Minnehaha Co GOP features Haugaard presenting “the factual discussion about the Julie Frye-Mueller case.”

This last Friday, the Minnehaha County GOP had a luncheon, but it doesn’t look like a lot of people signed up to swallow this narrative along with their breadsticks.

Wow. Would not expect a lot of people going to Pizza Ranch because they wanted to hear from Julie Frye-Awful’s attorney on how the Senate mistreated her.

And from the photos, I’m not wrong. But that should not come as a shock. 33 of the 35 members of the Senate didn’t believe Haugaard and Frye Mueller a month ago, either.

According to the post, they proclaimed they had “nearly 40 people there.” And if you subtract the organizational officials and spouses, you might break 30.

30 people out of 55,643 Republicans in the most populous county in South Dakota. Think of that.

Minnehaha County Republicans struggled to fill a half-room at Pizza Ranch in their first at bat with the new leadership group, as they tried to push an already rejected narrative by the attorney for a disgraced legislator. 

Not exactly a party building exercise.

Guest Column: One Senator’s Summary of Session

One Senator’s Summary of Session
by Sen. Brent “B.R.” Hoffman
“There are two things you should never see up close:  making sausage and politics.”
Otto Bismark
It’s not easy to explain the legislative process.  While the end result may be a new law, the route it took to get there is often circuitous or haphazard, as the process is mostly built on precedent and personal relationships.  It’s not easy to follow, nor is it for the faint of heart.
Though the process can be messy (“making sausage”), it still seems to work, and so it’s important to share information on new resolutions, landmark laws or dead bills that may be of interest to you.  So here below, I’ve summarized the main proposals I presented as the prime sponsor this last legislative session, and I’ll hope you find it interesting.
Nuclear Energy Interim Legislative Committee (SCR601), a concurrent resolution, passed cleanly through the Senate (34-0) and House (63-5).  The next step is consideration by the Legislative Executive Board, and if selected, a study on nuclear energy would take place this summer.
Limited Parole for Violent Offenders (SB146), a landmark law and order bill, cleared the Senate (29-4) and House (53-17).  This legislation is focused on higher-level, violent felonies and is sometimes called “Truth in Sentencing.”  The bill is currently under consideration in the governor’s office.
Constitutional Amendment for Term Limits (SJR504), a joint resolution, would limit terms of service for senators and representatives to eight years.  Currently, legislators can serve without limit as long as they switch between chambers, take a break or are reappointed.  Though the resolution failed in committee (8-1), an initiated amendment has been filed for petitions to place it on the ballot.  Term limits have never passed the state legislature, but have never failed at the ballot box.
Promoting the State Motto (SB133), a simple bill, would’ve replaced the tourism slogan (“Great Faces, Great Places”) on state license plates with the state motto: “Under God the People Rule.”  Though the bill passed the Senate Transportation Committee (5-1), it was defeated in the Senate (23-12).
Presiding Officer of State Senate (Rule S1-1) is a proposal to empower the state senate, rather than the executive branch, to preside over the state senate.  The rule change moved forward from the Legislative Procedures Committee (7-0).  The Legislative Research Council will study and “develop a proposal” prior to the next session.
In addition to these bills, I co-sponsored a number of other bills, and as always, you’re welcome to contact me for additional details.  It’s an honor to work for you in the state senate, and I thank you for the opportunity.


The author served a career in the military, surviving the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.  He’s a published author, occasional newspaper columnist and currently serves as a state senator for District 9, which includes western Sioux Falls, Hartford and Wall Lake.

Attorney General Jackley Releases Draft Explanation for Proposed One Subject Constitutional Amendment

Attorney General Jackley Releases Draft Explanation for Proposed One Subject Constitutional Amendment

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has released a draft ballot explanation that would remove the provision that a proposed constitutional amendment can cover only one subject.

State law requires the Attorney General to draft a title and explanation for each initiated measure, initiated constitutional amendment, constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature, or referred measure that may appear on an election ballot. The Attorney General’s explanation is meant to be an “objective, clear, and simple summary” intended to “educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the proposed” measure, as well as identify the “legal consequences” of each measure.

State law requires the Attorney General to draft a title and explanation that may appear on an election ballot. Attorney General Jackley’s draft explanation on this proposed amendment can found here.

Currently, the state Constitution limits all proposed constitutional amendments to just one subject. This proposed amendment would remove the one subject provision from the Constitution.

