Roughrider Roundup – April 25, 2022

Happy Monday!

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 Doug Burgum declares April as Military Children’s Month.

North Dakota

Ducey, Abbott and other GOP governors join Border Strike Force to combat illegal activity at southern border
Fox News
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said that he, along with other governors, has witnessed “firsthand the desperate need for more resources and better coordination to secure the southern border, due to the Biden administration’s failure to address this humanitarian crisis and its growing threat to our national security.” “If the president and vice president won’t fix the problem — or even visit the border to see it for themselves — then as governors we must coordinate resources and training, share intelligence information and enforce our criminal laws to stem the tide of illegal immigration and protect our citizens from drug trafficking, human trafficking and other border-related crime,” Burgum said.

Bitzero, Shark Tank’s O’Leary visit North Dakota
The Williston Herald
Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank Fame is interested in placing a $3 billion bitcoin mining operation in North Dakota, according to a media release from the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “North Dakota has exactly what we need to build sustainable data centers,” said O’Leary, a well-known entrepreneur and a judge on TV’s Shark Tank. “In fact, I know that North Dakota is a great place to do business from my investment in PRx Performance in Fargo, which is one of the most successful companies featured on Shark Tank.” O’Leary was joined in the visit by other representatives of the cyrptocurrency company Bitzero, including the company’s CEO, Akbar Shamji. They met with Gov. Doug Burgum, U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, Commerce representatives, Chief Information Officer Shawn Riley and other state officials.

New elk unit offers opportunities in southern North Dakota; Bismarck man has successful hunt
The Bismarck Tribune
Those opportunities started after Gov. Doug Burgum and then-Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault signed a memorandum of understanding five years ago regulating an elk hunting season on Standing Rock. State and tribal wildlife agencies saw the opportunity to work together and share resources on management of the herd, and provide elk hunting opportunities for tribal and nontribal members under a single tag.

Godfread: Convenience isn’t always covered
The Bismarck Tribune
When starting as a gig delivery driver, insurance is something that can be easily overlooked. If you know a delivery driver, encourage them to review their insurance policy and ensure that it aligns with the requirements set by their delivery company. When in doubt about what coverage you need, consult with your delivery company and your insurance agent. The team at the North Dakota Insurance Department is also a phenomenal resource for your insurance questions. There are no dumb questions in the Insurance Department. Let’s get covered, North Dakota.UND construction projects near completion, while others are waiting in the wings
Grand Forks Herald
Another major construction project at UND is winding down, but the campus landscape will continue to change as other projects get underway. The new Nistler College of Business and Public Administration is nearing completion, and is on pace to open in the fall. When UND students, staff and faculty occupy the building, it will create a domino effect of other activity, as projects such as a coming remodel of Merrifield and Twamley halls begin to take shape…In November 2021, Gov. Doug Burgum approved $62 million to be used for construction and research projects at UND.

Valley City State University held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, April 21st celebrating the completion of the new Center for the Arts…Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said the state needs to attract more people to become teachers, he said this facility will do that. Another VCSU graduate, House Majority Leader Chet Pollert said former state Senator Larry Robinson was instrumental working with legislators on both sides of the isle to get the votes to support this project.

Public Health, U-Mary host drug ‘take back’ event
The Bismarck Tribune
Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health and the University of Mary are hosting a prescription drug “take back” event on Friday, in advance of the national “Take Back Day.” The event aims to provide people with a a safe and convenient way to dispose of unused prescription drugs so they don’t fall into the wrong hands…North Dakota’s year-round Take Back program — a cause of late Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem — was launched in December 2009 and quickly expanded statewide. More than 19 tons of unused prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications have been collected and destroyed through Take Back containers at law enforcement agencies and MedSafe containers at pharmacies. North Dakota is the only state operating free, year-round, statewide prescription drug disposal programs, according to the Attorney General’s Office. More information is at

Melanie Aeschliman named State Supervisor of Assessments
KX News
North Dakota Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus has appointed Melanie Aeschliman as the new State Supervisor of Assessments in the North Dakota Office of State Tax Commissioner. Aeschliman most recently served as the director of planning for Kenai Peninsula Borough in Alaska. She is a graduate of Bismarck State College and earned a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management/Human Resources and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Colorado Christian University.

USDA to help cover costs of hauling livestock to forage
Morning AG Clips
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that they are offering an enhancement to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) to help ranchers cover above normal costs of hauling livestock to forage or other grazing acres. “ELAP covered hauling feed to livestock and this new announcement provides additional relief for livestock producers hauling livestock to forage,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “We have received many calls and questions about hauling livestock, so we welcome this option as it makes sense for many producers.”

Fargo Theatre celebrates Patriots’ Day with screening of Revolution
Fargo Theatre hosts one of North Dakota’s first in-person Patriots’ Day events since Governor Doug Burgum signed a bill making it a state holiday in 2019. Patriots Day commemorates the Battles of Lexington, Concord and Menotomy which are some of the first of the Revolutionary War…“Our young people are understanding how fragile and precious our freedoms are as they see the invasion of Ukraine,” North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler said. North Dakota is one of five states where Patriots’ Day is a state holiday.

