So, who else gave big bucks to Democrat Billie Sutton’s campaign? Here’s the ActBlue Donors added

If you recall the Secretary of State’s determination on how the donations of people who donate to campaigns through Democrat fundraising clearinghouse ActBlue should be treated, there was an indication that people should be making supplementary filings, noting who those donors are.

As of a week or so ago, the Sutton For Governor campaign provided the ActBlue Donations, and disclosed where “the rest of the money” came from. In case you were interested, from the report:

And here’s the supplementary list:

ActBlue Sutton by Pat Powers on Scribd

Lance Russell addresses Brookings County SDGOP Group, hosts Sioux Falls Event.

Candidate for Attorney General and State Senator Lance Russell addressed a group of around 20 Brookings County Republicans yesterday as they met for their monthly meeting:

Lance explained that his primary goal as Attorney General would be public safety and getting it back on track for the state. He cited how Sioux Falls was recently featured in a USA Today story as the #2 City in the nation where Crime is soaring, with an 80.4% jump in violent crime. Russell noted while in the state, Rapid City was once thought to have a higher incidence of violent crime, Sioux Falls has now easily captured that title.

As Attorney General, Russell noted that he will seek the tools to attack violent and drug crimes, and part of that is to be strong on crime, noting that Senate Bill 70 will need to be reformed. (SB 70 was the 2013 measure that established alternative court programs for nonviolent offenders).

Russell also was on the eastern side of the state for an event he held in Sioux Falls Saturday afternoon to draw attention to his candidacy, as noted on Facebook:

With the field of candidates in a state of flux at the moment, watch for the race for Attorney General to grow more intense in the coming weeks!

US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: 21st Century Ideas for 21st Century Infrastructure

21st Century Ideas for 21st Century Infrastructure
By Sen. John Thune

As chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, I’ve hosted my fair share of memorable hearings over the last three-plus years, several of which have included folks from right here in South Dakota. While they’re all notable for one reason or another, my recent hearing, which featured five of the president’s cabinet secretaries, will likely be one of the more memorable events – for the topic we covered, the people who attended, and the history that was set.

In the mid-20th century, President Eisenhower and Congress saw the need to move people and goods quickly across the country. Their vision of an interconnected nation paid off, helping fuel decades of economic growth. The infrastructure that was built more than one-half century ago continues to fuel the economy today. With aging infrastructure, though, we’re facing challenges when it comes to maintaining and improving these critical assets.

It’s with that in mind that I invited several members of the president’s team to come up to Capitol Hill to examine the current state of infrastructure in America and discuss potential policy options that we can pursue in Congress to help strengthen and modernize it.

It was the first time in nearly two decades that five cabinet secretaries testified at once during a Senate hearing. Secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Transportation, Labor, Energy, and Agriculture all addressed their department’s role in developing strong and robust infrastructure across the nation, which continues to evolve in today’s more technologically advanced society.

While the underlying principle of keeping our nation more interconnected remains the same, the way we do it is always changing. It’s no longer just roads, bridges, and railroads that primarily define our nation’s infrastructure. For example, in rural states like ours, lack of access to reliable high-speed internet can make all the difference in the world for a family or small business.

In response to these growing needs, the president released an ambitious proposal to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and help bring it further into the 21st century. He hopes to achieve these goals – goals that I share – by limiting the overly burdensome permitting process and reforming workforce training, both of which would help speed up project delivery and lower costs. The president’s proposal also dedicates funding to rural community needs since toll roads and other revenue-dependent strategies for building new infrastructure in urban areas wouldn’t work in states like South Dakota.

The Senate Finance Committee, of which I’m also a member, will be responsible for examining ways to pay for these proposals, but it will be up to other committees, like the one I chair, to first develop them, and I hope this is an area where bipartisanship is achievable.

For example, both sides want to invest in and modernize our infrastructure. Both sides want that investment to address an array of infrastructure needs – not only roads and bridges, but also needs like broadband and waterways. Both sides want to break down barriers for innovative technologies. And both sides want to make our existing programs work better for South Dakotans and the rest of the American people. Together we can make it happen.


US Senator Mike Rounds’ Weekly Column: Dodd-Frank Reform Bill Provides Regulatory Relief to Community Banks and Credit Unions, Includes Consumer Protections

Dodd-Frank Reform Bill Provides Regulatory Relief to Community Banks and Credit Unions, Includes Consumer Protections
By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)

The Senate recently voted to pass the first major overhaul of our financial system since the Dodd-Frank Act was signed into law in 2010. S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, is a bipartisan effort that begins to roll back the unnecessary and burdensome regulations placed on small banks and credit unions following the financial crisis. This has hindered the ability of those institutions to serve their customers, particularly in rural areas. Our legislation will help make sure families and businesses have access to credit when they need it, which is critical as we continue to grow a healthy American economy.