Once the Attorney General has filed and posted the draft explanation, the public has 10 days to provide written comment. The explanation was filed Monday, March 13, and the deadline for comments on this amendment explanation is March 23, 2023, at the close of business in Pierre, South Dakota. The final explanation is due to the Secretary of State on April 3, 2023.

The draft amendment would require 35,017 valid petition signatures to qualify for the 2024 general election ballot.

To file written comments on a draft Attorney General’s explanation please use one of the following methods below. Copies of all received comments will be posted on this website.

Comments may be submitted via mail, or through hand delivery, to the Attorney General’s Office at:

Office of the Attorney General
Ballot Comment
1302 E. Hwy. 14, Suite 1
Pierre, SD 57501

Comments that are hand delivered must be received by the close of business in Pierre, South Dakota, by March 23, 2023. Comments that are mailed must be received by the Attorney General’s Office before the deadline expires to be accepted.

Comments may also be emailed to [email protected] by March 23, 2023.  Comments should be clearly expressed in the body of the email.  The Attorney General’s Office will not open attachments in an effort to prevent malware or other digital threats. Please include your name and contact information when submitting your comment. The title of the comment must be included in the subject line of the email.


Gov. Noem to Sign Bill to Preserve Agriculture in Mitchell

Gov. Noem to Sign Bill to Preserve Agriculture in Mitchell

PIERRE, S.D. – On Wednesday morning, Governor Kristi Noem will sign HB 1090, which will protect South Dakota agriculture operations from frivolous claims that can delay development and increase costs for producers.

The bill signing will take place at 11:00 am CT on Wednesday March 15 at C & B Operations in Mitchell. Media is welcome to attend the bill signing, and Governor Noem will take questions.

This legislation will help ensure the continued growth and success of the state’s agriculture industry. The prime sponsors of the legislation are Rep. James D. Wangsness (R-23) and Sen. Joshua Klumb (R-20).

South Dakota agriculture is a $32 billion industry, accounting for 1 out of every 5 jobs in the state. It fuels development of our entire economy. Our producers need dependability to preserve their operations. This legislation provides South Dakota farmers with additional liability protection in the event that a nuisance claim is filed against them.

WHAT: Governor Noem to sign bill to preserve agriculture
WHEN: 11:00 am CT on Wednesday, March 15
WHERE: C & B Operations – 2600 W Havens Ave, Mitchell, SD, 57301
LIVESTREAM: Facebook.com/GovNoem


Judge rejects Joel Koskan plea agreement in case of sexual child abuse accusations

Breaking from Austin Goss at Dakota News Now..

The Judge has rejected the plea agreement between Joel Koskan and the state in the case of sexual child abuse accusations involving Koskan and a person having been previously identified as an adoptive daughter.

If you recall, information on the plea agreement had outraged South Dakotans in it’s leniency.. however, the plea agreement prevented the victim from having to go to court to further testify.

We will see where it all goes now.

Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree: Promise Fulfilled

Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree addresses Senate

MADISON–Going into the 2023 Legislative Session, a top priority for lawmakers was delivering tax relief for South Dakotans. After weeks of debate and negotiations, I am proud of the House and Senate for coming together and passing the largest tax relief package in state history–$104 million.

South Dakota’s economy has been incredibly strong, especially in recent years. After consecutive years of surplus tax dollars, it was time for lawmakers to consider tax reduction. The Senate took a cautious conservative approach to its consideration of three proposals–elimination of the sales tax on groceries, reduction in property tax, or a decrease in the overall sales and use tax rate.

Ultimately, the Legislature reduced the sales and use tax rate from 4.5 to 4.2 percent. This tax cut is a major victory for the people of South Dakota, and I am proud of my colleagues for working together toward a common goal of protecting South Dakota’s economy, but more importantly, looking out for your pocketbook.

South Dakota is a fiscally conservative state. We balance our budget and meet our obligations to serve our residents. National economic pressures as a consequence of Democrats in Washington, D.C., have caused concern amongst many of a recession or reduction in economic growth. Additionally, in four years the one-time federal ARPA dollars will have fully cycled through the economy and we will have a clearer understanding of the real cost of Medicaid expansion. While Lawmakers don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, we do look at trends in the economy and listen to the experts. No one knows if the recent surpluses are the new normal or the result of inflation and the influx of federal dollars related to COVID relief.

Because of these concerns, the sales tax cut has a four-year sunset clause, which allows legislators to revisit tax cuts in the future. Simply put, with the artificial federal stimulus dollars still impacting our economy, it’s fiscally irresponsible to reduce taxes without a trigger or insurance plan if the economy takes a turn for the worse. In the end, only the Democrat leader and assistant leader in the Senate disagreed and the rest of the Legislature approved the largest tax cut in South Dakota history after months of careful debate. This tax cut represents sound fiscal policy as we will not tie the sustainability of South Dakota’s budget to Democrats’ policies in D.C.

