Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Fighting for Financial Independence

Fighting for Financial Independence
By Rep. Kristi Noem

For many, preparing for Tax Day only highlights just how much of a person’s paycheck is redirected straight into the federal government’s bank account. The truth is our tax returns only tell part of the story. Federal regulations add thousands of dollars more in hidden costs every year for South Dakota families. I’ve heard from many that “enough is enough” – and I agree. So regardless of if it’s tax or regulatory reform, I’m focused on giving you more financial independence.

One of the first places I’m looking to save you money is on your taxes. Last year, I helped outline a simpler and fairer tax code. In totality, the plan is estimated to save the average family $4,600 per year, according to analysis done by The Tax Foundation. On top of that, they expect the plan would help grow the economy by 9.1 percent over the next 10 years, which translates into more jobs and higher wages.

The way we’re proposing to do this may save more than money. Under our plan, tax returns may be simple enough to fit on a postcard, hopefully saving taxpayers the 6 billion hours we collectively spend doing our taxes each year.

Like I mentioned before, there are also hidden costs the federal government imposes. Today, almost 25 percent of a new family home’s final cost is dealing with regulations to build that home. Under Obama-era motor-vehicle regulations, the cost of a new car could spike almost $3,000 by 2025. Meanwhile, regulations on everything from lightbulbs to dishwashers could increase consumer costs by as much as $1,600. And it just keeps adding up from here!

Already, President Trump and Congress have worked together to delay, repeal, or dismantle more than 90 regulations put in place by President Obama. But more must still be done. In addition to dismantling the unnecessary regulations piece-by-piece, I’ve supported legislation to make it much more difficult to impose these massive regulations in the first place. Just days into 2017, the House passed a bill I co-sponsored that would require any major regulation to be approved by Congress. If enacted, it would be an unprecedented check on federal bureaucracy.

After eight years under President Obama, I think too many have accepted a status quo that leaves less money in your pocket and puts more decisions in the government’s hands. Whether it’s regulatory reform or tax reform, there is a path forward that gives you more freedom and financial independence. Ultimately, that’s the path I will always pursue.

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: A Chance To Be South Dakota’s Capital For A Day

A Chance To Be South Dakota’s Capital For A Day
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

In the 1990s, Gov. George S. Mickelson started a new tradition in South Dakota called “Capital for a Day.” Gov. Mickelson would travel to a community and issue an executive proclamation declaring that town as South Dakota’s Capital for a Day. He would spend the day touring the town, talking with people of the community and getting input from local leaders.

When I took office, I decided to continue the Capital for a Day tradition because it gives me the opportunity to hear from South Dakotans. Now that warmer weather isn’t too far away, I am extending an invitation to communities across the state to apply.

Activities for the day typically include a main street walk, business tours and a community social. We also hold roundtable meetings with community leaders to discuss prominent local issues. I typically give an update on state government and learn from local citizens what they think.

Since 2011, Capital for a Day has been hosted by Mitchell, Canton, Onida, Volga, Hill City, Britton, De Smet, Viborg, Aberdeen, Lead-Deadwood, Flandreau, Wall, Parkston, Faulkton, Wessington Springs, Milbank, Kimball, Madison, Spearfish, Lake Norden, Lemmon and Yankton.

We often talk about how Washington, D.C., can be like an island. The federal government at times seems to lack common sense, and sometimes national officials forget their roots. Well, I don’t want Pierre to be that way. I don’t want state government to be isolated from South Dakotans or oblivious to local situations.

That’s why events like this are so important. In order to be of, by and for the people, we must take the time to listen. We need to hear about problems that exist and better understand the impact government decisions are having on people’s lives.

If your town has never been Capital for a Day, I hope you will urge your local leaders to apply. Interested communities can find out more by going to and clicking on “Initiatives.”


State Dem party fighting with Largest county org; calls emerging for Tornburg’s ouster.

