Roughrider Roundup – March 6, 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!

Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman

Photo of the Week

Late North Dakota veteran has final wish granted
The Bismarck Tribune
A late North Dakota military veteran has been granted his final wish — one last jump over Fort Bragg in North Carolina…He died last November. The family worked with U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., to help fulfill his final wish. Lt. Col. Eric Spicer, an Army chaplain, completed the jump with Compeau’s ashes on Tuesday. The ashes were then spread in the drop zone. “We are grateful every day for the hard work and sacrifice of our state’s veterans, like Vincent Compeau, to defend our nation,” Hoeven said in a statement. “This jump was not only Vincent’s final wish, but serves as a cherished moment for his loved ones that honors his life and memory.”


This is truly sickening. This week, Joe Biden LAUGHED at a mother who lost two sons to the Fentanyl crisis at the Southern Border. Thank you to the RNC for calling him out. – Perrie

North Dakota

ND senators to consider plan to build women’s prison in Mandan
A $161.2 million proposal to construct a women’s prison in Mandan will be considered by state senators as part of House Bill 1015. The state has never before built a correctional facility with women in mind. Yet prison staff say men’s facilities aren’t always set up to meet the needs of women in the system. Advocates for a new facility in Mandan say change is needed as more women than ever before are incarcerated…Governor Doug Burgum said the state could be risking legal action due to unequal opportunities for men and women in the system. People sued the state in a 2003 class action lawsuit claiming unequal treatment of women inmates. That lawsuit was dismissed in 2009.

GOP Governors Tout Green Bona Fides Amid Anti-ESG Backlash
North Dakota’s Doug Burgum said he expects his state to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2030.

Trains vs. pipelines: safely transporting materials in North Dakota
“As it relates to transporting crude oil, pipelines are by far the safest, most environmentally sound way, so having less crude by rail is a positive thing,” said Julie Fedorchak, who serves on the Public Service Commission…Julie Fedorchak says pipelines and rail systems are both finding ways to use artificial intelligence to more quickly detect leaks in pipelines and defects in rail tracks and cars.

Banks are weighing environmental, social issues when investing. Some states punish them for it.
North Dakota’s Republican Treasurer Thomas Beadle warned the state legislature that restrictions could scare away investors. “We don’t want to just cut ourselves off from the investment markets elsewhere in the world,” Beadle said. Beadle tells lawmakers – it’s OK if a bank has an ESG fund for its other clients. North Dakota just won’t invest in it. He doesn’t want his hands tied by the legislature.

ND Insurance Dept. Bulletin For Insurance Companies
Under North Dakota Century Code, insurance companies cannot deny a long-term care insurance claim based solely on the type of facility where someone is seeking care. The bulletin notes that claims must include a review and consideration of the patient’s medical records and the level of care the patient is receiving. “Many smaller communities in North Dakota may only have one nursing home or one assisted living facility,” Godfread said. “This law is in place to protect those who want to continue living in the communities that they have called home for years, regardless of the type of long-term care facilities present.”

Otter Tail Power Company customers will see a temporary increase in their monthly electric bills
Prairie Public Newsroom
North Dakota customers of Otter Tail Power Company will see an extra charge on their bills for four months, beginning in March. It’s to make up for power purchases from the open market. “Due to the Big Stone coal plant (in South Dakota) being off-line from Nov. 5, 2022 to Feb. 8, 2023, it forced Otter tail to purchase high-priced energy from the market,” said Commissioner Sheri Haugen-Hoffart…PSC Chairman Randy Christmann said he was “very frustrated” by this. “They pop it on us,” Christmann said. “There’s no time for staff to go back and review, to see whether in fact these were the best alternatives to replace that generation.” Still, Christmann said he was supporting the plan. “I’ll do that for the good of the customers,” Christmann said. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak agreed. “I think it’s really important that the companies know we’re going to look into that,” Fedorchak said. “We need to make sure they are indeed seeking the lowest cost option, in times like this.”

Goehring announces APUC awards funding
Tri-State Livestock News
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has announced North Dakota Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) awards for four projects. The awards totaling $700,000 were approved at the APUC quarterly meeting Feb. 16 in Mandan. APUC is a program of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture that administers grant programs for research and development of new and expanded uses for North Dakota agricultural products which support the development of concepts and products that support our rural communities and agriculture operations. The grants can be used for basic and applied research, marketing and utilization, farm diversification, nature-based agritourism, prototype and technology and technical assistance.

Preservationists, railroad battle again over Rail Bridge; AG weighs in on bridge ownership
The Bismarck Tribune
But separately, Attorney General Drew Wrigley informed the State Historical Board that he does not believe it has the authority under state law to stop demolition of the bridge because the structure “has always been owned privately.”

Electronic signatures pitched as ‘compromise’ for North Dakota constitutional initiatives
The Bismarck Tribune
Secretary of State Michael Howe testified neutrally on the proposal, but said an electronic signature system “has great appeal for our office, just the ease of doing things … but can we implement this and implement it with integrity?”

Goehring: New WOTUS Rule an Overreach of Authority
AM 890 AG News
“I fully support Attorney General Drew Wrigley in challenging the EPA’s revised definition of WOTUS,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “North Dakota and its citizens already properly, sensibly and consistently protect the waters of our state. The revised WOTUS definition is a blatant overreach of authority that significantly and unlawfully expands federal control of state land and water resources.” “The unnecessary and burdensome definition lacks clarity and would impact farmers, ranchers, small landowners and businesses who would have to assume that all North Dakota agricultural lands are under federal authority. As a result, they would be saddled with the lengthy times and huge expenses of applying for and getting federal permits,” Goehring continued. “As part of the prairie pothole region, North Dakota would be among the most negatively affected by the EPA rule.

