Roughrider Roundup – August 22, 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 Burgum: “With their successful deployment in support of operations overseas, the 835th Engineer Utilities Detachment has proven once again that North Dakota National Guard soldiers are among the best in the nation. In 9 months, these skilled soldiers fulfilled an incredible 130-plus construction missions on 16 bases spread across 6 countries. Deeply grateful for their service and for the families, employers and communities who supported them during this critically important mission.”


This is a great visual from the RNC about the true impact of the Bidenflation bill Democrats just pushed through Congress. The bottom line? Joe Biden flat out lied on the campaign trail when he said that no one making under $400,000 would see their taxes go up. Democrats will answer for this in November. – Perrie


Watch this message from Chairman Perrie Schafer about the Fargo School Board’s Pledge Reversal! 

NDGOP Chairman’s Statement Re: Rick Becker’s Candidacy For U.S. Senate

BISMARCK – NDGOP Chairman, Perrie Schafer, responds to Rick Becker’s candidacy for U.S. Senate against Republican Incumbent Sen. John Hoeven:

“It’s unfortunate that Rick Becker has decided to leave the Republican Party and run as an independent against our Republican candidate who won the convention and the Primary. Rick said he would respect the decision of Republican delegates and voters and now he is doing the exact opposite. How can people count on him to do what he says he will do.”

North Dakota

North Dakota School Board Reinstates Pledge of Allegiance After Week-Long Backlash 
Fargo School Board’s decision also prompted a response from North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R), who announced on Monday that his administration would work closely with North Dakota’s legislature to pass legislation that protects every student and statewide elected official’s right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Burgum said during his announcement: As North Dakotans and Americans, we believe strongly in the value of this traditional and powerful affirmation that we are one nation, united under one flag, with liberty and justice for all, aspiring toward a more perfect union and acknowledging that such noble work never ends. On Thursday, the Fargo School Board, in a near-unanimous vote, agreed to reinstitute the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of its meetings.Guard Engineers honored for overseas service
Valley News Live
Gov. Doug Burgum, commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National, Sen. John Hoeven, Rep. Kelly Armstrong, Devils Lake Mayor Jim Moe joined Maj. Gen. Al Dohrmann, North Dakota adjutant general and other senior Guard leaders in honoring the Soldiers. “With their successful deployment in support of operations overseas, the 835th Engineer Utilities Detachment has proven once again that North Dakota National Guard soldiers are among the best in the nation,” Burgum said. “In just nine months, these well-trained and highly skilled soldiers fulfilled an incredible 130-plus construction missions and requests for engineer support on 16 bases spread across six countries, providing crucial housing, utilities and other support. We are deeply grateful for their service and for the families, employers and communities who supported these soldiers during this critically important mission.”

War in Ukraine keeping seasonal workers abroad, putting a strain on farmers at harvest
The H-2-A is a national program that brings workers from around the world to the United States to work in the agriculture industry on a temporary or seasonal basis. In North Dakota, most of those workers come from countries like South Africa, Australia, and Ukraine. But as the war in Ukraine continues, many workers from that country are not returning to help this harvest season. Farmers got a late start on planting this year which leaves them in a situation where many crops need to be harvested at once to get more work done with less workers. “When you’re lacking help and you’ve only been able to find a few people out in the workforce to help replace those, it’s tough for them,” said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. About 2,600 people come from other countries to work in North Dakota each year. Commissioner Goehring said that not getting international workers is hard on farmers but finding help locally is even worse.

Burgum forms ‘Red Tape Reduction Working Group’
Bismarck Tribune
Gov. Doug Burgum has formed a panel that will propose rollbacks on certain government regulations to the 2023 Legislature. The second-term Republican governor created the Red Tape Reduction Working Group by executive order Thursday…The panel is to complete its work by Nov. 22.  “Reducing the number of regulations and streamlining those that remain will lower costs, promote freedom and make it easier for North Dakota citizens, innovators and entrepreneurs to reach their fullest potential,” Burgum said in a statement.

North Dakota audit finds delays in child abuse contacts
A new audit shows North Dakota’s Department of Human Services continues to fall short of establishing timely contact with individuals when investigating extreme cases of child abuse. The state analysis found the department averaged 13 days before staff had face-to-face contact in those cases, instead of within 24 hours as its policy requires.  Gallion appeared Wednesday with House Human Services Committee Chairman Robin Weisz to address the audit’s findings. “What I would like to hope this starts is a conversation,” Gallion said. “To me as a father, I want to raise awareness if there is child abuse going on here in the state of North Dakota. I think that in this state we can do better and we must do better.”

ND Petroleum Council annual meeting set for Watford City
Minot Daily News
The North Dakota Petroleum Council will hold its annual meeting Sept. 20-22 in the Rough Rider Center in Watford City. The meeting will feature industry experts to share the latest in oil field development and technology…“We are excited to highlight our continued partnerships and the positive development we’ve been seeing in the western communities where we operate,” said Ron Ness, NDPC president. “Industry and government experts will also share their perspectives on what to expect in the Bakken in the coming years as we adapt to ever-evolving market dynamics.” Speakers will include: Gov. Doug Burgum[.]
VNL Investigates: Funding school safety
Valley News LiveSchool officials in the Valley say North Dakota schools have some serious problems to solve when it comes to your kids’ safety, and it’s going to take big dollars to pay for them…First, State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler says the best way to understand how much money is needed, is to have each North Dakota school district create a priority list of the work needed to make each school as safe as possible. “And once we have that data and information, if we’re seeing that there is great disparity in the safety of our schools, then I think that’s evidence-based arguments that our legislators would listen to,” Baesler said.

ND Department of Agriculture seeks proposals for bee research
Prairie Public
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is seeking grant proposals for research into finding practical solutions to honey bee health issues. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says applicants can submit proposals for several research priorities including Varroa mite controls, viruses, pathogens, and nutrition to enhance hive health and survival. “We also have been looking at proposals that look at genetic predispositioning. What they found over a period of time is, when you look at queen bees, they carry certain genetic materiel with them that when passed on, really helps with honey bee health. For example, grooming. If you see a certain gene that helps with the grooming side of it, it does a much better job with control of Varroa mites and also their ability to be more immune towards certain diseases, certain viruses, certain bacteria.” Goehring says the research will have direct benefits for North Dakota farmers and honey producers. “When you look across the world, look across the country, it’s been broadly recognized that 30% of all of the food that we consume and food that is grown needs pollinators. Being the state’s largest apiary industry and the largest honey producer in the nation, it’s a good place to do the research, it’s a good place to try to address some of these issues, because it helps everybody as a whole and it really helps our beekeepers in the honey industry.”

Cannabis measure on North Dakota ballot
Wahpeton Daily News
North Dakota voters will again decide whether or not cannabis should be legalized and regulated in the state. “Initiated Statutory Measure No. 1” received 23,368 valid signatures, North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced Monday, Aug. 15. It needed to receive at least 15,582 valid signatures to appear on the general election ballot.

Kopp Completes Northwestern University Police Training
The North Dakota Insurance Department announced the recent graduation of Special Investigator Rebecca Kopp from the School of Police Staff and Command (SPSC) at Northwestern University. Kopp has successfully completed the ten (10) week SPSC program held in Dickinson from May 16 – July 29, 2022. Kopp is a Special Investigator in the Department’s Fraud Investigation Division, which receives and investigates allegations of insurance fraud. “Becky is phenomenal member of our team. She is thorough, professional and dedicated to her role as a law enforcement officer in the Department,” said Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread. “Education is so valuable, and we’re happy to support team members, like Becky, who are seeking to grow professionally.” “Becky is a valued member of the Insurance Fraud investigative team and has always excelled in her work and support of her fellow investigators,” said Fraud Investigation Division Director Dale Pittman. “I’m proud of the work she has done and know that her future will benefit the citizens of North Dakota. Graduating from SPSC is just one small step toward her obvious potential.”

Multiple street projects and private developments create maze downtown, but complaints hard to come by
Grand Forks Herald
Despite a number of public and private construction projects that are creating bottlenecks and detours on downtown streets, Joe Schneider, the co-owner of Joe Black’s Bar and Grill and the Hub Pub, said there hasn’t been any major inconvenience for his businesses…The amount of investment going on in the downtown area right now is historic, according to Feland. Yes, there was obvious development after the Flood of 1997, but the past decade hasn’t been nearly as busy. “I would say the most recent development in our downtown was really promoted and spurred by Governor (Doug) Burgum and his Main Street Policy initiative,” Feland said. “That focused our energy on going to the next level with our downtown development.”

