June 10, 2022

Politics, policy and why elections matter

Topic: Issues

Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay

by Pete Hanebutt, NDFB Public Policy Director

My life in public policy started well over 30 years ago when I was the legislative staffer for one of the caucus leaders in the Indiana House of Representatives. I had been involved in politics and public policy previously, but not as a paid professional, and this job really opened doors for me, setting me on the path to my NDFB life. After working for the legislature, I got in the door at Indiana Farm Bureau, and after 20 years there, I came to North Dakota to work for NDFB. Working for the caucus chair in Indiana taught me many valuable lessons which I still use today, particularly in Bismarck. One of the most basic lessons was that in many cases, the politics is not too far from the policy.

People who are not around the mechanisms of public policy believe the politics are always a part of the policy, and this is certainly not true. Unfortunately, there are those who consider themselves to be “political insiders” who often make the same mistake. In my 30 years of public policy experience, I’ve come to know most public officials are truly trying to do the right thing, do the best job possible, and be responsive to their voters. We often don’t agree with the political ideologies and philosophies which direct some public officials to make certain decisions, but it doesn’t mean they are corrupted by the politics, they simply have a perspective which is completely different from our point of view. 

Read the rest of Pete's post on My NDFB Life.