Kent Conrad

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Posted by pompos 03/18/2009 @ 14:07

Tags : kent conrad, north dakota, states, us

News headlines
Consider what it would create - Bismarck Tribune
Subsequently, the Hate Crimes Bill passed the US House (without the King amendment) with the vote of ND Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who has now punted his endorsement of the bill to Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad in the Senate. What will Dorgan and Conrad do?...
Reconciling Mr. Conrad - Wall Street Journal
A disapproving letter from Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad is one of those things that makes life worth living, and so we're happy to give the North Dakotan a megaphone. All the more so since Mr. Conrad is making our point....
Article Calls on Senators Dorgan and Conrad to Oppose Employee ... - The Truth About EFCA
D., and Kent Conrad, DN.D., support this bill. Contact them and let them know that EFCA isn’t right for North Dakota or for this country.” UPDATE: a reader is quick to point out: “Mr. MacIver is wrong. Neither Dorgan nor Conrad sponsored EFCA...
Conrad hopes for progress on flood protection - In-Forum
Kent Conrad, a North Dakota Democrat, is hoping specific progress can be made on two fronts: ensuring that a consensus for action exists and figuring out a strategy and a timeline for moving forward. A united front across the borders on flood control...
More hot air from Sen. Conrad - In-Forum
Kent Conrad, DN.D., has proved that his claims to be a tight- fisted deficit hawk are nothing more than hot air. He would be better used to fill weather balloons than writing legislation. Once again, Sen. Kent Conrad, DN.D., has proved that his claims...
How to Stop a Healthcare Hijack - American Thinker
North Dakota senator Kent Conrad, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, has already expressed serious reservations about invoking reconciliation. Other Democrats, like Nebraska's Ben Nelson, may follow Conrad's lead. And there's the always fickle...
Lacking health policies, parties fight on message - The Hill
The public, said Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (DN.D.), is “going to have to wait and see what the various details of the various plans are, 'cause [Republicans] don't have a plan either.” Moreover, some Democratic senators say they are...
USDA extends aid to North Dakota's ranchers - AG Week
WASHINGTON - At the request of the Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan and Congressman Earl Pomeroy, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) today agreed to extend the current authorization allowing livestock producers emergency access to...
Suite Talk May 14, 2009 - Politico
Van Heuvelen — VH Strategies' namesake — was chief of staff to Sen. Kent Conrad (DN.D.) for 10 years before leaving to open the VH shop in 2007. Another former Conrad aide, Anissa Rogness, rounds out the VH trio. Like many other consultancies,...

Kent Conrad

Kent Conrad

Kent Conrad (b. March 12, 1948, Bismarck, North Dakota) is a United States senator from North Dakota. He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, the North Dakota affiliate of the Democratic Party. He is the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.

Kent Conrad was born in Bismarck, North Dakota to German-American parents and lived much of his early life in Bismarck. Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by his grandparents. He attended Roosevelt Elementary and Hughes Junior High, and several years of high school in Tripoli, Libya. He graduated in 1966 from Phillips Exeter Academy, like his opposite on the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Judd Gregg. He went to college at Stanford and received an MBA from George Washington University.

Conrad has been married twice. His first wife, Pam, is the sister of former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and former North Dakota Governor Ed Schafer. They had one daughter, Jessamyn. Following their divorce, Conrad married Lucy Calautti, a lobbyist for Major League Baseball.

After graduating from college, he became a civil servant, working as an assistant to the North Dakota tax commissioner, Byron Dorgan, who later became his colleague in the Senate. Conrad made his first entry into politics when he ran unsuccessfully for the North Dakota Auditor's office in 1976. In 1980, Conrad succeeded Dorgan as tax commissioner. Conrad was state tax commissioner until 1986, when he ran for Senate.

In the 1986 election, Conrad defeated the Republican incumbent, Mark Andrews, by 2,100 votes in what some may consider an upset; Andrews had represented North Dakota at the federal level since 1963 (he had previously served in the House before moving to the Senate in 1981).

During the campaign, Conrad pledged that he would not run for re-election if the Federal budget deficit had not fallen by the end of his term. By 1992 it became obvious that this would not be the case, and although polls showed that the electors would have welcomed him going back on his pledge, Conrad considered his promise binding and did not run for re-election. Dorgan won the Democratic primary election.

