Roughrider Roundup – August 1, 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


With 100 Days to go until the Midterm Elections, I’d like to highlight some of the RNC’s terrific efforts under Chairwoman McDaniel’s leadership for a Red Wave this November! – Perrie 

  • 300 staffers on the ground in key battleground states across the country.
  • 39 million voter contacts ahead of the midterms.
  • 550,000 volunteers engaged.  
  • Opened more than 30 RNC Community Centers (Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Native American, and Jewish American) within the past year.  
  • Redoubled our voter registration efforts in key states like North Carolina, Florida, and Pennsylvania.  
    • In Pennsylvania, Republicans have closed the voter registration gap by over 145,000 since election day 2020 and over 376,000 since election day 2016. 
    • In North Carolina, Republicans have closed the voter registration gap by over 96,000 since election day 2020 and over 350,000 since election day 2016. 
    • In Florida, in 2016, Democrats had a 330,000 voter registration advantage. Today, Republicans have over 137,000 more voters than Democrats. That is a gain of more than 475,000 voters. 
  • Additionally, the RNC’s election integrity operation is helping to ensure secure, fair, and transparent elections in 2022. See our efforts at    
    • The RNC has spent millions of dollars on supporting election laws around the country that increase transparency and make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
    • The RNC has 17 in-state election integrity directors and nearly 30 in-state election integrity counsels to ensure that elections are free, fair, and transparent in key states. 
    • Our unprecedented election integrity ground game program has recruited over 30,000 poll workers and poll watchers to ensure transparency at the ballot box in November.


NDGOP Statement on Recession

“Joe Biden and the Democrats in Congress have created an economic nightmare for American families. From skyrocketing prices to depressed wages, we are suffering because of the far-left’s grip on the Democratic Party. Make no mistake about it: voters will remember who is responsible for this recession come November.”

NDGOP Chairman, Perrie Schafer

North Dakota

Ag Department offering crop share assistance for producers
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is rolling out its Soil Health Cover Crop Grant Program again this year to provide cost-share assistance to producers. The NDDA is now accepting applications for the program. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said the program’s aim is to protect and enhance the state’s soil health, especially in cropland areas impacted with saline or alkaline soils. The application must be completed by October 1st, and the cover crops need to be planted by September 15th. The cost-share payment is $25 per acre for applicants, who are capped at 160-acres per year.

Music camp founder Utgaard gets North Dakota’s top honor
International Music Camp founder Merton Utgaard will receive North Dakota’s highest honor, the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award. Gov. Doug Burgum made the announcement Friday. Utgaard died in 1998 at age 84. He is the 47th recipient of the award. The Maddock native founded the music camp in 1956 at the International Peace Garden that sits astride the North Dakota and Canadian border, north of Dunseith. He served as director for 28 years. At the time of his death, more than 90,000 students from more than 60 countries had attended the summer camp.
1st Battalion, 188th Air Defense Artillery Regiment – ND’s most-deployed unit – returns from another mission
The Dickinson Press
More than 200 members of the North Dakota Army National Guard, who last summer were sent to the Washington, D.C., area to provide air defense for the capital city, returned last week after being away for more than a year…It’s a rotating mission, said Maj. Alan Roehric, battalion commander, noting the regiment previously served in the D.C. area in 2013-14 and 2017-18, and will likely return in the future. In total, it was the 12th mobilization for the 188th since 2004, according to statements made by Gov. Doug Burgum at the Alerus Center before the guard members left last year, “making it the most-deployed unit in the North Dakota Army National Guard.” Their report after returning home this time: All went well.

4-H members show state leaders how to put on a show
Minot Daily News
State leaders learned how to show livestock from the future leaders of 4-H on Friday at the North Dakota State Fair…The North Dakota State University 4-H Showmanship event paired 4-H members from across the state with college presidents, state legislators and government officials. “The overall objective is to connect today’s leaders with tomorrow’s leaders,” said Kurt Froelich, NDSU Extension Agent for Stark and Billings Counties…Doug Goehring, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner, has past experience with 4-H and with showing animals but said he was prepared to listen to just how his young partner told him to show the livestock.

Standing Rock tribal flag raised at International Peace Garden
Another one of the five tribes that lie within the state of North Dakota has seen its flag fly over the International Peace Garden. Tribal and state leaders gathered Friday morning to raise the flag of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe at the garden. Those in attendance included Standing Rock Chairwoman Janet Alkire and Vice Chairman Frank Jamerson, along with Turtle Mountain Chairman Jamie Azure and Spirit Lake Chairman Douglas Yankton. They joined Gov. Doug Burgum, R-ND, North Dakota’s Parks and Recreation Director Cody Schultz, ND Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman, International Peace Gardens Executive Director Tim Chapman, and Miss USA North Dakota SaNoah LaRocque.

North Dakota PSC chair pleased with planned power grid upgrades
The operator of the power grid serving 15 states and Manitoba has announced it has okayed $10 billion in investments in electrical transmission. The chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission called that announcement good news for North Dakota. “There’s a lot of energy that we produce in this state that can’t get out, both renewable and conventional,” said Julie Fedorchak. But Fedorchak does take issue with some comments made by a member of the Clean Grid Alliance, to the Prairie News Service. Natalie McIntire said building more capacity for a variety of clean-energy resources paves the way for a more reliable grid…Fedorchak disagreed. “There’s no way around the fact that customers are going to pay double for the generation,” Fedorchak said. “At least in the interim.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praises West’s green energy potential in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday
The Spokesman-Review
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota asked Buttigieg about increasing the pool of trucking employees who’ve received their commercial drivers licenses and the administration’s position on permitting autonomous vehicles for freight shipments by road. Buttigieg said in much the same way the country will need to experience “a cultural shift” around electric vehicles, the public needed to change its thinking on self-driving cars.

ND Workforce Safety and Insurance director announces retirement
The state’s director of Workforce Safety and Insurance for the last 13 years, Bryan Klipfel, announced he will be retiring. Klipfel oversees WSI’s staff of roughly 260 team members. Before joining in 2009, Klipfel served 30 years with the North Dakota Highway Patrol, working in various roles in Rolla, Minot, Williston, and Bismarck. He has worked in public service for a total of 46 years, all in the state of North Dakota. “From working to make our state safer through increased visibility and collaboration with other law enforcement, to providing relief to workers during the pandemic by handling 14 years of unemployment insurance claims in 14 months, to providing a safe, secure and healthy workplace, Bryan has been a champion for the well-being and safety for all, helping to ensure that North Dakota continues to be a great place to live and work,” Governor Doug Burgum said in a news release.

North Dakota Lottery contributes 6.7 million to state
AM 1100 The Flag
The North Dakota Lottery is contributing millions to the state. Attorney General Drew Wrigley announced Wednesday that the state lottery had provided six-point-seven million dollars to various state programs. Wrigley says five-point-six million went to the state’s general fund and  800-thousand was allocated to the Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Grant Fund. Another 320-thousand was contributed to the Compulsive Gambling Prevention and Treatment Fund.

Otter Tail Power proposing a ‘rider’ on monthly bills for ‘smart meters’
Prairie Public
Otter Tail Power Company customers will likely see their monthly bills go up – as the utility implements “smart meters.” Those are meters that provide constant information on electric use to the companies, thereby eliminating the need for a meter-reader. “The proposed rate would be charged monthly on a per-meter basis,” said North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Sheri Haugen-Hoffart. “It would be $1.71 for a residential meter, to $71.76 for a large, general service transmission meter.” Otter Tail calls the rider the “Advanced Grid Infrastructure Cost Recovery Rider.” The North Dakota Public Service Commission has opened an opportunity for a hearing on it. And Commissioner Randy Christmann said he would like to have at least an informal hearing on it. “I don’t like the name of it,” Christmann said. “To me, it’s misleading. People are starting to understand the grid and the regional transmission organizations.”

Burgum sends letter to federal agencies, supporting a review of Fufeng project ‘with the utmost urgency’
The Jamestown Sun
Gov. Doug Burgum has joined those who seek a federal review of a proposed corn mill in Grand Forks, urging that the process be completed “with the utmost urgency.” The letter was sent by the governor to Lloyd Austin, U.S. secretary of defense, and Janet Yellen, secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury…At issue is growing concern about the project’s potential impact to national security, considering its proximity to Grand Forks Air Force Base and its possible influence on the nation’s food supply chain. “In doing its due diligence on this project, the city of Grand Forks has encouraged Fufeng Group to make a voluntary CFIUS filing, and according to a published report, the company has agreed to do so,” Burgum said. “We ask that this review process be completed with the utmost urgency to aid Grand Forks officials in their decision-making process and provide clarity on whether this land purchase has national security implications.”

Steele, Casselton Projects Receive ADD Funding
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has announced Agricultural Diversification and Development (ADD) Fund awards for three projects. The awards totaling $599,000 were approved at the ADD quarterly meeting July 20 in Bottineau. The ADD Fund is administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture in association with the Bank of North Dakota. The fund was created to support new or expanding value-added-agriculture businesses that demonstrate financial feasibility, enhance profitability for farmers and ranchers, create jobs and grow North Dakota’s economy. Types of projects eligible for the fund include but are not limited to: food production and processing facilities, feed or pet food processing facilities, commodity processing facilities, agriculture product manufacturing and animal production facilities.

Baesler names new Student Cabinet
Minot Daily News
Area students are among youth named by State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Tuesday to her Superintendent’s Student Cabinet, a 25-member group that will advise her about ways to strengthen North Dakota’s K-12 education system. The Cabinet includes students ranging in age from the fourth to the 12th grades, representing large and small schools in all corners of North Dakota. Eight of the 25 members have served on previous Cabinets. It is the fifth Cabinet in the history of the program, and the largest since Baesler began the initiative in 2015.

ND Teacher of the Year finalists named
Devils Lake Journal
State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Friday announced that teachers in Bismarck, Linton, Grand Forks and Hunter are finalists for the 2023 North Dakota Teacher of the Year award…Baesler will visit the school of each finalist to celebrate their achievement. The 2023 Teacher of the Year winner will receive a $15,000 grant to use for promoting the teaching profession. “As a state, we want to lift up our educators and give them the honor and respect they richly deserve,” the superintendent said. “They have handled some of the toughest educational challenges in the history of our state in recent years, and they have done it with confidence and style. These four finalists are exemplars of excellence in their profession, and all of North Dakota should be proud of them.”

North Dakota Legislature hears concerns about ESG credit factors
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota lawmakers are hearing about concerns related to the state’s environmental, social, and governance credit factors. State Treasurer Thomas Beadle told legislators Tuesday that ratings from the S and P Global ESG Credit Indicator Report ranked North Dakota as neutral for social and governance factors. The state was ranked as moderately negative for environmental factors and noted as a ‘climate transition risk’ for the prevalence of oil, gas, and coal use in North Dakota.

Bitzero leases office space in Bismarck, Fargo, plans to turn old missile site into data center
The Bismarck Tribune
The cryptocurrency mining company Bitzero Blockchain Inc. has leased space in Bismarck and Fargo for administrative operations as it begins transforming a northeastern North Dakota anti-ballistic missile site abandoned in the 1970s into its main data center. The center at the Nekoma site may be used for the mining of bitcoin and other digital currencies, according to Gov. Doug Burgum. Bitzero is backed by strategic investor and “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary. It announced plans last month to make North Dakota its headquarters for North American operations, saying that within three years it intends to build 200 megawatts of data centers in the state and is involved in a joint venture to become an assembly and distribution hub for graphene battery technology.

Washington, D.C.

The Red River Valley Water Supply Project : Senator John Hoeven says the state needs to work with landowners
KX News
In continuing coverage, The Red River Valley Water supply pipeline project has been consistent in our top stories recently we now are reporting what Senator Hoeven has to say in response to the way landowners feel…Senator John Hoeven came to the region yesterday with the goal to discuss efforts to advance this project and two others. KX News asked the Senator if he knew about the landowners’ complaints and concerns. “Yeah, so I understand that they’re still working along the route with some of the landowners and they need to work with those landowners and make sure that they’re fairly compensated and that they meet any concerns that they have, but remember that this is a water pipeline so it’s removing water it’s not like moving oil gas or something like that so then sometimes people get worried about other issues, here this is water just like you’d have maybe if you’re in town you’ll have a waterline up under your house, “said Senator Hoeven.

