Scott Edward Haugen
|Scott Edward Haugen|
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|North Dakota State District 21 Treasurer|
|2009 - 2011|
|Birthday||January 4, 1981|
|Profession||Community Organizer and Human Rights Activist|
Haugen has since chosen to switch from a Democratic Party-affiliation to become a non-party-affiliated independent.
Scott Edward Haugen was born in Plant City, Florida and was raised in the Minnesota towns of Crookston, Ranier, International Falls and Dilworth.
During his youth, Haugen was active in numerous sports and academic activities, as well as the arts and humanities. During his years in the public school system, Haugen swam, played baseball, football and hockey, the latter of which he played for 10 years. Later, in the last three years of his time in high school, he became very active in theatre, music, knowledge bowl and photography. Scott graduated from Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton High School in Glyndon, Minnesota in 1999, and would go on to study at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
In 2000, at the age of 19, Haugen moved to downtown Fargo and has been a resident ever since.
Before entering politics, activism and the non-profit sector, and following a three-year absence from MSUM, before returning to his alma mater in 2003, Haugen had held a number of different jobs, from gas station attendant to grocery store clerk, from warehouse worker to tax adviser, amassing a strong, dedicated, blue-collar work ethic, partly inherited from his immensely hard-working parents, and the generations of family that have preceded them, as well as personally-learned from his many years in the North Dakota workforce.
Haugen is the son of Carl Scott, a small business owner and former truck driver, and Sandy, a U.S. Postal Service letter carrier. Scott has two siblings: His sister, Lindsey (Haugen) Rood, is married to Ryan Rood, who owns Rood Construction. They have two children, a daughter, Rylee, and son, Ryder, and the family lives in West Fargo. Scott's brother, Adam Sullivan, is an engineer and high school hockey coach and is married to Paige (Larson) Sullivan, who works for the Human Service Agency of Watertown, South Dakota. They have one son, Ty, and the family lives in Watertown, South Dakota on Lake Kampeska. Haugen's extended family resides in all corners of the United States, including North Dakota, Minnesota, Alaska, Florida, Colorado, Virginia and Texas.
Haugen is an alum of Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he earned a Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in English Literature. Presently, he is working as the North Dakota Political Director for the Repower America campaign.
On January 28, 2010, Haugen held a press conference in downtown Fargo formally and publicly announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to represent State District 21 in the North Dakota House of Representatives.
As an actor
Haugen is also a dramatic theatrical actor. He began acting at the age of eight, performing in elementary school and children's plays, but would later proceed to perform through junior high and senior high school, and later, as an adult, independent classical theatre.
In later years, Haugen was a repertory player (from 2005-2007) with the independent, Fargo-based classical theatre company, Undiscovered Country Productions, which was founded by local actor, director and producer, Catherine Olsen. The company performs the works of William Shakespeare out-of-doors, which allows for the troupe's performances to be "Shakespeare in the Park" productions.
Haugen appeared in numerous classical and modern plays with the company, and later, as well, in a handful of both independent feature-length and short films with other artists and production companies. He has performed in a great number of Shakespeare's plays, including Macbeth (as the eponymous title character), As You Like It (as Orlando), Hamlet (as Fortinbras), Romeo and Juliet (as Prince Escalus) and two different productions of Much Ado About Nothing (one as Borachio, the other as Leonato).
Haugen has cited that his all-time favorite role, of the myriad characters he has played, both theatrically, as well as within film, was that of (the non-Shakespearean characterization) Richard the Lionhearted in James Goldman's seminal and legendary play The Lion in Winter, also an Undiscovered Country Productions show.
Haugen has since retired from acting as of 2007.
Haugen supports ensuring that every North Dakotan has access to quality, affordable health care. He also supports having the state of North Dakota subsidize the costs of health insurance, and in extreme cases, fully funding, health care up to 100% for those who are exceptionally impoverished and indigent. In 2010, then-candidate Haugen stated, "Through a government-funded program, state government can effectively help guarantee that NO ONE continues to fall through the cracks any longer. Through tax credits, grants and subsidies, we can ensure ALL North Dakotans have access to quality, affordable health care. Health care is a human right, NOT a privilege, NOR an entitlement."
