Gov. Noem and Colleagues Oppose Changes to the Loan Level Pricing Adjustment

Gov. Noem and Colleagues Oppose Changes to the Loan Level Pricing Adjustment

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem and 17 of her fellow Republican governors sent a letter to President Biden and Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Sandra Thompson opposing the mandated changes to the loan level pricing adjustment (LLPA). You can read the letter here.

“In short, the new LLPA framework will inevitably increase mortgage costs for lower-risk individuals and handicap those borrowers with larger down payments,” wrote Governor Noem and her colleagues. “Further, the changes provide no incentive to borrowers to maintain good credit and will confuse borrowers at all credit levels. Disincentivizing good credit behavior and penalizing responsible Americans during an inflation crisis – which required the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates 10 consecutive times in a year – is wrong and unresponsible.”

The new LLPA framework threatens the American housing system and upends the current financial model that relies on individual responsibility. This will only increase the uncertainty in the housing market and in the United States economy.

“As governors, we promote hard work, accountability, fairness, and opportunity for all our citizens.” continued Governor Noem and her colleagues. “The LLPA mandates blatantly contradict these goals. Therefore, we request you rescind the updated LLPA immediately. If you are unwilling to do so, Congress must take action.”

Governor Noem was joined by the following Republican governors in issuing the statement:

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Arkansas Governor Sarah Sanders, Idaho Governor Brad Little, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Utah Governor Spencer Cox, and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.


When the enemy is everything “big,” how do we measure success?

I was recently contemplating the divide within the Republican party, contemplating how it might be bridged. I ask the question because I fear the divide which seems to be ever widening will trigger the loss of elections for the home team.

Unfortunately, Republicans seems to be suffering from an identity crisis.

You have the traditional Reagan Republicans who measure success as… well, success. They measure it in terms of growth, and economic well-being. It’s law and order oriented and has a laissez faire attitude towards government and regulation. It’s what we might traditionally think of as our capitalist system.  Whether it has been community growth or more and better paying jobs, it has been our mantra for decades.

On the other hand, there is a movement of populists within the GOP which has taken root, and seemingly has set itself up as the enemy of “big.”

Virus sweeping across the country killing people, and vaccinations are recommended as the first line of defense? Well, that’s BIG PHARMA trying to take over our lives.

Hey, a group of investors is coming in and putting up wind towers. Well, that’s BIG WIND.

Don’t even get me started on pipelines.   In 2017, you had people like State Rep. Jon Hansen as the prime Sponsor of the riot boosting bill to take on those organizing the pipeline protesters for the Keystone XL Pipeline. In 2023, now populists such as Hansen are part of rallies, and appearing on pillow-guy TV railing on carbon pipelines. With the new wave of populists who could have cared less 5 years ago about pipelines, now it’s BIG ETHANOL that’s being portrayed as the villain.

Another great example was when the Governor and Dakota State University put together a transformational partnership for DSU’s cyber security expansion in 2022, which would lure as many as 1500 new jobs to the state, and an economic impact of hundreds of millions.. and the populists on appropriations gutted the funding because it was too big.

Or as Rep. Taffy Howard, one of the idiots members of the committee declared when she opposed the measure whether funded or not, “We should allow natural growth.”  Because natural growth would put together 100 million in funding for a public/private/university partnership for a cybersecurity center and drop it in Sioux Falls, South Dakota?

Even within party politics, there are populists who are just dead set against success. They regularly attack Governor Noem. They throw rocks at her, as well as other people they perceive to be Republican party leaders. It’s as if they have an adult case of oppositional defiance disorder and will oppose anyone just for opposition’s sake. One example would be how they rail on about Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck. You can’t argue with his success, since we’re literally down to 4 Democrats in the Senate.  But, the populists regularly attack the Senator for his role in leadership.

