Rounds: Democrats Continue to Filibuster Appropriations Bills

RoundsPressHeader MikeRounds official SenateRounds: Democrats Continue to Filibuster Appropriations Bills

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement after Senate Democrats again filibustered the national defense appropriations bill:

“I have been a proponent of establishing regular order to the Senate budget and appropriations process, yet Senate Democrats refuse to allow us to consider a single appropriations bill. National defense spending should have been the first of 12 appropriations bills debated and amended on the Senate floor. By continuing to filibuster these bills, Senate Democrats are preventing the American people a voice on how and where their hard-earned tax dollars are spent. We cannot find common ground on legislation unless we are allowed to actually discuss them on the floor.

“No one wants to see a government shutdown, but refusing to allow appropriations bills to be considered by the full Senate when 9 of the 12 received broad bipartisan support in committee is both reckless and irresponsible. As it becomes apparent that Democrats in the Senate are obstructing the process, I am pleased leadership is taking the next step to prevent a government shutdown by introducing a funding mechanism that includes policy changes. This moves us in a path that I can support so that we can continue making changes to spending policy.”


Coming up, Democrats hosting worst fundraiser ever.

This sounds like the worst fundraiser ever. Although, it’s very telling why Cory doesn’t say anything bad about the Democratic Party apparatchiks anymore.


The First Annual Democratic Buffalo Round-Up Dinner in Rapid City, SD is only FIVE days away! Get your tickets while you still can! New additions to the program include:

  • a Mystery Journalist and Honorary Member of the Cowboy Caucus
  • VIP Reception Special Guest Speaker, Cory Heidelberger of Dakota Free Press

​Join Founder’s Club today, by making a monthly sustaining donation of any amount, to attend this special VIP Reception with Cory Heidelberger at Joe Lowe’s Reflections of South Dakota Art Gallery! Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Buy your tickets right away to ensure you have a spot, Saturday, September 26th’s event!

The South Dakota Democratic Party invites you to the
First Annual Democratic Buffalo Round-Up Dinner on Saturday, September 26in Rapid City, SD at the Historic Hotel Alex Johnson. 

Featured Speakers Include:

Rep. Paula Hawks (U.S. House Candidate),
Rep. Kevin Killer, & The Cowboy Caucus Sen. Billie Sutton & Mystery Journalist

VIP Reception | 6:00 pm MT
Featured Speaker: Dakota Free Press Blogger, Cory Heidelberger
For all Founder’s Club & Builder’s Club Members & those Joining at the Event
At Joe Lowe’s “Reflections of South Dakota” Art Gallery in Downtown, Rapid City

Dinner | 7:00 pm MT
 At the Historic Hotel Alex Johnson in Downtown, Rapid City.
We hope to see you there!

Suzanne Jones Pranger,
Executive Director

Maybe they’ll switch tactics, and instead of raising money, they’re planning to pay people to come?

Interestingly, I notice the new face of the Democrats is pushing an income tax today.  At least we know what their legislative agenda will be for 2016.

Thune: Democrats Risk National Security to Double Down on Filibuster Strategy

thuneheadernew John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressThune: Democrats Risk National Security
to Double Down on Filibuster Strategy
“Today, Senate Democrats doubled down on their defense funding filibuster by again preventing the Senate from considering this necessary legislation.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after Senate Democrats again blocked consideration of the defense appropriations bill, which includes important funding for our military personnel, their families, and infrastructure projects that contribute to our national security:

“In June, more than 70 senators voted to approve the National Defense Authorization Act, giving Congress the authority it needs to fund our troops and important national security programs that keep America safe,” said Thune. “Unfortunately, immediately after voting to give Congress this authority, Senate Democrats blocked the defense appropriations bill, which actually puts the money in the bank. Today, Senate Democrats doubled down on their defense funding filibuster by again preventing the Senate from considering this necessary legislation. At a time when Iran’s support for terrorism is emboldened, Russia’s aggression continues in Ukraine and Syria, and ISIS continues to propagate a campaign of violence, it is irresponsible for Congress to deny our military leaders the certainty they need.”


