“Non-partisan” League of Women Voters robocalling on Amendment V. Anymore, it seems they’re less about voting, and more about the Democrat agenda.

The allegedly “non-partisan” League of Women Voters has been blasting out a particularly partisan message against Amendment V via robocalls across South Dakota. Take a listen:

The South Dakota League of Women Voters is a branch of the national “non-partisan” group. So, in addition to hiding political affiliation, what other issues are they taking on? (all from LWV.org)

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I thought they hosted debates? What does so-called “climate change” have to do with voter education?

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Ozone standards? Again, what does that have to do with voting?  I’m starting to think this is a liberal special interest group.

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Again, what does that have to do with voting? It sounds more like “EarthJustice” or another one of those environmental groups.

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and….

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Oh, come on!  Am I to gather that the League of Women Voters has nothing to do with voting and voter education, and everything to do with liberal propaganda & indoctrination?

What other issues do they advocate for?

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I’m seeing a trend…

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I think there’s enough evidence at hand to draw conclusions. I’m not thinking the League of Women Voters has as much to do with non-partisanship, as much as adopting far-left of center positions, and promoting them under their umbrella.

Obamacare, Supporting the Obama administration on illegal immigrants, actively fighting and advertising against pipelines, climate change and cheering the shutdown of coal plants? That doesn’t sound very “non-partisan” to me. As much as representing liberal views on just about every issue being discussed – especially since they’re on the wrong side of issues that are important to South Dakotans.

If they’re wrong on the issues and aligning with liberal Democrats on Obamacare, Keystone, and Coal, what are we to think when they jump right in and tell us we need Amendment V?

I think we need to take a critical look at what the organization has become. And take every word they have to say with a liberal dose of salt.

Thune-Schumer Bill to Eliminate Team USA Victory Tax Set to Become Law

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John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_Congress

Thune-Schumer Bill to Eliminate Team USA Victory Tax Set to Become Law

WASHINGTON  U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) issued the following statements after the Senate passed the USA Olympians and Paralympians Act (H.R. 5946), companion legislation to the Senate bill they introduced earlier this year that will exempt Team USA athletes with an adjusted gross income of $1 million or less from being taxed by the Internal Revenue Service on medals or prize money received from the U.S. Olympic Committee on account of the Olympic or Paralympic Games. This would apply to medals and prizes won at the Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games. This bill will now be sent to the president for his signature. Their Senate bill originally passed the Senate in July.

“I can’t think of anything more unpatriotic than the federal government profiting off of the success of Olympic athletes,” said Thune. “Now that this tax on Olympic success will finally be a thing of the past, the medal-winning athletes who’ve returned home from the Rio games can continue to focus on what’s most important – sharing their victory and celebrating with friends, families, and communities across the United States.”

“I am happy to announce that our Olympic and Paralympic athletes who competed in Rio will receive tax relief on their prize money and medals,” said ‎Schumer. “Many countries subsidize their athletes to represent their country; the least we can do is make sure our athletes don’t get hit with a tax bill for winning a medal. After making sacrifices to train and volunteer to represent their country on the world’s stage, it’s just not right for the U.S. to welcome these athletes home with a tax bill on their medals and prize money.”

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which Thune serves as chairman, oversees the U.S. Olympic Committee and other sports organizations. Thune and Schumer are both members of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax and revenue measures.

The USA Olympians and Paralympians Act, which was first introduced in the 113th Congress, is cosponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Jerry Moran (R- Kan.), and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

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Kristi Noem Endorsed By NRA, Local Gun Rights Advocates

noem_kristi_logo kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Kristi Noem Endorsed By NRA, Local Gun Rights Advocates

Earns A-Rating for Record Protecting 2nd Amendment 

Sioux Falls, SD – Rep. Kristi Noem has been endorsed by gun rights advocates as a leader in defending our Second Amendment rights.

“As a small business owner whose operation is reliant upon citizens using their Second Amendment rights, I keep a close eye on our state’s leaders and what they are doing to protect our gun rights. With Kristi, we have a strong advocate for the Second Amendment and her record is second to none,” said Kristi Hoffman of Black Hills Ammunition.

