Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated Measure Regarding Same-Sex School Facilities

Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated
Measure Regarding Same-Sex School Facilities

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today an Attorney General Explanation for a proposed initiated measure has been filed with the Secretary of State. This statement will appear on a petition that will be circulated by the sponsor of the measure. If the sponsor obtains a sufficient number of signatures (13,871) by November 6, 2017, as certified by the Secretary of State, the measure will be placed on the ballot for the November 2018 general election.

The measure is entitled “An initiated measure requiring people to use certain rooms designated for the same biological sex.”

Under South Dakota law, the Attorney General is responsible for preparing explanations for proposed initiated measures, referred laws, and South Dakota Constitutional Amendments. Specifically, the explanation includes a title, an objective, clear and simple summary of the purpose and effect of the proposed measure and a description of the legal consequences. The Attorney General Explanation is not a statement either for or against the proposed measure.


Attorney Generals Statement for Initiated Measure.same-sex School Facilities by Pat Powers on Scribd

South Dakota Juvenile Sentencing in Jensen Case Upheld as Constitutional

South Dakota Juvenile Sentencing in Jensen Case Upheld as Constitutional

 PIERRE S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that the South Dakota Supreme Court has reiterated that South Dakota’s amended Juvenile Statutory Sentencing Scheme complies with U.S. Supreme Court Case Law and affirms Paul Dean Jensen’s sentence for the murder and kidnapping of Michael Hare.

“The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld our legislative changes to juvenile sentencing that strike a balance with fairness and accountability. A 200-year sentence for this horrific murder was necessary to serve justice for the victim and to protect the public,” said Jackley.

On January 14, 1996, then 14-year old Paul Dean Jensen and 16-year old Shawn Springer, called for a taxi cab in Pierre, South Dakota. Jensen and Springer directed the taxi driver, Michael Hare, to take them to a rural area near Fort Pierre. Once they reached a gravel road outside Fort Pierre, Jensen exited the taxi with a gun drawn and demanded that Hare get out. Hare complied, and Jensen then shot Hare in the chest. As Hare begged for his life, Jensen executed Hare by firing two bullets into his head.

Jensen grabbed the money, (which amounted to just over $36), jumped into the taxi, Springer then drove the taxi into a snow bank and police apprehended both juveniles.

On October 4, 1996,  a Stanley County Jury found Jensen guilty of first degree  murder, two counts of first-degree felony murder, first-degree robbery, aiding and abetting grand theft, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery.   Jensen was ultimately sentenced to a life in  prison.

Following Jensen’s sentence, the United States Supreme Court in a trio of cases including Miller v. Alabama, 132 S.Ct. 2455, (2012), held that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution forbid sentencing schemes that mandate life in prison without parole for juvenile offenders.        Based upon the United States Supreme Court decisions, Jensen filed a motion to correct his sentence. The circuit court granted Jensen’s motion and held a resentencing hearing in June 2016. At the conclusion of the resentencing hearing, the court sentenced Jensen to 200 years in prison for both first-degree murder and kidnapping and ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

The South Dakota Supreme Court went on to recognize that in 2013 the South Dakota Legislature passed the Attorney General’s sponsored legislation in an effort to comply with recent U.S. Supreme Court case law. Specifically, the South Dakota legislature changed South Dakota law to authorize, but not mandate, a life sentence without   parole for a juvenile offender if he is convicted of a Class A or B felony. Under the new amendments a juvenile may present any information in mitigation of punishment at  their sentencing hearings. The South Dakota Supreme Court concluded that these statutory changes comply with U.S. Supreme Court case law precedence.

Jensen argued that his concurrent 200-year sentences constituted cruel and unusual punishments and that the sentencing court “made some statements that seem to stray from the Miller’s guidance,” rendering his sentence unconstitutional. The South Dakota Supreme ruled that the lower court did not stray from its duty to weigh and consider the Miller factors and that it specifically took into account Jensen’s youth at the time of the offenses.


Mike Huether: Do we call it the massive ego or the third-person interview?

The Argus is touting a 2-part Mike Huether ego interview with Stu Whitney on Sunday on their website… and already it’s looking to be more of an ego trip than something that might be considered news:

In an exclusive two-part interview with Argus Leader Media’s Stu Whitney coming Sunday, he lays out his various options (governor, U.S. House, U.S. Senate) and discusses at length the challenges that each path would present, including his status as an Independent and the strength of potential opponents.

“There’s a lot running through my head, and this gives me an opportunity to try to express that,” said Huether, sitting in his former campaign office on Minnesota Avenue. “It feels good to get it off my chest.”

Read it here.

You know it’s going to be a gagger when Huether is on the video stating: “Everybody thinks they know what Huether or Mayor Mike is thinking, when in reality there’s only a couple people who know…”  So, how many people are in there? Do we need to call an exorcist?  And why is Mike Huether speaking in the third person?

Democrats call on Billie Sutton not to waste his chance and run for higher office in 2018

Over at the Sioux Falls Drinking Liberally Website, the Sioux Falls area Democrat insiders who write the site are calling on State Senator Billie Sutton not to run for Governor in 2018.


Because Ann Tornburg’s Democrat Party is in such a shambles, there’s not much possibility that Sutton is going to end up any differently than any of the last several sacrificial lambs who have run, and lost:

In South Dakota: Suzie Jones Pranger, the South Dakota Democratic Party’s (SDDP’s) Executive Director, resigned abruptly this week, just two weeks before McGovern Days, the SDDP’s big annual gathering and fundraising event. You have to wonder what in the hell is going on at the SDDP. Speculation has it that Suzie plans to join the Gubernatorial Campaign of Billie Sutton from Burke (Suzie is also from Burke) but Billie hasn’t decided to mount a campaign for Governor or any other Statewide political office yet, according to the Argus Leader.…

I like Billie Sutton and I think he would make a fine candidate, but with the SDDP in such obvious disarray ( as underlined by Ms. Pranger’s resignation ) I don’t believe he or any other Democrat stands a chance in hell of winning a statewide race right now. Just look at the facts. Democratic voter registration in South Dakota continues to decline and now stands at 30.9%, its lowest level in generations. Meanwhile, Republican registration continues to increase. In the legislature, Democrats only hold 20 out of the 105 potential seats, almost all of which, including Billie Sutton’s own seat, were uncontested by Republicans in the last election.

