Democrats trying to create their own hype. Good luck with that one.

From Facebook, South Dakota Democrats are promoting a news article that attempts to point out how people are interested in running:

And if you click on the link… it has absolutely nothing to do with South Dakota.  And on top of that, the author of the article, Alex Seitz-Wald, has been cited by at least one website as a friendly reporter where Democrats “planted” articles favorable to themselves.

In South Dakota over the past several election cycles, Democrat’s main problems electorally have been of their own doing. Instead of devoting resources into party building, voter registration, and recruitment, they’ve been dumping tens of thousands of dollars into petition registration drives that have provided no discernable benefit to voter registration or candidate recruitment.

In fact, the past several cycles have proven to be among their lowest water marks in a half-century. The party is life support from the national party in terms of funding, at the same time while they maintain a staff that accomplishes little else but an occasional snarky press release.

Further crippling the party is an odd 4-year election cycle for chair, which has them forced to remain under the yoke of Ann Tornberg, who drove the party to record low numbers in the prior election.

Tornberg fared poorly – hitting a 50 year low for state democrat numbers in elections – against a GOP organization in 2016 which had focused much of it’s efforts into defeating a couple of ballot measures which threatened to remove party label from the ballot. A measure favored by some Democrats that they believed might improve their electability by hiding the fact they were Democrats, but in practice, is less than a success.

In 2018, as opposed to facing a GOP focusing on ballot measures, Tornburg will be facing a GOP led by her nemesis, former State Senator Dan Lederman.  In past legislative elections, Tornburg both ran directly against Lederman in the Senate, as well as against house members strongly supported by Lederman. In every case, Tornburg was trounced, and turned away from the ballot box.

Now, a damaged liberal political party at historic lows led by Tornburg is facing a newly re-energized and active GOP led by Lederman, who has made grassroots activism and party building a priority.

Observers may have to avert their eyes, as the battle may be quite lopsided, and not very pretty.

Erickson decides against Mayoral run!

One of the GOP’s marquee stars in Sioux Falls announced today that she’s taking a pass at running for the Mayoral seat in 2018. From the Argus Leader:

“I looked at my kids and thought, ‘They like you right now.’ I mean, Mom’s pretty cool at this point. They like hanging out with Mom. I just didn’t feel like I could give that up and lose that time with them at such a critical age.”

Erickson explored the possibility of a mayoral run for much of the past year, getting a team in place and speaking to supporters. She is 3-0 in past campaigns and has shown a knack for raising money, with her famous brother serving as secret weapon for special events.

Her decision is likely good news for her former city council colleague Greg Jamison, who has not formally declared his mayoral candidacy but is expected to announce after he concludes session duties as District 12 state House representative.

Read it all here.

That’s too bad, as Christine would have been formidable.  But, there’s still a lot of time between now and the election.

Thune Questions Agriculture Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue

Thune Questions Agriculture Secretary Nominee Sonny Perdue

“These are tough times in agriculture … I look forward to working with you on the next farm bill as well as continuing to implement this one.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutrition, today questioned former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, President Trump’s nominee to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the hearing, Thune received Perdue’s commitment to work with Thune on the current and future farm bills, national forest management, and ensuring there is a strong renewable fuel standard. 

“These are tough times in agriculture,” said Thune. “We’ve got commodity prices and livestock prices below the cost of production, uncertainty about trade, concerns about disease, and two crop years left in terms of implementation of this farm bill before we start writing a new one. I look forward to working with you on the next farm bill as well as continuing to implement this one.” 

Thune later joked with Perdue, an avid outdoorsman, that “we won’t have any problem getting you to come to South Dakota as long as we still have pheasants … so I expect you to be there.”

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Senator Thune: Staying Ahead of New Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Staying Ahead of New Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

“While there is no silver-bullet solution to cybersecurity risks, I believe promoting public-private partnerships on risk management, foundational research, and a robust cyber workforce are essential to combating these challenges.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today led a hearing entitled “The Promises and Perils of Emerging Technologies for Cybersecurity.” The hearing explored the impact of emerging technologies – including artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain, and quantum computing – on the future of cybersecurity.

“Our nation faces an array of evolving cyber threats to our personal data, access to online services, and critical infrastructure,” said Thune “To be clear, cybersecurity is not solely a technology issue. Also, while there is no silver-bullet solution to cybersecurity risks, I believe promoting public-private partnerships on risk management, foundational research, and a robust cyber workforce are essential to combating these challenges. That is why I am excited to continue our committee’s discussion on cybersecurity by looking toward the future.”  

Thune noted that he would send letters to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao urging them to prioritize the cybersecurity of federal systems. He is also working with a bipartisan group of senators on potential legislation to ensure that small businesses fully benefit from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework. 

In 2014, Thune co-sponsored the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, which included important provisions for cybersecurity research, workforce development, and standards. The bill authorized, among other things, the National Science Foundation’s successful CyberCorps Scholarship Program, in which Dakota State University is an active participant.

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The “I can’t keep up with all the new candidates” edition of the 2018 GOP Candidate Chart

It seems that it’s getting hard to keep up with the players with three new candidates being thrown into the mix this week, and a couple of AG Candidates confirming speculation.

Who’s new? Dr. Terry LaFleur for Governor (who will probably not make the ballot, but more power to him), Josh Haeder for Treasurer, and a new candidate for Treasurer that multiple sources are telling me he’s in the hunt.

(Man, those Lincoln Day Dinners are looking longer and longer all the time!)

Rounds Introduces Bill to Strengthen Congressional Insight and Accountability on Federal Regulations

Rounds Introduces Bill to Strengthen Congressional Insight  and Accountability on Federal Regulations 

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today introduced legislation to strengthen congressional insight and accountability within the regulatory process. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Insight, Reform and Accountability Act of 2017 would give OIRA statutory authority to conduct reviews of regulations by codifying into law executive orders establishing such authority, authority that cannot be rescinded or limited by future presidencies. Additionally, it would expand the role of OIRA in the regulatory process and authorize OIRA to review rules proposed by certain independent federal agencies. 

“Overregulation is a hidden tax that is stifling economic growth and productivity in America,” said Rounds. “Even more concerning, the regulations coming out of Washington are being promulgated by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats, rather than our elected representatives. The OIRA Insight, Reform and Accountability Act would bring to light more rules being promulgated by independent agencies and give a stronger voice to state, local and tribal governments in challenging the rules before they are finalized.

. We believe these measures will increase transparency and help protect South Dakota families from duplicative, unnecessary and overly-burdensome federal regulations.” 

The OIRA Insight, Reform and Accountability Act was introduced by Rep. Paul Mitchell (R-Mich.) earlier this year and passed the House on March 1, 2017. 

Other provisions of The OIRA Insight, Reform and Accountability Act:

  • Extends the requirement for regulatory review to independent agencies.
  • Requires that OIRA issue reports on its reviews of legal requirements.
  • Requires OIRA to gather input from state, local and tribal governments and the public on the effects of regulations and opportunities for improving the process.
  • Requires OIRA to convene a working group, consisting of the OIRA Administrator, agency representatives and other officials designated by the Administrator, to serve as a forum to identify and analyze regulatory issues.
  • Requires the administrator provide agency-wide advice and guidance on best practices to develop regulations.
  • Requires OIRA to publish a Unified Agenda twice a year detailing all regulatory actions under development or review. OIRA must also issue guidance to create clear definitions of status and any other term as appropriate.
  • Requires that agencies annually submit to OIRA the significant regulatory actions planned for the following fiscal year. The plans will also list regulations identified as unnecessary, duplicative or burdensome and describe the agency’s efforts to review existing regulations—all of which will be subject to OIRA review.
  • Requires OIRA make publicly available all information provided by the agency, the result of OIRA’s review, and a red-line of changes made during the review.

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Spending some time adding to my répertoire. Lots more coming as we approach 2018!

Over the past few months, you may have noticed that the SDWC has been taking on some new advertisers. And I’m very proud to say that we will have some more coming our way. 2018 is going to be a big, big year, and we’re ready to handle it.

As all these ads are being placed, I’ve been making a point to invest back into the website, as well as to improve my capabilities. This past week I just boosted the active Ram/Memory for the site to better handle times of peak traffic, and I’ve noticed that the site is not dropping as it had from time to time with memory errors.

In addition to spending more on a monthly basis on web infrastructure, I’ve also been upgrading my equipment.

My video (when I get the chance to shoot some) should be great in terms of quality. And I’ve been working to improve my photography capabilities as well.

My daughter Sydney, currently Secretary of the State TAR organization, was one of the guinea pigs I picked on tonight to test out my camera lights and the backdrop I ordered. And as you can see, it turned out nicely. I’m extremely pleased with the results… now I just need to keep testing and experimenting. Practice makes perfect!

If I can find the time to write and produce it, I keep coming back to the idea of a 20 -30 minute weekly video program on politics. If I can find a way to shoot it, edit & produce it, that’s on my wish list – but I wouldn’t want to take away from everything else just to do it. That’s a “we’ll see” item.

So, make sure you keep us bookmarked, and check daily on all the fast moving action in South Dakota State politics. We’ve only just begun!

Source telling me that it’s Governor’s race for Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether.

Sioux Falls’ Democrat Mayor Mike Huether continues to tease about his future statewide plans, but the word I’m getting from one source in Sioux Falls is that his eyes are firmly affixed on the race for Governor.

My source mentioned that the Mayor apparently made a couple of Freudian slips at a meeting last week, when he kept saying “Governor” when he intended to say “Government,” which was more humorous than anything. But what they’re hearing that has them far more suspicious is that allegedly Huether is trying to lock in big money Republicans in Sioux Falls to become part of “Team Huether” before he’ll give any firmer indication that his plans are to run for Governor.

Huether’s biggest problem is that being an Independent in the race is just as bad as being a Democrat. And that dog won’t just hunt in South Dakota, especially as you move towards the Missouri River.