There was an article from a couple of years back which talked about Democrat Elizabeth Warren trying to appeal to prairie populism, noting how populists cast their villains:

The American midwest, today a sea of conservative elected officials, wasn’t always this way.  Left-wing populism mattered from the late 19th century, when William Jennings Bryan crusaded against eastern financiers on behalf of humble farmers, into the late nineties and early 2000s, when “prairie populist” senators like South Dakota’s Tom Daschle and Iowa’s Tom Harkin were Democratic stalwarts.

Over time, the midwest’s political animus has changed. In the words of long-serving Iowa Republican senator Chuck Grassley, “in the 1890s it may have been people expecting the government to take on the economic kingpin… now I would describe prairie populism [as] people who have distrust of government.”

You can read that here.

As the movement has evolved since the article was written in 2019, You can’t help but notice that while many South Dakotan’s prefer a small government, the populists within the party seems to be shifting hard to the left with their distrust of anything “big,” trying to paint it as somehow conservative or Republican, a term they use interchangeably as they don’t automatically identify with the party, so they use a buzzword that pops into their heads.

The fact that they are so dead set against anything that seems of scale, you find yourself asking are growth & opportunity now bad? Is success now bad?  Because if all of that is bad, what are we supposed to be working for? How do we ensure continued prosperity and growth?

And that’s the problem with being against everything. You might be able to be against everything, but not everyone is going to buy into that eternal pessimism.  There is the problem that many politicians face that at some point, you actually have to govern.

Governing may include promoting growth. That may include big projects, or thinking in terms of how we grow jobs, benefit a community or an industry. Because if we didn’t do that at some point, we’d all be reading by lantern light, and going down dirt roads.

How Republicans deliver for our community and our state are going to affect how we are viewed in terms of governing.

Those who lose sight of that might just find out the hard way at some point.

Brookings set for explosion of development, some saying it might become third largest city in the state

Siouxfalls.buiness has a new story out on what’s happening in my neck of the woods, as Brookings is set to explode in terms of business development with a new shopping center property preparing for development, a new interstate interchange in the final stages of completion, and buildings going up left and right:

“Brookings is quickly becoming or going to become the third-largest city in the state. If they haven’t yet, they will be soon,” said Reggie Kuipers, president of Bender Commercial Real Estate Services. “And then, you’ve got this hidden city with 12,000 or 14,000 extra (people) in there nine months out of the year. Brookings is a unique market.”

For the right retailer, it also is a strong one, said Raquel Blount, Lloyd Cos. vice president of commercial real estate, who put together the deal to bring the community’s first stand-alone Starbucks to town last year.

“The sales are phenomenal. They do extremely well, which isn’t surprising,” she said. “I think there’s a lot of demand. A lot of retailers want to be there. The problem is nothing is ever available.”


“You’ve definitely seen a switch turn on in Brookings,” Powell said. “When you look at projected construction activity in the city of Brookings over the next 12 to 18 months compared to what we’ve seen in the past, we’re probably seeing double the amount of annual construction than Brookings is used to that will happen in the next 12 months. They’re definitely seeing a growth spurt. You see it in commercial and in housing.”

Read the entire story here.

I’m on the South end of town, and I have the feeling it’s going to be the middle of town the way growth is continuing here. (Maybe I need to re-up my Real Estate license…)

SD Libertarians elect former Gubernatorial candidate as chair in party election

South Dakota Libertarians elected a new slate of party officials earlier this month (not that anyone noticed), including the selection of 2022 Libertarian Candidate for Governor Tracy Quint as the new Libertarian Party Chair.

Quint had ran against Governor Kristi Noem in the last election, receiving 9,983 of the popular vote, or 2.9% of the ballot against Governor Noem (62%) and Democrat Jamie Smith (35.2%).

The Libertarian Party leadership team is as noted, according to their facebook page:

Release: South Dakota State Representative Mellissa J. Heermann awarded fellowship to attend Midwestern leadership institute

South Dakota State Representative Mellissa J. Heermann awarded fellowship to attend Midwestern leadership institute

(Lombard, Ill) May 22, 2023 – State Representative Mellissa J. Heermann of Brookings was among 39 select lawmakers chosen to participate in a training program that annually identifies and assists promising state leaders in the Midwest.

