Roughrider Roundup – June 20, 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 kicks off the Professional Bull Riders Team Series competition in Bismarck. 


I wanted to make sure you saw this great opinion piece from Paris Dennard who is the National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs for the Republican National Committee. He does a wonderful job explaining how the celebration of Juneteenth and the principles of freedom embodied by the Republican Party go hand in hand.

Juneteenth is the celebration of freedom. It tells the story of America’s promise and the power of the Presidency to do good for the people. President Lincoln, a Republican, used his powers as President to do what was right to preserve the union and unite the country. At the heart of the civil war was this issue of freedom for enslaved Black Americans as our new nation strove to grow into the country we have today. 

Liberty and the Republican Party have always gone hand in hand, and they continue to do so today as members of the Republican Party fight to protect our constitutional rights. 


North Dakota

Bye, Black appointed to ND Board of Higher Education
Knox Radio
Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed Minot entrepreneur Kevin Black to the North Dakota Board of Higher Education and re-appointed Danita Bye of Stanley to the Board. Black was appointed to the seat previously held by Jill Louters, who resigned last month after accepting a position with the NDSU Extension Service. Bye was originally appointed to the board in 2020. Both Bye’s and Black’s terms run until June 30, 2026, and are subject to confirmation by the North Dakota Senate. The Board has eight voting members appointed by the governor, including one student member, and two non-voting members who represent the North Dakota University System’s faculty and staff.

PSC Chairman says North Dakota will likely not see ‘rolling blackouts’ this summer
Prairie Public Newsroom
The chairman of the North Dakota Public Service Commission said she doesn’t think North Dakota will see “rolling blackouts” this summer. The manager of the power grid for this area – The Midwest System Operator, or “MISO” – has issued an advisory for potential rolling blackouts. MISO said because of predicted heat, the system might be short of electricity. But PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak said she’s talked with MISO leadership and officials with XCEL Energy. “MISO’s general manager told me, ‘Just because where you’re situated, shedding load isn’t going to help with where things are tight.’” Fedorchak said. “And North Dakota has so much ‘dispatchable generation,’ we’re not going to be short.”

Ed Schafer Retires from TRMF Board of Directors, Shares Optimism for Medora’s Future
Medora Blog
After twelve years of active leadership and a lifetime of interest in and dedication to Medora, Ed Schafer has retired from his position as Chair of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) Board of Directors…North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also praised Schafer’s dedication to the service of others. “Theodore Roosevelt said ‘The great prize in life is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.’ Ed and Nancy Schafer grabbed that prize. The difference they’ve made in people’s lives, not just here in Medora, but throughout their entire careers, is really incredible.”

Vantis center opens first-of-its-kind UAS operations in ND
KX News
Gov. Doug Burgum participated in the grand opening of the new Mission and Network Operations Center for Vantis on Thursday. Vantis is the first-of-its-kind statewide network that supports unmanned aircraft system operations in North Dakota beyond visual line of sight. “This operations center is a prime example of how North Dakota continues to invest in technology to create opportunities for citizens and businesses and diversify our economy,” Burgum said in a press release. “With Vantis, we’re creating a platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to develop new products and for the government and private sector to offer better services to the public. Today’s grand opening further cements North Dakota as a destination for UAS operations.”

West Fargo Rural Fire Dept. fined for illegal gambling
Attorney General Wrigley fined the West Fargo Rural Fire Department $20,000 with $5,000 suspended for five years and barred it from conducting gaming activity at the Bar Nine and Bordertown Bar & Grill in West Fargo, effective immediately. Attorney General Wrigley also ordered the suspension of gaming authorizations for Bar Nine and Bordertown Bar & Grill for one year, effective, July 1, 2022.

Advocates meet with Gov. Burgum’s representatives for ‘Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Day’
Advocates met with Gov. Doug Burgum’s representatives to raise awareness for the disease. In North Dakota, more than 15,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s Disease…North Dakota has the fourth highest mortality rate for Alzheimer’s disease in the United States at 53 per 100,000 North Dakota residents. The rate for the U.S. is 37 per 100,000 residents, according to officials.

New North Dakota income tax credit likely won’t exceed estimate
The Bismarck Tribune
State Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus on Wednesday updated the Legislature’s interim Taxation Committee on the impact of the two-year tax credit, estimated by the Tax Office to cost $211 million. It’s paid for from the previous two-year budget cycle’s excess ending fund balance…Tax relief is poised to be a key issue of the 2023 Legislature, with lawmakers and Gov. Doug Burgum to craft proposals. 

New victims falling prey to old phone scams in ND
Attorney General Drew Wrigley is warning the public that a number of old scams are resurfacing. The scams involve imposters acting as government officials, or people calling victims and warning them of a computer virus. Victims are told to withdraw money and convert it into cryptocurrency as part of these scams. The Attorney General says this request is being done because cryptocurrency is more difficult to trace. Some victims have reported losses of tens of thousands of dollars from these recent scams. The Attorney General says that people should be aware of these scams when they request money over the phone or allow access to their devices.

Burgum meets with Spirit Lake chairman, Devils Lake mayor to discuss health care, rising lake
Devils Lake Daily Journal
Gov. Doug Burgum, cabinet leaders and representatives from the Governor’s Office met with Spirit Lake Nation Chairman Doug Yankton, Devils Lake Mayor Dick Johnson and U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer to discuss health care access, the rising elevation of Devils Lake and other issues important to the tribe and community. During the meeting at Spirit Lake Casino, Burgum spoke about the need to address food deserts on reservations to expand access to healthy foods, and to pilot new approaches to community-based health care instead of trying to navigate the cumbersome federal health care system.

North Dakota Governor appoints Shawn Kessel as interim commerce commissioner
AM 1100 The Flag
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum is appointing Deputy Commerce Commissioner Shawn Kessel to serve as the interim commissioner, following the resignation of former commissioner James Leiman…Kelssel will serve as interim commissioner starting July 1st. He served as an interim commissioner previously, following former Commissioner Michelle Kommer’s return to the private sector in October of 2020. 

Washington, D.C.

Hoeven presses BNSF over backlog of rail cars
The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota’s senior senator is concerned about the backlog of rail cars in North Dakota and has called on Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s chief executive officer to continue working on the issue. According to a release from his Washington, D.C., office, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., pressed BNSF CEO Katie Farmer on the backlog and discussed a series of steps BNSF is taking to help the region’s ag producers and others get their products to market.

The inside scoop with Senator Cramer
The Williston Herald
Cramer first spoke about his mobile office hours, where his constituent services staff normally in the Bismarck office travels to communities around the state to give better access to those in need of services who may not be able to travel to Bismarck. At these mobile offices, Cramer says many issues are brought up including veterans benefits and immigration. He also said that it gives a great insight about trends, cultures, and other things he might not have been aware of that needs legislative attention…Cramer started with some state news and said some big ticket items included upping National Defense Authorization by increasing funding for the Armed Services to defend the United States and working on legislation to help curb gun violence in response to the recent uptick in mass school shootings. He also said that a big focus right now is finding ways to open ports to fight the global food crisis due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict and help farmers produce more food…Some other projects Cramer is working on include recently passing an infrastructure bill granting money to area airports including Williston’s and Watford’s City. Cramer went on to explain how much he loves the Williston airport, nothing that it is “so cool” and a favorite stop for him when he’s in town. Another recent project Cramer said he is proud of is investing money into the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong to speak at ‘Politics and a Plate’ event in Fargo
The Cass County United Republican Committee will host a “Politics and a Plate” event from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, at the Fargo Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. for the event, and the attendance fee is $20 at the door. The guest speaker will be North Dakota Rep. Kelly Armstrong.

