US Senate Candidate Stace Nelson’s State e-mail account being reviewed by Attorney General’s office.

nelsonAs part of the civil lawsuit that’s been filed against Dan Willard and State Representative Stace Nelson for 2012′s illegal robocalls to cell phones, sources tell me today that Nelson’s state e-mail account is currently under review by South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley’s office as the result of a subpeona issued in the case.

If you recall, in the criminal trial, Nelson’s friend & campaign worker Dan Willard was the sole person charged criminally for the matter, and at last note was supposedly going to be appealing his misdemeanor conviction. Part of the argument that Willard’s attorney used in the trial was that no one knew who did it, and Nelson “could have been the person behind it.”  That legal tactic failed to convince the judge in the matter.

The thrust of the civil subpeona for records contained in his official state e-mail account is the possibility that Nelson may have used it for some of the communications involved in the lawsuit.

Word is that the Attorney General’s staff is in the process of sifting through all of Nelson’s past e-mails in order to comply with the court-ordered record request.  No word on when the review will be completed, or how many e-mails from Nelson’s state e-mail account are affected.

Noem Meets with Ranchers on First Field To Fork Tour Stop

Noem Meets with Ranchers on First Field To Fork Tour Stop

Kristi NoemRAPID CITY, S.D. – Rep. Kristi Noem today met with ranchers to kick off her Field to Fork Tour.  Some of these ranchers faced devastating losses during Winter Storm Atlas and now await some much-needed relief in the Farm Bill.  As a member of the Farm Bill Conference Committee, which negotiated the agreement, Rep. Noem championed the legislation’s livestock disaster program.  More specifically, the final livestock disaster language is based on provisions authored by Rep. Noem, which will reimburse producers up to 75 percent of the fair market value and provide retroactive benefits for 2012 and 2013 – years where previous disaster programs had expired.

“Today is an exciting day,” said Rep. Noem.  “I’m proud to finally be able to come to the Stock Show and talk with ranchers about critical Farm Bill provisions that will be signed into law today.  Passage is reason for each of us to celebrate, but the fight is not over.  Now we must turn our focus to the USDA’s implementation of this legislation to ensure ranchers get relief as quickly as possible.”

Rep. Noem added:  “It’s important that we remember the livestock disaster programs and all farm-related provisions in the Farm Bill are intended to provide support from the field to the fork.  When the blizzard hit western South Dakota, tens of thousands of cattle were lost.  That loss translates into price increases at our grocery stores.  By giving a safety net to producers, each of us can enjoy the benefits of a safe and reliable food supply.”

Rep. Noem launched the Field to Fork Tour  (#FieldToFork) today in Rapid City.  Making additional stops in Sioux Falls and Aberdeen, Rep. Noem will be discussing the impact of the farm bill on producers in South Dakota as well as consumers across the country.

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US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: My Fiery, Red-Haired Little Girl

My Fiery, Red-Haired Little Girl
By Senator John Thune

John_Thune_official_photoSome of you have heard me say that because I’m Scandinavian, I believe life is supposed to be hard. How much my heritage has to do with it may be an open question, but the fact remains that when I was growing up, I sort of adopted the view that gain comes from pain and hard work. My dad was never an emotional guy; he was too grounded in reality. I seem to have gotten that gene.

So imagine the challenge I faced when my wife delivered our first daughter, who from her very first day on the planet was more than just a little temperamental. The red hair should have been our first clue, but lest there was any doubt, the first few months dispelled it. To say she was colicky would be an understatement. Through ups and downs, highs and lows, and everything in between, the last 26 years have been anything but boring.

This February 15th, the thrills and anxiety of our rollercoaster ride will begin to taper off when Luke Lindberg’s rollercoaster ride begins. That’s the day he will marry our daughter, Brittany. The good news for Luke is that he equaled her “lion” rating on the marital compatibility test. He just may be up to the challenge.

