Zach Raknerud, Democratic-Nonpartisan League candidates for North Dakota’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, once again stated his campaign platform is not extreme.
The ideas he’s running on are woven into America’s fabric, Raknerud said Saturday, Aug. 22 in Wahpeton. He’s promoting a policy he said would not be built on the backs of working people.
“The wealth of this nation, everything we do as Americans, all the work we put in and the production we create in this country, is flowing upwards in this economy in a very troubling way,” Raknerud said. “Billions upon billions of dollars are being concentrated in the hands of very few people.”
It’s called a reverse funnel economy, Raknerud said, and it’s been around for the better part of a half-century. During that time, what he called a broken system of government built around more wealth equaling more power and vice-versa emerged.
“The economic foundation of our working class, our working families, has continued to erode,” Raknerud said. “It is getting harder and harder for our families across the state and across the country to make it.”
Raknerud is facing incumbent U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., and Libertarian candidate Steven Peterson. He’s in the campaign, Raknerud said, to help hold Armstrong accountable.
This message was reiterated Monday, when Raknerud said Armstrong should be ashamed for his response to United States Postal Service concerns. Raknerud cited the Grand Forks Herald, which reported on plans to remove the three busiest mail-sorting machines in North Dakota.
“While Kelly Armstrong dismisses public outcry about the USPS as conspiracy, we have learned that it helped prevent significant damage to postal operations in North Dakota. North Dakota deserves representation that will defend the vital services of the USPS in our state in lieu of pleasing party leadership,” Raknerud said.
Armstrong, a member of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, questioned Postmaster General Louis DeJoy Monday. The exchange included what Armstrong’s office called the most important question of the day.
If the postal service did not receive money approved Saturday, Aug. 22 by the Democrat-led House, Armstrong asked DeJoy, would the service be fully operational on Tuesday, Nov. 3?
“Yes, we’ll be fully operational,” DeJoy said.
In April 2019, Armstrong stated, the House committee examined financial difficulties facing the postal service. DeJoy was appointed postmaster general in May 2020 by President Donald Trump.
“Armstrong also noted that Democrats seem to be politically motivated, as multiple campaign committees, members of Congress, and candidates are sending fundraising appeals focused on the USPS issue,” his office stated.
Raknerud’s speech Saturday, given to an audience of six in Chahinkapa Park, included his call for a 2 percent wealth tax on fortunes that exceed $55 million. The revenue, he said, could fund universal childcare nationwide.
“It’s not that the federal government would oversee childcare, it’s that they would capture that excess wealth through the wealth tax and give to the state legislature, which would act to divide up those funds for counties, cities and other municipalities. That’s the really big missing piece,” Raknerud said.
Earlier this month, Daily News spoke separately with Armstrong and Peterson. Peterson said he was absolutely upset at how the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are behaving while Americans await COVID-19 relief.
“Someone like you could be losing your home because of an argument between two egos in Washington,” he said.
Armstrong discussed both the challenges of approving COVID-19 aid and partisan divide. To him, it seemed like there’s more interest in messaging than legislating.
“It’s unfortunate that the negotiating stance seems to be, ‘We’re not moving. Come to us or we’re not doing anything,’” Armstrong said. “That’s all posturing. We’ll see what ends up actually being done.”
Raknerud and Armstrong are scheduled to appear at a Thursday, Oct. 1 town hall in Bismarck, North Dakota, held by KX News. They’ll next face off in a Thursday, Oct. 8 debate in Fargo held by PBS and AARP.
With less than three months until Election Day, look to Daily News for coverage of North Dakota and Minnesota’s campaigns, candidates and items under consideration.