Roughrider Roundup – February 21, 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


SAVE THE DATE: The NDGOP Convention will take place April 1-2, 2022 in Bismarck, ND at the Bismarck Event Center. More information to come. 

Photo of the Week

The Fargo Theatre ready for Governor Burgum’s State of the State last week. Read and watch here!

North Dakota

Leiman: North Dakota is well on its way to taking No. 1 GDP per capita in the nation
The Williston Herald
With some $30 billion in new value-added projects announced in North Dakota recently, the state is well on its way to positioning itself as having the highest GDP per capita in the nation. The West has already been a beneficiary of some of the largest of these new economic opportunities, including Cerilon’s $2.8 billion gas-to-liquids plant in Trenton, and a $1.9 billion cryptocurrency facility that’s already under construction in Williams County. North Dakota Commerce Commissioner James Leiman told the Williston Herald on Friday he already has just over $30 billion in value-added or diversification projects right now. And he’s working on even more.

Joseph Heringer to lead North Dakota Department of Trust Lands
KX News
Bismarck attorney and investment manager Joseph Heringer was chosen Thursday to lead the Department of Trust Lands as commissioner. The unanimous vote came from the five-member North Dakota Board of University and School Lands (Land Board), which consists of Gov. Doug Burgum, State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, State Treasurer Thomas Beadle, Secretary of State Al Jaeger and Attorney General Drew Wrigley. Heringer has 14 years of experience in the trust and investment industry. He currently serves as a senior wealth manager for Bravera Wealth in Bismarck, and on the company’s Investment Committee, according to a press release.

DON’T QUIT fitness campaign to launch in North Dakota schools
KX News
Three North Dakota schools will receive state-of-the-art fitness centers as part of a nationwide program aimed at reducing childhood obesity. Governor Doug Burgum said the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC) selected North Dakota for the 2022 DON’T QUIT campaign, which will be anchored around the three fitness centers. Burgum said elementary and middle schools in the state can submit applications to be one of the three centers. Interested schools should go to and click on the North Dakota state seal to download the application.
Burgum proposes more tax relief in state of the state address
The Center Square
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum pushed for tax relief across multiple sectors Wednesday during his state of the state address, calling it a key priority for his administration over the next 10 months. Burgum highlighted a two-year income tax credit approved in November that he said will save taxpayers about $211 million. He also mentioned the recent elimination of the state income tax on Social Security income that will save seniors about $15 million over the next two years. “We’ve made progress on tax relief, but we can’t stop there,” the governor said. “We need to continue finding ways to simplify our tax code. We need to create a better business tax environment, particularly now when we’re competing. We need to make sure that we’re cutting red tape and cutting regulation to make sure that people that want to live in our state can. And we have to make sure that any attempt at state funded property tax relief actually finds its way to the citizens rather than being slowly eroded through property value increases and fiscally uneconomic premature growth of public-funded infrastructure on the edges of our city.”

U.S. Govs, Canadian Premiers Call On Biden, Trudeau To Drop Cross-Border Vax Mandate For Truckers
The Daily Wire
A coalition of Canadian premiers and U.S. governors are calling on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden to discard a vaccine mandate for cross-border travel for truckers…The letter was signed by…Doug Burgum of North Dakota[.]

Burgum congratulates NDSU on raising $586.7M to benefit students, faculty, programs and facilities
Devils Lake Journal
Gov. Doug Burgum joined officials at North Dakota State University to announce that the university’s six-year “In Our Hands” fundraising campaign raised a grand total of $586.7 million. The governor joined NDSU President Dean Bresciani, NDSU Foundation President John Glover, campaign co-chairs Robert and Sheila Challey and Steve and Mary Anne Swiontek, and others at the event.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum announces $10 million match grant for Grand Farm
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum on Feb. 14, 2022, ceremoniously announced that the “Grand Farm,” based in Fargo, will receive $10 million matching grant from the Commerce Department. The money will help build an “Innovation Facility” — a field test center, where researchers and developers will advance“autonomous agriculture” and other technology.