“Anyone who has had more than one conversation with me probably knows I’m an avid hunter. Most days, I would rather be out in the field hunting with friends and family than anywhere else. While in Congress, I have firmly and consistently defended our Second Amendment rights, which are essential to our liberty and a core constitutional value,” said Noem. 

Noem has been endorsed by:

National Rifle Association (Noem is a lifetime member and has an A-rating)
Charlie Carter, Kones Korner Guns
Jim Claseman, Vice President, Thunderstik Lodge
Nancy First, Chief Executive Officer, Jack First Gunshop
Jeff and Kristi Hoffman, Black Hills Ammunition
Brandon Maddox, Owner, Dakota Silencer
Gregory Vecchi, Owner, Deadwood Guns 

“I am honored to receive endorsements from the NRA and local South Dakota business leaders and gun rights advocates who have put their trust in me to protect our right to bear arms,” said Noem.

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Early voting extremely high this year, SOS says could reach 35% of the vote.

I’ve been hearing anecdotes for the last week within GOP circles that early voting is nearly 4 times as high as it had been last election. Today, the Secretary of State confirmed that early voting is occurring at a near record pace, and could comprise a staggering 35% of the vote:

Friday was the busiest day in the history of early voting for county auditors.

South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs told The Greg Belfrage Show Wednesday that she expects 30 to 35 percent of all voters this fall to vote by absentee ballot.

Read that here.

My fellow Republicans – 35% of the vote?  That’s a third of your electorate. Better get those early voting postcards out.

(Call me at Dakota Campaign Store, I’m happy to get you taken care of. – PP)

Attorney General Jackley Joins Challenge to Federal Government Withholding of Education Funds over Transgender

jackley-logo Marty JackleyAttorney General Jackley Joins Challenge to Federal Government Withholding of Education Funds over Transgender

PIERRE, S.D.- Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that South Dakota has joined 18 other State Attorneys General and the Governors of Kentucky and North Carolina in an amicus or “friend of the court” brief, challenging the federal government’s withholding of education funds over transgender.

“President Obama’s directive that children of opposite sex must be required to share locker rooms and bathrooms under the threat of lawsuit and withholding of education funding has been halted by a nationwide federal preliminary   injunction.

Unfortunately, the federal government continues to act on its threat by forcing this extraordinary intrusion upon our schools. The Attorneys General are again stepping forward to protect children by asking the United States Supreme Court to allow school districts to avoid placing young children of opposite sex in the same bathroom or  locker room,” said Jackley.

The brief was filed in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., Mother Deirdre Grimm.

The case involves a school board in Virginia making accommodations for an individual born as a girl that self identifies as a boy wanting to use the boys’ bathroom in school. The Federal District Court entered a preliminary injunction requiring the school board to allow the girl to use the boys’ bathroom after it was directed by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to afford controlling deference to the Department of Education and Department of Justice letter that makes it discriminatory for a school to separate male and female bathrooms, unless each student is allowed to select either bathroom in accordance with that student’s asserted gender identity. The United States Supreme Court has stayed the 4th Circuit Court mandate and the District Court preliminary injunction, pending the disposition of a petition for certiorari from the school   board.

South Dakota had previously joined 24 other states in parallel lawsuits filed in Texas and Nebraska against the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice. The challenge was initiated by a letter threatening states with loss of all educational funding under Title IX unless every public school in the country allowed students to select restrooms, showers and dormitories based on their expressed   gender identity. A federal district court in Texas recently entered a  nationwide preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the letter, and withholding of education funding, which applies nationally.

There is no cost for South Dakota to join these proceedings.

Senator Soholt on Roads and Bridges. Scatterguns versus sniper rifles, as they fit into the layer cake.

Senator Soholt just posted this video on her facebook page about her support for Roads and Bridges.

It’s very nice, and professionally done. She spent some money on having this produced for Social Media.

If you’re a candidate, should you do this?  My answer is “Depends on how much you have in your campaign account.”  I suspect Senator Soholt, running against an independent, with no Democrat in the race, has enough of a budget to do so.  If you’re a beginning or challenger candidate, you probably don’t. If you want to do a video, by all means, do so. But shoot it on your phone, and use free editing software.

Thinking in a “campaigny” mode, The money you would spend on a professionally shot and produced video would also get you pretty far on a postcard that’s directly targeted to people you know will vote, versus a professionally produced video that I’m seeing up in Brookings, and don’t have that person on the ballot.