Thune: We Must Protect the Most Vulnerable Among Us

thuneheadernew John_Thune,_official_portrait,_111th_CongressThune: We Must Protect the Most Vulnerable Among Us
“A society is measured by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members. We have been failing some of ours.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after Senate Democrats blocked the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:  

“Today members of the Senate from both sides of the aisle had an opportunity to protect unborn children who have reached the age of 20 weeks – five months of pregnancy – and who are capable of feeling and responding to pain. Unfortunately, this legislation failed because of the typical partisan politics Americans have sadly come to expect on important issues like this one,” said Thune. “A society is measured by how it treats its weakest and most vulnerable members. We have been failing some of ours. Today, a nation known for protecting fundamental human rights missed a critical opportunity to show that we can do better for those who cannot protect themselves.”


“Longtime” Republican state legislator Lee Schoenbeck interviewed by Argus live at 3

I saw the blurb at – “Longtime Republican state legislator Lee Schoenbeck joins city columnist Stu Whitney for #SuFuStu at 3 p.m.”

Long-time?  Are they trying to intimate he’s getting a little long on the tooth? 🙂  I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. Actually, if you look at his service, there are people with far more years in than he:


It might just seem that way, having been there twice before his current term. And considering his visibility having risen to the highest position in the Senate during his last term, which is fairly high up in the line of succession to the Governor in line behind the Lt. Governor & Speaker of the House.

Most people, including myself, expected and encouraged Lee to run for Governor in the 2010 race after that term, but he demurred to spend more time with his family that he would have otherwise been deprived of on the campaign trail. If I recall, his first sojourn was to golf every course in the state with his son. It’s a tough job, but someone has to climb that mountain.

But with kids off in college, Lee is back in the political game. And you never know when he might feel that itch to run for higher office again.  Which makes today’s show, which you can click here to watch, a must-see podcast.

(No pressure Lee!)

Stolen from Facebook: Does the Flandreau City Council have some explaining to do?


A facebook acquaintance posted the following on his facebook page past night, alleging that the Flandreau City Council isn’t terribly inviting to the media when it comes to the local newspaper taping and broadcasting their meetings.

Somehow, that doesn’t come as a shocker in South Dakota, where open meetings are still anathema to many local boards who haven’t experienced such things up until now.

What’s more troubling is that there’s an allegation that their attorney might even be backing them on it.

Your thoughts? And where’s the SDNA on such things?

SDRTL Press Release: SD Right to Life Supports Effective Plan to Defund Planned Parenthood

SD Right to Life Supports Effective Plan to Defund Planned Parenthood

Refuses to Let Shutdown Politics Interfere with Primary Goal

Watertown, SD – South Dakota Right to Life issued a statement today in support of strategic and effective efforts to truly defund Planned Parenthood and called on federal legislators in Washington, DC to do the same.

“The mission of our organization is to protect and defend the right to life, which is the most fundamental right of humankind. Like so many other Americans, we were shocked and horrified as the Planned Parenthood videos were released over the last few months and we strongly support defunding Planned Parenthood,” said Fred Deutsch, President of South Dakota Right to Life.

“We believe the best way to actually achieve our intended result, to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood, is through focused efforts that are well-timed and have a chance at becoming law. Shutting down the government over funding to Planned Parenthood would create a distraction from our primary cause.  Additionally, it wouldn’t even be effective if we won the shutdown fight since the majority of federal funds flow through entitlement programs like Medicaid that are not part of the annual funding approval process,” continued Deutsch.

“We are thankful for the strong pro-life positions that South Dakota’s federal delegation has taken and their support to defund Planned Parenthood. Our organization will continue to educate the public and we look forward to working with our delegation, and a new pro-life President, very soon to defund this horrible organization once and for all,” concluded Deutsch.


