Former GOP Legislator endorses Democrat for Governor. Again.

In a shocking announcement today, the Democrat nominee for Governor announced his endorsement for Governor by a former Republican Legislator:

“I have decided that I must endorse the person, regardless of party, who can best govern the state of South Dakota. That person is Scott Heidepriem,” Adelstein said.

and..

Adelstein, who is pro-choice, said abortion was a consideration as well.

Adelstein said he was endorsing the Democratic candidate out of concern that Daugaard “will not rule out another attempt to ban abortion for victims of rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother, despite the voters having definitively rejected such an extremist approach.

Read that here.

Oh wait… was that last time there was an open seat for Governor? Oh, here’s the current one:

“This just in! Adelstein endorses Sutton in govenor race!”

Deep breaths, everybody, deep breaths — or try not to doze off, as the case may be.

It’s not that former state Republican Sen. Stan Adelstein’s endorsement of Democratic state Sen. Billie Sutton over GOP Congresswoman Kristi Noem on Friday wasn’t news. It was. It still is, kind of. It’s just that it isn’t much of a surprise.

Read that here.

As much as the world changes in these turbulent times, It’s good to see there are some constants. Like Stan Adelstein supporting Democrats.

US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Update: Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders

Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders
By Sen. John Thune

It’s amazing how the littlest things in life can have an outsized effect on the decisions a person makes in the future. For me, it was a missed free throw. As silly as it might sound, it’s true.

It was a Friday night in Murdo, South Dakota, during the semi-final game of the annual Jones County basketball tournament. I was a freshman in high school, but I had the opportunity to play varsity ball that night, and I had a pretty good game, too. I attempted six free throws and drained all but one of them. I was (and still am) a competitive guy and would have much preferred to have gone six-for-six. Little did I know at the time, though, had it not been for that one missed free throw, I might not be serving in the U.S. Senate today.

The day after the game, I was in the checkout line in a store on Murdo’s Main Street, and a man tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I saw you missed one last night.” I had no idea who the person was or how he would eventually change my life, but in the back of my mind, I thought, “well, thanks for noticing.”

The man introduced himself as Congressman Jim Abdnor. It was a chance encounter that led to a lifelong friendship and mentorship – one that inspired me to pursue public service myself.

Now that I serve in the Senate – holding the same Senate seat that Jim eventually held himself – I want to do my part to help inspire the next generation of leaders in South Dakota. While I, too, drop by high school and college basketball games every now and then to provide my encouragement and support, I offer several opportunities through my Senate office that give future South Dakota leaders a front row seat to our democracy.

I have Senate offices throughout South Dakota – in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen. I have an office in Washington, D.C., too. My offices are always looking to hire the best-of-the-best interns to assist staff with their core mission of helping serve the people of South Dakota. Interns in my Washington office, in particular, will see the legislative process firsthand, giving Capitol tours and attending Senate votes and congressional hearings, among other events.

While interns would specifically serve in my office, I also have the ability to nominate certain South Dakota high school students to serve as Senate pages. They attend classes in Washington and assist senators in the Capitol, right on the Senate floor. It’s a highly competitive program, but South Dakota high schools are full of qualified students, and I enjoy the opportunity to nominate them when I can.

The U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP) is another unique opportunity for South Dakota high school students to immerse themselves in the legislative process. Students who are selected will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington for meetings on Capitol Hill, the White House, and other locations around the city.

We’ll begin searching for spring 2019 interns next month, which is also the deadline to apply for next year’s USSYP, so if you or someone you know is interested in an internship, the Senate page program, USSYP, or nominations to U.S. service academies, you can find more information on my website (www.thune.senate.gov) or by contacting any of my Senate offices. I look forward to hearing from you.

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US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Stability is Crucial as we do our Part to Feed and Fuel the World

South Dakota Ag Community: Stability is Crucial as we do our Part to Feed and Fuel the World
By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

In South Dakota and across the Midwest, harvest time is nearly upon us. Farmers are preparing to market their crop, and for many of them prices remain low. Low commodity prices and trade instability are having an impact on the ag industry in our state. Livestock producers are feeling the impact of tariffs as they work to market their products. To hear more about the issues farmers and ranchers are facing right now, I recently held an ag roundtable in Sioux Falls. We invited more than 20 ag leaders to participate and share their concerns about the economic climate for producers heading into the 2018 harvest.

Trade instability remains a top concern. I heard many ag leaders confirm what I’ve been hearing throughout the summer – that farmers and ranchers support President Trump’s desire to negotiate better trade deals for U.S. producers, but they acknowledged that time is running out to finalize deals. This is a message I’ve shared with the administration multiple times over the past months. I’ve repeatedly said that I support the president in his efforts to negotiate better trade deals, but we must make certain the tariffs are strategic and targeted, not reckless and a threat to the long-term health of the American economy.

The recent announcement from the administration about the $12 billion ‘trade aid’ proposal is a sign that they’re recognizing the negative impact that tariffs are having on ag producers, but it’s a short-term, partial band-aid. As we discussed at the roundtable, the sooner we can get trade deals completed and the market under control, the better off we’ll be. Farmers and ranchers understand that trade pacts are not only important to this year’s market, but are vital to the long-term viability of their industry.

Current trade instability is already causing chaos for South Dakota soybean producers, who market over 60 percent of their product overseas—primarily to Asia. At the roundtable, we heard reports that China has stopped bidding on U.S. soybeans. This further increases the already high basis that South Dakota producers face because local elevators lack the capacity to hold all the grain that is expected to be produced this year, so products will have to be shipped to other parts of the country where transportation costs are more expensive.

Another topic of concern among those at the roundtable was the farm bill. They said they’d like to see it finalized soon so they have some certainty when planning for next season. I agree, and I also shared with them my desire for the farm bill to include an increase on the cap of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres. By increasing the cap to target marginal production acres, we have the ability to lock in land for conservation for 10 years at 2018 land values while saving money for the federal crop insurance program by getting the more marginal acres out of production.

We also talked about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to issue a number of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers to small refineries, which has reduced the amount of ethanol required under the RFS and thus reduced the demand for corn and corn ethanol. As I said to Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler at a recent congressional hearing, corn ethanol production has created thousands of jobs for the people of my state and has increased American energy independence. He shared with me at that hearing that he will work to be more transparent with EPA’s decision-making processes related to RFS waivers.

Lastly, at our roundtable we talked about the benefits of year-round E-15 sales. An open marketplace with more fuel options for consumers encourages competition and brings down fuel costs. This is an issue I’ve been pushing with the EPA, and I’ll continue to do so.

I appreciated hearing firsthand from South Dakota’s ag industry about their concerns, and I continue working to address them in the Senate.

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Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Confronting Iran

Confronting Iran
By Rep. Kristi Noem

In 2015, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended the slogan “Death to America.” That same year, President Barack Obama signed a faulty nuclear deal with Iran that failed to stop them from acquiring nuclear capabilities, undermined the security of our ally Israel, and flooded Iran with cash, producing a $150 billion economic impact for one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terror.

Despite the generous deal Iran received, its threats have continued, particularly against Israel. In 2018 alone, top-ranking Iranian officials have called for Israeli cities to be “razed to the ground” and that Israel itself be “destroyed” and “annihilated.” That matters to Americans, not only because we ought to stand against threats like this against our allies, but because the national security interests of Israel and the United States are so closely intertwined.

Israel has played a critical role in our efforts to defeat ISIL, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations.  Our countries have collaborated on improving stability in the region and teamed up on counterterrorism efforts that make each of us a little safer. We’ve worked together to improve behavioral screening techniques at airports and shared information about anti-tunnel technology that could help secure both of our borders. Moreover, Israel is a beacon of democracy in a tumultuous region.

Earlier this year, the United States began the process of stepping away from President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal. Then, in August, President Trump applied additional sanctions on Iran, slowing down their economic engine and limiting their ability to invest in destructive weapons programs. A second phase of sanctions, which would target Iran’s oil industry, are expected to go into effect in November.

When the Iran Nuclear Deal was initially being discussed, I argued that “no deal would be better than a bad one.” I stand by that. If we’re going to strike a deal, we must make sure Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is dismantled and that inspectors gain complete access to suspicious sites – anytime and anywhere. Sanctions shouldn’t be lifted automatically; instead, Iran should have to prove they’re upholding their end of the deal. And maybe most importantly, the agreement shouldn’t set an arbitrary timeline for the nuclear restrictions to expire, as the Obama-era deal did. If Iran knows restrictions will expire, they’ll exploit that timeline.

It’s critical we take steps toward ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program. But the deal negotiated under President Obama infused Iran’s economy with financial resources without ultimately stopping their nuclear ambitions.

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: The Fast Track To Bright Futures

The Fast Track To Bright Futures
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

With the first day of classes on the horizon, I encourage our high school students to take advantage of dual credit courses this school year. The 2018-19 school year marks the fifth year that high school students have had access to low-cost dual credit courses through our state’s public universities and technical institutes. These courses give students great opportunities to learn about a wide variety of careers. They include general education subjects and everything from animal science to wind technology. They’re truly a win-win-win opportunity.

Students win because these courses allow them to simultaneously earn high school and college credit. At only $48.33 per credit hour, these are the cheapest university and technical institute courses a student will ever take, giving them a head start on college or tech school. At a time when the cost of college is a great concern, that is significant.

High schools win because they can expand their course offerings at no cost to the school district.

