Backyard chickens confirmed by KELO as resident bird-flu vectors

I know I’ve mentioned this every time I’ve written about it, but KELOland news is the first Mainstream Media source who is also noting that those cute chickens in your backyard who give you eggs could be bird-flu vectors:

Poultry producers across the country are losing their flocks to the bird flu. There are even two cases of backyard chickens getting bird flu in Montana.

Here in KELOLAND, urban chicken farming has been growing in popularity over the last few years.

Lisa Zandt raises chickens and turkeys just north of Sioux Falls at her home along the Big Sioux River.

“I feel it’s important to be as self-sustaining as possible and I like to know where my food comes from,” Zandt said.

But her food supply could be threatened by the bird flu.

Read it all here.

Brendan Johnson goes to the rez. Because all attorneys offer to get involved in tribal politics & infighting for free.

Maybe it’s just cynical me. But I’m thinking there’s some politicking going on here:

Amid these difficulties, and after dismissing three attorneys who worked for the tribe under Jandreau, Kevin Wright was puzzled after receiving a phone call from the former U.S. Attorney.

“And he left a message saying that he was very interested in Lower Brule and what’s going on down there…and would like to talk,” Wright recalls.

Wright says he agreed to a meeting on the advice of the tribe’s new attorney, but was surprised by the conversation with Brendan Johnson.


“I don’t represent anyone in this dispute,” Johnson counters. “And, in fact, when I went to Lower Brule, it wasn’t to seek legal representation. It wasn’t to tell anyone what they should do. It was really simply to say that these divisions within the tribe need to be healed.”

Johnson notes he isn’t working for anyone and was invited by Kevin Wright to the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation.

Read it all here.

Isn’t it nice that attorneys offer to get involved in tribal politics and infighting for free?

Japan buying access to K street via Tom Daschle

From Roll Call:

The government of Japan knows its way around K Street.

In the months leading up to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington this week, the country spent more than $1.2 million on lobbying, law and public relations firms, according to documents filed with the Justice Department.

As the country navigates numerous policy issues, including a massive trade deal with the United States, it relies on the hired help of such firms as Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Hogan Lovells and the Podesta Group. Japan enlisted the Daschle Group, the firm of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., just this month.


On the other side, the Daschle firm’s registration for Japan, filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, said that the embassy of Japan had not yet signed a formal contract and did not disclose any fee arrangement. But Tom Daschle himself is registered to lobby for the government.

“The Daschle Group’s activities may include communications on behalf of the Embassy of Japan with officials in U.S. executive branch departments and agencies, with members and staff of the U.S. Congress, and with other individuals and organizations involved in governmental or public policy matters,” the FARA filing said.

Read it all here.

Remember when Tom “wasn’t a lobbyist?”

PUC delays permitting process for Keystone XL Pipeline

From a release out this afternoon, it looks like the South Dakota PUC is dragging their feet on the Keystone XL re-permitting process:

PUC postpones May 4 public input session for Keystone XL Pipeline certification

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission announces that the public input session scheduled for May 4, 2015, in Pierre, to hear comments about the construction permit certification for the South Dakota portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline proposed by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP, has been postponed. A rescheduled date will be announced by the commission later.

Today the commission voted to postpone the evidentiary hearing for the PUC’s Keystone XL Pipeline construction permit certification evidentiary hearing that was originally scheduled for May 5-8 in the State Capitol in Pierre. The commission will discuss setting new evidentiary hearing dates at its April 30, 2015, commission meeting.

The complete Keystone XL Pipeline construction permit certification docket is available on the PUC website at, Commission Actions, Commission Dockets, Hydrocarbon Pipeline Dockets, 2014 Hydrocarbon Pipeline Dockets. The docket is HP14-001 – In the Matter of the Petition of TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP for Order Accepting Certification of Permit Issued in Docket HP09-001 to Construct the Keystone XL Pipeline.


Legislator to propose legalizing (low quality) pot growing in SD

From KCCR News:

An industrial crop that is being imported from Canada on a daily basis, effectively denying South Dakota farmers an opportunity to compete and share in the profits of our neighbors to the north, might change if South Dakota Representative Elizabeth May has any say on the matter.

The production and cultivation of hemp may be coming before the full legislature next session.

May, who is a rancher near Kyle, says that farmers across the state have been asking her to allow them another rotational crop to grow…

Read it all here.

I’m thinking that one is destined for the 41st legislative day as soon as it’s introduced.

South Dakota Board of Geographic Names and Attorney General Jackley Caution of a Group Seeking Funds to Rename Harney Peak

South Dakota Board of Geographic Names and Attorney General Jackley Caution of a Group Seeking Funds to Rename Harney Peak

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Board of Geographic Names and Attorney General Marty Jackley are notifying South Dakota consumers about an organization that is asking for donations and holding itself out as the “Official and Authorized” site for the proposed renaming of Harney Peak to Black Elk Peak. This organization has no affiliation with the government in the State of South Dakota.

