BISMARCK – North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne, oversaw the opening of this years annual, and 90th state convention, with special guest speaker David Wasserman, U.S. House editor and quantitative election analyst for the non-partisan Cook Political Report. Wasserman shared his analysis of the recent presidential election with NDFU members today in Bismarck.
“Donald Trump had more in common with rural America than previously thought,” he said. Democrats ceded the election nationally by focusing their resources on urban cities and adopting a mentality that “they didn’t need to campaign where there weren’t a lot of votes.” Another key factor that played a role in the election, according to Wasserman, was the electorate’s desire for a major change, which Trump embodied as a non-politician, and an anti-dynasty sentiment for president, whether Democrat or Republican.
Wasserman said the president-elect has unique bipartisan potential on topics such as simplifying the U.S. tax code, spending new money on infrastructure, and finding fair solutions to the Affordable Care Act. He felt a farm bill would also pass more quickly through Congress under Trump’s presidency.
NDFU President Mark Watne talked about the need for a farm bill that addresses food security. “Structurally, our current farm bill is good… but it doesn’t cover the cost of production. We need to try and enhance it,” he said. Watne proposed a new title in the farm bill that ensures food production through family farm and ranch agriculture in the interest of national security, renewable wealth for the nation, and rural communities.
Watne also praised members for their work in defeating Measure 1 on the June ballot, which would have allowed corporate farming in North Dakota. While the state’s anticorporate farming law is now being challenged in the courts, Watne said to applause, “We are going to fight this as hard as we can.”