One of North Dakota’s three GOP candidates for governor has plans to wall off the state’s southern boundary if he is elected.
Computer guy Doug Burgum has promised a 360-mile long, 90-foot tall wall of steel, concrete and rebar to separate the two states. Doing so will ensure fairness and “winning” at the border, he said, more winning than North Dakota already has with its Dakota Magic Casino off Exit 1 on Interstate 29.
“We lose at the border,” Burgum said Wednesday in Fargo. “We don’t win anymore.”
The candidate added the state of South Dakota “will pay for this wall” through traffic tickets, interstate fishing licenses, tuition lost through North Dakota residents seeking education in South Dakota and taxes on South Dakota imports into North Dakota, including jam, potpourri baskets and farmers markets.
Burgum hasn’t given an exact estimate for the cost of the wall, just that it “will cost more if” his opponents, Attorney General Wayne Stenhjem or state Rep. Rick Becker (R-Bismarck), build it.
“If they build it, it’ll be $200-300 billion,” he said. “With me, you always get less.”
In response to Burgum’s inflammatory remarks, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard said Wednesday that “We’re not gonna pay for that f—king wall.”
Daugaard added if Burgum’s wall is built, South Dakota air strikes “will bomb (North Dakota’s) oil.”
“We gotta take the oil,” Daugaard said.
Burgum, when reached Wednesday night by phone for comment, said, “The wall just got 10 feet higher. Believe me,” adding South Dakotans can paint murals on their side of the wall if they want something prettier to look at than their sad, unsuccessful selves.
Other North Dakota gubernatorial candidates were not so quick to renounce Burgum’s remarks this week.
Becker said he “would have to do some more research” into Burgum’s border wall because he “really doesn’t know much about it.”
Stenhjem said he didn’t know what the hell was going on.
“Don’t we have, like, a $1 billion deficit right now?” he said.
Burgum said yes, we do, and added entrance fees from South Dakotans granted access to the one rope leading over the wall from South Dakota into North Dakota would more than make up for the billion-dollar shortfall.
“It’s just a matter of time. South Dakota will pay for this wall,” Burgum said Wednesday night from Home Depot’s concrete yard. “Believe me.”