Gordon Howie: The “Powerful Politician” Annette Bosworth is being Silenced.

Powerful Politician Silenced?

…One in particular is Annette Bosworth, who is facing 12 felony charges over alleged “petition violations”.

Read it here.


I’m not sure what’s funnier, Howie’s continued embrace of former Sado/Masochism pornographer Lee Stranahan as a valid news source, or calling Annette Bosworth a powerful politician?


Are we going to tell them how to vote too? House Bill 1069 is just bad legislation.

A legislative measure has been presented to the state legislature with regards to the conduct of legislators acting as delegates to a national constitutional convention. It says in part:

Section 2. No delegate from South Dakota to an Article V convention has the authority to vote to allow consideration of or vote to approve an unauthorized amendment for ratification to the United States of America Constitution. Any delegate casting a vote to allow consideration or approval of an unauthorized amendment shall be immediately recalled by the secretary of state and replaced by an alternate chosen by the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.
Section 3. Every candidate for delegate or alternate from South Dakota to the Article V convention shall take the following oath:
“I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a delegate or alternate to an Article V convention, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America and the State of South Dakota. I will not vote to allow consideration of or to approve any unauthorized amendment proposed for ratification to the United States of America Constitution.”

Read it here.

This legislation is coming on the heels of proposals for the states to call a constitutional convention for the purpose of amending the US Constitution in a non-traditional manner, which is allowed by law. Instead of the state’s ratifying amendments directly, they’d send delegates to a convention.

Not a bad thought at all, but as more time goes by between the time when this was first brought up, and a time when states are going to be able to pull it off, paranoia is apparently setting in.

“I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities….. I will not vote to allow consideration of or to approve any unauthorized amendment proposed for ratification to the United States of America Constitution.”

Um. Yeah. Is it just me, or is that kind of a dumb thing to put in an oath? If they’re going to put that type of proviso onto what the delegate is going to vote for, why don’t they tell him how he’s going to cast his ballot? And if they’re going to do that, why hold a convention of this type, as opposed to amending the constitution in the traditional manner?

The best part?

Section 5. Any delegate who violates the oath contained in section 3 of this Act is subject to a civil fine of not more than five thousand dollars to be levied by the secretary of state and deposited in the state general fund.

What!?! And we’re going to attach a weird civil/criminal penalty to it as well?

First off, The obvious way around it is to simply attach unrelated acts to the main amendment (just like Congress does), leaving the original title and intent. It would allow participants for such a convention to cast their ballot in compliance with.

Secondly, you have to consider who we’re sending to this type of convention.

The people elected to the legislature have been elected by the people of their respective legislative districts to represent their voice in the state Capitol. So, they’re entrusted with doing the right thing by taxpayers to start. The people selected to go to this type of constitutional convention would be chosen by this august group, the South Dakota State Legislature, by those people we chose to send to Pierre.

So allegedly, the ones going to this type of convention are not our best. They’re ‘the best of the best.’

Shouldn’t we be able to entrust them to discuss, debate and amend amongst their peers from other states in this incubator of Democracy? Shouldn’t we be able to entrust them to conduct the types of discussions and formulate policies, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Bill of Rights?

Putting this kind of limitation on delegates seems…. small. And in direct opposition to the reasons we’d conduct a grand experiment in Democracy such as a constitutional convention.

I’m looking forward to all the photo ops Dems will have.

President Obama is planning to do something that Rick Weiland wanted no part of during this past election. Traveling to South Dakota.

President Obama’s visit to Boise, Idaho on Wednesday leaves him just three states in the entire country he hasn’t been to as president: South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah.

Now, Obama lost all these states — big time – as he noted in his speech at Boise State University: “Of course, in the general election, I got whupped. I got whupped twice, in fact. But that’s OK. I’ve got no hard feelings.”

But the president has visited plenty of states where he lost badly. (He only got 28 percent of the vote in Wyoming in 2012. Though, to be fair, he only visited there once in 2009.)

No doubt Obama will want to check all 50 off his bucket list before his presidency ends – though including his travels as a candidate in 2008 he’s already hit them all. Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed as much, saying he wouldn’t call it a “bucket list” … “But I do think the president would like to have the opportunity to visit all 50 states as president of the United States.  So hopefully we’ll be able to get that done in the next two years.”


And his last three remaining states have a good bit to offer. South Dakota has Mount Rushmore and roaming buffalo, South Carolina has charming Charleston and some solid golfing in Hilton Head, and Utah (where Obama had his worst showing in 2012 with only 25 percent of the vote) has the Great Salt Lake and Park City skiing.