For Kimberley and me, life will be a little quieter, but a lot less interesting. We wouldn’t trade the privilege of raising Brittany for anything in the world. We’ve watched her overcome adversity with toughness, determination, and persistence. Those traits allowed her to become one of the most decorated student-athletes in the history of her college alma mater. We’ve listened to her beautiful voice bring comfort at funerals, joy at weddings, and inspiration at patriotic and political events.

We’ve also witnessed her battle with the side effects of high expectations and the pressures to perform. And we’ve admired the compassion she’s shown in pouring herself into the lives of others who’ve faced similar struggles.

I still have this image in my mind from 2004 of Brittany as a high school sophomore literally limping her way through a hip flexor to a last place finish in the 800 meter race at the State Track Meet. She was crying when I caught up to her on the infield grass to ask her why she tried to run through that much pain. She said, “Dad I didn’t want you to think I was a wimp.” By now, Luke has figured out that’s the least of his worries.

As he and Brittany begin their life’s journey together, Kimberley and I begin our slow fade into the background. They tell me the grandkid stage is really fun, I’m just not quite ready for it yet. Like most roller coaster rides, our ride through life with that fiery, red-haired daughter went just way too fast and we loved every minute of it.

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DSCC abandoning South Dakota. DSCC puts 60M into races, but none for Rick Weiland.

Check out this story from the Hill, on how Democrats are making a 60 Million dollar last ditch effort to save their numbers in the US Senate.

And none of it is flowing to South Dakota:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is investing $60 million in a ground-game effort geared towards boosting turnout to presidential-year levels to help the party defend its majority in the Senate.

The effort reflects the realization among Democrats that if historic trends showing turnout among key Democratic voting blocs falling off in midterm elections hold, the party could lose control of the upper chamber.

According to a New York Times report, the DSCC’s effort includes more than 4,000 paid staffers and will target 10 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Michigan, Montana and West Virginia.

Sorry Rick Weiland. They’ve already counted you out.

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Thoughts On Common Core

Thoughts On Common Core
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardEven before the legislative session began, South Dakotans were talking about Common Core. Last year, after a few media outlets released some unsettling reports, groups across the state gathered to discuss the new standards and learn more.

I can understand why people may be inclined to be wary of the standards. A general opposition to federal interference in education and a strong belief in local control of our schools have led many to question Common Core. Given the past few decades of federal intrusion into education and the growth of the federal government, an inclination toward suspicion is perfectly reasonable.

But that’s not what’s happening here.

The Common Core State Standards were not written by the federal government and are not required by the federal government. South Dakota receives no federal funds that were contingent on adopting the Common Core standards. The standards are the product of a state-led effort by governors and chief education leaders to provide a clear and rigorous set of academic standards.

The standards, adopted by South Dakota in 2010, lay out expectations in math and English only. They are broad benchmarks that students should be meeting at each grade level. The standards are not a curriculum and do not require schools to use or study any particular books. All curriculum decisions remain with local schools and teachers.

There have been many bills introduced this legislative session because of concerns with Common Core – and I support some of those efforts. Senate Bill 63, for example, prohibits the state from sharing individual student data with the federal government. I agree that individual student data should remain confidential, and I hope we will all work together this year to protect our students.

I hope you will read the standards for yourself before drawing conclusions on Common Core. You can find the standards at commoncore.sd.gov by clicking on “What are the standards.”

We need to have content standards. We need standards that are rigorous. We need our students to learn English and math, and we also need them to learn how to think independently and solve problems in real-world situations. These were the goals of those who wrote, evaluated and adopted the Common Core standards. I support those goals and believe the new standards will bring us closer to achieving them.

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Noem Joins Bipartisan Coalition of Lawmakers to Call for Hearing on Propane Shortage Crisis

Noem Joins Bipartisan Coalition of Lawmakers to Call for Hearing on Propane Shortage Crisis

Kristi NoemWashington, DC – This week, Rep. Kristi Noem joined a bipartisan coalition of Midwestern lawmakers to send a letter to Energy and Commerce Committee leadership to request a hearing that would examine the current propane shortage crisis, the long term outlook of Midwestern supply and potential solutions to the problem. Propane prices have risen dramatically in the last month, causing significant hardships for families who use propane to heat their homes. Members who joined Noem in sending the letter include Representatives Walz (MN-01), Braley (IA-01), King (IA-04), Loebsack (IA-02), Bustos (IL-17), Enyart (IL-12), McCollum (MN-04), Nolan (MN-08), Peterson (MN-07), Fortenberry (NE-01), Cramer (ND-00), Ribble (WI-08), and Kind (WI-03).

