Congresswoman Noem should take note – She got the bad guys’ attention.

The Mitchell newspaper had an interesting story on prostitution in the Bakken Oil Fields today, and specifically noted how many of these people were finding their short term companionship on, an on-line website similar to craigslist, where people buy and sell things, and apparently each other.

In doing a google search about backpage, One of the first links was a web site devoted to ways to beat the law while using, and it specifically cited the work that Congresswoman Noem is doing to combat “websites that knowingly run ads for sex with minors or coerced subjects to be charged with a federal crime.”

This info is to help you beat the police, not to scare you from using Backpage or escorts. Beating a police sting is easy, don’t believe the hype. I’ve added this update to show you how easy it is. Number 1 rule: once you find the girl that interest you, simply scroll back a few days… If she has an ad up for more than three days, she’s a real escort.


A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives which the Senate still must approve — allows websites that knowingly run ads for sex with minors or coerced subjects to be charged with a federal crime punishable by a fine and/or 5 years in prison.

The legislation is specifically intended to target the major classifieds website, a press release from South Dakota Congresswoman Kristi Noem, a co-sponsor, said.

Read it here (Warning: It’s not something you want to open at work, and there’s a lot here you don’t want your kids reading. I did remove most of the links in the story excerpt.)

Congresswoman Noem’s legislation holding the websites hosting prostitution activity responsible for the ads certainly got the attention of the web site devoted to ‘beating prostitution police stings.’

And that’s a good thing.

Because when you’re getting the bad guys’ attention, you must be doing something right.

Rounds to be Sworn into United States Senate Tomorrow at 11am CT

From my e-mail box:

Rounds to be Sworn into United States Senate Tomorrow at 11am CT

Senator-elect Mike Rounds (R-SD) will be sworn into the United States Senate tomorrow, January 6th, 2015, at 11 a.m. CT/10:00 a.m. MT. The ceremony will be broadcast live on C-SPAN2, and a video link and hi-resolution photographs will be sent to media following the ceremony.

A swearing-in reception, hosted by the Rounds family, will be held tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. CT in the Capitol Visitor Center, room SVC 214. The media is invited to attend.


Yeah, you’re going to have to pay that back….

From the Washinton Examiner:

H&R Block is estimating that as many as half of the 6.8 million people who received insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act benefited from subsidies that were too large, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

“The ACA is going to result in more confusion for existing clients, and many taxpayers may well be very disappointed by getting less money and possibly even owing money,” the president of a tax preparation and education school told the Journal.


But the subsidies are based on past tax returns, so many people may be receiving too much, according to Vanderbilt University assistant professor John Graves, who projects the average subsidy is $208 too high, the Journal reports.

Read it here.



Rounds new West River Director coming into job with strong education, military experience.

From the Rapid City Journal, Senator-Elect Mike Rounds is bringing in a long time educator and military man to run his West River office:

Jeff Marlette will begin a job as West River Director for incoming U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, who will be sworn in Tuesday. Sandy has spent more than a decade working in Sen. John Thune’s Rapid City office and will continue in that job.

If there’s something important to the people of this region, their offices are probably working on it. Jeff Marlette said that’s a big part of his new job: Keeping Sen. Rounds connected to the people and issues in the West River region, so that the new senator “never loses touch with what’s going on out here.”

“He believes in government from this end up and not from the top end down, and I like that about his approach,” Marlette said.

The 53-year-old Marlette, of Rapid City, is not a stereotypical political operative. Working for Rounds will be a new chapter in a career that was previously spent in the military and education.

Marlette served 32 years in the National Guard, in both part- and full-time roles, before retiring in 2012 as a brigadier general. He also worked 15 years in education, including stints as a superintendent in Gettysburg and most recently as superintendent and elementary principal for the New Underwood School District. He’s leaving that job to work for Rounds, who will be sworn in for a six-year term this week.

Read it here.

New legislator Josh Klumb profiled in Mitchell Republic

From the Mitchell Daily Republic, newly elected Republican legislator Josh Klumb is profiled as he prepares to go to Pierre:

Joshua Klumb, of Mount Vernon, will enter the Capitol as one of two House representatives for Davison, Aurora and Jerauld counties. He said agricultural issues will be his main concerns as he is a farmer and was named vice-chair of the House Ag and Natural Resources Committee.

He said water mitigation issues in the state will likely be points of discussion. He’ll also keep his eyes on pheasant habitat, and work between farmers and the state to keep the popular birds at healthy numbers.

“I haven’t heard a lot that’s coming down the pipeline,” Klumb said. “I’ll wait and see what people drop in the hopper when I get there. I know people have ideas, but I haven’t heard a whole lot yet.”

Read it all here.


Howie trying to convince people that Bosworth should be let off.

Gordon Howie, who abandoned the Republican party to run for US Senate as an Independent and received 3% of the vote, penned a missive today trying to convince the Attorney General to dismiss the felony charges against Annette Bosworth.  And in doing so, Howie underlines a shocking belief that rules should not apply to him and his friends:

She allegedly was not “in the room” when the actual signatures were affixed to the petitions. On the dates in question, she was actually on a missions trip in the Philippines (perhaps also a crime in the minds of some).

