Anti-incumbent group claiming primary opponent coming in Congress

Coming from the “Primary Dusty Johnson” facebook group…

Primary Candidate

Looks like the anti-incumbent forces may have talked someone into running against Dusty Johnson, and they should soon be schooled how a good campaign is run, as Dusty is one of the toughest campaigners in the state.

First guess is Taffy Howard, especially since she was speaking at an event recently, but we’ll see.

Stay tuned.

Democrat Legislator offering job with a racial preference. Is that allowable? Well, start looking through federal regulations.

So yesterday, State Rep. People Pourier was out on Facebook doing some hiring. And made a statement that’s catching some by surprise:

– Outgoing & comfortable speaking to strangers
– Native preference
– Located in Pine Ridge Reservation or Rapid City

In most cases, talking about race in hiring is going to end you up in a civil rights lawsuit, or being pursued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

But in this case, the answer is a little more complicated, and the Federal Government actually provides for a carve out to allow a racially based preference in some instances. According to the EEOC:

Section 703(i) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(i)(1982), provides an exception to Title VII’s general nondiscrimination principles allowing certain employers under certain circumstances to exercise an employment preference in favor of American Indians.(1) That section provides as follows:

Nothing contained in this title shall apply to any business or enterprise on or near an Indian reservation with respect to any publicly announced employment practice of such business or enterprise under which a preferential treatment is given to any individual because he is an Indian living on or near a reservation.

The statutory language makes it clear that an employer seeking to avail itself of the Indian preference exception must meet three conditions: (1) the employer must be located on or near an Indian reservation, (2) the employer’s preference for Indians must be publicly announced, and (3) the individual to whom preferential treatment is accorded must be an Indian living on or near a reservation. Neither Section 703(i) nor any other section of the Act, however, defines the terms “Indian reservation” or “near.”

Read that here.

So.. The civil rights act allows “preferential treatment” if an is “an Indian living on or near a reservation.” That’s pretty clear. Ok.. but is Rapid City near for employment purposes under the act?

If you dig into it, in their Q&A, the US Department of Labor also talks about the topic, noting..

My company has facilities across the United States in areas with a large American Indian or Alaska Native population, but these facilities are not near an Indian reservation. Can the company still extend an Indian preference in employment?

No, contractors may extend a publicly announced Indian preference only for employment opportunities on or near an Indian reservation

Read that here.

Pine Ridge would clearly meet what’s allowed in Federal regulations as near.. But.. is Rapid City considered “near?” Well, that’s a good question. Here’s where it gets murky.

The EEOC gives some guidance but stops short of drawing a hard and fast line on what “near” means.  And if you read it, it also discusses what a reasonable commute is for these purposes. Seems like these are the things that generate at least a moderate amount of debate.

At the very least, with a sitting state legislator offering racially based preferential hiring for a statewide ballot measure, there’s a good chance that others with far more knowledge on the topic may take a deeper look at the nuances of what is and what is not allowed.

So, COVID decided to come for a visit..

Last week after purposely avoiding as much contact as I could with the outside world over the last several months, my household got an unexpected visitor when COVID showed up on my doorstep, banishing my youngest son and I to the basement, separating us from my wife and youngest daughter on the upper side of the stairwell. My oldest son abandoned the house entirely and pushed across the town avoiding all of us.

I think I have a comparatively mild case, strictly body aches and low grade fever. I did pick up some chest issues yesterday where I went in, so I could be checked out. I think it was mainly the cheap oxygen monitor that I had gotten, but better safe than sorry. They said I look good on paper and sent me home with some preventative medicine.

Although as a result, I do find myself back in the ER again today.. but not for a bad thing. My doctor called this morning and said that she thought I was a good candidate for the experimental infusion treatment.

Apparently you cannot have received oxygen or been hospitalized or vaccinated yet. It’s meant to try to prevent hospitalization. Supposedly it pumps you full of antibodies.

They did mention that there’s no charge for the medicine itself because it’s experimental.  Free experimental medicine? Sure…I’m go for a little medical experimentation.. why is my foot tingling?

Seriously, I did talk to one person who had a family member who received infusion who was miserably ill, and less than two days later this 90-year-old person was up baking cookies and feeling better than they had in years. So I’m hopeful this has me on the mend and maybe un-banished to “the home hot zone” a little sooner.

Can’t post without mentioning that I’ve received great care & service from the medical community at Avera Clinic & Brookings Health System. They have truly been outstanding.

Delegation Urges President-elect Biden not to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline

Delegation Urges President-elect Biden not to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) today urged President-elect Biden not to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and the regional economic investment it will drive to South Dakota.

“As you begin your term, we know you will face many calls to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which for too many has become a symbol of America’s energy past,” the delegation wrote. “We implore you to recognize the potential for this modern infrastructure project to serve as a model for how America can rebuild and update our energy sector. We hope you will take this opportunity to set the tone for your term by defending American jobs and infrastructure.”