Emerald Ash Borer detected in Moorhead
Valley News Live
“This detection, just 2 miles from the North Dakota border, is now the nearest detection to our state,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “The North Dakota Department of Agriculture and our partners have been preparing for emerald ash borer’s eventual arrival for many years. NDDA maintains a quarantine that restricts movement of regulated commodities such as firewood from infested areas and will be expanded to include the newly infested area. North Dakota residents and travelers are urged to be proactive to keep emerald ash borer from spreading.”

MDU fined for missing wind farm lighting deadline
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota’s Public Service Commission has fined Bismarck-based Montana-Dakota Utilities $2,000 for missing a deadline for replacing its lighting system at the Thunder Spirit Wind Farm in Adams County — by four days…”But they (MDU) didn’t get final FAA approval until Jan. 4 of 2023, which is four days after the deadline,” Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said during last week’s PSC meeting…PSC Chairman Randy Christmann had some concerns. “They were warned that some of us were very doubtful that the LIDS technology was going to get approved by the FAA,” Christmann said. “But of course, they knew better, and talked us into the extension.”

Washington, D.C.

Hoeven, Cramer sponsors of ESCAPE Act
The Wahpeton Daily News
North Dakota’s two U.S. senators are among the legislators endorsing the Energy Security Cooperation with Allied Partners in Europe (ESCAPE) Act. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is one of two Republicans who introduced the bill…“(We call) for a comprehensive U.S. government transatlantic energy strategy,” Hoeven stated. “(We require) the Secretary of Energy to expedite approvals of natural gas exports to NATO allies, Japan, and any other foreign country where exports of natural gas would promote the national security interests of the United States.”

Hoeven: Grand Forks can play important role in countering unidentified aerial phenomena
Senator John Hoeven, R-ND, talked with defense officials this week about how resources around Grand Forks can help them in defending against unidentified aerial phenomena…“We had a good meeting and think that North Dakota has a lot of resources that could be brought to bear in terms of countering UAPs. We’ll continue to work with General VanHerck and others on addressing this very important defense issue for our country,” said Hoeven in a statement. Hoeven also highlighted the University of North Dakota’s research and development of counter-UAS measures.

Senator Kevin Cramer expresses optimism for republican backed legislation and discusses presidential candidates for 2024
AM 1100 The Flag
With Republicans now in control of congress, Senator Kevin Cramer is expressing optimism that his party will be able to pass legislation and get it to President Biden’s desk.  “I’m all in for Kevin McCarthy and house republicans starting everything there and sending it over to us. It will no doubt be changed. Obviously you know Chuck Schumer is not going to take everything just as Kevin McCarthy sends it. But I do think we have, if we stay disciplined, use regular order, you know like properly use the rules of congress, and frankly good manners, I really believe we can make some changes,” said Cramer. 

Republicans Use Arcane Political Tactic to Thwart Democrats
The New York Times
But the beauty of a resolution of disapproval is that it has special status in the Senate. It can’t be kept off the floor by the majority leader and is not subject to the filibuster, providing a blunt political instrument for lawmakers if they can assemble a simple majority. That is because of the Congressional Review Act, enacted in 1996 after Republicans took power on Capitol Hill, which created the process that allows Congress to upend federal rules. With little power to set the Senate agenda, Republicans regard the tactic as a handy way to score legislative victories and force Democrats to debate subjects they would rather avoid…The technique also fits the Republican legislative mind-set, which tends more toward blocking policy rather than creating it. “We are built to disapprove,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota.

Jim Jordan’s first FBI whistleblowers face scrutiny from skeptical Democrats
GOP Rep. Kelly Armstrong, who serves on Jordan’s weaponization subcommittee, accused Democrats of discrediting the whistleblowers before having a chance to hear them out “Discounting whistleblowers before the Democrats know what the witnesses have to offer says a lot more about their agenda than it does about the validity of the whistleblowers,” Armstrong told CNN. “Procedural mistakes should splatter like paint. It’s messy but the results should be random. In my four years here every mistake DOJ has made has benefited one side and harmed the other. That’s a hell of a coincidence,” Armstrong told CNN.

Regulations repeal a top priority for new House Energy and Commerce Committee chairwoman
Washington Examiner
GOP Rep. Kelly Armstrong, whose home state of North Dakota is the third-largest crude producer in the U.S. and boasts both abundant fossil fuels and renewable energy resources, told the Washington Examiner that having Republicans in the majority offers them a new opportunity to act on passing permitting reform legislation after years of frustrating fits and starts. “We need to roll back government overreach that makes it nearly impossible to build the infrastructure we need,” Armstrong, the committee’s new vice chairman, said in an email. “Permitting reform is a great place to start.”

Armstrong applauds SECURE act’s passage in House
Wahpeton Daily News
Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ Monday, Feb. 27 passage of the SECURE Notarization Act of 2023. The act, introduced by Reps. Armstrong and Madeline Dean, D-Pa., updates and secures the notarization process of the United States. It was Armstrong’s first bill to pass the House in the current session. “Remote Online Notarization offers consumers a convenient way to safely and securely complete documents,” Armstrong said. “I’m excited to see our legislation receive an overwhelming and bipartisan House vote, and I’m hopeful the Senate will agree and pass it to be signed into law.”

Reps. Kelly Armstrong and Pete Stauber join new Northern Border Security Caucus
Armstrong said he joined the caucus because the northern border is patrolled by less border patrol agents and with less resources than the southern border. Together, Minnesota and North Dakota have a combined 861 miles of international border. “The sophistication level of organized crime in smuggling into the United States is always going to find the path of least resistance,” he told the Herald on Tuesday.

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