Ultra-Liberal Dakota Rural Action Group opposing feedlots as represented by Kelsea Sutton

I just caught this interesting post on facebook this morning from State Senator Josh Klumb:

According to the article, Billie Sutton’s wife, Kelsea Sutton, is fighting the feedlots that buy calves, which isn’t exactly pro-rancher.

n the article, Kelsea is serving as the lawyer for Dakota Rural Action, a radical liberal group that the Capitol Journal might describe as “emphasizing food and environmental safety,” but according to one website, they have a darker backstory of liberal activism as paid for by out-of state big-money groups:

In the black hills of South Dakota, Dakota Rural Action (DRA) has the reputation for being the most aggressive and politically driven of regional activist groups. Backed by loads of out-of-state foundation money and a claim to prairie populism, DRA has earned that title with a variety of anti-consumer campaigns designed to inflate food prices and put leftist politics squarely on your plate.

Dakota Rural Action’s claim to fame was the 1998 passage of South Dakota’s “Amendment E,” a change to the state’s Constitution that “bans corporate farming” — except, of course for the “corporate” farms that the activist culture likes. Through a relentless campaign of disinformation, DRA was able to convince South Dakotans to back their proposed constitutional amendment and strike a blow against “big, out-of-state corporations.”

and…

What supporters of Amendment E didn’t divulge to South Dakota voters is that DRA is itself a corporation, and that it is part of a collective of groups called the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC). WORC’s board of directors is the very epitome of an interlocking structure, allowing only WORC subsidiary groups to have a say in its message development and activism.

In 1998, when Dakota Rural Action was telling South Dakota voters of the evils of interlocking boards, DRA director Shirley Effling was also on the WORC board. Today, both she and DRA’s Shane Kolb sit as WORC directors. WORC is effectively Dakota Rural Action’s own “big, out-of-state” parent corporation. Dakota Rural Action also didn’t disclose that it relies on another set of enormous, wealthy corporations (called foundations) for the vast majority of its money — and almost all of it comes from out of state, the same grave sin that earns larger farming corporations so much of DRA’s wrath.

and…

DRA isn’t willing to put its name on all its partnerships, however. A Nebraska activist organization oddly named “Friends of the Constitution” (FOC) has operated one of the nation’s longest-running anti-hog farm campaigns. Nebraska’s version of Amendment E is called “Initiative 300,” and it dates all the way back to 1982. FOC’s mission is to keep corporate hog farmers out of Nebraska by any means necessary, and it has earned a reputation among the region’s farmers for being unusually aggressive in keeping potential out-of-state competitors from getting into the game at all.

In recent years, however, Friends of the Constitution has branched out into the Dakotas, in a reckless attempt to kick large-scale hog farms out of as much prairie land as possible. Any time a corporate citizen wants to build a hog lot, FOC can be counted on to show up in force — even when the potential builder has a spotless environmental record. FOC’s brand of activism is transparent and predictable. What’s hard to comprehend is where it gets the money required to traipse all across the Midwest, yanking out potential competitors by the roots.

Read it all here.

Dakota Rural Action as represented by Kelsea Sutton, taking on South Dakota Pork Producers and Cattlemen.   Not exactly the kind of image you’d think the Democrat ticket would want to promote.

And not exactly the kind of group you’d want to have a toehold in the Governor’s office.

Update – basically what they were saying..

49 Replies to “Ultra-Liberal Dakota Rural Action Group opposing feedlots as represented by Kelsea Sutton”

  1. Anonymous

    You guys are really grasping at straws now. Going after a man’s wife in an attempt to down trod a man running for office. If going low doesn’t work, go lower. That must be the new Republican motto. Classless.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Wah, wah, wah. Sutton is trying to claim he is moderate-which he is not-and his wife is a liberal as well. Given the ability that a first lady has to influence initiatives, etc., I don’t think this is out of bounds. Get a thicker skin.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      This race will come down to likability.

      The fact that Kristi has to outspend Sutton 2-1 is a serious concern. She has a 100,000 vote advantage. Plus more cash.

      I believe that puts her over the top but after this race is over we as the GOP need to self reflect.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Who says she spent it all? And if he didn’t lie and say he was moderate and if he would actually use the word Democrat, so much wouldn’t have to be spent pointing it out. He tries to hide admitting or using the word ‘Democrat’ at all costs (in the election, not before he was running). She’s had to help clarify who the ‘real’ Bernie Sutton is if anyone actually even knows…

        Reply
    3. Ymous

      Or if your a Democrat just tell other Democrats to kick people you disagree with or better yet, get in their face. The classy democrat party.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Yes, and wasn’t it classy Clinton who said… you can’t be civil with Republicans and civility can start again once Democrats win back the majority? The party of tolerance.

