Venhuizen to depart Gov’s office for Redstone Law Firm in June

From a release, Tony Venhuizen to depart the Governor’s office for the Redstone Law Firm in Sioux Falls in June:

Redstone Law Firm LLP is pleased to announce that Tony Venhuizen will be joining Redstone Law Firm in the Sioux Falls office starting June 3, 2019.  Venhuizen will focus his private law practice on trusts and estatesgovernment relations and business law.

Venhuizen currently serves as senior advisor to Governor Kristi Noem, and he will continue in that position through late-May 2019.  He previously spent eight years in the office of Governor Dennis Daugaard, including four years as chief of staff.  At various times, Venhuizen oversaw communications, legislative strategy, litigation management and judicial selection, as well as policy areas including K-12 and higher education, open government, information technology, election law, corrections, banking and trusts, and insurance.

Prior to his time in the governor’s office, Venhuizen worked as a law clerk in South Dakota’s First Judicial Circuit, and served five years on the Board of Regents following his appointment by Governor Mike Rounds.

Venhuizen is a native of Armour.  He earned degrees in political science and history in 2005 from SDSU and his law degree in 2008 from USD School of Law, where he was a Thomas Sterling Honor Graduate and an editor of the South Dakota Law Review.  Venhuizen currently serves on the board of directors of the Trail of Governors Foundation.  His wife, Sara, is an electrical engineer and a distinguished alumna of SDSU.  They have three children, Henry, Elizabeth, and Madeleine and will be relocating to Sioux Falls in the coming months.

The partners at Redstone Law Firm have been awarded the top Martindale-Hubbell “AV Preeminent Rating” with respect to legal ability and general ethical standards.  In addition, Redstone Law Firm has continuously been rated by Chambers USA, which recognizes “America’s Leading Lawyers” and their firms.

“We are excited to welcome Tony to the team.  His values, unique background and skills make him a perfect fit for Redstone Law Firm,” said Vance Goldammer, a founding partner of Redstone Law Firm.

Noem Signs Bill to Fast-Track Licensing Processes for Military Spouses

Noem Signs Bill to Fast-Track Licensing Processes for Military Spouses

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem today approved HB1111, a bill to ease the professional licensing process for the spouses of military members assigned to Ellsworth Air Force base or other locations in South Dakota.

“More than 20 percent of military spouses cite state licensing regulations as one of their greatest challenges,” said Noem. “The bill I’m signing today changes that reality for South Dakota’s military families, fast-tracking military spouses through the licensing process and expanding the experienced talent pool of South Dakota’s workforce.”

Current military spouse licensing laws call for the “expedited issuance” of licenses, permits, certificates, or registrations. HB1111 calls for issuance within 30 days.

Today, Noem also signed SB175, which makes an appropriation to the South Dakota Ellsworth Development Authority. These dollars will be matched with federal funds to improve the long-term operations and effectiveness of the base.


Not enough people paying attention to Senator Stace Nelson, so he sent out an odd press release.

Apparently not enough people paid attention to the antics of Senator Stace Nelson this past legislative session. Because it became necessary for him to send out a press release going after his enemies:

The sheriff and chief deputy for Brown County are named in complaints filed with the South Dakota Law Enforcement Officers Standards and Training Commission.

Copies of the complaints against Sheriff Mark Milbrandt and Chief Deputy Dave Lunzman were included with a news release from state Sen. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton. He also filed complaints against former Brown County Deputy Ross Erickson and Madison police officer Mathew Wollmann.

They seek revocation of the men’s law enforcement certification.

Read it here.

So, exactly why did it become necessary for Stace to become the police of the police in this instance? According to the stream-of-consciousness press release he sent out to democrat website Dakota Free Press ….(of course)… Stace somehow lays the blame with Governor Noem, which was too bizarre of a stretch for the Aberdeen News to include in their article:

“Governor Noem’s 2018 Republican primary win over former Attorney General Marty Jackley is credited by many to Noem’s negative campaign TV ads in which Noem used the Kaiser court judgement to mock Jackley being tough on crime and attacked Jackley for dismissing and ignoring Kaiser’s complaints.  Despite these facts, neither the Commission nor Governor Noem filed complaints with the Commission to address the notorious illegal and unethical conduct of the offending officers who cost the state of South Dakota over $1.5 Million.”

Read that here.

Um.. Because the Governor’s campaign brings something up that had been litigated, in his mind the then candidate was supposed to file a complaint?  Really?

(If that’s the case.. wasn’t Stace a legislator before any commercials came out? Why did he wait until now himself?)

I think we are actually all dumber for having read how he connected the yarn in his head to blame it on the Governor.

Moving on.

Mike Huether claims you’ll be hooked on his new show. Meaning, impaled, and in agony?

I hate to say so, but it appears that this is not an April Fools’ joke. Or at least, it doesn’t involve April, as KELOland is putting former Sioux Falls mayor Mike Huether on the air:

KELOLAND On the Road will premiere April 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm CT on KELOLAND TV.  In the same spirit as the popular CBS On the Road franchise, KELOLAND On the Road will feature inspirational and interesting stories from across KELOLAND.  Former Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether will host the program.

“Every town has unique stories of life that motivate, inspire, and make folks feel good.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with KELOLAND to bring them to light,” said Huether.  “Watch “On the Road” one time, and you will be hooked!”

Read it here.

They’re bumping Entertainment Tonight for the Mike Huether show?  And when Huether claims you will be hooked, does he mean like this:

Hooked by Huether… as in, impaled, in agony, bleeding, and you’ll face a painful extraction with pliers.

Buy your tickets for Charlie Kirk at USD Event by clicking banner on the left.

Good News! If you were having trouble with getting tickets for the Republican Dinner at USD on April 25th, the eventbrite link in the banner on the left is fixed, and you can purchase your tickets directly!

As noted in an earlier post, the Clay County Republican Party and University of South Dakota College Republicans are bringing one of the top speakers in the country on the topic of free speech – Charlie Kirk, bestselling author, and president and founder of the conservative advocacy group Turning Point USA.

On April 25th, at the USD Muenster University Center Ballroom, Kirk and former Illinois Republican Primary Challenger Jeanne Ives will be headlining the event also sponsored in part by the Turner and Union County Republican organizations.

Social Hour is at 5pm, Dinner is at 6, and the program begins at 6:30in what is sure to be one of the biggest celebrations of campus free speech ever held in the state.

Click here (or click the banner on the left) to reserve your tickets today!

Noem Signs Bill to Enhance Intellectual Diversity on Campuses

Noem Signs Bill to Enhance Intellectual Diversity on Campuses
Signs 16 Bills on Variety of Topics

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem today signed HB1087, a bill to increase intellectual diversity on college campuses.

“Our university campuses should be places where students leave their comfort zones and learn about competing ideas and perspectives,” said Noem. “I hope this bill lets the nation know that in South Dakota, we are teaching our next generation to debate important issues, work together to solve problems, and think independently.”

The bill directs the Board of Regents, which oversees our state universities, to ensure that each and every state-run institution of higher education is maintaining a commitment to the principles of free expression and encouraging the discussion of topics in an environment that is intellectually and ideologically diverse. The Regents are also required to submit a report to the governor and legislature on the topic.

Noem signed the following bills today:

  • SB3 – An act to create the Special Education Interim Legislative Committee
  • SB4 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the classification of agricultural land for property tax purposes
  • SB16 – An act to establish certain provisions regarding financial security for the decommissioning of wind turbines
  • SB48 – An act to authorize certain improvement districts to issue convention facility on-sale licenses to sell alcoholic beverages
  • SB54 – An act to regulate the use of care and maintenance funds by perpetual care cemeteries
  • SB56 – An act to revise certain provision regarding the regulation of fireworks
  • SB61 – An act to provide certain provisions regarding nursing facility closures
  • SB64 – An act to require certain wind energy facilities to include aircraft detection lighting systems
  • SB66 – An act to establish an interim legislative committee to study issues related to electric services in an annexed area
  • HB1022 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the limitations on indemnification by the state
  • HB1034 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding unemployment insurance contribution rates
  • HB1035 – An act to rename the unemployment insurance program to the reemployment assistance program
  • HB1046 – An act to revise certain provisions regarding the attorney recruitment assistance program
  • HB1087 – An act to promote free speech and intellectual diversity at certain institutions of higher education
  • HB1090 – An act to repeal certain provisions regarding the exercise of certain powers over certain property
  • HB1110 – An act to establish a penalty for certain persons who fail to file a birth certificate or who fail to provide the notice required for the filing of a death certificate


Noem Approves Pro-Life Legislative Package

Noem Approves Pro-Life Legislative Package

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem today approved a package of bills to strengthen the rights of unborn children.

“A strong and growing body of medical research provides evidence that unborn babies can feel, think, and recognize sounds in the womb. These are people, and they must be given the same basic dignities as anyone else,” said Noem. “The bills I signed today will crack down on abortion providers in South Dakota by requiring them to provide pregnant moms with specific, scientific information about their baby. Additionally, these bills criminalize forced abortions and will give people the opportunity to hear their baby’s heartbeat before having an abortion. I’m grateful for the partnership of the legislature on these bills and the ways we’re working together to protect the unborn.”

“South Dakota Right to Life extends our heartfelt appreciation to Governor Noem for her tireless devotion to pregnant mothers and their preborn children,” said Dale Bartscher, Executive Director of South Dakota Right to Life. “In signing these pro-life bills that had broad legislative support, Governor Noem has demonstrated once again that she is a champion for life.”

“The Family Heritage Alliance Action Team thanks Governor Noem for her strong stand on protecting the lives of unborn children in the State of South Dakota,” said Norman Woods, Executive Director of Family Heritage Alliance. “Across the nation, we see state governments discussing and enacting laws that allow for the killing of a child at any stage of pregnancy. In South Dakota however, we have a governor committed to protecting unborn children, and she has shown her support again today with her signature on these bills.”

“Our work isn’t done until abortion is eliminated completely, but this is a step forward for life,” Noem concluded.

Noem’s pro-life package includes:

  • SB72 – An act to provide for a form a physician must use to obtain consent to an abortion
  • HR1055 – An act to require parental notification and agreement before the institution of an order to withhold resuscitation from certain patients
  • HR1177 – An act to provide an opportunity to view a sonogram and hear the child’s heartbeat prior to an abortion
  • HR1190 – An act to provide for certain reporting requirements related to abortions
  • HR1193 – An act to provide a criminal penalty for causing an abortion against a pregnant mother’s will

These laws will go into effect on July 1.


SD Democrat Party Staff unionizing ahead of new chairman vote this weekend

The South Dakota State Democrat Party staff might be a little nervous about what’s going to happen this weekend with the vote for whoever is going to be the chairman for the next 4 years. Because they’ve just announced that they’ve unionized:

“As the former president of the Sioux Falls Education Association, I am pleased our staff has decided to unionize,” said South Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg. “We believe that South Dakota’s economy should work for everyone, not just those at the top, and part of that means allowing workers to organize, to bargain collectively, and to earn livable wages. By unionizing, our staff is showing that our values are not just something we talk about, they are something we live out and fight for every day.”


We are very proud of the staff of the South Dakota Democratic Party for joining with their Brothers and Sisters across the nation in fighting for Good Jobs, Living Wages, and Dignity at work.”

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 304A is the largest and most diverse AFL-CIO affiliated union in South Dakota.

Read that all here.

SD Dem staff feel they need to Unionize?

So, was Ann Tornberg not paying her staff a liveable wage or providing them dignity at work before?

And how is this vote going to affect the ability of whoever is chair after this weekend’s vote to come in, review staff, and build their own team?

Could be interesting to watch.

John Thune – The South Dakota Seal

The South Dakota Seal

“It’s a great privilege and honor to represent South Dakota here in the United States Senate and in this office. This is their building, and now we will have a permanent piece of South Dakota that will forever stay in this beautiful room in our nation’s Capitol.”

 Click here or on the picture above to watch the video.

WASHINGTON — Last week, the state seal of South Dakota was added to the ceiling of Sen. John Thune’s (R-S.D.) majority whip office. This carries on a tradition that the occupant of the Republican whip office add his or her home state’s seal to the space. The South Dakota state seal was hand-painted by staff in the Architect of the Capitol’s office, which is responsible for maintaining and preserving the Capitol building for the American people.

“There’s a neat history that comes with the office of the majority whip,” said Thune. “Each office holder here has the opportunity to be able to add his state’s seal, a hand-painted state seal, on the ceiling of this very ornate and beautiful office. The office of the Architect of the Capitol is responsible for maintaining the Capitol, and they’re just very talented. They do hard work every day, making sure that our nation’s Capitol is a place that people from all over the country can have an opportunity to come and visit and enjoy. It’s a great privilege and honor to represent South Dakota here in the United States Senate and in this office. This is their building, and now we will have a permanent piece of South Dakota that will forever stay in this beautiful room in our nation’s Capitol.”


Rounds Receives 100 Percent Rating for Pro-Life, Pro-Family Voting Record

Rounds Receives 100 Percent Rating for Pro-Life, Pro-Family Voting Record
Family Research Council Action Honors Rounds with ‘True Blue’ Award

PIERRE —U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today announced that he received the Family Research Council (FRC) Action’s ‘True Blue’ award for his 100 percent rating to protect life and defend family values in the second session of the 115th Congress.

Rounds Receives ‘True Blue’ Award from Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins

“We thank Sen. Rounds for voting to defend and advance faith, family, and freedom,” said Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins.“As a ‘True Blue Member’ he voted 100 percent on FRC Action’s Scorecard including to protect unborn babies, defund the individual mandate in D.C., and to confirm solidly pro-life and pro-family nominees to key positions in the government.

“Sen. Rounds deserves praise for his unwavering commitment to stand for life, family, marriage, and religious liberty. South Dakotans should be encouraged to know that they have a Member of Congress such as Sen. Rounds who has come alongside other members and our president to begin the work of rebuilding our nation, and protecting the very values that made America great,” concluded Perkins.

“Throughout my time in public service, protecting life, family values and religious freedom has been a top priority,” said Rounds. “I thank Family Research Council Action for this award and look forward to continuing our work in advancing these important values.”

The Family Research Council Action seeks to educate elected officials on behalf of faith, family and freedom. View the complete scorecard here.