Despite North Dakota's Republican lean, Conrad was handily reelected in 1994 — a year in which marginal seats everywhere fell to Republicans. He hasn't faced serious opposition since.

Conrad has been very vocal in his opposition to both the spending policies of the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration. He contends that they have worsened the problems of national debt. Conrad is opposed to most free-trade measures and is a strong supporter of farming subsidies to family farmers.

Conrad is more conservative than many in his own party on the issues of abortion and gun politics. He is one of the few members of the Democratic Party to have voted consistently in favor of banning the procedure commonly referred to as "partial-birth" abortion. He also opposes public funding of abortion. However, Conrad voted in favor of lifting the ban on military base abortions. Conrad also has a mixed record on gay rights. While he personally is opposed to gay marriage, he voted against a proposed constitutional ban on the matter and has supported bills that prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation. On January 31, 2006, Conrad was one of only four Democrats to vote in favor of confirming Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

Conrad voted against approving use of military force in Iraq in 1991 and was one of only 23 senators to vote against the war resolution of 2002. While he initially voted in favor of the USA PATRIOT Act, he has been a staunch opponent of warrantless wiretapping and of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

In April 2006, he was selected by Time as one of "America's 10 Best Senators". That same year, he was commended by The American for his knowledge of economic issues.

Conrad is widely known for being very detailed in his analysis of monetary policies and budget issues. He almost always uses charts, graphs, and other visuals at press conferences as well as on the Senate floor. He considers himself a "deficit hawk" because of his calls for a balanced federal budget. Conrad has been an outspoken supporter of creating a more progressive taxation system. He has voted against Republican proposals to repeal the estate and alternative minimum taxes. He supports lowered middle class taxes, but increasing them for those making over $1 million per year, and Conrad also believes that the Bush tax cuts should be repealed and that revenues made from doing so should go to education and deficit reduction.

Kent Conrad was one of the very first Senators to have endorsed Senator Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic Presidential Race.

Conrad is also a leading member of the "Gang of 10", a bipartisan group which has created a compromise for American energy policy.

In June 2008, it was reported that Senator Conrad had received mortgages on favorable terms for a second home and an apartment building due to his association with Countrywide CEO Angelo R. Mozilo. Conrad has acknowledged he spoke with Angelo Mozilo, the Countrywide CEO, by phone. In an April 23, 2004, email about one of Senator Conrad loans, Mozilo encouraged an employee to “make an exception due to the fact that the borrower is a senator.” Conrad denied any prior knowledge of such treatment and gave away the mortage discount to charity. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has called on the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Conrad.

In 2006, Republicans heavily wooed popular Governor John Hoeven to face him. Hoeven was considered by many analysts to be the only Republican who could possibly defeat Conrad. However, Hoeven declined, effectively handing Conrad a fourth full term.

The only Republican to file by the deadline was Dwight Grotberg, an Anderson town councilman and farmer from Sanborn in Barnes County.

As of August 2006, Conrad had the highest approval rating among his constituents of any U.S. Senator, at 74% approval to only 21% disapproval, despite his being a Democrat in a historically Republican state.

Conrad is the only person ever to hold two U.S. Senate seats on the same day.

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North Dakota

Map of the United States with North Dakota highlighted

North Dakota ( /ˌnɔrθ dəˈkoʊtə/ (help·info)) is a state located in the Midwestern and Western regions of the United States of America. North Dakota is the 19th largest state by area in the US; it is the 48th most populous, with just over 640,000 residents as of 2006. North Dakota was carved out of the northern half of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union as the 39th state on November 2, 1889.

The Missouri River flows through the western part of the state and forms Lake Sakakawea behind the Garrison Dam. The western half of the state is hilly and contains lignite coal and oil. In the east, the Red River forms the Red River Valley, holding fertile farmland. Agriculture has long dominated the economy and culture of North Dakota.

The state capital is Bismarck and the largest city is Fargo. The primary public universities are located in Grand Forks and Fargo. The United States Air Force operates bases at both Minot and Grand Forks.

North Dakota is considered to be in the U.S. regions known as the Upper Midwest and the Great Plains, and is sometimes referred to as being the "High Plains". The state shares the Red River of the North with Minnesota on the east; South Dakota is to the south, Montana is to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are north. It sits essentially, in the middle of North America, and in fact, a stone marker in Rugby, North Dakota, identifies it as being the "Geographic Center of the North American Continent". With 70,762 square miles (183,273 km2), North Dakota is the 19th largest state.