Jackley: Preliminary Autopsy Results Released in Platte Fire

jackleyheader2 Marty JackleyPreliminary Autopsy Results Released in Platte Fire

PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today the preliminary autopsy results have been released in connection to the house fire that occurred in Platte, S.D. on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Preliminary autopsy reports indicate that cause and manner of death for Nicole, Kailey, Jaeci, Connor and Michael Westerhuis were homicide by shotgun wounds. Cause of death for Scott Westerhuis was shotgun wound with manner of death as suspected suicide based on the current investigation findings.

“We have experienced the tragic loss of an entire family including young children that has affected an entire community. Based on evidence of foul play continuing to be uncovered, law enforcement remains committed to a complete and thorough investigation,” said Jackley.

“We at the Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office express our deepest sorrow to the families involved and to the Platte community,” said Charles Mix County Sheriff Randy Thaler.

The Charles Mix County Sheriff’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation continue their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the manner of death of Scott Westerhuis, including interviews, evidence collection and forensic testing.


Regarding Rick Weiland’s plan for public campaign funding….. Does anyone think it’s a GOOD idea?

And Slick Rick Weiland is back at it again. The ballot explanation for his measure to have taxpayer funding of campaigns has been released into the wild by the Attorney General (Which you read about here first, btw), so it’s just a formality by filing it with the SOS to begin circulating.

First, they have to fix all 36 pages of the measure on to a petition form with the signature blanks – it’s a legal requirement, and will be absolutely laughable to see them do it. I suspect it’s going to fold up and look much like the South Dakota road map by the time they’re all done cramming it on there.

But that’s not my point regarding writing about it today. My question is openly wondering how many of you out there think such things in the measure like public financing of campaigns is a good thing?

I mean, we’re having trouble finding the revenue to pay teachers more, and here’s a politician asking for the public to pay for political campaigns?  Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to fly, and may just leave a bad taste in taxpayer’s mouths.

One thing that’s been pointed out to me is that most states that have public financing of campaigns also have a state income tax as well, so they’re a bit more flush with cash for this sort of thing. I really doubt that’s the kind of trade-off South Dakotans would have any interest in making.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” (Peter Drucker)

I don’t put a lot of stock in the current status of the “horse race” as a predictor of who will be the GOP nominee. At this stage in recent elections, Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain and Rick Perry were way out front and we know how that turned out.  However, after a few months of the field campaigning and raising money and after two debates each watched by over 23 million Americans, I think we can start looking into the future.

The following are some inferences from the most recent CNN poll which was taken after the debate held at the Reagan Presidential Library hosted by Nancy Reagan.

Those who should consider dropping out (6 candidates). I reach this conclusion because to stay in could damage their long-term reputation and possibly future prospects for elective office.   To expect lightening to strike is not realistic.

The following is the combination of those Republicans who consider these candidates their first choice AND/OR their second choice.

Santorum (2%), Walker (2%) (explains Walker dropping out), Graham (1%), Pataki (1%), Gilmore (less than 1%) & Jindal (less than 1%).

Those on the bubble (5).   These candidates whose total between first and second choice is still under 15% (all others are at least 20%). They have got to move up or they will just become after-thoughts. With the race still fluid (over 70% of those polled still have an open mind and may change their preferred choice) and may pick up support from those who drop out, this is not a level that is sustainable to be considered a serious candidate in a smaller field.

Huckabee (14%), Cruz (11%), Christie (9%), Paul (7%), & Kasich 3%.

Top-tier candidates (5). Carson (33%), Trump (32%), Fiorina (26%), Rubio (24%) & Bush (20%). The following is gleened from the poll about these candidates.

Carson: Carson made a strong impression (positive or negative) on only 7% of the debate audience. I think that is consistent with his low-key style but will it get him the nomination? Carson has the highest Favorable rating (65%) and Net Fav/Unfav rating (55% is by the far the best suggesting he still has upside potential.

Trump: Like Paul, 20% more of the audience thought Trump did the worst than thought he did the best in the debate. Since Trump announced, his Favorable rating (52%) has gone up 2% and Unfavorable rating (40%) declined 2%. A lot of activity and coverage with very little movement. With only 8% of the GOP voters wanting more information to form an opinion of him and a small Net Fav/Unfav. Rating, Trump has to do something different to prevail.

