GOAC proposing addition to state conflict law adding 1 year ban to interest in state contracts.

The Government Operations and Audit Committee has introduced House Bill 1023 to address the EB-5 controversy in part that was brought up again and again during the last election cycle to prevent state employees from signing state contracts and then going to work for the people they’ve been signed with.

In part…:

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to prohibit a state officer or employee from having an interest in any contract that the state employee or officer approved, awarded, or administered for one calendar year following termination of state employment.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That § 5-18A-17 be amended to read as follows:

5-18A-17. No state officer or employee who approves, awards, or administers a contract involving the expenditure of public funds or the sale or lease of property, may have an interest in a contract that is within the scope of the officer’s or employee’s official duties. This prohibition includes any state officer or employee who, in his or her official capacity, recommends the approval or award of the contract or who supervises a person who approves, awards, or administers the contract. This prohibition is in effect for one calendar year after the state officer or employee terminates his or her office or employment with the state.

Follow the bill here. The underlined part is the addition to the law.

The only problem with the measure?  None logistically, but it could face amending because it’s a measured, reasonable, and sane response. A sane response to a ridiculously overblown issue that dominated the political scene for the last year.

Anyone care to speculate on how much showboating and grandstanding we’ll see on the issue?

Pierre residents want their Hy-Chi, petitioning at moveon.org.

I caught this in my facebook feed this morning.

Coming on the heels of the consolidation of Dakotamart and Sutley’s in the Pierre/Ft. Pierre area, nearly 1000 Pierre/Ft.Pierre residents are petitioning the HyVee corporation at Liberal Democratic web site MoveOn.org to “Let the corporate offices for Hy-Vee know there is a want for a grocery store in Pierre/Fort Pierre, SD.”

I can’t blame them for wanting their Hy-Chi (HyVee Chinese Deli counter), but corporations don’t make decisions on petitions. They look at traffic. They look at numbers, and make decisions on the basis of whether they can make a profit.  There was a chain grocery store in Pierre one point, but it didn’t make it.  And that was long before Wal-mart expanded, and increased their grocery offerings nearly ten-fold

I love my local Hy-vee. And considering what I spend there for my pile of kids, I’m sure they love me too.

But, it’s not a field of dreams. If you build it, there’s no guarantee they’ll come. But if you have the numbers, that’s a different story.

Gordon Howie says he’s not doing a hit piece on Marty Jackley. (So yes, it’s a hit piece.)

In an odd passive-agressive manner directed towards Attorney General Marty Jackley, independent Senate Candidate Gordon Howie continues to press his line against law and order and says that Jackley can’t win Governor if he prosecutes Annette Bosworth.

It’s no secret that Attorney General Marty Jackley would like to be Governor.

Before you read further, dispel from your thoughts any idea that this is a “hit”” piece.

and…

What I am hearing is that this case strikes people as akin to the Obama and Nixon use of IRS to attack conservatives. It’s like the ever-less popular Boehner now punishing his rivals.

Whether that is true or untrue is not the issue. The PRECEPTION of whether it is true or untrue is significant. It has been said that in politics, perception is reality. It is true that even ONE felony conviction would cost Bosworth her license to practice medicine. That seems like a pretty extreme penalty to most people, and makes the AG look like a vengeful bully in the eyes of many watching this case.

and…

The reasonable thing to do in the Bosworth case would seem to be a misdemeanor charge with a penalty and no felony charges. That would be a win-win situation. Bosworth accepts a reasonable consequence and the integrity of the election process is preserved.

Another “win” might be for the Jackley for Governor committee.

Read this silliness here.

It’s pretty early in the day to declare this the dumbest thing I’ve read today. But, this is by far the dumbest thing I will read today, and a good testament to why Gordon should not be ever elected to anything ever again.

Observing how Marty has conducted his office (Believe me, I know), he makes his prosecutorial decisions based on evidence, and whether he believes there is sufficient evidence to move forward. It’s not a matter of playing favorites. It’s not a matter of using his office to rack up a scorecard to campaign.

