99 episodes

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by blogger and columnist Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Host Rob Port writes SayAnythingBlog.com, North Dakota’s most popular and influential political blog, and is a columnist for the Forum News Service published in papers including the Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun, Minot Daily News, and the Dickinson Press.

Plain Talk With Rob Port Rob Port

    • Politics

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by blogger and columnist Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Host Rob Port writes SayAnythingBlog.com, North Dakota’s most popular and influential political blog, and is a columnist for the Forum News Service published in papers including the Fargo Forum, Grand Forks Herald, Jamestown Sun, Minot Daily News, and the Dickinson Press.

    Jay Thomas Show 06-22-20

    Jay Thomas Show 06-22-20

    Rob and Jay talk about mobs tearing down statues across the United States.

    • 51 min
    175: "He liked watching him on the shows"

    175: "He liked watching him on the shows"

    "He liked watching him on the shows."
    That's what Senator Kevin Cramer said on this episode of Plain Talk, responding to a question about why President Donald Trump would have hired John Bolton in the first place.
    Bolton is currently peddling some salacious stories about his tenure in the Trump administration, and that has earned him quite a bit of condemnation from Republicans, up to and including the President himself. But Bolton is hardly the first member of the Trump administration to depart under stormy circumstances, and while the President doesn't have anything nice to say about them, the fact remains that he hired them in the first place.
    Per Cramer, Bolton apparently got his job because he had a "bareknuckle" style during his cable news appearances.
    Cramer also addressed the NDGOP's Treasurer race, which saw state Rep. Thomas Beadle emerge as the winner over the Senator's preferred candidate Dan Johnston. Cramer helped orchestrate an endorsement for Johnston from Trump, but that wasn't enough to put him over the top.
    "I'm still glad I supported him," Cramer said of Johnston. Asked if Johnston's loss is an indication that  Trump has lost popularity in North Dakota, Cramer said "no, not at all."
    Would Cramer be open to making Juneteenth a national holiday?
    "I'm not ready to do that, but I'm open to the discussion," he said, adding that he'd like to review all major holidays to ensure that the calendar isn't getting too full of federally-recognized days.

    • 40 min
    174: Democrats call for a special session

    174: Democrats call for a special session

    Does North Dakota need a special session?
    House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, a Democratic lawmaker from Fargo, thinks so. He is one of a group of Democratic lawmakers who are requesting a special session to address the impacts of the coronavirus.
    One major issue Boschee would like handed is some $1.25 billion in federal funding North Dakota is receiving to help address the COVID-19 situation. As it stands now, the executive branch will decide how that money is spent, specifically, and the Legislature's Budget Section Committee will say "yea" or "nay" to the decision.
    That committee can't do anything more than that. If they do, it would be unconstitutional, since a mere committee of the Legislature cannot, on its own, legislate. Also, membership on that committee is limited. Many parts of the state have no representation on it.
    Boschee thinks the whole Legislature should get to weigh in on the issue, as well as other problems facing the state, such as looming budget shortfalls and public health policy.

    • 31 min
    Jay Thomas Show 06-15-20

    Jay Thomas Show 06-15-20

    Rob and Jay talk about another billionaire-backed initiated measure for North Dakota, though this one is being pitched under false pretenses.

    • 37 min
    173: Can they be sued for trying to be a good Samaritan?

    173: Can they be sued for trying to be a good Samaritan?

    Both North Dakota and the nation are grappling with the task of returning our society to some semblance of normal while still keeping in place appropriate measures to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
    On this episode of Plain Talk, Arik Spencer from the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce talks about some protections his organization feels business owners need to help them get back to employing their employees and serving the public.
    He noted that many businesses, like restaurants as one example, are afraid to re-open out of fear they'll be liable if an outbreak of coronavirus happens in one of their facilities. Similarly, businesses that shifted their work over to producing things needed during the pandemic - breweries, for instance, which started making hand sanitizer - are worried they could be sued if those products, which they don't typically produce, were faulty.
    "Can they be sued for trying to be a good Samaritan?" Spencer asked.
    What he'd like to see is legislation, preferably at the federal level but also at the state level if need be, which would protect businesses that acted in good faith from liability.
    Spencer says he's heard from some of his members in North Dakota that law firms are advertising looking for clients who feel they were impacted by coronavirus. A law making it clear that businesses which followed the government's guidelines are protected from liability would help our state, and the nation, get back to work.
    "Let's not inhibit them anymore. Let's get people back to work," Spencer said.

    • 21 min
    172: Insulting to North Dakotans

    172: Insulting to North Dakotans

    "To say that money buys elections in North Dakota is a little bit insulting to the people of North Dakota," Governor Doug Burgum said on this episode of Plain Talk.
    He was addressing a question about the criticism he's faced for spending millions, much of it his own money, on promoting his preferred slate of candidates in the North Dakota Republican Party's recent primary election.
    "There's so much more than money in politics," he added, arguing that the candidates he backed won because they persuaded voters.
    "People win in North Dakota when they've got the right message," he continued.
    Some have suggested there is growing discord between Burgum and Senator Kevin Cramer, a fellow Republican. These suggestions have sometimes come with speculation that Burgum might challenge Cramer for his Senate seat.
    "I'm trying not to laugh," Burgum said when I asked him about that, saying he would not ever think of challenging Cramer.
    In fact, he's not interested in a job in Congress under any circumstances. "The last thing in the world I would want to be is a Senator or Congressman," he said.

    • 24 min

Top Podcasts In Politics

Listeners Also Subscribed To