Could proposed Flandreau pot palace and legalized dispensaries be stopped by private legal action?

Here’s an interesting tactic that could be taken up by opponents of a tribal pot smoking business being opened up by the Flandreau Santee Sioux – a federal racketeering lawsuit: 

A federal law crafted to fight the mob is giving marijuana opponents a new strategy in their battle to stop the expanding industry: racketeering lawsuits.

A Colorado pot shop recently closed after a Washington-based group opposed to legal marijuana sued not just the pot shop but a laundry list of firms doing business with it — from its landlord and accountant to the Iowa bonding company guaranteeing its tax payments. One by one, many of the plaintiffs agreed to stop doing business with Medical Marijuana of the Rockies, until the mountain shop closed its doors and had to sell off its pot at fire-sale prices.

With another lawsuit pending in southern Colorado, the cases represent a new approach to fighting marijuana. If the federal government won’t stop its expansion, pot opponents say, federal racketeering lawsuits could. Marijuana may be legal under state law, but federal drug law still considers any marijuana business organized crime.

Read it all here.

This could also be a boon for pot opponents if medical or recreational pot interests try to set up in South Dakota if ballot measures succeed next fall.

And I wonder…. Could the AG file a lawsuit of this nature on behalf of the state against the tribe or it’s designers, should the Flandreau tribe continue down their path of opening up recreational pot use in the state?

That might be a drastic step. But it might also be a necessary one.

Clayton Walker indicted. Again

Former U.S. Senate Candidate Clayton Walker Indicted on Failure to Appear

PIERRE – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that Clayton G. Walker, 33, Black Hawk, was indicted July 14, 2015 by a Hughes County grand jury on Failure to Appear after Release on a Felony, class 6 felony, punishable by up to 2 years in the state penitentiary and/or a $4,000 fine.

A warrant for his arrest was issued on July 1, 2015 after he failed to appear in court. He was arrested in Rapid City on July 9th without incident.

Walker was indicted on June 17, 2014 for election law violations stemming from the 2014 U.S. Senate race. He was also charged on September 10, 2014 on three counts of threatening by electronic device. These charges stemmed from Walker’s continued phone calls to several state offices threatening and harassing employees.

Walker is presumed innocent until such time as proven guilty. Jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday, July 20th in Hughes County.


Workgroup with focus on autism therapy for children to commence

Workgroup with focus on autism therapy for children to commence

PIERRE, S.D. – The Applied Behavior Analysis Provider Workgroup established during the 2015 South Dakota Legislative Session will have its first meeting July 21.

A bill signed into law March 30 by Gov. Dennis Daugaard established the workgroup to study the certification and licensure of applied behavior analysis therapy providers. The 16-member workgroup – comprising representatives of the Legislature, state government, therapy providers, families, insurers, and a licensing board – will meet three times before advising and making recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature by Dec. 1.

The first meeting will focus on workgroup tasks as well as informational presentations about applied behavior analysis, including an overview of a previously conducted study in South Dakota, and national certification.

“The overarching goal is to ensure appropriate licensing and certification of practitioners of applied behavior analysis in South Dakota,” said state Department of Human Services Secretary Gloria Pearson, chair of the workgroup.

All Applied Behavior Analysis Provider Workgroup meetings will take place in Pierre. Workgroup information will be posted to as it becomes available.

Flandreau’s pot partner has SEC cautioning “substantial doubt over its ability to continue as a going concern.”

It looks like the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribes dreams of being a haven for drugs illegal elsewhere in South Dakota might be going up in smoke as their partner in the venture might not be on the most solid financial footing:

…documents filed by Colorado-based Monarch America Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission show its auditor has raised “substantial doubt” over its ability to continue as a going concern, with management estimating it needs more than $2.5 million in revenue by the end of March to stay afloat.

Flandreau Santee Sioux President Anthony Reider told The Associated Press that tribal officials knew of Monarch’s financial challenges but chose it because the company was willing to sign a short-term deal and sought a smaller share of profits than other consulting firms.

“Obviously, it raised a red flag,” Reider said of the SEC filings. “But … there are so many people in the industry that would be able to step in and help in the event that they were to close.”

Monarch CEO Eric Hagen said in an interview that efforts to raise the revenue are going “very well,” but wouldn’t elaborate. He downplayed Monarch’s financial challenges, saying the company is “in a good position currently.”