It’s the sniper approach versus the scattergun approach. Both have value, but it depends on what you’ve got to spend.

Social media videos, newspaper ads, tv, they all encompass the scattergun approach where you blast messages out there and hope you hit a voter (much like goose hunting).  They’re tried and true techniques, and have been used for years.

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Coe Crawford for US Senate postcard, 1908

But so have Postcards, robocalls, e-mail campaigns, etc. They’re of a directly targeted nature – a laser or sniper approach – where you go exactly to the person you know who has a history of voting in, say 3 of the last 4 general elections.  They’ve been around almost as long as political newspaper ads have been.

Why target? Odds are, if you have a targeted voter who has pulled the lever in several elections, you can count on them voting again. So you need to get your name in front of them, even if it’s for a moment when the card passes from their mailbox to the trash.

(Yes, I do quite a few postcards through my business Dakota Campaign Store.  They work and they aren’t going away anytime soon.)

To me, targeting your message is of foundational importance in a political campaign. Think of it as a cake. A targeted message would be a layer in the cake. There is also a layer for traditional newspaper and broadcast advertising.

And if you can afford it, there’s a place for social media videos. They’re like icing to make it pretty, polished and professional looking. Possibly sprinkles.

How does it fit into your campaign? I’ll close by saying that there’s no rights or wrongs, it all depends on what you can afford, and what you want to emphasize.

Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Financial Stability to Muni Bonds

Rounds Logo 2016 MikeRounds official SenateRounds, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Provide Financial Stability to Muni Bonds

Allows high quality municipal debt to be classified at a level equivalent to debt issued by corporations

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), members of the Senate Banking Committee, led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation to allow high-quality municipal debt to be classified at a level equivalent to debt issued by corporations. Debt sold by state and local governments is currently excluded from consideration under a rule requiring banks to hold enough highly liquid assets to fund their operations for 30 days. This exclusion may create a disincentive for banks to hold their positions in the municipal-debt market, potentially making it harder for state and local governments to issue bonds to fund infrastructure projects.

“Making sure South Dakota and our municipalities have access to capital at the best possible rates is vital for communities to finance important infrastructure projects,” said Rounds. “Our legislation would allow banks to count qualifying municipal debt as High Quality Liquid Assets, helping to maintain demand for the debt which would prevent borrowing rates for municipalities from dramatically increasing.”

Under proposed rules issued by federal banking regulators, debt sold by states and localities isn’t eligible to count as High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA), which means they won’t qualify as assets necessary for banks to retain under new funding requirements issued following the financial crisis. These requirements ensure that banks maintain a liquidity coverage ratio that includes holding a certain amount of HQLA, but prohibits munis from being considered as HQLA. The rules effectively cabin off an entire category of high-quality and highly liquid debt from being considered as HQLA, limiting the incentive for financial institutions to hold these assets and potentially adversely affecting the issuance of such debt by states and municipalities.  

The Federal Reserve recently weighed in on the issue, making limited changes to their previously issued rule. However, the two other regulators involved—the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp—have made no changes to allow the institutions they regulate to count municipal bonds toward their liquidity buffers. The Rounds-Warner-Schumer bill would categorize certain types of municipal debt as Level 2B, on par with certain corporate debt, and would receive a 50% equivalent to the liquidity ratio requirement. This action would bring municipal bond debt on par with corporate debt, and help stabilize the municipal securities market. 

In addition to Sens. Rounds, Warner and Schumer, the legislation is co-sponsored by Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), David Vitter (R-La.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.).

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Argus editing Muslim candidate story.

With regards to the Argus Leader story this AM where two of the three candidates running for the legislature were Muslim….

“Muslims have been talked about a lot in some of the political campaigns that are going on so I think that it’s important for people to be aware of the Muslims in their own community and I think it’s important for Muslims to define ourselves within the larger community,” Koch said. “We live here and we want to have a positive impact on our state and our community.”

Michael Saba, a Democrat and Muslim, is running for a District 9 House seat.

Apparently, no one bothered to actually ask Saba.

A commenter noted under my original story that he’s actually a practitioner of a Christian faith. And the passage noting his religious beliefs are now mysteriously absent from the story this afternoon.

(Maybe they should have picked up the phone.)