Sad news coming in of Don Rounds’ passing.

There are early reports coming in that Don Rounds, father to US Senator Mike Rounds, State Representative Tim Rounds, and Crooks Mayor Jamison Rounds has passed away.

The patriarch of the Rounds’ family was not just an institution in Pierre, but also among the members of the South Dakota Republican Party. I’ll have more on services as information comes out.

Dr. Fred Deutsch to run for District 4 State House

Dr. Fred Deutsch to run for District 4 State House

Dr. Fred Deutsch today announced his intention to run for the South Dakota House of Representatives for District 4 (Grant, Deuel, Rural Brookings and rural Codington Counties) in the 2018 election. Deutsch, a Republican, served previously in the legislature from 2015-16. He served on the Education, Health, and Commerce committees.

“I have spent my life dedicated to public service and to caring for people,” Deutsch said. “When I heard one of the Reps wasn’t planning to run again, Kathleen and I began to pray about returning to the legislature. As things came together, we felt it right to run again.”

If elected, Dr. Deutsch said his priorities will include keeping our children safe at school and improving transparency and civility in government.  Deutsch continued, “As a father and grandfather, and a former school board member, the only thing more important to me than providing our children world-class schools is providing them safe schools.”

“If the voters return me to Pierre, I will promote transparency and civility in government, and will always listen to the people. It was an honor to serve the people of District 4 and the State of South Dakota, and it would be my great honor to serve them again for the next two years.”

Deutsch has lived in rural Watertown since 1983. He met his wife Kathleen, a Webster native, at chiropractic school and they have practiced together in Watertown for 35 years. They raised four daughters and have maintained an active life serving their patients, church and community.

Dr. Deutsch cites his upbringing as the son of a Holocaust survivor who came to America with a sixth-grade education and spent his life working as a laborer as what has influenced his love of public service and education.

Terry LaFleur: Diversity is “BS,” “reverse discrimination.” But special treatment for himself is ok.

Dark horse GOP Gubernatorial candidate Terry Lee LaFleur has some choice words about diversity this morning, referring to it as “BS,” and equating it with “reverse discrimination”:

I find it odd that someone running for Governor seemingly claiming that diversity hiring is ‘BS’ and ‘reverse discrimination’ had accessed special treatment in law school, and has previously sued the State Bar in 2006 seeking accommodations under the ADA – the Americans with Disabilities Act:

Terry Lee LaFleur failed to pass the South Dakota bar examination on three occasions.   On his last attempt, he failed even though the South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners granted his request for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).   Those accommodations included time and one half to take the exam and a private, distraction free room.   Prior to a fourth attempt, LaFleur requested double time and other accommodations, but the Board only granted the accommodations provided on the third attempt.   LaFleur appeals.   We affirm.


While in law school, LaFleur experienced difficulties maintaining acceptable grades and was placed on academic probation.   He underwent psychological testing by Dr. Robert J. Fabiano.   Dr. Fabiano diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) (Inattentive Type) and Major Depressive Disorder (Single Episode, Mild).   Thereafter, LaFleur received special accommodations in law school, including additional time to take examinations and the use of a private testing room.   With these accommodations, LaFleur met the requirements for graduation.

Read that here.

So, according to LaFleur, diversity hiring practices – which include encouraging the hiring of qualified people with disabilities – would be reverse discrimination and BS. Despite his own use of special accommodations in his schooling, and suing the state bar for the same.

Kind of ironic.

Committee on Discipline and Expulsion forms on argument between Rep. Dave Johnson and Rep. Lynne DiSanto

From Twitter:

I’ve heard over the past couple of days that an argument on the House Floor during session a couple of days ago between Reps Lynne DiSanto and Dave Johnson continued after session, and may have gotten a bit heated. So much so that we’re seeing comments like this:

There are not a lot of details I’m aware of just yet. As soon as the full audio of the day is archived, I’ll have more on this.

Update – from the Argus Leader:

South Dakota lawmakers on Friday called for an investigation into Rep. David Johnson, following allegations that the Rapid City Republican verbally assaulted another legislator on the House floor.

The House of Representatives voted 45-13 to establish the Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion, which will investigate allegations that Johnson displayed inappropriate behavior toward Rep. Lynne DiSanto, R-Rapid City, Wednesday evening.

Read that here.

Update from the Associated Press/Rapid City Journal:

The South Dakota House will investigate a first-term Republican representative for conduct the lawmaker described as “unfair statements” to a colleague.

Read it here.

Freedom to sell pipe bombs and legalization of prostitution consequences of proposed 2020 constitutional amendment

Every once in a while, someone comes up with a great idea.   This is not one of them.

Levi Breyfogle of Rapid City is starting the process to get a constitutional measure on the ballot that has the goal to eliminate many crimes from actually being crimes.  He’s sent a measure to the Legislative Research Council for review and set up a website to promote his new system of government.

If you could call it that. Government, that is.

No victim, no crime. Is a popular saying in circles that value freedom. What this amendment would do is exactly that. Require a victim for a crime to have been committed. If no one was damaged and is willing to press charges there can be no crime.


That Article VI of the Constitution of the State of South Dakota be amended by adding NEW SECTIONS to read as follows:

§ 30. In order for a violation of the law to have been committed each of the following shall occur: 

(1) A charge of a violation may only be filed by a individual victim whose person or property have been physically damaged by the defendant. If the victim is incapable of filing a charge of a violation, a family member may, but only if the victim does not object; and
(2) The damages must be physical, quantifiable, and have already occured.

§ 31. Each known victim in any pending case on July 1, 2021, in the law enforcement, judicial, or correctional systems shall be notified and the victim may file a charge of a violation. If no victim files a charge of a violation, the case, sentence, or outstanding fine shall be dropped by October 1, 2021. If a charge if filed, the charge shall be initially reviewed within 30 days to verify the person filing the charge was a probable victim of a willful, direct, physical action of the defendant. No restitution shall be paid for time or fines already paid by any person currently or previously incarcerated or paying fines even if a charge of a violation is dropped pursuant to this section.

§ 32. No public funds of this state, or any political subdivision of this state, may be expended for the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any federal law, executive order, rule, or regulation regulating any case that is in violation of this amendment. No personnel or property of this state, or any political subdivision of this state, may be utilized for the implementation, regulation, or enforcement of any federal law, executive order, rule, or regulation that is in violation of this amendment.


How will the government interfere with our day to day lives?
After passing this they really won’t be able to.


What would this do to the economy?
It would lower costs when you bought anything. It would allow anyone to do any kind of work they wanted to and were able. It would reduce the costs invloved with starting nearly any business greatly allowing for lower prices, higher wages, and more profits.

Read that all here.

This measure doesn’t serve to increase liberty as much as it does to utterly eliminate the criminal code, save for the direct physical harm of another person.

So, according to the proposal, if I wanted to manufacture pipe bombs and sell them to 18-year-olds, it appears that according to the measure, I could legally do that, and the state would be barred from cooperating with the federal government to stop me.

Under this proposed constitutional amendment, I’m also reading it to potentially legalize prostitution, brothels, and selling crack.

That doesn’t exactly sound like a good idea. But maybe that’s just me.   It sounds more like anarchy.

Unless you’re into pipe bombs, brothels, and crack. Then it might be your thing.

Release: Jackley Wins South Dakota Chamber Poll

Jackley Wins South Dakota Chamber Poll

PIERRE, SD: In a South Dakota Chamber of Commerce poll conducted Thursday at their annual Business Day gathering in the state capital, a majority of the Chamber members from around the state said they supported Attorney General Marty Jackley for governor.

Asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 60 percent chose Jackley, while 23 percent chose Congresswoman Kristi Noem and 17 percent chose State Senator Billie Sutton:

“I’m incredibly grateful for such a positive outpouring of support from members of the Chamber, but this is about more than supporting my candidacy for governor,” Jackley said. “To me this is a message of support for the ideas that we’ve been circulating throughout the business community the past several months.”

The poll comes after the release of three policy initiatives from the Jackley campaign. Destination South Dakota addressed the state’s tourism industry, and the Pheasant Hunting Initiative pitched a plan to restore the population of the state bird. This week’s Hometown South Dakota Initiative offered five proposals for economic growth.

“Since creating new jobs is our top priority, we’ve been seeking input from small businesses and community leaders across the state, and our policy initiatives will continue to reflect the advice that we receive,” Jackley said. “Our campaign is truly a team effort, and our message to the Chamber is that we want to partner with them to make South Dakota an attractive place to live, work and do business.”

This is the second year in a row those polled by the Chamber have thrown their support behind Jackley, who received 39 percent of the vote last year compared to 24 percent for Noem and 11 percent for Sutton.


Release: Noem Opens Sioux Falls Campaign Headquarters

Noem Opens Sioux Falls Campaign Headquarters

Sioux Falls, S.D. – Kristi Noem opened her Sioux Falls Campaign Headquarters Friday. The office will serve as a volunteer outreach center, where South Dakotans can find information about Noem’s vision for South Dakota as well as collect signs, bumper stickers and other Team Noem materials. The office is located at 3300 S. Holly Avenue in Sioux Falls.

“With restaurants, concerts, shopping, and more, this community has long served as a hub for activity in eastern South Dakota, and I’m hopeful our new Sioux Falls location will serve the same purpose for our campaign,” said Noem. “I want to thank everyone who came together to celebrate today’s grand opening. Their support and willingness to help spread our vision for South Dakota means the world to me.”


Release: Noem in Mitchell Saturday for Campaign Kickoff Tour

Noem in Mitchell Saturday for Campaign Kickoff Tour

Sioux Falls, S.D. – Kristi Noem will be in Mitchell on Saturday, February 24, as part of her statewide campaign kickoff tour. During the tour, Noem will host events in rural Hamlin County, Pierre, Rapid City, Sturgis, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, Yankton, Vermillion and Mitchell.

WHAT: Noem to Referee Coborns Dodge for a Cause Dodgeball Tournament
WHEN: Saturday, February 24 at 1:00PM (CT)
WHERE: Mitchell Recreation Center (1300 N Main Street, Mitchell)

WHAT: Noem to Keynote Vietnam Veterans Era Reunion
WHEN: Saturday, February 24 – 6:00PM (CT)
WHERE: Ramada Inn (1525 West Havens Avenue, Mitchell)


Democrat PAC sends out invitation to lobbyists for fundraiser next week

South Dakota Democrat Legislators are teaming up with Democrats’ captive Political Action Committee  “The Majority Project” to raise money for their elections next week:

Given how many people are in the picture, they’ve got a long way to go to hit a majority.

Here’s the PAC’s latest campaign finance filing, in case you’re interested.