Yet, South Dakota Democrats led by Ann Tornberg are happily bringing in one of the most partisan people in the country, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida to be their dinner speaker. (As in one dinner, because that’s all they generally have.)
I missed this gem in the Associated Press version of the article about incoming Thune Campaign Manager Josh Shields. Former Teacher’s Union Boss Ann Tornberg is Democratic Party chair, and in charge of everything that they do.
And even she had to admit that against John Thune, ‘Dem’s got nothing’:
South Dakota Democratic Party Chairwoman Ann Tornberg says she’s not currently aware of any candidates that are interested in running against Thune. He ran unopposed for a second term in 2010.
The South Dakota Democratic Party plans to fill the Executive Director position before the end of January. Interested applicants can learn more about the position here: http://www.sddp.org/we-are-hiring/
According to an article on news center one’s website, the bill causing the governor to take the most pause is the measure to take those under 18 out of the equation for the minimum wage:
Daugaard says he will continue looking over it until he comes to a decision. “There’s about 28 bills that I still need to read through and make sure that I’m comfortable with the way the bill ended up. The youth minimum wage is one of them.
“In my home state of South Dakota, 74 percent of exports go to countries with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement … Trade promotion authority has been the means by which nearly every U.S. free trade agreement has been negotiated. … That’s been a huge benefit to South Dakota farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), member of the Senate Finance Committee, took to the Senate floor to call on Senate Democrats to support trade promotion authority (TPA) to put American goods on an even playing field internationally. Thune noted the tremendous impact of trade on South Dakota’s agriculture industry, and mentioned the timeliness of the discussion particularly on today, National Agriculture Day.
Below is the video and transcript of Thune’s remarks.
“Mr. President, if there’s one thing Americans have made clear, it’s that they want their leaders to do something about the economy.
“The recession may have officially ended almost six years ago, but millions of Americans are still struggling economically, and opportunities are still few and far between.
“One big thing we can do to help the economy and expand opportunities for American workers is pass trade promotion authority, or TPA.
“Our prior trade agreements have been a boon to the economy, providing American workers with jobs and American farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers with new markets for their goods.
“In my home state of South Dakota, 74 percent of exports go to countries with which the U.S. has a free trade agreement.
“Between 2005 and 2014, South Dakota saw a 110 percent increase in exports to free trade agreement countries.
“That’s been a huge benefit to South Dakota farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers.
“Speaking of farmers and trade, today is National Agriculture Day, and I’d just like to add as an aside that the substantial agriculture trade surplus the United States currently enjoys is a tribute to the efficiency and productivity of U.S. farmers and ranchers.
“I salute the U.S. farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses who provide America – and the world – with a safe and abundant food supply.
“Passing trade promotion authority is one way we can ensure an even greater global expansion of U.S. agricultural trade.
“Mr. President, currently the administration is in the process of negotiating two new trade agreements that would open vast new markets for American products and put American goods on a level playing field internationally.
“The first of these agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is being negotiated with a number of Asia-Pacific nations including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam.
“Currently, American goods face heavy tariffs in many of these countries, at times as high as 85 percent.
“Tariffs of that size put American goods at an incredible disadvantage compared to their foreign competitors.
“Tariffs provide a powerful disincentive for citizens in other nations to purchase American products.
“Removing this disincentive would increase foreign demand for U.S. products, which would mean more business for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers, and more jobs and opportunities for American workers.
“That’s why negotiating the strongest possible Trans-Pacific trade agreement, as well as the agreement the United States is negotiating with the European Union, must be a priority.
“And for that we need trade promotion authority.
“Trade promotion authority has been the means by which nearly every U.S. free trade agreement has been negotiated.
“The idea behind TPA is simple.
“Congress sets the negotiating priorities the administration must follow and requires the administration to consult with Congress during the negotiating process.
“In return, Congress promises a simple up-or-down vote on the final agreement, instead of a lengthy amendment process that could leave the final agreement looking nothing like the deal the administration negotiated.
“The promise of that up-or-down vote on the final agreement is the key.
