Monday, November 24, 2008
NDPC Investigates by Jacqueline Dotzenrod
Not only did the State Board of Higher Education utilize public resources to lobby against Measures 1 & 2, but they also used talking points that sound like a scare tactic. These talking points were distributed throughout the North Dakota University System. From management on down, employees were encouraged to spread the biased message. And if the points add up, together they create the impression that the entire university system would collapse with the passing of these measures.
Some of the talking points include:
- Portraying Measure 1 as establishing a “trust fund with no purpose.” However, proponents want to see the extra money our state is bringing in from the oil boom saved for the future. The measure does not suggest cutting any programs as NDUS would have the public believe.
- Measure 2 would “cost North Dakotans $400 million in revenue” and “wipe out 15 percent of the state’s budget.” While our state is anticipating a billion-dollar surplus, a $400 million tax cut would not actually “cost” the state anything. Again, no state spending is actually cut by Measure 2.
- The board claims that the measures would force a 12.5 percent tuition increase. For the third time, with the surplus, the measures do not force any spending cuts. However, many of the other talking points include a long list of ills that would befall the NDUS if these measures had passed.
The entire document can be viewed here.