At this time, a tax cut with a sunset clause is prudent. It’s an insurance plan. Being a fiscal conservative doesn’t mean we attempt to get tax rates down to zero percent, but rather only taking what we need from taxpayers and doing the very best with the dollars we collect. South Dakota is a low tax, small government state, and we will continue to operate that way under conservative, Republican leadership in the South Dakota Legislature.


US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Agriculture Keeps Moving into the Future

Agriculture Keeps Moving into the Future
By Sen. John Thune

Agriculture may well be among the world’s oldest ways of life, but it’s never been stagnant. Farmers and ranchers have always sought new and better ways to grow more and use less, and innovative practices, more resilient crops, and new technologies have helped make it possible. Today, data, advanced technology, and connectivity are helping our agricultural producers feed America and the world.

Before adopting a new conservation or production practice, farmers and ranchers want to be sure it’s effective. Access to reliable data would help agricultural producers determine whether a certain practice is right for them. Although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) collects a lot of data, little has been done to analyze and organize it so it’s useful to producers. To address this issue, I introduced the Agriculture Innovation Act to improve USDA’s secure and confidential data collection procedures. My bill would make it easier for farmers, ranchers, and trusted researchers to use this data to assess the impact of various conservation and production practices so producers can make an informed decision about the right option for their farm or ranch.

While the macro-level data that USDA collects can provide valuable insight, many farmers and ranchers are already looking to the next frontier: collecting real-time, micro-level data from their own fields. Precision agriculture technology puts real-time information about land and livestock at a farmer’s fingertips – whether it’s soil, plant, or livestock health, input needs, or field maps. It represents a quantum leap for farmers and ranchers, enabling greater efficiency, increased profitability, and broader use of conservation practices that will keep farm land productive for generations to come.

There’s more work that needs to be done for Americans to be able to reap the full benefit of precision agriculture. I recently introduced the Promoting Precision Agriculture Act to help facilitate widespread adoption of this technology. My bill establishes a partnership between government and the private sector to develop voluntary, consensus-based, interconnectivity standards and to prioritize the cybersecurity needs for these technologies. These standards will help enhance uptake of precision agriculture technologies and ensure reliability, usability, and security for producers and their data.

I’m also continuing to work to connect unserved areas to reliable broadband because without a reliable internet connection, precision agriculture just doesn’t work. We’ve made a good deal of progress, but we still have a lot to do. My priority is ensuring federal broadband funding goes toward expanding access to areas that currently lack it. I’ve introduced legislation to streamline USDA’s broadband authorities and direct funding to areas that are truly unserved. And, last year, I launched a nationwide broadband oversight initiative to ensure $79 billion in recent federal broadband funding actually delivers broadband to Americans who need it the most.

Agriculture is the lifeblood of South Dakota and anything we can do to make agriculture more efficient and more productive is not only good for our nation’s food supply, it’s good for South Dakota farmers and ranchers, and their families. Better data, precision agriculture, and reliable connectivity are among the advancements that will define the next era in agriculture. I’ll continue to work hard to ensure South Dakota farmers and ranchers have the resources they need to keep agriculture moving forward.


Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: Why a Republican Majority Matters

Johnson at Speaker McCarthy’s Bill Signing to Roll Back the D.C. Council’s soft-on-crime efforts.

Why a Republican Majority Matters
By Rep. Dusty Johnson
March 10, 2023

We are three months into the Republican House majority, and House Republicans are fulfilling promises we made to the American people. We have seen win after win, pushing back on the far-left agenda and blocking unnecessary, unchecked spending.

Here are a few of our wins so far:

We started with opening the People’s House. The Capitol and House Office Buildings had been closed to the public for nearly three years. Once again, constituents can come talk to their Representatives in person and watch the business happening on the House Floor from the Galleries.

One priority of House Republicans is keeping America safe. We established the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which has already begun important work analyzing the threat posed to America’s national security by the CCP. We also addressed rising crime rates and successfully reversed the D.C. Council’s bill to ease penalties for violent crimes like carjacking. After House Republicans voted to reverse the soft-on-crime D.C. proposal in the House, the Biden Administration back-tracked on previous comments and agreed they had no choice but to pass our bill given the drastic crime increase in our nation’s capital. This marks the first time in 30 years that Congress has rolled back a D.C. regulation.