Feds fix issue with farm aid applications
The Bismarck Tribune
The federal government is addressing an issue with an aid program meant to help farmers recover from losses tied to weather disasters in 2020 and 2021. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in May mailed prefilled Emergency Relief Program applications to producers using existing crop insurance information. Some farmers who had 2020 claims had those losses inadvertently excluded from the forms because they had been incorrectly categorized as 2019 losses, according to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. USDA’s Farm Service agency will be issuing corrected applications to affected producers in August, and indefinitely extending the deadline for farmers to return them. A new deadline will be announced later. FSA also will be sending applications to producers from whom additional information was needed to determine 2021 losses.

Fargo National Cemetery restroom project to see upgrades
Following outcries from local veteran groups, Senator John Hoeven says he’s secured an agreement with the Department of Veterans Affairs to add heat and electricity to a planned restroom at the Fargo National Cemetery. The plan for a restroom at the Fargo National Cemetery comes as part of a $250,000 enhancement project under development. It includes wind walls and is expected to be completed later this year. Some veterans from the Fargo Honor Guard are critical of the VA’s “vault toilet” restroom plan, calling it an “outhouse.” They have plans for a building which would already feature a restroom and amenities for vets and their families.

KX Convo: Congressman Armstrong talks Fufeng
KX News
“Well, I think, first of all, we have a select committee on China in the US House. And, I’m not a big fan of select committees. But this is absolutely a select committee we need to keep moving forward. I agree with the CFIUS review. I also agree with Governor Burgum that they need to complete it quickly. But I think we need to have an overall policy on China because they are our number one strategic adversary. I do not think the Chinese government should be operating farmland in the United States. This land will not be farmed, whether it’s them or somebody else it will take I mean, this is the growth of cities in North Dakota ended up doing this a lot. So I think the city has reviews important and one of the reasons I think it’s important is because we should not ask local city commissions whether it’s in Grand Forks, or Fargo or Omaha, Nebraska to be fighting this war. And the United States and the US Congress and the US government has to have a better strategic answer for how we deal with China moving forward,” said Armstrong.

Republican Senators Call For Sanctions Against Russian Oil Sales To China
Daily Caller
Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Rick Scott of Florida proposed a bill aimed at fining organizations that insure or register fuel tankers delivering oil or liquefied natural gas from Russia to China, according to the press release. The senators claim that the Chinese Communist Party is funding Putin’s war effort in Ukraine by purchasing Russian oil and gas.

Delegation calls on CBP to return northern ports of entry to pre-pandemic operating hours
The Williston Herald
U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus calling for a return to pre-pandemic hours at the northern border ports of entry. North Dakota ports of entry continue to exercise reduced and restricted operating hours first introduced at the beginning of the pandemic over two years ago. “Despite the reopening of the U.S.- Canada border last year, North Dakotans remain negatively impacted as our ports of entry continue to operate under the reduced hours put into place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to have ports of entry open to pre-pandemic hours of operation to accommodate lawful travel and trade with Canada, our close ally and largest trading partner. As our economy is suffering from record high inflation, it is critical we remove obstacles to the legitimate flow of goods and services in order to alleviate mounting strain on the supply chain,” wrote the delegation.

Cramer Against Semiconductor Legislation As It Advances In Senate
Sen. Kevin Cramer says he is opposed to legislation to boost the semiconductor industry in the U.S. But the bill still advanced in the Senate by a vote of 64-32, with 60 votes needed to move ahead. The legislation is now on a glidepath to final passage in the Senate later this week. The White House has led support for the bill, along with industry leaders. They say government subsidies are necessary to compete with other nations, including China, that are spending billions of dollars to lure semiconductor manufacturers. “But trying to out-China, China, is not the way to do that, said Cramer as he appeared on Fox Business’ Kudlow. “The way to do it is to reopen our free market system, eliminate the regulations and the taxes that get in the way of the innovators.”

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