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More than 3,000 join Gov. Burgum for inauguration party in Bismarck

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BISMARCK—Doug Burgum’s inauguration as North Dakota’s 33rd governor was celebrated at the Bismarck Event Center Wednesday, Jan. 4.

The evening affair brought together a range of elected leaders from all levels of government. Tribal leaders also joined Burgum on stage, where Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford listened to a drum circle from the Oakdale Singers of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation and received a tribal gift.

More than 3,000 were in attendance at the celebration, according to estimates supplied by an event organizer to Burgum’s spokesman Mike Nowatzki.

Wednesday night’s celebration was the third in the day’s public events to mark Burgum’s inauguration. A breakfast focused on substance abuse issues, while a luncheon revolved around tribal affairs.

The event included musical performances from Tigirlily, a musical duo made up of two sisters from North Dakota, and Jared Mason, a former cast member of the Medora Musical who has performed on Broadway.

No state funds were used for Wednesday’s inauguration events, Nowatzki said. It’s organized by the Inaugural Citizens Committee and funding comes from donations, he said.

The leading sponsor of the celebration event was Whiting Petroleum, according to an event program. Other sponsors included Microsoft, where Burgum was an executive.

Burgum, a Republican, was elected in November after campaigning as an outsider to state government.

Burgum highlights government reinvention in State of the State

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Gov. Doug Burgum called on lawmakers to join him in his quest to reinvent state government Tuesday during his first State of the State Address before a joint session of the Legislature.

 

Burgum kicked off the 2017 session by calling on North Dakotans to adapt to a changing world and economy.

 

“Anything being done simply because ‘that’s the way we have always done it’ should be and must be rigorously and respectfully questioned,” Burgum said. “And no matter what, we must have the courage to admit that we can always do better.”

 

Burgum’s speech was short on details. However, he said he’ll be finalizing his budget proposals and introducing them during the first few weeks of the session.

 

Burgum said the budget has grown sharply in the past decade and, with declines in the energy and agricultural industries creating a revenue shortfall over the past year, a correction is needed.

 

“Right now is the time to right-size government, to balance our budget without raising taxes, to fund our priorities and do more with less,” Burgum said.

 

A nearly $1.4 billion budget shortfall required two rounds of budget cuts last year.

 

Former Gov. Jack Dalrymple outlined a $13.475 billion budget proposal during the December organizational session. His budget includes a balancing act between cuts to hundreds of state employee positions, replenishing state rainy day funds and a state takeover of county social services to make a 12 percent state-paid property tax credit permanent.

 

“We must begin the long, hard process of reforming property taxes — and we’re open to any and all ideas to reform our current system,” Burgum said. “True long-term reform requires that we reduce the cost of local government.”

 

Burgum also addressed the Dakota Access Pipeline protests and the impact on relations between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the state.

 

“The Dakota Access Pipeline protests began with a debate concerning legitimate issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, including protecting our valuable water resources and a desire for genuine government-to-government consultation,” Burgum said. “Those original concerns have been hijacked by those with alternative agendas.”

 

Protesters have been camping in southern Morton County and opposition to the $3.8 billion, four-state project has led to more than 570 arrests and millions in law enforcement response costs since August.

 

Burgum said local, tribal, state and federal agencies will need to work together to clean up the protest camp site when the protests have ended.

 

“Vacating the unauthorized main camp on Army Corps land — cleaning up the abandoned cars, illegal structures and human waste from months of occupation — will be a costly and time-consuming effort,” Burgum said.

 

He told lawmakers relationships between the state and the tribes have been frayed since the protests began and they’ll take time to repair.

 

“I pledge my administration to a fresh start in our relations with all tribal nations who live with and among us,” Burgum said. “Our goal is to understand each tribe’s individual issues and circumstances so that we may move forward together.”

 

Burgum will hold meetings with leaders of each of the state’s tribes this week. Legislative leadership also has a separate series of meetings this week.

Team Doug Weekly Round-Up: December 9, 2016

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Team Doug’s Weekly Round-Up

News From The Week … 

The editorial board of the Bismarck Tribune writes that Governor Dalrymple’s last budget is a good start. “If everything goes well, Burgum and legislators can decide on changes to Dalrymple’s budget early in the session. This will no doubt be a difficult session, it’s never easy to say no, but Dalrymple has provided a good guide for the start.”

  • Meanwhile, Burgum appreciates all of the work Dalrymple put into the budget and reiterated that we will balance the budget without raising taxes. As the Bismarck Tribune reports: “Burgum issued a statement following the completion of Dalrymple’s budget address. … ‘Despite a challenging revenue environment, Gov. Jack Dalrymple and his team have worked incredibly hard to put together this budget,’ he said. ‘The budget is being thoroughly reviewed by my team, and we look forward to working with the Legislature to balance the budget and fund our priorities without raising taxes.’”
The Wahpeton Daily News reports that the inaugural festivities begin on January 4, 2017. “Governor-elect Doug Burgum is sending out invitations to his inaugural, and everyone’s welcome. The inaugural is billed as ‘a fun-filled evening of celebration with great music and dancing.’ It’s scheduled at the Bismarck Event Center for Jan. 4, a day after the Republican takes a ceremonial oath of office and delivers his first State of the State address.”

The West Fargo Pioneer reports that the West Fargo Sheyenne High School Choir will perform at the inaugural in January. “Anthony Peterson is always looking for new ways to get his choirs recognized. This time, it was by the state governor. Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced the West Fargo Sheyenne High School Concert Choir was selected to serve as the 2016-17 Governor’s Official State Chorus. … Though Peterson isn’t entirely sure everything that comes with the selection, he knows the choir will perform during Gov.-elect Doug Burgum’s inauguration in early January in Bismarck.”

Finally, remember to visit burguminauguration.com to get your free tickets to the North Dakota Governor’s Inaugural Celebration.
 
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Team Doug Weekly Round-Up: December 2, 2016

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Team Doug’s Weekly Round-Up

 

 

 

Before we turn our attention to the big football games in Grand Forks and Fargo, below is some news from the past week about how Governor-elect Doug Burgum is building out his administration.

NEWS FROM THE WEEK …

With Governor-elect Burgum building out his cabinet, the Fargo Forum reports that Michelle Kommer will lead the Department of Labor. “A Fargo banking executive will lead North Dakota’s Department of Labor in Gov.-elect Doug Burgum’s administration. Michelle Kommer, who is the chief administrative officer and general counsel for Western State Bank, was named to the position Monday, Nov. 28, Burgum announced in an email. ‘With executive experience in law and human resources at leading North Dakota manufacturing, energy, health insurance and banking organizations, Michelle is uniquely qualified to serve as our state’s next Labor Commissioner,’ Burgum said in the email. ‘Her extensive private sector experience, legal background, and proven skills in proactive process improvement are the perfect fit for re-inventing our service approaches to labor and human rights oversight.’”

With an eye on cybersecurity, the North Dakota Information Technology Department says Governor-elect Burgum will be tough on cybersecurity issues. As KFGO-AM reports: “A task force on capital cybersecurity has submitted its recommendations to the governor of North Dakota. Topics in the report include improving monitoring and scanning of the state’s information technology network, finalizing a response plan to addressing cyberattacks and proposing legislation for cyber insurance. North Dakota Information Technology Department deputy chief information officer Dan Sipes says whether anything from the report is used by the incoming administration remains to be seen. Sipes says governor-elect Doug Burgum should be good to work with on issues of cybersecurity because he is a former software company executive.”

The Dickinson Press reports that the Williston High School Band and the Sheyenne High School choir will preform at the inauguration. “The old joke about the way to get to Carnegie Hall is “practice” is true for the state capitol, as well, at least for the Williston High School Wind Ensemble and the Sheyenne High School choir from West Fargo. On Tuesday the 71-member ensemble was named the Governor’s Official Band for 2016-17, which means the students will play at the inauguration of Governor-elect Doug Burgum on Dec. 15 in Bismarck. ‘Congratulations to the Williston High School Wind Ensemble and the Sheyenne High School Concert Choir for being named this year’s Governor’s Official Band and Chorus,’ Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a news release.”