Universities and technical institutes win too. Although we do ask them to discount their tuition rate, this program attracts more South Dakota students to our institutions, retains more freshmen after the first year and helps graduate students on time.

The popularity of this program has consistently exceeded expectations, with student participation numbers growing every year. In 2014-15, the first year of the program, about 2,100 students took at least one dual credit course. Though we don’t have summer term numbers yet, participation looks to be nearly double that with approximately 3,900 students taking advantage of dual credit so far during the 2017-18 school year. And many students take more than one dual credit offering over the course of their high school years.

We want all students to be engaged and prepared for the future. More than simply graduating from high school, we want them to be thinking about what comes afterward. They should be asking themselves, “What interests me? Where are my strengths? How can I use those interests and strengths to prepare for a good job and an exciting career?”

Dual credit courses can help high school students find answers to those questions while adjusting to the rigor expected of them in postsecondary education.

Ultimately, dual credit has the power to put students on the fast track to bright futures.

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Planned Parenthood staffer notes fundraiser at her house for “pro-life” Billie Sutton

This is interesting. Had a reader tip me off last night about this Bruce Danielson video from one of the recent Democrat Forums.

He found it very telling that a speaker at one of the forums, who identified herself as working for planned parenthood (32.27), spoke about having a fundraiser for Billie Sutton at her house (33.09).

As it was put to me, the reader didn’t think fundraisers held by planned parenthood staff went along with his Sutton’s claims of being “pro-life.”

What do you think? Does that put a bit of a dent in Sutton’s claims?

SD Constitution Party Chairmanship continues to be a moving target. Website claims that C Party is now under the “Gunn”

The Dueling Constitution Party Conventions are scheduled to be held this week in Pierre, with both the Lori Stacey faction and the Lora Hubbel faction meeting a few doors down from each other in the Capital City.

In the hours before Tuesday’s meeting, the Constitution Party’s Chair and Robot Bee Lady, Lori Stacey has made an announcement that “due to health,” she is no longer in the leadership of the South Dakota Constitutional Party:

By some mechanism Lori Stacey has appointed Micheal Gunn of Sioux Falls as the new chairman of the Constitutional Party. If you remember Gunn, he was a candidate in the last Sioux Falls Mayoral race, and finished with 1% of the vote.

While it was posted to the Constitution Party website on August 10th, the date at the top of the post naming Gunn as chair is back-dated to August 4th, which comes a day after the Judge granted the SDGOP’s request for a writ of prohibition.

This move seems even more bizarre considering that one of the reasons the writ of prohibition was brought was because there was no clear indication that Lori Stacey had any authority to call a convention because her status of being Chair of the South Dakota Constitution Party wasn’t exactly clear.

Read that here.

I don’t think Lori resigning and appointing someone else to the position is going to help clarify matters any in the run up tp the hearing scheduled for later this week.

Just remember, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.  And it’s a lot of drama for a party with fewer than 500 registered members in the state.

Stay tuned.

South Dakota Dem Chair seems to admit she has no idea what she is doing

Not exactly a vote of confidence for SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg who first attempted to blame others as she explained to the assembled re-conventioners the fact their first convention was wasted was because they “followed past practice,” while whining about being caught:

Ahead of their vote, South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg lamented South Dakota Republican Party Chair Dan Lederman’s move to challenge the Democrats’ candidate list and accepted fault for the forms’ late arrival to Pierre.

“I do believe we fulfilled the spirit of the law, but we did not fulfill the letter of the law,” Tornberg said. “It’s my fault that we followed past practice.”

and..

And to avoid any additional problems, attendees asked convention officials to sign the nomination forms in front of them. Tornberg said she’d make sure the forms made it to the Secretary of State’s office on time.

Read that here at ArgusLeader.com.

With Tornberg’s begrudging explanation that “It’s my fault that we followed past practice,” there’s one thing you have to keep in mind. She’s serving a 4 year term, and she was in charge of the convention two years ago.

If it was a screw up because she followed past practice… well, those would have been her own past practices.

In other words, if she was telling people that the problem was that she was following past practices, that seems to be more than an admission that she has no idea what she is doing, and she’s just doing it until and unless someone calls her on it, such as State GOP Chair Dan Lederman, who she blamed for challenging that State Democrats didn’t follow state law.

Not a confidence builder in the competence of State Democrat Leadership.

Marsy’s Law backer arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking

That’s not good…

Broadcom co-founder and billionaire Henry T. Nicholas III was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of narcotics trafficking after police discovered heroin, cocaine, meth and ecstasy in his suite at the Encore hotel, police said Thursday.

and…

Nicholas has spent millions of dollars advocating for crime victims, helping pass California’s three-strikes felony law and a victims’ rights law known as Marsy’s Law, named for his sister, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.

Read it here.