Eric Holder thinks any talk of “taking it back” is racist. No wonder….

Uh oh. No wonder Obama and Harry Reid won’t support Rick Weiland.  Rick’s slogan is “Take it back,” and Attorney General Eric Holder won’t have any of that sort of talk:

Vice President Joe Biden staked his claim to the labor vote by declaring that “it’s time to take back America” in order to ensure that the middle class gets an “equal share” of prosperity in the country.

“If we don’t, America’s in trouble,” Biden said in Detroit Monday.

Biden’s comments come shortly after Attorney General Eric Holder said that such language is racist.

“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the president,” Holder told ABC last month, per the Hill. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. . . . There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some there’s a racial animus.”

Read it all here in the National Review.

A few photos from this year’s SDGOP State Fair Booth

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One of the hard working Republicans passing out campaign swag for the kids.

untitled-1796Governor Dennis Daugaard smiles as he waits for the State Fair Gubernatorial debate.

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Congresswoman Kristi Noem speaks with a constituent outside of the fair booth.

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Lots of people in and out of the booth this year.

untitled-1843Justin Rollins want YOU to volunteer for Rounds for Senate.

matt-michelsLt. Governor Matt Michels chatting with fair attendees.

roundsFormer Governor & US Senate Candidate Mike Rounds speaking at the State Fair debate.  (Rick Weiland still doesn’t get it. )

untitled-1848State Treasurer Rich Sattgast as he awaits being doused with water before the GOP Constitutional Candidates ALS challenge.

untitled-1869Ryan Brunner lining up for the challenge too!

untitled-2044And the aftermath of the challenge.

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untitled-2036I think Kristi is glad it wasn’t “the federal candidate challenge,” as she shares a laugh with Secretary of State Candidate Shantel Krebs.

jtatbooth Senator Thune Speaking with fair-goers.

gailandfriendsOur Federal candidates snap a picture with Gail Brock, who has carried a lot of water for the elephant, as well as helped with the GOP’s State fair booth for many years.

Thanks Gail!

Argus Leader features interesting Ellis story on the resignation of Karl Mundt that never happened.

The Argus Leader’s Jon Ellis has one of the better political history stories that the paper has come out with in recent years about the resignation of Karl Mundt that never happened:

Political observers have speculated on why Mundt stayed, despite urgings from longtime friends, prominent local Republicans and even the Nixon White House. The episode is one of South Dakota’s prominent political mysteries.

Some blame Mary Mundt, the senator’s wife, for refusing to allow Mundt’s resignation. Publicly, Mary Mundt continued to say that her husband would resume his duties as a senator, even though privately, doctors had made it clear Mundt never would be well enough to do so.

But now, decades later, a new narrative has emerged, thanks in part to former Attorney General Gordon Mydland and others who were there. According to new information, a close friend of the Mundts, William “Obie” O’Brien, had managed to secure a resignation letter with Mundt’s signature. O’Brien took the letter with him to Pierre in the closing weeks of the Farrar administration. But the resignation was conditional. A deal never was brokered, and the resignation letter stayed folded inside O’Brien’s sport jacket.

Read it all here.

Unlike far too much that comes out in the state’s media masquerading as political history, It’s well researched and paints a new portrait of what really happened way back when.

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Dual Credit Opportunities

Dual Credit Opportunities
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

Governor Dennis Daugaard at the 2014 South Dakota State Fair.
Governor Dennis Daugaard at the 2014 South Dakota State Fair.

As summer comes to a close, kids are heading back to the classroom. In some homes, parents are sending their little ones to school for the first time. In others, the older kids know the first-day-of-school-drill and they’re counting down the days until they graduate. Then there are some homes that will be a little quieter this fall because someone is leaving for college or technical school.

Today, more than ever before, it’s important for young people to continue their education beyond K-12. Back when I was in school, about 17 percent of Americans had at least a bachelor’s degree. Today that number is around 32 percent. If you include those who have associate’s degrees, the number is 42 percent.

Work in every field is becoming more competitive. The escalating number of people earning degrees and the increasingly competitive global economy require today’s workforce to have greater skill sets and more education.

Though it’s never been more important for students to continue their education beyond high school, higher education has never been more expensive. That is why we’re offering more affordable dual credit opportunities this school year to all high school juniors and seniors.

Dual credit courses allow students to take a single course which earns credit towards both their high school diploma and also a postsecondary degree or certificate. Dual credit courses can save students hundreds – even thousands – of dollars in tuition costs.

Without dual credit arrangements, a high school student taking a university or technical school class for credit must pay the normal tuition rate – as much as $300 a credit for university, distance-based courses. To reduce this cost, we are combining state funds with discounts from the universities and technical schools, to make entry-level courses at the universities and technical institutes available to high school students for only $40 per credit.

Students can choose from a wide range of courses, from biology, composition and algebra, to computer programming, ag chemicals and welding. Some courses are offered on university or technical institute campuses, while others are online.

Dual credit courses help students gain understanding of what will be expected of them at the postsecondary level. Dual credit courses also give high school students a jump start on a post-secondary degree and an early opportunity to judge what they want to pursue, or don’t want to pursue, before they graduate.

I know dual credit is just one small part of preparing young people to enter the real world – much of that preparation will have to be done on their own. Still, I think it’ll bring many students one step closer to being college and career ready.

Visit sdmylife.com to learn more.

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Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: South Dakota Goes Global

South Dakota Goes Global
By Rep. Kristi Noem
August 29, 2014

Standing on my ranch in northeastern South Dakota, we’re about 6,700 miles from China; 7,900 miles from India; 4,900 miles from Brazil; and 9,100 miles from South Africa.  Needless to say, we’re a long ways away from everyone else, but we are far from disconnected. Like hundreds of South Dakota farms, the food and cattle we’ve raised here has likely been consumed on nearly every continent.  Meanwhile, the products manufactured in Rapid City, Brookings, Sioux Falls and elsewhere have been used to improve the lives of millions across the globe.  When you think about it, it’s a small world.

All in all, South Dakota exports nearly $5 billion worth of goods and services to customers in 169 countries annually – and our relationship with the international community is only growing.

Rep. Noem meets with South Korean President Park Geun-hye while visiting Asia
Rep. Noem meets with South Korean President Park Geun-hye while visiting Asia

Earlier this year, I met with leaders in South Korea, China, and Japan to discuss our relationship with the region as it related to both trade and national security.  Of note, China is the largest purchaser of U.S. soybeans, representing about 50 percent of total U.S. soybean exports, and Japan is the largest importer of feed grains and U.S. corn.  They both – along with South Korea – also play key roles in keeping the regional peace, and alongside it economic stability, in an area that is also home to an unpredictable North Korea.

The sheer economic heft of Asia – combined with the fact that more than half the world’s population lives there – makes it all the more important that Asian consumers can easily purchase American goods, services, and agricultural products.  During many of my conversations in Asia, it was made clear that the Asia-Pacific region not only needed our products to feed their quickly growing populations, but also had a specific demand for American-grown and American-made products because of their superior quality.  As an experienced farmer and rancher, I was pretty proud to hear that the work we put into our family’s operation was reflected when those products were consumed.

Understanding the opportunity for South Dakota producers and manufacturers, I have been supportive of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or a new trade agreement with the region, that would expand our access to the Asia-Pacific market.  Currently, nearly half of South Dakota’s exports are bound for the 11 other countries that would be involved in the TPP and a further elimination of trade barriers would only expand our opportunities.

We’re still actively negotiating TPP, and before we sign on the dotted line, changes need to be made that secure the U.S. ag industry’s access to all involved markets.  For instance, I have serious concerns that Japan’s current position would restrict market access by keeping trade barriers up on key agricultural products.  I’ve shared these concerns with the U.S. Trade Representative negotiating the deal as well as with the leaders I met while in Japan.  I’m hopeful we’ll find a resolve soon that is mutually beneficial.

Additionally, we are several rounds of negotiations into creating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) with the European Union.  I was glad that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack traveled to Europe earlier this summer to discuss agriculture’s role in T-TIP and I’ve personally reached out to our U.S. Trade Representative about making dairy a priority and ensuring trade barriers are removed for other ag products as well.

I believe there are tremendous opportunities for our state if we can expand our access to global markets.  South Dakota relies on consumers across the world, just as communities thousands of miles away rely on the crops sitting out on our fields now.  South Dakota has gone global – and that’s a very good thing for producers, manufacturers, and our communities.

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US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: South Dakota Road Trips

South Dakota Road Trips
By Senator John Thune

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US Senator John Thune at the 2014 South Dakota State Fair

Growing up, the Thune kids always looked forward to our family’s South Dakota road trips. I have fond memories of piling into the family car and jumping on old Highway 16 for long tours across the state. I remember being excited to see the badlands and to roll into Rapid City as we headed west, and recall the excitement of pulling up to Al’s Oasis heading east, agonizing over what type of pie to have.

While travel on Highway 16 has largely been replaced by Interstate 90, and we don’t try to fit quite as many people into the car anymore, I still look forward to many of the same South Dakota landmarks on my road trips around the state each August. Hitting the road is one of the many ways I stay connected with South Dakotans. From stopping by the Christian Women’s Club in Redfield to dropping in to the Dakota Butcher in Clark, some of my favorite visits are the unplanned stops into coffee shops, banks, salons, and grain elevators where I can visit candidly with folks about the issues facing our state and nation.

This August has been no exception. I have enjoyed meeting with a variety of groups and people, and celebrating the success of communities across the state. Earlier this month, I made an annual trip over to Mitchell for Dakotafest talking with farmers and producers about the serious rail issues in the state and the impact on getting their harvest to market. Producers and homeowners are also concerned about the extreme power grab by the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate small creeks, prairie potholes, and ditches normally regulated at the state level. If left unchecked, these bodies of water could be subject to a host of new federal permits, compliance costs, and threat of significant fines.

I also made my way over to Rapid City for the medal presentation for Thomas Wenn, a 92 year-old veteran who served his country through three wars. It was an honor to be a part of his ceremony. While in the area, I also attended the Heartland Expressway ribbon cutting ceremony and hosted a town hall meeting to provide an update on the latest news from Washington and discuss issues important to area residents including the pine beetle epidemic, Ellsworth Air Force Base, and the Hot Springs Veterans Affairs Hospital.

As I wrap up another August work period, I was glad to connect with people all over the state. It is always good to hear directly from the people I am fortunate enough to represent.

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Noem talks about politics’ glass ceiling, and encouraging women to run

I just arrived in Huron for day two, this time with daughter #4 who had to come over for a meeting of the Teenage Republican leadership.

So, it’s appropriate to point out an article in which Congresswoman Noem is highlighted as being one of many South Dakota women to top the ballot this year:

Noem, seeking her third term, said it is imperative that women continue to run because leadership should reflect its population.

“Women have a tendency to need to be recruited more often than they make up their minds and decide to run,” Noem said. “I think women want to see more women being recruited and serving as the majority of the population that votes is women. I think that would be a natural progression that could continue to happen.”

Read more here.

Corinna Robinson, and the piling on of gaffes.

Apparently, Corinna Robinson was very recently at an event, raising money as I’m told. And she very proudly displayed this picture of her shaking hands with President Obama.

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Between that and her support of Obamacare, I don’t think she’s going to earn a lot of votes among the Republican majority in a South Dakota with either.

Even better, apparently word on the street is that her campaign’s revolving door has rolled around again, and she has a man from West Virginia (or so I was told), helping her with the campaign.

Unfortunately, the Man is not terribly familiar with South Dakota. Especially the people who live here. A week ago at the Dakotafest debate, he approached a tall, slender man, and asked him if he would show his support for Corinna and wear her sticker.

Bryon Noem politely declined, and informed him of who he was married to. Awkwardly, the young man slinked away. That was right before Kristi Noem destroyed Robinson in the debate.

How long do you estimate before another Corinna staffer bites the dust?

And the dusty campaign trail moves on…..

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