Hughes County Lincoln Day Dinner tonight. So is the Democrat’s senior coffee group

Have you got your ticket yet? The annual Hughes County Lincoln Day dinner is being held at the Ramkota tonight with guest speaker incoming GOP State Chair Pam Roberts. This is usually the first big event of the political season, and is usually very well attended.  Social hour is 5:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $30.

Apparently the Dems are going to try to get in on the act as well. They’re meeting at the Ft. Pierre Senior Citizens center, led by their chairman Ann Tornberg starting at around 6, where Democrat Legislators will give updates about session.

I’m thinking that’s going to take about 5 minutes, Just long enough for the coffee to get cold.


Nothing but the drunk and topless back in my little town.

Does this belong under political news… or weird news?  The Buffalo Chip Campground is apparently trying to become it’s own municipality. Why don’t I think it’s not going to ban alcohol sales on Sunday:

Hagg said there currently are 47 eligible voters in the area. State law says qualified voters are either registered voters in the proposed municipality or landowners in the proposed municipality who are also registered voters of this state.

The proposed municipality will cover 600 acres.


So, Buffalo Chip could be a town by this year’s 75th anniversary Sturgis motorcycle rally.

Read it here.

Senator Blake Curd named CEO of Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital

From a Release, it looks as if Doctor and State Senator Blake Curd is taking on new responsibilities:

After conducting a nationwide executive searchled by healthcare leadership solutions firm B. E. Smith, Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital (SFSH) in Sioux Falls, S.D., has hired Richard Blake Curd, M.D., as chief executive officer. An orthopedic hand specialist with over 20 years of healthcare experience, Dr. Curd will assume his new duties full-time on March 1, 2015.

“Blake is a visionary and strategic leader with extensive healthcare experience and a strong commitment to delivering high-quality patient care,” said Dr. Peter Looby, chairman of the Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital Management Committee. “Under Blake’s leadership the hospital is positioned to remain the region’s top medical facility.”

Dr. Curd is a partner with Orthopedic Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D, and is a senator for the state of South Dakota. He currently serves as president of Physician Hospitals of America (PHA), chairman of the board for the Surgical Management Professionals and is a board member of Medical Facilities Corporation.

Read it all here.

Mitchell Superintendent writes on the Governor’s proposed education committee. It might be about what spend education dollars on.

Mitchell School Superintendent Joe Graves is writing today in the Mitchell Daily Republic that South Dakota may actually be more competitive in school funding than the education lobby in the state might care to admit – and that part of the solution to teacher pay in the state might be up to schools in how they spend their money:

Yet, today, here I am stuck in the middle on the governor’s recently proposed blue ribbon committee to study the issue of teacher shortages and compensation levels. On the one hand, I view such an endeavor with a cynical eye, wondering if such a political animal is more about finding real solutions to a serious problem or about putting off the pain that such an obvious solution will bring to the political class. What better way to ignore a problem than by studying it one more time, ad infinitum or at least ad nauseam (the latter, quite literally).


State finance officials point out that while teacher compensation may be bottom of the barrel, funding provided to schools compared to other states is significantly more competitive. Which means, if accurate, that either South Dakota schools are spending money on things other than teacher salaries or that we have serious inefficiencies or just alternative choices in our education spending. An example of the former might be transportation, the busing of all those students across wide expanses of our sparsely populated state both to get to school and to the far-flung school district against whose basketball team we are competing. An example of the latter might be the need to pay a teacher and an administrator in a rural school in which class sizes fall below those that could be more efficiently maintained simply because there are no additional students.

Alternatively, there may be other options for increasing average teacher compensation levels other than the straightforward and endlessly offered by educators and their lobbyists: give the schools more so they can pay teachers more.

Read it all here.

I bring it up, as I don’t know those are statistics that we’ve heard much about before – and Graves brings up a valid point. We might very be competitive in what we spend, it’s just going to other expenses, and unable to be spent directly to educators.

And if that’s the case, we might not be excited with the solutions.

Ellis: Democrats unlikely to pose challenge to Thune

Jon Ellis is writing this morning about things that most SDWC readers have been hearing about for months; that the 2018 Gubernatorial race is likely between Mickelson, Jackley & Noem.

But my favorite comment comes up when he notes the 2016 race for US Senate. As in, there isn’t likely to be one. Or at least a serious one:

And no, we aren’t talking about the 2016 Senate race, where John Thune is expected to seek a third term. Democrats are in the middle of an epic rebuilding period, and it’s unlikely that they can field a candidate and an operation that would pose a serious threat to Thune with an election now less than two years away.

Read it here.

A slip on the ice, a trip to the hospital. Get Well Soon, Brock.

I’m reading on Facebook that State Senator Brock Greenfield is laid up in the Watertown hospital after a particularly nasty fall that left the long-time legislator with a broken arm.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Greenfield.

I was going to ask if was his arm for voting “no,” was injured, as it would have limited him immensely. But with his move to the senate this year, they don’t have all that newfangled technology, and thankfully rely on voice votes.

With Noem Support, House Passes Permanent Increase to Section 179 for Farmers and Small Businesses

With Noem Support, House Passes Permanent Increase to Section 179 for Farmers and Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem today joined the U.S. House of Representatives in passing H.R.636, America’s Small Business Tax Relief Act. This legislation, which Noem helped advance through the Ways and Means Committee last week, increases Section 179 expensing limitations for small businesses and farms, among other things.

“As a lifelong farmer and rancher, I understand the importance of reasonable deduction levels for new equipment,” said Rep. Noem. “Increasing the Section 179 expensing limitations for small businesses and farms gives families more flexibility to invest in their operation. And I know the certainty of a permanent increase would be more than welcome too.”

H.R.636 increases deduction amounts under Section 179 of the tax code to $500,000, which maintains 2014 levels. On December 31, 2014, a temporary extension of the $500,000 expensing limitations expired, dropping the maximum amount to $25,000.


Thune Statement on House Passage of Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Thune Statement on House Passage of Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

“A bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate have spoken.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement on the House’s bipartisan passage of the Senate bill to approve the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline:

“For more than six years, President Obama has made one excuse after another for blocking this common-sense jobs and infrastructure project. A bipartisan majority in both the House and Senate have spoken. The time to approve the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline is now. I hope the president chooses American jobs and opportunity over political appeasement, and signs this bill into law.”