“That’s what gives our trading partners the confidence they need to put their best offers on the table, which allows for a successful conclusion of negotiations.
“Trade promotion authority demonstrates that Congress and the administration are on the same page when it comes to the content of trade agreements and that the final agreement will be either accepted or rejected, not amended beyond recognition.
“Mr. President, trade promotion authority expired in 2007, and Republicans have been pushing for renewing it ever since.
“The president is also on board, and he called for trade promotion authority in this year’s State of the Union address.
“This is an excellent chance for Democrats and Republicans to accomplish something significant for the American people and show that Washington is working again.
“Unfortunately, while the president and Republicans are united on this issue, many Senate Democrats continue to oppose this legislation.
“The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is currently engaged in negotiations on a TPA bill with the committee’s ranking member, the senior senator from Oregon.
“We’re hopeful that these efforts will yield legislation that both Republicans and Democrats will support.
“Republicans are very open to suggestions and improvements.
“In fact, I expect a final agreement will include many elements advocated by the senior senator from Oregon and other Senate Democrats, such as greater transparency surrounding trade negotiations.
“However, the one thing Republicans can’t support is an attempt to undermine the core of TPA: that guaranteed up-or-down vote that gives other countries the confidence to put forward their best offers in trade negotiations.
“Simply put, we can’t afford to weaken TPA.
“Mr. President, if we fail to pass TPA, which will likely spell the failure of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S.-EU trade agreement, we won’t be maintaining the status quo.
“Just because we’re not negotiating agreements doesn’t mean other countries won’t be.
“Other countries will secure favorable treatment of their goods, and American goods will fall further and further behind.
“That’s not something we can afford in this economy.
“If we pass TPA, on the other hand, that will allow the Trans-Pacific trade agreement and the U.S.-EU trade agreement to move forward, which means American producers will benefit from new markets for their goods, and American workers will benefit from new jobs and opportunities.
“Since 2009, exports have accounted for more than 1 million new jobs here in the United States.
“If we pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S.-EU trade agreement, we could be looking at more than a million more over the next few years.
“It’s time to pass TPA, get these agreements concluded, and let American workers and businesses start experiencing the benefits.”
Several weeks ago now in the tangle of chaos that is my life, I had a brief e-mail exchange from someone active in South Dakota politics who had previously had a close association with Corinna Robinson during the campaign.
You remember? Corinna Robinson – the person who moved from Virginia to South Dakota to run against Congresswoman elect Kristi Noem. In fact, if I recall last April, she was the darling of the looney left who predicted she’d win handily with the rest of the Dem field:
So Dems, since Corinna Robinson will be seeking re-election to the House, and since Joe Lowe will be busy Governoring, and since I don’t think you’ll ever get Bernie Hunhoff to leave Yankton, who’s our pick to take out Thune and join Rick Weiland in the Senate in 2016?
Anyway, getting away from delusional Democrats, and back to the conversation I was having with the Robinson staffer, it was an interesting e-mail exchange because the subject was that Corinna Robonson has literally gone off the radar.
Immediately after the election, Robinson had noted that Democrats were asking her “to stay the course,” but 4 months later, and even some of her own campaign people are saying she’s dropped off the map?
In fact, there have been no updates on her website, and nothing on Twitter since a single December tweet. And if you attempt to go to her former facebook campaign page at http://www.facebook.com/CorinnaforSD, it’s been taken off line and is no longer there.
Those aren’t the signs of a potential candidate seeking to remain engaged with the few people who supported her, who wants to build more support for a race that begins in less than 10 months.
But it is a sign that someone may be packing her bags, and scooting out the door to greener pastures.
So Dems, you’d better keep looking. Maybe Frank Kloucek is getting tired of hanging out in Scotland?
Roll Call is reporting this morning that one of the only two potentially competent candidates that South Dakota Democrats have is taking a pass for 2016.
Brendan Johnson, son of former US Senator Tim Johnson, confirmed to Roll Call that he’s going to be spending time working on his law practice for the next few years:
But Johnson is now officially in the private sector. On Monday, Robins Kaplan LLP announced he has joined the firm and will open a new office in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“My focus is exclusively right now on building a national law practice,” Johnson told CQ Roll Call. As for a political campaign, “I haven’t given it any thought, nor do I have any sort of political plan.”