According to their website, Black Elk Development of Porcupine has claimed to be the “Only Official and Authorized” website for the renaming of Harney Peak, a geographic feature in Pennington County. This organization is not affiliated with the South Dakota Board of Geographic Names or the Board’s process regarding the replacement of offensive names for geographic features.

Black Elk Development’s Articles of Incorporation are not current with the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office. It is also not listed with the Internal Revenue Service as an Exempt Organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.

The Board’s public involvement process is open to the public at no cost. There are no filing costs associated with the Board’s activities and the purpose of solicited funds by the organization is not known.

The South Dakota Board on Geographic Names was created by the 2009 Legislature to recommend replacements for offensive names for geographic features and to process requests from the public regarding names for geographic features. In some cases, this may be proposing a name for a currently unnamed feature or requesting renaming for a geographic feature. Those wishing to make public comment are encouraged to do so. Additional information about the Board and features under consideration can be found at

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division asks that consumers research all charities before giving. Knowing and understanding how much of your donation dollars will go to the actual cause is necessary in the decision making process. Before you give, visit such sites as or, to verify the legitimacy of the nonprofit organization as well as its nonprofit status.


Argus breathlessly reports on SDSU’s fraternity row. Where have they been for 30 years?

IMG_1401-0.JPGI was reading the Argus this morning with the top of the fold headline blaring “ARBORETUM COULD BECOME SDSU FRATS,” in large capitalized letters as if it represented a major disaster that has befallen the nation.

And all I could think was “… where in the heck have they been?” SDSU has been pushing this for years, going back to when I was an undergraduate at South Dakota State, and a member of a fraternity.

The story goes on with regards to how areas of the arboretum connected with the now fenced off McCrory Gardens is somehow supposed to be considered some sort of enviro-museum.  And that “The green space was designated as the South Dakota State Arboretum in 1988.”

I have no reason to dispute those things, but not too long before that, South Dakota State was pushing  the fraternities and sororities hard to create a fraternity row on either side of the street, nearly the entire time I was an undergrad from 1984-1989 (Yes, I took 5 years, but I took 1988 off for an legislative internship & to work an election for the SDGOP).

The University was aggressively pursuing the fraternity row concept, and if I’m recalling correctly, was offering the fraternities and sororities extended leases on land running south from Alpha Gamma Rho and Farmhouse Fraternities. They wanted to create this Fraternity area to consolidate them all in one place. The kicker was that at the time, no one was really biting.

In my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, we were quite happy with our house 1 block off of campus.  And the Alpha Xi Delta and Chi Omega soroities who were even closer to campus were even less interested.  And for organizations residing off campus, many were less than keen on the idea, wondering what would happen if we were then residing on University property, and the University decided to try to exert authority.

Leasing the land as opposed to owning, as well as not wanting to be subject to the authority of “the man,” we heard less and less of this as time went by, until we stopped hearing about it at all. I suspect that’s about the time the area on the east side of the road was designated as a state arboretum.

But fast-forward thirty years later. My old fraternity house burned down from a bad electrical outlet, and the long-standing sorority houses having been knocked down and subjected to the University exercising eminent domain. And we also have a big uptick in the number of fraternal organizations, many of whom have been renting and are now seeking to lay down stronger roots for the SDSU community. And so, the long-ignored fraternity row idea has new life, significant construction, and may actually come to fruition about thirty years after the fact, in the exact place that has been planned for it all along.

Of course, that means it’s time for the Argus to generate a non-story panic over the fraternity row that might finally come to be over thirty years after it was originally proposed.

Whatever sells papers, I suppose.

Please patronize our advertisers! Advertising spots available as well.

Please welcome our newest sponsoring advertiser, the Sam Kooiker for Mayor Campaign, who has an ad at the SDWC through June for the Rapid City Municipal Election. Please take a moment, click on his ad, and find out what his campaign is all about.

Sam Kooiker for Rapid City Mayor


And while you’re at it, make a point to visit all of our advertisers; Senator John Thune, Americans for Prosperity, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, and Rushmore PAC.

John Thune



Kristi Noem: Enough is Enough


Rushmore PAC


And, if you’re looking to reach an audience that is among the most public affairs minded and politically engaged in the state, the SDWC has a couple of rare top level openings in it’s advertising line-up, including the top position. Once these top level spots are filled, that’s it, and they may be locked up through the election.

Advertising on the website is based on a first come, first serve basis for the available positions.  Advertising slots are 300×200 pixel ads, which may scale slightly depending on WordPress theme, and may be either static image, animated .gif, or flash file, as long as the file size is within acceptable file parameters, does not impede the loading of the website, or interfere with existing code.

Our non-campaign season traffic averages 1000-1500 unique individual visits daily.  At times of flurried activity, the SDWC has reached as high as 6900 unique visits in a day (And that’s visits, not hits).

Information on ad prices, ad positions, and required ad commitments may be directed to the webmaster by clicking here.

