Release: Maricela Diaz Convicted by Jury for First Degree Murder

Maricela Diaz Convicted by Jury for First Degree Murder

PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley and Hanson County States Attorney Jim Davies announced today that a Minnehaha County jury returned a verdict finding Maricela N. Diaz, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, guilty of first degree murder, class A felony, maximum sentence up to life in prison; felony murder arson, class A felony, maximum sentence up to life in prison, first degree arson, class 2 felony, with maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison; felony murder kidnapping, class A felony, maximum sentence up to life in prison and second-degree aggravated kidnapping class 1 felony, with a maximum penalty of up to 50 years in prison.

“This jury verdict is the result of a very dedicated and hardworking investigation and prosecution team. Diaz and Salgado have been found guilty of the cold blooded murder of a 16 year-old innocent little girl. I struggle to believe that the family of Jasmine Guevara will ever find closure, but I hope that this conviction will allow them to begin to heal,” said Jackley. “As Attorney General, I will be reviewing Mr. Salgado’s testimony and case to determine whether he is in violation of his plea agreement and if so the appropriate remedy.”

Charges stem that on November 10, 2009, Maricela N. Diaz and Alexander Salgado murdered Jasmine Guevara. Diaz and then-boyfriend Salgado were both arrested in November of 2009 for luring Guevara to a remote location in rural Hanson County, where they stabbed her, cut her throat and then set her car on fired while she was in the trunk. Salgado plead guilty to second-degree murder in August of 2010 for his involvement in Guevara’s death. He is currently serving a life sentence at the State Penitentiary.

This case was investigated by the Hanson County’s Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by the Hanson County States Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.


Release: AFP South Dakota Announces 2015 Legislative Priorities

From my mailbox:

AFP South Dakota Announces 2015 Legislative Priorities

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.— Today, Americans for Prosperity South Dakota unveiled its 2015 state and federal legislative priorities.  In 2015, AFP will continue expanding its field operations in order to hold lawmakers accountable and promote policies that further economic freedom and encourage fiscal responsibility.

“In 2014, we launched the South Dakota chapter of AFP to make sure our state maintains its commitment to free-market principles,” said AFP South Dakota State Director Ben Lee.  “We have had great success thus far and our 2015 priorities demonstrate our continued commitment to ensuring lawmakers enact pro-growth policy that will improve the lives of their constituents. Less government and more freedom is a great recipe for advancing the well-being of all South Dakotans.”

AFP South Dakota’s 2015 federal priorities include free-market reforms in the areas of taxes, and spending, healthcare, and energy. To view the complete federal agenda, visit

In South Dakota, AFP will be engaging on the Highway Funding Bill, opposing the expansion of Medicaid and fighting burdensome EPA regulations.

In the coming weeks, Americans for Prosperity South Dakota will be mobilizing its network of grassroots activists through letters, phone calls, and door-to-door canvassing to promote it’s Reform America 2015 legislative priorities.


I’ve seen this before. Weiland sends post-election plea for money.

Apparently, Rick Weiland sent a message out this morning via e-mail blast. And the message was “send him money, despite being crushed in the election several months ago.”

Haven’t we seen someone else do the desperate “send me money after the election letter” recently?  Because Rick’s appeal does seem very “Bosworthian.”

 ———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Rick Weiland <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 8:04 AM
Subject: We Sent a Message

The U.S. Senate advanced legislation on Monday night to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and begin debate on the bill, by a vote of 63 to 32. The House passed the bill last week by a vote of 266 to 153. The final vote on the bill is expected to come in the last of week of January, so time is running out.

Nearly 1,600 people, in a matter of a just a few hours, agreed that building the Keystone pipeline is more about “big oil” and their “big money” influence over our Congress and elected leaders than it is about jobs or energy security, and signed our petition. You can view the signatures by clicking the button below:

Because of your support, our petition has been sent to President Obama, Senators McConnell and Reid, Speaker Boehner and Congresswoman Pelosi urging them to consider all the facts and environmental impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline.

We are continuing to make South Dakota a demonstration project and a nationwide beacon for the fight against big money.  Thank you for your standing up and for your help at this critical time.

Rick Weiland

Paid for by People for Rick Weiland

People for Rick Weiland
PO Box 1488
Sioux Falls SD 57105 United States

Democrat Chairwoman: “It’s been worse.” Reality: No. It really hasn’t been.