Read it here.

I’m really looking forward to all the photo-ops that the state’s few remaining Democrat officeholders will have to be pictured arm in arm with President Obama.

Especially at election time.

Governor Dennis Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Reforming Our Juvenile Corrections System

Reforming Our Juvenile Corrections System
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardWe have much to be proud of in South Dakota. Our state has the third lowest unemployment rate in the nation. We’re among the states with the lowest cost of living. Just a few weeks ago Pew named South Dakota as the state with the least volatility in year-to-year tax revenues.

There is, however, one top ranking of which we shouldn’t be proud: South Dakota has the second highest juvenile commitment rate in the nation. This high rate of commitment is not explained by a higher rate of juvenile arrests for violent crime. In fact, South Dakota’s juvenile violent crime arrest rate is just one-third of the national average.

Seven of every 10 youth committed to the Department of Corrections in 2013 were committed for misdemeanor offenses, probation violations and “status offenses” –violations which, if committed as an adult, would not even be considered crimes.

Research shows that for many youth, commitment to residential placement fails to produce better outcomes than alternative sanctions. Commitment to residential placement also costs much more and can actually increase reoffending in certain circumstances.

Two years ago, we reformed our adult corrections system to improve public safety, hold offenders more accountable and control costs. Though it’s only been a short time since those reforms took effect, early results are positive. The percentage of offenders who have successfully completed parole has increased, hundreds of probationers have earned early termination of their supervision by complying with the rules, and the prison population is slightly less than what was projected.

Because the criminal justice reforms of 2013 are showing positive early indications, I, along with a number of stakeholders across the state, wanted to offer similar reforms for the juvenile justice system.

This legislative session, I’m proposing that we reserve commitments to the Department of Corrections for only youth who commit the most serious offenses and pose a risk to the public. I’m also proposing that we develop an array of effective interventions for youth offenders, including community-based programs to address substance abuse, antisocial tendencies and challenges within the family. These types of programs would allow youth to get the help they need without being removed from their homes. They would also help judges as they perform the difficult task of weighing how best to set youth on a better path.

We have a choice to make. We can continue to place juveniles in expensive state-funded facilities that, for many, are less effective at reducing delinquency, or we can invest in proven interventions and treatment programs that keep our youth close to home and connected to their communities.

Though it would be easier to keep doing what we’ve been doing, that would be a disservice to South Dakota – to the taxpayers who fund the correctional system and to the young offenders who need to be rehabilitated.

I’m hopeful that lawmakers will continue to be engaged on this issue and that they will come to agree that now is the time to fix this problem.  As we’ve proven in the past, we can do great things when we work together.


US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: Uncle Sam Can’t Tax Us into Prosperity

Uncle Sam Can’t Tax Us into Prosperity
By Senator John Thune

John_Thune_official_photoEvery State of the Union address includes at least one or two “buzz” words. For the past six years under President Obama, one of the phrases that has stuck out to me in his annual address to Congress is the term “restore prosperity.” The president usually follows these words with his laundry list of ways he believes Congress should act, usually by growing the size of government, to “restore prosperity” for millions of Americans. What the president always seems to forget is that Uncle Sam can’t tax us into prosperity.

This year, the president called yet again for higher taxes on individuals and families, ranging from South Dakota middle class families saving for their kid’s college education, to small businesses and ag producers who are creating jobs and stimulating the economy. This top-down approach to “restoring prosperity” is precisely what the American people rejected in the last election, yet the president continues to promote the same stale, failed policies of big government.

The president is proposing $320 billion in new taxes on top of the more than $1.5 trillion in higher taxes already forced upon the American people during his administration. Under his plan, South Dakotans who have their assets invested in a farm operation or small business would get hit with a new capital gains tax when assets that have appreciated in value are passed on to the next generation. This is especially damaging to the family farm, the assets of which are often comprised largely of farmland that can appreciate considerably in value over time. And this new tax is in addition to the federal estate tax, better known as the death tax, which already imposes an unnecessary tax burden on family farms and businesses.

Without question, these tax proposals would make it more difficult for South Dakota families to pass land and other capital assets along to the next generation. We need to move in the opposite direction, by eliminating the death tax and making certain that family farms and business are not targeted with new, punitive tax increases.

South Dakota middle class families planning ahead for their kid’s college educations through tax preferred 529 college savings plans would also feel the pinch under the president’s plan. Right now the earnings in these accounts are tax-free, but the president would subject them to tax, meaning there would be fewer funds available for education expenses. We’re not talking about the ultra-wealthy; we are talking about middle class families trying to do right by their children by saving for an investment in their educations. If anything, we should make it easier for families to save for a college education, not make it more difficult.