As a member of the Senate Banking Committee, I was happy to be an original cosponsor of our bipartisan effort. In fact, S. 2155 includes seven provisions I took the lead on, such as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act, which will provide small banks and credit unions with data reporting relief. It also includes a provision to help small, local federal savings associations, known as FSAs or thrifts, expand their ability to offer loans to more families and businesses without going through a costly charter conversion process.

Our legislation also takes steps to help veterans, as it includes my Protecting Veterans Credit Act, so that vets who are waiting on delayed payments from the VA Choice Program cannot be penalized by creditors. We were also able to secure a provision to protect seniors by removing legal liability for individuals who report the financial abuse of vulnerable senior citizens. These are just a few of the items included in the bill to protect consumers and relieve small financial institutions from time-consuming and costly layers of bureaucracy that they currently face under Dodd-Frank.

Some regulatory recalibration was necessary in response to the financial crisis, but Dodd-Frank’s crippling new rules and regulations have limited the ability of our financial system to best serve the American people. Without question, no one wants to repeat the events that contributed to the economic recession that began in 2008. We are only now beginning to lift out of that nearly decade-long economic slump thanks to the tax relief law and President Trump’s focus on regulatory reform. There is still work to be done to get back to a healthy American economy and that’s why our legislation is so important. Every step we can take to provide relief to our lenders is a win for families and businesses who rely on those lenders to provide the tools that they need to grow our economy and create jobs.

The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act will strengthen our financial system and allow small banks and credit unions to focus on serving their communities – their friends, neighbors, store owners and job providers. I’m pleased the Senate was able to come together in a truly bipartisan fashion to provide much-needed relief. We remain optimistic we will be able to work with the House of Representatives to get this legislation to the president’s desk in a timely manner.


Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Not Everyone Farms, But Everyone Eats

Not Everyone Farms, But Everyone Eats
By Rep. Kristi Noem

In 1963, almost half of Congress represented rural areas. Today, less than 10 percent does. But while not everyone farms anymore, we all still eat. It’s a fact I have to remind federal lawmakers of often – and not only when we’re debating food policy. Agriculture is critical to our national security too. The minute we don’t grow our food, we become reliant on another country to feed us. That’s when we are truly in peril. That’s when they control us and our decision making.

The third week of March is set aside as National Agriculture Week, and as a lifelong farmer and rancher, I am incredibly proud to represent a state that celebrates our agricultural roots. That’s something I’ve always fought to defend.

For instance, under the Obama administration, the Labor Department offered a proposal that could have banned kids from being hired to do certain farm work on their family’s or relative’s farms. I put pressure on the Department, and they rescinded the rule. When OSHA tried to regulate small family farms, I got the agency to reverse course. And when the EPA was looking to expand dust regulations, I authored legislation to stop them, and the rumored rules never advanced.

During this time, we also fought an uphill battle to finish a five-year Farm Bill in 2014. In the end, we produced legislation that equipped farmers and ranchers with a strong safety net and a meaningful livestock disaster program. I became the first South Dakotan in more than 20 years to serve on the House’s Farm Bill negotiating team, and I was proud to sign my name to the final deal.

With the Farm Bill done, all attention turned toward tax cuts. Once again, I earned a spot on the negotiating team, filling one of just five House seats and serving as the only member with a background in production agriculture.

After years of work, President Trump signed our legislation, which included a number of wins for agriculture. More specifically, the package offers a 20 percent small business tax deduction, which will help many farms and ranches. It also expands interest deductibility, which is critical for a highly-leveraged industry like agriculture; allows for immediate expensing, helping farmers upgrade their operations; doubles Death Tax exemption levels; preserves options for like-kind exchanges; and expands Section 179, allowing farmers to better manage depreciation. On top of that, producers – like all Americans – will benefit from lower tax rates, the doubling of the Child Tax Credit, and retirement and education benefits. The Standard Deduction was also doubled, meaning the first $24,000 a couple makes is tax free.

In the months ahead, we’ll be working to pass the next Farm Bill. I’ve already introduced legislative language to improve commodity programs and reform the wetland determinations process. I’ve also introduced the Fair CRP Payments Act, which would ensure CRP rental payments accurately reflect the current cost of renting farm ground. And my DRY Act would permanently allow the hay harvested on certain CRP acres to be donated to farmers suffering from drought or fire.

Passing the next Farm Bill will likely be another uphill battle, given the declining number of rural representatives. Nonetheless, South Dakota farmers and ranchers continue to produce the food consumed in each of their states. I am incredibly proud to represent so many people who put in early mornings, take on tremendous financial risk, and live at the will of weather and market fluctuations – all to do what they love and keep our world fed. Happy National Agriculture Week!