Just yesterday, he announced they were not going to proceed with a case of someone they had already convicted of a traffic fatality. Why? Because there was new evidence to the contrary.

It might be Gordon’s “PRECEPTION“, but that doesn’t strike me as prosecutorial zeal. That strikes me as being reasonable.

Instead of spouting a line of silliness telling Marty he won’t be able to run for Governor if he prosecutes Boz, maybe Gordon’s commentary should be directed elsewhere. Such as towards the person being prosecuted.

If Annette had wanted to accept a plea deal for a lesser charge to save her license to practice medicine, I suspect the time would have been several months ago, when she was choosing to play musical lawyers and using a former pornographer to go on the attack.

I, like many South Dakotans look forward this this being resolved, and the Bosworth Family Circus finally going away. But, it needs to be resolved the right way. Not, as Gordon suggests, for political gain.

And with Marty at the wheel, I trust that’s it’s being handled towards the ends of justice.

Rounds Signs onto Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation, Disappointed by President’s Veto Threat

Rounds Signs onto Keystone XL Pipeline Legislation,
Disappointed by President’s Veto Threat

roundsWASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) today announced he is one of 60 bipartisan cosponsors to a bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline project. The bill, S. 1, is the first piece of legislation being considered in the Senate and the first bill Rounds is sponsoring as a Senator. Yesterday afternoon, President Obama indicated he would veto the legislation.

“Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is long overdue. South Dakotans – and all Americans – overwhelmingly support it,” said Rounds. “I’m disappointed the President failed to listen to the will of voters by threatening to veto this important project. Instead, he’s pandering to the extreme left minority of his party. My hope is that cooler heads will prevail at the White House as we send this and other commonsense bills his way in the future.”

Offered by Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), S. 1 authorizes TransCanada to construct and operate the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast, transporting an additional 830,000 barrels of secure North American oil per day to U.S. refineries. The U.S. State Department estimates that Keystone will create 42,100 American jobs. Upon passage, a presidential permit would no longer be needed to approve the project. It is expected to pass the Senate with broad bipartisan support.

The Keystone XL pipeline project has been under review for more than six years, with five State Department issued environmental impact reports determining that the pipeline poses no major environmental risks.

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Press Release: Thune Bill Provides Incentive to Hire Long-Term Unemployed Americans

Thune Bill Provides Incentive to Hire Long-Term Unemployed Americans

John_Thune_official_photoWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) today introduced S. 38, the Helping Individuals Regain Employment Act (HIRE Act), a bill that would provide an incentive for employers to hire long-term unemployed Americans by permanently exempting those employees from the government-mandated ObamaCare employee count.

“The HIRE Act is a win-win for employers and long-term unemployed Americans who continue to feel the pain from ObamaCare and six years of President Obama’s failed economic policies,” said Thune. “Congress should be doing all it can to enact policies that help unemployed Americans find good-paying jobs, and ObamaCare shouldn’t stand in the way.”

Under ObamaCare, any business with 100 or more full-time employees must provide government-approved insurance or pay a fine in 2015. Beginning in 2016, any business with 50 or more full-time employees must comply with the mandate.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 9.1 million unemployed Americans, of which 2.8 million have been unemployed for 27 or more weeks. While the official unemployment rate is 5.8 percent, the “real” unemployment rate, which considers the number of people who have stopped looking for work, is 11.4 percent.

The HIRE Act was originally included in Thune’s “Good Jobs, Good Wages, Good Hours Act,” which he introduced last year as an alternative to the unemployment insurance extension bill.

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Press Release: Attorney General Jackley Joins Bi-Partisan Attorney General Effort to Protect Second Amendment Rights

Attorney General Jackley Joins Bi-Partisan Attorney General Effort to Protect Second Amendment Rights

PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley has joined an amicus brief, filed by the State of Nebraska in which 25 Bi-Partisan Attorneys General seek to protect Second Amendment rights.