Haugen firmly believes stronger industrial laws, regulation and fines in North Dakota, especially in regards to the state's biggest polluters--the coal, oil and utilities industries--would help attain more funding for environmental conservation and preservation efforts within the state. Additionally, Haugen supports the state of North Dakota providing tax incentives and grants for both small and large businesses, as well as homeowners, for utilizing methods and resources to reduce individual, and collective, carbon footprints, and to engage in a more responsible manner in respect to energy efficiency and environmental stewardship. Haugen also supports legislation which would offer cities, towns and counties across North Dakota advantageous tax incentives and grants for adopting and maintaining municipal and county recycling, and other such “green” programs, in order to help reuse prospective post-consumer waste materials, and to also help reduce waste in local landfills.
Haugen also supports the scientific consensus that global warming is indeed taking place on Earth, and that humans are significantly responsible for the cause of global climate change.
Additionally, Haugen fully believes in and supports the biological concept of evolution.
Although Haugen is an ardent supporter of renewable and alternative forms of energy, such as wind, solar, biomass and biofuels. Haugen also believes there should be a continued policy of extracting and utilizing fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, under the predication of transitioning to cleaner, more sustainable forms of energy in the more immediate future.
Haugen also supports raising North Dakota's coal severance and oil extraction taxes. By doing this, the state can fully fund and more progressively embrace greater utilization of wind, solar, biomass and other forms of renewable energy. In 2010, Haugen remarked, "Diversifying our energy portfolio and energy utilization will mean more money for our state, more jobs, less dependency on fossil fuels, more energy sustainability, a cleaner environment, and it would help to greater ensure the growth potential and economic security of North Dakota for generations to come."
Haugen supports reforming the state's current tax laws which, he says, "Are incredibly regressive and unfair to workers and families." In 2010, Haugen proposed having the state pay for up to 90% of all education costs for North Dakota public schools, leaving the local communities to have to pay for only 10% of the total costs of public education. With a state increase of school funding, Haugen suggested that it would be possible to reduce the local property tax liability for both homeowners and business owners. Having the property tax burden dramatically reduced through such a relief-driven legislative reform "Would be a good thing for all property owners and communities, as well as for our local schools, and especially for our children’s future."
Haugen supports raising coal severance taxes and oil extraction taxes, arguing that "The coal and oil industries will not hurt from any kind of modest severance and extraction tax rate increases, as they always have record profits annually, even, and especially when, the rest of us are not doing well and are struggling day-to-day."
Haugen also said, "We need to clearly and soundly understand that these taxes, and their much-needed percentage-increase, per ton and barrel, MUST happen so we can put more money into our schools, hospitals, infrastructure, renewable clean energy development and utilization, as well as into economic development."
Reproductive Rights for Women
Haugen is pro-choice and firmly believes that the decision a woman makes, in respect to having a child, is a decision between the woman and her doctor. Additionally, Haugen does not support public funding of the abortion procedure.
In respect to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Roe vs. Wade, Haugen has stated, "This is a federal protection, and no state, including North Dakota, should attempt to supersede federal law."
Haugen has repeatedly argued that North Dakota teachers must be given a significant pay raise, as they are the 49th-lowest in teacher pay, nationally.
In respect to higher education, Haugen supports the state of North Dakota providing greater grant amounts, and to have the cost of tuition reduced, effectively making it more affordable for people to go to any one of the two- and four-year colleges that presently serve the people across North Dakota.
While as a candidate in 2010, Haugen argued, "Education is the cornerstone of our future, and unless we make it possible for everyone to be able to obtain a good, affordable and quality education, our state and our nation will continue to have an under-skilled and under-educated workforce that will not be capable of being competitive with the rest of the world."
