Dear Fellow Republicans,
We wanted to provide you with a roundup of everything you might have missed from North Dakota’s great Republican leaders this past week. Please share with family and friends!
Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman
Photo of the Week
Governor’s Travel and Tourism Award winners announced
The Valley City Times Record
The Governor’s Travel and Tourism Awards recognize the passion and dedication of North Dakotans who have contributed to the growth of travel and tourism in North Dakota. “With tourism being one of North Dakota’s leading industries, we are pleased to recognize these outstanding leaders who work hard every day to showcase our state to travelers,” Gov. Doug Burgum said. “Their dedication and creativity are key reasons why North Dakota attracts so many visitors each year. We are grateful for the commitment of the more than 2,700 businesses and 35,561 individuals in the travel and tourism sector who help differentiate our state, make trips to North Dakota memorable, and diversify our economy.”
Gov. Burgum proclaims ‘World Wish Day’ in North Dakota, honors Make-A-Wish Foundation
Gov. Doug Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford have declared Friday, April 29, “World Wish Day” in North Dakota. It is fitting as 42 years ago today, the first “wish” was granted to a 7-year-old boy who wanted to be a police officer for a day. World Wish Day will establish a day to inspire people in their local communities to help children with critical illnesses. Illnesses that often make a childhood less childlike.
Burgum waives hours of service for carriers, contractors and rural electric coop workers
Gov. Doug Burgum today signed an executive order granting a waiver of hours of service requirements can ensure carriers, contractors and rural electric cooperative workers to enter North Dakota to assist with the restoration of power to the affected areas in the State. Utility workers have been working to restore and repair power to areas of northwest North Dakota following the extreme spring storm last weekend that caused widespread utility infrastructure damage and left thousands of North Dakotas without electricity. Waiving the hours of service requirement will help crews avoid delays and assist in returning power to citizens.
Burgum praising “innovative” use of drones in emergency storm response
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum says Unmanned Aircraft systems (UAS) have played a critical role in locating downed power poles, assessing damage done to utility infrastructure, and helping crews prioritize efforts for recovery and repairs. “North Dakotans are known for their innovation and resilience,” Burgum said. “In difficult times like this, our citizens and neighbors come together to find new solutions to challenging problems. We’re leveraging the investment the state has made in this UAS infrastructure to help workers identify damage and repair ground-based infrastructure. Utilizing our strength in aviation will help citizens and communities on the ground.”
Officials: North Dakota tourism adds nearly $238 million in tax revenue in 2021
The Center Square
Tourism rebounded in North Dakota last year, adding $237.9 million in tax revenue for the state and local governments, according to the North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism and Marketing Division. A record 2.15 million people visited the state in 2021 and spent $2.61 billion, according to a news release from the division…One of the challenges is closures at the Canadian border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reduced hours at points of entry, in some cases up to six hours, according to Gov. Doug Burgum. The state received 1.22 million fewer visits from Canadian tourists via personal vehicles or buses. Tourism spending was down by $132 million, according to officials. Burgum asked CBP officials in a letter this week to restore border crossing to pre-pandemic levels. “As a state that shares a 310-mile border with Canada, North Dakotans depend on access to ports of entry for both leisure and commerce, and any reduction in hours of operation causes significant hardship on the movement of citizens, goods and tourists between our two nations,” Burgum said in his letter.
Midwestern Governors Initiate State-Level Path Forward for Year-Round E15
North Dakota Ethanol Producers Association (NDEPA) President Gerald Bachmeier released the following statement: “NDEPA would like to thank Gov. Doug Burgum for his work in recent months to urge EPA to lift restrictions on year-round E15 and to secure a permanent fix for year-round access to E15 for our state’s consumers. North Dakota’s ethanol plants are dedicated to expanding the availability of higher-level ethanol blends, like E15, to provide North Dakotans with an economical fuel, improved environment, and enhanced rural economy. The ethanol industry is important to North Dakota’s economy with more than $623 million in direct economic impact per year. The plants purchase approximately 50% of the state’s corn crop annually, providing a significant value-added market opportunity for North Dakota’s agricultural producers. Ethanol also is a low-carbon fuel option that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 46% compared to regular gasoline, which is key to achieving the state’s climate goals.”
Minnetonka Power, Summit Carbon Solutions working together on CO2 storage in North Dakota
AM 1100 The Flag
Minnetonka Power Cooperative and Ames, Iowa-based Summit Carbon Solutions announced an agreement Thursday to co-develop carbon dioxide storage facilities. The co-op’s Project Tundra aims to install carbon capture technologies at the Milton R. Young Station in Center. “Focusing on innovation over regulation will allow our ag and energy industries to work together and thrive,” said Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford during a press conference announcing the partnership in Grand Forks. “North Dakota is the best-positioned state to help our nation and world transition to a carbon-constrained future while providing reliable, affordable energy for current and future generations.”