From the Capitol Journal comes an almost bizarre line of propaganda out of Democrat Chairwoman Ann Tornberg to the coffee clutch size gathering of Democrats she was able to entice to listen:

Ann Tornberg, elected last month as chairwoman of the South Dakota Democratic Party, told the group of 17 that in this new year, when there are only 20 Democrats among the 105 legislators meeting in the Capitol in Pierre, it will take grassroots organizing by everyone to bring the party back to relevance.

It’s been worse, and the same things that worked for the party back then can again, said Tornberg, who is 59 and from Beresford.


Of the 17 who met at the Long Branch saloon downtown on Pierre Street on Monday evening to hold the regular meeting of the Hughes and Stanley counties’ Democrats and to hear Tornberg, two were men and four were college women working as interns in the Legislature.


Tornberg ran for the state Senate from District 16 near Sioux Falls, losing to Republican incumbent Dan Lederman, despite touting herself as pro-life, pro-family, pro-agriculture and pro-education.

She got nearly 45 percent of the vote and forced Lederman to spend $75,000, Tornberg said. And she can relate to many Democrats in the state in knowing the bad feeling of losing an election, she said.

Read it here.

Where do I start?   Tornberg tries to turn the Democrat frowns upside down by telling them “It’s been worse.”  Reality to Anne: No, it hasn’t. It really hasn’t been worse.  If it has been worse, it hasn’t been in our lifetimes.

obamas_allyThe even funnier part was the line where she claimed “She…. forced Lederman to spend $75,000.”  Another dose of reality to Tornberg: How did she force him to do this? With psychic ability?

Dan didn’t spend it out of his own pocket. He didn’t write the check from personal funds. Lederman was able to raise $75,000 to beat Tornberg because people didn’t want a hyper-political Obama sycophant in office.

The voters in District 16 had rejected Tornberg for office several times already, and made the 2014 election an exclamation point after she’d wrapped her arms around Obama in the previous cycle, hosting events for his re-election.

And serving as the Democrats’ convention chairwoman didn’t help much either.

So, as Tornberg spouts this message of Democrat hope across the State, she should keep those things in mind, lest her nose start growing like Pinocchio’s . This IS the low point for Democrats, and whatever she did in the last election, as far as Republicans are concerned, she can keep doing it.

Press Release: Thune Calls on FWS to Continue Normal Forest Management if Long-Eared Bat is Listed Under ESA

Thune Calls on FWS to Continue Normal Forest Management
if Long-Eared Bat is Listed Under ESA

-Potential bat listing and FWS forest management recommendations
endanger forest health, Black Hills jobs-

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today sent a bipartisan letter with U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and 11 of his senate colleagues to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe expressing concern over the potential listing of the northern long-eared bat (NLEB) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The letter calls on the FWS to revise the misguided and harmful forest management restrictions accompanying the endangered species listing released last year, and instead issue a regulation to allow normal forest management practices and minimize economic impact on states.

“If FWS is serious about protecting both the northern long-eared bat and the Black Hills National Forest—it will drop its proposed listing, focus on the real threat to the bat by addressing white-nose syndrome, and allow normal forest management to continue,” said Thune. “The proposed listing doesn’t address the real problem—death loss due to white nose syndrome. The FWS needs to focus on the real issue instead of putting forest health and 1,500 jobs in the Black Hills area at risk.”

Listing the long-eared bat as endangered and implementation of the “Northern Long-eared Bat Interim Conference and Planning Guidance” released last year could effectively end timber management in the Black Hills National Forest, which will cause declining forest health, increase the likelihood of large scale wildfires, and severely impact the timber industry in the Black Hills. Thune sent a letter on October 14, 2014, along with Representative Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) calling on the FWS to withdraw its proposed listing of the NLEB under the ESA due to insufficient supporting data to warrant the listing.

Joining Thune and Klobuchar in their letter are Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.).

Text of the senators’ letter is below:

January 14, 2015

The Honorable Dan Ashe
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Director Ashe:

We write to express our concern about the impact of white-nose syndrome on the northern long-eared bat (NLEB) and the potential listing of the bat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

With white-nose syndrome (WNS) occurring in only 17 of the 39 states that constitute the NLEB’s range, the U.S. forest products industry, along with other stakeholders, have called into question actions taken and proposals offered thus far by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve the bat. If during the final review process the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determines it necessary to list the northern long-eared bat as threatened, we urge you to issue a rule under Section 4(d) of the ESA concurrently in order to allow normal forest management practices and minimize economic impacts in our states.