The Employee Free Choice Act and The Workers’ Bill of Rights
Haugen fervently believes that workers should not be harassed, fired or experience any kind of reprisals or repercussions because of a desire to form a union and collectively bargain for a better wage, health care, benefits and safer working conditions. As Haugen is a union member himself, he has told those in the organized labor movement:
"I fully believe that unions are here to help make the quality of life better for everyone. And it's been proven that productivity, better health and better, stronger commerce are directly linked to the kind of progressive outcomes that the Employee Free Choice Act, The Workers’ Bill of Rights, and similar labor laws and policies, can and do yield."
Haugen has stated that the minimum wage must be raised, and that "The current state and federal minimum wages are not remotely consistent and sustainable in respect to the exponentially higher costs of living, as well as with national inflation. With these commanding elements far outpacing current median wages here and across the country, it is undeniable that our state's workers need a much-deserved raise."
Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI)
Haugen strongly supports a "long-overdue overhaul" of this state agency. Haugen was once quoted as saying, "No person who becomes disabled or injured on the job should be denied workman's compensation. Countless North Dakotans are denied compensation every year because of irrational and rigid standards, practices, policies and laws that have been put, and remain to this day, in place."
Haugen supports the passage of an anti-discrimination law--there are currently no such laws in North Dakota statute offering these protections--protecting members of the GLBTQ community, so a person can be hired, as well as cannot be fired, simply because of his or her sexual orientation. Haugen also supports same-sex marriage, domestic unions and equal access to partnership benefits, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation.
Separation of Church and State
As a candidate in 2010, Haugen definitively proclaimed, "Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, independent or libertarian, church and state MUST be separated at all times, just like our founding fathers proposed and made federal law centuries ago. This is not an arguable issue."
Haugen has been a champion for trying to retain the state's population, both its existing and future generations. He argues that there are too many young, skilled and educated workers leaving North Dakota to pursue well-paying jobs and opportunities in neighboring states and elsewhere across the nation, and that "This will continue to make our state stagnant and non-advanced in terms of our economic future and national competitiveness. We should not only be creating more jobs in the energy sector, but also attract more businesses to the state, and retain our people, both by means of diverse and plentiful employment opportunities and through tax credits and incentives."
Legislative Pay Raises
Haugen does not not support giving the state's legislators, state government employees and constitutional officers pay raises until there is a significant rise in the minimum wage.
2010 State District 21 Democratic-NPL Party Convention
On February 20, 2010, Haugen gave a speech to the District 21 convention delegates declaring that he was withdrawing his name from consideration for the Democratic-NPL endorsement for the North Dakota House of Representatives, and was going to instead run for the Democratic nomination in his party's primary on June 8, 2010.
"I believe it's important that the citizens of District 21 have an opportunity to talk to the candidates about the issues, and that I have an opportunity to hear the concerns of the people who live here," he told the delegates at the February 20 convention.
"Then, let's have the thousands of people who live in our district decide in this summer's primary who they think should be on the ballot in November."
Haugen went on to add, "I am grateful for this convention process, and that our party takes such great pride in who we are and what we want to do for our state. Nearly fifty of us turned out to participate in this process, but I think it's also important that all the citizens of our district have a chance to say who they want in the House of Representatives, as well."
Haugen's Democratic incumbent opponents, Rep. Steve Zaiser and Rep. Kathy Hogan, were both endorsed at the district's convention.
Politics and college (2004-2008)
Although Haugen studied to be an English teacher while in college, he became overwhelmingly enamored in both politics and activism. What began as a few anti-Iraq and anti-Afghanistan public protests--which Haugen planned and coordinated--in 2004, lead to an impassioned desire to volunteer on political campaigns, a desire that would later make it not only possible for him to make a living from such work, but also would provide many unique opportunities to advance his career both professionally and politically. After volunteering on a handful of campaigns, such as Amy Klobuchar for U.S. Senate, Byron Dorgan for U.S. Senate and John Kerry for President, Haugen's path would lead to future high-level leadership roles and work on numerous political and non-partisan campaigns in the years to come.