The brief was filed in the case of Jackson v. San Francisco in opposition of a city ordinance that required all citizens who possess handguns in their homes to disable them or to stow them away in a lock box whenever the guns are not being physically carried on the person.

“The Second Amendment permits law-abiding citizens the fundamental right to bear arms in the defense of themselves and their families. As Attorney General, I strongly encourage the safekeeping of firearms in the home particularly when children are present to avoid an accident. However, the government should not come into our home, dictate and enforce how to keep firearms,” said Jackley.

The brief argues that the Second Amendment protects the right to keep a “lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense” and the ordinance makes it impractical, if not impossible, for a law abiding citizen to exercise his or her right.

The Attorneys General argue that review of the Ninth Circuit’s decision by the United States Supreme Court is critical because San Francisco’s ordinance violates the Second Amendment based on the Supreme Court’s striking of a similar trigger-lock requirement for a handgun in the home in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). The U.S Supreme Court has recognized that the Second Amendment “elevates above all other interests the right to law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” Heller. Indeed, “individual self-defense is ‘the central component’ of the Second Amendment right.” McDonald v. City of Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, (2010). And because it is a right “fundamental to our scheme of ordering liberty,” it applies equally to states and municipalities. McDonald.

The Attorneys General from the following states are participating: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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Jackley: No Further Prosecution based on New Evidence.

State Will Take No Further Action on Tragic Traffic Fatality of July 30, 2000

Marty JackleyPIERRE, S.D. – Today Attorney General Marty J. Jackley and Meade County State’s Attorney Kevin J. Krull announced that, based on additional evidence that has surfaced, the State will take no further action against Oakley Engesser in relation to the tragic traffic fatality of Dorothy Finley.

In 2001, Oakley Engesser was charged with vehicular homicide and battery as a result of a crash near the Tilford weigh station on I-90 that killed Dorothy Finley on July 30, 2000. According to jury trial testimony, Engesser left the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, with Finley around 6:00 p.m. on July 30, 2000. They drove off in Finley’s red corvette, and around 8:10 p.m. their car collided with a minivan on I-90. They had been traveling 112 miles per hour at the time, and their car rolled over one and a half times before coming to rest upside down in the median. Finley was killed in the accident, and two of the minivan’s occupants were injured.

At the time of the crash Engesser’s blood alcohol level was approximately .125. In addition to physical evidence pointing to Engesser as the driver, the jury viewed a video recording of his interview with the Highway Patrol in which Engesser agreed he could have been driving, though he did not remember anything after leaving the Full Throttle Saloon.

Since the jury trial, new witnesses in 2007 and 2013 surfaced indicating that they saw a woman driving the Corvette shortly before the crash. Although the Supreme Court recognized that Engesser was found guilty by a jury of his peers in an error-free trial, it granted Engesser’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus and a new trial based upon the new witness information.

“Based upon the new witness testimony and the available evidence from the original trial regarding an event that occurred 14 years ago, and considering input from Dorothy Finley’s family, the State does not intend to move forward with a second trial. The State does reserve the right to evaluate any further evidence that may surface regarding any potential future action. It is my hope that the conclusion of these proceedings will help bring closure to all families that have been involved in this tragic accident,” said Attorney General Jackley.

Photo Release: New South Dakota Delegation

Photo Release: New South Dakota Delegation

114SDDelegationWASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Representative Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) joined for the first photo in the 114th Congress of the new South Dakota delegation this morning in Washington, D.C. This Congress marks the first time since 1962 that South Dakota is represented by an all-Republican delegation.

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Argus: Entire SD Delegation blasts Obama veto threat

From the Argus:

The South Dakota congressional delegation, all Republicans, harshly opposed the White House threat.

“It’s disappointing that the president is going to fail his first big test as to whether or not he wants to work with Congress,” Sen. John Thune said. “He would be wise to remember the November election results and think twice before moving to block the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that clearly has public support.

Read it all here.

With John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Kristi Noem letting the President definitively know where South Dakota stands is much more effective than the mixed messages we were putting out before.