Sen. Stace Nelson attacks colleagues in committee, and via state e-mail.

House Bill 1177 generated some drama this morning as the House State Affairs Committee fixed language for the second version of Senator Stace Nelson’s sonogram bill.

If you recall, earlier this session, Senate Bill 6 met a quick demise after is was pointed out that the poorly drafted legislation would have had South Dakota paying Planned Parenthood’s bills, and South Dakota Right to Life opposed it.   What’s someone undeterred by facts and common sense to do? He had Representative Julie Frye-Mueller introduce a new version in the House as House Bill 1177, and a chunk was split off as House Bill 1190.

That’s where things got interesting. After Nelson spoke on behalf of the bill, House State Affairs moved to fix it… and we got a glimpse into the anger that Nelson has been heaping on his fellow legislators as a result of their trying to fix his messy bills:

Did you catch the part starting about 2:30 in the clip of the testimony? Where State Representative Jon Hansen talks about the Senator wishing people “would burn in hell?”

Well, read this e-mail that’s been going around the Legislature that I was provided a copy of – one which was sent out after House Health and Human Services fixed HB 1190, the other bill that was the illegitimate offspring of Senate Bill 6:

From: Stace Nelson
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:08 AM
To: Fred Deutsch <Fred.Deutsch@sdlegislature.gov>
Cc: Julie Frye-Mueller <Julie.FryeMueller@sdlegislature.gov>; Jon Hansen <Jon.Hansen@sdlegislature.gov>
Subject: Re: HB1190

May the Good Lord reward your duplicity and unwarranted arrogance with the same rewards Judas reaped with his 30 shekels of blood money.  May the brutal deaths of the babies you help NARAL & Planned Parenthood murder, with your duplicitous subversion of the LEGITIMATE Legislative process of the people of SD, be on your head for eternity. 

Get the behind me. 

Stace Nelson, Senator District 19 (Hanson, McCook, Douglas, Hutchinson, Bon Homme Counties)
Chairman Senate Military & Veterans Affairs Committee  
Senate Judiciary Committee
Senate Local Government Committee 

Hmmm… I get the feeling that the Senator has an issue with Representative Deutsch. And also knowing his biblical references, Representative Jon Hansen pointed out what Nelson was trying to communicate:

On Feb 19, 2019, at 08:14, Jon Hansen <Jon.Hansen@sdlegislature.gov> wrote:

Wow Stace – you wish that Fred hang himself and live out eternity in hell.  A little over the top, I think.  Julie, I hope you don’t wish the same.

So, as referenced to in Representative Hansen’s testimony, the evil that Senator Nelson was wishing on the State Representative was kind of harsh  But not quite as harsh as what was cited to me as Nelson’s reply to the e-mail chain:

You may think his smarmy duplicity  and unwarranted arrogance are cute, I do not.  I pray these babies receive the full measure of justice from the Good Lord for the evil duplicity engaged in to deny these children their last chance at appealing to the humanity of their mothers before they are brutally murdered. 

If the Good Lord’s sentence for the smarmy duplicitous little chiropractor is such, I go to meet my Maker with a clean heart with confidence that His Justice will be done in the hereafter. 

Enjoy your 30 shekels of silver Fred.  I have confidence that the Good Lord will extract the full measure for your duplicity and betrayal of these innocent babies. 

Stace Nelson, Senator District 19 (Hanson, McCook, Douglas, Hutchinson, Bon Homme Counties)
Chairman Senate Military & Veterans Affairs Committee  
Senate Judiciary Committee
Senate Local Government Committee 

I’m not sure it comes as much of a surprise that Stace is as much of a jerk to his colleagues as he is to others.  But, that’s the back story to Representative Hansen’s calling out Representative Nelson for wishing his colleagues burn in hell, and generally engaging in improper behavior and conduct that is unbecoming to the Legislature.

You’d think there would be a rule against that. (Page 100, 1B-1)

Second and third pot legalization measures being prepared for South Dakota Ballot

There are indications out there this week that in addition to a ballot measure that’s already been submitted for an Attorney General’s opinion to legalize marijuana for sale in South Dakota, two more ballot measures to legalize pot are also being prepared for the ballot process.

In a post this week on Facebook from the group that failed in their efforts to place measures on the 2018 ballot the legalization of killing grandma, as well as smoking pot, it appears that the “New Approach South Dakota” group is preparing to go back and collect signatures again for not just one, but two ballot measures to legalize dope:

At some point they’ll be coming around to collect your name and personal information on a petition…  so make sure that you know exactly what you’re signing, and that the circulator is following state law.