Before Haugen's tenure as a student at MSUM ended in 2008, he had served two terms as President of MSUM College Democrats, was Founder and Co-Chairman of MSUM Students for Hillary Clinton, a Senator in the MSUM Student Senate, the state-recognized Minnesota State University Student Association GOTV (Get Out the Vote) Representative (during the 2006 midterm elections), an Executive Leader of the MSUM Campus Freethought Alliance and a member of TOCAR (Training Our Campuses Against Racism).
Endorsement of and support for Hillary Clinton for President
While Haugen was serving his last term as President of MSUM College Democrats in 2008, he publicly endorsed then-U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton of New York for the Democratic nomination to be President of the United States. Haugen's endorsement appeared in the form of an op-ed column in MSUM's newspaper, The Advocate.
In addition to Haugen's endorsement of Clinton, he founded and co-chaired the grassroots-driven MSUM Students for Hillary Clinton to help raise awareness and build up a strong base of support for the senator's candidacy and campaign for President. Haugen also worked for Clinton as a field organizer at the university and the surrounding community.
Haugen would eventually meet Hillary Clinton at the 2008 North Dakota Democratic Party State Convention in Grand Forks, where Haugen was also a delegate for both the state party, as well as a delegate for Clinton's candidacy in the state convention Clinton presidential preference caucus.
When Clinton ended her bid for President on June 7, 2010, Haugen publicly pledged his support to then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama of Illinois for the Democratic nomination.
Professional political experience and history
Before running for public office himself, Haugen had amassed a considerable resume working on numerous political, non-partisan and non-profit issues campaigns. In 2004 he volunteered for North Dakota U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan's re-election campaign, as well as for Massachusetts U.S. Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign.
In the spring of 2006, Haugen was the Campaign Manager and Chief Strategist for J.J. Gordon, an independent candidate for Mayor of Fargo, which is North Dakota's largest city. Gordon's campaign would be the lone campaign featuring an independent candidate that Haugen has worked on to date. The entirety of all previous and subsequent campaigns that Haugen would work on would be, and have been, comprised entirely of Democratic candidates.
Later, in the summer and fall of 2006, Haugen worked as a staffer on both of the hugely successful re-election campaigns for North Dakota U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and North Dakota U.S. Congressman Earl Pomeroy. Haugen also worked as a staffer on the legislative coordinated campaigns for the Democratic State Senate and State House tickets in State District 11 and State District 21 (both of which are in Fargo), where all six candidates were handily elected and re-elected. Additionally, Haugen spent time as a volunteer for Amy Klobuchar's highly successful campaign for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, as well.
In 2008, Haugen worked on four Democratic candidates' campaigns. First, as a volunteer (beginning in 2007) on Al Franken's campaign for U.S. Senate in Minnesota, as a Field Organizer for then-New York U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Minnesota, as the Deputy Campaign Manager and Director of Campaign Field Operations for North Dakota State Senator Tim Mathern's gubernatorial campaign in North Dakota and as an Adviser and Strategist for Mitch Vance's campaign for North Dakota State Treasurer.
In the latter-part of 2008, Haugen was the North Dakota State Director of the HCAN (Health Care for America NOW!) campaign, and served as an Election Advocate and Observer for Al Franken in Clay County during the hotly contested U.S. Senate recount in Minnesota.
In 2009, Haugen worked as a Community Organizer for the Change That Works campaign in Fargo. In the fall of that year, Haugen was hired on to the Repower America campaign in Fargo, and would later become the campaign's state Political Director. He is still presently working on this campaign.
On June 11, 2010, Haugen debuted as the Co-Host of "The Solidarity Effect" on KNDS 96.3 FM in Fargo. It is a progressive and independent issues- and people-driven two-hour radio program that plays every Friday on the air here in town from 9-11AM (CST), and can be heard live anywhere in the world through online streaming at www.kndsradio.com. The program's official website is www.TheSolidarityEffect.com.
