Gov. Noem Launches Round Three of Freedom Works Here

Gov. Noem Launches Round Three of Freedom Works Here
“Building in America” Ad Invites Homebuilders to Move to South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. – Today, Governor Kristi Noem and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development launched round three of Freedom Works Here, the most successful workforce recruitment campaign in South Dakota history. Round three launched with the “Building in America” ad, which features Governor Noem as a homebuilder inviting workers to move to South Dakota.

“South Dakota has the blueprint for success. Recently, we led the nation in new homebuilding,” said Governor Noem. “But we’re still growing so fast, we need to hire more builders to keep up.”

Spring represents the time of year when new home construction ramps up – as well as when families who are wrapping up the school year are considering making a move. That makes this the perfect time to launch round three of Freedom Works Here.

In the “Building in America” ad, Governor Noem explains that South Dakota has no state income tax and offers on-the-job apprenticeship training.

Freedom Works Here is the most successful workforce recruitment campaign in South Dakota history. Thousands and thousands of families have already moved to South Dakota, and thousands more are in the process of coming here.

These numbers represent those working directly through the “Freedom Works Here” program. Even more people are finding jobs and moving to South Dakota of their own accord after seeing the ads.

More information about the Freedom Works Here campaign can be found at


US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Update: Pump the Brakes on Biden’s EV Mandate

Pump the Brakes on Biden’s EV Mandate
By Sen. John Thune

The Biden administration’s pursuit of its Green New Deal agenda jeopardizes Americans’ access to secure, reliable, and affordable energy. Energy costs have increased 35 percent under President Biden. The electric grid is struggling to keep up with demand. And new taxes and regulations are making life difficult for conventional energy producers. Nevertheless, the Biden administration continues to push its radical environmental agenda on the American people.

In recent weeks, the Biden administration finalized restrictive new regulations on cars and trucks, creating a de facto mandate for the majority of new car sales to be electric vehicles (EVs) by 2032. There are a number of issues with this overreaching regulation, particularly that it will be incredibly costly for most Americans. The average cost of an EV is $52,000, which would be a significant expense for most families at any time, but especially now when compounded by the effects of inflation and higher interest rates.

Most Americans are also not convinced that an EV is right for them. South Dakotans expect a lot from their vehicles. We drive our cars and trucks long distances, put them to work on farms and ranches, and they face extremely cold temperatures. We also keep them for more than 14 years on average. Unsurprisingly, South Dakotans have not been eager to trade in their car or truck for an electric model. And with gas stations still vastly outnumbering charging stations in our state, as they do in the rest of the country, the eight-year timeline the president envisions is unrealistic at best.

EVs would also place a heavy burden on our electric grid, which is nowhere near capable of supporting such a significant increase in demand. In fact, our nation’s energy grid is already being stretched by increased demand and the move away from conventional energy sources. We are rapidly approaching a situation in which we simply won’t have the ability to keep up with current electricity demand, and adding millions of electric vehicles on top of that could lead to widespread blackouts and brownouts, to say nothing of higher electricity prices.

In addition to Americans’ daily drivers, the Biden administration is also imposing new regulations on heavy-duty trucks, like those used in commercial trucking, to push truckers to switch to electric versions of their vehicles. By one estimate, the infrastructure and electricity costs of complying with the regulation could cost almost $1 trillion, which doesn’t include the cost of the new trucks themselves.

The future the Biden administration envisions is unrealistic, and forcing it on the American economy and households through heavy-handed regulations is just wrong. I have joined my Senate Republican colleagues in pushing legislation that would roll back these onerous and costly mandates, and we will see to it that the Senate takes an up-or-down vote on stopping these misguided regulations.


Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: Sacrificing to Serve

Sacrificing to Serve
by Congressman Dusty Johnson

BIG Update

Applications for my U.S. Service Academy nomination consideration opened this week for the Class of 2029. It’s one of the privileges of my job to meet and nominate brilliant young individuals to attend one of the prestigious academies.

Attending a Service Academy equips and trains the next generation of officers in our Armed Forces, focusing on leadership, both the physical and mental aspects of military training, and preparing students for a career as an officer.

You can find more information on my website at and by watching the video below from current academy students I previously nominated.

