Secretary of State approves petition with faulty language.. despite petitioners not following LRC drafting advice found on SOS website.

There’s a story in the Dakota Scout today noting that the Secretary of State isn’t saying much about their approval of a ballot measure for circulation that would not appear to follow guidelines, including state law for the language required on petitions:

The Secretary of State’s Office recently approved petitions for circulation for a proposed ballot measure aimed at abolishing South Dakota’s medical marijuana program and repealing a law passed by voters in 2020 that legalized cannabis for medically-qualifying patients.

However, the petitions do not list the 90-plus sections of statutes that the petitioner hopes to get removed from the state’s books.


Schweich’s letter references South Dakota Codified Law 2-1-2.1, which states, “The petition filing must… (c)ontain the full text of the initiated measure in fourteen-point font.”

Read the entire story here.

The petition just refers to “Exhibit A” for the 95 sections that must be repealed.  One of the things that might have tipped it off is that the legislative research council pointed this out back in May. As linked to on the Secretary of State Website.

That part on the Legislative Research Council Comments (LRC Comments 05/11/23 LRC Comments 05/31/23) on the Secretary of State’s own website might have been a great place to start as to whether there were any problems with the style and form of the petitions.


Yankton County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner program: 45 minutes of election conspiracy. Court case against former Yankton GOP leaders continues forward.

In my years of involvement with the South Dakota GOP, I’ve been to a LOT of Lincoln Day dinners, and I’ve even been part of putting a few on. The purpose of a Lincoln Day Dinner is to serve as an annual celebration of the Republican Party, as well as a fundraising event for the GOP and Republican Party affiliated organizations at the county level, such as Teenage Republicans, Republican Women, Young Republicans, etc.

Sometimes the events can be as dry as hotel chicken, other times they can be raucous and lively affairs, where everyone leaves pumping their fists.

I bring this up, as I just caught that the Yankton County Republican Party just held their dinner this last weekend. And I did an absolute double-take when I caught wind of the program for their event.

Someone thought it would be a great way to thank volunteers and raise money for the Republican Party by force-feeding them a fully 45-minute power-point presentation on election conspiracies, complete with slide after slide of paranoia from the SD Canvassing Group. Which is definitely NOT a Republican organization.

Oh. My. God.

I’d ask whether they understand that the goal of a political party organization is to get their candidates elected. But, I think I can answer my own question myself.

Because it seems their goals are more aligned with doing everything but winning elections. As evidenced by what the Yankton County GOP is spending their money on.

For example, remember the complaints that the incoming Yankton County Republican group had where the outgoing Yankton GOP leadership group had about $12,000 they used to form an independent Political Action Committee to support candidates?  Considering that the new group’s idea of getting people elected is pillow-guy paranoia, I tend to think the outgoing group was very prescient in moving to make sure the funds are going to be used to support candidates, because it looks like the new group is busy spending money on a fool’s errand:

On Dec. 7, Butch Becker, the outgoing treasurer, used these assets to write a check for $12,000 to the District 18 Republican Political Action Committee, an organization formed one week earlier by three now-former members of the Yankton County GOP’s executive board: Becker, Vice Chair Roger Meyer and State Committeeman Greg Adamson.


Meyer further added that the legally defined scope of the PAC is to support Republican candidates, meaning the money will not be used to “go on vacation” or other superfluous activities.

Read that story here.

And as I dig into the story.. it gets a little goofier.

YanktonGOP1_1 by Pat Powers on Scribd

Here is the initial small claims filing for the lawsuit, where they attempted to represent themselves in their demand for the $12k spent by the previous board. Where they go into a LOT of whining about holding an improper meeting, and found themselves unrecognized at the Central Committee after they held an improper meeting. And then they complained about the previous board’s expenditure.

Best part was Roger Meyer’s reply: “Please submit future threats to the former Yankton County GOP executive committee as a group. Thank you.”

But it gets better. After they attempted to move the action forward in small claims court, the former Yankton County GOP executive committee threw a curveball back at them.

The defendants hired Joel Arends, and petitioned for the matter to be moved to Circuit Court.  So now this former small claims action that they spent $56.28 on filing was set to get much more expensive.

However, they tried to keep costs down at first, by just handling things themselves, things like scheduling hearings, and demanding a judge’s recusal. Which didn’t get by the defendants, as they filed another motion in the matter.

