Governor Daugaard’s Weekly Column: 2015 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

daugaardheader Daugaard2015 Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard:

On Friday morning, a few dozen cowboys will put on their boots and saddle up their horses. Custer State Park employees will arise before dawn. And thousands from across the state, country and world will gather, all to continue a 50-year tradition.

The Buffalo Roundup is an experience unlike any other. Feel the ground shake as over 1,000 of these half-ton creatures stampede across the prairie! Watching the few brave riders drive the beasts to their destination is quite incredible. Witnessing the buffalo’s power and speed from such a short distance create a feeling of being back in the Old West.

At one time, there were about 60 million buffalo roaming North America, but that number decreased to less than 2,000 in the early twentieth century. Although population levels are nowhere near the historical peak, South Dakota buffalo have made a comeback from their near extinction, thanks in part to Custer State Park.

Riders will round up a herd of 1,300 buffalo on Friday and it will take about four days to work the herd. Volunteers will vaccinate and brand the calves, check the cows for pregnancy and then identify 200 buffalo for sale in November.

After the Friday morning Roundup, visitors can stay for lunch and watch the volunteers work the herd. There will be plenty of things to do for those who decide to stay for the weekend.  The Arts Festival will continue through Saturday, the Dutch Oven Cook Off is scheduled for Saturday, and Crazy Horse Memorial visitors will be permitted to hike to the arm of the mountain carving during an organized Volksmarch on Sunday.

The Roundup is something every South Dakotan should see at least once. People from all over the world come for this one-of-a-kind experience because there’s nothing like it anywhere else.  Consider making this worthwhile journey. I hope to see you there!


Sioux City Journal: No candidates on the horizon for South Dakota Democrats, But they’re doing referendums. (Don’t laugh, they’re trying).

South Dakota Democrats are lamenting a lack of candidates, a lack of money, and the plain and simple truth that they are quickly approaching extinction in South Dakota in an article today by the Sioux City Journal:

But with the retirement of U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, a Democrat from Vermillion who had held the seat for 18 years and the following loss by Democratic candidate Rick Weiland to Republican former Gov. Mike Rounds, now all three of the state’s federal lawmakers are Republicans.

“In many respects, South Dakota is a de facto one-party state,” South Dakota State University Professor David Wiltse said. “The Republican Party is strong and dominant, with little sign of weakening.”

Former South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Ben Nesselhuf, a former state legislator from Vermillion now living in Sioux City, conceded “the last six years the pendulum has swung hard against” Midwest Democrats.


Wiltse said South Dakota people typically identify with the Republican Party because the 20th century populism with Democratic leanings in Upper Great Plains states wore off and due to the rise of religious and social conservatism in the 1980s.

“Social conservatives and rural populists, who would have considered voting Democratic in the past, are now a unified force politically, and solidly Republican,” Wiltse said.


Jones Pranger said one indication of South Dakotans lining up with Democrats is in the outcomes of referendums where state laws were overturned, such as a hard-line abortion law. Jones Pranger and Nesselhuf said that is an indication that Democrats can rise again, given more campaign money and energized support for a new wave of candidates.

Read it here.

So, yes, it looks like Democrats are going to have another awful year.  But, I did want to point one glaring error out to the new Democrat Executive Director since math is obviously difficult for her.

She notes  “one indication of South Dakotans lining up with Democrats is in the outcomes of referendums where state laws were overturned…  Jones Pranger and Nesselhuf said that is an indication that Democrats can rise again.

There’s a simple math equation that explains the Democrat dilemma quite succinctly, and holds true on almost all occasions:

Referendums + reduced numbers of Democrat voters + No Candidates for office = DEMOCRATS LOSING ELECTIONS

Seriously!?! Who in their right mind thinks they stand a snowball’s chance in hell if they leave most of their state legislative races unchallenged while they fiddle around with ballot measures?  Raiding Assisted Living Centers for placeholders and trying to rig the system so party bosses can assign candidates don’t count.

When they can show they’re a serious political party who fields candidates, maybe then they can have flights of fancy that the Democrat Party could rise again. Until then, such talk is nothing to take seriously.

Do we need more government to fix people’s screw-ups when they’re trying to fix government?

Bob Mercer was writing on-line today advocating for more government in the face of people wanting to change government:

Requiring circulators to register at a county auditor’s office or the secretary of state office before they start gathering signatures would be a safeguard.

