435 episodes

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Rob Port 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 Forum Communications Co.

    • News
    • 4.2 • 37 Ratings

Plain Talk is a podcast hosted by Rob Port focusing on political news and current events in North Dakota. Rob Port 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.

    335: This North Dakotan got a 2021 World Series ring

    335: This North Dakotan got a 2021 World Series ring

    Minot, N.D. — In 2021 the Atlanta Braves won the World Series.
    Among those receiving a ring? Scott Davis from right here in North Dakota.
    Davis spent years serving our state as the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. He's in the private sector now, helping private organizations with their outreach to Native American communities, and some of that work has been for the Atlanta Braves.
    That team has a Native American-themed nickname, and those have been controversial. Davis has been working with the team to find common ground and support from Indian Country, and for that work the team gave him a ring.
    Davis talked about what it was like to receive that honor on this episode of Plain Talk. He also spoke about a major new initiative he helped broker between the Braves and the 7G Foundation, an organization that works to mold the next "seven generations" (that's where the name comes from) of Native American leaders through education and sports.
    The Braves will be hosting the Native American All-Star Baseball Showcase at Truist Park from July 16 - 17. High school baseball players of Native American descent from around the country will participate.
    Davis says it's a way for baseball to find new talent, and fun opportunity for Native American players. He thinks the major league teams, including the Braves, are going to find some prospects at the game. Players interested in participating can register at the 7G Foundation website.
    You can read the full press release for the game here.
    Want to be notified of new episodes of Plain Talk? Click here to subscribe, for free, on your favorite podcasting platform.
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org.

    • 26 min
    334: The Uvalde shooting, and a proposal to cut ND property taxes in half

    334: The Uvalde shooting, and a proposal to cut ND property taxes in half

    MINOT, N.D. — Terrible news from Texas. Another mass shooting, this one taking the lives of 21 people, 19 of them school children.
    My Wednesday co-host Chad Oban and I discuss the shooting, the reaction, and the exhausting debate we have after every one of these incidents on this episode of Plain Talk.
    Also, Roscoe Streyle, a Republican primary candidate for the state House in District 3, discusses an idea he has to cut the state's property taxes in half.
    Would it be permanent relief? How do we keep local governments from back-filling the state's relief with new tax hikes? How do we ensure that our schools and other local services continue to be adequately funded?
    Streyle answers those questions, and also discusses what it's like to be running in a contested legislative primary in a divided North Dakota Republican Party.
    Want to be notified about new episodes of Plain Talk? Subscribe, for free, on your favorite podcasting platform.
     
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org

    • 59 min
    333: This Republican Sec. of State candidate says he's "not sure" about 2020 election outcome

    333: This Republican Sec. of State candidate says he's "not sure" about 2020 election outcome

    Minot, N.D. — Marvin Lepp would like to be North Dakota's next secretary of state.
    He's running as a Republican, though he said on this episode of Plain Talk that the office "really ought to be nonpartisan, and he's running on election integrity.
    He said he got more involved in politics in recent years during the debates over pandemic-era policies like business closings and mask mandates, and when he was thinking about running for office, decided secretary of state seemed like a good fit.
    He didn't seek the NDGOP's endorsement at the party's state convention earlier this year because he said his is a single-family home - he works in auto service and his wife is a homemaker - and it was a decision that was a difficult one to make.
    How can our elections be better? Lepp says North Dakota's election machines are running on antiquated software. He said there are questions about the mobile hotspots election workers use. He also said he's spoken to poll workers who told him that the company which manages North Dakota's election machines was able to remotely log into them to fix a firmware issue, something he feels raises security concerns, though he admitted he hadn't verified this claim.
    Does he think President Joe Biden won the 2020 election? Former President Donald Trump and his movement have made that a litmus test question for Republicans nationally. "He won in North Dakota," Lepp told me, referring to Trump. As for elsewhere, Lepp said he's "not sure" because there are "too many" questions lingering.
    Lepp also spoke about the non-election portions of the secretary of state job, including managing business filings and serving on important state boards such as the State Industrial Commission and the Land Board.
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    • 39 min
    332: Dem Sec. of State candidate says "election integrity" is Republican code for "voter suppression"

    332: Dem Sec. of State candidate says "election integrity" is Republican code for "voter suppression"

    Jeffrey Powell is an administrator at Mayville State University and the Democratic-NPL candidate for Secretary of State. He was endorsed by the party's executive committee (he made a late decision to run so didn't attend the party's state convention in Minot) and in November will be facing off against one of two potential Republican candidates.
    State Rep. Michael Howe is squaring off with Bismarck mechanic Marvin Lepp in the NDGOP primary.
    Powell has been watching that race, and on this episode of Plain Talk, said it frustrates him when the Republican candidates talk about "election integrity," arguing that's a "code word for voter suppression."
    He said the primary job of a Secretary of State is to protect the right of the people to vote, and accused Republican lawmakers of enacting laws to suppress votes in past legislative sessions.
    Powell also spoke about running as a Democrat in a state that has become deeply Republican over the last couple of decades. He said there is a "sense of fear" among Democrats who think about running for office in North Dakota. He acknowledged that both Republicans and Democrats have become more extreme in recent years, but that the alleged danger is "more keenly felt by people who are more likely to be Democrats."
    Powell said he hasn't personally felt any danger in running for office.
    Also on this episode, Dickinson-based oil worker Riley Kuntz, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Senator John Hoeven for the NDGOP's primary nomination, spoke about why he decided to mount what he admits is a long-shot bid to defeat one of North Dakota's most popular political figures.
    He said he was disappointed state Rep. Rick Becker, who challenged Hoeven at the NDGOP's state convention, wasn't successful and felt he had to continue the challenge to Hoeven.
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    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org.

    • 57 min
    331: On the midterms, and North Dakota's legislative primaries

    331: On the midterms, and North Dakota's legislative primaries

    This year's primaries, from local legislative races to the national midterms, are in many ways a referendum on the influence of disgraced former President Donald Trump and his movement's on-going influence on the GOP.
    What did we learn after this week's primary elections? And the fundraising numbers we're seeing in North Dakota's Republican legislative primaries so far?
    We talked about it on this episode of Plain Talk. Matt Lewis, senior columnist for the Daily Beast and host of the Matt Lewis and the News podcast, joined to discuss the national races. Wednesday co-host Chad Oban and I discussed the more local races, where traditional or "establishment" legislative candidates seem to have an edge.
    Want to be notified of new episodes? Subscribe to Plain Talk on your favorite podcasting service.
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org.

    • 57 min
    330: North Dakota's regional haze debate and a Fargo City Commission candidate

    330: North Dakota's regional haze debate and a Fargo City Commission candidate

    When it comes to regulating air quality - both in terms of health and cosmetic measures like visibility - North Dakota does an excellent job.
    We have some of the cleanest air in the nation. Ours is one of only four states to have never violated a federal air quality standard protecting health or the environment. We've been building on that excellent record too. "Since 2002, total emissions from coal-powered electricity generation plants in North Dakota were reduced by 102,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, or 72%, and 41,600 tons of nitrogen oxide, down 55%," Patrick Springer reported last month.
    Despite this, the Biden administration argues that North Dakota's state-level management of regional haze isn't good enough. They want to layer more federal regulations on top through the EPA's Regional Haze Program.
    Mack McGuffey, an attorney who specializes in this area of environmental policy and is representing North Dakota's Lignite Energy Council, joined this episode of Plain Talk to discuss the issue. He and his client are encouraging the public to provide public comment to the EPA, something you can do through CleanAirND.com, a website set up by the LEC to inform and facilitate that process.
    Matour Alier, who is running for the Fargo City Commission, also joined this episode. We talked about his objections to a recent column of mine that was critical of him, how a local candidate can stand out in a field of 15 contenders, and his experiences as a refugee who went from living in a camp for a decade to being a home owner in North Dakota.
    Click here to subscribe to Plain Talk on your favorite podcasting service.
    "Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org."

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

Farmirs ,

Great local ND political podcast!

Love it! Great content, direct delivery, thoughtful conversations and dare I say educational. I especially love the Wednesday show with Chad Oban’s contrasting political commentary.

Sdog4127 ,

Welcomed Intelligent and Fair Conversation

Open, Low Bias, but upfront about it. All facts, and minimal emotional opinion that is scarce from our Media currently.

Mysterio. ,

Trash

Another copy/paste original thought-free right wing blabfest

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