One of the first memories I have from my childhood relating to a cemetery was a stern warning to respect the dead in their graves in solemnity, because behaving without a decorum of reverence was disrespectful. Which included instructions of where you should walk, how loud you should talk and sage advice that most visitors are there grieving or on a journey searching for lost ancestors in their family tree.
When SB 2311 initially passed 24-21, North Dakota had a cemetery bill that would preserve sacred grounds and ensure that every man, woman, child, ethnic group and veteran would have their final resting places respectfully observed.
However, Fargo’s self-centered political machine felt that the bill would interfere with the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project. Which, in and of itself, is an indirect admission by Fargo that they are aware they are intentionally desecrating cemeteries without just cause or consequence.
In its simplest form, SB 2311 wasn’t just about cemeteries in the Red River Valley upstream of Fargo, ND tied to a multi-billion dollar development project. It was a bill that included all North Dakota cemeteries from west to east, but also impacts several in Minnesota as well. The bill was to ensure that any proposed construction of a highway, dam, reservoir, or other project to be paid for with public funds, that is likely to disturb a human burial site, would require the state department of health and the state historical society to schedule a public hearing to allow public comment regarding the disturbed burial site. And before any project may commence, the governmental entity conducting the project shall implement a cultural resource mitigation plan approved by the director of the state historical society.
Simply a “public hearing”…, to ensure that ancestors that have passed are afforded a modicum of dignity and respect in their final resting places got pro-Fargo lawmakers worked up. Especially, when faced with brazen development projects and unabashed greed.
North Dakota Century Code 12.1-17-06. Criminal coercion.
1. A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if, with intent to compel another to engage in or refrain from conduct, he threatens to:
c. Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person, living or deceased, to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, or to impair another’s credit or business repute; or d. Take or withhold official action as a public servant or cause a public servant to take or withhold official action.
So what does that tell us about North Dakota lawmakers that voted to kill SB 2311 (The Cemetery Bill)?
It’s no surprise that Grafton Senator Tom Campbell voted against the bill. He also sits on the Choice Financial board of directors as chairman, with Choice Financial involved with the development of Eagle Pointe southeast of Davies H.S., listed as the mortgagee of blocks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5 with James R. Bullis, Carefree Investments, LLC.
But why would Senator’s Judy Lee and Mac Schneider go from desk to desk encouraging senators to reconsider and change the vote?
It’s a good thing that good old political arm twisting isn’t considered “coercion”…
But is manipulation of votes to compel an outcome any less despicable?
West Fargo Senator Judy Lee argued, with a shrill voice laced with hyperbole, against the bill and called it a “pre-emptive strike” against the diversion, however, that is simply pro-Fargo rhetoric intended to undermine and influence other senators into leaving all North Dakota cemeteries at risk of damages without consequences.
Whether or not Grand Forks Senator Mac Schneider is related to someone actively involved with the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project is up to you to decide. People do favors for each other all the time. The greater question is why would a Grand Forks Senator (Mac Schneider) abandon his constituents as a favor to Fargo, when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers alignment VE13A documentation indicates 41.64 inches more water (read more…) at Grand Forks, above the highest crest since construction of their city floodwalls?
So why is any bill, such as SB 2311 (The Cemetery Bill) even needed? Senate Bill 2311 was introduced because social morality has failed or been perverted by development greed.
Here is a list of North Dakota senators that refused to protect the sanctity of cemeteries:
Howard C. Anderson, Jr. voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Kelly M. Armstrong voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Tyler Axness voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Randall A. Burckhard voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Tom Campbell voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Jonathan Casper voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Kyle R. Davison voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Tim Flakoll voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
John Grabinger voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
David Hogue voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Ray Holmberg voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Karen K. Krebsbach voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Lonnie J. Laffen voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Gary A. Lee voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Judy Lee voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Richard Marcellais voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Tim Mathern voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Philip M. Murphy voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Carolyn C. Nelson voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Erin Oban voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Dave Oehlke voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Nicole Poolman voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
David S. Rust voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Mac Schneider voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
George Sinner voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Ronald Sorvaag voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Jessica Unruh voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Rich Wardner voted to disrespect ND cemeteries.
