Press Release: Americans For Prosperity South Dakota Calls on President to Sign Legislation

Congress Votes For South Dakota Jobs In Passing Keystone Pipeline Bill
AFP South Dakota Calls on President to Sign Legislation

Sioux Falls, S.D. – Americans for Prosperity South Dakota released the following statement after today’s vote of overwhelming support for the Keystone Pipeline by the U.S. House of Representatives.

AFP South Dakota Director Ben Lee said:

“We applaud Congresswoman Noem on her vote to provide much needed relief for middle class families. With 8.7 million Americans still out of work, we simply cannot afford to deny access to 42,000 good-paying jobs. American families need secure jobs and the American economy needs secure energy. The Keystone Pipeline provides both. The President and Senate should act quickly to sign this bill into law and get Americans back to work.”



Press Release: With Noem Support, Keystone XL Approved by the U.S. House

With Noem Support, Keystone XL Approved by the U.S. House

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today joined House Republicans and Democrats in passing H.R.3, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, which would authorize the long-awaited pipeline’s construction and operation. The vote in the U.S. House of Representatives comes in the wake of a Nebraska Supreme Court decision this morning that lifted one of the final state-based barriers on the project.

“The only thing stopping Keystone is the President and his far-left political agenda – and that’s flat-out wrong,” said Noem. “Delaying Keystone is depriving South Dakota of good jobs, millions of dollars in revenue for cash-strapped counties, and relief for the roads and rails that are currently crowded with oil transit. The President has no more excuses. His own administration has released more than 20,000 pages of reviews showing Keystone is in the best interest of our economy and the environment. Now is the time to build.”


Rothenberg Report predicting Thune seat “Safe Republican” for 2016 cycle.

It’s a John Thune news day apparently.

Our Senior US Senator was officially installed as the chair on the Senate’s Commerce Committee. He commented on Nebraska’s Supreme Court tossing a Keystone XL pipeline court case which was holding Obama back from action on Keystone.

And now the Senator’s seat is in the mix for predictions from the The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call Race Ratings.

What’s the verdict for Thune’s South Dakota seat in 2016? It’s a no-brainer, considering that Democrats failed to run a candidate for the office in 2010. Thune’s Senate Seat is listed as Safe Republican.


With South Dakota Democrats at lows in terms of voters as well as potential candidates who could run at the level of US Senate, it’s doubtful that it’s going to move from a “safe Republican” status anytime between now and November 8th, 2016.

Commerce Committee makes Thune Chairmanship official

Thune Officially Designated as Commerce Chairman

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Senate yesterday officially ratified U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) as chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for the 114th Congress. Sen. Thune issued the following statement on taking the gavel for the committee:

“It is an honor to serve as chairman of the Commerce Committee at the forefront of the new Congress as we work to create jobs and grow our economy. I am eager to begin work with the new ranking member, Sen. Bill Nelson, and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on pressing business before the committee. Continuing to serve South Dakota in the United States Senate is the highest public service opportunity afforded to me, and I look forward to addressing several issues important to our state during this session of Congress including, rural broadband, rail service, aviation, cybersecurity, and an overhaul of our telecommunications policy.”


John Thune: Obama’s Keystone Excuses Hit Another Dead End

Obama’s Keystone Excuses Hit Another Dead End

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on the Nebraska Supreme Court decision on the Keystone XL pipeline:

John_Thune_official_photo“The president’s litany of excuses for delaying the Keystone XL pipeline has hit yet another dead end. This court decision further erodes the president’s obstruction of the bipartisan, job-creating Keystone XL. Soon the president will have a clear opportunity to sign a bipartisan bill into law approving the construction of this common-sense infrastructure project. The president is out of excuses, and it is time for him to act. Will he stand for the American people, or will he continue to stand for his far-left liberal allies?”


Press Release: Matching Funds Awarded by Governor To Communities For Workforce Plans

Matching Funds Awarded To Communities For Workforce Plans

DaugaardPIERRE, S.D. – Gov. Dennis Daugaard has awarded nearly $1 million in matching funds to help communities across the state take an active role in addressing their own workforce issues.

In September, the Governor challenged the business, education, government and other sectors to work together to submit plans for the South Dakota Workforce Development Council to consider. Sixteen applications were received.