These are not the ways in which we will restore prosperity for the American people. It’s time for Washington to stop putting forward proposals that would penalize job-creators and middle class families and instead work to make our outdated tax code simpler and fairer, ensuring we reduce Americans’ tax burdens while also making U.S. businesses more competitive in the global economy.

I believe in tapping into the potential of the American people, not the government. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to oppose ill-conceived tax hikes and to create a simplified tax system that works better for all Americans.


US Senator Mike Rounds Weekly Column: State of the Union Address a Missed Opportunity

Weekly Column
State of the Union Address a Missed Opportunity
By Senator Mike Rounds
Jan. 23, 2015

MikeRounds official SenateThe State of the Union address fulfills a constitutionally mandated duty that calls on the President to periodically update Congress on the state of our nation. In recent history, the State of Union is an annual event in which the President addresses both chambers of Congress in person at the U.S. Capitol. President Obama’s 2015 address was no different. I sat with my colleagues no more than 50 feet from the President, listening in earnest for ways to work together to find areas of agreement or opportunity. As many of you have expressed, I too was disappointed.

Given the challenges we face as a nation, I had hoped the President would have used this opportunity to set a bipartisan, positive tone for 2015 and focus on our shared vision for moving the country forward. Republicans have wasted no time getting to work this year. In the Senate, we’re currently considering legislation to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. We are working on a number of bills that will help our economy grow, providing for private sector jobs and beginning to reduce government red-tape that is slowing down our recovery. We will not forget about the American taxpayers. We are already beginning our work. In the Senate, we’ve already voted on more amendments this year than all of 2014 under Democrat leadership.

Unfortunately, the President showed no signs of wanting to work with us on these issues. He told us again during the State of the Union that he plans to veto our Keystone pipeline bill, despite widespread support in Congress and among the American people. He also used the State of the Union to propose a tax plan he knows is dead on arrival in Congress because it calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases.  We know this hurts farmers, ranchers and small business owners. Our plan is to get the federal government out of the way so the economy can begin to grow again.

The President also used his speech to double down on his record, touting failed policies such as Obamacare, and took credit for a ‘strong’ economic recovery. It’s hard to take this rhetoric seriously when evidence of these successes is so scarce. We know that health care premiums have skyrocketed for many South Dakota families and many others lost the coverage they enjoyed all together because of the health care law. We also know that the median household income is weak. Since the President has taken office, median household annual income has dropped by $3,000 and the labor force has continued to shrink. That’s why few Americans are actually feeling the economic recovery he claims to have led us through.

The ideas laid out in the President’s speech may have excited the left wing of his political base, but it proved he has turned a deaf ear to the majority of Americans. By continuing to put politics first and promote the same old policies that have failed him in the past, he ignores the loud cries of voters who made clear they are tired of the same old ideas and practices in Washington.

Americans want us to work together to make government more efficient and effective. I, along with my Republican colleagues, remain committed to American priorities: jobs, the economy and government efficiency. We’re already rolling up our sleeves and getting to work again. Hopefully Congress and the President can find a way to put politics aside to remove the bureaucratic hurdles and unnecessary regulations that hardworking South Dakotans have to deal with every day. It’s time the President realizes that more government isn’t the right answer to the problems facing our country.



Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Why We Need an Opportunity Economy

Why We Need an Opportunity Economy
By Rep. Kristi Noem
January 23, 2015

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014During last week’s State of the Union address, President Obama intended to make the argument that his economic approach was “middle-class economics.”  We ought to be investing in growing the size and strength of middle-class America – as well as its pay – but the President’s policies have failed to do that.

On his watch, only top earners have seen their incomes rise, but middle-class Americans are earning less on average than they did in 2009 – by about two thousand dollars a year.  While jobs have been added at the top and bottom of the wage scale, those positions sought by the middle class have been shed.

A house divided against itself cannot stand – and neither can an economy.  This administration’s policies have divided our nation by class and income.  That’s never been the American way – and it never should be. I believe we ought to seek opportunities for every citizen.  We ought to be bringing folks out of poverty and making sure wages increase across the board.  We ought to be fighting so that every South Dakotan has the opportunity to succeed – so long as they work hard and play by the rules.  We ought to be aiming for an Opportunity Economy.

In many cases, opportunity is a product of education, whether that is a traditional university, community college or vocational school.  I believe in the importance of receiving a higher education, but I also understand the obstacles life can throw in your way when you’re trying to get that education.  I worked multiple jobs after high school to support my own education.