Here are six ND senators that flipped their vote:
D- John Grabinger, Jamestown, ND, District 12
R- Gary A. Lee, Casselton, ND, District 22
D- Erin Oban, Bismarck, ND, District 35
R- Dave Oehlke, Devils Lake, ND, District 15
R- Nicole Poolman, Bismarck, ND, District 7
R- Jessica Unruh, Beulah, ND, District 33
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Here are the ND senate voting records on SB 2311
|Senator||Address||City, State, Zip||VOTES|
|Howard C. Anderson, Jr.||2107 Seventh Street NW||Turtle Lake, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Kelly M. Armstrong||513 Elks Drive||Dickinson, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Tyler Axness||752 51st Street South||Fargo, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Brad Bekkedahl||418 12th Avenue West||Williston, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Bill L. Bowman||408 First Street SW||Bowman, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|Randall A. Burckhard||1837 15th Street SW||Minot, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Tom Campbell||15135 County Road 11||Grafton, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Ron Carlisle||P.O. Box 222||Bismarck, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Jonathan Casper||P.O. Box 6457||Fargo, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Dwight Cook||1408 17th Street SE||Mandan, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Kyle R. Davison||4918 Meadow Creek Drive South||Fargo, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Dick Dever||1416 Eastwood Street||Bismarck, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Jim Dotzenrod||P.O. Box 69||Wyndmere, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|Robert Erbele||6512 51st Avenue SE||Lehr, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Tim Flakoll||1350 Second Street North||Fargo, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|John Grabinger||1008 Eighth Avenue NE||Jamestown, ND email@example.com||YEA||FLIPPED||NAY|
|Joan Heckaman||322 Second Avenue North||New Rockford, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|David Hogue||P.O. Box 1000||Minot, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Ray Holmberg||621 High Plains Court||Grand Forks, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Ralph Kilzer||1982 Mesquite Loop||Bismarck, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Jerry Klein||P.O. Box 265||Fessenden, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|Karen K. Krebsbach||P.O. Box 1767||Minot, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Lonnie J. Laffen||3549 15th Avenue South||Grand Forks, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Oley Larsen||11051 20th Avenue SE||Minot, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Gary A. Lee||P.O. Box 3||Casselton, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||FLIPPED||NAY|
|Judy Lee||1822 Brentwood Court||West Fargo, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Larry Luick||17945 101st Street SE||Fairmount, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|Richard Marcellais||301 Laite Loop NE||Belcourt, ND email@example.com||NAY|
|Tim Mathern||429 16th Avenue South||Fargo, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Joe Miller||214 Harris Avenue North||Park River, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Philip M. Murphy||1212 Parke Avenue||Portland, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Carolyn C. Nelson||210 11th Street North #205||Fargo, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Erin Oban||1319 Apache Street||Bismarck, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||FLIPPED||NAY|
|David O’Connell||2624 County Road 30||Lansford, ND email@example.com||YEA||YEA|
|Dave Oehlke||125 Woodlea Drive||Devils Lake, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||FLIPPED||NAY|
|Nicole Poolman||6517 Misty Waters Drive||Bismarck, ND email@example.com||YEA||FLIPPED||NAY|
|Larry J. Robinson||3584 Sheyenne Circle||Valley City, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|David S. Rust||P.O. Box 1198||Tioga, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Donald Schaible||9115 Highway 21||Mott, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|Mac Schneider||1806 University Avenue||Grand Forks, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|George Sinner||1806 Rose Creek Drive South||Fargo, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||NAY||NAY|
|Ronald Sorvaag||3402 Birdie Street North||Fargo, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|Connie Triplett||1807 Willow Drive||Grand Forks, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA|
|Jessica Unruh||2108 Seventh Street NE||Beulah, ND email@example.com||YEA||FLIPPED||NAY|
|Terry M. Wanzek||900 Seventh Avenue SW||Jamestown, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
|Rich Wardner||1042 12th Avenue West||Dickinson, ND email@example.com||NAY||NAY|
|John M. Warner||33200 331st Avenue SW||Ryder, ND firstname.lastname@example.org||YEA||YEA|
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