If she WASN”T in the room… is that REALLY worthy of twelve felony charges, or is it legal (or political) over-reach?


At Lincoln Day dinners across the state, Republicans routinely send their petitions around the room. They do not personally witness each signature, but sign the “oath” that they did. I would venture to say that even our Attorney General may be guilty of this practice. PLEASE, Marty, say it isn’t so… not even ONE?


You can make up your own mind, but I think the Attorney General, the people of South Dakota and the “integrity of our elections” would be well served by dismissing the charges. At the very least, offering a generous plea bargain that does not include a felony.

It’s time to move on, and give Annette her life back!

Read it here.

“It’s time to move on, and give Annette her life back?” Gordon may sympathize with Annette because they shared the same former S&M porn photographer who acted as consultant for both, but it shows a lack of knowledge when it comes to elections, as well as some questionable ethics.

Gordon seems to be operating under a theme of “But, everyone does it,” trying to claim that “even our Attorney General may be guilty of this practice,” referring to randomly circulating petitions for office at GOP dinners.What happened to the rule of law, and why is Gordon arguing it should be suspended?

(Also, the problem with Howie’s claim?  Candidates for Attorney General don’t circulate petitions. They’re nominated at their respective convention.)

In the past, Gordon has written about oaths and the importance of keeping them. The candidate swears an oath on the petition attesting to the fact that they were the person who circulating it. Why does this oath not matter to Gordon? We can only speculate.

But in the same breath as we point out he’s demanded adherence to oaths, Gordon’s request for leniency in Annette Bosworth’s case seems reminiscent of his same pleas when his friend Stephanie Strong lost a court case against Brian Gosch. Which again seems to ignore the rule of law:

The State leadership team and the Pennington County Republican leadership team should join together and make a clear, formal, written request to Speaker Gosh and his attorney to withdraw their motion against Stephanie Strong. That might make their cries for unity a bit more believable.

If State and County Republican leaders are serious about unity, they need to end the harrassment and disenfranchisement of conservatives. The dismissal of the action against Strong is where they need to start.

Read that here.

In case you’re wondering about the Strong case, Stephanie Strong lost her court case back in April, was ordered to pay over $30,000 in attorney fees, and as recently as this last week I’m told she has yet to pay anything to clear her debt.

I guess I’m troubled by Gordon (who keeps running for office) touting himself as a constitutional conservative. Because most of the conservatives I know follow the law, but here’s yet another example of Gordon arguing for it’s non-application.

What do you think?  Should constitutional conservatives be arguing for laws to be followed, instead of being ignored?

Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: Vaccinating Saves Lives

Vaccinating Saves Lives
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

DaugaardFor those who grew up in the 1950s and early 1960s, measles was almost a childhood rite of passage. Fifty years ago there were half a million cases and 500 deaths reported in the United States every year. South Dakota experienced over 10,000 cases of measles during the peak years before the 1960s.

Since the 1950s measles and several other diseases – smallpox, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and mumps – have been either controlled or eliminated in South Dakota.

What accounts for this tremendous shift in public health? Improved nutrition, widespread understanding of how diseases are transmitted, and improved sanitation have all played a role. But by far the single most important factor in saving lives from contagious disease is childhood vaccinations. Thanks to Jonas Salk – who developed the polio vaccine – and others like him, people are living longer and more productive lives.

Unfortunately measles is trying to make a comeback in the United States. Measles is a highly contagious airborne disease that causes permanent brain damage in one in every 1,000 patients. It is fatal in three of every 1,000 patients. The majority of those who contract measles in the United States are preschoolers, adolescents and young adults who were not vaccinated.

As I write this, the state Department of Health has confirmed six cases of measles in South Dakota. After 17 years without a single case, we’ve had 6 confirmed cases in one week. Why? Because even though vaccinations are proven to prevent disease and save lives, some choose against vaccination.

Avoiding vaccination has been a recent trend. As the memory of these diseases fades into the past, too many people seem to forget the risk of not vaccinating children.  Unsubstantiated and discredited theories about side effects have created unreasonable anxiety. Medical professionals, repeated scientific studies and organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that vaccination is vital and safe.

I recognize that there are extreme circumstances where a child may not be able to receive specific vaccines because of a severe allergy or condition. In South Dakota, we also allow people to forgo a vaccination for religious reasons.  But for the overwhelming majority of people, vaccines are safe and reliable.

Not vaccinating doesn’t just affect you and your kids. It puts others at risk as well. Just as the polio vaccine protected millions of children from disease in the 1950s, vaccines save lives today. Vaccination is just as necessary today as it was decades ago.


Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: A Typical Day

A Typical Day
By Rep. Kristi Noem
January 2, 2015

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014One of the questions I get most often is: “What does a typical day look like for you?”  It’s a good question, but one that I sometimes struggle to answer concisely, as every day is a little different.

When Congress is in session, I stay out in Washington, D.C.  Like a handful of other Members of Congress, I have a pullout bed in my office so I don’t have to waste time getting through city traffic every day.

