Governor Daugaard endorses measure for “better” lawmaker

Governor Dennis Daugaard weighed in and is supporting extending the terms of legislators, in order for them to have more experience in dealing with the issues of the day. According to KELOland:

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard says he likely would vote for a proposed constitutional amendment that would extend the term limits that apply to state lawmakers.


Daugaard says current term limits don’t give lawmakers enough time to learn about issues. He says it also forces lawmakers to seek leadership positions when they are inexperienced newcomers.

Read it all here.

Remember that report about Corinna Robinson passing the hat to collect unattributed cash? There’s another one.

Remember the notation about Democrat Candidate Corinna Robinson passing a hat around and collecting cash donations from January 30th?

Robinson also did the stuff of good nuts-and-bolts campaigning, shaking hands, taking questions, circulating her nominating petition (as well as those of fellow Democrats Rick Weiland and Joe Lowe … how’s that for party unity?), and collecting donations by literally passing the hat (what looked to me like a military-style boonie hat as one more reminder of Robinson’s service).

Read that here.  The original author over at Madville times quickly covered his tracks after I pointed out that collecting cash in a hat is expressly forbidden under South Dakota State Law:

Added a clarification to the original post. All contributions I saw went in campaign-provided envelopes with full donor attribution and were then placed in the military-style hat.

Read that here.  It was a information snippet and that was that.

But last night, I curiously received another report from an attendee at the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association Meeting in Sioux Falls Yesterday:

As you may have noticed, Corinna Robinson was invited to speak at the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association meeting in Sioux Falls today.  Also in attendance was Democratic candidate Rick Weiland.

It was observed that Robinson “passed the hat”…literally…much like the post that appeared on your website and also the Madville site on January 20, 2014.  It was a military goonie-style hat (as was mentioned in the first posting, and it appeared to be all cash going in.

If anything it just struck me as odd that something that she has been called on once already would happen again.

As mentioned, the passing the hat practice is illegal under state law, but since this is a federal race, I need to do some digging into federal FEC regs.

House Commerce and Energy Committee. Otherwise known as US Senate Candidate Nelson’s ‘twitter time.’

Did you catch the twitter exchange yesterday between US Senate Candidate Stace Nelson and myself? If you didn’t, don’t fear, you didn’t miss much.  It was kind of stupid.

Basically, I raised the question why US Senate Candidate Nelson chose to advertise on a Democrat website in the Republican primary. And in response, Nelson chose to unload on me in a particularly snippy manner in an exchange that Argus Leader reporter David Montgomery described as “striking and vitriolic.” Nelson’s comments didn’t always involve the truth, but whatever. He’s running for US Senate, and the truth doesn’t always fit the narrative he needs at the time.

As my wife tells me I do, I have a tendency to ‘feed the bears,’  so when he went at me, I poked right back at him. That continued on for some time, and that was that.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Last night as I was in the middle of watching a movie with the kids, a reader dropped me a note which painted it all in a different light.  The note said

“I’m curious if Stace was squabbling with you while sitting as a committee member, on his state computer?  Interesting timing.”

So, I went back to the timing of the tweets. And you know, they were 100% right.

So, yesterday, the State House of Representatives Commerce and Energy Committee had a different name. It was otherwise known as US Senate Candidate Nelson’s ‘twitter time.’

Assuming the committee started exactly on time at 10 (which they usually don’t),  it lasted an hour and 38 minutes, until 11:38-11:45 or so. I pulled the recording so I could listen to the narrative against the timing of Nelson’s tweets.

They started with this one, at about 10:26.

This was in the middle of Steve Hickey’s bill on Carnival Ride safety.  Then he had another tweet which was seemed designed to promote his candidacy:

The second amendments tweet came right as House Bill 1154, a measure to “authorize the commissioner of school and public lands to grant certain surface and subsurface easements to provide access to oil, gas, minerals, and geothermal resources” was being introduced.   Not seeing a lot of 2nd amendment in that one.

  (Aside from the special price part being a lie,) that one came during questions of School & Lands Deputy Ryan Brunner on HB 1154….

…Which  was quickly followed up by his tweet extolling the conservative values of Cory Heidelberger.

Then, this tweet patting himself on the back for being “an honest public servant” came while people were starting to testify in committee on House Bill 1160, An act to revise provisions and requirements relating to certain environmental complaints.

This one was also written on House Bill 1160, about the time when the opponents to the measure had begun their testimony.

 As was that tweet about my bitter computer. (my favorite, BTW)

Then Nelson was kind enough to give a shout out from the South Dakota State House Commerce & Energy Committee to Ted Cruz and Rand Paul on behalf of the campaign (Whoop Whoop!).

This was about the time of committee discussion opened on HB 1160.

More committee discussion between legislators as Nelson tweeted furiously, noting how folks are tired of ‘crooked politics’ (Same bill, it must have been a boring committee discussion).