- Vice Chair of Board of Directors - North Dakota Human Rights Coalition (2010-2011)
- Board of Directors - People Escaping Poverty Project (2009-2010)
- Union Member - American Federation of Teachers, North Dakota Public Employees Association Local 4660 (2010-Present)
- Union Member - Union of Union Representatives (2009)
- Member - League of Women Voters of the Red River Valley (2009-Present)
- Member - Coalition for Strengthening Community Trust with Law Enforcement (2009-2010)
- Member - Cass Clay Wholesome Food Cooperative Working Group (2010-2011)
- Member - Cass County Democratic-NPL Women's Plus (2009-2011)
- Treasurer - North Dakota State District 21 Democratic-NPL Party (2009-2011)
- Observer and Advocate for Al Franken - Minnesota U.S. Senate Election Recount (2008)
- Delegate - North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party State Convention (2008 and 2010)
- Senator - MSUM Student Senate (2006)
- GOTV Elections Representative - Minnesota State University Student Association (2006)
- President - MSUM College Democrats (2006-2008)
- Founder and Co-Chairman - MSUM Students for Hillary Clinton (2008)
- Member - MSUM Students for Choice (2005-2006)
- Member - MSUM Training Our Campuses Against Racism (2005-2006)
- Volunteer Big Brother - Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (2004-2007)
- Repertory Actor - Undiscovered Country Productions (2005-2007)
- Flameman - Delta Zeta Sorority, MSUM Theta Nu Chapter (2009-2010)
- Member - Human Rights Campaign (2008-Present)
- Member - Humane Society of the United States (2003-Present)
- Member - North Shore Animal League (2003-Present)
- Member - World Wildlife Fund (2003-Present)
- Member - National Wildlife Federation (2003-Present)
- Member - Sierra Club (2003-Present)
- Sponsor (Two Children) - Plan USA/Childreach (2003-Present)
On June 8, 2010, Haugen lost his bid for the Democratic nomination for the North Dakota House of Representatives, getting third place in the overall popular vote in the State District 21 Democratic Primary.
|2010 District 21 North Dakota House of Representatives Democratic Primary Election|
|Kathy Hogan (D)||377 (42.17%)|
|Steve Zaiser (D)||311 (34.79%)|
|Scott Edward Haugen (D)||205 (22.93%)|
Although Haugen was not "endorsed" by his party at the 2010 District 21 Democratic-NPL Party Convention, he was still endorsed by a very significant number of District 21 Democratic-NPL Party leaders before and after the convention, as well as in the days leading up to the June Democratic Primary.
District 21 Democratic Party Leaders
- Bonnie Askew, District 21 Senior Vice Chair
- Tom Magin, District 21 Junior Vice Chair and former Vice President of The North Dakota AFL-CIO
- Stacey Dohn-Shenk, District 21 Committeewoman
- Amanda Koskela, District 21 Committeewoman
- Charlotte Magin, District 21 Committeewoman
- Frances Magin, District 21 Committeewoman
- James Magin, District 21 Committeeman
- Conor Shenk, District 21 Committeeman
- Bob Woods, District 21 Committeeman
- Taylor Kearns, District 21 Delegate and Miss North Dakota USA 2010
Potential independent candidacy
Although Haugen was unable to successfully secure his party's nomination for the North Dakota House of Representatives in the 2010 Democratic Primary, numerous Democrats and independents in State District 21, as well as throughout Fargo and across the state of North Dakota, encouraged, and in some cases urged, Haugen to run as an independent candidate on the ballot for the fall 2010 election. Haugen categorically decided no on such an option, and declared that he would continue to work for and represent the Democratic-NPL Party, at both the State District 21 and state party levels, as an activist and duly-constituted party officer.
As of April 19, 2011, Haugen is no longer a member and officer of the Democratic National Committee or the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, as he has since elected to switch from that affiliation to become a non-affiliated independent.