The western half of the state consists of the hilly Great Plains, and the northern part of the Badlands to the west of the Missouri River. The state's high point, White Butte at 3,506 feet (1,069 m), and Theodore Roosevelt National Park are located in the Badlands. The region is abundant in fossil fuels including crude oil and lignite coal. The Missouri River forms Lake Sakakawea, the third largest man-made lake in the United States, behind the Garrison Dam.

The central region of the state is divided into the Drift Prairie and the Missouri Plateau. This area is covered in lakes, slough, and rolling hills. The Turtle Mountains are located along the Manitoba border. The geographic center of the North American continent is located near the city of Rugby.

The eastern part of the state consists of the flat Red River Valley, the bottom of glacial Lake Agassiz. Its fertile soil, drained by the meandering Red River flowing northward into Lake Winnipeg, supports a large agriculture industry. Devils Lake, the largest natural lake in the state, is also found in the east.

North Dakota endures temperature extremes characteristic of its continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers: the record low temperature is −60 °F (−51.1 °C) and the record high temperature is 121 °F (49 °C). Meteorological events include rain, snow, hail, blizzards, polar fronts, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and high-velocity straight-line winds. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 14 in (35.6 cm) to 22 in (55.9 cm).

Springtime flooding is a relatively common event in the Red River Valley, due to the river flowing north into Canada, creating ice jams. The spring melt and the eventual runoff typically begins earlier in the southern part of the valley than in the northern part. The most destructive flooding in eastern North Dakota occurred in 1997, which caused extensive damage to Fargo and Grand Forks.

Prior to European contact, Native Americans inhabited North Dakota for thousands of years. The first European to reach the area was the French-Canadian trader La Vérendrye, who led an exploration party to Mandan villages in 1738. The trading arrangement between tribes was such that North Dakota tribes rarely dealt directly with Europeans. However, the native tribes were in sufficient contact that by the time that Lewis and Clark entered North Dakota in 1804, they were aware of the French and then Spanish claims to their territory.

Much of present-day North Dakota was included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Much of acquired land was organized into Minnesota and Nebraska Territories. Dakota Territory, making up present-day North and South Dakota, along with parts of present-day Wyoming and Montana, was organized on March 2, 1861. Dakota Territory was settled sparsely until the late 1800s, when the railroads entered the region and aggressively marketed the land. A bill for statehood for North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington titled the Enabling Act of 1889 was passed on February 22, 1889 during the administration of Grover Cleveland. After Cleveland left office, it was left to his successor, Benjamin Harrison, to sign proclamations formally admitting North and South Dakota to the Union on November 2, 1889. The rivalry between the two new states presented a dilemma of which was to be admitted first. Harrison directed Secretary of State James G. Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first and the actual order went unrecorded. However, since North Dakota alphabetically appears before South Dakota, its proclamation was published first in the Statutes At Large. Since that day, it has become common to list the Dakotas alphabetically and thus North Dakota is usually listed as the 39th state. It is believed that nobody recorded which paper was signed first, thus nobody can actually know which of the Dakotas was admitted first.

The corruption in the early territorial and state governments led to a wave of populism led by the Non Partisan League (usually referred to as the "NPL"), which brought social reforms in the early 20th century. The NPL which was later incorporated as part of the Democratic Party, fashioned a number of laws and social reforms, in an attempt to insulate North Dakota from the power of out-of-state banks and corporations, a number of which are still in place today. In addition to the Bank of North Dakota and the North Dakota Mill and Elevator (both still in existence) there was a state-owned railroad line (later sold to the Soo Line Railroad). Additionally, anti-corporate laws were passed, which virtually prohibited a corporation or bank from owning title to land zoned as farmland. These laws, which still exist today, and which have upheld by both the State and Federal court systems, make it almost impossible to foreclose on farmland, as even after foreclosure, the property title cannot be held by a bank or mortgage company. Thus, virtually every farm in existence today in North Dakota, is still a "family-owned" farm. As a result, CBS News has reported that the state with the highest per capita percentage of millionaires is North Dakota.