And,coming on the tail end of the committee meeting, (or immediately after it) Nelson tweeted “I have sponsored HCR1014 requiring fiscal responsibility of Congress.”

It’s great to see that Representative Nelson hasn’t let up on his campaigning in 140 characters or less during those long boring committee hearings.

I would point out that it looks like there’s other examples out there, such as the previous Commerce and Energy Committee hearing on Wednesday the 5th, where they were hearing one of the measures on alcoholic beverages…

Glad he cleared that one up.

Did you see the @repstacenelson exchange? I’ve got some awesome stuff coming on it.

In case you missed the exchange between State Representative and US Senate candidate Stace Nelson and myself, where he had a bit of a meltdown after I pointed out he was advertising in the GOP primary on a liberal Democrat website…

…And I kept poking the bear, because I have a tendency to do that when I have time on my hands. ( And when it amuses me…)

Stay tuned, because I have some awesome stuff coming tomorrow on it.

Big Update: The fundraising event that isn’t an NRSC fundriasing event.

Stop the presses!   The NRSC event that the Washington Examiner wrote about, and we picked up on (along with the ripples)?  That’s actually not an NRSC sponsored event.  The Washington Examiner got it wrong, and the NRSC is less than happy about how it’s being portrayed.

I had some e-mail traffic back and forth from NRSC staff on the topic, and tonight, I have a response from Brad Dayspring, who set the record straight:

We want to be very clear – this is not an NRSC event, it is a Mike Rounds event. Governor Rounds has invited Senators to his event, and several have agreed to attend. The NRSC is neutral in the South Dakota primary, and as such have allowed the building to be used by any campaign that requests it.  Any announced Republican candidate for Senate in South Dakota can use the building for an event and obviously can invite any Republican Senator that they wish.  One political operative familiar with South Dakota – Patrick Davis, a former employee of the NRSC – is knowingly spreading information that he knows to be false, and that is unfortunate.

And in fact, the Washington Examiner has actually changed it’s original story as well.

What used to say

Rounds is considered the frontrunner among five Republicans competing for the party’s nomination in South Dakota, and outright support from the NRSC will no doubt boost his standing further.

has now been changed to this:

Rounds is considered the frontrunner among five Republicans competing for the party’s nomination in South Dakota, and outright support from powerful Republicans will no doubt boost his standing further.

As you’ll note in the quote, the NRSC wasn’t happy with the Bosworth Campaign, to say the least.

Given that it’s free to any candidate, does this mean the other South Dakota US Senate hopefuls are going to soon ask for a turn as well?

Bosworth camp not happy with NRSC decision

See the story update.

The Dr. Annette Bosworth camp isn’t exactly pleased with the announcement of the NRSC’s decision to hold a fundraiser for former Governor Mike Rounds.

Dr. Boz has made note of it on Facebook a couple of times today, including this latest post:


And her campaign consultant, Patrick Davis also sent out an e-mail to his contacts in South Dakota to protest the decision.

From: “Patrick Davis”
Date: February 7, 2014 at 6:09:25 PM CST
To: “Patrick Davis”
Subject: Mike Rounds has invited the National GOP to violate a SD tradition

Mike Rounds has invited the National GOP and its leadership to violate the long standing proud tradition of the South Dakota Republican Party remaining neutral and playing fair in Republican Primary elections in South Dakota.

Are you going to let them violate South Dakota’s traditions?  Email Mike Rounds’ campaign and the National GOP today and tell them to out get of South Dakota’s business.

National GOP to raise funds for Mike Rounds in US Senate Race | South Dakota War College
South Dakota War College ⋅ sdsen_2014
National GOP to raise funds for Mike Rounds in US Senate Race. February 6, 2014 sdsen_2014 7 Comments. From the Washington Examiner:

I’m not sure e-mailing Rounds’ people is going to have much effect, and the NRSC probably figured they’d take some heat for the decision.

What’s probably most surprising to me is that Bosworth is the only one to protest it at this point. I’m not hearing a peep from the other candidates (at least the ones who aren’t busy attacking me on twitter).

What do you think about all of this? The floor is yours.

I ended up with some extras. Anyone interested?

I’ve been on a bit of a button spree lately, and ended up with a few extras, in case anyone’s interested.

extrasBoth are vari-vue flasher pins, one for Goldwater/Miller and the other(s) for George Wallace.  If anyone is interested, drop me a note. Goldwater, I’d part for for $15, and since I have 7-8 of them, Wallace is $10. I’ve also got a great Nixon flasher (re-elect the president) that I have an extra of as well.

South Dakota GOP Lincoln Day Dinners setting ground rules to #stopthehate

Here’s an interesting tidbit I heard today, when inquiring with a friend about the Lincoln Day dinner in Pierre on February 18th.

This dinner will mark the first major appearance of all 5 GOP US Senate Candidates in the same room, which by itself sets up these meals for being long, drawn out affairs.