So I say, “Say it ain’t so Billie”. Save your powder and ignore the Sirens beaconing you onto the political shoals of the predictable 36 to 38% defeat suffered by almost every statewide Democrat candidate in the last ten years. Until the Democratic Party can articulate a message to differentiate itself positively in the minds of South Dakotans from the Republican Party and until it can rebuild itself, the results will be the same.

Read it all here.

When the state Democrat organization is controlled by the hard liberal left, it’s going to be hard for Billie Sutton to convince anyone that a Democrat ran State Goverment would be in their best interest.

Neal Tapio to pull the trigger for Congress tonight? (Updated)

I’ve been hearing all day, and especially from people attending the Codington County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner this evening that State Senator Neal Tapio, who is about 3 months or so into his term of office, may announce his intention to run for Congress this evening.

While Neal himself has publicly pooh-poohed it a bit, I’ve had people relate to me that at the same time, “He’s telling people tonight is the night.”

If you recall, after winning the GOP primary for State Senate last June, Tapio did not face a fall opponent, and served as the chairman of the Donald Trump for President campaign in South Dakota.

Hie entrance would add an interesting dimension into the Congressional race, to say the least, but it would be a tough row to hoe.  Maybe we should take his dismissals of running seriously?

Or maybe not.

And there’s also this story from yesterday

Update – My people on location are telling me that in fact, Tapio did not announce tonight. But given the WNAX story and the Domain name… I’d watch for it to happen in the near future. Or else it may be too late.

“Heavily Armed Muslim Man” story making national news, while he claims he was waving guns around to act “against stupidity.”

The story on the man who showed up at the Sioux Falls Christian Rally brandishing weapons, and going out to his vehicle and making a threatening video telling people to “be scared” is making national news, as noted by this story on CBS-Los Angeles:

LOS ANGELES ( – As the national manhunt for alleged Facebook killer Steve Stephens comes to a close, another disturbing Facebook Live video has surfaced showing a self-described Muslim man making apparent threats toward attendees at a Christian conference.

A video posted April 9 by Ehab Jaber shows a man believed to be Jaber filming a copy of the Koran before scanning the crowd with his camera during a portion of the Worldview Weekend rally in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Read it here.

When someone waves guns, and tells people to “be scared,” it just adds fuel to the fire when people express concerns about radicalized muslims within the country’s borders. And the CBS Report comes on the same day as a story on the “FBI Investigating Radical Terrorists in All 50 States:”

Federal authorities have open investigations into radical Islamic terrorists in all 50 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security, which is warning that the threat of terrorism in the United States has reached an all time high with radicalized individuals in the country plotting to strike “each and every single day.”

The FBI has “open terrorist investigations in all 50 states,” according to DHS Secretary John Kelly, who disclosed on Tuesday that there have been at least 37 “ISIS-linked plots to attack our country” since 2013, a number that shows no signs of diminishing.

Read that here.

What was the video makers side of the story? As related on KSFY News last night, he admitted he was armed. But claimed it was “against stupidity:”

Jaber also said that he wasn’t threatening anyone in particular.

“I’m not armed against the regular citizen,” he said. “I’m not armed against Christians or Jews or against women or children. I’m just armed against stupidity and oppression.”

Despite all of the negative attention, criticism and even death threats, he said he’s received …

“I did it, I’ll do it again and again just like any American,” he said. “I didn’t go to a conference, I went to an anti-Muslim rally.”


Jaber said the FBI visited him later that week to talk to him about the video.

Hadian said in the next city he and Howse visited, the FBI was waiting for them at their event location to make sure the pair knew about the video and “forced” them to hire off-duty police officers at their event, in addition to the security and police who were already going to be there.

Read that here.

So, Jaber he claims he was acting “against stupidity”  when he waved several guns around, using profanity, and telling us to be scared. No, I think what he was doing was the actual definition of stupidity.

If Mr. Jaber wanted to communicate that we shouldn’t be afraid of Islam, as he tried to explain on KSFY news last night, he did an awful job in doing so.

Summer studies on Meandered lakes, Initiative & Referendum, and more.

From the Argus, it looks like meandered lakes will be the hot topic this summer in legislative studies:

South Dakota lawmakers will take the summer to study the impact of a Supreme Court decision on the use of non-meandered waters.

The Executive Board on Tuesday voted to approve the creation and appointment of a 15-member task force that will delve into previous legislation on the subject and understand how the court’s decision has affected the rights of private landowners and outdoorsmen.


The panel also approved a summer study that will look into the state’s shortages in workforce housing. Members were not appointed to that committee on Tuesday. They’ll also consider the state’s campaign finance laws and the initiative and referendum process in separate summer studies.

Read it here.

Did the legislature miss the ball? Or are they on top of what they need to be doing?

Dusty Johnson Fundraisers this week in Brookings and Watertown..

Er.. yeah. I just did my taxes, and I’m a little tight for the next 18 to 24 months…

But, I’ll still make a point to shake the change out of the couch cushions and attend one of the fundraisers this week for GOP Congressional hopeful Dusty Johnson, which are being held in conjunction with the series of Lincoln Day Dinners in the area: