445 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.

    345: A pro-life Democrat on North Dakota's statewide ballot speaks out

    345: A pro-life Democrat on North Dakota's statewide ballot speaks out

    Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a pro-life Democrat.
    There are pro-choice Republicans too, of course, but on this episode of Plain Talk, it was Mark Haugen, the Democratic-NPL candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, who is staunchly pro-life, who we were speaking to.
    Haugen's party leaders have described the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade as "evil," but Haugen isn't too worried about that. "Pat's a good friend of mine," he said, referring to party chairman Patrick Hart, and adding that they'd discussed the matter.
    Still, Haugen feels it's important to remember that pro-life Democrats are a part of the party. "Are we the minority? Absolutely. But that's democracy," he said. "I have to work hard at explaining my position.
    Haugen describes that position as being "whole life," arguing that Democrats should focus on social assistance policies to help mothers and children.
    Wednesday co-host Chad Oban and I also discussed the political ramifications of overturning Roe v. Wade, both locally and nationally, as well as the latest revelations of the January 6 committee.
    Want to be notified of new episodes of Plain Talk? Subscribe, for free, on the podcast platform of your choice.
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org

    • 1 hr 4 min
    344: Wrigley will certify ND's bipartisan (you read that right) abortion ban "in a matter of hours"

    344: Wrigley will certify ND's bipartisan (you read that right) abortion ban "in a matter of hours"

    Minot, N.D. — You couldn't possibly have missed the news that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the Roe v. Wade precedent which held that it was unconstitutional for state governments to ban abortion.
    The ruling was unambiguous.
    "The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion," the court ruled. "Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives."
    North Dakota, like many other states, has legislation regulating abortion which was written so that it would take effect should the Roe precedent be overturned. On this episode of Plain Talk, the state official responsible for making that determination, Attorney General Drew Wrigley, says we can expect his decision imminently.
    "I expect to be announcing that decision in a matter...of hours not days," he said, adding that he doesn't expect to make the announcement today, but it's coming soon.
    That's not surprising given how clear the Supreme Court was in their opinion.
    Wrigley noted that while researching the issue, he was surprised to see that the 2007 "trigger bill" banning abortion was bipartisan. It was "even sponsored by a Democrat," he noticed.
    The bill in question was House Bill 1466, and its primary sponsor was former Rep. James Kerzman, a Democrat. The other House co-sponsor was Rep. Ralph Metcalf, who was also a Democrat.
    Rep. Merle Boucher (a gubernatorial candidate in 2004), Rep. Bill Amerman, Sen. Joan Heckaman (the current Minority Leader), Sen. Richard Marcellais, and Sen. Tim Mathern were other notable Democrats who voted to pass the bill.
    In addition to the 2007 law, there is also a 2019 trigger bill that banned the most common type of surgical abortion, though Wrigley said that bill was largely moot given the 2007 law.
    Once these certifications are completed, Wrigley's office will focus on other bills regulating abortion that haven't been enforced because they've been enjoined by the courts based on the Roe decision. Among these are a ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected, regulation of the disposal of aborted babies, and a bill regulating hospital admissions for abortions.
    Wrigley also addressed the status of his inquiry into a land purchase made by a trust associated with billionaire Bill Gates. His office has sought information on the transaction, and the trust. If it's found to be in violation of a state prohibition on corporate farming, Wrigley says the trust will be required to divest itself of the property.

    • 20 min
    343: Sen. Kevin Cramer on gas prices, gun control, and the January 6 commission