The circulator could be asked for photo identification and proof of current residential address, and for the specific ballot measure or candidate, then sign a statement pledging to follow the petition laws.

In turn, the circulator would receive official certification.


The recent crimes committed by candidates Bosworth and Walker, and the ongoing controversies during this signature-gathering season for ballot measures, point to the need for steps to better preserve the integrity of our democratic system.

Read it here.

I’m not so sure I agree. The recent crimes committed by Bosworth and Walker were successfully investigated and prosecuted by Attorney General Marty Jackley.  So, what’s the argument supporting the need for more bureaucracy in the face of it? Just so we can go “Yay! We did something!

Do we really need a licensure board for petitioners?  Or, is what we really need a shift of responsibility?

When I was in the SOS office, concerns over problems in the election process came up then as well, as they had with Chris Nelson before us, Joyce Hazeltine before him, etc. The primary problem is the the Secretary of State’s office is not designed legally to be anything except a very administrative filing agency for the documents of government.

The only review authority it has over elections matter is very, very limited, and purely administrative in terms of determining the validity of signatures, and the timeliness of when things are filed.

Any concerns or questions go directly to the Attorney General. The problem is, white collar petition scofflaws rank pretty low when put up against rapists & murderers. But because of their extremely political nature, and potential impact of upcoming elections, they can’t be ignored.  EXCEPT, according to case law, when they’re the subject of an upcoming election. Then, they can only be addressed only after the election.

Not an enviable position for our state’s chief law enforcement officer.   So. why not shift responsibility slightly?

Why not give the Secretary of State more authority to reject – or better yet, refer petitions upon suspicion of impropriety?  And as opposed to the Board of Elections being a mostly useless appendage dealing with administrative matters and suggesting legislation, why not give them a quasi-judicial function?  Let them sit in judgement on whether to reject or accept petitions and candidate controversies, and leave the bad, bad stuff to the AG?

Or is there a better way? What do you think?

Paula Hawks not a real candidate yet. Or maybe ever.

I was working on post ideas, and noted that something I hadn’t done as of yet was to post Paula Hawks’ financial disclosure forms as a candidate in her race for Congress. They’re public information, and readily available on-line, so I went to the Clerk of the US House website to look it up.

But…. it wasn’t there. That left me checking the rules as to exactly when candidates are required to file:

Congressional Candidates

Individuals are required to file a Financial Disclosure Statement once they “qualify” as a candidate by raising or spending more than $5,000 in a campaign for election to the House of Representatives. Both the office-seeker’s own funds and contributions from third parties count towards the threshold. An individual who never raises or spends more than $5,000 has no financial disclosure obligations with the House, even if that person’s name appears on an election ballot. All individuals who do meet this definition must file each year that they continue to be candidates. The deadline for filing the Financial Disclosure Statement depends on whether you qualify as a candidate in an election or non-election year.

If you qualify as a candidate during an election (generally an even-numbered) year, then you must file a Financial Disclosure Statement within 30 days of becoming a candidate or May 15 of that year, whichever is later. There are two exceptions to this general rule: First, a qualifying candidate must file no later than 30 days before any election (including primaries) in which the individual is participating. Thus, if you become a candidate on January 5 in an election year and the primary is on April 22, the report is due by March 23 (no later than 30 days before the election). Second, if a candidate crosses the $5,000 threshold within the 30-day period prior to an election, the candidate must file the Financial Disclosure Statement immediately after he or she raises or spends more than $5,000. Candidates in a special election also follow this filing rule.

If you qualify during a non-election (generally an odd-numbered) year, then you must file a Financial Disclosure Statement within 30 days of becoming a candidate or May 15 of that year, whichever is later.  You are then required to file a subsequent Statement on May 15 of the following year if you are still a candidate on that date. If you lose a primary election before May 15, then you are not required to file the Statement.

Read that all here.

Hawks_videoWait. What? It isn’t there?

Let me get this straight. Hawks has 30 days from the point she hits $5000 raised or spent to file these Financial Disclosure Statements? And it is yet to be filed?

So, she was prepping her race from way back in July. And she’s been running since the first part of August.

And here we are a month and a half to two months away from the time she started moving in the direction of being the candidate.

And she hasn’t had to file this document yet?  Which means she’s either flouting the law, or her campaign has yet to raise or spend $5000 in pursuit of the campaign against our current Congresswoman Kristi Noem.

Doesn’t she have staff, and a website, and travel, and all that stuff? Or is her campaign so anemic, underfunded, and just plain dismal at this point that she hasn’t hit that benchmark yet?   What was she doing in the first 30 days of agreeing to be the sacrificial lamb?  Was it similar to the stages of grief, and she was in denial that she got stuck with the hot potato?

As an allegedly credible candidate, it’s tremendously telling that she wasn’t been able to gather $5000 in the first 15 -20 days of her campaign launch.

It’s telling us that Paula Hawks not a real candidate yet. Or maybe ever.

The Annette Bosworth airing of the grievances. TV backdrop, or worse?

I was taking a closer look at the video featuring Annette Bosworth trashing her lawyer Joel Arends (again), when something in the background of the video caught my eye….


I thought “What on earth does she have written on her wall?”  And then I blew up a screen cap, and read it.  And all I could think was “Oh my. It looks like a wall of grievances.”

First off, I don’t know many professionals who write on their walls with brightly colored magic markers. It tends to annoy the landlord, and does little for getting your damage deposit back when you finally have your office shut down.

Although, if you recall the Bosworth room of profanity, I suppose one could argue it makes for a good impromptu backdrop for a TV interview.  But then you look at the content:

Bozwall2(unintelligible. Name?) POLITICAL
Reason: Letter to my Sons.


Abandon & Forgotten

Don Quiote (sic)


501 c3
Land Raffles


Rev Steve Hickey files complaint

*Medicaid Fraud


Ruling by
Medical Board
Revoke medical license

Is it just me, or would you agree that this room is NOT Annette Bosworth’s happy place?

You know, I’m not a doctor. And, neither is Annette Bosworth anymore.  But, there’s this thought in the back of my head that it might be a good idea for her to go talk to somebody.

It might be healthier than hanging out underneath her self-imposed wall of shame.

The “other petition guy” gets probation as well.

From the Argus Leader/Associated Press, it looks like the other petition scofflaw got probation as well:

Former South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Clayton Walker has avoided jail time for election law violations, instead being sentenced Tuesday to two years of probation.

State Judge John Brown also ordered Walker to complete 200 hours of community service and told him to get a mental health evaluation within 30 days.

Walker declined comment after the sentencing, but previously said he believes the charges against him were politically motivated.


Authorities indicted Walker in June 2014 for submitting nominating petitions that included names of dead people, fictitious people and Hollywood celebrities, and for falsely swearing that he witnessed signatures on his petitions. Authorities later accused him of making repeated phone calls to several state offices, harassing and threatening employees.

Read it all here.

Have we all given up on even caring about 2016 already? Well, yeah. The election is already over.

It’s interesting that the post I did on what could shake out for 2018 rocketed up to be one of the more popular posts of the last 30 days. And it bears out what one of my correspondents was noting this evening.

The question was “Everyone still talking 2018 out there?”  And I truthfully had to respond – “Yep. 2016 is over already.”  And that seems to be the general mood.  The 2016 election is just a minor speed bump towards the next big election.  Some people are folding up the chairs, and have started putting them away when it comes to state elections.

Democrats have practically run out of time to find (a) a credible candidate, and (b) someone who could raise anything close to what Senator Thune has in the bank already.  In everyone’s minds, for all practical purposes. It’s done.

In Congress, they’re putting state income tax loving, pro-planned parenthood, only won her last election by 9 votes, Paula Hawks up against Congresswoman Kristi Noem who is literally at the height of her game, still riding the crest of her huge win on the farm bill, and now serves on the ways and means committee.  In everyone’s minds, for all practical purposes. check that race off the list too. It’s also done.

What does that leave Dems?  Chris Nelson for PUC. (What was I saying about this election being done?), and the state legislature where Republicans have a built in expectation we’re going to lose a couple, because the numbers are already impossibly and un-naturally high.  The bigger shock is that the electorate keeps giving us Republicans those kind of numbers.

It’s not like Democrats disagree. They spend their time on ballot measures instead of candidates. They know they’ve already lost those races. Maybe they can pass a law or two by circumventing the legislative process.  (Yay, self-back slapping by the activists, while they wonder why their registration numbers keep cratering, and question why no one wants to be a Democrat.)

