ND House Votes To Spend $5 Million On Cactus Greenhouse Expansion

Seriously?  Five million dollars on cactus greenhouse expansion at the International Peace Garden?  Yes, that is exactly what the North Dakota House just voted to pass.

The House apparently upped the ante over the Senate, which passed Senate Bill 2019 just two months ago to give $2 million to the International Peace Garden for the expansion of the cactus greenhouse.  The vote passed 46-1.

Now the House, in a vote of 61-29 passed a $5 million match for expansion.

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Well, not to be outdone by their colleagues across the hall in the Senate, the House decided to say, “We’ll see your $2 million and raise you $3 million more.” That’s right, for the supposed more conservative chamber, $2 million wasn’t enough for the cacti display on the North Dakota-Manitoba border. No, apparently we need to throw $5 million towards making it world class.

The most sensible comments that came during the floor debate on this issue were from Rep. Dan Johnston (R – District 24):

“If I want to see cactuses, I’ll go down to Arizona for a visit. We don’t have a revenue problem in this state, we have a spending problem. When most of our nursing homes are operating at a loss — 70% of them — and we sit here and fund junk like this, we’re ripping the North Dakota taxpayer off. I’d encourage a big red vote on this.”

Additionally, T. Arthur Mason wrote, “It just so happens that I’ve been to the International Peace Garden. And I’ve seen the cactus display. Go ahead and call me something along the lines of a curmudgeon, but I just can’t see $10 million — remember, it’s a one-to-one match — making it any more interesting.”

“To be honest, even if it could, would it be appropriate for North Dakota to throw $5 million at it?” he added.  “I don’t believe so. Is there a possibility that there’s not enough traffic to generate the necessary revenue for the tourist attraction to be self-sufficient? It seems so.”

According to the Peace Garden’s own website, it claims that it was “established as a living symbol and tribute to the historic fact that Canada and the United States of America have been at peace with each other for (now) more than 200 years.”

Well, isn’t that nice?  And Americans should continue paying millions of dollars that were voted on by representatives who have never been delegated authority to spend the people’s money on such things?  Give me a break!

The site also proclaims:

Inspired by the vision of Henry J. Moore, the concept of an International Peace Garden at the heart of this continent was nurtured into life at the International Gardeners’ Association Annual meeting in 1929. By 1932 vision had turned into plans that included location and first sketches of a garden that would tell the story of peace between two great countries.

The original constitution of the International Peace Garden Association is “to foster and give protection and support to the material expression of a world ideal concerned in the interest of International Peace and its benefits to humanity.”

“(This ideal) recognizes that wars between nations have been humanity’s greatest curse; that its glories are a myth; and its continuance an abhorrence to the Creator.”

The International Peace Garden was established as a living symbol and tribute to the historic fact that Canada and the United States of America have been at peace with each other for (now) more than 200 years.

The unveiling of a cairn, built of field stones gathered from nearby fields by students from both countries and situated right on the 49th parallel, to mark the creation of the International Peace Garden, took place on July 14th, 1932. An estimated crowd of 50,000 came to celebrate this momentous occasion.

The cairn reads: “To God in His Glory, we two nations dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves that as long as men shall live, we will not take up arms against one another”.

Fine, but the taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for maintaining this money pit.

Shame on every representative and senator that voted for this.

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