Erpenbach proposing Sioux Falls cell phone ban in cars. What’s next?

Sioux Falls city councilor Michelle Erpenbach is often said to be planning to run for Mayor of our state’s largest city. Which makes it quite interesting that she’s planning to propose an ordinance as intrusive as banning cell phone use in cars:

A proposal to ban handheld cellphones while driving faces a bumpy road at city hall.

Sioux Falls City Councilor Michelle Erpenbach plans to introduce a measure Tuesday to prohibit the use of any handheld electronic devices, including cellphones, while operating a vehicle on Sioux Falls streets.

Read it all here.

I’m kind of surprised that someone would propose something so intrusive, especially someone who has been mentioned as being a mayoral hopeful. Huether is bad enough, but this puts her firmly to his left.

The thought that comes to my mind is that if she’s going to be this far to the left on what we can do in our cars, how far off is she from proposing limitations on personal ownership of guns within Sioux Falls City limits?

Because it’s pretty obvious that restricting personal rights are not a problem for her.

Jackley reiterates that non-tribal pot users at Flandreau pot lounge will be arrested

From Today’s KCCR – AG Marty Jackley reminds residents that he’s not going to turn a blind eye to the proposed Flandreau pot lounge, and that any non-tribal members using pot there will be arrested and subject to prosecution:

Regardless, the tribe has begun growing marijuana on the reservation and is looking at a New Years Eve opening for their resort. However, Jackley says, anyone breaking state law will be arrested.

Jackley says tribal members would be within their right to use marijuana on their own tribal lands, however non-Indians would not.

 Should there be probable cause; Jackley says state law enforcement officials have the right to enter the reservation and arrest individuals who are committing a crime. Search warrants would be needed.

Read it all here.

Attendance dismal at Democrat training camp

I had a note and a photo from one of my spies today.  

Apparently the Democrat activist and candidate training camp held by the SDDP this weekend fell a bit flat, as you can see from this photo showing maybe 20 people (assuming there aren’t a few speakers there) in attendance at an event set up with seating for 100 or more.
Perhaps it’s a good indicator that reality falls far less than expectations, given SD Democrat’s far left agenda in South Dakota?

Noem meeting with Greek, Egyptian officials regarding combatting ISIS.

While I am flying back to South Dakota, it looks as if Congresswoman Kristi Noem is also traveling this weekend as she meets with officials regarding the problem of ISIS:

“We’ve always been supporters of our allies in Egypt and Greece,” Noem said in a phone interview Friday.“We went there to build relationships and to reassure them that the U.S. still has some strong policy.”

Noem met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Hassan Shoukry to assure them that the United States would continue to be an ally.

Read it all here.

WOTUS Rule Continues to Crumble, says Noem

WOTUS Rule Continues to Crumble, says Noem

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Kristi Noem today praised a federal appellate court decision to temporarily suspend the nationwide implementation of the controversial “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule. In August 2015, a U.S. District Court suspended the rule for select states, including South Dakota, but today’s ruling applies nationwide.

“Today’s announcement is a tremendous victory for homeowners, farmers and ranchers, and small businesses,” said Noem. “The EPA’s proposal would be a historic federal overreach, but it is crumbling after judicial examinations. Nonetheless, today’s announcement provides only temporary relief. We must continue our efforts to offer a lasting reprieve from the federal government’s heavy regulations and fines by fully and permanently ditching this rule. This is a significant step forward, but our fight is far from over.”

Noem has been an outspoken critic of the WOTUS proposal, which she calls “one of the largest federal land grabs in U.S. history.” In May 2015, Rep. Noem helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass the bipartisan H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would send the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers back to the drawing board on the WOTUS rule.  

Noem has also called on the EPA to define regulated navigable waters on a map after an alarming graphic was released that has raised questions about how extensive the EPA’s regulatory authority could become. Read more and view the graphic here.

Additionally, in May 2014, Rep. Noem joined 231 Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle on a letter urging the EPA and the Secretary of the Army to withdraw the proposed rule.  


Rounds Supports Court Decision on WOTUS

Rounds Supports Court Decision on WOTUS

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee and Chairman of the EPW Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight, made the following statement on today’s Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision to stay the Obama Administration’s recent changes to the definition of “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS). The final WOTUS rule was released earlier this year. “I support the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision today to suspend the Administration’s final WOTUS rule,” said Rounds. “Today’s decision is a victory for states’ rights and every landowner in the United States. In South Dakota, we rely on our vast land and natural resources for nearly every aspect of our lives: to provide clean water, maximize agricultural production, provide recreation, bring in tourism and more. We are already good stewards of our land without unelected bureaucrats in Washington saddling us with expansive new regulations, permitting and reporting requirements. Today’s decision pushes back on the Obama Administration’s extreme regulatory overreach. This is not the first time EPA’s overreach has been challenged in court. There are also cases pending regarding new fracking regulations and the Clean Power Plan. I will continue to fight to protect South Dakotans from these and other instances of overregulation from the Obama administration.””

On October 9, the United States Court of Appeals in the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay of the final WOTUS rule. In issuing the stay, the court determined that “petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims.” A federal judge in North Dakota had previously blocked the WOTUS rule in 13 states, including South Dakota.


Thune Statement on Nationwide Stay of Obama EPA’s WOTUS Implementation

Thune Statement on Nationwide Stay of Obama EPA’s WOTUS Implementation“The Obama EPA’s WOTUS rule – one of the largest federal land grabs in history – was dealt another legal blow today.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement in response to a nationwide stay of the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule:  

“The Obama EPA’s WOTUS rule – one of the largest federal land grabs in history – was dealt another legal blow today,” said Thune. “I’ve heard from farmers and ranchers from every corner of South Dakota who are concerned that the overreaching arm of the federal government will drive up compliance costs and expose homeowners and property owners across the country to massive new fines. I applaud today’s ruling and will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that South Dakotans are protected from what amounts to yet another massive Obama administration overstep.”

The decision by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals extends to all 50 states an earlier injunction by a federal district court that blocked implementation in 13 states, including South Dakota.  

Thune is a cosponsor of the Federal Water Quality Protection Act, a bipartisan bill that would direct the EPA to scrap its current proposal and ensure future proposals do not include ponds, ditches, agriculture water, storm water, and certain other areas not typically regulated under the federal Clean Water Act. 


And my Massachusetts tour continues!

And my Massachusetts tour continues on!  As noted yesterday, after jettisoning my 12 passenger van for a Chrysler Town & country, my wife and I have been eating, imbibing and enjoying the sights.

This morning, we got up and did a bit of walking around downtown Boston, where history resides on every corner.

This historic graveyard was one of our first stops…

And Faneuil Hall/market with its multitude of shops is a place for a return trip when I’m back on Sunday.


The site of the Boston Massacre on State street at the old state house sits as a centerpiece for the area among the more modern skyscrapers.

This Chipolte is the site of a former bookstore owned by Benjamin Franklin’s brother. (apparently people went to the bookstore to suffer gastric distress.)

We also saw the site of the first school in America, where some of our founding fathers attended school as children.

From there we headed to Salem Massachusetts, where we’re currently enjoying lunch amidst the gravestones and more New England historic sites.

Administration Will Keep Lean Red Meat in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

 Administration Will Keep Lean Red Meat in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

“I’m glad Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Burwell heeded our request and rejected the advisory committee’s misguided recommendation to leave lean red meat out of what they consider to be a healthy diet.”

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today applauded the administration’s decision to only consider the most relevant nutritional science in determining the 2015 dietary guidelines, which is consistent with statutory guidelines, and reject the advisory committee’s earlier inconsistent conclusions and recommendations regarding the role of lean red meat in a healthy diet. 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell announced their decision earlier this week in a joint blog post. The 2015 dietary guidelines “are not the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability,” Vilsack and Burwell wrote.

“This is the right decision,” said Thune. “I’m glad Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Burwell heeded our request and rejected the advisory committee’s misguided recommendation to leave lean red meat out of what they consider to be a healthy diet. Although the guidelines are not yet finalized, the administration’s announcement will be welcome news for the livestock, pork, and poultry industries in South Dakota.” 

Every five years, USDA and HHS review the dietary guidelines for American food consumption. A March 2015 advisory committee report recommended to the agencies foods that should be included in the new dietary guidelines. The committee left lean red meat out of what it considers to be a healthy diet due to inappropriately using sustainability as a factor.  

Following the advisory committee’s report, Thune led 29 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Vilsack and Burwell urging them to reject the committee’s sustainability recommendations.