Plain Talk With Rob Port

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.

All Episodes

213: Vaccine hesitancy in North Dakota

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The rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused across the nation. North Dakota is possessed of some of the highest rates of hesitance in the nation when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations in general.

What does the pause mean for you?

How do we persuade people who are skeptical of any of the vaccines?

Molly Howell, the Immunization Program Manager at North Dakota Department of Health, joins Plain Talk Live at 2 p.m. central time to discuss these issues.

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212: A discussion with Chad Oban

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Chad Oban is a long-time activist in North Dakota politics. He served as the executive director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL and his wife, Erin Oban, is a state Senator from Bismarck.

On this episode of Plain Talk Live, Rob and Chad will talk about the rise of the Bastiat Caucus in North Dakota, the fight over mask mandates, campaign finance transparency, and legislative pay.

Plus, whatever else might come to mind!

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211: Making it harder to amend the state constituiton

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A group calling itself Protect North Dakota’s Constitution held a press conference today announcing a ballot measure campaign aimed at making changes to North Dakota's constitution a bit harder.

Currently, outside of a greater number of signatures required on petitions for constitutional measures, it's as easy to amend the state constitution at the ballot box as it is to amend statute.

This group wants that to change.

"PNDC is proposing a constitutional measure proposed by the legislature or as an initiated measure should address a single issue and receive sixty percent or more of the votes cast in a statewide election for it to be approved," they state in a press release.

Zarling will join me on this episode of Plain Talk Live at 1 p.m. to discuss the proposal.

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210: Handouts for coal?

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Is North Dakota about to give the coal industry a handout?

That's what critics of pro-coal legislation in Bismarck are saying, but there's another side of the story. Power sources like wind and solar have enjoyed decades of political favoritism. From heavy production subsidies to outright mandate for their use, the market has been skewed in their favor, to the detriment of baseload power like coal and even nuclear.

But recent power outages and utility bill spikes show that we may have gone too far down that road. Now North Dakota lawmakers are considering a package of tax relief and subsidies aimed at helping keep our state's coal plants open, including the largest plant, Coal Creek Station near Underwood.

For economic reasons, yes, but also for the sake of keeping our power supply in the region reliable and affordable.

Sen. Jim Roers, a Republican from Fargo, joins this episode of Plain Talk Live at 3:30pm central standard time to discuss.

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Jay Thomas Show 04-12-21

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Rob and Jay talk about the officer-involved shooting in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and the resulting protests.

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About the Podcast

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.

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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, a North Dakota political blog, is a Forum Communications commentator.