In January 2014, the USFWS released Northern Long-eared Bat Interim Conference and Planning Guidance designed to answer questions it received from various federal agencies on how best to reduce harmful impacts to the bat and its habitat through certain conservation measures and activities. Since the release of this guidance, we have heard numerous concerns about the potential negative impacts these recommendations would have on forest economies if implemented, including the prohibition on harvesting timber from April 1 to September 30 each year.

The challenges that affected industries in our states would face should a threatened listing be issued could be minimized through practical and flexible solutions provided in a special rule under Section 4(d) of the ESA. By issuing a special 4(d) rule concurrently with a threatened listing, the USFWS could reduce harm to bat populations, while at the same time allowing certain typical forest and land management activities to continue. Additionally, we urge you to revise the Interim Conference and Planning Guidance to reflect the conservation benefits from normal forest management activities to northern long-eared bats concurrent with your listing decision.

Protecting the bat from extinction is a goal that we all share. By working together we can ensure the health of our forests, and maintain forest communities and local economies, while preserving the northern long-eared bat for generations to come.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Cc: The Honorable Sally Jewell, Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior
Cc: Chairman Michael Boots, White House Council on Environmental Quality



Press Release: Noem, Matsui Introduce Bipartisan Human Trafficking Legislation

Noem, Matsui Introduce Bipartisan Human Trafficking Legislation

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014Washington, D.C. – Congresswomen Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Doris O. Matsui (D-CA) today led more than 50 Members of Congress in introducing the bipartisan Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Recovery Act.  This legislation works to better prevent and intervene when trafficking or attempted trafficking occurs, while also opening additional resources for survivors who are trying to recover.

“The uncomfortable truth is that human trafficking still occurs in communities across the country.  We cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of these survivors,” said Congresswoman Matsui.  “I am pleased to join with my colleague, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, in introducing legislation to help ensure federal resources are being used in the most effective manner possible to help these young men and women.  We must shine a public spotlight on this most egregious of human rights violations and this bill is an important step in that direction.”

“If we are going to give young people a way out of trafficking, they need a place to stay at night.  They need a safe place to go,” said Congresswoman Noem.  “Our bill opens the door for local shelters to receive the support they need to house survivors and get these young people back on the path to recovery.”

The Human Trafficking, Prevention, Intervention and Recovery Act was first introduced in 2014.  The legislation takes a three-pronged approach in combating human trafficking:

  • Improves existing Department of Justice grants, allowing the grants to also support shelters for survivors.  Currently, there are just 200 beds available in the United States for underage victims.
  • Launches a review by the Interagency Task-Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking that will look into federal and state trafficking prevention activities.  The review will be done in consultation with nongovernmental organizations and will work to identify and develop best practices to prevent trafficking.
  • Requires an inventory of existing federal anti-trafficking efforts by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office to make sure all federal agencies and programs work together and that federal resources are being targeted where needed.

Noem and Matsui currently serve as Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.


South Dakota Glacier Scientist: Humans may have given global warming nudge, but swamped out by natural events.

Here’s an interesting take on “global warming” from a glacier scientist living in the state. Humans have little to do with it, and warming is a lot better than cooling:

Hughes even agrees that human activity probably have something to do with it.

“It may have given it a nudge,” Hughes said. “But there are so many natural events that swamp that out, for example, the eruption of Vesuvius, or Krakatoa. The industrial revolution was more gradual, over decades.”
As recently as the 1970s, Hughes recalls, his colleagues feared for another ice age.

Hughes says a number of his colleagues at places such as NASA and the University of Maine “have urged me to march in lockstep with Albert Gore, the drum major in the parade denouncing global warming as an unmitigated disaster.”

But Hughes – who returned a few years ago to live in Fort Pierre now that he has retired – has demurred.

“It’s human nature for them to pound the panic drum,” said Hughes, but added he isn’t convinced global warming won’t be as bad as feared.

“In fact, it’s going to be a big plus, in the balance.”

Read it all here in the Capitol Journal.

Sen. Vehle claiming Governor ‘a little too frugal’ on roads. Is he kidding?

