just as there was recently an attack on the First Amendment.”

“Obamacare is an attempt by this administration to say, for instance to the Catholic Church that they have to provide to the employees of, let's say, universities that are in the Catholic Church, they have to provide to them sterilization treatments for free, and contraception, and morning after pills, and that violates the conscience of the church, the conscience of individuals, and fortunately, there's an effort in Washington to stop that, to reverse that,” Romney said.  “This is a president, I agree, who is attacking the principles of the Constitution.” 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


North Dakota Democrat Kent Conrad to Retire from Senate

Photo Courtesy - Conrad [dot] Senate [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota announced Tuesday that he plans to retire, a move that looks set to further complicate Democrats’ chances of retaining control of the Senate in 2012.

Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, hails from a state that has been leaning red in recent years.  Last fall, Republican John Hoeven won the state’s other Senate seat that had been held by Democrat Byron Dorgan, who also chose to retire.

“After months of consideration, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2012,” Conrad said in a letter to supporters Tuesday.  “There are serious challenges facing our State and nation, like a $14 trillion debt and America's dependence on foreign oil.  It is more important I spend my time and energy trying to solve these problems than to be distracted by a campaign for reelection.”

Conrad said he intends to spend his remaining two years in office focusing on getting the country “on a sound fiscal course” and reducing the country’s dependence on foreign energy, among other issues.

“Although I will not seek reelection, the work is not done,” said Conrad, who has held the North Dakota Senate seat for the last 24 years.  “I will continue to do my level best for both North Dakota and the nation over the final two years of my term.”

Conrad is the first Senate Democrat to decide not to run for re-election. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Sen. Conrad: Extend All Tax Cuts; Time to Get 'Serious' About Deficit

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The White House conceded that in order to get the middle class tax cuts passed in the lame duck session they would need to agree to extend all of them, The Huffington Post reports.  They will also have the full support of Sen. Kent Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.  He told ABC News Thursday, he “certainly hope[s]” Obama and Congress can come to an agreement before everyone’s taxes go up on Dec. 31.

“I think the president’s remarks are constructive, as you know I proposed some weeks ago that we extend all the tax cuts for a period of time until we are able to fundamentally reform the tax system,” he said. “Because that is what is required in part here along with spending reductions. Both are going to have to be done if we are going to get out of this deep hole.”

The North Dakota Democrat serves on the commission for deficit reduction -- which just came out with a draft proposal that includes tax increases and spending cuts to social security and Medicare. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio