Roughrider Roundup – May 9, 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

N.D. National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters pick up one-ton sandbags en route to reinforce Bourbanis Dam upstream from Cavalier, N.D.


“We are honored to have Chairwoman McDaniel visit North Dakota as a part of the RNC’s expansive commitment to supporting its state parties during this critical year. Following the historic turnout at this year’s NDGOP Convention, we are eager to show the Chairwoman not only the pride we take in our dynamic Republican leadership across the state, but also the great enthusiasm of the grassroots that will lead us through another successful November.” – Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman, May 5, 2022

“The NDGOP has – and will always – stand for a culture of life and fight to protect the dignity of every human life, including the unborn. While we are optimistic that a forthcoming opinion may overturn fifty years of bad law that has robbed states of the ability to decide this issue, and, more importantly, the lives of millions of innocent children, we are disgusted by this horrifying breach of our judicial process. The radical left has for years attempted to undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court through out-of-control confirmation hearings and even personal threats made against individual justices. As deliberations continue, we pray for the courage and resiliency of the justices against the left’s dangerous bullying.” Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman, May 3, 2022

North Dakota

What happens in North Dakota if Roe v. Wade is overturned?
KX News
Gov. Doug Burgum also commented on the prospect of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in a statement: While recognizing that the U.S. Supreme Court has yet to issue an official opinion, our administration has consistently supported pro-life legislation, and we welcome the prospect of this issue being returned to the states where it belongs.

Gov. Burgum & Other State Officials To Tour Northeast Flooding on Monday
Gov. Doug Burgum will get a look at the flooding in northeast North Dakota first hand on Monday. Burgum and other state officials will visit with leaders from Grafton and Cavalier about the flooding and response. This week he authorized the use of two National Guard Black Hawk helicopters to place more than 200, 1-ton sandbags to stabilize the Bourbanis Dam upstream of Cavalier. Minnesota National Guard responded to an assistance request from North Dakota and on Friday used a Chinook helicopter to place two 5-ton water pumps to relieve pressure on the dam.

North Dakota taxable sales up 9.2% in 2021
The Jamestown Sun
North Dakota’s taxable sales and purchases rose 9.2% in 2021, according to a report issued May 3, 2022, by Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus. According to the report, taxable sales and purchases were $20.3 billion in 2021, up $1.7 billion from 2020. “The more than 9% increase in taxable sales … and purchases for the year 2021 demonstrates continued economic recovery and a gradual return to pre-pandemic levels,” Kroshus stated via news release. “After a year of significant decline in 2020, it’s encouraging to see the North Dakota economy regain its footing this past year.”

2022 Governor’s Photo Contest introduces refreshed categories
The Valley City Times Record
In conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week, Gov. Doug Burgum and the North Dakota Tourism Division, in partnership with AAA of North Dakota and North Dakota Council on the Arts, are kicking off the 2022 North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest for Travel and Tourism. The contest celebrates the talents of North Dakotans and showcases our state as a destination. This year the categories have been refreshed to encourage more people-centric imagery and to showcase North Dakota’s active outdoor lifestyle and vibrant communities across the state. “Our state has a lot going on – activities, outdoor adventure and scenery that will surprise and engage – so it is always refreshing to see these talented photographers share these legendary experiences through their imagery,” said Gov. Burgum. “We encourage all North Dakota photographers to submit photos that capture the unique things to see and do in our great state.”

Governor roundtable discussion in Minot highlights development
“We’ve got to build communities and activities whether it’s outdoors, whether it’s recreation, whether it’s education, whether it’s skill building, whether it’s technical skills. Create opportunities where they can see a future for themselves, their families, and their friends here in North Dakota, and that’s happening here in Minot,” said Burgum. The visit is part of a move from the governor to highlight community development efforts and progress with the Main Street initiative.

