Whatever your politics, you have a right to expect that your elected representatives display certain fundamental qualities both in the performance of their duties as a legislator, and in their personal lives. Basic human qualities of integrity, honesty, and common sense are so essential they cannot, and should not be turned off and on like a light switch.
Integrity is often defined as doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Common sense is making choices and decisions based on practical knowledge and experience that most sensible people would make when faced with the situation.
Regrettably, two of our local officials seem to be sorely lacking in these fundamental qualities based on recent events in their “off duty” lives while insisting that these shortcomings do not affect performance of their official duties.
State Representative Kurt Daudt showed an incredible lack of common sense which resulted in he and his companion being apprehended and handcuffed by police officers in Montana. In carrying a loaded handgun in the passenger compartment of his vehicle, Mr. Daudt violated the law in North Dakota as he and his partner traveled through, as well as federal law. Beyond that, putting a loaded handgun in easy reach of a man with a history of violence (he assaulted an Isanti County police officer in 2010) shows very poor judgment. His integrity is also called into question when he did not come forward with this information until news of the altercation came to light five months later. And though his actions led to the endangerment of several people, and he witnessed three felony acts that he did not report to local officials (also a criminal act), Mr. Daudt claimed “it was no big deal.”
With State Senator Sean Nienow, we may question his common sense in borrowing $631,000 to purchase a business that went bankrupt 18 months later, but those things happen. But we can certainly question the integrity of a person who makes no effort to pay in full the seller of the business, and paid little toward the loan he received from the federal government to purchase the business; all while operating the business from his Cambridge home without the required city permits. When news of the situation was revealed by the media, Mr. Neinow claimed little knowledge of the lawsuits filed by the federal government and the seller to recoup their money, and that as it relates to his elected office “clearly there is no connection at.”