    343: Sen. Kevin Cramer on gas prices, gun control, and the January 6 commission

    Sen. Kevin Cramer and I will never agree about former President Donald Trump.
    I think the man was a disgrace to his office. Cramer would be fine if we elected him president again. But one thing we agree on, as we discussed the on-going hearings of the congressional committee investigating the January 6 riot, is that Vice President Mike Pence was the hero of that story. He held his oath to the constitution higher than his loyalty to Trump, and that was a heroic act.
    Though I still can't fathom why Cramer, who sees Pence as the hero, can't recognize that Trump is the villain. But you'll have to listen to this episode of Plain Talk to hear him explain that.
    As to gas prices, the roots of our problems lay in the unwillingness of the American left to recognize that we still need oil, Our world runs on it. It's unavoidable. The efforts to put the oil industry out of business have only hamstrung its ability to deliver us a product that is vital to our economy and our quality of life. Gas prices are higher than they need to be because they're fighting a Sisyphean struggle against anti-oil politics.
    Cramer also discussed the gun control issue, which is much on the minds of Americans after shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York. Cramer's not a fan of red flag laws - he responded to some recent criticism of his argument that Republicans are more interested in winning "red wave" elections than in passing red flag laws - but he is open to steps that can be taken to address the potential for violent shooters.
    One idea he supports is allowing juvenile records to be used as disqualifiers in background checks for gun purchases.
    Want to be notified of new episodes of Plain Talk? Subscribe on the platform of your choice.

    • 46 min
    342: Recapping North Dakota's primary night

    342: Recapping North Dakota's primary night

    The North Dakota Republican Party, the dominant force in our state's politics, is deeply divided. If anyone was hoping that primary night, which saw that divide driving the debate in legislative competitions across the state, was going to resolve things they're in for a disappointment.
    Republicans across the state voted, and the NDGOP remains about as divided as ever.
    We talked about it on this episode of Plain Talk. First Jim Poolman, former insurance commissioner and former vice chairman of the NDGOP, joined Wednesday co-host Chad Oban and I, then Pat Finken, a long-time veteran of state politics and head of the Brighter Future Alliance, chimed in.
    Want to be notified when new episodes of Plain Talk drop? Subscribe, for free, on the podcasting platform of your choice.
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    341: Fargo mayoral candidate decries "media bias" in race

    341: Fargo mayoral candidate decries "media bias" in race

    Minot, N.D. — Shannon Roers Jones is a state lawmaker who is currently halfway through her second term representing Fargo-area District 46.
    She's also a candidate for mayor of Fargo, and she has been, arguably, the most visible candidate thanks in no small part to a political mugging her father got from the Fargo's city commissioners, including two of her opponents in the mayoral race.
    On this episode of Plain Talk, Roers Jones talks about what it would be like serving as a mayor and lawmaker (she hasn't decided if she'd do both if elected mayor), the claims that her mayoral duties, if elected, would clash with her career duties (she works for the family business, Roers Construction, as her day job), and what she describes as "media bias" in the local coverage of this race.
    "The Forum has chosen to publish only negative stories and only negative letters," Roers Jones claims, referring to the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, the flagship newspaper for Forum Communications, my employers.
    Want to be notified when new episodes of Plain Talk drop? Click here to subscribe, for free, on your favorite podcasting service.
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org.

    • 33 min
    340: What's causing inflation, and what can we do about it

    340: What's causing inflation, and what can we do about it

    Inflation is a real problem. It's making us poorer. Your wages aren't being cut, but the cost of living your life is growing faster than what you earn.
    Fuel prices are up. Utility bills are going higher. Groceries cost more. Hell, everything costs more.
    But the subject of inflation is a lot more complicated than what's presented by the politicians and the pundits. On this episode of Plain Talk, Dr. David Flynn, a professor of economics at the University of North Dakota, discussed what's causing inflation, and what can do about it.
    One of the hardest parts of talking about this subject is that there's many different causes that necessitate many solutions. Interest rates are part of the solution, but then so is trade policy. How can we ease supply line snaggles? How can we shorten supply lines? How can we make our economy more nimble so that it can respond to change without necessarily driving up prices?
    And how do we drive the wage-price spiral? Where higher cost wages drive higher-cost goods and services which in turn creates demand for higher wages again? Earning more money is good, except it doesn't mean much when the cost of living is growing about as fast.
    Want to be notified when new episodes of Plain Talk drop? Subscribe, for free, on just about any podcast service you can think of.
    Forum Communications Company is proud to be a part of the Trust Project. Learn more at thetrustproject.org.

    • 33 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

Top Podcasts In News

The New York Times
The Daily Wire
NPR
The Daily Wire
Serial Productions
Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

You Might Also Like

MWC
Barstool Sports
Comfortably Smug, Josh Holmes, Michael Duncan, John Ashbrook
PodcastOne / Carolla Digital
Cumulus Podcast Network | Dan Bongino
The Daily Wire