So no wonder everyone keep talking about 2018. People are looking for some speculation. Some gamesmanship, and wrangling. Some good, old-fashioned politicking. We enjoy that. It’s a pastime of many in the state. So, when we talk about it, it piques people’s interest because it represents the unknown – the future that keeps evolving and changing with every little twist and turn.

But not 2016. Shoot – The 2016 election is already over in people’s eyes.   Thune, Noem, Nelson, and a Republican Supermajority. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to call that one.  Everyone agrees, and they’re already moving on to the big show in ’18.

Anderson Cooper using Annette Bosworth to do hit piece on Joel Arends? (updated)

I had a reader drop me a note tonight, and had I seen it for myself, I think it would have caused a spit take:

Anderson Cooper just had Annette Bosworth on to hammer Joel Arends and his thing with Veterans for a Strong America and Trump.

(Update) And a day later – here it is –


Click on image to watch

So, one of the more liberal members of the national media has Annette Bosworth, a felon convicted of 12 counts against the electorate, who was just stripped of her license to practice medicine, should now be taken as a valid source of criticism against the attorney she unsuccessfully attempted to shift blame to in order to escape prosecution for her crimes?

What’s next? “Coming on CNN – How the Republican nomination for Governor was stolen from Lora Hubbel?”

If all the Anderson Coopers of the media have to throw against him is Annette Bosworth, I suspect we have now arrived in crazy town.

Watch the clip for yourself.  If you find Annette Bosworth a credible, reputable source, you might be inclined to believe her. Unfortunately for Boz, few people, including the 12 people who heard all the evidence, all the testimony, etcetera, bought it.  I’m sure she was all too eager to go on TV for any reason, and happy to spout whatever they wanted her to. What silliness.

Suffice it to say that Joel has done legal work for me in the past, I’m currently talking to him about a family law issue, and I anticipate I’ll use him in the future for other things. I’ve been happy with the quality of his work, and consider him honest and hard-working.

As for all the people squawking about his organization – which, despite what some claim, has a mailing list of over 500,000 – and it’s hosting of an event for a presidential candidate, it’s a whole lot of sturm und drang and little else.

Thune teeing up measure to protect consumers from being sued over on-line reviews

From the Washington Post, John Thune has one of the most consumer friendly bills I’ve ever seen – AND it has the added bonus of protecting freedom of speech in our free market society:

Should people who criticize companies on sites like Yelp be forced to pay exorbitant punitive fees to the firms they review, just because of a small clause buried in the companies’ terms and conditions?

Some lawmakers don’t think so. The head of the powerful Senate Commerce Committee, John Thune (R-S.D.), is expected to introduce a new bill Thursday that targets that practice, along with Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

The legislation, known as the Consumer Review Freedom Act, would ban businesses from bullying their customers as a way of insulating themselves from public criticism.


“Online customer reviews have become an integral part of not just e-commerce but consumer choice everywhere,” Thune said in a statement. “This free market system, which empowers customers, cannot thrive if reviewers face intimidation against airing truthful criticisms.”

Read it all here.

Good job Senator Thune!  No, strike that. GREAT job!

Rounds Statement on Democrat Filibuster on Iran Deal Provisions

RoundsPressHeaderRounds Statement on Democrat Filibuster on Iran Deal Provisions

“Protecting Americans’ lives should not be a partisan issue, nor should
supporting our longstanding friend and ally, Israel.”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today made the following statement after Senate Democrats again blocked consideration of legislation related to the Iran deal, denying the American people a voice on the president’s nuclear concession deal with Iran:

“Once again, a minority of Senators are denying the elected representatives of the American people an opportunity to vote on one of the most consequential issues of our time,” said Rounds. “In doing so, they are putting the President’s legacy ahead of the lives of the Americans who are currently being held hostage in Iran and threatening our national security here at home. Protecting Americans’ lives should not be a partisan issue, nor should supporting our longstanding friend and ally, Israel. Yet our president and a minority of his party in Congress are insistent on dealing with an Iranian regime which continues to call for “Death to Israel” and describes the U.S. as the Great Satan. It is politics at its worst.”

This morning, Senate Democrats blocked consideration of legislation that would require Iran to recognize Israel as a state and release the Americans held hostage in Iran before any U.S. sanctions with Iran could be lifted. This comes after Senate Democrats twice blocked consideration of the Iran deal itself, despite overwhelmingly supporting the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act earlier this year, which is based on the principle that Congress should have a say on whether the U.S. should adopt the President’s nuclear deal with Iran.

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