Ellee Spawn, Dem Congressional candidate remains at large in Pierre today. Candidate notes recent car accident AND support for Green New Deal.

If you recall, yesterday I pointed out that Democrat Candidate for Congress Ellee Spawn has bench warrants out for her repeated violation of Driving While Revoked/Suspended, in addition to a warrant out for her arrest for failure to appear.

In checking this morning, at least according to Minnehaha County’s on-line warrant system, the 2018 warrants remain unresolved.

Interestingly, last night I had someone point out to me that lacking a valid driver’s license hasn’t caused the Democrat candidate for Congress to pause and consider that she should not be behind the wheel. Because according to her own account, she was involved in an accident in the past 2 weeks.

From the candidate’s Facebook page on February 10th:

Granted, without knowing the facts, we have to take her at her word that the accident was someone else’s fault. However, the last I checked, according to state law if you don’t have a valid driver’s license, I don’t believe you’re supposed to be driving regardless of who is at fault. At all.

According to her schedule, Spawn is scheduled today to be at a “Meet & Greet Fundraiser in Pierre” today, where this self-described socialist will talking about her candidacy, which I would assume include talking points expanding on her recent statements how she “fully supports the Green New Deal” as part of her candidacy.

(I can’t imagine how any South Dakota Democrat engaged in farming would support her getting rid of cows, but the Green New Deal is her platform, not mine.)

No word as to whether she’s going to discuss effective strategies on how to dodge law enforcement when they’re out looking for you.

Spawn’s fundraiser is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 PM, at an undisclosed location in Pierre.  Given the warrant out for her arrest, I suspect it may remain undisclosed.

But, law enforcement might want to remain on the lookout, since she reportedly will be in the area.

Noem Signs Six Bills Into Law

Noem Signs Six Bills Into Law

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem signed the following pieces of legislation today:

  • HB1010 – An act to recodify, to make certain form and style changes, to clarify, and to repeal certain provisions related to the South Dakota Retirement System                  
  • HB1027 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding vote centers and precinct workers
  • HB1064 – An act to authorize temporary appointments to the State Government Accountability Board
  • HB1098 – An act to revise provisions regarding publication of official ballots in a legal newspaper
  • HB1121 – An act to repeal certain provisions regarding health inspections of food service establishments
  • SB22 – An act to place certain substances on the controlled substances schedule and to declare an emergency


House Committee creates and approves a new state tax on nicotine vapor

Attaching it to the law on tobacco taxation, in the past week, House Health and Human Services Committee did something that no one has really spoken much about.  An empty hoghouse vehicle bill of freshman State Representative Carl Perry’s that was taken by State Representative Tim Rounds who tucked a brand new tax on nicotine vapor into the state’s tobacco statute:

After being deferred until this week, the new tax was voted on by the committee, who all approved of the new vapor tax.  Well… almost all of them, as the measure found Representative Rounds as the lone vote against his proposed 35% tax on vapor.

Hopefully we can restrain any further new taxes on vapors. I wouldn’t want the Democrats to get any ideas.

According to UJS, active warrant out for arrest of SD Democrat Congressional Candidate @ellee_spawn

According to her public schedule, South Dakota Democrat Congressional Candidate Ellee Spawn will be appearing tonight at the Hughes/Stanley Democrats 2019  Legislative Dinner at the Community & Youth Involved Center at 19 E Main Ave, Fort Pierre, starting at about 6pm. And tomorrow night, she has a fundraiser on the schedule in Pierre.

(I suspect the fundraiser is a re-schedule of the one previously announced.)

Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of the candidate, instead of wearing a name tag, the candidate might be wearing a hoodie and sunglasses and keeping a low profile.

Why? You see, according to records pulled today from both Minnehaha County...

And the South Dakota Unified Judicial System…

According to this report, someone named Michelle Dawn Spawn, a.k.a. Ellee Spawn, etc. has managed to avoid bench warrants for failure to appear on charges of driving with a suspended license (2 counts), having an altered or invalid license in possession (1 count), and a count of not having proper license plates on a vehicle.

In addition, (as of late this morning) the records from the Unified Judicial System note there has been an arrest warrant for her since May 5, 2018.

I hate to even note it, but without trying very hard, with a simple Google Search you also find that according to a news story in the Mitchell Daily Republic, a Michelle Dawn Spawn from Sioux Falls had a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing in October of 2015.