Restoring energy security and increasing domestic production has been top-of-mind the past couple of years due to President Biden’s policies that severely limit domestic energy production and increased energy prices. We’ve passed bills to prevent any Strategic Petroleum Reserve oil sales to China and the CCP, and require President Biden to put forward a plan to increase our domestic energy production should he conduct a non-emergency drawdown of the SPR.

President Biden’s policies stretch the letter of the law, which we have seen in his policies to allow retirement savings managers to make financial decisions on the basis of climate change and social justice standards. House Republicans passed a bill to block this rule. We also passed a bill to block the President’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) overly burdensome rule which allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the waters of streams, small creeks, and puddles.

President Biden continued to extend the COVID-19 national emergency for months after he stated, “the pandemic is over.” Several bills have been passed to end the national emergency declarations, end COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and make sure Americans are getting back to work.

The House Republican majority is an important check to fighting inflation. We passed the REIN IN Inflation Actand our voting block will work hard to prevent President Biden’s reckless spending from continuing.

The House Republican majority is righting the ship and pushing government to do what it should always strive to do: work for the American people.


Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: For the People

For the People
By: Governor Kristi Noem
March 10, 2023 

There’s a perception that South Dakota’s future is charted in Pierre. That’s where big decisions get made; where Governors have taken historic actions; where legislators go every winter to represent the people and vote. But that perception misses our state’s foundational principle, our beautiful slogan: “Under God, the People Rule.” As elected leaders, when we make those decisions and cast those votes, we must do it on behalf of the people.

The wonderful men and women across the state of South Dakota are the ones who actually chart our future. They each take actions every day for the sake of their family, their small business, or their community. They get up, drive the kids to school, go to work, buy their groceries, put food on the table, and lay their heads down at night. And in the process, they are each individually building the greatest state in America.

When I make decisions, I don’t pretend to be smarter or wiser than our people. I don’t see myself as making decisions that they cannot. Instead, my job is to make it easier for South Dakotans to make decisions for themselves. As elected leaders, we must create a level playing field that provides Freedom and Opportunity for each and every South Dakotan. And every winter in Pierre, one of the most important decisions we make is how we will lay out the state’s budget.

When we pass that budget, we have to deliver on our responsibilities to take care of people. But we must also have respect for money that does not belong to us. It belongs to the people. When opportunity comes to return some of that money to the people, we should do so. When the option presents itself to spend less of the people’s money, we should pursue that option, too. After all, the people know better than we do what their own needs are. They understand how best their own money can be spent to take care of their loved-ones and their communities.

This year, some elected leaders in Pierre made different decisions. They chose to spend more of the people’s money than I recommended, including on new programs. And they decided to deliver a temporary tax holiday to the people, rather than a permanent tax cut. I still believe that the best budget option for our state’s future is the one that I presented in December, including the elimination of the sales tax on groceries. And in the coming weeks, I will have to decide whether the budget that has been presented to me is worthy of my signature.

In making that decision, I will be weighing what is best for our people. This decision is not about me, and it’s not about the elected representatives in Pierre. It’s about the folks who we serve, the folks who rule: the people of the great state of South Dakota.


Gov. Noem VETOES House Bill 1193

Gov. Noem VETOES House Bill 1193

 PIERRE, S.D. – Yesterday, Governor Kristi Noem VETOED House Bill 1193, which would infringe upon Freedom in digital currency. You can find Governor Noem’s VETO letter here.

“HB 1193 adopts a definition of ‘money’ to specifically exclude cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as well as other digital assets. At the same time, these UCC revisions include Central Bank Digital Currencies as money,” wrote Governor Noem in her VETO letter. “By expressly excluding cryptocurrencies as money, it would become more difficult to use cryptocurrency. By needlessly limiting this freedom, HB 1193 would put South Dakota citizens at a business disadvantage.”

Governor Noem has consistently advanced an “Open for Business” approach to the economy, emphasizing individual Freedom and personal responsibility. This extends to the ways in which individuals choose to make transactions in a free-market economy.

“By defining ‘money’ in this proposed way, HB 1193 opens the door to the risk that the federal government could easily adopt a Central Bank Digital Currency, which then may become the only viable digital currency,” continued Governor Noem. “At this moment in time, such a government-backed electronic currency has not been created. It would be imprudent to create regulations governing something that does not yet exist. More importantly, South Dakota should not open the door to a potential future overreach by the federal government.”

Governor Noem has signed 126 bills this legislative session and vetoed 4.