Daschle supporter to Weiland – Get out, you can’t win. Throwing support behind Pressler.

Native American publisher Tim Giago who famously supported Tom Daschle in his last time out running for the US Senate had a message for Democrat Rick Weiland today. In a nutshell, he asked him to get out of the race, because he can’t win:

In 1980 the U. S. Census proclaimed Shannon County, the heart of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as the poorest county in America. Thirty-four years later Shannon County still ranks among the top 10 poorest counties in America. During much of that time the Democrats have held the senate and house seats in this state. I have written time and again, “What in the world have they done to bring an end to this travesty?” The answer that comes up is always; “little or nothing.” And so I have urged my fellow Lakota to take this into consideration and not to blindly follow a Democrat simply because that is what they have always done. During those 34 years the Republicans have often held the power and they also can be categorized as “do-nothings” when it comes to solving the poverty problems of the state’s Indian reservations.


I think Rick Weiland is a great guy, but I believe that Larry Pressler stands a better chance of winning the senate seat away from the Republican Rounds. I started this column talking about “selflessness” a true description of what Chad Taylor has done in Kansas. I believe that the only way Democrats or Independents can stop the Mike Rounds Express is to throw all of their support behind Larry Pressler.

Read it all here.

Living in an RV narrative changed, and there’s still no indication that Chad Haber has been gainfully employed in last 2 years.. (Updated)

I was doing an internet search on various political topics looking for something to write about,  and I stumbled across the audio recording that Libertarian AG Candidate Chad Haber did with his pornographer friend Lee Stranahan.

Under the portion where it claimed Chad Haber was going to explain what he did for a living, Chad made a few statements that came like a bolt out of the blue. Why?  Because on the fly, he rewrote the major part of his family’s narrative.

What was being re-written? The reason they were living in an RV.

This was an important part of Annette Bosworth’s narrative as she promoted a message of fighting back against big government, and how she was fighting the bureaucracy.

Here’s the passage from her web site:

To pay the mounting legal bills and to keep her medical clinic open, Annette and her husband sold nearly all their material possessions, including their home. The pain of their choice to stand up against big government impacted them personally. With options limited, they moved their three young children into an RV donated to them by their church. But Annette never lost faith. She put her trust in God that the truth would prevail and continued her fight against big government.

(My Emphasis.)  Her losing everything and why was a campaign line repeated time and again.  She sold everything to fight the government.

Fast forward a few months, and Annette has been arrested and charged with falsely attesting to things on her petitions, etcetera.  Which triggered her husband, Chad Haber, to run for Attorney General.

But now, the narrative has changed:

Chad Haber: “… We had two very nice houses that were both paid for. We sold two houses to help pay for the medicines the Native American kids my wife was seeing in the shelters needed, and that was not a purely humanitarian effort at the moment – it was services that should have been covered by Medicaid. And then we were never compensated for.”

Lee Stranahan: So you had two homes that were worth over a million two. And you sold those homes, and you put the money into where… Where did the money for that go?

Chad Haber: “It went into Medicines for kids.”

Listen to it here.

From Legal Bills to Medicines for Native American Kids.  That’s a major re-write. Under the section “What does Chad do for a living?”  Haber manages to rewrite the narrative that his wife Annette had used throughout the campaign.

Looking at the two stories – it appears that they’re different enough that someone is not telling the truth.

Even more interesting, it’s very telling that Chad never actually tells us what he does for a living. He explains what he did on the campaign, and laments that it took a lot of time – but on both an earlier KSOO Radio interview, and in this non-explanation, he really never explains what he does at this point in time to contribute to his families income.   Sure he volunteered for his wife’s campaign, but that supposedly doesn’t bring  home the bacon – (i.e. WHAT DO YOU DO TO PROVIDE INCOME FOR YOUR FAMILY?).

Because if we look at his wife’s earlier filing with the Senate Ethics Committee, Chad contributed less than $1000 of income to the family in the prior two years. Less than $1000.

Chad with no job, no law degree, an incomplete college education, and a murky past which includes unpaid loans and tax liens,  wants to become South Dakota’s next Attorney General.

The concept is just ludicrous at any level.

Update- I should have gone to the obvious source:

ChadNeedsAJobYep. According to both his wife’s and his own filings, it would not appear that Chad has any visible means of income.  Like it or not, “Full Time CANDIDATE” is not what most South Dakotans would consider a occupation/profession.

While not a disqualifier for being Attorney General, it would give rise to questions over his recent leadership and executive level experience in managing an office in charge of dozens, if not over a hundred employees.

Clayton Walker’s petitions, and the relief that is on it’s way for some of the nuttiness.

If you didn’t catch the stories this morning, there’s some chatter over the matter of Clayton Walker, his petitions, and the famous people supporting him on the ballot:

Court records obtained by the Journal show Walker, 33, is accused of using creative means to fill some of the forms, including using the names of dead voters, celebrity-inspired names like Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds, fictitious names like Black Notes and Cherry Drop, and the names of voters who did not live at their listed address or had addresses that do not exist.

And if not for a suspicious citizen on the other side of the state, Walker may have slipped the names through and made it onto the primary ballot in the race to replace retiring Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson.

The petitions were initially accepted by the office of Secretary of State Jason Gant, who said Friday that his office, by law, did not have the authority to dig deeper into the validity of the information provided. Since Walker did not have any blanks on the forms, for example, his signatures initially “had to be approved because his petitions met the requirements of the law,” Gant said in an email Friday.

Read it here.

The article goes on to claim that the chairman of the Brookings County Democrats was merely acting as “a private citizen” when she filed the challenge to knock a competitor to Rick Weiland off of the ballot.  (I’m quite sure she was merely a disinterested bystander…….)

Regardless, Walker was removed from the ballot because of the obvious inconsistencies which further highlighted some of the holes that have existed in South Dakota election law and administrative rule for petition review for decades.

I suspect the holes are there more because South Dakotans are generally an honest lot, and not prone to the type of goofiness that we’ve seen in this year’s elections. But, now that the flaws in the system have been exposed, I know that they’re soon to be closed.

I was chatting with Attorney General Marty Jackley and Secretary of State Candidate Shantel Krebs about the situation this weekend, and fixing some of the gaps in our election law are quite high on their list this next legislative session – items such as improving the amount of time for petition review, and instituting signature sampling on nominating petitions (such as we do on initiative petitions) are real possibilities for consideration this next session.

A few minor changes in law would expand the authority of Secretary of State to go beyond simply being an agency of filing as it is now, into an organization with the ability to investigate and initiate administrative actions.

SD Animal Rights group tips hand for their upcoming animal rights agenda, asks legislators for donations in questionnaire.

South Dakota Animal Rights group SD FACT sent out a legislative questionnaire recently, and in addition to tipping their hand on what they want in their next round of legislation, they asked the legislators for money:

Sd fact

First, they asked for a new license vehicle fee for spaying & neutering pets.  Secondly, they want to impose new regulation on trappers, requiring traps to be checked every 24 hours, under penalty of law.   Third, they’re apparently going to be asking that the state demand licensure of anyone who breeds their pets.

And finally, the group is seeking a new law to establish a domestic violence protection order for pets.  Seriously.

In addition to all of this, they asked all the legislative candidates for a donation.

I’d love to know which legislators donated money towards their cause of raising car licensing fees for socialized pet medicine.

What do you think?

A couple of South Dakota gentlemen are raising money for their movie with Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren

I just caught this on facebook from a pair of young men from Pierre – Luke Schuetzle and Adam Emerson – who made the movie “Dust of War,” a post apocalyptic tale in the areas outside Pierre and Ft. Pierre.

(Of course, the Ft. Pierre is very appropos for anything post apocalyptic.)

Currently, they’re out raising money for their new movie, War Pigs, which is set to star Mickey Rourke and Dolph Lundgren:

We are stoked about the amazing cast and crew we have attached to this movie, BUT we are more excited about all of the “extras” we want to get into this movie.  The “extras” are going to enhance the quality of the movie and really make it feel like you went back in time and are watching the allies kick Nazi butt!

This is where you come in!

We need your support and backing to help us get all of the cool WWII toys and reenactors into this movie!

A film of this scale requires a lot of money and we have raised a full budget through a combination of pre-sales and tax credits.

However, most of the budget is tied up into the AMAZING cast and crew we have associated with the film. We are utilizing Kickstarter to help us pay for all of the cool “extra” things we want to put into this WWII movie.

These funds will be used to pay for things like:

  • Food for the reenactors. (hungry reenactors aren’t happy reenactors!)

  • Gas money to get reenactors to and from locations.

  • Extra money to pay for more “toys,” like TANKS, HALFTRACKS AND JEEPS.

If you’re interested in helping them out, check out their page at KickStarter.

A fairy tale or foreshadowing? Is the US Attorney Office getting ready to change hands?

If you missed the blurb I had on Friday about South Dakota US Attorney Brendan Johnson selling his home in the last week or so,  not more than an hour after I posted that, I had a note which seemed to potentially be another link in what could be a chain of evidence that Brendan Johnson might be stepping down.

Or it could all be a fairy tale . It’s up to you to decide how much credence to give to the rumors floating around among the political class.   Basically, here’s what swirling out there amongst the rumor mongers and is fueling speculation.

Brendan Johnson’s old law firm with Scott Heidepreim is said to be currently reorganizing with people coming and going.


Coupled with some rumored rearrangement of his old law firm, tongues are wagging over US attorney Brendan Johnson’s house sale in the paper recently, leading people to speculate whether he might be moving back to private practice.

As noted in the Argus, Brendan Johnson and his wife have sold their home.   It’s noted that there was not a concurrent home purchase at the same time. It could mean nothing. Or there could be a purchase in an area not covered by the Argus’s property transfer reports.

Then another link came from a friend who noted to me that while in Washington DC early last week, a gentleman had spoken with him claiming that he knew who the new US Attorney was going to be . He asked – “Are you sure you don’t mean Assistant US Attorney?” and the person was adamant that he was referring to THE US Attorney, and not one of his assistants.

This same person claimed that Brendan was going to be replaced by J.R. LaPlante, who just happened to resign from the office of tribal relations in April to become an assistant US Attorney.

All of these rumors seem to be coming to a head at the same time. And it’s hard to deny that getting out of the US Attorney’s office in 2014 would make good political sense for Brendan Johnson.

Given his silence in what his office is doing looking at the EB-5 matter, his non-political office is being accused of many things political, which Brendan has generally been careful to avoid. Bearing the brunt of those accusations would not help his case in running for office in the near future.

There’s a good chance that Obama is going to be replaced by a Republican in 2016, so they would appoint a Republican to the position.  Leaving now lets another Democrat have a turn at the wheel.  It also would give Brendan a year or so to work in private practice (and two years distance past his father’s departure) before entering the political arena himself.

That’s why the Heidepreim law office reconfiguration rumors and a house sale coming about the same time adds fuel to the fire. Throw in an unsolicited outside party claiming that they know who the next US Attorney is going to be, and the rumors are at a fully roaring blaze across South Dakota’s political class.

So, what do you think? Is this all just a silly fairy tale?  Or is it political foreshadowing?

Is the US Attorney Office getting ready to change hands?  Or not?

Governor Dennis Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup 2014

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup 2014
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

When I was a young boy, I always looked forward to the cowboy films at the theater.

daugaard2My friends and I loved the rugged, silent cowboy stars. We wouldn’t have been caught dead using the word “romance,” but looking back, I can see that we were captivated by the romance of the Wild West, with its cowboy heroes, untamed prairies, bucking horses, wagon trains, Plains Indians and, of course, massive herds of magnificent buffalo. What an incredible animal – strong as an Olympic weightlifter, fast as a champion sprinter and exuding danger and mystery.

More than 125 years ago, long before South Dakota became a state, buffalo roamed the prairies in numbers almost beyond belief. I read somewhere that an Army officer who led a company of cavalry through the state in 1871 told of camping on the plains and being surrounded by a herd of buffalo so large that it took five full days for all of the animals to move past the soldiers’ camp. One estimate put the size of that herd at 4 million buffalo. Imagine that, if you can.

By the time South Dakota became a state, Nov. 2, 1889, the buffalo had all but been hunted out of existence in our region. Scotty Philip and a few other early settlers used   herd management and sound breeding practices to make sure the buffalo did not disappear, and today, as we celebrate the 125th anniversary of statehood, herds of buffalo thrive in several places.

One of the largest herds in the state is at Custer State Park. The Custer State Park herd numbers more than 1,300 animals spread across some 71,000 acres of open land.

Each year, park employees who manage the herd join with a number of volunteers for a spectacular, Wild West-style roundup. Park rangers and other experienced wranglers use horses and vehicles to bring the buffalo together to be sorted and vaccinated. It’s an important part of herd management. More than that, it’s a wonderfully exciting experience for park visitors.

Each year the roundup draws as many as 14,000 spectators to Custer State Park. This year’s Buffalo Roundup takes place on Friday, Sept. 26. If the chance to see one of nature’s most magnificent creatures live and running weren’t enough, the roundup weekend includes an art festival (Sept. 26-28 in the park), western and Native American entertainment, a chili cook-off and a Dutch Oven cook-off.

The Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup is an experience of a life-time. I’ll be there, and I invite you to be there, too.


Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Energy Unleashed

Energy Unleashed
By Rep. Kristi Noem
September 19, 2014

With conflicts arising in energy-rich areas of our world, the kristi noem headshot May 21 2014importance of North American energy independence to our wallets, economy, and national security increases every day.  Last week marked six years since permits were first filed to construct the Keystone XL Pipeline, a critical channel when looking to achieve a more abundant, affordable, and secure energy supply.

I am a strong supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Moving oil by pipeline has shown a number of public safety benefits.  Doing so could also pull oil off the railroads, thereby allowing rail companies to focus on moving our commodities to market. The U.S. State Department has confirmed the pipeline’s construction will have no major climate impact.  And the construction of the Keystone XL promises to create thousands of jobs.

I have cosponsored the Northern Route Approval Act to move the project forward.  I’ve written to Secretary of State John Kerry requesting he support the immediate approval of the pipeline.  I’ve also joined more than 145 Members of Congress in reaching out to President Obama to encourage immediate approval.  The administration and U.S. Senate have refused to advance the project.

Moving forward on the Keystone XL Pipeline is only part of what is necessary to achieve North American energy independence.  I believe we need an all-of-the-above energy solution that includes natural gas, wind, biofuels, clean coal, renewable energies, and domestic oil.  To accomplish this, energy innovators need Washington to get out of the way and stop burying American energy opportunities in red tape, taxes and mandates.

Consider the natural gas industry.  Today, it is a reliable and affordable fuel that has moved us toward more energy-efficient utilities.  Those advancements weren’t possible until Washington stepped out of the way and allowed companies to explore for natural gas.

Over the last few years, I’ve worked to provide similar opportunities for other sectors of the energy industry.  I’m proud to have led efforts in the House to extend tax credits for wind energy.  I’ve fought back EPA regulations that threaten to increase electricity costs for hardworking families living paycheck to paycheck.  And I’ve voted for legislation that would improve America’s energy infrastructure so we can better use upgraded technologies.

Our economy and our security are reliant on an energy supply that is accessible, abundant, and affordable.  Without North American energy independence, countries like Iran, Russia, and Venezuela can manipulate the marketplace, using energy as a political weapon against us and our allies.  Meanwhile, many believe some of the beneficiaries of our Middle East oil purchases could be using revenues to fund terrorist activities and organizations.

We should be powered by American energy.  Relying on imports from Russia and Iran is not only inefficient, but a foolish risk to our economy and security.  Constructing the Keystone XL pipeline is step one.  It will help us transport North American energy resources more affordably and in a more environmentally-conscious way.  But we must also focus on the larger effort of getting Washington out of the way of energy innovators.  We have the potential; it just needs to be unleashed.


US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Rail Service Challenges Provide Opportunity to Address Needed Reforms

Rail Service Challenges Provide Opportunity
to Address Needed Reforms

By Senator John Thune

John_Thune_official_photoSince the beginning of this year, businesses and agriculture producers in South Dakota and many other states have been particularly challenged by rail service delays and network congestion, as well as locomotive and railcar shortages.

From farmers and grain elevators, to auto manufacturers, energy providers, and retailers of all kinds, our nation’s economy depends on rail transportation. However, unreliable rail service can increase the cost of getting products to market, which can negatively impact exports and our nation’s global competitiveness.

As the former South Dakota rail director under the late governor George S. Mickelson, I know first-hand the importance of effective rail access for not only agriculture producers but other shippers. In all my years of working on rail matters, I have never seen agriculture producers more concerned than they have been this year regarding their ability to move grain to market in a timely manner. That is why I held a Commerce Committee hearing on September 10th on the rail challenges that South Dakota producers and others shippers are facing. The hearing underscored that service issues will only get worse if the railroads do not make significant changes.

In South Dakota alone, this year’s harvest and what remains of last year’s is expected to exceed the statewide grain storage capacity by roughly eighteen percent. Grain has already been stored on the ground, posing a significant risk of spoilage and loss. In addition, as winter approaches, ethanol plants will also become more vulnerable to rail delays. This is because ethanol plants cannot simply be shut down during winter months without running the risk of pipes freezing or other major structural damage.

While the Surface Transportation Board (STB), which regulates the freight railroads that operate in the U.S., has been working to address the current rail service issues facing South Dakota, and other states, this crisis has highlighted some of the inefficiencies that currently exist with regard to the way the STB can address service issues.

At the beginning of September, Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and I introduced S.2777, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act, which is a common-sense bill to help address a number of STB inefficiencies so that the board can better assist shippers and railroads when problems arise. On September 17th, the Commerce Committee approved the legislation clearing the way for future consideration by the full U.S. Senate.

Despite these challenging times for businesses and industries that rely on efficient rail service, this situation has brought elected officials, shippers, and railroads together to have a serious discussion about what needs to be done to ensure these delays and service challenges don’t happen in the future. While there are no quick fixes, I am proud of the work that has resulted from continuous dialogue with ag producers and shippers across the state, as well as the close coordination with Governor Daugaard and South Dakota Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch. Working together, we can seize this opportunity to make improvements that benefit both shippers and the railroads that serve them.


Daugaard returns to the air with commercial on his leadership during the floods. “Rising to the Challenge”

I saw this in last night’s newscast, and after the back and forth of the US Senate campaign, it’s notice that there are other races too.

Although, with the invisibility of everyone on the Democrat side other than Weiland, you wouldn’t know it.

Here’s a commercial talking about Governor Daugaard’s leadership during the Missouri River floods:

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