North Dakota officials react to resumption of federal drilling leases
“While we appreciate the Biden administration finally meeting its legal obligation to auction oil leases on federal land, now is not the time for baby steps. Instead of leasing only a fraction of the available acres and disincentivizing drilling by charging higher royalties to pay for federal largesse, the administration should remove roadblocks and fully unleash U.S. energy production,” said Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND).

Washington, D.C.

Senator pushes back on Biden energy policies
Minot Daily News
The Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Energy Committee gathered on Friday, to listen to Sen. John Hoeven as he addressed the Biden administration’s environmental agenda and outlined his own efforts to support domestic energy production. While the Biden administration has recently been pushed by court rulings into resuming some oil and gas lease sales for federal land, it has placed significant limitations on the amount of land available for lease and hiked the royalties due to them. Hoeven noted that this would negatively impact future energy development and ultimately lead to higher prices for consumers. “The wrong policy in Washington is hurting us.” said the senator, “We have the highest inflation we’ve had in 40 years. Inflation is a tax on everyone. Energy is a huge part of what drives inflation.”

Republicans carry massive financial advantage into North Dakota congressional races
The Dickinson Press
Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, the two endorsed North Dakota Republicans running for Congress this year, hold several key advantages over their opponents, including incumbency, superior name recognition and the popularity of their party. But perhaps their biggest edge in pursuit of reelection is cash. Hoeven and Armstrong maintain mammoth campaign reserves heading into election season. Their Democratic opponents have very little to fund their underdog campaigns.

UND receives federal grants for drone research
Grand Forks Herald
UND has received two Federal Aviation Administration grants totaling more than $400,000 for drone research. The grants were announced in a pair of Thursday, April 21, releases from North Dakota Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, as well as UAS Magazine, an online publication for commercial unmanned systems manufacturers and operators. The grants to UND are part of a larger research initiative by the FAA to help advance unmanned technology and educate the next generation of aviation professionals.

‘Stand for what you believe in’: NBA player turned activist shares story in Bismarck
The Jamestown Sun
A guest of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, Freedom came to North Dakota to tell his life story and promote the same kind of human rights activism that he believes cost him a career on the hardwood.
…The 29-year-old Freedom told the Bismarck crowd Tuesday he’s a capable pro player who is being blackballed from the league because of his protests against China. Cramer, who joined him on stage, made the same insinuation, and argued the NBA and its players association are hypocritical for strongly supporting the Black Lives Matter movement but casting Freedom aside when he spoke up on Chinese atrocities.

KX Conversation: Cramer blasts Biden’s federal leasing announcement
KX News
“He’s only considering 20% of the eligible BLM acres for leasing. And on top of that, he’s adding to the price of doing it, he’s adding to the royalty price. royalties are based on a percentage of the revenue created by drilling on the land. So he’s creating a disincentive to drill on the land. Because there’s a big difference between getting a lease and drilling, they’re not the same thing that the lease is the only the very first step. And if you open up for some leases, but then disincentivize, the drilling, you really haven’t accomplished anything,” explained Cramer.

Mask mandate removal relieves UND, local airport leaders
Grand Forks Herald
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has frequently supported ending mask mandates, including the transportation requirement, which he voted to strike down on March 15, according to a release issued at that time. On Monday, he took to social media to herald the dropping of the mandate, calling it “good news for travelers.” “Today a federal court ruled the mask rule is federal overreach and struck down the mandate,” he said.

Hoeven visits the southern border
“They’re the eyes and the ears, and they find a lot of the people that are making illegal entry and then they notify border patrol and then border patrol comes and actually takes them into custody. Border patrol would be overwhelmed without them, and that’s why keeping this Public Order 42 in place is so important, because if that gets revoked, then there’s going to be even more people coming,” said Senator Hoeven. Senator Hoeven underlined the importance to extend Title 42, a Public Health Order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that allows immigration officials to return migrants to their home countries to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The Biden Administration previously announced it would rescind Title 42 on May 23rd.

North Dakota officials react to resumption of federal drilling leases
“Once again, this shows that the Biden administration is taking the wrong approach to energy development. We need to produce more energy here at home to reduce inflation and help our allies. We will continue pushing the administration to take the handcuffs off American energy producers to unleash the full potential of our abundant taxpayer-owned energy reserves,” said Senator John Hoeven (R-ND). “It’s about time the Biden Administration took this small first step opened up federal lands to oil and gas development as it’s mandated in statute, but this action alone won’t solve anything. Their rhetoric, nominees, and nearly every federal agency are working to choke off funding and regulate fossil fuels out of existence. Just look at the announcement itself: far less acreage is up for auction and the royalty rate is hiked. Now they need to approve all applications for permits to drill providing jobs for America’s workers and creating American energy,” said Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND). “The Biden administration has done everything it can to hamstring American energy production. While it is the right step to hold congressionally mandated lease sales, the administration is offering only a fraction of the acres needed to restore American energy dominance, and at a far higher cost to producers than before. We need less barriers, not more, to achieve energy independence again,” said Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-ND).

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