Help Choose Our Candidates – It’s Everyone’s Business
The District 46 Democratic-NPL will consider Legislative Nominations at their upcoming District Convention scheduled for 11:30 am, Saturday, February 20th at the Ben Franklin Middle School(1420 8th Street N, Fargo). If delegates choose not to nominate on the 20th, a nominating convention will be scheduled.
Unlike our Republican counterparts, District 46 Democratic-NPL delegates to our convention will select our candidates.
A little background…
During his discussion of the upcoming convention the District 46 Republican Chairman informed a local talk show host that their legislative candidates were nominated the prior week. That seemed curious to us until we reviewed their amended bylaws.
According to the D46 Republican amended bylaws, the DISTRICT COMMITTEE may, by a 2/3 vote, BIND THE DISTRICT CONVENTION to the candidates the COMMITTEE selects. That is apparently what they did. No nomination convention was held.
The District 46 Republican Facebook page announced a District Committee meeting to be held on January 12th. The notice read, ‘The District 46 Committee will be meeting to determine which method to use for endorsing their candidates to the ND Senate and House of Representatives.’
The following day, their Facebook page announced the endorsement of Jim Roers for Senate, Jim Kasper and Shannon Roers for the House of Representatives.
Therefore, Delegates to the District 46 Republican Convention were simply INFORMED who their legislative candidates would be.
Below is a summary of the pertinent bylaw section on the Endorsement process:
Article X – Endorsement of District 46 Legislative Candidates
Section 2 – Method to endorse candidates
a) If incumbent legislators seek endorsement, the District Committee may chose to endorse with 2/3 vote of District Committee – this endorsement is binding
b) The District Committee may also endorse all candidates for the open seats in the same manner
c) If the District Committee chooses to use an endorsement convention, the District Committee may still bind the convention using paragraph ‘a’ above, but allow the convention to select the candidates for open seats. If they chose an endorsing convention, precinct caucuses to elect delegates prior to the endorsing convention.
d) To participate in the endorsing process, each person must be a current dues paying member($46 per person)
Note: Their District Committee consists of Incumbent Legislators, District Officers, & Precinct Committee Leaders – a pretty tight group. And Jim Kasper signed the Amendment as District Chair.
It seems rather odd, that a district political party would go so far as to preempt their district convention from nominating candidates to the legislature. We are not aware of any other district Republican or Democrat, that has similar provisions designed to avoid a public selection process.
What is even more interesting is that sources have informed us that Shannon Roers-Jones was the Chair of the Nominating Committee. This committee chose not to be public about the process and in the end, the Chair of the Nominating Committee nominates Kasper, herself, and her father!
These restrictive amendments were approved on April 30, 2015, the day following adjournment of the 2015 Legislative Session. It is as if a certain incumbent legislator was worried about a challenge that might occur nine months later.
Since it was widely known that Representative Kathy Hawken did not intend to run again, the only person who might want protection from an open district convention would be Representative Jim Kasper.
Jim Kasper had reason to worry.
- Kasper led the charge to kill Ethics Reforms. ‘We don’t have an ethics problem’ said the Poster Child for ethics reform. Kasper was the recipient of numerous unreported trips paid for by interest groups.
- Kasper led the charge to prohibit education standards endorsed by Governor Dalrymple and State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kirsten Baesler (Republicans both), and the ND Chamber of Commerce
- Kasper chaired the committee that opposed and then killed a proposal to disclose names of Legislators who make public records requests. (Kasper was responsible for some of the most far reaching and costly records requests on record.)
- Kasper also supported some of the most restrictive voter requirements in the nation, suggesting that ND has a voter fraud problem – despite no evidence of voter fraud.