Ann Tornburg is apparently set on destroying the State Democrat party, if one author and Minnehaha County Democrat activist is to be believed. From Sioux Falls Drinking Liberally:

The South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) shows little sign of life. Democratic registration, after a slight bump up prior to the 2016 election, has resumed its post-2009 downward trend, declining by 637 voters since the November election, against a Republican increase of 1,738 and an Independent/Other Party rise of 3109. Statewide voter registration now stands at 255,854 Republican (47%), 170,057 Democratic (31%), and 124,225 Independent/Other Party (22%). I only know the SDDP is still alive because two of its staff people appeared at the last Minnehaha County Democratic meeting to contest the appointment of two local Democrats to Precinct Committeeperson positions. Under the direction of Ann Tornberg, her staff seems more interested in meddling in the affairs of county Democratic Parties than engaging local Democrats, registering voters, and building an organization. The SDDP’s new slogan must be “Building an organization is hard work. Buying one is much easier.” Ann Tornberg is running the SDDP like she ran the credentials committee of the South Dakota Farmers Union convention a year ago. She must go.

Read it all here.

And this isn’t the only time they’ve pointed out the Tornburg machine’s failures:

As if this wasn’t enough to depress you, the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP), lies moribund on the political road, seemingly unable to respond to this Republican maneuvering and still conducting listening sessions around the state in an effort by Ann Tornberg to maintain her control over an institution whose statewide candidates haven’t received more than 36% of the vote in six years.

Lately, the SDDP has turned on itself and encouraged its staff to run for local Precinct Committee positions against local Democrats who may not properly support Ann and her crew. The SDDP’s new motto seems to be, “Who needs an organization, we’ve got Staff. Gimme some money.” Democrats aren’t going to win anything with this crew. It is time to get rid of Ann Tornberg and make the Democratic Party democratic again.

Read that here.

Will Democrats throw off the yoke of Ann Tornberg, as she continues to steer the opposition party around the swirling drain?

Stay tuned.

Guest Column: Article V Convention? There is a better and safer way.

(From time to time, we have guest columnists commenting on issues of the day from their perspective. Guest columns are always welcome, and can be submitted to me here. -PP)

The US Constitution is arguably the greatest governing document ever written. But great notwithstanding, our Constitution has its frailties. Indeed, every socio-legal contract ever conceived has an intrinsic Achilles’ heel. For America’s constitution that vulnerable place is located in its fifth section: “Article V.”
Article V gives state-level lawmakers the power to force Congress to arrange a meeting (convention) of delegates to change, suspend, rewrite or overhaul the Constitution of the United States of America.

Our nation’s Constitution is not an easy study. The relevant part of Article V, however, is only 87 words in length and takes less than a minute to read and comprehend. (Lincoln’s Gettysburg address was a comparative tome at 272 words.) The literary footprint of Article V is unremarkable, belying a clear and present danger to our nation’s supreme law in its entirety.

Manipulation of our Constitution through its fifth section is serious and recent; this isn’t a fictional Tom Clancy conspiracy novel. SD’s House of Representatives conducted floor debate three times this year on the invocation of an Article V Convention (House Joint Resolution, HJR 1002). Our constitution was under genuine and substantial threat.

Ostensibly, the Resolution’s primary purpose was to force Congress to exercise self-control in collecting and expending taxpayer dollars. Washington D.C. was to be contractually bound by the Constitution via the colloquialisms “Convention of States” and “Balanced Budget Amendment.” Despite attractive taxpayer-seductive language, SD’s State Representatives wisely and soundly killed HJR 1002.

Although advertised otherwise, the Article V application for a Convention of States does not grant SD’s Legislature any control over convention topics. Our US Constitution would be hung on a wall to become a dartboard for random whimsical repeals and modifications. Would South Dakotans be willing to risk their right to keep and bear firearms? …or freely worship? I think not.

Had the Article V Convention been authorized, the US Congress would’ve had sole authority to appoint delegates and assign state allegiance to each. California’s 55 electoral votes versus South Dakota’s three? Could’ve happened. Congress also owned the prerogative to select the ratification process. Further, once convened, delegates become self-sovereign; accountable only to themselves. Not to Congress. Not to the SD Legislature. Not even to “We the People.”

Every SD state representative favors fiscal responsibility and limited federal government. Proponents of the Article V Convention couldn’t explain why they’d hold our Constitution hostage, in ransom for unenforceable federal fiscal requirements. Blackmailing Congress is flawed strategy. An Article V Convention directly implies that our Constitution is structurally unsound and in dire need of repair. The majority of SD’s state representatives did not – and do not – concur.

Besides, there’s a better and safer way. If answerable fiscal policy is the target, then American citizens should focus their sights on our elected officials at their federal posts. Know that our Constitution in its present state already includes restraints on the Feds. Demand your elected officials adhere to the Constitution – not amend it. None of the existing 27 constitutional amendments were enacted utilizing Article V procedures.

President James Madison – a primary author of our Constitution – expressed grave concern regarding Article V “difficulties.” In 1788, he stated he’d quite “tremble” at the thought of likely “insidious” partisan delegates at Article V Conventions. Eventually, he proposed the Constitution be void of all reference to the Article V process.

Our supreme law is vulnerable at its succinct, exploitable fifth section. Since our nation’s birth, more than a million American men and women have sacrificed their lives, providing the armor that’s protected the Constitution at its Achilles’ heel. The Article V Convention of States is perilous self-sabotage. The sacred, venerable Constitution of the United States of America is not wherein the problem lies. This state legislator asks – and votes – that it be left alone.

Rep. David L. Johnson, R-District 33
SD State House of Representatives

19 year old Brookings City Council Candidate busted for fake ID.

Isaiah Croatt is running for the City Council in Brookings, and as he notes in a news story about his candidacy, he doesn’t let anything hold him back:

Friday was the last day for people interested in a seat on Brookings’ City Council to file their paperwork.

So far, four people have thrown their hat into the ring for city leadership, including one young man who says his age gives him an advantage over the others.


Isaiah Croatt is only 19 years old, but he’s not letting his age hold him back from anything.

“The age thing has always been a challenge throughout my life; I’m always the youngest guy doing things.”

Read it here.

And according to the Brookings Register, maybe there’s one thing he should have let his age hold him back on:

Yep. Looks like the 19 year old Brookings City Council Candidate appears to have been busted for a Class 1 misdemeanor for having a fake ID. (They all try to grow up so fast!)

Jeff Monroe say no go to Treasurer’s nod.

With rumors flying in the past few weeks with regards to his possible entrance into the race for South Dakota State Treasurer, State Senator Jeff Monroe has done some soul searching, and for now, has decided to take a pass at the office.

According to Monroe, he took some time, and “checked Josh out pretty well,” noting that “I think he’s a solid guy.   I can’t think of any good reason to run against him and I don’t want to bail on District 24.  I think I’d serve South Dakota better right where I’m at.

Sorry to see Jeff taking a step back, as he’s a great guy. But I can’t disagree!

Noem: Keystone XL Opens Opportunities for South Dakota

Noem: Keystone XL Opens Opportunities for South Dakota

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today issued the following statement, after President Trump issued a presidential permit to approve construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline:

“Access to energy is central to improving our national security and building a more robust economy that offers better jobs and higher wages.  Not only does the Keystone XL Pipeline offer these large-scale benefits for our country, its construction will translate into added revenue for cash-strapped South Dakota counties, relief on our roads and rails, and job opportunities for folks across our state. I’m glad to see President Trump move forward on this critical piece of American infrastructure.” 


Statement From Gov. Daugaard On Keystone XL

Statement From Gov. Daugaard On Keystone XL

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard issued the following statement today in response to the State Department’s issuance of a permit for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

“I welcome the administration’s approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This is a victory for all of us who rely on oil to heat our homes, fuel our cars, and power our tractors, and pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport oil. I recognize that some South Dakotans will not celebrate this news, and I respect that perspective. I hope we will all seek to exercise our First Amendment rights peacefully, and respect the right of others to do likewise.”

– 30 –

Thune Applauds Keystone XL Pipeline Permitting

Thune Applauds Keystone XL Pipeline Permitting

 “This is one more step in a joint effort between Congress and the administration to pursue policies that encourage job creation and economic growth.” 

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after President Trump issued a permit authorizing construction of the Keystone XL pipeline: 

“After delaying the common-sense, shovel-ready Keystone XL pipeline for eight years, the Obama administration put politics ahead of job creation and energy development,” said Thune. “I’m glad President Trump took quick action to approve this critical infrastructure project. This is one more step in a joint effort between Congress and the administration to pursue policies that encourage job creation and economic growth.


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.