Democrats have a thin bench in Republican-leaning South Dakota. There was Johnson and former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, now the general counsel and vice president of corporate development for Raven Industries.
The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call.
“Democrats have a thin bench in Republican-leaning South Dakota?” Thin? It’s so darned anorexic that people are starting to talk.
The ‘thin bench’ is far worse than Roll Call cites, because half of the Democrat insiders hate Herseth, considering her too conservative, as evidenced by the fact they keep trying to shove members of the Weiland family in her path.
Rounds to Administration: Act Quickly To Protect
South Dakota Tourism and Construction Industries
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today wrote a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) encouraging the agency to act quickly to find a long-term solution for issuing temporary, seasonal employment visas (H-2B) that are critical for a number of industries in South Dakota. Earlier this month, DOL stopped processing H-2B visas following an injunction by a federal court. Today, a judge granted stay that would allow DOL to continue issuing H-2B visas while a long-term solution is established.
“I’m pleased the Administration finally took the steps necessary to get this important program moving again,” said Rounds. “South Dakota tourism and construction industries rely on this temporary work program to fully operate. Now, it’s imperative DOL works quickly to find a long-term solution so that our businesses have both the certainty and labor force they need to be successful.”
The motion to stay runs until April 15, 2015. Last week, DOL and the Department of Homeland Security announced on they intend to issue an interim final rule by April 30th, 2015. This could leave a two-week gap between the stay and the final interim ruling in which H-2B visas may not be issued.
Text of the letter can be found below:
March 17, 2015
The Honorable Thomas Perez
Secretary of Labor
Office of the Secretary
U.S. Department of Labor
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room S-2018
Washington, DC 20210
Dear Secretary Perez:
When the Northern District Court of Florida vacated the Department of Labor’s H-2B regulations on March 4, 2015, in Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14-cv-682, this caused great concern and adverse consequences for several businesses in our States. While the District Court today has stayed this action and allowed visa applications to be processed, it is critical that the ramifications of this court decision be addressed as soon as possible and that the Department find a definitive solution to this problem.
Seasonal industries make staffing and capital expenditure decisions months in advance. Without certainty, they cannot make these critical decisions. Due to the Federal District Court’s ruling that the Department of Labor’s H-2B rules are not compliant, seasonal businesses are left without a clear path forward through some of the most important months of the year. We urge you to act as expeditiously as you can to solve this problem, by the end of the stay.
While we realize that the Department of Labor overstepped its bounds in issuing these regulations, we believe that something must be done to remedy the problem that has arisen as a result. We understand that in response to some of our colleagues that the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security are working to issue a joint Interim Final Rule and do so by April 30, 2015. We urge you to act sooner by April 15th, the end of this stay. Businesses cannot wait these extra weeks until your Department acts.
PIERRE, SD – South Dakota State Auditor Steve Barnett was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Comptrollers (NASC). Representing states across the nation, NASC members include elected or appointed officials tasked with the financial management of state government. The eight Executive Committee positions are selected by the membership yearly at the association’s annual conference.
“It is a great honor to have been named to this committee by my peers and colleagues,” stated Barnett. “I look forward to continue using the relationships developed in NASC as a valuable tool and asset as we strive to provide maximum efficiency in the State Auditor’s office.”
The following list provides the NASC Executive Committee slate for 2015-2016:
• President: John Reidhead, Director-Division of Finance, Utah
• Vice-President: Anna Marie Kiehl, State Comptroller/Chief Acct. Officer, Pennsylvania
• Secretary/Treasurer: Tom White, State Comptroller, Alabama
• Immediate Past President: David Von Moll, State Comptroller, Virginia
• Cynthia Cloud, State Auditor, Wyoming
• Diane Langham, Fiscal Management Director, Mississippi
• Alan Skelton, State Accounting Officer, Georgia
• Steve Barnett, State Auditor, South Dakota