INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 19, 2012, 10:28 PM

Political corruption potential high in North Dakota, according to latest report

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Political watchdog organizations are ganging up on North Dakota, releasing a report saying the government has one of the highest rates of potential corruption.

Political watchdog organizations are ganging up on North Dakota, releasing a report saying the government has one of the highest rates of potential corruption. The reason this report is so shocking is because the grade North Dakota gets is an F, one of the worse in the country.

State Representative Thomas Beadle – (R) North Dakota: "I don't know if I was necessarily surprised, and when I say that, it's not that I think we have problems in our state, it's a lot of the stuff they are critiquing us on does not apply."

One of the reports biggest red flags is that North Dakota doesn't have an ethics commission. It was shot down again last Legislative session, mostly by Republicans. State Representative Thomas Beadle says it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Thomas Beadle: "We haven't had an issue with ethics complaints with our state, so we haven't felt the need to create an additional level of bureaucracy."

Democratic State Representative Scot Kelsh disagrees.

State Representative Scot Kelsh – (D) North Dakota: ":egislature is firmly in Republican control, and I don't think that's healthy. I am not saying that happens, but there may be the tendency to look the other way."

Another report card red flag is the lack of laws about campaign funding.

Scot Kelsh: "Let the voters know who is supporting whom, who is behind this funding and financing, and some of these efforts."

Thomas Beadle: "We can do a little tightening up with that, that being said in a North Dakota legislative race, you are raising significantly less money than you are in most other districts."

One thing both representatives agreed on is that without legislative staff there's plenty of access to politicians.

Senator Judy Lee says North Dakota has one of the broadest sunshine laws in the state, with most public files and records posted online.

Tags: