Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: Thankful to Gather

Thankful to Gather
By Rep. Dusty Johnson
November 23, 2021

This Thanksgiving, like so many South Dakotans, I’m looking forward to spending time with my wife and three boys at home. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, not only because of the roasted turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, but because it brings people together in a spirit of thankfulness and allows me to reflect on what I am truly grateful for.

This year in particular, I am especially thankful for the ability to safely gather again after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no greater way to celebrate moving past a couple tough years than to connect around a table filled with delicious food and even better company. The events of the last year and a half serve as a reminder to never take these moments for granted.

Since last year, scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time, allowing much of our lives to go back to normal. Our kids have stayed in school, traveling is safer, our favorite sports teams are playing with fans in the stands, and events have resumed.

I’m also grateful for the opportunity to serve each South Dakotan in the halls of Congress. This job is an honor of a lifetime and I feel immensely privileged to be trusted with this opportunity.

With annual events coming back – like the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® – be on the lookout for the South Dakota Department of Tourism’s “Mount Rushmore’s American Pride” float. My family watches every year and this year will be no exception.

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy Thanksgiving.

Press Release: Ron Moeller Announces for District 31 Senate

Ron Moeller Announces for District 31 Senate

Lead, SD – Today, Ron Moeller announced his candidacy to become the next State Senator for District 31.

Ron Moeller made the following statement:

I’m excited to publicly announce my candidacy for the State Senate seat representing District 31. Lawrence County is the finest area of the great state of South Dakota, where the prairie and the northern Black Hills combine to create a wonderful place to live, raise a family, and enjoy life.

For the past 5 months, I have traveled across Lawrence County listening to the voters and their heartfelt concerns. Our current State Senator has been in public service, both local and in the legislature, for as long as anyone can remember. It is time to change to a real conservative who truly and honestly represents to voters of Lawrence County.

We can no longer afford to keep electing the same politicians over and over again and expecting a different result. I bring a fresh set of eyes and energy to the challenges we are facing.

I’m conservative with bedrock principles of faith, family, hard work, integrity, and patriotism.

These principles have guided me throughout my life, both at home and overseas serving our great nation in multiple war zones.

I am looking forward to meeting all the voters, knocking on doors, introducing myself, letting them take my measure, and earning their vote.

If you want to help improve and protect Lawrence County from higher taxes, keeping our schools and streets safe, maintaining a business-friendly environment, and keeping the character of the Northern Hills intact, please consider assisting my campaign.

Here’s how you can join me: First, you can contribute your hard-earned dollars – local financial support helps get my name in front of the voters of District 31. You can also help by discussing my candidacy with your friends and neighbors, hosting a coffee or small event where I’d be happy to speak, and when the time comes, placing a sign in front of your home or business. All forms of support and assistance are welcome.

If you have further questions about me and/or my positions on the issues I believe we’re facing, please visit my website or email me at [email protected] .

Thank you for your kind consideration,

Ron Moeller
Candidate, District 31 Senate

The business of the House Select Committee on Impeachment seems to be slow going

An article from Christopher Vondracek this morning in the Forum News Service/Grand Forks Herald doesn’t exactly paint a bright portrait of how things are progressing in the House Select Committee for Impeachment in the case where they’re attempting to bring action against the Attorney General:

“This is way beyond the scope of anything we’ve done,” said Jensen, who added he was just “trying to figure out how to get things done in a timely manner.”


Moreover, the Legislature’s select committee hasn’t been keeping the most brisk of calendars. After meeting more than two weeks ago, they’ve yet to meet since. On Tuesday, Nov. 23, Gosch told Forum News Service that “likely next week” would be when the team next meets.


On Wednesday, Nov. 24, the committee’s vice-chair, Rep. Mike Stevens, R-Yankton, also said he’d yet to hear a meeting for next week confirmed. Asked if they’d hired the special counsel yet, Stevens said, “You’d have to talk to the speaker about that.”

Read the entire article here.

Considering the AG pled No Contest to minor traffic offenses (a lane change violation and using his phone while driving a few miles before the accident) this whole impeachment business might be a lot more complicated than people think.

2014 SD Dem Congressional candidate running for Congress in Florida

2014 South Dakota Democrat Congressional candidate Corinna Robinson is apparently a candidate for Congress again. Except, this time she is running in Florida’s 18th congressional district.

In 2014, Robinson ran as a pro-second amendment Democrat against incumbent Congresswoman Kristi Noem, and lost 66.5% to 33.5%.

Robinson is running for the seat currently held by Republican Congressman Brian Mast, who defeated his last Democrat opponent 56% – 41%.

Gov. Noem Announces Department of Corrections Staffing Changes

Gov. Noem Announces Department of Corrections Staffing Changes

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem announced several staffing changes at the South Dakota Department of Corrections (DOC). Doug Clark, Deputy Secretary of Corrections and Acting Warden of the State Penitentiary, will be the new Interim Secretary of Corrections. Interim Secretary Tim Reisch will be stepping down, effective December 8.

Governor Noem has also appointed Daniel Sullivan to serve as Warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary, effective December 13.

“We are tremendously grateful to General Reisch for stepping in during a time of great need for DOC. Doug also stepped up and steered the Penitentiary through a challenging period,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Our top priority continues to be the safety of the men and women who work at our DOC facilities and those who are confined there. Daniel Sullivan will bring fresh eyes and a wealth of experience to our State Penitentiary, and we are glad to have him on the team.”

Daniel recently retired as an associate warden at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, MN. He has served as a correctional officer, case manager, unit manager, complex case management coordinator, associate warden, and acting warden during his 23-year career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Daniel served nearly 10 years in the United States Navy Reserve, attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer. He was mobilized to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006-2007 at Lackland Air Force Base as the Leading Petty Officer at the Naval Corrections Academy.

Daniel has earned multiple degrees in criminal justice, including a Master of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.


Governor Noem Responds to Supreme Court Decision on Amendment A 

Governor Noem Responds to Supreme Court Decision on Amendment A

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Amendment A:

“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our Constitution matter, and that’s what today’s decision is about. We do things right – and how we do things matters just as much as what we are doing. We are still governed by the rule of law. This decision does not affect my Administration’s implementation of the medical cannabis program voters approved in 2020. That program was launched earlier this month, and the first cards have already gone out to eligible South Dakotans.”

You can read the Supreme Court decision here.

To learn more about South Dakota’s medical cannabis program, which was not affected by today’s ruling, go


Shocker (or not) – Supreme Court Rules Amendment A violated single-subject rule

I’m pretty sure the State’s Legislative Research Council warned the Amendment A proponents that it would probably have constitutional issues, and after a multi-million dollar campaign, shocker, the Supreme Court has ruled Amendment A violated the single-subject rule.

Argus Leader continuing to cut costs… by charging subscribers for three days at once

After they’ve announced they’re moving print production to another state, Gannett Newspapers are already finding ways to save money. By charging subscribers for three days worth of newspapers when they’re only sending one. At least, that’s what the e-mail they just sent out seems to say:

We want to inform you the Argus Leader will combine the Dec. 23, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 editions into a singular, expanded holiday edition that will be delivered on Thursday, Dec. 23. No separate editions will be printed Friday, Dec. 24, and Saturday, Dec. 25. For purposes of your subscription, this expanded edition will count as three editions.

Similarly, for the New Year holiday, the Argus Leader will combine the Dec. 30, Dec. 31, and Jan. 1 editions into a singular, expanded holiday edition that will be delivered on Thursday, Dec. 30. No separate editions will be printed Friday, Dec. 31, and Saturday, Jan. 1. For purposes of your subscription, this expanded edition will count as three editions.

Wait, what?

So, next month for people who have subscribed to the print edition, they will be delivering two editions instead of the six they’re charging you for? (But now you can get the crossword puzzle on-line.)


Thune, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect, Expand Rural Broadband Access

Thune, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Protect, Expand Rural Broadband Access 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media, and Broadband, Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) recently introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen the funding mechanisms for the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Universal Service Fund (USF), which promotes universal access to broadband and other telecommunications services.

“It is crucial that rural communities across South Dakota have access to reliable broadband services,” said Thune. “For years I have fought for predictable and sufficient support for broadband providers to help enable the continued deployment of these services throughout our communities. I’m proud to support this legislation that builds on those efforts to ensure that the FCC’s Universal Service Fund remains sustainable in the future.”

The USF – which includes programs to support broadband access in rural communities, facilitate rural health care, and expand access to affordable broadband service for low-income families, schools, and libraries – is largely funded by fees imposed on landlines. As the use of landlines continues to decline, this places a disproportionate impact on seniors, who are significantly more likely to use a landline than younger adults.

The Reforming Broadband Connectivity Act directs the FCC to initiate a rule making proceeding to reform the contributions system, taking into account the fairness and the relative burden any changes in fees will have on consumers and businesses, as well as the impact the proposed changes to the contribution system will have on seniors.

The Reforming Broadband Connectivity Act builds on several efforts by Senators Thune and Klobuchar to modernize the FCC’s USF’s High Cost Program. In May 2014 and May 2015, Senators Thune and Klobuchar called on then-FCC Chairman Wheeler to modernize support for rural broadband carriers by allowing carriers to be eligible for support under the USF when providing broadband-only services to consumers. In December 2019, Senators Thune and Klobuchar led nearly half of their Senate colleagues in urging then-FCC Chairman Pai to prioritize sustainable rural broadband networks when the FCC established the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) proceeding – the most recent round of funding made available in the High Cost Program. In January 2021, Senators Thune and Klobuchar urged then-FCC Chairman Pai to redouble its efforts to review applicants in the RDOF, consistent with the goals of the USF High Cost Program.


KELO Radio updates column, confirms Hubbel running as Independent in 2022 Gubernatorial Contest.

KELO Radio updated their earlier story today, and confirmed with the candidate that Lora Hubbel intends to run for Governor as an Independent candidate.

What does this mean? According to the Secretary of State, with Hubbel running as an Independent, that means she will have to collect 3,393 signatures (1% of the total vote for governor in 2018 – 339,214).

I’m a little skeptical whether she’s going to go out and do the work. But, we’ll see.