State and City of Minot leaders celebrate the completion of MI-1 Flood Protection
Friday was a landmark day for the Minot area, as phase one of the Souris River Flood Protection Project is complete. State and city leaders joined together to mark the occasion and celebrate the resiliency of the community. After years of design, financing, and construction, phase MI-1 is done. It marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, in the history of Minot and the surrounding areas. “On June 22, it will be 11 years since the warning sirens were sounding and when they first came on, I’m not sure anybody anticipated that it was going to be this kind of historic, but it affected not just Minot but rural areas of Ward, Burke, and Renville,” said Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D. The $45 million phase includes flood walls, levees, and a pump station located on the west side of Broadway near 4th Avenue NW.

Burgum tours State Hospital, expresses gratitude for vital specialty care
The Jamestown Sun
“Team members at the North Dakota State Hospital are doing heroic work under challenging conditions. For the quality of the care and the safety of the staff, we need to continue exploring ways to replace the hospital and consolidate operations into modern facilities,” Burgum said. “Opportunities also may exist to repurpose newer existing buildings on the campus to improve efficiencies and lower costs for both the Department of Human Services and the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”

Burgum presents budget guidelines for upcoming biennium
State general fund revenues are $200 million ahead of forecast, but even so, Governor Burgum said the state would continue to take a conservative approach to budgeting. The guidelines call for agencies to compute their budget requests based on their appropriation from the 2021-23 cycle and adjust their request to include salary increases and new programs during the upcoming biennium. Burgum said he plans to include a “comprehensive and competitive rewards and compensation package” in his executive budget proposal for the upcoming biennium.

Traveling statue unveiled at Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women’s day event
Thursday is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Day as proclaimed by Governor Doug Burgum. In observance of the day a sculpture was unveiled that has significance for those working to shine a light on missing and murdered indigenous women. The public art project will call attention to and help raise funds for local searches, it was inspired after a local woman who went missing “It just sort of hit home that this, this is something that’s local that we really need to call attention to that we need to address,” said Dr. Cheryl Kary, Executive Director of Sacred Pipe Resource Center.

North Dakota regulators ask pipeline operator to undergo audit on new project in wake of oil spill
The Bismarck Tribune
The chair of North Dakota’s Public Service Commission has asked a pipeline operator to voluntarily undergo an independent audit on a proposed project, days after the state and federal government sued over oil spills that contaminated waterways in two states. The request by Commissioner Julie Fedorchak at Thursday’s hearing on a proposed 145-mile pipeline in western North Dakota and eastern Montana came after a state environmental official suggested an audit of the project’s monitoring, leak detection and control room processes…Commissioner Randy Christmann said an independent auditor might help Bridger by going beyond the scope of a government review to suggest ideas that “for very little addition, you can get the gold standard here.” Fedorchak added that a third-party review could “offer a fresh perspective.”

Applied Blockchain celebrates finished project with ribbon cutting
State and local dignitaries along with many others who made the Applied Blockchain Inc. cryptocurrency mining project possible celebrated the completion of their facility Thursday with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum joined officials from Applied Blockchain on a tour of the facility. The tour went through one of eight of the processing sites, which house thousands of high-end computers that work 24/7 to mine cryptocurrency.

North Dakota accepting applications for Superintendent’s Student Cabinet
The Dickinson Press
The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction on Thursday, May 5, invited North Dakota students in grades 3 through 12 to apply for the Superintendent’s Student Cabinet. The Student Cabinet provides State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler with ideas and opinions about improving K-12 education and education policy in North Dakota. Members, who are from public and private schools, are selected to serve an 18-month term and decide which topics and issues the group focuses upon. “The Superintendent’s Student Cabinet gives our students a prominent role in improving education for all of their peers across the state,” Baesler said in a release on Thursday. “It offers opportunities for students to build their skills at leadership, team building, public speaking, and decision making.”

New North Dakota election laws in place for June election, but voters won’t notice much change
The Bismarck Tribune
The bill implemented language updates as well as provisions for matching absentee ballot application signatures, helping people with disabilities vote and enabling technology additions, such as QR codes for smartphones — which could come into play in 2024 for generating remotely marked absentee ballots, when the technology is available…Another bill that passed last year allows ballots to be processed but not tabulated up to three business days before Election Day, until polls close. The bill mirrored an executive order by Gov. Doug Burgum in fall 2020, when counties handled more mail ballots due to the pandemic.
Grand Forks restaurant owner Jonathan Holth to become managing director of Recovery ReinventedGrand Forks Herald
Jonathan Holth, a Grand Forks businessman and entrepreneur, has been named the managing director of Recovery Reinvented, a state initiative tasked with dealing with the stigma of addiction. The announcement first came in a series of social media posts by Kathryn Burgum, first lady of North Dakota. Recovery Reinvented has been a key initiative for Burgum in her position as first lady. Holth will begin the new job on June 6, working closely with Burgum in directing the office’s mission of ending the shame and stigma surrounding the disease of addiction. Holth, who this month will celebrate 14 years of continuous sobriety, said he has been involved with the initiative since its inception, when Gov. Doug Burgum took office in 2016. He is one of the inaugural members of the North Dakota Recovery Reinvented Council.

ND Attorney General sues Bismarck photography firm ⁠— and its owner
Prairie Public Newsroom 
North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley has filed a civil consumer fraud complaint against Glasser Images, a Bismarck photography firm ⁠— and its owner, Jack Glasser. Glasser Images abruptly closed its doors in October, 2021. It posted notice that it would not offer refunds to clients who had scheduled the company for wedding and other special event photo shoots. Others were denied promised photos. The Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud division director, Parrell Grossman, said the office has received 539 complaints that allege $1.4 million in claims from multiple states.

State aid available for power outage costs due to blizzard
The Bismarck Tribune
Households in northwestern North Dakota who dealt with extended power outages in the wake of a devastating late-April blizzard can now apply for state aid. The assistance through the Department of Human Services is for homeowners and renters in Burke, Divide, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams counties who went without power for five or more days and who earn less than the median income in their county. “As utility companies continue to work overtime to restore power to customers, this assistance can provide a measure of relief for eligible renters and homeowners who have needed to run generators or rent hotel rooms until service is restored,” Gov. Doug Burgum said Wednesday.

Applicants Vie For Education Board Openings
The Valley City Times Record
State School Superintendent Kirsten Baesler on Tuesday announced the names of applicants for two prominent North Dakota education boards – the Board of Higher Education and the Board of Public School Education. The Board of Higher Education oversees the 11 public colleges and universities that make up the North Dakota University System. The Board of Public School Education’s members supervise North Dakota’s career and technical education programs and the development of a state learning continuum, which identifies skills that students should learn during their K-12 education.

Coal Creek Station sale to Rainbow Energy Center final
Minot Daily News
“This is truly a landmark day and a huge win for the 650 workers here at Coal Creek and Falkirk Mine, for the residents of McLean County, for the entire state of North Dakota and for U.S. energy security and electrical grid reliability,” said Gov. Doug Burgum. “By preserving the reliable, affordable electricity that coal provides while also incorporating renewable power and innovative carbon capture, storage and utilization, this project will be a model of clean baseload power for the world.” “This sale took time and an incredible level of commitment from many dedicated people,” said Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. “It wouldn’t be possible without the innovation by state government, reasonable regulation of coal plants, becoming the first state in the nation to achieve primacy to permit a Class VI injection well, and world-class carbon capture research and commercialization right here in North Dakota. The benefits of this sale will be felt far and wide, most importantly by the Coal Creek and Falkirk workers and their families and the customers who benefit from a stable electrical grid in North Dakota, Minnesota and beyond.”

Governor Burgum Declares May as “Beef Month” in North Dakota
Gov. Doug Burgum has proclaimed May 2022 as “Beef Month” in North Dakota. The North Dakota Beef Commission (NDBC) proudly supports this proclamation which recognizes North Dakota’s beef industry for the benefits it provides to the state’s economy and to the health of its citizens.