A round of federal construction projects began in the 1950s including the Garrison Dam, and the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force bases. There was a boom in oil exploration in western North Dakota in the 1980s, as rising petroleum prices made development profitable. The original North Dakota State Capitol burned to the ground on December 28, 1930, and was replaced by a limestone faced art deco skyscraper that still stands today.

From fewer than 3,000 people in 1870, North Dakota's population grew to near 680,000 by 1930. Growth then slowed, and the population has fluctuated slightly over the next seven decades, hitting a low of 617,761 in the 1970 census, with a total of 642,200 in the 2000 census. The United States Census Bureau, as of July 1, 2008, estimated North Dakota's population at 641,481, which represents a decrease of 714, or 0.1%, since the last census in 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 20,460 people (that is 67,788 births minus 47,328 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 17,787 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 3,323 people, and migration within the country produced a net loss of 21,110 people. The age and gender distributions approximate the national average. Besides Native Americans, North Dakota's minority groups still form a significantly smaller proportion of the population than in the nation as a whole. The center of population of North Dakota is located in Wells County, near Sykeston.

Since the 1990s, North Dakota has experienced virtually constant decline in population, particularly among younger people with university degrees. One of the major causes of emigration in North Dakota looms from a lack of skilled jobs for graduates. Some propose the expansion of economic development programs to create skilled and high-tech jobs, but the effectiveness of such programs has been open to debate.

As the issue is common to several High Plains states, federal politicians including Senator Byron Dorgan, have proposed The New Homestead Act of 2007 to encourage living in areas losing population through incentives such as tax breaks.

Most North Dakotans are of Northern European descent. The six largest ancestry groups in North Dakota are: German (43.9%), Norwegian (30.1%), Irish (7.7%), Native American (5%), Swedish (5%) and French 4%.

2.47% of the population aged 5 and older speak German at home, while 1.37% speak Spanish, according to the 2000 U.S. Census.

North Dakota has the lowest percentage of non-religious people of any state, and it also has the most churches per capita of any state.

A 2001 survey indicated that 35% of North Dakota's population was Lutheran, and 30% was Roman Catholic. Other religious groups represented were Methodists (7%), Baptists (6%), the Assembly of God (3%), and Jehovah's Witness (1%). Christians with unstated or other denominational affiliations, including other Protestants, totaled 3%, bringing the total Christian population to 86%. Non-Christian religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, together represented 4% of the population. Three percent of respondents answered "no religion" on the survey, and 6% refused to answer.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 179,349; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 174,554; and the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod with 23,720.

North Dakota's major fine art museums and venues include the Chester Fritz Auditorium, Empire Arts Center, the Fargo Theatre, North Dakota Museum of Art, and the Plains Art Museum. The Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, Greater Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra and Minot Symphony Orchestra are full-time professional and semi-professional musical ensembles that perform concerts and offer educational programs to the community.

North Dakotan musicians of many genres include blues guitarist Jonny B. Lang, country music singer Lynn Anderson, jazz and traditional pop singer and songwriter Peggy Lee, big band leader Lawrence Welk, and pop singer Bobby Vee. The state is also home to two groups of the Indie rock genre that have become known on a national scale: GodheadSilo (originally from Fargo, but later relocated to Olympia, Washington and became signed to the Kill Rock Stars label) and June Panic (also of Fargo, signed to Secretly Canadian).

Ed Schultz is known around the country as the host of progressive talk radio show The Ed Schultz Show, and Shadoe Stevens hosted American Top 40 from 1988 to 1995. Josh Duhamel is an Emmy Award-winning actor known for his roles in All My Children and Las Vegas. Nicole Linkletter and CariDee English were winning contestants of Cycles 5 and 7, respectively, of America's Next Top Model. Kellan Lutz has appeared in movies such as Stick It, Accepted, Prom Night, and Twilight.

North Dakota cuisine includes Knoephla soup: a thick, stew-like chicken soup with dumplings, lutefisk: lye-treated fish, Kuchen: a pie-like pastry, lefse: a flat bread made from mashed potatoes that is eaten with butter and sugar, Fleischkuekle, a deep fried entree of ground beef covered in dough, and served with chips and a pickle in most restaurants; strudel: a dough-and-filling item that can either be made as a pastry, or a savory dish with onions or meat; and other traditional German and Norwegian dishes. North Dakota also shares concepts such as hot dishes along with other Midwestern states.