Fiorina: She clearly made the biggest impression in the debate. 52% of the GOP viewers thought she did the best in the debate while only 2% thought she did the worst. While her Favorable rating (54%) has climbed 9%, her Unfavorable rating (17%) also climbed 6%. Personally, I think she needed to have had a lighter moment and looked less stern when she wasn’t talking. However, Fiorina’s Net Fav/Unfav rating of 37% still can expand as 29% of GOP voters still don’t have enough information to form an opinion.

Rubio: He clearly had the second best debate night. Rubio’s Favorable Rating (57%) has moved up 13% since July (second only to Fiorina) while his Unfavorable remained at 16%. Combined with his Net Favorable/Unfavorable rating of 41% (highest after Carson) and near-Fiorina-like 27% who need more information to form an opinion, Rubio appears to have strong upside.

Bush: As of right now, he has numbers that are Trumpian. Additionally, only 13% don’t have enough information to form an opinion of him. If it weren’t so early, one could almost put him on the bubble.

The following is a table of those who were in the main debate

  First or Second Choice Fav. Rating Unfav. Rating Net

Fav./ Unfav.










Carson 33% 65% 10% 55% 3% 4% -1%
Trump 32% 52% 40% 12% 11% 31% -20%
Fiorina 26% 54% 17% 37% 52% 2% 50%
Rubio 24% 57% 16% 41% 14% >1% 13%
Bush 20% 49% 38% 11% 2% 9% -7%
Huckabee 14% 53% 28% 25% 1% 7% -6%
Cruz 11% 52% 22% 30% 3% >1% 2%
Christie 9% 44% 32% 12% 6% 3% 3%
Paul 7% 38% 37% 1% 2% 22% -20%
Kasich 3% 24% 25% -1% 2% 1% 1%

It is still early. And the primary elections are still months away. Any of these candidates can be viable when voting starts. But, the field will likely be narrowed to 5 or 6 candidates. Whether formally or informally, the field is realistically down to these10 candidates.

Four months ago, the “Big 5” were Bush, Walker (dropped out today), Paul, Rubio & Cruz with Perry (dropped out) barely looking in. Today, we have Carson, Trump, Fiorina, Rubio and Bush. What it will be in four months is hard to predict.

But, we do know what each have to do.

Paul and Kasich have the biggest hill to climb. Too small a Net Fav./Unfav. Rating. They have to convert Unfavorables into Favorables quickly and get the preponderance of the 25% who don’t know enough about them into a Favorable impression.

Christie’s challenge is part Paul/Kasich above & Huckabee/Cruz below.

Huckabee and Cruz have to find a way to convert their Net Fav./Unfav. Rating into support. Huckabee’s challenge might be easier as his social conservative rhetoric can generate support for those who have this agenda highest on their radar. Cruz’ challenge is he can’t out-“ousider” Trump, Fiorina, or Carson. Does he change his rhetoric/focus or does he hope Trump implodes?

Bush and Trump have to reduce their Unfavorables. If they can’t do that, it will be hard to increase their support as First or Second choices.

Carson, Fiorina, Rubio have the easiest road in their immediate future. They have all the best combination of underlying data and have no apparent negative trends. Their message is not only increasing support but it doesn’t seem to have a concurrent effect of increasing their negatives. They just need to continue to position themselves to attract supporters of those who drop out.

However, as Bush and Trump have experienced, being at the top invites greater scrutiny. In 2008, McCain came back from the “dead” because he had the mettle to survive the bumps. Same with Romney in 2012.

We might still be in the pre-season of this primary but it won’t be long before we can with greater assurance predict the contenders and the pretenders.  What do you think the bottom five have to do to move up?  What do you think will cause candidates in the top five to drop out?  Its going to happen.

P.S.  As I was finishing this post, I found out Walker dropped out.  I didn’t change the text as I think it reminds us of what can happen in just a few months.