Interim North Dakota US Attorney named state district judge
Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed acting North Dakota US Attorney Nick Chase as a judge in the East-Central Judicial District. Chase will take over for Judge Thomas Olson who is retiring for health reasons. Chase, of Fargo, has been with the US Attorney’s Office since 2002. He was appointed acting US Attorney in 2019, replacing Drew Wrigley. Wrigley was appointed by the governor to finish the term of Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, who died in late January. Chase was one of four finalists for the court vacancy. The district covers Cass, Traill and Steele Counties.
North Dakota attorney general names new deputy
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley on Thursday named a top legislative staffer as his deputy…Wrigley said Ness “is a very bright, capable and experienced attorney. She has the integrity and judgment required for this highly demanding post, and I have every confidence she will be an absolutely outstanding deputy attorney general for North Dakota.”
Pride of Dakota announces market, showcase dates
The Jamestown Sun
The Pride of Dakota program is designed to spotlight products that are made in North Dakota. It is administered by the Business, Marketing and Information Division of the Department of Agriculture. Over 500 North Dakota businesses are members. This year, Pride of Dakota will host six markets and showcases for sellers. “We are pleased to offer events around the state again this year,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring stated via news release. “Last year our showcases were attended by more than 37,800 people and supported more than 680 local businesses.”
UND faculty, staff discuss salaries, work environment at town hall event
Grand Forks Herald
Salary increases, campus building plans and future legislative concerns were among the topics addressed by UND faculty and staff members at a town hall event on Wednesday, April 26…Other legislative priorities include using earnings from the state’s Legacy Fund to support research and development for the purpose of economic diversification — something Gov. Doug Burgum has prioritized through his Main Street Initiative program.
ND grape and wine industry grant program
Prairie Public Newsroom
The North Dakota Grape and Wine Advisory Committee is looking for proposals for industry research and promotion of the grape, fruit, and wine industry in North Dakota. Doug Goehring is North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner. “The grant program is set up to help assist the grape and wine industry with research and that can be anything from production issues, it could be with disease issues, it could be with the breeding program. The grant could be for the evaluation and assessment of grapes and how they could make better wines. It’s not just about grapes, it’s also about fruit production and those fruit-bearing trees that could be used for the wine industry. It also can be used to market the industry.”
Recent storms impact cattle producers
Minot Daily News
Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday declared a statewide emergency for flooding and widespread utility infrastructure damage caused by a severe winter storm last weekend. The governor also declared a disaster for areas impacted by record snowfall during the historic blizzard April 12-14 based on local costs incurred for snow removal. Burgum plans to request presidential disaster declarations for both events to unlock federal assistance to help pay for snow removal and infrastructure repairs, including numerous downed utility poles in western counties that left thousands of customers without power.
Burgum surveys weekend storm damage in Divide County
Gov. Doug Burgum met with local officials, residents and ranchers across Divide County to see infrastructure damage from last weekend’s spring storm and discuss how the state can help the area recover from widespread power outages. A meeting took place in the Divide County Courthouse next to a conference room that was converted into an emergency shelter with cots and meals for residents who have been without power for up to four days now, according to a press release. Utility representatives said it could be two weeks or longer before power is restored to all areas.
Exclusive: 16 GOP Governors Oppose Biden’s Executive Order Creating Monopoly On Federal Construction Contracts
More than a dozen GOP governors wrote to President Joe Biden Tuesday signaling opposition to his executive order requiring government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on taxpayer-funded construction contracts exceeding $35 million, according to a newly obtained letter…[T]he letter sent Tuesday was signed by…Doug Burgum of North Dakota[.]
Burgum urging U.S. Customs and Border Protection to return to pre-pandemic hours
Gov. Doug Burgum is urging CBP to return to its regular hours at all 10 ports of entry into North Dakota where hours were reduced. In a letter to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Burgum noted that nine of the ports reductions ranged from four hours to six hours. CBP responded to the state Tourism Division inquiry that it has no plans to change the hours at any ports of entry in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Idaho or Washington. Burgum says that’s unacceptable, urging CBP to restore pre-pandemic hours immediately and is requesting a meeting.
North Dakota oil pipeline project moving forward
AM 1100 The Flag
Plans for a 122-million dollar oil pipeline set to carry Bakken oil toward a Wyoming hub are moving forward. The pandemic stalled the progress on the 145-mile South Bend Pipeline that will start in Johnsons Corner in McKenzie County. The pipeline is expected to transport 105-thousand barrels a day initially, with the potential for expansion.
Retired Air Force General to be keynote speaker at North Dakota Governor’s Summit
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is announcing a keynote speaker at this year’s Summit on Innovative Education. Retired Air Force General Craig McKinley will provide ” a message of hope and opportunity in how the essential skills for life and learning are critical for the success and well-being of every child,” according to the press release announcing Gen. McKinley’s participation.