Along with having the most churches per capita of any state, North Dakota has the highest percentage of church-going population of any state.

Native American traditions are practiced by the Native American population of North Dakota, especially on Indian reservations. Pow-wows and traditional Native American dancing are found across the state.

Outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing are hobbies for many North Dakotans. Ice fishing and snowmobiling are also popular during the winter months. Residents of North Dakota may own or visit a cabin along a lake. Popular sport fish include walleye, perch, and northern pike.

Agriculture is the largest industry in North Dakota, although petroleum and food processing are also major industries. The economy of North Dakota had a gross domestic product of $24 billion in 2005. The per capita income in 2006 was $33,034, ranked 29th in the nation. The three-year median household income from 2002-2004 was $39,594, ranking 37 in the U.S. North Dakota is also the only state with a state owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota in Bismarck, and a state owned flour mill, the North Dakota Mill and Elevator in Grand Forks.

North Dakota's earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture. Although less than 10% of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, it remains a major part of the state's economy, ranking 24th in the nation in the value of products sold. The state is the largest producer in the U.S. of barley, sunflower seeds, spring, and durum wheat for processing, and farm-raised turkeys.

Coal mines generate 93% of the North Dakota electricity. Oil was discovered near Tioga, North Dakota in 1951, generating 53 million barrels (8,400,000 m3) of oil a year by 1984. Western North Dakota is currently in an oil boom: the Tioga, Stanley and Minot-Burlington communities are experiencing rapid growth. The oil reserves may hold up to 400 billion barrels (6.4×1010 m3) of oil, 25 times larger than the reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. However, a report issued in April 2008 by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the oil recoverable by current technology in the Bakken formation is two orders of magnitude less, in the range of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels, with a mean of 3.65 billion.

The Great Plains area, which North Dakota is apart of, is called the "Saudi Arabia" of wind energy, North Dakota has the capability of producing 1.2 billion kilowatt hours of energy. That is enough to power 25% of the entire country's energy needs. Wind energy in North Dakota is also very cost effective because the state has large rural expanses and wind speeds seldom go below 10 mph (16 km/h).

North Dakota has a slightly progressive income tax structure; the five brackets of state income tax rates are 2.1%, 3.92% 4.34%, 5.04%, and 5.54% as of 2004. North Dakota is ranked as the 21st highest in the nation for their capitals' total state taxes. The sales tax in North Dakota is 5% for most items. The state allows municipalities to institute local sales taxes and special local taxes, such as the 1.75% supplemental sales tax in Grand Forks. Excise taxes are levied on the purchase price or market value of aircraft registered in North Dakota. The state imposes a use tax on items purchased elsewhere but used within North Dakota. Owners of real property in North Dakota pay property tax to their county, municipality, school district, and special taxing districts.

Transportation in North Dakota is overseen by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The major Interstate highways are Interstate 29 and Interstate 94, with I-29 and I-94 meeting at Fargo, with I-29 oriented north to south along the eastern edge of the state, and I-94 bisecting the state from east to west between Minnesota and Montana. The largest rail systems in the state are operated by BNSF and the Canadian Pacific Railway. Many branch lines formerly used by BNSF and Canadian Pacific Railway are now operated by the Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad and the Red River Valley and Western Railroad.

North Dakota's principal airports are the Hector International Airport (FAR) in Fargo, Grand Forks International Airport (GFK), Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS), and the Minot International Airport (MOT).

Amtrak's Empire Builder runs through North Dakota, making stops at Fargo (2:13 am westbound, 3:35 am eastbound), Grand Forks (4:52 am westbound, 12:57 am eastbound), Minot (around 9 am westbound and around 9:30 pm eastbound), and four other stations. It is the descendant of the famous line of the same name run by the Great Northern Railway, which was built by the tycoon James J. Hill and ran from St. Paul to Seattle. Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound and Jefferson Lines. Public transit in North Dakota is currently limited to bus systems in the larger cities.

As with the federal government of the United States, power in North Dakota is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

The executive branch is headed by the governor. The current governor is John Hoeven, a Republican whose first term began December 15, 2000, and who was re-elected in 2004 and 2008. The current Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota is Jack Dalrymple, who is also the President of the Senate. The offices of governor and lieutenant governor have four-year terms. The governor has a cabinet consisting of the leaders of various state government agencies, called commissioners. The other elected constitutional offices are secretary of state, attorney general, and state auditor.

The North Dakota Legislative Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state has 47 districts. Each district has one senator and two representatives. Both senators and representatives are elected to four year terms. The state's legal code is named the North Dakota Century Code.

North Dakota's court system has four levels. Municipal courts serve the cities, and most cases start in the district courts, which are courts of general jurisdiction. There are 42 district court judges in seven judicial districts. Appeals from the trial courts and challenges to certain governmental decisions are heard by the North Dakota Court of Appeals, consisting of three-judge panels. The five-justice North Dakota Supreme Court hears all appeals from the district courts and the Court of Appeals.

There are three Sioux, one Three Affiliated Tribes, and one Ojibwa reservations in North Dakota. These communities are self-governing.

North Dakota's two United States senators are Democrats Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan. The state has one at-large congressional district represented by Democrat House Earl Pomeroy.

Federal court cases are heard in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, which holds court in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot. Appeals are heard by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis, Missouri.

The major political parties in North Dakota are the Democratic-NPL and the Republican Party. As of 2007, the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party are also organized parties in the state.

At the state level, the governorship has been held by the Republican Party since 1992, along with a majority of the state legislature and statewide officers. Dem-NPL showings were strong in the 2000 governor's race, and in the 2006 legislative elections, but the League has not had a major breakthrough since the administration of former state governor George Sinner.

The Republican Party presidential candidate usually carries the state; in 2004, George W. Bush won with 62.9% of the vote. Of all the Democratic presidential candidates since 1892, only Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson received Electoral College votes from North Dakota.

On the other hand, Dem-NPL candidates for North Dakota's federal Senate and Congressional seats have won every election since 1982, and the state's federal delegation has been entirely Democratic since 1986.

The North Dakota Constitution expressly prohibits the display of statuary, representing any actual person, on state-owned property. The single exception is for the life-size statue of Sakakawea which sits directly in front of the state capitol building in Bismarck.

Bismarck, located in south-central North Dakota along the banks of the Missouri River, has been North Dakota's capital city since 1883, first as capital of the Dakota Territory, and then as state capital since 1889. Bismarck however, was not originally the first choice to be the capital of the new state. While Bismarck had served adequately as the territorial capital, it was felt by many that the state's capital city should be moved eastward since then, as now, the majority of North Dakotans lived in the eastern half of the state. To that end, Jamestown was chosen as the new capital, and the state's official records were moved to Jamestown, and stored in the then-new Stutsman County Court House, in preparation for the first session of the North Dakota Legislature. Before the legislators had a chance to gather however, a small group of civic-minded Bismarck residents, disgruntled over the loss of prestige which the impending change meant to their community, rode on horseback the 100 miles to Jamestown in a January blizzard, broke into the court house, stole the state records, and made it back to Bismarck with them, staying just ahead of a pursuing posse. Once the records were back in Bismarck, they were essentially "held hostage", until the legislature agreed to meet in Bismarck. Faced with the "fait accompli", the legislators had no choice but to convene in Bismarck; and, as the Bismarck citizens had hoped for, once there, simply decided it was too much work to change the status quo. In an effort to extract some dignity from the situation however, the legislature refused to formally vote to establish Bismarck as the state capital city. Thus, while Bismarck remains the North Dakota state capital to this day, there is no actual statute, law or constitutional clause placing it there, although the state capitol building is, by law, mandated to be in Bismarck.

North Dakota's most populous city is Fargo. The state has five cities with populations above 15,000 (based on 2005 estimates). In descending order they are Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, and Jamestown. While North Dakota's population has seen a gradual rural decline, the migration has led to growth in its urban centers.

The state has 11 public colleges and universities, five tribal community colleges, and four private schools. The largest institutions are University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University.

North Dakota's media markets are Fargo-Grand Forks, (119th largest nationally), making up the eastern half of the state, and Minot-Bismarck (158th), making up the western half of the state. Prairie Public Television (PPTV) is a statewide public television network affiliated with PBS.

Broadcast television in North Dakota started on April 3, 1953, when KCJB-TV (now KXMC-TV) in Minot began broadcasting. There are currently 28 analog broadcast stations and 18 digital channels broadcast over North Dakota.