“As Members representing the Midwest, we respectfully write today to request a hearing into the current propane shortage, the long term outlook of Midwestern supply and potential solutions to the problem,” the Members write in the letter. “As you may know, households and businesses across the Midwest have seen significant spikes in the price of propane fuels during the severe winter cold. Any further reduction in supply threatens to leave our constituents without the fuel necessary to heat their homes and to keep livestock and poultry barns warm.”

Full text of the letter can be seen below:

The Honorable Fred Upton
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Ed Whitfield
Chairman
Subcommittee on Energy and Power
Committee on Energy and Commerce
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Upton and Chairman Whitfield,

As Members representing the Midwest, we respectfully write today to request a hearing into the current propane shortage, the long term outlook of Midwestern supply and potential solutions to the problem. As you may know, households and businesses across the Midwest have seen significant spikes in the price of propane fuels during the severe winter cold. Any further reduction in supply threatens to leave our constituents without the fuel necessary to heat their homes and to keep livestock and poultry barns warm.

According to the Energy Information Administration, Midwest residential propane prices, for the week of January 20, averaged $2.50 per gallon, compared to $1.74 per gallon a year ago. The situation grew much worse last week with prices averaging $4.20 and reaching upwards of $5.00 in some areas. Several factors are potentially contributing to the current price increase and supply shortage, including unseasonably cold and wet weather, supply disruptions, and an increase in exports.

This is a problem that is not going away. A formal hearing to fully investigate the role and resources available to moderate supply and relieve skyrocketing prices during the coldest time of the year is vitally important to thoughtfully considering viable long-term solutions to meet our energy needs.

We respectfully urge you to promptly schedule a hearing to discuss this timely and important issue to our constituents.

Sincerely,

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Press Release: Larry Rhoden Calls on Lawmakers to Stand and Fight Obamacare

Larry Rhoden Calls on Lawmakers to Stand and Fight Obamacare

RhodenUnion Center, South Dakota – February 7, 2014 – Today, Senator Larry Rhoden (R – Union Center), and candidate for U.S. Senate calls on his fellow lawmakers and candidates to stand and fight against Obamacare, even as establishment Republicans seem ready to surrender.

“Tuesday, the CBO reported that Obamacare will destroy 2 million jobs. This adds to the overwhelming evidence that Obamacare is bad for America.” Rhoden said. “Today, I call on my fellow lawmakers and candidates to stand and fight against Obamacare.”

“Obamacare is destroying jobs, hindering access, increasing costs and reducing quality of care.” Rhoden continued. “Many establishment Republicans are ready to surrender the fight against Obamacare. That can’t happen.”

“Republicans control the House, we can take control of the Senate if we stand for conservative values, and the President’s popularity is falling like a rock.” Rhoden said.

“We have a chance at full repeal. We cannot forgo the opportunity to do what’s right for America because we’re immobilized by fear. We need bold conservative reform in Washington. We need to repeal Obamacare now.”

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US Senate Candidate Nelson’s campaign challenged to stop the hating; asked to disavow “Rino Mike” twitterer, support opponents.

US Senate Candidate Stace Nelson exploded this morning, when I pointed out his advertisement on Democrat Blog Madville Times. There was some back and forth and in one of the latest exchanges, I made this challenge:

 

Stace Nelson is asserting that his campaign is not based on hate, so we issued the challenge. To disavow and request that they get rid of their twitter friend “Rino Mike” who has been attacking teenage Republican girls, and spending the last year spewing hate. And for Nelson to recant his “hell no” statement, and to support his opponents in the primary should he lose.

Do you think he’ll do the honorable thing, and accept the challenge?

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