BIG Idea

This week, I stopped by Big Frig in North Sioux City to learn about their business. They make a variety of coolers, drinkware, and cattle coolers to help their customers get the job done. I saw how they make and design their products that withstand the ranching conditions of the Midwest. A big part of my job is meeting with business owners to see how I can help—by navigating federal bureaucracies or introducing policies to address supply chain disruptions, high prices, immigration, and more—to ensure our businesses, economy, and communities can thrive.

Johnson and the team at Big Frig

BIG News

In March, the National Guard temporarily suspended its reenlistment bonuses for servicemembers. This isn’t the first time this has happened. In October 2023, more than 9,000 soldiers saw delays in receiving their enlistment bonus—some from up to five years ago. This same type of payment suspension happened again in 2021.

This week, I asked the National Guard Bureau why the availability of their incentive programs has been unreliable. Failing to fulfill these programs could discourage our military men and women from reenlisting or civilians from joining. We need to ensure a robust military, but unfortunately, the Armed Services significantly missed recruiting goals in 2023 by more than 40,000 people. Now, we have the smallest active-duty force since 1940.

Waiting years to receive an enlistment bonus is unacceptable. These men and women are sacrificing to serve our country and keep us safe—we must uphold our commitment to them.

“Everything is crazy and upside down” Deuel County Republicans gives Indy stage time, and give him table to collect petition signatures at Lincoln Day Dinner

Yesterday, I was writing about the Vice Chair at the Minnehaha County Republican Party going off her rocker and recruiting petition carriers for an Indy candidate, in violation of the SDGOP’s Code of Conduct for GOP County Party officials.

Unfortunately, last night, it came to light that she’s not the only one who needs to be removed from her position in the County Party and on the State Republican Central Committee.

Last night, Deuel County Republicans held their annual Lincoln Day Dinner. Except, they weren’t just featuring Republicans.. they were featuring the people that Republicans are running against. And helping them.

I about fell off of my desk chair last night when I got this message about what was going on at the Deuel County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner:

Closer view of the McNeal Petitions.

In over 35 years of being involved with the South Dakota Republican Party, I can honestly say that I have never seen a County Republican Party give stage time to a candidate from a competing party when there is a Republican candidate running for that office.

Not sure what’s next for the Deuel County Republican group event. Perhaps they’re going to feature the Democrat running for Congress next? Since they don’t seem to grasp the mission of being a county organization whose sole purpose of existing is to elect Republican candidates.

Pardon the inferred language, but honestly, WTF?

The State Republican Party Executive Board needs to act, and act promptly in stripping these cancers out of the county Republican organizations which these people are directly acting to destroy while they can.

Because at this rate, there isn’t going to be a Republican party left for the next election.

Forget the normal Republicans, Election truthers don’t like Minnehaha County GOP Chair R. Shawn Tornow, either

Safe to say that most normal Republicans don’t have much in common with the election truthers over at South Dakota Canvassing. But, I think they found something they can all agree on, that Minnehaha County Chairman R. Shawn Tornow is not some to place one’s trust in to lead a cause or a group.

As you’ll note from one of their most recent postings on their website, SD Canvassing is putting the blame squarely on R. Shawn for their most recent loss in court:

Up front, the contract required a retainer with a clause in the contract that no funds were refundable regardless of how much or how little time or expense accrued. That was concerning, as we had donated funds and it was not our money we were spending. The two requirements to sign the contract were: do you believe in Jesus, and do you believe in the Constitution? The answer was yes. The next statement was “don’t you screw us over, because you will be screwing over people from all over the State of South Dakota, not just us.”


After that, R. Shawn Tornow failed to file ANYTHING in our case for NINE MONTHS. NINE MONTHS. A brief was due within 30 days. From the contract:

Does a competent lawyer forget legal procedure after approx. 30 years of practice? Does a competent lawyer stall and lie by saying “I can’t control the judge’s schedule” when questioned on a weekly basis as to when we were going to file a brief?

Things seemed to be going well until the Judge said the magic words above, and the malpractice ensued. Nine months went by and then we received an emergent phone call from Tornow saying that he was immediately “retiring” and that he could no longer practice law because he “turned in his bar card.” Well, we know many a retired lawyer who still has their bar card, but may be on inactive status. That is not the first thing you do when you “retire.”

We were left with a hearing scheduled for May 11, 2023, in which Steve Haugaard returned from vacation early and stepped in to help us because we were left without a lawyer. Our naivety of legal process and trust for Tornow left us with a case dismissed with prejudice for failure to file a brief, upon which we relied on Tornow for COMPETENT legal counsel, and none of the evidence, that we had patiently waited to present, on the record. A true an utter disappointment. But don’t take our word for it, read the court transcript HERE.


Now the really great part in all of this is we never said anything about Tornow for unity’s sake. Before we knew he had screwed us over, he was elected the Chair of the Minnehaha GOP with grassroots support. Do you think Tornow would have been elected Chair if the grassroots had known he cheated four women patriots (and all from the immediate area) out of their money and sound legal counsel?

The Minnehaha GOP has since disintegrated into a toxic mess of factions that hate each other, and an attempt by some to remove Tornow as the Chair. Our group had NOTHING to do with that. Nothing. We certainly could have, but we kept our mouths shut.

Read the entire story here.

Of course, the story quickly disintegrates into crazy ramblings about people not being Republicans, but you get the point.

Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: Banish the Cartels

Banish the Cartels
By: Governor Kristi Noem
April 5, 2024

There is an invasion happening at our Southern Border. It is a warzone. People are dying every day because of the crime, drugs, and human trafficking flowing into our country. President Trump is right – we need to secure our borders and keep Americans safe.

When you have a warzone, you send soldiers – and that’s exactly what South Dakota has done time and time again. I was the first governor in the nation to send National Guard soldiers to defend our border in 2021. This week, the South Dakota National Guard was deployed to our Southern Border for the fifth time. Their mission is critical.

South Dakota’s National Guard soldiers are doing all they can to keep our nation secure. They will be working with Texas to build the wall. They will stop dangerous criminals and terrorists from being able to enter into America where the wall is built. But illegal border crossings will still take place where the wall is not being constructed because President Biden refuses to secure the border.

While the front lines of this battle started along the Southern Border, all 50 states now have a common enemy – the Mexican drug cartels. They are waging a war against our nation. And it is the fault of President Joe Biden.  Unfortunately, we see the effects of the open border every day. The citizens of South Dakota are less safe because of it. We especially see the impact on our tribal reservations. Mexican drug cartel presence in Indian country is a problem across the nation.

I have called on all our tribal leaders to banish the cartels from tribal lands.

The cartels instigate drug addiction, murder, rape, human trafficking, and so much more in tribal communities across the nation, including right here in South Dakota. This suffering is only made worse by the failures of the Biden Administration and the severe lack of funding for law enforcement on tribal lands.

As recent media reports say, “In many ways, Indian reservations make for ideal places for a drug operation to set up shop. The communities suffer from high rates of drug addiction and low numbers of law enforcement.”

The federal government has repeatedly failed to serve our Native American tribes. These communities are suffering because the Biden Administration continues to turn a blind eye. This administration is underfunding tribal law enforcement, preventing the tribes from adequately responding to public safety issues.

This is why I am also pushing for an audit of federal funds going to South Dakota’s Native American tribes. This is necessary to understand the funding level that is needed to keep these communities safe. For years, the level of actual funding drastically underestimates the true breadth of the challenges of Indian Country. And it has only been made worse by the failed border policies of the Biden Administration and the presence of drug cartel operations on South Dakota tribal reservations.

I continue to request Law Enforcement Agreements between the State of South Dakota and the state’s Native American tribes. Although we might not always agree on every issue, we can surely agree on the need for law and order is imperative. We must work together to combat illegal activities in our most vulnerable and rural areas.

I will continue to speak the truth and fight to protect the lives of Native Americans in South Dakota – because that’s what they deserve.


Fall River County GOP scorecarding GOP primary candidates. Since when did County GOP groups start this?

You know, winning elections in South Dakota was fun while it lasted.

Because, aside from the nuttery in Minnehaha County, other Republican county organizations are taking it upon themselves to get active in primary elections, and try to determine who is the better or worse Republican in races. Such as this GOP platform “survey” from the Fall River County Republican Party where it says it’s designed to determine whether someone is a “Republican or a RINO:”

FRC_GOPPlatformSurvey by Pat Powers

If County Party organizations want to get involved in primary elections, they should make the decision to do so as a Central Committee. Because – supposedly – to this point, the party was supposed to stay out of them.