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Team Doug Weekly Round-Up: November 25, 2016

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Team Doug’s Weekly Round-Up

With less than 20 days until Doug and Brent take office, we wanted to make sure saw the news from the past week.  

– Team Doug

NEWS FROM THE WEEK …

After successfully building a vibrant community in Watford City, My North Dakota Now reports that Lt. Governor-elect Brent Sanford will try to implement similar ideas across the state. “Brent Sanford has worked to make [Watford City] a place where young families want to move and settle down. As North Dakota’s lieutenant governor elect, that goal of creating livable communities will remain a priority for him at the state level.”


Lt. Governor-elect Brent Sanford told KX News that his top priority is to balance the budget without raising taxes. “We’re looking at being able to receive the budget from Governor Dalrymple and put some of our nuances onto it and bring that forward and work with the legislature to balance the budget but not increase taxes.”

The Bismarck Tribune reports that Governor-elect Doug Burgum has promised to create a more efficient state government. “Burgum, a Fargo businessman and former software executive, described himself during the campaign as a political outsider looking to change up the political landscape in North Dakota. He’s promised to chart a new path during his administration, creating a more efficient and responsive state government.”

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Team Doug Weekly Round-Up: November 18, 2016

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Team Doug’s Weekly Round-Up

With Doug and Brent building out their new administration, you can still join the team by visiting www.JoinDougBurgum.com. Below is a recap from the week, which includes Doug talking with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and a video encouraging high school students to apply for North Dakota Boys State.

– Team Doug

NEWS FROM THE WEEK …

As the dust settles, Democrats got crushed and only have 13 seats in the House and 9 in the Senate.  As the Fargo Forum reports: “Already an extremely marginal factor in state politics, the Democrats took a whipping at the polls that left them possibly unable to fill minority party spots on committees. Eleven incumbent Democrats lost House seats, seven incumbent Dems lost Senate seats. The Democrats are left with 13 seats in the 94-member House and nine seats in the 47-member Senate. Even in already bright-red North Dakota, progressives got Trumped.”

With Burgum building out his administration, the Dickinson Free Press reports that he tapped Mike Nowatzki to lead his communications operation. “Gov.-elect Doug Burgum has named Mike Nowatzki, Forum Communications’ Bismarck bureau reporter, as the communications director on his gubernatorial staff. … ‘With a deep understanding of North Dakota’s challenges and opportunities, Mike is uniquely qualified to advance our agenda of balancing the budget without raising taxes, diversifying the economy and implementing the Main Street Initiative,’ Burgum said in a statement released Monday, Nov. 14.”

Finally, Fortune Magazine reports that one of Burgum’s top priorities for North Dakota is to diversify the economy. “There is a real need for diversification in that economy, Burgum told Fortune in an interview early this year, and that is something he thinks he can bring to bear as governor.”

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Team Doug Weekly Round-Up: November 11, 2016

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Team Doug’s Weekly Round-Up

Earlier this morning, Doug Burgum penned an op-ed thanking our veterans for their service to our country. “Due to the service and the sacrifice of the brave members of our armed services, the United States remains a beacon of freedom and opportunity to the whole world. To our veterans, and to the current members of the armed services, including our very own North Dakota National Guard, we extend our gratitude for your service and your sacrifice. You are the modern day pillars on which the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution stand.”

After a historic win on Tuesday, Doug and Kathryn would like to express their deep gratitude to everyone who made this possible.


NEWS FROM THE WEEK …

The Wahpeton Daily News reports that nearly 77 percent of North Dakotans picked Doug Burgum and Brent Sanford to lead our state. “North Dakota voters have elected Fargo businessman Doug Burgum and Mayor Brent Sanford of Watford City, North Dakota, to the offices of governor and lieutenant governor. Burgum and Sanford won with 259,067 votes, or 76.51 percent of 338,601 cast statewide on Tuesday, Nov. 8.”

