The American Conservative Union Foundation’s “ 2017 Ratings of North Dakota” are out. North Dakotan’s can now see just how conservative their state legislators are. The rankings for the House were determined by votes on 23 pieces of legislation. The Senate’s were based off of 18 bills.
Leading the way with their conservative credentials were Representatives Rick C. Becker (R – District 7) and Luke Simons (R – District 36). Becker and Simons both scored a perfect 100%– the only ones to do so out of either chamber.
Rep. Becker’s profile within the party and state-wide was raised in 2016 when he ran for governor and forced a second ballot – and nearly a third – at the State NDGOP Convention.
Becker’s loss at the 2016 convention wasn’t really a loss at all though. He ended up accumulating the most votes – over a 1,000 of them – to go to the National Republican Convention as a national delegate. His vote total was more than that of even the then sitting governor Jack Dalrymple and other party elites. He struck a cord with convention attendees… a conservative cord.
Rep. Simons was perhaps best known for his “Raw Milk Bill”– a bill legalizing the sale of raw milk in North Dakota. But raw milk was just one aspect of the bill. Eventually that portion was removed and the remainder of the bill was known simply as the “Food Freedom Act”. That bill passed and was signed into law back in April.
Back in March of this year – while the legislative session was still going – I wrote a piece defending Luke Simons. This was in response to repeated whispers of criticism from within the Republican party about the ranching representative from District 36. What I said then is proven out by his conservative ranking today:
“Of course, it’s no surprise that such mutterings exist. When a person like Rep. Simons stands up, they stand out. And that usually results in such a legislator having a proverbial target on their back. Why? Because the status quo doesn’t like to be challenged. Push back is not welcome. Such is the mantra of those that believe and act more like Democrats than the Republicans they claim to be.
“The Constitution, limited government, low taxes, sound fiscal policy, personal responsibility, accountability, Free Markets, God, family, country, and individual Liberty. These are what Rep. Luke Simons stands for. It’s who he is. And if necessary, he’ll stand alone. Not for attention, but because it’s the right thing to do. That’s called courage and leadership. Two things sorely lacking in the world of politics today.”
In addition to Becker and Simons, Representatives Sebastian Ertelt (R – District 26) and Dan Johnston (R – District 24) came out with “An Award for Excellence” as they turned out scores of 91% each.
Not a single Senator scored over 90%. In fact, the best Senate score was awarded to Senator Oley Larsen (R – District 3) with an 83%. He was followed by Senator Jordan Kannianen (R – District 4) with a 78%.
Without question, Rick Becker and Luke Simons are the cream of the crop in the North Dakota Legislature. Now, if we can only get some more of their colleagues to have the courage and convictions that they do, we can set North Dakota in the direction of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and the safe-guarding of individual Liberty.
Note: We plan on following up later on with a more in depth look at the overall rankings of the ACU and what it says about the current state of the North Dakota Legislature.
1. http://acuratings.conservative.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/07/NorthDakota_2017_web-1.pdf 2. https://www.theminutemanblog.com/single-post/2017/04/18/Rep-Rick-Becker-Very-Pleased-as-Andrews-Law-Passes-Overwhelmingly 3. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/north-dakota/articles/2017-03-23/gov-burgum-signs-concealed-carry-bill-into-law 4. https://www.theminutemanblog.com/single-post/2017/03/21/In-Defense-of-Rep-Luke-Simons