The state's largest newspaper is The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Other weekly and monthly publications (most of which are fully supported by advertising) are also available. The most prominent of these is the alternative weekly High Plains Reader, which covers Fargo and Grand Forks.

Prairie Public is a statewide radio network affiliated with National Public Radio. The state's oldest radio station, WDAY-AM, was launched on May 23, 1922. The Forum Communications owned station is still on the air, and currently broadcasts a news/talk format.

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Ed Schafer

Ed Schafer

Edward Thomas "Ed" Schafer (born August 8, 1946) served as the 29th United States Secretary of Agriculture from 2008 to 2009. He also served as the Governor of North Dakota from 1992 to 2000.

Schafer was born and raised in Bismarck, North Dakota, and is the son of businessman Harold Schafer. His sister, Pam Schafer, was the first wife of Democratic-NPL U.S. Senator Kent Conrad.

His educational background includes a bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota, where he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, and an M.B.A. from the University of Denver. Following graduation, he went to work at the Gold Seal Company, a North Dakota-based manufacturing company owned by his father, eventually serving as company president from 1978 to 1985.

Ed was the captian of the High Flyers on the show Junkyard Wars. Schafer was on during the fifth season of the show and won 2nd Place whn the team lost to the Jet Doctors in the Season five finale.

In 1990, Schafer unsuccessfully challenged then-U.S. Congressman Byron Dorgan's reelection bid capturing 35% of the vote, to Dorgan's 65%. He was elected as North Dakota's 30th Governor in 1992, and subsequently won reelection in 1996. He did not seek reelection in 2000. During his final year in office, he served as Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

In 2004, he declined to run for United States Senate against Dem-NPLer Byron Dorgan despite calls from national Republican leaders including President George W. Bush.

In 2002, Schafer was appointed as Civilian Aide to the United States Secretary of the Army. He also appeared in 2003 with his team, The High Flyers, as a contestant in the American TV Series Junkyard Wars. Schafer was formerly the CEO of Extend America, a start-up wireless communications company. He was a frequent guest host of the "Hot Talk" program on WDAY-AM in Fargo, North Dakota. Prior to his appointment to the cabinet, Schafer also served as an advisor and sometimes spokesperson for the North Dakota chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a nationwide limited-government/pro-growth organization.

On October 31, 2007 Schafer was nominated by President Bush to be the next Secretary of Agriculture. His hearing was originally scheduled for January 30, 2008, but was moved to January 24 on the request of North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad so that Schafer could attend the State of the Union address as a cabinet member. The hearing was held on January 24; it was friendly, with Senators asking Gov. Schafer questions on various topics such as US beef exports to Japan and South Korea, the Department of Agriculture's ability to deliver on programs passed by Congress, policy on sugar, and cotton prices. On January 28, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Schafer was in office just several days when a major scandal concerning cruelty and unsafe food erupted in the wake of an investigation of the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company by the Humane Society of the United States. In late February, in testimony before a subcommittee of the Senate Agriculture Committee, he took the position that there was no need for a ban on downed cattle in the food supply.

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United States Senate election in North Dakota, 2006


The 2006 U.S. Senate election for the state of North Dakota was held November 7, 2006. The incumbent Dem-NPL Senator Kent Conrad sought and received re-election to his fourth term.

Popular Republican governor John Hoeven was heavily recruited by prominent national Republicans, including Karl Rove and Dick Cheney to run against Conrad. SurveyUSA polls showed that both Conrad and Hoeven had among the highest approval ratings of any Senators and governors in the nation. A poll conducted by PMR (8/26-9/3 MoE 3.9) for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead had as result for a hypothetical matchup: Hoeven-35%, Conrad-27%, Uncommitted-38%. This poll showed voter conflict between two very popular politicians in a small state where party loyalty is often trumped by personality. In late September 2005, Hoeven formally declined .

The filing deadline for major party candidates was April 17, 2006; the primary was on June 13, 2006. Only Conrad filed as a Dem-NPLer, and the endorsed Republican candidate was farmer Dwight Grotberg, who has not previously run a statewide political campaign. .

Conrad and Grotberg won the primary elections for their respective parties.

Conrad won at least 53% of the vote in every county in the state.

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Source : Wikipedia