“I wanted to hear community-specific ideas and innovative plans to meet communities’ workforce needs,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Applications addressed a variety of topics, such as housing, internships, certification and training programs, and English as a Second Language classes.”

Communities receiving awards include:

  • Aberdeen Development Corporation, $60,000
  • Associated General Contractors of South Dakota, $50,000
  • Belle Fourche Development Corporation, $175,200
  • Black Hills Community Economic Development, $70,000
  • Brookings Economic Development Corporation, $174,750
  • City of Pierre, $20,480
  • DeSmet Development Corporation, $8,100
  • Greater Huron Development Corporation, $125,000
  • Gregory Business and Industrial Development Corporation, $7,000
  • Mitchell Technical Institute and Mitchell School District, $115,332
  • Wagner Area Growth, Inc., $22,239
  • Watertown Development Company, $50,000
  • Yankton Area Progressive Growth, Inc., $60,000
  • Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center, $50,000

The council evaluated the proposals on several criteria, including cross-sector involvement, sustainability in the community, consistency with statewide initiatives and quality of matching funding. The application narrative needed to detail the targeted workforce need and the proposed activity, as well as the cross-sector engagement each community used to develop the proposal.

The program is being administered by the Department of Labor and Regulation and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. For more information and to view all submissions, visit


Minnehaha GOP holds elections, elects strong slate to lead county’s efforts.

The Minnehaha County GOP elected officers last night, and it sounds like they’re once again returning a strong slate to run Republican afffairs in the state’s largest county.  Elected were…

Chair: Dave Roetman
Vice-chair: Elizabeth Reiss
Secretary: Dane Bloch
Treasurer: Tony Reiss
Committeeman: Hal Wick
Committeewoman: Nancy Neff

My correspondent tells me that the Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary and Treasurer all were unopposedm abd that the board represents a fairly good cross-section of Minnehaha county and the Republicans that live there. A number of them have a strong grassroots and campaign past.   I’m also told that the committeeman race was suspected to be between Gary Dykstra and TJ Nelson. There was a bit of surprise nomination of Hal Wick from the floor which turned the committeeman race into a three-way race.

A great team in Minnehaha County to lead us through the 2016 elections!

GOAC proposing addition to state conflict law adding 1 year ban to interest in state contracts.

The Government Operations and Audit Committee has introduced House Bill 1023 to address the EB-5 controversy in part that was brought up again and again during the last election cycle to prevent state employees from signing state contracts and then going to work for the people they’ve been signed with.

In part…:

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to prohibit a state officer or employee from having an interest in any contract that the state employee or officer approved, awarded, or administered for one calendar year following termination of state employment.

Section 1. That § 5-18A-17 be amended to read as follows:

5-18A-17. No state officer or employee who approves, awards, or administers a contract involving the expenditure of public funds or the sale or lease of property, may have an interest in a contract that is within the scope of the officer’s or employee’s official duties. This prohibition includes any state officer or employee who, in his or her official capacity, recommends the approval or award of the contract or who supervises a person who approves, awards, or administers the contract. This prohibition is in effect for one calendar year after the state officer or employee terminates his or her office or employment with the state.

Follow the bill here. The underlined part is the addition to the law.

The only problem with the measure?  None logistically, but it could face amending because it’s a measured, reasonable, and sane response. A sane response to a ridiculously overblown issue that dominated the political scene for the last year.

Anyone care to speculate on how much showboating and grandstanding we’ll see on the issue?

Pierre residents want their Hy-Chi, petitioning at

I caught this in my facebook feed this morning.

Coming on the heels of the consolidation of Dakotamart and Sutley’s in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area, nearly 1000 Pierre/Ft.Pierre residents are petitioning the HyVee corporation at Liberal Democratic web site to “Let the corporate offices for Hy-Vee know there is a want for a grocery store in Pierre/Fort Pierre, SD.”

I can’t blame them for wanting their Hy-Chi (HyVee Chinese Deli counter), but corporations don’t make decisions on petitions. They look at traffic. They look at numbers, and make decisions on the basis of whether they can make a profit.  There was a chain grocery store in Pierre one point, but it didn’t make it.  And that was long before Wal-mart expanded, and increased their grocery offerings nearly ten-fold

I love my local Hy-vee. And considering what I spend there for my pile of kids, I’m sure they love me too.

But, it’s not a field of dreams. If you build it, there’s no guarantee they’ll come. But if you have the numbers, that’s a different story.