Lobbyist and former state legislative candidate has discovered root cause of homosexuality is Pre-School, and Communism is spread by Common Core.

Florence Thompson, a former District 30 State House Candidate, was in Pierre this week to grace legislators with her extensive knowledge about what causes people to be attracted to members of the same sex.

It’s pre-school, of course. Dirty, evil pre-school:

Florence Thompson, president of a group called South Dakota Parents Involved in Education, advocated for kids to stay home longer.  She argued it’s better for their development than pre-school. She also made this claim.

“The sexual orientation transgender agenda. It’s in all of the schools now. They’re starting to push it younger and younger and so these kids are going to be indoctrinated and we’re going to start in pre-school,” Thompson said.

Thompson claimed early childhood education is a recruiting tool.

“So this recruitment and I will call it recruitment and grooming to the LGBT lifestyle is being putting in younger and younger and younger.  There is a federal push and I believe that we need to block this. Parents need to be able to raise their children to their own beliefs,” Thompson said.

Read it all here.

So, when I lived in Pierre a decade a number of years ago, and sent my daughter to the Lutheran-ran pre-school 2 doors down, it wasn’t to educate my child in reading and writing…. but to instruct her in the ways of sin?

They really should have put that in the brochure.

This wasn’t the first time that someone should have stopped Thompson before she got to the microphone, as her statement comes five years after she warned the state of other indoctrination tools being used to corrupt our youth:

The Common Core standards are “a sham and a lie” meant to transform “a free America” to “world socialism and communism,” a woman told the state Board of Education on Monday.

At the end of its meeting, the board allowed Florence Thompson, of Caputa, 15 minutes to speak about the national standards being used in the state’s public schools. She gave yellow folders to board members containing a written copy of her testimony and 11 other articles by various authors across the country.

“Common Core has been called a Trojan horse,” she said. “As the state Board of Education, you have a sacred obligation to future generations to look inside this Trojan horse and see with clear eyes what is really there.”

and…

Thompson, who said she is a retired school psychologist, wanted to be a legislator.

Read that here.

I’m not sure what the wildest thing in this whole news story is. But the fact that Florence Thompson is a retired school psychologist who once helped mold the development of children, as well as to flag them for signs of mental illness….

That might be the scariest thing of all.

Release: Senate Judiciary Committee votes to advance repeal of presumptive probation

From my mailbox in a release from the ACLU:

Senate Judiciary Committee votes to advance repeal of presumptive probation

Today, in a 5-2 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to advance Senate Bill 19, legislation that would repeal presumptive probation.

The ACLU of South Dakota opposes Senate Bill 19. Presumptive probation, which was signed into law in 2013 as part of the Public Safety Improvement Act, requires that, when sentencing people for Class 5 or Class 6 felonies, courts are to sentence the person to probation, rather than penitentiary time. Judges, however, have the leeway to sentence low-level offenders to prison time if they believe it is warranted.

“The concept of putting fewer people behind bars may seem like a difficult stance to take in a state as conservative as South Dakota, but tough-on-crime policies can’t fix society’s problems – especially in regards to addiction,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota. “While there are examples of offenders who are a true threat to public safety and require incarceration, many others are nonviolent offenders whose sentences do more harm than their underlying crimes.”

According to the fiscal note from the Legislative Research Council, provided after the committee voted, repealing presumptive probation would cost South Dakota taxpayers more than $53 million over 10 years.

In addition to the ACLU of South Dakota, the Department of Corrections and the Bureau of Finance and Management opposed Senate Bill 19, along with organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Trial Lawyers Association and the National Association of Social Workers, South Dakota Chapter.

House State Affairs rejects bill to extend insurance coverage for treatment of Autism. Instead of allowing people to treat under their insurance now, taxpayers on the hook for more later. A lot more.

Yesterday, the House State Affairs Committee rejected HB 1236, a measure to revise certain provisions regarding health insurance coverage.

If you’ve been following the news, as this and another measure have been featured on most network news channels, the bill was to reverse a decision by state insurers to cease coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

It’s a battle that started several years ago in group plans, that culminated with a negotiated agreement for some very minimal extension coverages, and to set up a framework for the licensure of the therapists. This years’ fight was to attempt to extend the protections to all insurance plans. Naturally, the insurance carriers trotted out their same arguments against it, and the bill met the same fate as when the battle was first started several years back.

And like the first time the battle was fought, the mechanics of the regulatory structure for coverage, the laws and the “why’s” behind the measure are incredibly complex.  Every time parents hope for a solution from lawmakers, it ends up going back to the drawing board for more education of lawmakers and elected officials as to why extending the coverage is the only solution that makes sense.

