District 15 State Senate – Buhl O’Donnell bowing out, Kirschman stepping up.

The word tonight is that Democrat State Senator Angie Buhl O’Donnell is officially entering her lame duck legislative session this next month, and will NOT be returning to the State Senate.

In her place, Democrat State Rep Patrick Kirschman is apparently telling people that he’s going to be running for the vacated seat.

For District Democrats, this would be a marked change in representation in that chamber, as during her entire tenure, Angie Buhl has been rabidly pro-choice, and Kirschman has received high marks from the pro-life community, rankied at 100% by South Dakota Right to Life for the 2013-2014 sessions at a time Buhl was ranked at 0%.

That’s all assuming a challenger doesn’t emerge.

in 2014, Kirschman was nearly taken out of contention by independent candidate Eric Leggett, who only came up short by about 150 votes in his first run for public office.

Who knows. That could be a seat way up in the air come November 2016.

South Dakota AG Marty Jackley hosting two fundraisers in December.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has two fundraisers coming up this month – one in Pierre, and one in Sioux Falls.

What’s interesting are the names of the people who are putting their names on the line to serve as hosts for the fundraisers, which go towards his Political Action Committee, and supporting his political activities.

For the Pierre fundraiser, State Senator Jeff Monroe has put his name on the line, as well as Hughes County Sheriff Mike Leidholt, Stanley County State’s Attorney Thomas Maher, and Pierre City Commissioner Jamie Huizenga

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And the Sioux Falls list for tomorrow’s fundraiser is equally intriguing – Former State Senator Gene Abdallah, State Rep Arch Beal, former State Rep & Congressional Candidate Joel Dykstra, State Senator Jenna Haggar, City Councilman Greg Jamison, State Senator Dave Omdahl, Former State Rep (and rumored candidate for this next year) Hal WIck, and Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman.

(Update – and PUC Commissioner Gary Hanson, which I missed when I quickly hammered this out over lunch).

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Looks like someone is starting to gear up for 2018…

South Dakota Delegation Urges Air Force to Base New Air Force Fighter in Sioux Falls

South Dakota Delegation Urges Air Force to Base New Air Force Fighter in Sioux Falls

“South Dakota an ideal location as the next beddown site of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter”

WASHINGTON — South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) and South Dakota Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Timothy Reisch today wrote to Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James urging the Air Force to base the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Next year, the Air Force is expected to announce its basing decisions for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, to include two Air National Guard bases.

“The South Dakota Air National Guard has been one of our nation’s premier fighter units since General Joe Foss founded the squadron nearly 70 years ago,” the delegation wrote. “The 114th Fighter Wing has demonstrated outstanding mission readiness and a superior record of excellence, making South Dakota an ideal location as the next beddown site of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.”

There are currently more than 25 National Guard fighter bases in the U.S. After the first two basing decisions in 2016, Air National Guard units in additional states will also receive the F-35.

Full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Deborah Lee James
Secretary of the Air Force
HQ USAF/CC
1670 Air Force Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20330-1670

Dear Madam Secretary,

We write today regarding the potential basing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The South Dakota Air National Guard has been one of our nation’s premier fighter units since General Joe Foss founded the squadron nearly 70 years ago.  The 114th Fighter Wing has demonstrated outstanding mission readiness and a superior record of excellence, making South Dakota an ideal location as the next beddown site of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The 114th Fighter Wing has been nationally recognized for its accomplishments in flying and combat readiness.  Last year it was recognized with the Spaatz Trophy – denoting the 114th Fighter Wing as the highest rated Air National Guard flying unit – and this year the Wing was awarded the NGAUS Distinguished Flying Unit plaque and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.  Its exceptional safety record, critical for conversion to a new weapons system, was validated this year as well, with the Major General John J. Pesch Safety Trophy in addition to a fifth consecutive Governor’s Safety Award of Honor.

The 114th Fighter Wing has exceptional, uncongested airspace providing supersonic and low altitude operations able to meet the unique requirements of the F-35 aircraft.  Additionally, Joe Foss Field has two runways greater than 8,000 feet with cables, maintenance facilities and ramps to support any size squadron, and a state-of-the-art operations complex.  Airmen of the 114th Fighter Wing are highly experienced and trained:  88% of the pilots are “experienced” averaging over 2,100 flying hours and 62% of maintenance personnel hold a 7-level AFSC.

The South Dakota Air National Guard enjoys the unwavering support of the Sioux Falls community and South Dakota citizens.  The 114th Fighter Wing has established a standard of excellence among Air National Guard units clearly making Joe Foss Field an ideal location for beddown of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.  Please feel free to contact us at any time if we can be of further assistance.

 

Sincerely,

# # #

 

Mind your p’s and q’s when collecting signatures next month… And make sure you get plenty of overage for signatures

A comment from “Tony” under a previous post:

I have heard credible rumors that the Dems will dedicate themselves to challenging signatures in an attempt to prevent ballot access to Republicans. That’s not good. Dems have a proven record that when the can’t win at the ballot box they take it to the court room.

Read that here.

A good reminder to collect far more signatures than you need. Democrats may be trying to knock you off the ballot (because they can’t win otherwise.)

And in District 34, we will have a change-up.

I’ve been updating a few things in my list of who’s running, but one of the more interesting things I’ve come across is in District 34. State Senator Craig Tieszen is termed out…. but I’ve been told a change-up is in the mix.

Tieszen might be termed, but he isn’t done. The State Senator is going to pull a chamber switch, and run for the House. This puts current State House Republican Jeff Partridge into running for the now vacated Senate seat.

And, from what I’m being told, we can expect that State Rep Dan Dryden will stay put, and run for another term in the House.

AFP Reacts to Medicaid Expansion in Governor’s Address

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AFP Reacts to Medicaid Expansion in Governor’s Address

“Across the country, states that have expanded Medicaid have experienced major cost overruns that are busting state budgets,” says State Director Ben Lee

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Americans for Prosperity South Dakota released the following statement in response to Governor Daugaard’s budget address and Medicaid Expansion. The Governor’s FY17 budget would add $373 million dollars to our national debt and 55 new employees to the state payroll to expand Medicaid.

“We share the Governor’s concerns about Medicaid expansion and appreciate his past record of fiscal responsibility,” said Americans for Prosperity South Dakota State Director Ben Lee. “We’re still reviewing the details of the plan but we do know a few things: expansion hasn’t gone as planned in other states and taxpayers can’t afford to keep growing our unsustainable national debt.”

“Across the country, states that have expanded Medicaid have experienced major cost overruns that are busting state budgets. These cost overruns have forced states to make painful cuts to priorities like roads and schools or raise taxes. And we can’t forget that choosing to expand Medicaid will add $300 million to the national debt — that’s money our children and grandchildren will be forced to pay off years down the line. South Dakota can’t afford to make the same mistake.”

Across the country Medicaid Expansion states have seen costs surge out of control “Across the country, states that opted into Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion have seen the number of able-bodied adults on welfare skyrocket beyond expectations. In fact, after just one year of Obamacare expansion, several states have already seen more adults sign up for Medicaid welfare than they thought would ever sign up or even be eligible.” (The ObamaCare Expansion Enrollment Explosion, Foundation for Government Accountability, 4/20/15)

Government Accountability Office: Arkansas’ “Private Option” Medicaid Expansion plan $778 million over budget “GAO estimated that, by including these costs, the 3-year, nearly $4.0 billion spending limit that HHS approved for the state’s demonstration was approximately $778 million more than what the spending limit would have been if it was based on the state’s actual payment rates for services under the traditional Medicaid program,” the report said. (Medicaid Demonstrations: HHS’s Approval Process for Arkansas’s Medicaid Expansion Waiver Raises Cost Concerns, Government Accountability Office, 8/4/14)

With Medicaid Expansion in Colorado, one in five adults are now on Medicaid “Colorado decided to expand. That’s led the state to enroll about 450,000 people in the last two years. One in five Colorado residents is on Medicaid.” (In Colorado, More People Are Insured But Cost Remains An Issue,National Public Radio, 9/16/15)

Illinois’ Medicaid expansion ran $800 million over budget in the first year alone “Medicaid expansion in Ohio has run $1.5 billion over budget so far, Washington state has had to boost its biennial budget by $2.3 billion “solely due to higher-than-expected” expansion costs, and Illinois’ expansion ran $800 million over budget last year.” (Higher costs for Obamacare’s new Medicaid patients, CNBC, 6/13/15)

Kentucky’s program running $1.8 billion over budget “By the end of the first year, more than 375,000 able-bodied adults enrolled into ObamaCare expansion, roughly double the number the state thought would ever sign up. As a result, Kentucky budget officials now estimate Medicaid expansion will cost $1.8 billion more than projected in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.” (The ObamaCare Expansion Enrollment Explosion, Foundation for Government Accountability, 4/20/15)