Full text of the letter below:

Dear President-elect Biden:

We write to you in the spirit of collaboration you espoused in your election campaign.  While we will undoubtedly have policy disagreements, we hope to work constructively toward mutually shared goals, including economic growth and energy security.  It is for this reason that we write to urge you reconsider your reported plans to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Keystone XL pipeline of today is not the same project first reviewed by the Obama administration.  In fact, pipeline operator TC Energy has, like much of America’s energy sector, adapted to address the associated environmental, social, and governmental (ESG) considerations of the project.  We believe these significant changes in the project merit due consideration by your administration and should not be dismissed out of hand.  Rather, the updated proposal for the Keystone XL pipeline should be upheld as an example of how American industry, especially in the context of revitalizing critical infrastructure, may approach ESG efforts to build a more reliable and resilient energy future.

Specifically, TC Energy has committed to operate Keystone XL with net-zero emissions, pledging to invest $1.7 billion to produce 1.6 gigawatts of renewable energy.  This would rank TC Energy among the highest corporate backers of renewable energy purchases, directly supporting your agenda to bolster green energy investments in the U.S.  We should encourage such private investment, which is driven by the market, not mandate, and will otherwise reserve federal funds for other necessary investments.

Additionally, the Keystone XL pipeline will support approximately 10,000 jobs over the course of its construction.  Approximately 2,000 workers are already on the job.  As America works to rebuild its economy after nearly one year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, we can ill-afford to cancel such stable employment, nor overlook the $2.2 billion in wages it will provide.  Notably, the project would be constructed with U.S. steel and support over $3 billion in contracts with suppliers and contractors through 2021, underscoring the broader economic benefit of its construction.

The completion of the Keystone XL pipeline would also yield a significant economic impact in South Dakota, especially through a portion of the $100 million in property taxes the project will generate annually.  These revenues will be reinvested in our schools, rural communities, and local infrastructure.

Lastly, the Keystone XL pipeline fits into a broader discussion about how we can modernize our energy sector.  As you know, we cannot transition away from oil and gasoline overnight, regardless of the ambitions of some to do so.  Thus, it is incumbent on policy makers to engage in a realistic discussions about energy security and how to seize opportunities to cut emissions in a sensible way.  The construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is such an opportunity, as modern pipelines are inherently cleaner—and safer—with the added benefit of deepening our economic ties to Canada.  As you know, Prime Minister Trudeau supports the pipeline, including it in Canada’s clean energy roadmap.  While America has made great strides toward energy independence, we should be hesitant to dismiss opportunities to strengthen bilateral opportunities with our close trading partner and ally.  It bears noting that emissions from Canadian oil production have been cut by approximately one third in the last two decades, again reflecting that Keystone XL and the energy sector at-large have changed significantly since this project was first contemplated.

As you begin your term, we know you will face many calls to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline, which for too many has become a symbol of America’s energy past.  We implore you to recognize the potential for this modern infrastructure project to serve as a model for how America can rebuild and update our energy sector.  We hope you will take this opportunity to set the tone for your term by defending American jobs and infrastructure.



Release: SD Treasurer Josh Haeder Elected to serve on National Association of State Treasurers Leadership Team

SD Treasurer Josh Haeder Elected to serve on National Association of State Treasurers Leadership Team

Haeder Unanimously Elected Treasurer of NAST

PIERRE– The National Association of State Treasurers announced its 2021 leadership election results at last week’s virtual Annual Business & Membership Meeting. South Dakota State Treasurer Josh Haeder will serve as the organizations Treasurer starting January 1, 2021.

Haeder said, “It is an honor to work with such and exceptional and diverse group of Treasurers on both sides of the aisle. Through this opportunity, I will work to share our states vision of returning unclaimed funds to rightful owners, promote sound fiscal management and build lasting relationships that benefit our mission of government that serves the people.”

State Treasurer Josh Haeder was unanimously elected by State Treasurer’s across the country to serve as the Treasurer of the National Association of State Treasurer’s (NAST)

The roster of 2021 NAST elected leaders includes:

  • President: Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell
  • Senior Vice President: Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden
  • Secretary-Treasurer: South Dakota State Treasurer Josh Haeder

Greg Neitzert raising funds after political smears against him in Sioux Falls City Council race

After being cleared by the Sioux Falls City Council Ethics panel and the Sioux Falls Council as a whole, Sioux Falls City Councilman Greg Neitzert is on facebook today, pointing out some of the carnage left in the wake of the purely political attacks, including an enormous legal bill, which is coming out of his own pocket.

After a lengthy 6+ month legal battle, I finally cleared my name and hopefully put an end to this unfortunate episode. …

Posted by City Councilor Greg Neitzert on Sunday, September 20, 2020

You can click on the link for information on supporting Councilor Neitzert.