Washington, D.C.

Cramer, Hoeven ask AG to reject airline’s no-fly list request for unruly passengers
U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven are among eight senators asking Attorney General Merrick Garland to deny Delta Airlines’ request to create a “no-fly” list for airline passengers convicted of any “on-board disruption.” In a letter to the attorney general, the senators say the majority of recent incidents on airplanes has been in relation to the federal mask mandate from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). “Creating a federal ‘no-fly’ list for unruly passengers who are skeptical of this mandate would seemingly equate them to terrorists who seek to actively take the lives of Americans and perpetrate attacks on the homeland,” the letter says. “While we strongly condemn any violence towards airline workers, there is significant uncertainty around the efficacy of this mandate.”

Former President Donald Trump discusses Clinton allegations, state of nation on North Dakota radio show
Grand Forks Herald
Hennen was joined in the conversation by U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who referred to Trump as a friend and mentor. Trump described Cramer as a respected voice in Congress who has “made some incredible decisions.” On the state of the country today, Trump maintained that the United States has gone from being the strongest it has ever been when he left office to being weak. “I don’t think we’ve ever had a fall so fast. It’s bad, it’s just really bad,” he said. At one point in the interview, Trump spoke directly to North Dakotans, stating: “I want to say hello to the people of North Dakota. They’re incredible people.” As the interview wound down, Trump said he wanted to leave on a “a little bit of optimism,” stating, “We can do it again. We can bring it back and we’ll bring it back even stronger.”

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: President Donald Trump joins Talk Radio Town Hall with Sen. Kevin Cramer
AM 1100 The Flag
Listen here.

GOP Fed blockade has Democrats worried about other nominations, including Supreme Court
The Washington Post
But Republicans say Raskin has not fully and directly answered questions about her interactions with Fed officials on behalf of Reserve Trust. The fact pattern, they say, suggests Raskin engaged in the type of “revolving door” behavior that Democrats have routinely criticized in the past…“It only adds to the uncertainty and the questions and adds, frankly, to the ethical cloud that she’s under,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said.

Senator Cramer seeks prosecutorial independence for special counsel John Durham
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer is among more than 40 senators seeking assurances from Attorney General Merrick Garland to respect the prosecutorial independence of special counsel John Durham. “The findings include the highly concerning, really potentially criminal manipulation and exploitation of federal law enforcement resources to target American citizens including not just a presidential candidate, or a presidential opponent based upon this fabricated evidence, but on the president himself,” said Cramer in an audio statement provided to WDAY News First. 

UND awarded funds for flood research
Grand Forks Herald
UND received more than $440,000 from the National Science Foundation, according to a release form, the office of Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. The funds will be used to conduct research on precipitation in the northern Great Plains, and on flood events over the last three decades. According to the release, researchers will study the relationship between surface water storage and hydrologic processes during a complete dry-to-wet — drought to deluge — or wet-to-dry — deluge to drought — cycle.

We’re doing the administration a favor by delaying Raskin’s vote, says Sen. Cramer
Watch here.

Red River senior accepted into the U.S Air Force Academy
Grand Forks Herald
Campbell Dorsey, a senior at Red River, was nominated to the academy in November by Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D. According to a release from Armstrong’s office, Dorsey was accepted into the USAFA for the fall 2022 semester on Wednesday, Feb. 16. “We are proud of Campbell for her admission to the U.S. Air Force Academy,” Armstrong said. “Her dedication to her studies, extracurriculars, and community have earned her this honor. I am confident she will represent North Dakota and our country well.”

Rep. Armstrong presses Capitol Police on surveillance controversy
“Capitol Police’s job is to keep members of Congress safe. We recognize that. There’s 435 of us. But at the same time, civil liberties are very important, they’re important to everybody. Spying on American citizens without probable cause is wrong all the time. It also has a potentially real chilling effect if they’re doing it you’re petitioning your member of Congress,” said Representative Armstrong. As a result of concerns raised by Armstrong and six of his Republican colleagues, the inspector general for the Capitol Police will investigate the force’s practices. Despite agreeing to the investigation, Capitol Police denied any wrongdoing in a letter sent to lawmakers in January.