Michigan faces budget shortfall of more than $100 million thanks to Medicaid Expansion“Michigan’s Medicaid program faces a budget shortfall this year of more than $100 million. That’s because a new tax on health insurance claims is not producing as much revenue as state officials expected.” (State lawmakers look to patch Medicaid shortfall, say long-term solution critical, Michigan Radio, 2/21/14)

Ohio $1.5 billion over budget for Medicaid Expansion program “In its first 18 months, Kasich’s Obamacare expansion enrolled 243,373 more people than projected and ran $1.5 billion over budget.” (Report: Three-fourths of Ohio Obamacare enrollees are on Medicaid, The Highland County Press, 9/16/15)

Washington State forced to increase state budget by $2.3 billion in order to compensate for unexpected Medicaid Expansion costs “Medicaid expansion in Ohio has run $1.5 billion over budget so far, Washington state has had to boost its biennial budget by $2.3 billion “solely due to higher-than-expected” expansion costs, and Illinois’ expansion ran $800 million over budget last year.” (Higher costs for Obamacare’s new Medicaid patients, CNBC, 6/13/15)

West Virginia enrollment 177% higher than expected “West Virginia has already boomed past the extra 93,000 people the state expected to enroll by 2020 under a Medicaid expansion plan ushered in by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in 2013.” (A look at the Medicaid expansion in West Virginia, Associated Press, 7/19/15)

Putting funding for roads, education, and the truly vulnerable at risk of being cut “With Medicaid expansion enrollment far exceeding projections, states that adopted the expansion will soon need to find additional funds to pay for the inevitable cost overruns. States will begin paying a share of Obamacare expansion costs in 2017, assuming the federal government even lives up to its funding promise that long…Obamacare’s perverse funding scheme encourages state budgeters to steal resources from seniors, children, pregnant women, and individuals with disabilities in order to free up funding for Medicaid expansion.” (The ObamaCare Expansion Enrollment Explosion, Foundation for Government Accountability, 4/20/15)

Will 2016 mark the end of candidate petitions as we now know it?

I was in a meeting recently where a legislator spoke about the drafting of a measure that could come this next year, adding another option for candidates to achieve the ballot. And while it’s used in several other states, it would represent a seismic shift of the way things are done here.

The genesis of it, is that frankly, legislators are growing weary over petition issues, especially when it comes to the ridiculousness of Annette Bosworth, her husband, and the resulting court trial(s), as well as subsequent allegations against Steve Hickey for a similar situation, and other assorted minor incidents. Because it’s not as if everyone, especially the Attorney General, doesn’t have bigger fish to fry.

So, what I’m hearing may come to fruition is a bill to allow candidates – as an alternative to collecting signatures – is simply to write a check to register their candidacy with the state.

If a candidate has to collect 50 signatures, they could instead write a $50 check to register their candidacy. As opposed to writing a check, they could instead still collect petition signatures….. but, the option would be there to simply pay up to run.

As far as I know, the bill hasn’t been submitted yet. And I go back and forth on the issue. But I’m wondering what you, the faithful SDWC reader, thinks about it.

Would it solve some headaches? Or does it take something away from the process?

Hawks to exploit her position as legislator to campaign from Pierre; Wants legislators to support Bernie Sanders proposal

At the onset, let’s just understand that Paula Hawks is going to lose her race for Congress badly. And with that said, it leaves you wondering why she’s admitting she’s going to use her time in Pierre to benefit her campaign, and not her constituents:

One South Dakota lawmaker says she’s crafting a resolution about debt-free college. Democratic State Representative Paula Hawks says she wants to start a conversation with fellow lawmakers about the cost of higher education.

And..

Hawks_videoHawks says she supports a national movement that involves progressive thinking to address higher education and student debt. She says in South Dakota that begins with a legislative resolution she plans to file ahead of January’s session start.

The democratic state lawmaker is also campaigning for United States Congress. Hawks faces incumbent Congresswoman Kristi Noem in November 20-16’s statewide election.

Read it here.

So, she’s going to use her position to promote Bernie Sanders’ platform of “free college,” as she stakes out a campaign position asking people to vote for her because she wants to give them free stuff?

And I use the ‘free college’ term loosely, because it’s not free, it just shifts the cost to taxpayers… basically, people not in college.

I have the sneaking suspicion that endorsing the proposals of an avowed socialist running for president is not going to serve Hawks well in conservative South Dakota. But when you’re already being written off, I suppose you can throw anything to the wall, no matter how bad it smells, and see if it sticks. Hawks is already identified as supporting an income tax & planned parenthood. So, why not add socialism to the mix?

Your thoughts?