Throughout each day in session, we vote on a series of bills.  Sometimes those bills will impact millions of people; other times, they impact only certain communities. Either way, I cast my vote in the way I believe best represents South Dakota’s values and interests.  At the end of each vote, the vote tally will be displayed in the House chamber on equipment manufactured by Daktronics in Brookings, South Dakota, to let Members of Congress know if the bill passed or failed.

Placing votes only accounts for a small portion of my day, however.  Most of my time is spent preparing for such decisions, educating myself on the issues I’ll be weighing in on, and helping write the legislation that we vote on.

During the early morning hours, I usually try to catch up on any news that happened overnight and prepare for the meetings I’ll have that day.  Some mornings, I’ll join my colleagues to meet with House leadership so we can weigh in on what policy areas we believe should be pursued in the weeks to come.  We’ll also discuss reservations folks have about pending legislation and how those concerns can be addressed.

Throughout the week, congressional hearings or briefings are scheduled where I can collect information to help inform future legislative action or oversee the implementation of previously passed bills.  We will bring in witnesses – who may be members of the administration, private stakeholders, or experts in the area – to give testimony and answer any questions Members of Congress may have.  This is always a good time for me to hold the administration accountable for their actions and assess what changes should be made to ensure government programs work better for hardworking Americans.

For me, the best part of every day is the meetings I hold with South Dakotans.  Most weeks, I meet one-on-one with dozens of constituents to listen to their concerns and calls to action.  These meetings – along with the perspectives shared with my office over the phone and in writing – play a tremendous role in the decisions I make.

About once a week, I spend time with reporters, offering them updates on my work and allowing them to question me on the actions I’ve taken.  I firmly believe it’s my responsibility to share with you what I work on from week-to-week and this is one way that I accomplish that.

In the evenings, I finish up letters and emails to South Dakotans who write in with questions or feedback.  It’s also my time to reflect on what ideas I can bring to the table and the kind of fixes needed to address the problems our nation faces.

When Congress isn’t in session, I head back to South Dakota where I hold meetings with constituents, visit local businesses and schools, and try to make it to at least a few of my kids’ basketball games.

I understand that I’ve been placed in this position to serve the people of South Dakota and I have never forgotten that.  This week, I will take an oath of office to launch a third term as South Dakota’s representative in the House.  It’s a responsibility I do not take lightly and one that I spend every day trying to fulfill.

It’s been an honor and privilege serving you the last four years and I wholeheartedly look forward to serving you again this year.


US Senator Thune’s Weekly Column: New Priorities and Goals for a New Year

New Priorities and Goals for a New Year
By Senator John Thune

John_Thune_official_photoIt is about this time every year that people start planning for new opportunities in the year ahead. Some call them resolutions, but I prefer to call them priorities or goals. With both a new year and a new Republican majority in the Senate, I am eager to work on a number of issues facing our country.

With a Republican-controlled Congress and a Democrat White House, there are a number of bipartisan issues we can and should be working together on for the American people. These include important issues like approving the Keystone XL pipeline to create jobs and free up freight rail capacity, especially for agricultural commodities, reauthorizing trade promotion authority to ensure American goods are on an equal playing field in the global marketplace, and acting on bipartisan jobs bills that in the 113th Congress passed the House but were denied further action in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The two parties may not share the same vision or the same prescription for change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to work together to help our country move in a positive direction, especially with the stagnant economy under the current administration. I am looking forward as part of the Senate leadership team, including my role as Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, to help get Washington working again for the American people. The commerce committee will have the opportunity to address several issues important to South Dakotans including rural broadband, rail service, aviation, cybersecurity, and the long overdue need to modernize our telecommunications policy.

I am also eager to advance a number of important South Dakota priorities including final approval of the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex (PRTC). For the past eight years, I have worked closely with the Air Force in its effort to expand the PRTC to ensure our B-1 pilots and crews in South Dakota can maintain the maximum level of readiness and save taxpayer dollars in the process. I am committed to working with the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration to open this expanded airspace as soon as possible to ensure multiple aircraft and crew can train together, simulating a more realistic combat environment with no live fire.

I also remain committed to reining-in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) overreach to protect South Dakotans from the devastating impact these EPA actions would have on American jobs and energy prices. I will also reintroduce my bill to block the controversial proposal to lower the ground-level ozone standard – the most expensive regulation in EPA history. Finally, I’ll continue fighting for South Dakota consumers by working to stop President Obama’s backdoor national energy tax, and the EPA’s effort to further regulate farms, ranches, and businesses by expanding its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act.

I know South Dakotans continue to feel the weight of ObamaCare’s higher health care premiums and deductibles, canceled plans, and burdensome regulations. As families learn what their plans will cost them this year, opposition to the president’s signature health law will only continue to grow. I am committed to repealing and replacing the most onerous parts of ObamaCare with policies that lower health care costs for South Dakota families.

Because there is so much to tackle in this new Congress, there will be considerable debate about what to address first; but rest assured, serving the people of South Dakota will continue to be my number one priority. As your U.S. Senator I look forward to new opportunities to serve South Dakota in the coming year and wish all South Dakotans a happy, safe, and healthy new year.