Bill would bar political contributions from North Dakota governor

State News

FILE – In this April 10, 2020, file photo, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speaks at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. Lawmakers convene Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 either in person wearing masks or remotely for North Dakota’s 67th legislative session, where they will face tough spending choices amid a pandemic that’s hit a state economy already reeling from depressed oil and agriculture prices. The Republican governor is set to talk about the coronavirus’ impact on the state and other pandemic-induced challenges, including to the state’s budget.(Mike McCleary/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A bill that would prohibit a governor from giving cash or endorsing a member of the Legislature is getting a cool reception from both GOP and Democratic leaders.

The legislation introduced by Rep. Jeffery Magrum comes after GOP Gov. Doug Burgum contributed millions of dollars to several candidates in elections last year in an attempt to remove some incumbents from his own party.

Magrum says Burgum crossed the separation-of-powers-line by reaching deep into his own pockets to buy a Legislature more obliging to his wishes.

Legislative leaders say the contributions are “freedom of speech.”

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