Hoeven Backs Trump, Though They Don’t Agree on Everything

North Dakota’s Republican senator said Wednesday that he is maintaining his support of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sen. John Hoeven, following a roundtable with Dickinson business and city leaders, lived up to his promise to support his party’s presidential nominee despite being relatively quiet about Trump’s candidacy.

“I support Trump as our nominee for the party,” Hoeven said. “I don’t agree with everything he says, but I agree that he would be better for our state and our country than Secretary Clinton, who would continue the kind of big regulation, big government, big tax approach the current administration has.”

Hoeven has long been an opponent of the Obama administration’s regulatory policies and said he believes a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean more of the same.

Nonetheless, Hoeven has been tight-lipped about Trump since the New York businessman accepted the Republican nomination for president and was the state’s highest-ranking GOP official who didn’t attend Trump’s speech at the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference last May in Bismarck.

Hoeven, who is seeking re-election in November, also responded to criticisms by his opponent, current state Rep. Eliot Glassheim. On Tuesday, the Grand Forks Democrat called for Hoeven to withdraw his support of Trump following what he called the presidential candidate’s “demeaning insults” about Kazir Khan, a Muslim-American father of a fallen soldier.

Glassheim said Hoeven should condemn Trump’s statements.

“What’s more, Sen. Hoeven should explain to North Dakotans precisely why he continues to support Donald Trump while refusing to condemn, distance himself from, or even comment on, Trump’s outrageous behavior,” Glassheim stated in a release. “If Sen. Hoeven cannot honestly offer such an explanation to voters, he should have the courage to withdraw his support for Trump’s candidacy for president.”

Hoeven said he’s more focused on his own re-election campaign and issues pertaining to North Dakotans than the presidential election.

“I tell the people what I’m about, what I believe in, what I believe can help our state — a positive vision for the future of North Dakota, the vision of our country — and then it’s up to them,” Hoeven said. “It’s an honor to serve North Dakota, but people decide. That’s how I’ve always approached it. That’s how I’m approaching it now and as long as I’m in office, that’s how I will approach it. That’s what’s important.”

Hoeven did, however, say that “everyone should support Gold Star families,” the designation for families who have lost a member during military service in wartime.

The senator added that while he knows Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson well and considers him a friend, he won’t be backing his campaign.

Johnson was born in Hoeven’s hometown of Minot, and served as New Mexico’s governor at the same time as Hoeven was governor of North Dakota.

“He’s an interesting guy, a good guy,” Hoeven said. “I agree with him on some things but obviously not others. We’re good friends and it’s always interesting to see what he’s going to offer.”

Slope, Bowman county leaders express frustration with federal overreach

AMIDON — Residents of the two most southwestern counties in North Dakota expressed their concerns and the perceived helplessness they felt about federal government overreach to Sen. John Hoeven on Monday during separate roundtable gatherings.

The Republican senator held hour-long meetings in both Bowman and Amidon to speak with county and city officials, landowners, ranchers and business leaders about a variety of topics that originate at a national level and affect them.

While many Bowman residents expressed gratitude for Hoeven’s work to secure grant funding for its $34 million hospital project and the new Bowman Airport, their leaders, as well as those in Slope County, railed on what they see as the federal government having too much of a say in what happens not only in North Dakota, but in their own backyards.

“It’s people like us who have little meetings that don’t make a difference anymore,” Lauren Klewin, a Slope County rancher and longtime board member for Slope Electric Cooperative, said during the Amidon roundtable.

Klewin spent nearly five minutes talking off the cuff about the variety of ways area residents feel hamstrung by federal bureaucracy and what he felt was increasing and all-but unstoppable overreach through the Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan, as well as the U.S. Forest Service’s grazing plans.

“Regardless of who we ever have as a president, I feel like these federal agencies are running on their own,” Klewin said.

Hoeven responded by telling Klewin and others that some members of Congress and the court system continue to push back against the new carbon emission standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, and noted the importance of who nominated to be the next Supreme Court justice.

“Is it going to be someone who reflects North Dakota’s interest or someone who reflects the Obama agenda?” Hoeven asked. “… We can’t constantly have the federal government coming in and putting all these regulations on us.”

State Rep. Keith Kempenich, a Bowman Republican who represents District 39 in the Legislature, spent time at the Bowman roundtable asking for Hoeven’s help curtailing federal regulations on coal-fired power and the politicizing of climate change research and science.

“They’ve completely walked away from the science of it,” Kempenich said. “They’re pushing an agenda. Are your colleagues understanding this, for the most part? That’s where it gets frustrating. Because that’s where it’s coming from, is 20 square miles on the East Coast.”

Hoeven said after the Bowman roundtable that the concerns he heard echo those of many North Dakotans.

“As I listen to people all over the state of North Dakota, that’s what they’re saying,” he said.


Powder River trade off

Rodney Schaff, chairman of the Bowman Airport Authority, thanked Hoeven for his work to secure $12 million in grants for the airport, which opened last May.

He also spoke about the Powder River Training Complex, a U.S. Air Force training area that encompasses a large area in southwest North Dakota and neighboring South Dakota.

“We don’t have anything against military training,” Schaff said. “I’m an old Air Force vet. … But we said there’s got to be trade off here too.”

Hoeven said the Air Force is waiting to conduct low-altitude flights in southwest North Dakota until the Bowman Airport has installed equipment that allows it to communicate with the national air traffic controllers about flight training being conducted in the area.

“This Powder River range is very important to the Air Force, but at the same time it’s got to work for general aviation,” he said in an interview after the Bowman roundtable.


Enough is enough with Keystone XL

Keystone XL pipes lay in wait at a railyard outside of Scranton in July 2013.










I’ve always wondered about the people who protest certain topics. Are they really that upset? Does everything rile them up that much? Does somebody pay these people to protest? Is this their job?

Lately, every time there is political movement on the Keystone XL pipeline, there’s an environmental activist group there with a protest — though we don’t get to see it because the protests usually only take place in a coastal California city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, and, of course, Washington, D.C. Both places are so far from where the proposed pipeline would go that one has to wonder why people would protest for something they’ve likely never seen in a place they’ve likely never been nor ever plan to go.

Continue reading “Enough is enough with Keystone XL”

Watford City WWII vet receives medals

Watford City’s Donald Diederich, left, receives his World War II medals from Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Tuesday afternoon in the Stark County Courthouse in Dickinson.

Donald Diederich knew he had earned medals in World War II. But he never thought he would see them.

That changed Tuesday afternoon at the Stark County Courthouse when Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., presented the 90-year-old Army veteran from Watford City with five medals, including a bronze star, for his service in the South Pacific during World War II.

“It means a lot. I really didn’t think it would mean that much,” Diederich said. “After so many years, I just kind of forgot about it. I always thought they would come, but I never got them.”

Hoeven said it is important that veterans like Diederich, whom he called a “great American,” are recognized for their sacrifices.

Continue reading “Watford City WWII vet receives medals”