Today, State Senator Ryan Taylor, Candidate for Governor, called for Governor Jack Dalrymple to return all donations made to him by oil companies who have business in front of the Industrial Commission, of which the governor is chair.
"There are serious ethical questions when the governor, on one hand, chairs the Industrial Commission that regulates and oversees the oil industry, and in the other hand, accepts a $25,000 check for his campaign from the CEO of Hess and a $20,000 check from the CEO of Continental Resources, an Oklahoma-based company holding massive mineral leases in North Dakota's oil fields," Taylor stated.
Senator Taylor pledged today that both as a candidate and if elected governor, he will not accept any contributions from the officers of oil companies that would come before him as Chairman of the Industrial Commission. "My loyalty will be to all North Dakotans and it won't matter if they are an oil driller or a rancher, an industry executive or a small town mayor." Senator Taylor then called on the governor to return the long list of big dollars that are flowing to his campaign from the officers of companies profiting from the one time harvest of this state's oil.
"The powers in Bismarck wandered into this oil boom without adequate preparation or infrastructure -- roads, housing, schools, law and emergency services -- and they're still playing catch up. As a state, we can't afford to wander into the same multi-billion dollar industry without the political and ethical infrastructure that ensures North Dakotans that our leaders are representing the people and not the money."
"A red flag was waved when a state integrity investigation gave our state a grade of "F' on the corruption risk report card and ranked us 43rd of all 50 states." Taylor promised that he would work to raise that grade by demanding the formation of an ethics commission, increased conflict of interest requirements for elected officials, and greater transparency in increased campaign expense reporting.
"By removing the cloud of enormous campaign contributions at this critical crossroads in our state's history, I affirm what I have long stated: North Dakota is not for sale," Taylor said.