Warrant alleges petitioners got illegal bonuses in push for North Dakota term limits
The Dickinson Press
The initiative turned in roughly 46,000 signatures in an attempt to get the petition on the November ballot, but Secretary of State Al Jaeger disqualified the proposed measure. Jaeger declared about 29,000 signatures did not meet legal standards, so the threshold of 31,164 signatures was not met.Jaeger also alleged some petition gatherers were paid bonuses for collecting signatures, which is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by almost a year in jail. The case was handed over to the BCI for investigation.Attorney General Drew Wrigley announced last month that he sent the case to the Ward County State’s Attorney’s Office for potential charges, though it was unclear at the time who could face charges. No charges were filed against anyone as of Tuesday afternoon. ND Term Limits has sued Jaeger over the rejection of the signatures. The warrant was prompted by a recording that stated petition circulators received bonuses based on the number of signatures they collected at the North Dakota State Fair, according to the warrant. BCI agents contacted some of those signature collectors and spoke with Tuttle, court documents said.

No bids submitted for pipeline that would carry natural gas to proposed North Dakota ag projects
The Jamestown Sun
The state of North Dakota received no bids by the Aug. 15 deadline for a pipeline that would carry natural gas across North Dakota from west to east and supply energy to proposed agricultural manufacturing processing plants in Grand Forks…The letter from WBI Energy Transmission and the lack of bids for the pipeline project does not mean there is no interest from companies who would build it, Kringstad said. “I know that companies are still working on it,” he said. “I can confidently say that companies are interested.” The pipeline companies continue to have conversations with the companies that would build the plant about their construction timeline and the amount of natural gas they would need, he said. “It’s an extensive coordination effort to get things in line so the projects are viable,” he said. “Efforts are ongoing and no one I have talked to has ceased communication.” Kringstad will discuss the pipeline project with North Dakota Industrial Commission members Gov. Doug Burgum, Attorney General Drew Wrigley and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring at its regularly scheduled Aug. 26 meeting.

North Dakota’s rural child care providers seek sustainability
The Jamestown Sun
Pandemic disruptions hit many child care providers hard, particularly in far-flung corners of the state. Enrollment dropped by one-third during COVID restrictions, according to state data. This led to closings, staff layoffs and reduced income for providers. U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Human Services estimates show there are nearly 55,000 children under the age of 5 in North Dakota and around 30,000 children in licensed child care. For the most part, licensed child care demand far outstrips capacity. In North Dakota, Nelson and Cass counties have the highest capacity, yet both only meet 55% of the potential demand. Most others meet only 25 to 35%. Slope County in the southwest part of the state, has no licensed child care at all, while Sioux has none outside of what is provided by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Gov. Doug Burgum and other state officials met with child care providers in June, and are expected to unveil new policy and budget proposals during the 2023 legislative session.

Washington, D.C.

Twitter crushes CNN piece celebrating falling gas prices as ‘$100-a-month-raise’: ‘Next level gaslighting’
Fox News
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., neutralized the spin in the simplest of terms, tweeting, “Gas was $2.39 a gallon when @POTUS took office. It is $3.92 now. Next on @CNN arsonist gets medal for helping fight fire he started.”

Hoeven welcomes home North Dakota National Guard Unit
KX News
On Friday, Senator John Hoeven commended the service of the North Dakota National Guard’s 835th Engineer Utilities Detachment at a welcome home ceremony. The Guardmembers of the 835th returned from Kuwait where they supported U.S. Central Command missions and operations. The Senator, joined by Governor Doug Burgum, Adjutant General Alan Dohrmann, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong, among others, outlined high ongoing efforts to support the men and women of the North Dakota National Guard as a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee. “Today we welcome North Dakota Guardmembers home from Kuwait,” said Hoeven. “The sacrifice of these members, and their families, does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. It is because of the brave men and women in uniform, who defend the liberties and freedoms we enjoy every day, that we live in the greatest nation the world has ever known. Thank you for your service, welcome home, and congratulations on a mission well done.”

ND senators consider bill that would bar China from buying U.S. farmland, ag businesses
The Dickinson Press
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said, “this is an important issue that needs attention and as a senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I look forward to working with Senator Mike Rounds on this matter.” “He and I have been colleagues both as governors and in the Senate, and have worked together on many shared efforts over the years,” Hoeven said. U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said in a statement that while he has not visited with Rounds about the bill, he is “interested in the concept.” “Agriculture investments are largely exempt from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States authority, but clearly we are at a time when food supply chains are critical to national security and China is very aggressive about dominating critical supply chains,” said Cramer.

Dryness spreads across North Dakota; harvest of many crops underway
Bismarck Tribune
USDA also has established an appeals process for producers impacted by issues with the Farm Service Agency’s adjusted gross income calculations under the program, according to U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. The problem had improperly subjected some farmers to lower payment limits, preventing them from fully recovering their eligible losses, he said.

