Records matter. Not words.

Whether voting against tax increases, cutting wasteful spending, or reducing burdensome or unnecessary regulation from Century Code – I’ve done it. I’m proud of my record.

Unlike my opponent, Thomas Beadle, who is ranked among the least conservative Republicans in the state, I don’t have to hide from my record.

Accountability

In 2017, Beadle voted to eliminate the office he is now running for (HCR 3004). I believe it is shortsighted to remove the people’s elected position of Treasurer – potentially handing off its functions to an unelected bureaucracy –  so I voted differently.

While we should always find ways of cutting unnecessary government, that argument seems inconsistent coming from someone who does not have a fiscally-conservative voting record.

Additionally, he voted to handcuff the people's duly elected State Auditor and restrict his ability to conduct performance audits (SB 2004).

Opposing Tax Increases

All spending is a tax, something that I keep in mind with each and every vote. Each appropriation bill that goes beyond our constitutional needs translates to excess taxes – and my opponent has supported the vast majority of the spending growth of the state government.


Additionally, Beadle voted several times for excess taxes, even allowing cities to institute California-style plastic bags taxes (HB 1200). Our state has billions in funds, and while we must resist the urge to use the Legacy Fund for special interest projects, I have voted to use the Fund for tax relief.

 

Sadly, Beadle voted against using the Fund for income tax relief (HB 1530). He also voted against efforts like HB 1293 in 2011, which would have reformed property taxes by limiting annual increases and reducing the burden on families.

Defending the Second Amendment

I have a 100% pro-Second Amendment voting record. My opponent has voted to restrict & penalize concealed carry holders, and even to side with Beto O’Rourke-style gun buybacks by opposing HB 1381 in 2019.

 

In 2017, I voted to reduce the penalty for possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon to an infraction, while Beadle joined Democrats (HB 1163) and voted differently.

 

I am a strong supporter of both constitutional carry, as well as expanding our concealed carry rights. That’s why I supported both HB 1310 and HB 1325 to allow individuals and families the ability to defend themselves at public gatherings. Beadle disagreed.

I supported ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislation that helps protect the rights of families defending themselves from potentially violent intruders with HB 1497 in 2019. Beadle voted against it.

Opposing Wasteful Spending

I have consistently opposed state spending that I believe to be outside of our Constitution or statutory obligations. State spending has more than doubled in the last decade.

Even when subtracting needed, one-time infrastructure spending and adjusting for population growth, spending has increased. This has occurred most significantly in public welfare, Higher Ed bureaucracy, and state-sponsored cronyism.

My opponent has voted for this dramatically increased spending that has contributed to rising property taxes across the state.

As we face an economic downturn, it has become even more important to guard against needless use of our tax dollars. Whether it’s voting to spend $5 million on a cactus garden (SB 2019) or a $15 million risky loan (HB 1333) to the tech industry – Beadle has shown he is careless with your tax dollars. I have shown the opposite – I will guard your money.

Stable & Smart Investments

We are facing very difficult times, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding government shutdowns of our economy. We must be more careful than ever before in deciding who to elect as Treasurer, due to the six critically-important state boards the Treasurer sits on.

 

This includes the State Board of Equalization, State Investment Board, Teachers Fund Retirement Board, and the Board of University and School Lands. Billions of dollars sit in these funds. They can even lose tremendous value due to stock market fluctuations. We must elect only a true fiscal conservative, with a proven record, to sit on these boards.

 

My opponent calls himself a “taxpayer watchdog” on his campaign fliers, yet, how can we trust someone who has already proven he will spend these dollars carelessly?

Opposing Government Overreach

My record shows I have opposed government policies which place undue burdens on the people of North Dakota. Sometimes, it’s the little things – like my bill HB 1058 that stopped punishing people for leaving their vehicle running unattended. Who hasn’t done that in the winter?

Or my efforts to support our cottage foods industry and family farmers (HB 1433), fighting back against government regulators. Beadle sided with those wanting to make it illegal for food producers to sell safe homemade products at farmer's markets, or for little girls to sell lemonade.

 

I also co-sponsored HB 1432, which would have removed North Dakota children and teachers from the Obama-era top-down “Common Core” federal educational standards.

 

Beadle opposed this and voted for Common Core in North Dakota.

I voted to protect the free speech rights of students (HB 1329) on our public university campuses, where those with minority (especially conservative) viewpoints are routinely discriminated against.

Unfortunately, Beadle opposed this effort as well.

Defending North Dakota Values

I am 100% pro-life and my opponent is pro-choice. He voted with the extreme position of opposing protections for babies even after 20 weeks of gestation when they can feel pain (SB 2368), and against protecting babies with genetic abnormalities (HB 1305).

 

In 2013, Beadle also voted against the following pro-life bills: HB 1456 which applied limitations on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, SB 2303, known as the ‘Personhood bill’, and SB 2305, which required doctors providing abortions to be qualified with admitting priviledges at hospitals.

 

In 2019, he voted against my bill HB 1336, which required women undergoing chemical abortions to be informed of their choice to reverse their abortion. Beadle also co-sponsored and voted for the “SOGI” bill, which would have opened the door for discriminating against individuals and private businesses that believe in traditional marriage, or want to maintain separate-gender bathrooms.

Opposing Cronyism

I believe that our state government is here to serve the taxpayers, not the loudest and most persuasive lobbyists. This is one of the most difficult tasks of any legislator – resisting the constant requests for more and more of the people’s money, and separating the needs from the wants. I’ve done that time and time again.


However, these voices are very strong, and many bills get passed that essentially amount to picking winners and losers, and other forms of cronyism.

 

Unfortunately, Beadle’s record is laced with 10 years of cronyism – including votes for Green New Deal-type energy subsidies in (HB1228), natural gas vehicle subsidies (HB 1146), insider-type deals of 0% loans for select companies (HB 1333) – and much more. On the other hand, I have never supported these types of policies.

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©2020 by Dan Johnston.