And while I’m on the subject, whether your business is politics or retail, organizational or service, if you find yourself in need of high quality print materials such as business cards, postcards, or brochures, collateral items such as signs, banners, pens, or pins, or anything that helps you promote your business – give me a call for a quote today.

cropped-patpowersprintingand-designI’ve done some business printing over the past couple of years, and I’m working on expanding that base, since printing a postcard for a business is no different than printing one for a candidate. And gosh darn it, my prices sometimes come up in the neighborhood of 1/3 to 1/2 of many commercial printers.

So, if you find yourself needing high quality full-color business cards, post cards, brochures, car magnets, banners, full color yard signs, etc. drop me a note today.

US Senator John Thune’s weekly column – Back to the Basics: Working and Listening

Back to the Basics: Working and Listening
By Senator John Thune

John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressOne of the things I enjoy about traveling when I am back in the state is picking up on some of the key messages South Dakotans have for me to take back to Washington. One of the messages ringing loud and clear is the desire of South Dakotans and the American people to return to the principles of our Founding Fathers – liberty, self-determination, and limited government through the consent of the people. These are principles that I hold dearly. America cannot turn its back on the framework that has made this country great. Our Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to form a government system that would serve the people, not itself.

On November 4, 2014, the American people voted for a change in the Senate. They were tired of the do-nothing attitude of the upper chamber under Democrat leadership and were ready for us to get the Senate working again for the American people. That is precisely what Republicans pledged to do, and in a little more than 100 days, we’ve made significant progress. The Senate has conducted more than 100 amendment roll call votes in just the first three and a half months. That’s roughly seven times as many amendment roll call votes as were conducted all of last year.

The Senate has passed more than a dozen bipartisan bills, including the Clay Hunt SAV Act to ensure we prioritize the mental health needs of our veterans. We’ve passed legislation reauthorizing Terrorism Risk Insurance, a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a bill to strengthen Medicare for seniors and their doctors, and a critical bill that combats human trafficking. The Senate also passed a responsible budget that balances in 10 years, something the president’s budget never does.

Significant progress is being made in the Senate, but there is still much more work to be done. Committees are preparing bipartisan legislation for the full Senate to consider. For example, I am optimistic that the full Senate will soon consider a bipartisan bill to reduce federal control of K-12 education, giving more power back to state and local governments.

I look forward to more bipartisan accomplishments, and I will continue striving to ensure we prioritize the South Dakota values of hard work, determination, and common sense in my work in Washington.


US Senator Mike Rounds’ weekly column: Trade Opportunities Benefit South Dakota Famers, Producers, Manufacturers

Trade Opportunities Benefit South Dakota Famers, Producers, Manufacturers
By Senator Mike Rounds
April 26, 2015

MikeRounds official SenateFree and fair trade plays an important role in American commerce. From higher wages for U.S. workers to supporting small businesses and agriculture, trade has a proven record of keeping our economy healthy and vibrant. In South Dakota alone, trade supports 124,000 jobs. In 2013, we exported $3.7 billion worth of products. Trade levels the playing field in the global marketplace so we have the best opportunity to promote American-made goods throughout the world. We should continually be looking for ways to increase trade opportunities.

The U.S. is currently negotiating a trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with 12 other nations along the Pacific Rim. Finding an agreement with these nations, which includes important trading partners such as Australia, Canada and Japan, could boost our GDP by $77 billion annually and create 500,000 new jobs. Another agreement with European nations, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), would create as many as 750,000 new jobs. That is in addition to the 40 million jobs trade already supports in the United States.

One tool that recently passed out of the Senate Finance Committee would help us negotiate international trade agreements. Trade Promotion Authority, commonly referred to as TPA, is a tool that has been used since the days of FDR help the U.S. negotiate stronger, more enforceable international standards on trade agreements.

The TPA bill making its way through the Senate creates a stronger, more enforceable framework for Congress to exercise oversight over the Administration, giving us a stronger voice in the negotiations process. It also establishes new trade-negotiating objectives that reflect today’s economic challenges, including measures to combat currency manipulation and eliminate barriers to innovation and digital trade.

TPA strengthens our hand by giving the Senate an opportunity to guide the negotiations before a final deal is reached, rather than afterward. If the President has negotiated a good deal for our country, he then has the opportunity to take it to the Senate for an up-or-down vote. Members are not permitted to amend trade agreements, which gives other countries more confidence and certainty in the deal and the process.

Companion legislation recently passed the House Ways and Means Committee, and President Obama continues to signal his support. I expect the full Senate to consider TPA legislation in the coming weeks. This is a real step forward on policy that has had long-standing bipartisan support in Congress and from the administration, but had been held up under previous Senate leadership.

Free and fair trade agreements across the world open up new markets to South Dakota products. Our farmers and ranchers would particularly benefit from agreements such as TPP and TTIP. But in order to negotiate the best deal for our country, we must allow the administration to pursue trade agreements through parameters set by the Congress, and within the Trade Promotion Authority, to enable our current and future presidents to negotiate the best deal possible. That is exactly what the Senate TPA bill would do. This method has a proven record of boosting economic activity and bringing higher-paying American jobs. I look forward to debating TPA legislation when it comes to the full Senate in the coming weeks.