        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Pardon me as I choke on the irony of your statement after years of Democrats going after Kristi’s husband for selling crop insurance, and years of attacking Kristi’s family for having had to pay massive taxes as a result of the passing of her father

    Reply
  3. Anon

    I certainly don’t agree with what DRA is doing here, and I will be voting for Kristi. However, just because an attorney is representing someone, or an entity, do not mean they agree with that persons, or entities, case. I have taken several civil cases, criminal cases, and criminal defense appointments, where I fully think my client is either an eternal bag of excrement, or guilty as sin. But that doesn’t mean I don’t do everything in my power to help them. Its kind of, you know, “the job.” In fact, under SD’s Rules of Professional Conduct, which is the attorneys code of ethics, Rule 1.1(b), it specifically states that “A lawyer’s representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client’s political, economic, social or moral views or activities.” Maybe Mrs. Sutton does agree with DRA, I have no idea. But making that assumption is just that, an assumption.

    Reply
    1. Michael Held

      WORC, DRA”s parent organization in MT was started with a huge grant from the Tides Foundation, a Goerge Soros group as a “rural” group to counter the conservative groups in this part of the country.
      Also, the Amendment E fiasco in 1998, led to a 5 year court battle that resulted in SD taxpayers forking over $1+M to defend and lose because E was unconstitutional on several counts. Good to remember as voters vote on another likely unconstitutional measure-W, next week.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        If they are involved with the Tides Foundation then there is not question they are liberal. Soros is an anti-American socialist who made a ton of money in the US but now wants to give the government total control. I wish he’d move back to Hungary.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Time to distribute new tin foil hats for you guys. Hmmmm what frequency would you tune into? DRA is fairly mainstream.

          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            Hasn’t Hungary also collapsed illegal immigration by 99% since the border fences were constructed? We should look to Europe more often on how to implement effective policies.

            Reply
      2. Tara Volesky

        I have neighbors that are members of the DRA. Salt of the earth small family farmers. Just check out their membership….SD Strong. South Dakotans can think for themselves.

        Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Why are you deleting comments, Pat? Are you not a supporter of free speech or do you want to act like the universities you hate so much?

    Reply
    1. DR

      Read the terms of use. If its off topic or hateful, he will delete. And guess what…its his blog. If you don’t like what he does…start one…

      Reply
  5. Tara Volesky

    I realize it’s Halloween but I don’t think there is anything to fear just because thousands of grassroots people want to have a voice to protect their property rights. BOO!

    Reply
      1. Tara Volesky

        No, I can’t take credit for the million gallons of chemical toxins they have already dumped into Lake Mitchell. I am for clean water. Guess what, they want to do it again….follow the money.

        Reply
  6. Tara Volesky

    Grassroots Organizing For the Future
    DAKOTA RURAL ACTION·THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2018

    History and Background
    Dakota Rural Action grew out of a steering committee called the South Dakota Rural Organizing Project (SDROP) which began in late 1985, who wanted a sustained, effective organizing response largely because of the farm crisis. The steering committee worked with the St. Paul-based Family Farm Organizing Resource Center (FFORC), which provided organizational development assistance, handled the books and served as fiscal agent. A full time lead organizer was employed May, 1986 and a voter education staff was employed in fall of 1986 to work with SDROP. It became evident that the effort needed to be focused on the cause of the farm crisis, not the effect, and Dakota Rural Action became the non-profit, non-partisan, community based organization it is today. DRA held its organizational meeting on January 10, 1987 at which time by-laws were adopted, an organizational structure was established, membership dues were set, and an issues platform was voted on by those in attendance. After the organizational meeting, DRA worked to build its base in earnest.
    Dakota Rural Action Mission Statement
    We strive to build grassroots leadership through community organizing by giving people a strong voice in decisions affecting their qualify of life.
    The DRA mission statement was adopted in 1990, and revised in 1998. In keeping with this mission, Dakota Rural Action is structured and operates as a grassroots, membership organization of family farmers, ranchers, workers, educators, citizens and small business people who are dedicated to social and economic justice for South Dakota people. Members are the heart and soul of the organization, and organize in their communities to have a voice in decisions affecting their lives.

    Reply
  7. elK

    Who is doing the voiceover for that “update” ad at the bottom of this post? He’s almost as insincere as the script he’s reading. Awful.

    Reply
  8. Anonymous

    I was a member of Dakota Rural Action in the seventies and again in the eighties. Dakota Rural Action was a rural form of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. I don’t know what ACORN is now named. Ask Barack Obama. He was the par-excellent community organizer.

    Reply
    1. Ymous

      Give me a break. Dems have gone after Kristi’s Family for years. Play the violin, more fake Democrat talking points. Boohoo

      Reply
  9. Anonymous

    Dakota Rural Action is for farmers… if you are 5 acres or less and don’t like protecting the environment from waste runoff.

    Glad this came to light to remind everyone how anti-farming Billie is. Almost forgot.

    Reply
  10. SD family farmer

    “Birds of a feather flock together.”

    You don’t see pro-gun people representing gun grabbers, nor do you see pro-life people defending abortion.

    The Sutton’s plain and simple are not friendly to animal production agriculture. The last thing in the world SD needs is their influence throughout the state regulatory agencies.

    Fighting to tie manure application to human drug resistance? Give me a break. We have enough challenges in the ag sector without our own government adding this to the list.

    Reply
  11. DZ

    So basically, the claim is that the actions of the spouse are absolutely attributable to the candidate? Shame on Billie for marrying an independent woman who, as an attorney, represents a party that may not be so popular with some (at least). Obviously, given the objective and tone of the post, it would be much preferred that the candidate’s spouse is perhaps a librarian, maybe an insurance agent, or better yet, a submissive stay-at-home mom.

    Too bad that the candidate and his family doesn’t fit the exact norms that too many small-mined folk have.

    Reply
    1. Blake W

      It bugs me that both parties seem to only like strong independent women if they agree with what they stand for. For example democrats response to Trump doing better than expected was “Oh those women only vote how their husbands tell them.” In reverse Kristi’s camp is trying to argue that because Billie’s wife is so liberal, they must be his ideas and she is only acting how he wants her to. Look at all the drama Kelly Anne Conway is putting up with from the media because she is conservative and her husband is a critic of trump. I hope there comes a time when we as a society when this no longer happens.

      Reply
      1. Ano

        I think most people are of the mindset that Billie does what his wife tells him to. That’s not why I’m not voting for him but that sure would be a scary thing if he was elected. Which he won’t be so we won’t have to have that conversation after Tuesday…

        Reply
  12. Anonymous

    The add accuses CNN of helping Billie. The fact is that CNN has been very friendly to Kristi and ran a puff piece for her. Kristi recently linked CNN’s feminist pro-Kristi add in her campaign Twitter feed.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Oh? She alone has the say of how the county commissioners vote? Danny Steffen is doing ok, with or without her vote. Never mind the fact he couldn’t get approval from a majority of the county commissioners to vote for approval. Funny fact, the folks fighting against Danny Steffen’s feedlot is the brother in law of Wade Juracek (the convicted guy stealing drugs from folks with cancer in Kristi’s commercial…)

      Thanksgiving this year might be pretty awkward for that family.

      Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Yeah she does a pretty damm good job convincing the other misfits how to vote. The county commision is a mess right now in Gregory County. I’m sure Witts family Christmas is better than Kenzy Christmas.

        Reply
      2. Anonymous

        Wade had a disease of his own…..addiction . He had a terrible disease called ulterlis colitis. He poops blood and is in pain all the time. He got addicted and it’s a bad deal. He paid for his crime. Thanks for your reply on this Kelsea.

        Reply
  13. Anonymous

    People you don’t understand the Suttons. I’m from the same town. He does nothing without his mommy and his wife’s permission. They are liberals and one owns a bank and one owns the ranch and they both wear the pants.

    Reply
  14. Anonymous

    I never knew there were so many pissed off Republicans on this forum. I guess I am too. You guys changed my vote to Sutton.

    Reply
  15. Anonymous

    No one just changes their vote. Nice try.. why do people say that? Maybe the people that are against sutton know how and who he is. They know what he is about. Back here in Burke, those that arent enamored with him see him a lot differently than thru rose colored glasses. You wanna believe his good guy appeal? Go ahead. But dont say you just “changed” your mind. Your mind has been made up.

    Reply
  16. SupportSD

    Am I wrong in the understanding that the organization Mrs. Sutton represents protects small farmers and ranchers in SD from big corporate organizations coming into the areas, paying ridiculously high amounts for the land (making it impossible for small entities/family farms/ranches to purchase/leade land) and then driving the price of goods sold DOWN for the local/smaller farmer/rancher too, since the conglomerates are able purchase feed, etc., in bulk for much less and average input costs over multiple locations (much like a local grocery store competing with a big BOX chain)? I don’t see how that is bad. I see that, if my understanding is correct, as protecting a hard-working, minimally-voiced group of unformed people (SD family farms and ranches) from being put out of generations of a trade by big-business only looking for a profit and not continuing the tradition of SD.

    Reply

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