North Dakota is used to false reports and misconceptions and an unfair shake of things. It's the least-visited state, and most who stop to consider it at all think of it as the coldest (it's not) or by the actors portraying Minnesotans in the film Fargo. Last week, USA Today one-upped the ante, with an article, following up on the Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich story, that slams the 'Peace Garden State' as the nation's most corrupt.
That'd be fine if it were at all true. It's not. And North Dakota is rightly furious about it.
The editorial pages of the Grand Forks Herald called it a 'laughable claim,' and the state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem called it 'patently ridiculous.' The Bismarck Tribune added if the claim is true, then 'there are legions of elected and appointed officials from other states who can walk on water.'
There's some facts on their side, apparently. Some half of the 'guilty officials' sited as corrupt of the state's 600,000 residents, were local, not state, officials, including many officials from a Chippewa reservation (which operates outside the state jurisdiction). The Grand Forks Herald claims the last North Dakota state official to be found guilty of corruption was in 1954. In a New York Times article on the controversy, the Herald editor said he could only recall a state legislator being charged for shoplifting some peanuts, back in 1981.
North Dakota Attorney General: 'These groups that grade states should be graded themselves. This group deserves an F.' (Referring to Corporate Crime Reporter, who -- in 2004 -- called North Dakota the second-most corrupt state (after Mississippi).
The FBO sees many comparisons between failed bands, lack of awareness of failed bands, and frequent dissent over failed bands' collectives such as the FBO -- and with the barrage of disrespect given to North Dakota over the years.
We side with our adopted state on this issue, and ban USA Today from linking to our site for eight full weeks.
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