Representative Heermann will meet with fellow lawmakers from South Dakota and 10 other Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces on August 18-22 in Madison, Wis., for The Council of State Governments’ 28th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD).

“The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” says Iowa Sen. Amy Sinclair, who serves as co-chair of the institute’s steering committee. “The legislatures in the region have benefited greatly from the skills their members have gained through this unique educational experience. Many of the graduates now hold key leadership positions in their state.”

Since 1995, more than 900 lawmakers have graduated from the Bowhay Institute. State legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process. Members of the Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan legislative assemblies are selected by their caucuses to take part in the program.

BILLO was founded in 1995 to help new legislators meet the demands of increased policy responsibility being shifted to the states and, in many states, term limits and high legislative turnover. These two emerging forces highlight the shortage of training available for legislators – a void that BILLO aims to fill.

A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, the 2023 BILLO program will include courses and seminars conducted by policy experts, Midwestern legislative leaders, and professional development trainers. In addition to curriculum designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzes a variety of public policy issues, including the economy, trade, and energy policy.

The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development is named in honor of the late James Bowhay, longtime director of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office. The program is funded through grants from foundation and corporate sponsors and an in-kind contribution provided by The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office.

Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments has national headquarters in Lexington, Ky., and regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago (Lombard, 111.N), ew York City and Sacramento. The goal of the national, nonpartisan organization is to assist and advance state government by providing research assistance, professional development opportunities, interstate consulting services, and suggested state legislation.

Group shut down on demands to remove most of Butte County Commission over medical marijuana

If you ever thought the meetings of your local board of elected officials was the most dysfunctional in the state, I think Butte County might have you beat.

A local group, the “CONCERNED CITIZENS OF BUTTE COUNTY,” a self-anointed group of crusaders has taken it on themselves to go after various elected officials and has devoted much of their attention on the Butte County Commission, as they have demanded the removal of a majority of the members, as noted in below unsigned complaint which accompanied several petitions:

A number of signatures were turned in, which prompted the following letter from the complainants as the State’s Attorney reviewed and researched their demands. Unlike the first letter of demand, it appears that they claim to have a desk now, as evidenced by their new letterhead with their continued demands, this time adding a threat to go to the attorney general, the governor, and the press:

“If we have not received a report on the status of your investigation or prosecution.. we will take said measures.”  They were threatening to whine to the press, and cry to people that are regularly attacked through their related facebook page?  I’m sure that moved mountains.   Regardless, the State’s Attorney did reply this past week, as noted in the story from KELOland news:

The complaint, itself unsigned, was accompanied by four pages of 120 signatures on petitions circulated by Dale Simanton, of Newell, Travis Ismay, also of Newell, and Katie Hoffmann, of Belle Fourche.


The complaints, listed below in bold italics, were categorically rejected by State’s Attorney McCartney, who found no cause to remove the commissioners.


“In this meeting, there were several speakers, including one who threatened to “kick the ass” of the Commission Chair, causing upset and disruption,” wrote McCartney. “It is unsurprising that the Commission Chair did not turn on the timer or properly note the time to limit remarks for the subsequent speaker.”

While McCartney said that not limiting time for the speaker was a mistake, she said it did not rise to the level of demonstrable gross partiality, adding that at following meetings, citizens with anti-marijuana views had been allowed to speak for longer than the allotted time.


In summary, McCartney found within CCBC’s complaints no reasonable cause to remove the named members of the commission.

Read the entire story (and the full complaint response) here.

Literally, part of their complaint was regarding the disruption of a county commission meeting, including threats of violence… so they wanted commissioners removed?  As you can read in the story, the State’s Attorney shut the group down hard.

What’s the next step?  According to a comment under a Facebook post from Katie Hoffmann on the topic, Travis Ismay notes that he is now going to go to the Attorney General.

I have the sneaking suspicion that the Attorney General’s office uses the same lawbook that the State’s Attorney does, and the result will be the same.