Roughrider Roundup – June 26, 2023

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!

Sandra Sanford, NDGOP Chairwoman

Photo of the Week

Senator Cramer: Today, I attended the Change of Command ceremony at Grand Forks Air Force Base, where Colonel Timothy Curry formally relinquished command of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing to Colonel Timothy Monroe. I look forward to working with Col. Monroe in his new role.


RONNA MCDANIEL: One-Year Anniversary Of The Dobbs Decision. Republicans Can Win The Pro-Life Debate
The Daily Caller
We are the pro-women, pro-family party. We can win on abortion, but that means putting Democrats on defense and forcing them to own their extreme positions. Candidates who refuse to do so are consigning themselves to a hurricane of misinformation and bad-faith attacks – during the midterm cycle, Democrats spent nearly $360 million on abortion-related ads. If we abandon this debate, the vacuum gets filled with those lies.


Local GOP optimistic about state party changes
Minot Daily News
“I have talked to the district chairs on several occasions. They have been open about the improvements they’d like to see. I look forward to supporting these efforts by offering the resources, tools and training needed to continue to win Republican offices,” Sanford said in a prepared statement. Also newly elected to the executive committee were John Trandem, Fargo, as first vice chair, Jennifer Benson, Fargo, as second vice chair, Stephen Hillerud, Bismarck, as treasurer and Andrew Bornemann, Kintyre, as secretary.

North Dakota

McKenzie County man appointed to northwest Judicial District Judgeship
Governor Doug Burgum has appointed a McKenzie County man to a judgeship for the Northwest District Court. Charles “Chas” Neff Jr. was chosen on Thursday to preside primarily in Williston. Neff was previously the McKenzie County State’s Attorney in 2017 and 2018 and was recently a staff attorney for the Northwest Judicial Court. He has prosecuted over 3,000 criminal cases and 23 jury trials over his career. “I’m humbled by the governor’s faith in me by his selection. I’m looking forward to serving people of the Northwest Judicial District and especially Williston where the seat is chambered,” said Neff.

New North Dakota law bans mandatory diversity training in higher ed
The College Fix
“Gov. Doug Burgum, a Republican, signed Senate Bill 2247 into law with little fanfare. His office issued no press release about its signing. Only the senate journal includes a communication from the governor stating that he signed the bill along with others,” the Chronicle reported. The law prohibits public universities from compelling students and employees to attend noncredit seminars, workshops or orientations that include what it calls specified concepts.

Dakota Carrier Network receives $19.7M grant
Burgum stated, “Having reliable, high-speed connectivity is critical in a rural state like North Dakota with long distances between communities and population centers,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to the NTIA for awarding Dakota Carrier Network this Middle Mile grant, which will make North Dakota’s already robust broadband network even stronger to support telehealth, online education options, remote work, expanded market access for businesses and more. North Dakota continues to prove itself as a national leader in emerging technologies, and this grant will help ensure the resiliency of our internet as technology demands continue to grow.”

Burgum highlights state-tribal partnerships at fifth Government to Government conference
North Dakota shares its geography with five tribal nations (the Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara Nation (Three Affiliated Tribes), the Spirit Lake Nation, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Nation), but their leaders don’t always agree on important issues. Improving communication is what the “Strengthening Government to Government Partnerships and Relationships Conference” is designed to do. The conference started Wednesday morning with an address from Governor Doug Burgum. “Our office, and the state of North Dakota, and the tribal leaders, we respect each other, we can talk about what we agree and what we disagree. And then we can keep moving forward, trying to find solutions. And this is the way it should work,” said Burgum.

How to enter the North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest
KX News
Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Department of Commerce Tourism and Marketing Division, in partnership with AAA of North Dakota and the North Dakota Council on the Arts, are kicking off the 2023 North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism. According to North Dakota Tourism & Marketing, the contest celebrates the talents of North Dakotans and showcases our state as a year-round destination and is now open through Jan. 31, 2024.

Family members, advocates rally for further access to Alzheimer’s treatments
About 25 people gathered on Tuesday, June 20 at the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Fargo to rally for access to new Alzheimer’s medications. Gov. Doug Burgum proclaimed June 20 as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness day in North Dakota as supporters and family members of Alzheimer’s patients wore purple and held up signs that read: #MoreTime and #AccessNow.

Flea beetle field days set
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota’s Agriculture Department has scheduled field days this month for the collection and distribution of flea beetles that eat leafy spurge, one of the state’s most problematic weeds. Anyone interested in getting flea beetles to release on their property can collect them from established populations at the field day sites. “Using the flea beetles for biological control, as part of an integrated pest management plan, has proven to be an effective tool in combatting leafy spurge infestations,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

State Investment Board seeks applicants
The Bismarck Tribune
Applications are being accepted for two institutional investment experts on the North Dakota State Investment Board. Terms are effective July 1. Gov. Doug Burgum will make the appointments…The State Investment Board administers the investment program of several funds including the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement, the Public Employees Retirement System, the Workforce Safety & Insurance Fund, and the Legacy Fund.

Summer Reading Initiative kicks off
The Bismarck Tribune
A state Summer Reading Initiative offers students and their families an opportunity to meet North Dakota children’s authors, get a free book, listen to music, and take part in interactive art projects…“This event provides families with an opportunity to encourage their children to read during the summer, and to get into the habit of regular reading year round,” State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said

Washington, D.C.

North Dakota AFB could get billions in National Defense Authorization Act
The Center Square
North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base could get $3.7 billion to fund the modernization of its ground-based strategic deterrent, according to U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. The U.S. Air Force is replacing its Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile with a new system called “Sentinel,” according to information from the Air Force Weapons Nuclear CenterThe money is included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024, Cramer said. “We live in dangerous times where American leadership and resolve is needed more than ever,” said Cramer, a Senate Armed Services Committee member. “North Dakota plays a pivotal role in our national security, and I am grateful this bill supports our servicemen and women and their families while investing in the military assets and facilities across the state.”

Rail companies issue status reports
The Williston Herald
U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced BNSF Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) publicly filed weekly grain backlog status updates as required by the U.S. Surface Transportation Board (STB). A summary of the reporting data specific to North Dakota from the last 10 weeks is below. Following STB’s April 2022 hearing on “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service,” BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, and Union Pacific submitted service recovery plans, which identified actions to improve service and metrics to track progress toward such improvements.

Rep. Armstrong changes vote on censure for Rep. Adam Schiff
In a party-line vote, Republicans accused Schiff of misleading the American people while leading an investigation on whether then-president Donald Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election. Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., voted in support of censure. Last week he voted against it, citing a stipulation that would fine Schiff millions if he was found guilty by the Ethics Commission. In a statement on Twitter, Armstrong said: “House Republicans just held Adam Schiff accountable. I support accountability done the right way.”
Hoeven, Tester push for more livestock disaster assistance
North Dakota Senator John Hoeven and Montana Senator Jon Tester have introduced bipartisan legislation to bolster the Livestock Forage Program (LFP) and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). The proposed changes would increase producer assistance under the LFP so producers are more accurately compensated for feed costs. They would also specify transportation costs for feed, water, and livestock as covered losses under the ELAP. Senator Hoeven said this could make a big difference for ranchers in the Upper Great Plains area, if it passes. “It’s very important for our ranchers in time of drought. Both the Emergency Livestock Assistance Program and the Livestock Forage Program are strengthened so that our ranchers have that support when they need it and don’t have to sell off their herds, which takes many years to build, in a time of drought,” said Hoeven.

Wicker, Hoeven offer bipartisan, bicameral bill to expand telehealth services
The Ripon Advance
“Telehealth is an increasingly important tool that empowers Americans across the country, particularly in rural states like North Dakota, to access their health care providers with greater convenience and at a lower cost,” added Sen. Hoeven. “That’s why we’re working to remove restrictions on this critical technology and provide the flexibility that patients and providers need to better utilize its potential for improving health and well-being.”

Put North Dakota First