BISMARCK — Governor Burgum’s office issued an advisory late Sunday evening, clarifying he’ll be issuing pardons for turkeys only at Monday’s Thanksgiving turkey pardon ceremony.

The Governor’s office was forced to issue the clarification after multiple state officials wrote Governor Burgum requesting a pardon at Monday’s ceremony.

“The Governor’s office received multiple requests from officials seeking pardons for a number of reasons,” said Director of Turkey Affairs Jim Fowling. “Minot Senator Oley Larson asked Governor Burgum for a pardon, seeking forgiveness after posting conspiracy theories aimed at U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar. The North Dakota Department of Commerce also asked for a pardon regarding the procurement of the new state tourism logo. United States Senator Kevin Cramer also sought a pardon, however, it remains unclear why Cramer requested the pardon.”

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger also reportedly asked to attend Monday’s ceremony as well seeking a pardon. While Rauschenberger has not been involved in any recent controversies, the commissioner cited the upcoming holidays in his request.

“With the upcoming holidays, anything is possible,” said Rauschenberger in an official pardon request sent to Governor Burgum. “Therefore, I would like to proactively request a pardon in the event I should be involved in any controversies throughout the remainder of 2019, cause their ain’t no laws when you party with the (Santa) Clause.”

The Governor sent the following clarification out to all state employees late Sunday evening.

Governor Burgum issued an advisory late Sunday night reminding officials that Monday’s pardon is for turkeys only.


Governor Burgum said in his advisory that those seeking a pardon for any wrongdoings should use the upcoming holidays to reflect and seek guidance from friends, family, or State Auditor Josh Gallion.

The annual turkey pardoning will take place Monday at the State Capitol in Bismarck.

More on this story as it develops.

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