Construction began this week and marijuana cultivation is expected to start in October, with the tribe hoping to have product ready for sale in December.

Read it all here.

So, how does the Farmer’s Union Constitutional Amendment benefit farmers?

If you’ve been reading over the past couple of days, you noticed that a ballot measure was recently filed with the Attorney General in preparation for circulation, specifically for the purpose of re-jiggering how legislative districts are made up.

Doug Sombke of the South Dakota Farmer’s Union is the sponsor of the measure. And if you read the measure, I’d argue that his sponsorship not only is curious, it’s inexplicable given his leadership of the Farmer’s Union:


Why do I say it’s inexplicable?  In terms of representation of farmers, there are parts that just don’t make sense.

According to the Rural Life Data Census center, there’s a distinct out-migration from rural communities into more urban areas. As noted at back in 2010:

The population in South Dakota is slowly growing near urban hubs along the I29 corridor and in areas with recreational services such as in the Black Hills due to both rural migration and in-migration from neighboring states; while the rural population in 54 of South Dakota’s 66 counties continues to decline due to limited educational and employment opportunities.


Read it, and see the chart here.

As time goes by, cities increase in population and get bigger, and rural areas depopulate.  Sombke’s constitutional amendment ballot measure contains a provision that upon passage, this group will redistrict right away in 2017.

Here’s where the head scratching starts as to who the Farmer’s Union is representing with the measure.

As noted in the measure they’re going to be circulating, “Districts shall have equal population to the extent practicable.”   As rural areas have depopulated to some extent, cities have increased in size. As far as Sioux Falls is concerned, at the time of this proposed redistricting taking place 5 years early (as compared to the current census based redistricting every ten years), the state’s largest city will have gained anywhere from ten to twenty thousand residents, potentially giving the largest urban sector of our state another legislative seat.

legmapsAnd guess where is that seat going to come from…

The previously mentioned depopulating rural areas have significant populations represented by our agriculture sector of the state. And they aren’t farming in town. They’re out there where the land is.

As evidenced over time, every time we re-district these rural legislative districts, they continue to grow in geographic size as populations decrease.  City districts get smaller, but as their populations grow, they’re capturing the seats being shed by those rural districts who have to scramble to look farther and wider to come up with the required populations to balance out to equal others.

This measure is great if you’re an urbanite, and want more representation in Pierre. But that brand new legislative seat in Sioux Falls has to come from somewhere.

And if you’re a farmer living in a rural area losing population…. well…… Sorry guys.

As a direct consequence of this proposed constitutional amendment, legislative district lines will be re-drawn 5 years early, shifting representation from rural to urban that much sooner.  It’s inevitable anyway, but it leaves you scratching your head as to why the person fronting the Farmer’s Union would want to accelerate the continued erosion of rural/ag representation in Pierre five years early?

Especially when that previously scheduled hit in 2021 is still going to take place.

As opposed to an effort to improve the lot of agriculture in Pierre, it seems to be yet another attempt at social engineering from the party of Obama.

It’s not as if Sombke is a stranger to supporting Democrat causes.  Except this time, it might be incumbent upon members of his organization to ask him how his proposed amendment benefits them.  Because I just don’t see it.

Noem, Thune Announce Legislation to Protect Tribes from Costly Employer Mandate

Noem, Thune Announce Legislation to Protect Tribes from Costly Employer Mandate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), along with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), today announced the introduction of legislation to protect Native American tribes from the Affordable Care Act’s costly employer mandate.  The Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act, which was introduced today in the Senate and House, will exempt tribes and tribal employers from Obamacare’s employer mandate. This legislation would prevent massive fines that tribal employers would incur under Obamacare’s employer mandate.

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014“The employer mandate within the President’s health care law is unaffordable for South Dakota tribes.  Moreover, it is unnecessary, given the federal government already has the responsibility of providing healthcare for tribal members,” said Noem.  “Without the relief granted by the Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act, tribal governments could be required to cut important services while tribally-owned businesses could be forced to cut jobs.  I’m hopeful this burden created by an ill-constructed law can soon be lifted.”

“While I believe all Americans should receive an exemption from Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, it seems illogical that Obamacare exempts members of federally recognized tribes from the individual mandate’s penalty, but requires tribal governments to comply with the law’s employer mandate,” John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_Congresssaid Thune. “In South Dakota, tribes often serve as the primary employer of their community members. This mandate would have a significant negative impact on tribes and tribal citizens by diverting much-needed valuable resources away from economic development and important programs toward this burdensome law.”