I do understand that most people experience a run of hard times at some point in their lives. But running for high office is usually not the best way to solve whatever problems a person might be going through. Especially if you have to tuck and roll whenever you see flashing red & blue lights.

If these records are true, if this is the best that Democrats have to run against Congressman Dusty Johnson in 2020, I’d hate to see where Democrats intend to recruit a candidate to run against US Senator Mike Rounds.  Republicans might have to put a political tracker on the Jameson Annex at the State Penitentiary.

(And to our friends in law enforcement, just remember to keep an eye on the Community & Youth Involved Center at 19 E Main Ave, Fort Pierre, starting at about 6pm. You might be able to clear one off of the books).

Bernie enters 2020 race, as candidates competing to be the ‘most left’

Now that Socialist Bernie Sanders has entered the Democrat race for President, you have to wonder who in South Dakota is going to jump off that cliff to line up with him?   But, it really doesn’t matter. Because they’re climbing all over themselves to try to be the furthest left to capture the Democrat base:

The label “moderate” is scorned, avoided as a potentially fatal term in a primary campaign stacked with left-wing heavyweights like Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, who speak glowingly of big-government policies like the Green New Deal. Most recently, populist firebrand Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont on Tuesday launched his second straight bid for the Democratic nomination. And progressive champions Sens. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jeff Merkley of Oregon may soon join the 2020 melee.

Self-described centrists are few and far between. What is emerging is a field where candidates who might otherwise brand themselves moderates are pushing a message of unity while still highlighting their “progressive” bona fides — or, in the case of once-moderate-leaning figures like Beto O’Rourke or Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, openly aligning themselves with the party’s left flank.

Read the entire story here.

Opening our borders to criminals, promoting wackiness such as the green new deal, and killing pipelines is all you need to run for president on the Democrat side of the aisle these days.

What I’d like to hear is who in South Dakota is lining up for whom? And if they’re going to publicly stand behind their candidate’s policies.

In most expensive Governor’s race in History, Dems spent nothing.

The Rapid City Journal has a story up regarding how the 2018 election was the most expensive race for Governor in South Dakota History. But… it looks like at least one participant in it was a useless appendage:

At least $13.73 million was spent on South Dakota’s recent race for governor, which appears to have been the most expensive race for governor in the state’s history, according to a Journal analysis and historical data from a watchdog group.


Meanwhile, reports from the South Dakota Democratic Party showed no coordinated expenditures in the race for governor.


Stan Adelstein, a prominent businessman and Republican former legislator of Rapid City, spent a total of $5,820.51 on radio ads and an ad in the Journal, all supporting Billie Sutton.

Read the story here.

So when it was all on the line in the most expensive and competitive race for Governor in the state’s history, Democrats spent nothing.

And in fact, a disaffected Republican (who is also one of Stace Nelson’s big donors) spent more than the entire State Democrat Party to try to get the Democrat candidate elected.

Food for thought.

And I’d just repeat my prior endorsement to give Ann Tornberg 4 more years as State Democrat Party Chair!

US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Here’s What a Strong Economy Looks Like

Here’s What a Strong Economy Looks Like
By Sen. John Thune

When the American people hear politicians and pundits discuss the economy, the message is often framed in broad and subjective terms – one person says it’s booming, another says it’s weak, and they might use phrases like bulls, bears, and bubbles to describe what they mean.

Sure, politics sometimes shapes how a person views the state of the economy, but there are always undeniable truths that are shielded from even the strongest political force: facts. And as President Reagan duly noted, they can be stubborn things. With facts in mind and politics aside, an objective look at the economy, which grew by a solid 3.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018, I might add, is worth seeing.

January marked the 11th straight month that the national unemployment rate has been at or below 4 percent – the longest streak in nearly half of a century. The number of job openings hit a record high at the end of 2018, and there were more job openings than job seekers, which is great news for people who are looking for work. Wages have been growing at a rate of 3 percent or greater for six straight months – a level unmatched since 2009 – and the median household income is at an all-time inflation-adjusted record of $61,372.

Again, those aren’t my opinions, those are facts, and the facts reflect what a lot of Americans are feeling these days. According to Gallup, “Americans’ optimism about their personal finances has climbed to levels not seen in more than 16 years, with 69% now saying they expect to be financially better off ‘at this time next year,’” and more Americans “rate the economy good or excellent” than at any time since January 2001.