Mental health a key topic of discussion for policymakers in North Dakota
Anyone could find themselves facing a mental health crisis. Mental health issues are common and can be triggered by losses people experienced during the pandemic, spurred on by a decline in physical well-being, or amplified by substance abuse. The CDC reports the number of people seeking services for mental health issues rose over the past two years. That’s why Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) met with the North Dakota Mental Health Counseling Association Thursday in a quest to learn how to better provide services to those in our state. Armstrong says his grandmother was the head of the North Dakota Mental Health Association for 20 years and used to answer a suicide hotline in order to help others. “It’s something that I think, to be honest, I think North Dakota has led the way on and I think society in general has moved faster than I would have thought possible in recognizing mental health and addiction as things that can be treated and not just punished,” said Congressman Kelly Armstrong (R-ND).

Flag Presentation Scheduled to Honor Local WWII Hero
News Dakota
Vern Otterson, a 96-year-old World War II Veteran, will be presented a flag that was previously flown at the U.S. Capitol. U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer will be delivering the flag to the Fargo native on Thursday, August 25 at 11:00 a.m. at the Eventide Care Center in south Fargo. In September of 1944 in Normandy, France, Otterson sustained injuries to his arms, legs and forehead after a group of men stepped on a landmine near his location. He never received any medical attention and was able to treat his own wounds so that he could continue to fight for his country.

Grand Forks students gain hands-on experience, learn about STEM careers at weeklong camp
Grand Forks Herald
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, visited the camp Tuesday and chatted with students, including Dunn and William Dickinson, a rising eighth-grader who is homeschooled. The boys — whose fathers serve in the U.S. Air Force — designed a shelter on their topographical map that included living quarters, a medical facility and two separate research areas on different elevations, Dickinson said, “so we could research both the mountains and the forest.” Programs like STEMKAMP, which is part of the Department of Defense’s National Defense Education program, “are an investment in the future success of not only students, but our economy as a whole,” Hoeven said in a statement issued Tuesday. “Moreover, it will position these students to tackle critical challenges, from powering and feeding our nation to making advancements in health care, communications and countless other fields. That means a brighter and more prosperous future for North Dakota and our country.”

Congressman Armstrong discusses re-election bid
KX News
“I think the first thing we should deal with is the security of the southern border. I think we should move forward. I think we should be talking about the fentanyl overdoses that are happening in North Dakota right now. If you have a fentanyl overdose in your community, you’re a border community. 95% of that is coming across the southern border.”

Lawmakers and business leaders promote manufacturing subsidies in visit to Dickinson
The Dickinson Press
On Monday, North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer, a member of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, hosted Export-Import Bank Director and former Congressman Spencer Bachus, R-AL, in Dickinson for a round-table discussion aimed at supporting job expansion in export opportunities for American businesses. Cramer praised the Ex-Im Bank for what it does to support jobs and manufacturing in North Dakota. “The bank ensures businesses in our state and throughout the country can compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace,” Cramer stated in a press release. “It provides critical financing to American exporters to ship our goods, innovation, and freedom across the world while supporting small businesses and jobs at home.”

Grand Forks receives nearly $8 million for public transportation infrastructure improvements
Grand Forks Herald
Nearly $8 million is coming to the city of Grand Forks to help pay for upgrades to the city’s public transportation system. The announcement came from the office of U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, who noted the award of $7.76 million from the Federal Transit Administration. “Funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act continues to deliver wins for North Dakota, from airports and bridges to drinking water and transportation projects,” Cramer said in a statement sent to the media. “These dollars will have a noticeable impact on our communities, and this grant will improve public transportation facilities in Grand Forks.”

Armstrong discusses inflation, workforce issues in Jamestown
The Jamestown Sun
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., talked about inflation, workforce issues and letting states control regulations on energy and agriculture during a roundtable discussion Monday, Aug. 15, with local economic development leaders in Jamestown. Armstrong said the national inflation rate is more at 17% to 18% versus the 9% that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting over the previous 12 months that ended in June. He said grocery prices are 13% higher than they were a year ago. In North Dakota, oil prices and agricultural commodity prices are good, he said. He said oil and commodity prices will go down way quicker than the input expenses — costs to make a product or create a service — will decline for growing crops or drilling oil. “But it doesn’t matter if it is all getting chewed up in input and you can’t find what you need,” he said. He said the economy was supercharged with $9 trillion in “made-up money.”

Put North Dakota First