Awkward: Burgum’s Vetoes in the Hands of Those with an Axe to Grind?

Just last month it was reported that the Majority Leaders in the North Dakota Legislature would not reconvene in an attempt to override some unpopular vetoes of Governor Doug Burgum. Well, it seems that may not be the case.

The Bismarck Tribune reported today that leadership are indeed still considering the option of reconvening. House Majority Leader Al Carlson (R – District 41) and Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R – District 37) requested an Attorney General’s opinion last month "on whether Burgum overstepped his constitutional authority with those vetoes" by striking out portions of sentences in appropriations bills.

Aside from the opinion of the Attorney General hanging in the balance on whether he believes Burgum acted outside his constitutionally defined responsibilities,

this creates an awkward situation. Remember, our Attorney General is Wayne Stenehjem. The same Wayne Stenehjem that Doug Burgum beat by nearly 21 points a year ago tomorrow to become the Republican Party’s nominee– a political upset of historical proportions.

In addition to this, it’s also important to remember that Stenehjem – together with the Majority Leaders that requested the opinion of the Attorney General – are the same people that were categorized by Burgum as part of the "Good ‘ol Boys Club" during the primary season. A categorization that framed Burgum as the "outsider" and helped catapult him to a primary win and ultimately the Governor’s Mansion.

When it comes to Rep. Carlson and Senator Wardner, there’s little question they were unimpressed by candidate Burgum’s categorization. Carlson even made comments on the last day of the recent Legislative Session that could lead a person to believe that some hard feelings still exist. But where does Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem stand after a year has lapsed? Has he allowed bygones to be bygones? I would hope so.

The vetoes go into effect July 1st, so we should know soon whether the Majority Leaders will use their remaining three days of the session to attempt an override. Their decision may well hinge on the Attorney General’s opinion.

This is certainly an awkward situation. One that I hope will play out with professionalism and the absence of retribution from those who may well have an axe to grind.

Sources:
1. http://www.inforum.com/news/4268862-nd-legislative-leaders-ask-ag-opinion-burgum-vetoes
2. http://www.grandforksherald.com/news/politics/4057657-burgum-20-point-win-over-stenehjem-not-surprising-if-you-were-paying-attention
3. https://www.theminutemanblog.com/single-post/2017/05/09/Does-Al-Carlson-Carry-a-Grudge-Towards-Governor-Burgum
4. https://www.theminutemanblog.com/single-post/2017/05/16/Burgum-Wins-Legislature-Will-Not-Reconvene-to-Challenge-Vetoes

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About T. Arthur Mason 494 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.