Some people might disagree, but I don’t think today’s strong economic growth and consumer optimism just magically happened on its own. A strong economy is built, at least in part, on strong policies that help create an environment in which businesses can grow and hire more workers and where workers can better position their families for future opportunities.

I strongly believe the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which became law just 14 months ago, set the stage for a lot of what we’re seeing today, and I’m working with my colleagues to find additional ways we can further enhance the benefits of this historic effort.

Tax reform is working, but some people are determined to undermine its success for their own political gain, even if it means distorting the facts in order to do it. For example one of my Democrat colleagues who’s running for president just recently stretched the facts to try to claim that preliminary tax refund figures suggest that tax reform is hurting, not helping middle-income families.

While the IRS data is far from complete, it’s true that up to this point (remember, tax filing season just opened at the end of January), the average tax refund is down in 2019, but that doesn’t mean Americans are paying more in taxes. The whole point of a tax refund is to give money back to taxpayers who overpaid the government throughout the year. According to the Washington Post, “a smaller tax refund means you gave less of a loan to the U.S. government over the course of the year. Ideally, you should end up with no refund or tax due.”

Since tax reform lowered rates across the board, Americans kept more of their hard-earned money in 2018. In fact, 90 percent of families that make between $40,000 and $200,000 should expect to see a lower tax burden this year. This is good news, not bad news for the American people.

Back to my original point, though, I believe the economy is strong, not purely in a rhetorical sense, but because the facts clearly highlight the reality. Policymakers can always do more, and the economy can always be stronger, which is why we’ll continue to pursue pro-growth policies that help create more opportunities and greater financial security for the American people.


US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Indian Health Service Continues to Let Down Tribal Members

Indian Health Service Continues to Let Down Tribal Members
By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

Tribal members have been in the midst of a government-induced health care crisis for decades due to poor leadership and mismanagement at the Indian Health Service (IHS). For far too long, tribal members who rely on IHS for health care have faced unimaginable horrors. Troubling reports from a number of IHS facilities have found gross mismanagement, dirty medical equipment, broken sanitizers and blatant corruption. In one outrageous case, a woman gave birth to her baby on a bathroom floor with no nurses or doctors around to help her. Many of these horror stories happen right here in South Dakota.

The financial, structural and administrative problems at IHS have resulted in tribal members receiving misdiagnoses, waiting too long in emergency rooms, and in some cases dying due to inadequate care. There is no excuse for hospitals not to reach basic benchmarks for providing proper care and protect patients and tribal members.

IHS has a trust and treaty responsibility to provide proper health care to tribal members and it has failed in its duty. To help get the agency on the right path, I recently reintroduced legislation that would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary to contract an assessment of IHS’ health care delivery and financial management processes. This is the same bill I introduced last Congress, which passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. We’re optimistic we can bring it past the finish line this Congress.

An assessment will allow us to take a close look at the failures of IHS so we can work in close consultation with the tribes to immediately solve these problems and begin providing the reliable care our tribal members deserve. During our research of the agency, we found that despite a large user population and an annual appropriation of more than $5 billion, IHS does not have a funding formula. There are also no qualitative measurements to gauge quality of care. This mismanagement has taken a toll on tribal members, especially those in the IHS’ Great Plains Region, which includes our state. We have the worst health care disparities of all the IHS regions, including the lowest life expectancy, highest diabetes death rate, highest tuberculosis death rate and highest overall age adjusted death rate.

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal and FRONTLINE PBS shed light on the failure of the federal government to stop a child predator—an IHS pediatrician—in Indian Country. IHS moved this person from reservation to reservation, covering up decades of sexual abuse of Native American children in Pine Ridge and elsewhere. This is appalling. Failing to protect these vulnerable children is unacceptable.

Following the news report, HHS Secretary Azar announced an investigation into IHS’ policies regarding abuse allegations, which we welcome. However, IHS has had problems with abuse and other atrocities for decades. The problems are systemic. We need an assessment of the direct-service facilities within IHS as soon as possible.

IHS will continue to fail our tribal members unless we take a close look into the operations, funding, quality of care and management at the agency. My IHS assessment bill is a necessary first step toward making real changes so the IHS can deliver the timely, adequate care the federal government has a trust and treaty obligation to provide to tribal members.