Apparently yesterday’s quote of the day belongs to State Senator Mike Vehle:

“I’m grateful we have a governor who recognizes the need,” Sen. Mike Vehle, R-Mitchell, said.  Vehle paused, then presented the other side of his opinion.

“(The governor) likes to be frugal. Maybe he’s a little too frugal.”


Vehle said Daugaard left out the committee’s proposals to expand the wheel tax from a maximum of four wheels to 12 and didn’t address any additional revenue from hybrid and electric vehicles.

The governor also didn’t endorse a tax on dyed-diesel fuel used in agriculture implements. The committee had proposed a new tax of 7 cents per gallon that had many farmers and ranchers on edge.

Read it here.

Part of politics is having the ability to recognize what you can achieve might be better than nothing at all. So I’m a little puzzled at Vehle’s statement.  Senator Vehle was backing the largest package of tax increases in state history – over $100 Million in new taxes. In talking with legislators and lobbyists, I heard only one thing in reference to it, and it was consistent:  D.O.A. 

The previous package proposed was Dead On Arrival. There was no way that frugal (yes, frugal) South Dakotans would support that kind of massive tax increase. I’ve even heard some question whether just voting for the package as part of the interim committee could be used as a future campaign issue.

Enter Governor Daugaard who – recognizing the proposal’s inability to move forward – chose not to publicly strip the bark off of the committee. And he politely noted that some elements of it might move forward, which they did as he proposed his own plan, one that might stand a chance at passage.

So, color me confused over Vehle’s complaining that the Governor is bringing an alternative that actually has a chance of passing as being “too frugal.”

Or maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

Is there anyone you’re holding a candle for in the presidential sweepstakes? Who is the next Reagan?

The New York Times has an article today noting how the GOP is torn in giving a third chance for Mitt Romney:

“People say he is a very fine man, but he had his chance,” said Frank Keating, the former Oklahoma governor. “I think they’re looking over his shoulder at the next attractive candidates.”

Mr. Romney’s indication in New York last week that he may run in 2016 has set off excitement among his loyalists in the Republican donor class and assurances from his consultants that he can bring a different dimension to the campaign this time.

But interviews with more than two dozen Republican activists, elected officials and contributors around the country reveal little appetite for another Romney candidacy. Beyond his enthusiasts — a formidable constituency given that many are donors — opinions range from indifference to open hostility.

Read it here.

I don’t have anything against Romney, but I guess I’m looking for a Republican candidate who is inspirational and aspirational. That’s kind of the same problem I had last go around in the Republican presidential sweepstakes. I’m looking for someone with a clear vision as well as a blueprint, of where they want our country to go.

And that might be the very reason Republicans keep struggling at the Presidential level. Hands down, Obama is the worst president of my lifetime. Even worse than Jimmy Carter. At least Carter attempted to lead.

But without a Republican alternative for voters who can articulate a vision and a path to achieve it, it could be a rough row to hoe.

So, you tell me. Which Republican candidate should we be paying more attention to in the months to come? And what is their vision?

Thune not looking at President, focusing on work.

Even though he keeps popping up on those lists, South Dakota’s US Senator is focusing on work in an article this morning from Politico:

It’s often said each senator wakes up, looks in the mirror and sees a future president staring back. But John Thune admits his “window” for a White House run might have closed in 2012.

So instead, the South Dakota Republican is ready to dive deep into the policy weeds as chairman of the influential Commerce Committee, while using his role as leader of the Senate GOP Conference to pursue party unity. And all the while, he’s watching three very different Republican senators mull a run for president.

Sure, Thune still lands with regularity on lists of potential dark-horse White House hopefuls, but ask what excites him and you’re likely to hear about airbag recalls and reining in the Federal Communications Commission, not tackling the Iowa caucuses. He was also a leading advocate for the joint retreat that House and Senate Republicans are holding Thursday and Friday in Hershey, Pennsylvania.


Thune’s legislative hopes include updating a 1990s-era telecommunications law, testing whether Republicans can coalesce around a plan to fight the administration’s net neutrality policies and writing new aviation and highway bills. He will try to invigorate the committee’s investigative muscles on Obamacare and find out “who knew what, when” regarding the recall of millions of cars with defective airbags.

“There’s a lot of stuff you can do,” Thune said. “Sometimes you’re driven by the urgent need of the moment. And we’re trying to be kind of strategic about it and set up things that we want to do.”

Read it here.