When my dad passed away and I came home to help run the farm, I had to put that education on hold.  I finally finished my degree almost 20 years later. Needless to say, I understand the challenges.  That’s one of the reasons why I’ve been so supportive of 529 savings plans, which hundreds of South Dakota families currently take advantage of.  The President proposed increasing taxes on these savings accounts as part of his State of the Union pitch.  But this is money hardworking Americans have earned and saved for their kids’ education.  The government doesn’t deserve to take a bigger piece of that money than it already gets.

I’ve also been looking to increase opportunities for working moms.  For many, finding the right work-life balance is a constant struggle.  I’d like to see working families get a little more flexibility.  If you work overtime, you should have a choice: take the overtime pay or get that time back by receiving an equal amount of extra time off.  I helped pass a bill through the House to accomplish this last year, and I’ll be working with the new Republican Senate to try to get it over the finish line this year.

Achieving an Opportunity Economy will also require some changes to the tax code and regulatory environment to make it more fair and affordable.  We’ve done it in South Dakota and it’s produced real results.  Rosenbauer America, a company that manufactures fire rescue vehicles in Lyons, offered almost every employee a dollar-an-hour raise about a year ago, according to the Argus Leader.  They also made it easier to earn vacation days.  This wasn’t something that was mandated by the federal government; it was a decision the company made.  Why?  Our unemployment rate in South Dakota is the third lowest in the nation.  Tax rates are kept low.  And smart regulatory policies have made us one of the nation’s top states to do business. Now, companies have to compete for workers.  That drives pay and benefits up.  It works.

I am committed to securing more opportunities and freedoms for South Dakotans so you can seize every promise the American Dream has always provided.  We can and must do better.


Latest Annette Bosworth pre-trial plea is a bit bizarre. Dear Wedding List Legislator:

Like her infamous “dirty words” press conference back during the primary, indicted US Senate Candidate Annette Bosworth has a knack for coming up with publicity stunts that are bizarre, or such a horrific train wreck, you can’t look away.  And this week brought us another.

As the days count down to her upcoming February trial for attesting to petition signatures she didn’t witness, State Legislators meeting in Pierre for the 2015 legislative session received a letter this week from former Candidate Bosworth, complete with personal annotations. And this one is a doozy.

“Dear Wedding List, Legislator.

You’re Invited to the wedding. Or at least you would be invited to the wedding if Chad and I were planning our wedding today. That is why you’ re getting this letter, You are on my “wedding list” of people.

You are receiving this letter because you are a legislator and you will be in Pierre during the trial!

Not surprisingly, as you page through it, this is uncomfortable to read. Not because anyone thinks she’s being railroaded, since by her own admission, she says she wasn’t present for the signatures she attested to witnessing. It’s cringeworthy because the group of people she’s sending it to – state legislators – are among the least likely to buy a letter repeating things that, amidst all the biblical quotes, most believe are a complete load of bullsh*t.

Dear Legislator Weddinglist

I humbly ask for you to use your God-gifted-talents. I am praying that the cold courtroom in Pierre will be filled with the warmth from God’s people. I am asking for support in the form of your presence at this trial. If you have witnessed a jury trial, you understand the powerful message supporters send. The power of the presence of supporters in the courtroom strengthens the person on trial, their family, their lawyers as well as the citizens serving on the jury. If you have never witnessed a jury trial, come and gain the experience with your own eyes. Help me put purpose to this pain. We will witness to South Dakota and the country that when you trust in the Lord, His people will stand together during times of adversity.

Are we thinking this is going to cause any legislators to abandon their desk in the State Capitol, and walk the block and a half to the courthouse?

Press Release: Rounds Supports Working Families Flexibility Act

 Rounds Supports Working Families Flexibility Act

MikeRounds official SenateWASHINGTON—Yesterday, U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) cosponsored the Working Families Flexibility Act, which would allow employees to choose between traditional overtime pay or additional comp time when they work overtime hours.

“This bill would benefit hard-working families across South Dakota and throughout the country,” said Rounds. “It would offer private sector employees a win-win option when they work overtime: they could select either monetary compensation or paid time off to spend at their leisure. Government employees currently have this option, so it makes sense to give private sector workers the same opportunity and flexibility.”

Introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), the Working Families Flexibility Act amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide employers with the necessary flexibility to allow their employees to choose either the traditional overtime pay or paid time off for any overtime hours worked. Employers would be able to offer this option to their employees on a voluntary basis.