I’m hearing that the ground rules for candidates will be 3-4 minutes each for these candidates to tell the crowd about themselves and why they should be elected.  And more importantly, that using the time to bash their opponents will not be allowed.

And I’m hearing that the Hughes/Stanley County dinner isn’t the only County GOP organization uniquely setting this rule; that several of them are going to have a “no bashing your opponent” rule this year, so they’re going to have to campaign on their own merits, and not what they view as the faults of their opponents.

Can counties keep it civil and under control?  Stay tuned.

Gov. Daugaard Names Lynne Valenti To Lead Department Of Social Services

Gov. Daugaard Names Lynne Valenti To Lead Department Of Social Services

PIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard today announced that he will name Lynne Valenti of Pierre as the Secretary of the Department of Social Services.

Valenti is currently the department’s deputy secretary. She will replace Kim Malsam-Rysdon, who is leaving the position to join the Governor’s Office as senior advisor. Valenti’s appointment is effective Feb. 24.

“Lynne Valenti will be a strong leader for state government’s largest department,” said Gov. Daugaard. “This department protects our children, serves those with behavioral problems and offers a helping hand those who need it. Lynne cares deeply about that important mission.”

Valenti joined state government in 1998 as legal counsel for the Department of Human Services. In 2007, she joined the Bureau of Personnel (now the Bureau of Human Resources) as legal counsel. Valenti has been the Department of Social Services’ deputy secretary since 2011.

“I am humbled by the Governor’s request to serve,” said Valenti. “I will work diligently to assist South Dakota families to receive the services they need to be safe and successful, and to continue to advance the standard of excellence embodied each day by our dedicated staff.”

Valenti is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and the New England School of Law. She and her husband, Mike, have 4 children.



Thune Urges President to Engage Federal Agencies in Propane Shortage Relief Efforts

Thune Urges President to Engage Federal Agencies in Propane Shortage Relief Efforts

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today joined a number of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama calling for him to engage all relevant agencies in propane shortage relief efforts. Propane shortages have been magnified recently as a result of the extreme cold weather conditions in South Dakota and other portions of the United States. Numerous factors have contributed to a strain on propane supplies causing prices to spike, including a late wet crop season, reduced rail deliveries, and pipeline maintenance issues.

“President Obama should use his existing authority, wherever possible, to help respond to this propane shortage,” said Thune. “Federal assistance and regulatory flexibility are critical to overcoming the hurdles that are currently preventing propane from reaching areas with shortages.”

Thune has been active in calling for regulatory relief to help increase propane supply in areas with critical shortages, like South Dakota. On January 24th, Thune called on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue an emergency declaration for South Dakota, providing relief from existing Hours of Service limits for drivers transporting propane throughout the region, while still requiring drivers be fit to drive and operate safely. On January 28th, FMCSA granted Thune’s request for an emergency declaration for South Dakota and North Dakota and recently extended the declaration through March 1st. The additional flexibility will allow propane distributors to travel greater distances to procure additional propane for the South Dakota market, which should help reduce costs for families and businesses.

Thune was joined in the letter by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Angus King (I-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

The text of the senators’ letter follows:


February 7, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing on behalf of our constituents – families, farmers, and businesses – who are suffering from a significant spike in propane prices this winter.  In emergency situations, the law allows federal agencies to provide regulatory relief that will increase propane supply in areas with critical shortages, which is expected to lower costs.  Also, federal assistance can be provided to states and communities to address this very serious situation.  We ask you to identify and implement sensible strategies, provided by law, to guide federal agencies in assisting states with efforts to mitigate the effects of the current propane shortage.  In particular, we ask you to review all available options to facilitate and enable the transportation of propane to areas with shortages, via interstate pipelines and other modes of transportation.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. propane stocks have fallen far below the 5-year seasonal average.  The most recent EIA report indicates that propane stocks are 24.0 million barrels lower than a year ago, a drop of 43.8%.  As a result, in many areas, residential and wholesale propane prices have doubled, or even tripled, since October.  Numerous factors, including extremely cold weather and transportation problems, have resulted in high usage, significant drawdowns, and low stocks.  Now, more than twenty states have issued disaster declarations related to the propane shortage.

Homes, businesses, and farms desperately need propane, and the shortage threatens the safety of families and the financial stability of farms and businesses.  Thankfully, propane suppliers are already responding to market forces and taking extraordinary steps to increase supplies in hard-hit areas.  Until propane stocks recover, the government should continue to provide and/or expand short-term regulatory relief to incentivize these activities.  We are pleased that several federal agencies, such as the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy, have responded to the propane shortage by providing regulatory flexibility and assistance.  We urge you to ensure the ongoing engagement of all relevant agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and Human Services, the Small Business Administration, and others.  We are looking forward to working with you to advance solutions to alleviate this propane shortage.



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