Why did Leonardo DiCaprio tweet about Dakota Access? What is the Obama administration feeding the environmental lobby?


Pipeline and other energy infrastructure projects across the country have been shelved or significantly delayed because of new regulations, local environmental opposition and a drop in energy prices, according to a piece in recent Wall Street Journal.

If the liberal environmental activists had their way, the same scenario would be playing out right here in South Dakota. Thankfully, South Dakotans tend to have a bit more sense.  But that hasn’t stopped others from trying to jump in on the action.

Last month, Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio weighed in on the project.

The tweet at first appears to be something of a coincidence given his environmentalist tilt, and his recent movie that allegedly takes place in South Dakota, but was actually filmed elsewhere. But in the world of the left’s opposition to our country’s energy infrastructure, tweets like that don’t just drop out of thin air.

Mr. DiCaprio has worked for many years with EarthJustice, an environmental advocacy group with a long history of suing federal agencies to stop critical infrastructure projects.  In particular, EarthJustice is known for publicly opposing this specific project. Their most recent endeavor was working in tandem with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to promote a sister petition to the cleverly named “Rezpect Our Waters” petition advocating against the pipeline to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The 1,100 mile Dakota Access Pipeline Project carrying U.S. crude oil from the Bakken has received approval by four state regulatory agencies including South Dakota’s own Public Utilities Commission and this week could receive clearance to begin construction in Iowa.  Yet national environmental interests have mobilized in a last ditch effort to slow or stop a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for a mere 3% of the overall pipeline route.

So, where does Leonardo come in? A recent email shared with SDWC shows that a federal entity under the Obama Administration called the “Advisory Council of Historic Preservation (ACHP)” sent an email to a list of U.S. Army Corps staff, State officials, and tribal leaders on the proposed pipeline project.

Oh. And they included a hippie liberal group for good measure:


*Click to Enlarge*

Buried among the necessary regulators and tribes in South Dakota and other states was the email address of a staff attorney at Earthjustice, “JHasselman,” or Jan Hasselman from what I can tell.  Hasselman calls Seattle home and has made a living opposing energy infrastructure projects from coast to coast, such as the Constitution Pipeline in the northeast and coal export terminals in Washington State.

While this particular e-mail went out after the tweet, the question has to be asked about what information was regularly being provided to them as the project went along? Because it’s doubtful this was a one-time occurrence.

It doesn’t take a leap of logic to consider that e-mails, which appeared to have been intended for public officials (except for Earthjustice) are quickly disseminated and are passed from them to the highest profile celebrity in their quiver of Hollywood elite in an attempt to try to manipulate public sentiment.  Groups like Earthjustice, Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council all have friends in high places, with billionaire foundations funding many of their programs and efforts to block these sorts of projects.

And who suffers? Not Leonardo, who can afford to fly jets to receive self-congratulatory environmental awards.  But the farmers and ranchers and run of the mill taxpayers who depend on cheap energy to go about the tasks of their daily lives.

At the end of the day, when will these groups stop hurting states’ sovereign right to approve and allow important energy infrastructure projects like Dakota Access?

The South Dakota PUC along with other states have already deemed the project safe and beneficial. Yet we’re stuck with groups likes Earthjustice and celebrities like Mr. DiCaprio to co-opt our right to make decisions here at home and prevent thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.

It’s time these groups stop interfering with the legal regulatory process and let us work our way towards energy independence.

Taffy Howard for House in D33 Postcard. Or Lynne DiSanto. One of the two.

A reader just sent me over a postcard for Taffy Howard for State House in District 33.  At least, I think it’s for Taffy Howard. Because the advertising on the front seems to highlight Lynne DiSanto.

taffy_howard_Page_1 taffy_howard_Page_2

Aside from the fact it’s mailing out of Bemidji, MN, a good rule of thumb is to design cards in mind that you might have 2-3 seconds between the time they pass from the mailbox to the garbage – so if that happens, what’s the one thing you want to communicate?   If it’s the front, you get Representative Lynne DiSanto. If it’s the other side, you get Taffy Howard for House.


South Dakota Gun Owners PAC paying non-profit mail rates? Well, how are they accomplishing that?

sdgo_Notsononprofit SDGO_PAC BACK

Above are two of several postcards sent out by the South Dakota Gun Owners operation in this years’ primary election campaigns. You know those guys, don’t you? If not, SDGO bills itself as..

South Dakota Gun Owners is an un-incorporated not-for-profit association allied with, and similar to, Gun Owners of America allied with the National Association for Gun Rights. Combined, SDGO and NAGR have over 12,000 members in South Dakota. An Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day operations and is accountable to the Board of Directors.

Read it here.

Which might be fine and dandy as far as their non-profit status is concerned with the IRS. But as I was glancing at these cards today, I noticed something very curious.

Obviously, I do a lot of mail for political candidates and organizations, and this mailing permit hit me like a slap across the face.


The mailing comes out not from the SD Gun Owners themselves (which they’ve declared as a non-profit), but from South Dakota Gun Owners PAC, a political action committee.  A political organization is sending the mailing, yet, the mailing permit is such that they’re mailing out at non-profit rates reserved for charities and political parties.

Is it improper to do so? Well, the US Post Office is pretty specific on what political organizations can access non-profit rates:

2-2.2 Qualified Political Committees

The following political committees may be authorized to mail at the nonprofit rates without regard to their nonprofit status:

National committee of a political party (the organization responsible for the party’s day-to-day operation at the national level).
State committee of a political party (the organization responsible for the party’s day-to-day operation at the state level).
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
The National Republican Congressional Committee.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Read that here.

There are allowances for “Educational Groups,” but somehow I think the SDGO would be hard pressed to make the case that a mailing for the PAC is coming from a non-profit educational group.

Sources tell me that mailing permit #7539 appears to be registered to Preferred Printing in Sioux Falls, which was noted to me as mainly handling Democrat mail, which they thought was curious as well, coming from these alleged staunch-ultra conservatives.

I’m doing some more digging on this, as it appears that SDGO might have found a way to game the system of non-profit mailings to let a PAC unaffiliated with a political party send bulk mail at a greatly reduced price.

And if so, I’d like to be able to figure out that method and exploit it as well. Or, they haven’t. Which in that case, I won’t be able to either.

But at least, the playing field will be leveled.

Brandon Man Indicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance

jackley-logo Marty JackleyBrandon Man Indicted for Possession of a Controlled Substance

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that Wayne Jerry Ellingson, 41, Brandon, has been indicted by a Minnehaha County Grand Jury. Ellingson was indicted on one count of possession of a controlled substance, fentanyl, class 5 felony, punishable by up to 5 years in the state penitentiary and/or $10,000 fine.

Ellingson is presumed innocent until such time as proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Brandon Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation and being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

Editor:  I read this, and was kind of going “meh,” until I googled this gentleman’s name….  And then I understood why the AG is in the middle of prosecuting it. 

Hawks burning through cash faster than it comes in. $35K raised, $38K spent, about $114k cash on hand.

While Paula Hawks was busy hanging out with “Abortion Barbie” Wendy Davis this week, her staff was filing a FEC report that has her burning through her cash faster than it comes in – an apocalyptic sign for a campaign that hasn’t even started in earnest.

Hawks Pre Primary FEC

Taking in $35,484 in a period in which Noem took in nearly three times the amount at 106,000, the Democrat challenger to Congresswoman Kristi Noem doesn’t have the luxury that Noem does – 1.6 million in the bank. And while Noem still managed to bank about $9,000, Hawks is spending more than comes in ($37,812) and eating into her campaign kitty, reducing her cash on hand to $113,705.

To put it in election terms… That’s about one statewide mailing.

What did Hawks spend her campaign cash on?

Some went for rent. She spent about $600 at Ad arts for signs. And then salaries. In fact, $23,578 appears to have gone for salaries during this period, not leaving much for actual campaigning.


And she had her hair done, with $117.06 going to “Vanessens Hair Design.” You know, that probably wasn’t the best buy. If she’d gone with the flow-bee, she would have managed to save a few bucks.

Even with the “Super Mini-Vac” version at 114.90, she could have saved at least a few dollars. And had it on hand any time she needed it.

It’s a thought for a campaign on a tight budget.

South Dakota Taxpayer’s PAC flies again! Still a PAC of lies.

You probably don’t remember the scummy “South Dakota Taxpayer’s PAC” from 2 years back, so I’ll provide the reminder:

IMG_0793If you look at 2013’s House Bill 1199, it doesn’t really reference Obamacare. In fact, it’s a bill to “prohibit the sharing of patient records in a health information exchange by the state without written authorization from the patient.”

And then there’s the other thing. Anderson wasn’t one of the 10 votes in committee to send the measure to the 41st day.

In fact, on the day the vote was taken – on January 21, 2013 – David Anderson wasn’t present in the legislature.  In fact, he wouldn’t be appointed to the legislature for another 4 months.

Read that here.

Yes, in the last election, this questionable organization ran by a Ken McGregor of Box Elder did hit jobs on various candidates, and they’re back again. Funded Singularly by South Dakota Gun Owners in the past, they have yet to file a pre-primary report for this campaign season.

But, while they haven’t filed a report yet, they’ve started the same nonsense this election cycle that they were guilty of 2 years ago – Flat out lies.


For example, the bill cites Senate Bill 150 in 2015, as one of several bills she cast a vote on the card author cites as partial evidence that she voted 7 times for “Higher taxes on your car and your fuel.”

The problem? This bill which would have required electric car owners to pay a minor fee for their share of using the roads (since they don’t really pay gas taxes like the rest of us)…


… It never made it to the floor of the Senate.  Haverly never voted on it. She never even came close to voting on it. But, they’re citing it as the SD Taxpayer’s PAC flies again in the 2016 primary races.

How do you attack someone on the basis of things they never did? On votes they never made?  Don’t ask me, but I’m sure Ken McGregor can tell you.

Ken McGregor of 15148 225th St in Box Elder (605-593-4541) still remains the committee chair and treasurer for this PAC. Ironically, it appears to still be a PAC of lies.

And we’ll see if it remains solely funded by the SD Gun Owners again.

Sad News out of Brookings.

I was just informed that State Representative Scott Munsterman’s wife, Mary Jeanne, who has bravely battled cancer for many years, passed away this morning.  Visitation is planned for 5pm-7pm on Thursday, June 2nd. Her funeral will be Friday, June 3rd at 10:00am. Both will be at at GracePoint Wesleyan Church in Brookings, SD.

Welcome Roger Solum to our roll of advertisers.

roger 160 x325State Senate Candidate Roger Solum was nice enough to drop an ad at SDWC to encourage people to visit his new website for his State Senate primary campaign.

Please click on the link on the left hand side of the page, and take a look around.

And as always, I’d encourage you to visit our long list of advertisers, and check out their websites, such as United States Senator John Thune, Americans for Prosperity SD Chapter, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, the fine barristers at Redstone Law Firm, as well as my own Dakota Campaign Store, one of the State’s largest suppliers of campaign materials.

And if you might be interested, we do have other advertising spots available. Drop a note to the webmaster for more information!

(And Bonus, we have a new advertiser coming in June already!)