Kevin Cramer: It’s time to stop the double talk
Grand Forks Herald
Let’s get serious about energy and environment policy. To lower global greenhouse gas emissions, we need to produce more domestic energy and export it to the world. Rather than stupidly shooting ourselves in the foot, this would meet the world’s energy demands while reducing the West’s reliance on dirtier fuels from adversaries, despots, and dictators. There’s an easy road map for energy, national, and economic security at our fingertips, but the administration must be a willing partner in this effort. It starts with undoing nearly everything it’s done since January 20, 2021.
Sen. Hoeven: ‘Inflation is a tax on everyone’
WATCH: Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., unpacks America’s debt, emphasizes the need for less spending and more economic growth amid President Biden’s push for canceling student debt and a $33 billion Ukraine aid package.
Hoeven visits ranchers impacted by storms
Minot Daily News
In the aftermath of the historic blizzard of April 12-14, ranchers and rural communities are digging themselves out and assessing the damage. Sen. John Hoeven was on hand in Max on Friday, with some in the area only just getting power back after the freezing rains last weekend. He visited the Jacobson Family Ranch, northwest of Max, and attended a town hall at the Max Community Center to answer questions and listen to concerns from ranchers and farmers impacted by the severe weather.
Outdoors notebook: Hoeven, Heinrich introduce CWD Research and Management Act
The Jamestown Sun
Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., introduced the Chronic Wasting Disease Research and Management Act. The bill is a Senate companion to legislation the House of Representatives passed last December with an overwhelming 393-33 vote. The bill would authorize $70 million per year, split evenly to support both the research and management of CWD. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would administer the funds through cooperative agreements with state and tribal wildlife agencies and agriculture departments…“CWD is a growing threat to both wildlife and livestock, impacting sportsmen, ranchers and the local ecology of regions across the U.S.,” Hoeven said. “Our legislation would empower state and tribal governments to better manage and prevent outbreaks of this deadly disease, while also advancing new methods for detecting CWD and limiting its spread.”
Sen. Kevin Cramer requests USDA up the value on newborn calves under Livestock Indemnity Program
“North Dakota suffered from Blizzard Haley and the subsequent snow, ice, rain, and wind storms which resulted in cattle producers having a number of their livestock perish, particularly calves. Thankfully, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) is in place to assist producers who had above normal livestock fatalities as a direct result of the storms. Unfortunately, as producers have familiarized themselves with LIP, they have expressed concerns the payment rate for calves under 250 pounds does not accurately compensate them for the losses they incurred,” Cramer wrote. Cramer pointed out the dual problems producers in North Dakota have faced since last year, starting with the 2021 drought that reduced feed sources and the 2022 spring storms, which have further stressed feed and bedding supplies as well as leading to the loss of calves. “It is critical these producers receive meaningful relief as soon as possible,” Cramer wrote.
Senators pen letter demanding end to Citibank contracts over ‘abortion tourism’
In a letter to the Senate sergeant-at-arms, Daines (the founder and chairman of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus) and others wrote: “Citi’s decision to finance abortion tourism for its employees, in brazen circumvention of State law, shows a reckless disregard for the lives of preborn children and disdain for the will of the people of the States in which Citi acts as an employer,” expressing the group’s “deep concern” about the bank…Sen[.] Kevin Cramer…signed the letter alongside the Montana senator.
After Build Back Better’s collapse, Democrats still struggling with how to message the midterms
For their part, Republicans are largely getting more bullish about their chances in the midterms, citing Democrats’ lack of cohesive messaging as one reason. “There are a whole bunch of Democrats who are feeling really in a bad spot right now. I am just gonna say that is my observation. They are in a lot of trouble politically and their President isn’t helping them. He is in fact hurting them a lot,” North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer said.
GOP Sen. Cramer: We Have ‘Workforce Crisis’ — Need Skills-Based Immigration Policy, Asylum
He continued, “We have a workforce crisis that opens up the door for a more significant immigration policy discussion, particularly around skills-based.” Cramer added, “I think there are enough specific examples, whether it’s physicians, engineers, or laborers in factories or fields, there is a growing demand.”
North Dakota rancher testifies before Congress
Senator John Hoeven introduced Pettibone rancher Shelly Ziesch to testify in front of the Senate Agriculture Committee this week. Ziesch, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher, emphasized the necessity North Dakota ranchers require for a more competitive marketplace. “The Packers and Stockyards Act has existed for over a hundred years, but a lack of enforcement has allowed consolidation and anti-competitive practices to continue. USDA and the Department of Justice needs stronger tools to enforce existing laws and Senate Bill 3870 would give USDA the authority and resources it needs to make sure our laws are enforced the way Congress originally intended,” said Ziesch. Senator Hoeven introduced the legislation Ziesch is referring to. He has also introduced legislation to allow for ranchers to provide more locally-produced meat to consumers by utilizing custom slaughterhouses.