Former Celtics player Kanter Freedom attends Senate GOP lunch
The Hill
Former Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom, an outspoken critic of the Chinese and Turkish governments, attended Senate Republicans’ closed-door lunch on Wednesday. The 10-year NBA veteran received two standing ovations from Republican senators who hailed his advocacy for human rights and criticism of China’s government as “very inspiring” and “amazing.”…Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) said, “He’s an amazing person standing up for human rights.” 

Cramer says rift between Ukraine’s president and Ag Minister could help imprisoned North Dakota farmer
Sen. Kevin Cramer says the developments could potentially be favorable for Groszhans. “I think it’s pretty clear that President Zelensky has a problem on his cabinet” Cramer said. “When you look at Roman Leshchenko’s pattern, as it relates to…allegations that are part of Kurt Groszhans’ lawsuits against him…it all just sort of adds up to an ugly picture. My hope is, that it tilts the scales of justice, at least, in Kurt’s favor. It’s hard to know for sure, but it would be hard to look at it and not see it as at least a recognition that Roman Leshchenko is probably bringing a lot more baggage to the Zelensky administration than he is value. “We talked to the Deputy Secretary of State and emphasized that everything possible needs to be done to ensure his safety,” Senator John Hoeven said. Hoeven says he and Cramer are in almost daily contact with the State Department, Ukrainian officials and Groszhan’s family. Groszhans remains jailed in Ukraine.  Cramer says diplomatic efforts to free Groszhans are continuing.

ND Senators push Biden admin on Keystone pipeline job losses
Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven wrote a letter to the Biden Administration seeking information about the jobs lost due to the closure of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The U.S. Department of Energy was supposed to publish the jobs loss report by Sunday, February 13. Construction had already begun on the pipeline but was shut down when Joe Biden took office in January 2021. The senators noted it employed more than 1,500 workers. The ND senators also wrote: ”Knowing the full impact of the President’s actions is important to the American people. We urge you to complete your obligation under the law and release your report to Congress immediately.”

GOP decries cost of Pentagon anti-extremism and diversity training
Roll Call
“We face real threats across the world, yet the Biden administration is more focused on promoting its leftist social agenda in the military instead of countering China, Russia and Iran or creating an effective counterterrorism plan,” said…Kevin Cramer of North Dakota[.]

Senate Republicans boycott vote on Federal Reserve nominees
CNNRepublican Sen. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said Raskin’s rhetoric is “radical” and that she has “ethical problems” that have “yet to be completely looked into.” “Her nomination is becoming a tremendous problem, I think, for the Biden administration,” Cramer added. “I would hope that he would pull her and then let us move forward with the others.”

North Dakota Senators Hoeven and Cramer respond to allegation Clinton Campaign spied on Donald Trump
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven are responding after special investigator John Durham filed court documents alleging the Clinton campaign spied on Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign and spied on Trump after he became President. “This is why the American people are so fed up.  I mean they are fed up with this other class of citizens that call themselves the Clintons and of course their friends their universe that are never, never held accountable for their own criminal activities, and now it looks like maybe they will be,” said Senator Cramer. ..“The Durham investigation’s latest court filing raises serious questions regarding surveillance of both the Trump campaign and the Trump White House by the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign needs to provide answers on exactly what happened,” said Senator Hoeven.

Senate Republicans push resolution to reopen Capitol to the public
Fox News
A new resolution from a group of Republican senators calls for the U.S. Capitol Building and Senate office buildings to once again be open to public visitors after nearly two years of restrictions that were put in place during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic…[T]he senators who are attached to the resolution are…Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.,  John Hoeven, R-N.D[.]

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