YanktonGOP1_2 by Pat Powers on Scribd

A “Motion to require plaintiff to obtain counsel or in the alternative to prohibit members of the organization from representing plaintiff in these proseedings and brief in support of said motion” was filed. Which laid out that Laura Kotiliak of the new Yankton County GOP group was apparently being accused of representing the group in court.  That was filed at the end of August.

Since then, it appears that the Yankton County GOP group has gone out and hired an attorney. Daniel Glinert.   … er, no, I hadn’t heard of him either, certainly not when it comes to South Dakota campaign finance and election law.  According to Glinert’s website, his practice areas are focused on “Estate Planning, Florida Probate Law, & Tax Planning and Compliance.”

In the most recent filing in this case, which comes from Glinert..

YanktonGOP1_3 by Pat Powers on Scribd

The response to the prior filing notes that they want to change their name in the suit. Yes, they now have an attorney. And they want to add more people to the lawsuit, whether those people are known or not, as they want to add “John Doe” and “Jane Doe.”

The next status hearing in this case is set for a week from Friday on October 6th at 01:00 PM.

So, the Yankton County GOP group (the new one, not the old one), so far has hired an attorney with no visible experience in South Dakota election/campaign finance law who in all likelihood is charging them by the hour to fight a battle which most political observers who have been around a while believe is going nowhere, since political parties in South Dakota forming a PAC and funding it is not uncommon, nor illegal.  

Just because the new group didn’t like it, until they held the reins of the party, it wasn’t their call. But as it sits now, it looks like they’re ready to spend quite a bit to prove their point.

We’ll see how much they spend on winning elections in comparison.

US Senator John Thune’s Weekly Column: No End in Sight for the Biden Border Crisis

No End in Sight for the Biden Border Crisis
By Sen. John Thune

For two and a half years, a crisis has raged at the southern border. Recently, in less than one week, more than 35,000 illegal immigrants were caught trying to cross the border. That’s more than the population of Aberdeen, South Dakota, crossing the border in just four days. This crisis continues to strain resources at the border, but there appears to be no end in sight as the Biden administration fails to take simple steps to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.

Approximately 6 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the border since the start of the Biden administration, which doesn’t include 1.5 million known “gotaways” who entered the country after evading Border Patrol. The sheer number of illegal immigrants coming into the country is concerning on its own, but equally concerning is that very few are being removed from the United States when they are caught. According to one report, only about one in seven migrants was removed in July of this year. Those who aren’t removed sometimes receive court dates years in the future. This is exactly the sort of policy that keeps fueling this crisis, not to mention the fact that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has lost track of 177,000 individuals the agency released into the country pending a court date.

This crisis is the predictable outcome of decisions made early in – and throughout – the Biden administration. The president’s team was warned of the possibility of a migrant surge, yet the president wasted no time dismantling the immigration policies of his predecessor and weakening our nation’s border security. And it wasn’t long before the border was overwhelmed.

The few proactive measures the Biden administration has taken have been too little, too late, with recent data demonstrating that its efforts have been ineffective. The fact that both border communities and places far from the southern border like New York, Chicago, and Massachusetts are being strained by the influx of illegal immigrants indicates the administration’s actions are just not working.

I’m also deeply concerned about some of the new policies the administration is considering. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reported to be considering requiring some illegal immigrants to remain in Texas while they await asylum screening. Forcing border communities to shoulder even more of the burden of this crisis is a terrible idea. The White House has also requested additional funding for ICE, not to be used for law enforcement or other security measures, but instead for shelters and migrant services. The White House appears to be focused on anything other than border security.

The situation at the border remains high on Americans’ list of concerns, and, unsurprisingly, most Americans don’t approve of how the Biden administration is handling the issue. The American people can tell that our borders are open, our laws aren’t being enforced, and that the security and humanitarian crises are not getting better.

The current situation is unsustainable. Ultimately, the solution is simple: The president has the power to end this crisis – he just needs to enforce the law. I’ll continue working to ensure Border Patrol has the resources it needs to keep the border secure, but absent presidential leadership, I’m afraid there will continue to be no end in sight for the crisis at the southern border.


Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: The Big Three

The Big Three
By Rep. Dusty Johnson
September 15, 2023

BIG Update

Our national debt is skyrocketing. At this rate, it’s going to increase by $20 trillion in the next ten years. This is a crisis.