One of the arguments made by insurers is that by continuing the coverage they had provided would possibly raise insurance premiums some unknown figure between .30 to 2.50 a month to provide therapy that – in some cases – can eliminate nearly all limiting factors of Autism Spectrum Disorder. The therapy that people are seeking the ability to use their insurance coverage for over the course of a few years can allow these children who would otherwise qualify as disabled under state and federal law to be able to be educated, and to live, work, pay taxes, and contribute to society as you or I.

Now let you give you another figure on the other side of it.

As a parent of a child with Autism, my daughter is a bit of a tougher case. She requires a specialized program in her school environment right now, due to the severity of her disability under the laws which mandate that she’s provided a free and appropriate public education. She’ll probably always require the community supports that people with a disability are entitled to under state and federal law.

For a school district, depending on the level of their disability, kids with Autism can be some of the most challenging and expensive students that they work with. I know, as my daughter is one of them.

As a student, my daughter costs the Brookings School District somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,000-12,000 a month. And that’s every month, year-round, as her disability requires summer services.  For one student, she’s over $100,000 a year. And she’s not the only student in the Brookings School District with Autism, as her program has other kids who attend.

And that’s just ONE school district.

The expense for providing services to children with disabilities who aren’t successful in a regular classroom environment can be considered one factor in high-dollar special education budgets, as the state is hitting crisis mode with the extraordinary cost fund.

That additional $100,000+ my daughter’s education costs are the expenses to taxpayers while she’s in school. As a person with a disability, we haven’t even ventured a guess as to what her lifetime expenses will be in serving her support needs in an independent apartment, if she’s ever able to live independently. Over her lifetime, it will total in the millions to taxpayers through services rendered through DHS and DSS.

And again, she’s not the only one with Autism in the state.

These issues don’t exist on their own silos. Legislators can help address a facet of the problems we have with special education costs by helping parents who want to help their kids. Steps today can help with future expenses in the budget for DHS or DSS in the future.

These are real and tremendous costs to South Dakota taxpayers. When lawmakers resisted a request from families begging for the ability to access their own insurance coverage to pay for proven therapies that turn many kids who would be an expense to taxpayers into contributing taxpayers themselves, it was a missed opportunity.

It’s what our grandmothers spoke about when they used the phrase “an ounce of prevention..”

With a little initiative, lawmakers still have the opportunity to save millions of taxpayer dollars in the long run. I can assure you that the parents who testified yesterday are very interested in doing so and they will continue to fight for a chance for their kids to have a life just like you or I.

We don’t need a study, as we’ve already done that. We don’t need to prove that ABA therapy works, as that’s proved by studies and evidence. Parents just need the chance that they’re asking for.

Legislators still have time and the opportunity to make it right this session, if they choose to take it.

Noem Approves Grant for New SDSBVI Project

Noem Approves Grant for New SDSBVI Project

PIERRE, S.D. –  Governor Kristi Noem today awarded a $2.5 million state grant for the construction of the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (SDSBVI), part of the school’s joint Educational Impact Campaign with Northern State University (NSU).

The grant comes from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Future Fund.

“I’m grateful for the leadership and partnership of Northern State University and the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired,” said Noem. “I’m confident their shared vision for success will create an even stronger powerhouse for education in the northeast part of our state. This grant will ensure the continued legacy of quality education and excellent student engagement for years to come.”

The grant follows the same amount awarded last year from the same fund by former Governor Dennis Daugaard. Together, they match the city of Aberdeen’s pledge of $5 million to the Educational Impact Campaign.

“Each of these gifts hinged on the other, and this type of interconnected giving is a perfect example of the all-encompassing support we’ve received for the Educational Impact Campaign,” said NSU President Dr. Tim Downs. “We’re grateful to both governors, the city and to the donors around the region for their continued commitment to Northern and the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired.”

“It’s wonderful to receive this level of support from not one but two governors along with the city, and I can’t thank them enough,” said SDSBVI Superintendent Marje Kaiser. “I’m thrilled that they recognize how beneficial this project will be not only to our students but also to the region, as a new facility will ensure we’ll be able to remain in Aberdeen.”

Campaign Update

Earlier this month, Noem signed House Bill 1037, authorizing the South Dakota Board of Regents to contract for the construction of the sports complex on the NSU campus. The bill’s approval moved forward the final project of the Educational Impact Campaign, which first kicked off in fall 2017.

The campaign involves three projects funded entirely by non-legislative donations. Besides the sports complex, that includes the Athletic and Recreation Fields project, which opened in fall 2018, and the new SDSBVI, currently under construction at the former NSU Jerde Hall site. So far, the $55 million campaign has received pledges totaling more than $44 million.

“These projects will enhance the student experience for years to come and also be a tremendous boost for the entire region,” Downs said. “It’s a game-changing time for northeast South Dakota.”

Strong Support

Support has been strong throughout the campaign, with numerous pledges from individual donors and area businesses – support that was recognized at HB1037’s hearing before the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations. Sen. Justin Cronin said the fact that the whole region is supporting this project is immense.

“You should be very proud of your alumni and of your community,” Cronin said.

Sen. Brock Greenfield agreed, saying, “Here’s a case in point in which the people have said this is how they want to spend their money. I wholly support and endorse that, and I wish the folks at Northern well with this project, and the folks of the region well because a lot of people will be benefiting from this for years and years to come.”

For more information about improvement projects at Northern, visit NSU Campus Master Plan.

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Democrat Congressional Candidate Ellee Spawn arrested & convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence three times, most recently in 2017 in Iowa

There’s not much worse than a dumpster fire, and the Ellee Spawn for Congress campaign seems to be one of the most blazing hot messes we’ve ever seen. And most of this has been discovered from simple & basic internet searches that a candidate should have done on themselves before they decided to throw their hat in the ring to run for a federal office.

If an active arrest warrant for failure to appear wasn’t bad enough, the latest bombshell to come in the Ellee Spawn for Congress portfolio of bad decisions is brought to our attention in the form of a newspaper article from February 2017 that popped up in a quick Google search:

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Department reported the arrest of Michelle Spawn, 47, Sioux Falls, SD, about 1:55 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, following a traffic stop on 150th Street about one mile south of Larchwood. She was arrested for first-offense operating while under the influence, a serious misdemeanor, and cited for speeding and failure to obey a traffic control device, both simple misdemeanors.

Read that here.

It must have a heck of a celebration, as the OWI came in the early morning hours after her birthday.  According to the complaint and affidavit in the Iowa District Court for Lyon County, Spawn’s tests indicated an alcohol concentration of .151, which is nearly twice the legal limit of .08.

Ellee Spawn Complaint and A… by on Scribd

According to one online source, if a driver has a blood alcohol concentration of .150 “Balance and movement are impaired,” and “the equivalent of a 1/2 pint of whiskey is circulating in the blood stream.”

Looking in the Iowa Courts Online Search, on June 6, 2017, Michelle Dawn Spawn, whom we know to be Ellee Spawn, was convicted of Operating Under the Influence 1st Offense, and sentenced to 180 days in jail (178 days suspended), and fined $1250. A charge for failure to obey a traffic control device was dismissed, and she also paid a $140 fine for speeding.

While Spawn was convicted of an OWI first offense in Iowa, it actually represents her third conviction of being impaired while being behind the wheel (see my previous article for her list of aliases).

South Dakota UJS records indicate that Spawn had  previously been prosecuted and pled guilty to Driving Under the Influence in April 1996 in a case that had a further Bench Warrant Issued on 06/28/1996 Failing to Comply with the Sentence of the Court. For this offense, Spawn was sentenced to 30 Day(s) with 30 Day(s) suspended, and a $450 fine.

Unfortunately, Spawn found herself back in trouble in May of 1997, charged this time with Driving Under the Influence 2nd offense in South Dakota (as well as failing to maintain financial liability, and no driver’s license.)

Fined $750, with $1889 restitution and sentenced to1 80 days in Jail, she had 174 days suspended, and was given credit for 2 days served.  And again, her case was complicated with a bench warrant that was issued for failing to comply with the sentence of the court in December 1997.

In South Dakota, A DUI is considered a first offense if the offender has no prior DUI convictions that occurred within the past ten years, allowing Spawn’s DUI clock to be reset for any future offenses. Hence, the first offense in Iowa between 1997 and 2017.

This likely set her on the path for the driving while suspended & revoked charges in 2018 – charges that she has ignored to her peril, setting up bench warrants and an active warrant out for her arrest.

Having to explain driving under the influence twenty years ago when she was 27 would be embarrassing enough for any candidate, but further complicating it by driving under the influence just 2 years ago at 47, followed by a string of driving while suspended charges, bench warrants, and an actual active arrest warrant for failing to appear on those charges is inconceivable for a statewide candidate for federal office.

Unless you’re a South Dakota Democrat. Because beggars can’t be choosers.

In that case, Spawn is having a fundraiser/meet & greet at 5:30 in Pierre tonight.

That is, unless the local gendarmes find her first.