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: The Purpose Of SD’s Juvenile Justice System

The Purpose Of SD’s Juvenile Justice System
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard: 

It has been three years since we reformed South Dakota’s juvenile justice system. When the legislation was passed, South Dakota had the second highest juvenile incarceration rate in the country. It was nearly three times the national average. At the same time, our juvenile violent crime arrest rate was approximately one-third of the national average. We were locking up primarily non-violent juvenile offenders.

Since this law has been in effect, we are seeing fewer juveniles committed, fewer juveniles reoffending, and success among those who are sent to functional family therapy. Since Fiscal Year 2014, new commitments to the Department of Corrections have declined 56 percent and the number of recommitments has declined by two-thirds.

Additionally, functional family therapy, which offers treatment for the entire family to address juvenile issues, is available in every single community in South Dakota. To date, 346 families have successfully completed this therapy and 88 percent of these families have reported a positive change as a result.

These reforms still support institutionalization of children who pose a risk of harm to others. Our system has always allowed for that, and the juvenile reforms did not change that. A juvenile who commits a violent crime can be committed to the Department of Corrections, and a judge can also commit a child who is found to pose a serious risk of violence.

Reserving commitments to cases of violence is in line with the national trend. Juvenile commitments to state-run facilities have been falling in almost every state in the nation over the past 18 years. Nationwide, placements fell from 40,678 in 1997 to 13,970 in 2013. In South Dakota they fell from 315 to 102, even before the 2015 passage of juvenile justice reforms.

The statutory purpose of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation, and we must never lose that focus. I spent 20 years working at Children’s Home Society, which operates institutions for children who have suffered abuse and neglect. Often these children have behavioral problems. At Children’s Home, our priority was always to do whatever we could to return children to their families, or if that was not possible, to a foster family or adoptive family.

I know that juvenile offenders can be difficult, but we need to remain focused on what is best for them. Locking up children because they are difficult to deal with is not acceptable. Putting a child in an institution, away from the community, is incredibly disruptive to the life of a child.

Beyond violent cases, we must continue to build our capacity to treat children in their communities – near their homes, families and schools – whenever possible.  For most children, this offers the greatest chance of true rehabilitation.


Release – Krebs rejects vote by mail measure

Krebs rejects vote by mail measure

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs announced that the petition submitted for an initiated measure allowing certain elections to be conducted through a voting-by-mail process was rejected by her office.

“An initiated measure requires 13,871 valid signatures in order to be placed on the ballot,” stated Secretary Krebs. “This initiated measure petition submitted 15,718 signatures, only 10,955 were found to be valid after the random sampling.”

(15,718 x 69.70% validity rate = 10,955 valid signatures, not meeting the 13,871 signature requirement).

A rejected petition cannot be challenged to the office of the Secretary of State, however that does not prohibit a citizen from challenging the denial of a ballot question petition in circuit court.

The remaining two ballot question petitions will be reviewed by the Secretary of State’s office in the order in which they were received.

South Dakota citizens also have the ability to submit a referendum petition concerning laws passed during the 2018 Legislative session.

For more detailed information on potential 2018 Ballot Questions, click here.


Release – Jackley for Governor Campaign events for next week.

Marty Jackley will be available to the press at the following upcoming events:

16-Mar University of South Dakota
Jackley will meet with the USD College Republicans at noon in the MUC Pit Lounge, then address law students in the afternoon.

16-Mar Sioux Falls Meet and Greet
Jackley will host homeschool students and parents at his Sioux Falls campaign office at 5:00 p.m.

20-Mar Lemmon Economic Round Table
Lemmon business and community leaders will gather for a conversation about workforce development, education, housing, and infrastructure in Perkins County and the surrounding area.

22-Mar Aurora County Lincoln Day Dinner
Jackley will be a featured speaker at the event, which begins at 5:00 p.m. at the Stumble Inn (south side Main Street) in Stickney.

23-Mar Spearfish Economic Round Table
The round table tour will continue in Spearfish Friday when Jackley meets with community and business leaders from the area.

23-Mar Belle Fourche Economic Round Table
For his second economic round table of the day, Jackley will meet with Butte County leaders in Belle Fourche.

Release – FACT CHECK: Jackley Didn’t Create the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

FACT CHECK: Jackley Didn’t Create the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

Despite repeated claims, Marty Jackley did not create the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. ICAC was created in July 2002 and moved to the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General in May 2003.

A Department of Justice press release from October 15, 2007, announced the creation of multiple stand-alone ICAC Task Forces throughout the U.S. At this time, South Dakota’s ICAC Task Force was transitioned to a stand-alone model. To aid in the transition, the South Dakota Office of the Attorney General, in which Jackley did not serve at the time, was awarded a $250,000 grant. Marty Jackley was appointed Attorney General in 2009.

“Only in a lawyer’s office does filing a different set of paperwork for an existing entity mean you created something new,” said Justin Brasell, Kristi for Governor Campaign Manager. “South Dakotans deserve an honest accounting of what happened. Marty Jackley needs to correct the record and change his misleading TV commercial.”