HOEVEN COMMENDS POWER COMPANIES ON WIND POWER, TRANSMISSION AGREEMENT

Several Hundred Megawatts of New Wind Production Slated for Central North Dakota

BISMARCK, ND – Gov. John Hoeven today commended officials from Minnkota Power Cooperative, Hawkeye Tree Company and Minnesota Power on their announced intention to expand wind capacity and transmission in North Dakota. The agreement paves the way to build significant new wind energy production and transmission capacity in western North Dakota and send it to the Red River Valley and Minnesota. Currently, Minnkota buys power from Milton Young Generating Station I, and the two companies share power from Milton Young 2, both located in Center, N.D.

The agreement involves Minnesota Power’s $80 million purchase of a 465-mile DC transmission line that runs from the Milton Young Generating Station in Center, N.D. to Arrowhead substation in Hermantown, Minn. In addition, Minnkota Power will construct a new 345 kilovolt transmission line to carry new wind energy production from Milton Young 2 to the Red River Valley, and to accommodate new wind energy along the DC line.

The companies earlier discussed their plan with Hoeven and his staff, and the state has been working with them to help advance the project.

“We’ve worked with both of these forward-looking companies to develop North Dakota’s wind generated energy capacity and new transmission,” Hoeven said. “The key here is that we’re developing a major new 345 kW transmission line with the goal of building hundreds of new megawatts of capacity. These, and other projects, are helping to bring North Dakota’s total wind energy production from less than one megawatt a few years ago to more than 2000 megawatts in the near future.”

McCain’s commitment to the Judiciary

McCain’s commitment to the Judiciary

The North Dakota Republican Party commends Senator John McCain’s judicial philosophy and vision for the federal judiciary.
The next President will have the opportunity to nominate hundreds of men and women to the courts – the effects of which will last for many years. To uphold Republican ideals, it’s important that these judges have a proven record of judicial restraint to combat the judicial activism that currently is weakening our federal judiciary.
From the Supreme Court to lower courts, John McCain’s conservative leadership in nominating the right judges will bring about much-needed change to counteract judges who legislate from the bench and distort the Constitution.
________________________________________JOHN MCCAIN ANNOUNCES HIS JUSTICE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
For Immediate Release Contact: Press Office
Tuesday, May 6, 2008 703-650-5550
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, U.S. Senator John McCain announced his Justice Advisory Committee to the Campaign. Please find below the Chairs and members of the Committee:
Chairs Of The Justice Advisory Committee:
Theodore B. Olson — former Solicitor General of the United States
• Senator Sam Brownback — United States Senator, Kansas
Steering Committee
• Michael Abramowicz — Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School
• Hon. William P. Barr — former Attorney General of the United States
• Gerard V. Bradley — Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
• Rachel Brand — former Assistant Attorney General for Office of Legal Policy
• Steven Calabresi — George C. Dix Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
• Dean Ronald A. Cass — Chairman, Center for the Rule of Law; Dean Emeritus, Boston University School of Law
• Senator Daniel Coats — former United States Senator, Indiana
• Manus M. Cooney — former Chief Counsel and Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
• Charles J. Cooper — former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel
• Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr. — former White House Counsel to President Ronald Reagan
• Carol E. Dinkins — Partner, Vinson & Elkins
• John F. Duffy — Oswald Symister Colclough Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School
• Miguel A. Estrada — former Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States
• Charles Fried — Beneficial Profes sor of Law, Harvard Law School; former Solicitor General of the United States
• Sandra S. Froman — Arizona attorney
• Richard W. Garnett — Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School
• Robert P. George — McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
• Senator Lindsey Graham — United States Senator, South Carolina
• Senator Phil Gramm — former United States Senator, Texas
• Governor Frank Keating — former Governor of Oklahoma
• Orin S. Kerr — Professor, George Washington Universit y Law School
• Senator Jon Kyl — United States Senator, Arizona
• Christopher Landau — Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
• Senator Trent Lott — former United States Senator, Mississippi
• Randy Mastro — former Deputy Mayor of New York City
• John O. McGinnis — Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
• Maureen E. Mahoney — former Deputy Solicitor General of the Unites States
• Thomas W. Merrill — Charles Keller Beekman Professor, Columbia Law School
• Marc L. Mukasey — Partner, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP ; former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York
• Caleb Nelson — Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
• Eileen J. O’Connor — former Assistant Attorney General, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice
• Hon. Thomas R. Phillips — former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas
• Edward R. Reines — Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
• Kristi L. Remington — former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy
• Professor Daniel B. Rodriguez — Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law, The University of Texas at Austin Scho ol of Law
• Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz — Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
• Ronald D. Rotunda — University Professor and Professor of Law, George Mason University
• Cathy Cleaver Ruse — Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at the Family Research Council; Governor, Ave Maria School of Law

• Peter B. Rutledge — Associate Professor of Law, University of Georgia School of Law
• Jon A. Sale — former federal prosecutor for NY and Miami; former law professor, Nova Southeastern and St. Thomas
•  Dan Smith, owner of Wilmington NC plumbers, based Wilmington NC, John Smietanka — former U.S. attorney
• Stephen F. Smith — Professor of Law, John V. Ray Research Professor, University of Virginia School of Law
• George J. Terwilliger, III — former Deputy Attorney General of the United States
• Senator Fred Thompson — former United States Senator, Tennessee
• Eugene Volokh — Gary T. Swartz Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law
• Dan K. Webb — Chairman, Winston & Strawn; former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois

Questionable Dealings Deserve Answers

Sen. Kent Conrad is currently enduring one of the most prominent scandals in decades to hit a North Dakota elected official. It is noteworthy because this isn’t Chicago, New York or Peoria IL. It is North Dakota and we expect more from our politicians. As Chairman of North Dakota’s Republican Party, I would respectfully suggest that Conrad’s problems won’t be resolved until he can answer at least the four following questions.

 

  1. Why the shifting explanations? Conrad has had at least three variations of his story detailing his relationship with the head of Countrywide Financial. Initially, Conrad claimed total innocence. He said he got a mortgage like everybody else. He said he didn’t know the CEO, didn’t ask for special favors and didn’t know he got a sweetheart deal. Later, he changed his story and said he actually did call the CEO to ask for a mortgage, but didn’t specifically ask for special favors. Now he says he didn’t really call the CEO at all, he was just talking to a friend on the phone about mortgages, and his friend merely happened to be standing next to the CEO, so his friend handed the phone over. Setting aside the rather all-too-convenient sounding nature of his latest story, North Dakotans still deserve to know why his explanations have had so many evolutions.
  2. Why the extraordinary Senate help in bailing out Countrywide? Conrad is the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. In order to facilitate the bailout the unethical lenders and speculators that caused the mortgage crisis, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) needed Conrad to agree to waive budget rules to help the massive handout move forward. Conrad and Dodd are the two Senators at the center of the VIP mortgage scandal. It is a strange coincidence, and Conrad needs to explain exactly why he supports the budget-busting taxpayer bailout of one of the very companies from which he secured a sweetheart deal. His active support of the bailout is especially troubling considering North Dakota has the lowest mortgage default rate in the country. Consequently, North Dakotans will disproportionately shoulder the burden of bailing out reckless real estate speculators elsewhere. It is a huge wealth transfer from our state to other parts of the nation. At the very least, Conrad should consider abstaining from participating in the legislation given the appearance of impropriety.
  3. Why not use a North Dakota lender? If, as Conrad claims, he really didn’t get a better deal with Countrywide than anywhere else, it is mystifying why he wouldn’t use a North Dakota lender for the Bismarck apartment complex. We have to assume Conrad is smart enough to shop around for mortgages. If the Countrywide deal was only equal to what he could have gotten anywhere, then why not patronize North Dakota businesses? A very rational explanation is that having been referred to and spoken with the Countrywide CEO for his million-dollar beach house, Conrad implicitly knew he was getting awfully good deals. Reports have indicated that the VIP program was common knowledge among Washington insiders, so Conrad appears to be portraying himself as willfully blind to the conflict of interest.
  4. How does the Senate’s self-proclaimed “numbers guy” not know the most basic facts about his own mortgage? Conrad has spent years selling the notion he knows more about finance and budgets than just about anyone else on the planet. Yet when it comes to his own finances he takes the “ostrich defense.” His ignorance of his personal finances is worth remembering the next time he brings out his charts proclaiming higher taxes and more government spending as the path to economic prosperity.

 

Conrad is learning the hard way what so many fallen politicians before him have discovered. When you are caught red-handed, it is best to fess-up completely the first time, and then humbly ask for forgiveness. To date he has done neither. He has earned the admonishment of nearly every major editorial page in North Dakota. National newspapers as diverse as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the USA Today have been even more harsh in their rebukes. Conrad has likely seen his dream of becoming US Treasury Secretary dashed because of his serious error in judgment. If he isn’t more forthcoming he may eventually see his Senate career ending as well, even if we have to wait until 2012 to get it done.