Although, we do learn that it appears that Fall River County is as weary of Matthew Monfore as much as the rest of us.

Update on Minnehaha GOP VC trying to recruit petition carriers. How many candidates does she get to support against Republicans before it’s not ok?

If you saw my post from earlier today, the gist of it is that Minnehaha County GOP Vice-Chair Jennifer Foss is out on Facebook in her anti-Republican group trying to recruit petition carriers for an Independent candidate for Congress to run against Republican Dusty Johnson.

Of course, I pointed out this fact, and Karen called for the manager… er, Minnehaha County GOP Vice-Chair Foss is trying to claim she’s somehow given herself permission to do that, rants after me for pointing out her own words, and calls people in her Facebook group snitches:

Somehow the Minnehaha County Republican Vice-Chair is claiming her actions are ok, because she’s abstaining from circulating petitions for an Independent candidate.. nevermind that she’s active in trying to recruit people to do so, as noted in her prior post..

Maybe it’s just me, but if one is trying to recruit petition carriers, it would not seem that someone is supporting the Republican candidate.

Why should anybody care?  Well, there is this handbook running around where officers of the Republican Party – such as Minnehaha County GOP Vice-Chair Foss –  had some specific expectations placed on them…

The point being, can the Vice-Chair of a County Republican organization – who is allegedly supposed to abide by the SDGOP Code of Conduct – help run and participate in on-line forums where she’s trying to recruit opponents to a Republican officeholder? And furthermore, can the Vice-Chair of a County GOP organization try to recruit petition carriers for a different political affiliation to run against the Republican Candidate for Congress?

How many Independents or Democrats does the Minnehaha County GOP Vice-Chair have to recruit to run against Republican candidates before it’s NOT ok?

I would venture that Foss is violating at least 2 or 3 rules in the GOP Code of Conduct. And as vice-chair, she is continuously and repeatedly attacking Republican Party candidates (and officeholders). If she was just Karen off the street, who cares? But as the Vice-Chair of a County Republican Organization – especially the largest one in the state – that Code of Conduct would appear to put some pre-qualifications on her conduct, especially when it comes to attacking Republican candidates.

If the Vice-Chair of the Minnehaha GOP wants to run people against Republican candidates, she should resign from her position.  Lacking that, it’s long past due for her to be removed.

Minnehaha GOP vice chair now working to get independent on the ballot against Republican congressman

Wasn’t it just a couple of days ago when Minnehaha county vice chair Jennifer Foss was going off on me, remarking ‘Pat you wouldn’t know what a real Republican looked like if hit you in the face..’. Guess what?

Remember when being an official in the Republican party meant that you worked to elect Republicans?

Minnehaha County Vice Chair Jennifer Foss must have inhaled some fumes while bleaching her hair, because she’s taken to her anti-Republican group trying to recruit petition carriers to assist in running an independent for office. AGAINST our Republican candidate.

In a Facebook post which appears to be made by Foss last night:

Endorsing an Independent or a Democrat candidate is literally unheard of from a Republican County Party official, and in the past would have triggered that person’s immediate removal by the executive board, as happened when one endorsed Tom Daschle in one race a number of years ago.

Now here we have the vice-chair of the Republican organization for our state’s largest county actively and openly recruiting petition carriers to run an independent candidate against our set Republican candidate.

Apparently there’s no need for Republicans to worry about Democrats beating our candidates in a race. Because there are Republicans who hate the party that much that they want to beat ourselves.

Real Republican? Sorry, Jennifer. You have certainly shown the world and the Republican party that you don’t know the definition.

SF City Council Candidate Richard Thomason racking up the endorsements in run-up to election day, with Jamison, Beal, Erickson, Jensen & Mickelson encouraging support.

At-Large Sioux Falls City Council hopeful Richard Thomason has been racking up the endorsements in the run up to next Tuesday’s election.

Earlier this week, Thomason had a mailer featuring his endorsement by State Representative, and long-time City Councilman Greg Jamison…

And today, Thomason continued with endorsements from some of the most popular political figures in the city, with State Rep. Arch Beal, Former City Councilwoman (and future mayor?) Christine Erickson, out-going at-large City Councilman Alex Jensen, and former State Representative Mark Mickelson all throwing their support behind the leading candidate in the race:

Keep watching this race, as it looks as if it could be a winning race for Thomason on April 9th.