Mailers attacking District 46 Democratic-NPL candidates placed Jim Roers, Jim Kasper, and Shannon Roers-Jones squarely against the NDSU Nursing Program.
The ‘inside deal’ referred to in this dishonest mailer was when the State Board of Higher Education, Chaired by Kirsten Diederich, approved NDSU’s assumption of Sanford’s nurse training program in Bismarck.
In 2012 Medcenter One of Bismarck merged with Sanford Health. Medcenter had the last remaining hospital based Registered Nurse education program in the state. In Fargo, St. Lukes once had a similar program, but that was long ago before the transition to Meritcare which also merged with Sanford Health.
Sanford decided to end its financial support for the RN education program for the same reasons St. Lukes in Fargo ended its program years ago. But since the program had value and there was an obvious shortage of nurses, Sanford looked for an education institution to assume responsibility. In 2014, after reviewing options, Sanford selected NDSU’s School of Nursing as the most logical option to take over the program. NDSU had both the educational capacity and the institutional support to make it work. NDSU’s School of Nursing is also listed among the top 30 in the nation.
Here is where it gets interesting.
Almost immediately, Representative Bob Martinson (R-Bismarck) attacked the deal and the State Board of Higher Education’s approval in March of 2014. Martinson called it a “bailout of a multi-million dollar health care company“.
One has to ask why Representative Martinson was so exercised about the NDSU announcement. Could it be because the University of Mary’s School of Health Sciences also had a competing offer, but lost out to NDSU? Could it be because the University of Mary would have to compete against NDSU for nursing students for their RN program? Why would Representative Martinson care?
Here’s the thing that not one enterprising news organization ever reported. Representative Martinson’s wife is the Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Mary.
Martinson had a conflict of interest a mile wide that was never discussed or exposed.
Fast Forward to the District 46 Republican Campaign
Jim Roers, Shannon Roers-Jones, and Jim Kasper would like to claim they are big supporters of NDSU. Yet they are approving of attacking District 46 Democrats for the ‘deal’ that resulted in NDSU’s Registered Nurse training presence in Bismarck.
The entire basis of this preposterous attack was not a news source. Instead it was an opinion blog based on Martinson’s complaints against NDSU, written by a person often referred to as ‘the underwear blogger’.
And no resident of District 46 would ever know this unless they grabbed a high powered magnifying glass to read references on the mailers.
The Republican campaign in District 46 has to go down as one of the most dishonest efforts in local political history.
So here is the thing. Jim Roers claims to be among President Dean Bresciani’s best friends. Yet he is relying on a dishonest campaign that attacks Bresciani’s decision to rescue a nursing program in Bismarck under the NDSU Banner.
If Jim Roers and Shannon Roers-Jones can do this, they will fit in well with Kasper in the ‘good ol’ boys network in Bismarck. That’s politics as usual in Bismarck.
But if you want things to turn in a better direction, residents of District 46 MUST re-elect Senator George Sinner and elect Kirsten Diederich and Dan Fisher to the House.