South Dakota’s Rosebud Sioux Tribe has endorsed the Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act, saying: “Forced compliance with the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment provision … could prove to be financially devastating for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.  With over 800 employees, estimates show that compliance with this mandate could possibly cost the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in excess of six million dollars annually….  Passage of the Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act will provide the Rosebud Sioux Tribe with relief from this financially debilitating provision of the Affordable Care Act.  The Rosebud Sioux Tribe fully supports and humbly requests support from members of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate in passage of the Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act.”  To view a fully copy of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe statement, please click here.

Additionally, National Indian Health Board Executive Director Stacy A. Bohlen said, “On behalf of the 567 federally-recognized Tribes we serve, I am excited to see this vital piece of legislation introduced.  The federal trust responsibility to the Tribes requires the federal government to provide healthcare for American Indians and Alaska Natives.  The Employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act is simply unaffordable for many Tribes who will cut essential government services to pay this obligation.  The employer mandate on Tribal employers contradicts not only the trust responsibility, but provisions in the Affordable Care Act which exempt American Indians and Alaska Natives from the individual mandate. Thank you to Senator Daines and Congresswoman Noem for introducing this critical bill.”

The legislation is also supported by the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board, which represents tribes in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa.  You may view their resolution here.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.


Noem posts 1.2 million cash on hand in latest report.

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Wasn’t there allegedly going to be an opponent for Congresswoman Kristi Noem? We’d all heard the rumors.

But as the days go by, and we hear crickets from the Dems, Kristi’s war chest for the next election just keeps getting better & better, dimming the possibility of any opponents remotely resembling anything credible.

Because today, Noem just posted that she raised over $295k this quarter – providing her with 1.2 million cash on hand.

That’s a heck of a hole to dig out of for any candidate. Much less one that hasn’t announced yet.

KSFY interviews Boz. Posits that her Community service at Pine Ridge seems a bit ….planned.

Well. KSFY interviews Annette Bosworth tonight. 

It’s an Annette Bosworth who seems a bit hesitant to take responsibility for her actions, using the same old talking points we know so well.

But it is funny that the reporter doesn’t seem to be buying it, and speculates that her community service seems a bit…. convenient.

But Bosworth meeting with Pine Ridge officials about working here before her trial began and then ending up here following her trial to serve community service makes it appear this was planned.

So I asked Bosworth point blank…was it planned? Did she see this an opportunity…with the backing of a Native American tribe… to keep her medical license if the state tried to take it following the trial? This is how she answered that question. “I can have no money. i can have no form of income. I can be here serving the poorest of people and they’ll say its an opportunity. I mean… ironic.”


But I asked her isn’t it possible she was prosecuted….simply because she broke the law? “I know it now. I know I have 12 felonies because a mistake was made….absolutely. I get it that. I’m the leader and I am the one holding the bag. But did I intentionally sign an oath that I knew was wrong? No.”

Read the opposite of Annette taking responsibility here.

Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated Constitutional Amendment Regarding Legislative Redistricting

Attorney General Explanation Released for Initiated Constitutional Amendment Regarding Legislative Redistricting

Marty JackleyPIERRE –South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today an Attorney General Explanation for a proposed Constitutional Amendment has been filed with the Secretary of State. This statement will appear on petitions that will be circulated by the sponsor of the proposed amendment. If the sponsor obtains a sufficient number of signatures on the petitions by November 9, 2015, as certified by the Secretary of State, the measure will be placed on the ballot for the November 2016 general election. This is a measure to change the Constitution, as opposed to changing state statutes (which requires 13,871) and the sponsor will need 27,741 signatures.

1. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to provide for state legislative redistricting by a commission.

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.

To view the Attorney General Explanation for the measure, as well as the final form of the measure submitted to this office, please click on the link:

To date the Attorney General has released Attorney General Explanations for the following:

1. An initiated measure to set a maximum finance charge for certain licensed money lenders.

2. An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to allow referral of state and municipal laws affecting public peace, health, safety and the support of government and also to limit the ability to amend or repeal initiated laws.

3. An initiated measure to legalize marijuana for medical use.

4. An initiated measure to decriminalize the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and
marijuana paraphernalia.

5. An initiated measure to criminalize the transfer of alcoholic beverages.

6. An initiated measure to criminalize the transfer of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia.