Minnehaha GOP Debate Watch Party Straw poll results

From my e-mail box:

Thank you to everyone who attended the GOP Debate Watch party at The District last night. Over 50 people attended and over 40 voted in the informal straw poll.

The Poll Results:
Ben Carson 19.4%
Carly Fiorina 19.4%…
Marco Rubio 13.2%
Donald Trump 10.6%
Ted Cruz 8.8%
Scott Walker 8.0%
John Kasich 5.3%
Jeb Bush 4.4%
Chris Christie 3.5%
Mike Huckabee 3.5%
Rand Paul 3.5%

Methodology: Participants were Republicans who attended the Debate watch party. Voters were asked to write down their top THREE candidates and place their ballot in an unsealed 5.56cal ammo can. The results were pooled to give a weighted impression of which candidates are trending. Percentages were rounded to the nearest tenth.

So, who won the debate last night?

As a bit of an open topic – Your thoughts on who won the debate last night?

(Unfortunately, Rick Perry isn’t there anymore, so I’ve got to pick a new favorite.  You candidates – American Exceptionalism – it’s still important!)

I only watched it through the corner of my eye, as I was working. But Carly Fiorina seemed to set herself apart in a big way. And Chris Christie continues to impress.

Who did you like?


Best historic sites to visit in Boston?

I’m getting the opportunity to take another excursion next month, and instead of going to Washington DC, my wife and I are taking a trip a little further north to another city teeming with history – Boston, Massachusetts.

A few of my relatives were prodding me to go to the land whence we came… which in this case is Newport, Rhode Island. That’s where my people landed after coming over from Ireland, and my grandmother was born and raised.  But we’re hitting Boston instead, and then working our way north & back.

I’ve been to a few places there, such as the incredible State Capitol when I had a chance to go a few years’ ago. But, since I often use SDWC readers as a travel guide, I’m wondering what jewels I missed. What are your favorite historic places around Boston to visit?

Salem, Mass is day 2 for a touristy stop, and Portland Maine is Day 3 before heading back to beantown on Day 4 Before flying home the next day.

So, give it to me straight – if you were heading there, what would be your “must see” stop?

Senate GOP Fundraiser on Friday. At least, that’s what the paper says.

I was glancing at the Capital Journal website this evening, and came across their calendar of events. And this item kind of jumped out at me:


The Senate Republican Golf Outing, which is a fundraising kind of thing, (and yes, Dems do those types of events too) is being advertised on the local newspaper community calendar?  That left me wondering, “so, who put that up there?”

And clicking on it, we find out:


So, we have the City of Pierre advertising the event, which pushes it out to the Cap Journal page.

Somehow, I don’t think Senate Republicans asked for the plug.

Thune Opposes Iran Deal, Calls for Up-Or-Down Vote

thuneheadernew Thune Opposes Iran Deal, Calls for Up-Or-Down Vote

“Almost every single Democrat here in the Senate joined us to pass [the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act], yet just four months later, these same Democrats chose to stifle the voices of the American people by refusing to allow an up-or-down vote on the president’s nuclear agreement.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed his frustration with Senate Democrats for repeatedly blocking an up-or-down vote on the president’s nuclear deal with Iran, stifling the voices of the American people. Thune also discussed some of the dangers of the deal

Excerpts (as prepared for delivery):

“This agreement also allows Iran to keep its fortified nuclear facilities, and it gives Iran access to conventional weapons and ballistic missiles capable of delivering a warhead far beyond Iran’s borders.

“Plus, under this agreement, Iran will have full access to international markets and the materials and technical components it needs to build a bomb – material that right now it can only access through black market channels.

“Iran is playing the long game, and in the long term, this is a very good deal for Iran.

“And let’s be clear about Iran’s intentions regarding its nuclear program.

“Iran is NOT simply interested in pursuing a nuclear enrichment program for its civilian energy needs.

“Iran is interested in building a bomb.”

Last week, Thune urged his colleagues to oppose the president’s flawed deal with Iran and penned an op-ed explaining why he would vote against the deal.


Rounds Urges Colleagues to Reject Iran Nuclear Deal

RoundsPressHeaderRounds Urges Colleagues to Reject Iran Nuclear Deal

“I urge my fellow Senators to vote against President Obama’s deal with Iran. It’s wrong for the United States and for the world.”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), today delivered a speech on the Senate floor encouraging his colleagues to join him in opposing the President’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Video of Rounds’ Floor Speech:

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery:

Mr. President, I rise today to speak about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, between the United States, Great Britain, France, China, Russia, Germany and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Much has been said about this agreement over the past weeks and months.

My colleagues have addressed a great number of concerns and deficiencies about the deal and many outside experts have testified before multiple committees of Congress explaining their views as well.

In addressing these concerns, I wish to ask a few simple questions:  Do we believe that with this agreement, the U.S. and our allies are safer today than we were a year ago and will we be safer when the nuclear limitations expire in ten years?

The answers to these questions are very important.

They will dictate what we decide in one of the most important votes we cast in the 114th Congress.

After closely examining this agreement, the following can be concluded:

Upon verification by the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) of Iranian compliance, supposedly within a few months if Iran is in compliance, they will, after payment of their obligations, receive around $56 billion dollars that was frozen in overseas accounts.

Further revenue will be generated because the European Union has agreed to lift its ban on the import of Iranian oil thereby providing Iran with billions more in revenue with which to repair its oil fields and begin to repair its battered economy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran’s deputy petroleum minister recently stated that his country’s oil exports would reach 2.3 million barrels a day, compared with around 1.2 million barrels today.

Iran would also gain access to 50 million barrels of its oil held offshore, and economists estimate that Iran’s economy will grow up to nine percent in the year after implantation of the agreement.

This verification by the IAEA will be accomplished through protocols that members of the Senate have not seen in writing and that the Administration has not nor will they agree to provide to us.

This is in direct contravention to the Iran Review Act which the President signed into law agreeing to provide ALL documents and side agreements, and according to reports, will unbelievably, allow the Iranians to provide their own inspections of their military work on nuclear sites to the IAEA.

A robust inspection regime requires an anytime, anywhere policy.

Unfortunately, under the idea of “managed access” as found in the agreement, if the I-A-E-A requests access to an undeclared location under the JCPOA, Iran can delay access to the facility for two weeks or longer with the outlined multi-step process for undeclared locations.

U.S. sanctions against foreign firms for dealing with Iran in the oil and financial sectors, which have been the most effective sanctions enacted against Iran, will be suspended upon implementation of the agreement.

Sanctions prohibiting U.S. firms from conducting business with Iran will remain in place, but with a large carve out for non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by U.S. companies.

Some sanctions will also be lifted against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, the entity that runs the military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program.

Furthermore, the agreement requires the U.S. to make certain that U.S. state and local governments comply with sanctions relief contravening their own sanctions placed on Iran.

The JCPOA also commits the P5 + 1 to work to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage – which we can presume would mean from even our allies who feel deeply threatened by this agreement which transforms Iran, a terrorist state, to a breakout nuclear power and a terrorist state.

In year five of this agreement, Iran will be removed from the United Nations arms embargo.

Yet, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey told the Senate Armed Services Committee in August, QUOTE “under no circumstances should we relieve pressure on Iran relative to ballistic missile capabilities and arms trafficking.” UNQUOTE

In year eight of this agreement, Iran will be removed from the United Nations ballistic missile embargo.

In July, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter confirmed to me in a hearing that under this deal, he could not rule out Iran acquiring an intercontinental ballistic missile within ten years that could hit the United States.

This means that Iran would have the capability of producing a nuclear weapon that could reach U.S. soil in a decade.

These comments come after General Paul Selva, now the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told me during a separate hearing that Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism, and resources gained in sanctions relief under the nuclear deal could be used by Iran to continue sponsoring terrorism.

Under the agreement, the United States agreed to allow the nuclear related equipment to remain in Iran under lock and key, and Iran will be allowed to continue researching IR-4, IR-5, IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges.

Iran will also be allowed to begin testing IR-6 and IR-8 centrifuges in cascades of 30 at year eight of the agreement.  After eight years many R&D restrictions are removed and Iran will begin to manufacture advanced centrifuges. All R&D restrictions end at 10 years.

Finally, after 10 years, Iran will be free of the restrictions on enrichment and could become a nuclear threshold state – legally under international law, only postponing the inevitable nuclearization of Iran.

So, Mr. President, with these facts established, I am left with what appears to me to be the undeniable answer to my questions:

The U.S. and our Middle Eastern allies are absolutely not safer today than we were a year ago and we will all be left unquestionably less safe when this agreement ends in ten years.

I therefore oppose this deal. It is an agreement that will reward a violent, terrorist regime. Instead of stopping the Iranians from ever obtaining a nuclear weapon, it merely delays it.  This deal is shortsighted and dangerous for our security.

Just a few days ago I was talking with my eight year old grandson back in South Dakota.  He asked me what I was working on in the Senate and I told him about the President’s proposed deal with Iran.

I told him what we were giving them.  I told him about the money, the lifting of the sanctions, the access to weapons and soon, the ability to make a very bad bomb.

After all this he looked at me and asked, “what do we get out of it?”  Mr. President, if this third grader can see how bad this deal is so should we.

In conclusion, I urge my fellow Senators to vote against President Obama’s deal with Iran.

It’s wrong for the United States and for the world.  And as my grandson understood, we are getting a bad deal – one that we should reject.

# # #

Rep. Isaac Laterell to address Siouxland GOP Women

From my mailbox:

We are very excited about our Meeting on Tuesday Sept 15th at 7:00pm, presenting Isaac Latterell. This presentation is towards Generation C and College Students. We encourage all students to attend and participate. See you There!

The Generation C is a consumer generation that is changing America. The term used to describe people who care deeply about are connection, and community. Gen C is not an age category, more of an attitude and mindset. Sixty five percent are under 35 years of age.

Please note that our previous scheduled speaker Allen Unruh will be rescheduled.

Tuesday Sept 15th 2015 – 7:00pm
Royal Fork Restaurant

South of Empire Mall 4610 West Empire Place Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Private Meeting Room Reserved for Meeting.

No Meeting Fees for SRW Members!
Non-Members $5.00

All Groups Please RSVP to Maggie Sutton 605-929-1592 or send email to [email protected]
Maggie Sutton, President Siouxland Republican Women

2018 prognostication: A new name in the hunt for Congress, how a mentioned contender could shape another race.

Heard something interesting yesterday.

Apparently word is getting around the halls of government in Pierre that former GOP ED (and current LucasLentschDept of AG head) Lucas Lentsch is considering following in John Thune’s footsteps.   Word is that if there’s an opening for the Congressional seat, if Kristi Noem makes the jump to run for Governor, he may very well be running.

I say he would be following in Thune’s steps, as Thune, a former GOP ED himself, made a move after the SDGOP to state government before running for Congress himself. (There was also an intervening stop at the Municipal League).

The Directorship of the Republican party is a great place to meet the activists who will likely be the foot soldiers supporting a fledgling congressional race, and it’s a great leg up. Thune used his contacts and strong grass-root base and parlayed it into a victory over sitting Lt. Governor Carole Hillard.

The rest is history.

If Noem decides to make a run, it’s anticipated that it could be a crowded race. Observers also expect there’s a possibility former PUC Commissioner and Teenage Republican Advisor Dusty Johnson, who would share that GOP base with Lentsch, could take a stab at it. Having been elected twice statewide, Dusty could be fierce competition with an army of the youngest and energetic activists the GOP has matriculated over the past decade or so.

Some think Secretary of State Shantel Krebs could also take a run after her first term is up. As the Constitutional officers are chosen now, she could lose that race, and still have the SOS office to fall back on as a secondary position, running at convention weeks after a congressional loss, so there would be little holding her back from a run.

Gubernatorial counsel Jim Seward’s name had come up as a possible Congressional contender, Jim Seward 2013however, there are some who see a different path for the former State’s Attorney.

In addition to Congress, Seward’s name is one of those that keeps coming up in the race for Attorney General in 2018, alongside Deputy AG Charles McGuigan, House Majority Leader Brian Gosch, and former US Senate Candidate Jason Ravnsborg. But ultimately, it all comes down to the delegates.

Many of the GOP delegates are not terribly familiar with McGuigan, who has been a steady hand at the AG’s shop, but has generally eschewed politics.

Gosch, who has been a good majority leader for the House, has the misfortune of being a target of the disaffected wing of the GOP, simply because he represents part of what they view as “the establishment.”  In a convention contest, that could be a block of votes against him.

Jason Ravnsborg is a regular fixture at GOP Events across the state getting familiar with the delegates, and would be viewed as quite conservative in the race. But the question is how receptive delegates will be to someone who has not been a State’s Attorney?

Having gone to he Governor’s office in 2010, Former Butte County SA Seward has managed to stay out of some of the internecine fighting in GOP trenches over the past 4-5 years. And as a west river conservative, he could pick up some of the Stephanie Strong/Gordon Howie types who won’t support Gosch.

But….. one thing to keep in mind. It’s still only 2015. And with the races for these offices a long, long way off, we might be finding ourselves taking an eraser to the entire chalkboard with the playing field sketched on it.

At least a couple of times.

Brendan Johnson retained by tribal president ousted for drug testing

The president of the Sisseton Whapeton Tribe who was ousted for drug testing of tribal employees has gone to a familiar face to represent him in fighting the matter:

Sources close to the situation state that the Council moved to nullify the drug tests results and actually re-instated people who tested positive for drugs, including users of THC. This reportedly worries Chairman Renville as a possible violation of several federal regulations as well as an abuse of power in that the motion could result in proof of aiding and abetting criminal behavior as well as obstruction of justice by tampering with evidence. Former US Attorney for the State of South Dakota Brendan Johnson has now been retained by Chairman Renville to protect the interests of this process.

…opponents of Renville claim it’s based on violations of civil rights, that it was not in accord with policy and that employees with prescriptions had been targeted in the test. A decision to drug-test employees has been lacking for several years according to sources and it is unclear if the entire SWO Council took the drug test.

Read it all here.