Larry Woiwode, ND poet laureate, dies
North Dakota’s long-time poet laureate has died. Larry Woiwode, who was also a recipient of the state’s highest citizen honor, Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, was 79. Governor Doug Burgum said in a statement that Woiwode inspired and mentored countless writers and always remembered his North Dakota roots.

Washington, D.C.

Roe v. Wade to be struck down if SCOTUS draft unchanged
Wahpeton Daily News
“This leak is a serious breach of the Supreme Court’s security and independence, and it should be fully investigated,” Hoeven stated…Both Hoeven and Cramer shared hopeful statements in the anticipation of the decision matching the leaked draft. “I hope to see the right to life be restored in North Dakota once again in the final decision,” Cramer stated. “I remain committed to protecting the unborn and if the draft opinion reflects the final decision, it would have my support,” Hoeven stated.

Leaked SCOTUS decision could mean end of legal abortions in ND
Congressman Kelly Armstrong said in a statement, “Overturning Roe v. Wade would be a tremendous victory for the unborn and for states’ rights.”

Hoeven pushes for nuclear modernization
Senator John Hoeven pressed the U.S.’s top military officials to ensure the modernization of the nation’s nuclear forces, especially in North Dakota. Hoeven urged Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, to discuss the status of U.S. military aid in Ukraine, and encouraged them to continue using the Sky Range program, which is a program that conducts hypersonic missile tests in Grand Forks. “Are you both fully committed to upgrading, updating, and modernizing our nuclear triad, and is the funding in this budget adequate to do that?” said Hoeven.”Yes, Senator, I am absolutely fully committed to modernizing the triad,” said Sec. of Defense Lloyd Austin. General Mark Milley said modernizing nuclear forces is the biggest priority in the proposed budget. Hoeven is also seeking to ensure updates to the nation’s nuclear forces through legislation, including proposed upgrades to B-52s and replacing missiles carried on B-52s.

Republicans to DHS Mayorkas: ‘Why Not Enforce the Laws?’
“Why not enforce the laws that you have now instead of sit there and ask for new ones?” Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) asked Alejandro Mayorkas, the pro-migration secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “The six-point plan that you put forward is simply a plan to have more people come through faster and the process them quicker — it was not a plan to deter people from coming across illegally.”

‘This Board Is Unconstitutional And Un-American’: Sen. Cotton Leads GOP Lawmakers In Effort To Defund Biden’s ‘Disinformation Board’
The Daily Wire
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton introduced a bill on Tuesday that would ban federal funding from being used to launch President Joe Biden’s Disinformation Governance Board within the Department of Homeland Security. Cotton was joined in the legislation with support from a team of 18 co-sponsors among the Senate’s Republicans…In addition to Cotton, the full list of the bill’s co-sponsors includes…Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota).

Coal Creek Station sale to Rainbow Energy Center final
Minot Daily News
“For nearly 15 years, we’ve worked to crack the code on CCUS (carbon capture, utilization and storage) and make North Dakota a prime location for the development and implementation of this technology. This will enable America to continue utilizing all of our abundant energy resources, including coal, to support both economic and national security,” said Sen. John Hoeven “CCUS was a key part in helping this sale move forward, and we look forward to Coal Creek Station and Falkirk Mine providing good-paying jobs, along with affordable and reliable power, for years to come.” “Decades, maybe even centuries from now, students will read about this day, as the day North Dakota saved base load electricity. The miners, plant workers, linemen, and others all work so people on the end of the line have light when they flip the switch. Even if the customer doesn’t know it, you all are creating the model that will work well into the future,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer.

North Dakota WWII veteran’s family hopes to find closure from remains of 39 soldiers disinterred in Manila
The Jamestown Sun
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency disinterred the remains, which had been buried as “unknowns” in the Manila American Cemetery in the Philippines. Twelve of the 39 unknowns were disinterred in March and the remaining 27 in mid-April…The families and 17 U.S. senators, including John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith of Minnesota, asked for an exception to the disinterment rule. In January of this year, approval was granted after the percentage of families submitting DNA jumped to 64%.

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