‘A Great Night!’: Trump Celebrates Primary Wins in Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina
The Epoch Times
In North Dakota, incumbent democratic Sen. John Hoeven won with 78 percent of the vote. In the state’s House race, Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) won unopposed.

Courtneys push to get soybeans in while crops emerge
Farm & Ranch Guide
Drew also said he was invited to a roundtable discussion with some area leaders, including Rep. Kelly Armstrong, and he went to advocate for agriculture. He talked about biofuels, property rights, prevent plant, and other topics of concern to area farmers and townspeople. “I thanked Rep. Armstrong for holding the meeting and making the trip to Oakes to discuss issues related to rural North Dakotans and issues facing the state and nation. I also commended Rep. Armstrong for signing U.S. Sen. Hoven’s letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack about crop insurance guarantees for producers planting after the plant date,” Drew said.

Grant aims to boost trail, grasslands
The Bismarck Tribune
The federal Agriculture Department has awarded $829,000 through the Great American Outdoors Act to improve the Maah Daah Hey Trail in western North Dakota and to improve access to national grasslands in the state, according to U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. Grants will fund Civilian Conservation Corps Campground updates, road improvements to improve access to the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands, and upgrades for the Maah Daah Hey trailhead area.  The Great American Outdoors Act signed by President Donald Trump in August 2020 aims to address a maintenance backlog at national parks and on public lands.

Calls grow for travel nursing industry transparency
The Center Square
U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer says support for his proposal requiring greater transparency in the travel nursing industry has broadened. The North Dakota Republican touted support for his proposed Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act (S.4352). The bill, which Cramer introduced last week, would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study and report to Congress “on the business practices and the effects of hiring agencies across the health care industry during the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to a press release from Cramer’s office.

Biden To Sign Bill To Get More Access To Shipping Containers, Help Supply Chain
President Joe Biden says he looks forward to signing the Ocean Shipping Reform Act into law…Sen. John Hoeven cosponsored the bill and says it’ll help our farmers. “We need to do all we can to get on top of these supply chain issues in our economy,” said Hoeven. “So the Ocean Shipping Reform Act is all about getting access to containers and that is particularly important for our farmers so they can ship their product.”

Cramer urges study of ‘unsustainable’ costs for temporary nurses to staff hospitals during pandemic
The Jamestown Sun
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., has introduced legislation that calls for a General Accountability Office study to pry open the nursing agencies’ business model and to determine how much of the money goes to the nurses and how much is pocketed by the agencies. The health care industry already was grappling with a shortage of nurses, a situation that became critical when COVID-19 struck in early 2020, Cramer said. “Nurses, they’re the front line,” he said. “A lot of nurses and health care workers were getting burned out,” increasing the reliance on temporary nurses.

Hoeven, Scott oppose ‘overreach’ of proposed SEC rule impacting ag
Ripon Advance
“In particular,” they wrote, “we have serious concerns regarding the SEC’s regulatory overreach, as well as the impact that this proposed rule will have on the agricultural industry. As such, we urge you to rescind the proposed rule.”  According to Sen. Hoeven, Sen. Scott, and their colleagues, the proposed rule would require publicly traded companies to include financial climate change disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports, requiring them to disclose information about their direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1); indirect emissions from purchased electricity or other forms of energy (Scope 2); and, if found to be material to investors, greenhouse gas emissions from all activities in its value chain (Scope 3). “While farmers and ranchers have never been subject to SEC oversight, the proposed rule’s Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions reporting requirement would place a major reporting burden on the many agricultural producers that provide raw products to the value-chain,” wrote the senators. 

Dickinson airport to receive $1.7 million FAA grant
The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport is set to receive new gear in order to keep snow off runways for next winter. The funding for this equipment comes via an FAA grant approved by the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Committee. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is a member of the committee and recently announced that the airport was awarded an Airport Improvement Program entitlement of $1,665,000. “This grant will help ensure airports across North Dakota, including Dickinson’s Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport, are able to continue providing safe and reliable service,” Hoeven said.

Put North Dakota First