On Wednesday, Doug Burgum tapped former Great Plains Software and Microsoft executive Jodi Uecker to lead his transition. As the Bismarck Tribune reports: “Burgum, who cruised to a 57-point win over Democratic state Rep. Marvin Nelson of Rolla, named former Great Plains Software and Microsoft executive Jodi Uecker to lead his transition team. Uecker also served as an adviser to former Gov. John Hoeven’s transition team in 2000.”

Burgum also reiterated that he’ll be the people’s governor and will not be accepting a salary while in office. As Valley News Live reports: “Burgum says he still plans to give his salary back to the taxpayers. ‘This is the crazy thing about government you would think that would be an easy thing to do like I don’t want to take my salary, some people would be so far to think oh you can’t,’ said Burgum. ‘We’ll figure a way to get it done and even if it means I got to take the salary and donate it, I’ll do that.’”

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Team Doug Weekly Round-Up: November 4, 2016

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Team Doug Weekly Round-Up

 

 

 

With less than 4 days away until Election Day, Team Doug is taking nothing for granted. Earlier this week, we released our final ad, Doug held a rally in Grand Forks and met with voters in Jamestown.

If you want to help with our GOTV efforts, contact Lucas Paper with the North Dakota GOP – lucas@ndgop.org – to get signed up.  

Finally, don’t forget you’re invited to our Election Night Party at the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo and doors open at 7:00 PM. 

News From The Trail … 

In our closing ad, Kathryn reminds voters of Doug’s passion for North Dakota and how he wants to create jobs and revitalize communities across the state. As the Bismarck Tribune reports: “Doug Burgum is featuring his fiancee in his final TV ad of the North Dakota governor campaign. Kathryn Helgaas opens the Republican’s 30-second spot by saying that she and Burgum love North Dakota and he is running for governor ‘for all the right reasons.’ It closes with Burgum talking about revitalizing communities, streamlining government, creating jobs and balancing the budget without raising taxes.”


During his rally in Grand Forks, Doug said that he’s not taking anything for granted.  As WDAZ reports: “Doug Burgum, the Republican candidate for governor, says he’s not he’s taking any chances even though he is the heavy favorite based on North Dakota’s greatly Republican history.”

After offering a new vision for North Dakota, the Fargo Forum endorsed Doug Burgum saying that he’s the right man at the right time. “Fargo entrepreneur Doug Burgum, who shocked the comfortable Republican establishment by winning a primary landslide over the party’s endorsed candidate, will bring new ideas and a fresh vision to the North Dakota governor’s office. He’s the right choice to usher in an era of change and innovation that can strengthen and diversify the state’s economy and modernize the way state government meets its mandates. … He’s the right man at the right time. He has an agenda that is as exciting as it is evolutionary. North Dakotans should make him their new governor.”

Doug also said that he’s open to a discussion about expanding Medicaid, but that our healthcare system is broken due to ObamaCare. As the Grand Forks Herald reports: “Burgum said there are ‘many benefits’ to expanded Medicaid in North Dakota, such as the 20,000 people who have health insurance. But he said it’s part of a ‘larger problem.’  ‘And it’s part of a larger problem called Obamacare,’ he said before door-knocking in a Grand Forks neighborhood.  Still, Burgum signaled he was open to reauthorizing Medicaid expansion. … Burgum said the bigger challenge for North Dakota leaders will be figuring ‘out a health care system that actually works.’ ‘The role of a state should be to be a platform for innovation,’ he said. ‘The role of a state shouldn’t be to rubber-stamp federal programs that just don’t work.’”

Finally, if you want to want to watch the election results with Team Doug, we’ll be at Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo and you’re welcome to join us. “[Doug and Kathryn] will attend an election night party with family, friends, and supporters at the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo at 7:00 PM.”

 
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Doug Burgum grew up in Arthur, North Dakota and graduated from North Dakota State University.  Doug literally bet the family farm on a software startup company that hired thousands of North Dakotans from over 220 North Dakota communities.  Doug is a business leader and political outsider who will bring new ideas and a fresh perspective that will transform North Dakota’s economy for the future.

 

 

 

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