If we don’t act now, we know the impact it’ll have on Americans:

  • Higher cost of living
  • Higher interest for borrowers
  • Higher inflation
  • Private investment and economic growth is crowded out
  • Funding for our national priorities, like defense is stopped

But House Republicans’ have a plan:

  • Rein in out-of-control spending. President Biden has added $17 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. This is reckless. We must right-size government spending post-Covid.
  • Restore fiscal responsibility. $2 trillion of wasteful spending is due to improper payments—either payments that should not have been made or were made in the incorrect amount. The government should not be authorizing incorrect payments. We need to steward taxpayer dollars in a responsible way.
  • Reverse the curse. Our deal sets next year’s spending to the Fiscal Year 2022 levels and limits government spending growth to 1% for the next ten years. By returning to pro-growth, pro-work, pro-energy policies that re-ignite our economy, we can turn the tide of our economy, benefiting all Americans.

Our current fiscal trajectory is simply unsustainable. We need to solve these problems. We owe it to our children and grandchildren.

BIG Idea

A lot of folks out in cattle country are still looking for small and local options to process their cattle. I met with the Livestock Marketing Association to discuss how livestock marketers are currently prohibited from having an ownership stake in livestock processors. My bill, the A-PLUS Act, would fix this by expanding the opportunity for investment in small and local packers. This would also increase processing capacity and diversify market options for producers.

BIG News

BIG NEWS! My bill to protect and preserve the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre passed out of the U.S. House. This is an important step forward to getting this bill signed into law, so the land can be maintained as sacred for generations to come. The lives lost that day should be remembered and honored.

I introduced the bill in May. Not many bills receive a vote on the House Floor, and it is even more rare for a bill to receive a vote so soon after being introduced. I’m grateful for the work the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe contributed to the process of the Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial and Sacred Site Act and look forward to getting it across the finish line.

Cybersecurity: South Dakota’s Next Big Industry

Cybersecurity: South Dakota’s Next Big Industry
By: Governor Kristi Noem
September 22, 2023

When I first ran for governor, I promised the people of South Dakota that I would bring the next big industry to our state. We want to keep our kids and grandkids living and working in South Dakota, so we’re focused on bringing the jobs of the future to keep them here. Careers in technology and innovation are the future. And South Dakota has the opportunity to build a future for our kids and grandkids.

Cybersecurity is South Dakota’s next big industry. Our fastest growing sector is “Scientific, and Technical Services,” with 4,000 jobs added in the past five years – a growth of 25%.

South Dakota already has one of the top universities in the nation for cybersecurity and emerging technology. Dakota State University has received designations in cyber operations, cyber defense, and cyber research from the NSA and Homeland Security. There are only ten institutions in the entire country that can say that!

DSU was also the first school in America to create a Ph.D. program in cyber operations. And earlier this year, Dakota State University established an Educational Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Army Cyber Command. This partnership allows students to experience work and educational opportunities at the top classification level. In fact, DSU was the only school in America to send four students to compete for Team USA at the World Cyber Games.

South Dakota is in the middle of the country – and we’re landlocked, so foreign spy ships and subs can’t reach us. It makes a lot of sense for cybersecurity resources to be centered here.

Dakota State’s “MadLabs” is the heart of this. It is the key facility in Madison, and we’ve built partnerships with private industry to expand it to Sioux Falls. They are doing incredible work to drive innovation throughout both the South Dakota economy and the entire nation. They focus on cybersecurity, AI, machine learning, digital forensics, and so much more.

We are also training kids even before they get to college. The Governor’s Cyber Academy provides opportunities for high school students to get some of this training early. Students can attend the academy to get dual-credit training opportunities during the summer. They earn digital badges as they learn skills that will help them get in-demand jobs in the future.

Dakota State University is giving students the kind of career opportunities that they can’t get anywhere else. These opportunities not only encourage our kids to stay in South Dakota to earn their college degree, they also put our state on the map and attract students from across America to choose South Dakota for their education.

I ran for governor to make sure that the next generation would inherit an America that they could be proud of. Accomplishing that goal starts with education.

I recently had the opportunity to be a member of a panel on the future of U.S. regional innovation at the Global Emerging Technology Summit. During this discussion, I got to tell South Dakota’s story and how we are making real progress right here in the heartland. I am so proud that South Dakota schools understand the importance of educating our students in the fields of the future – and I can’t wait to continue our hard work.


Release: Deutsch announces candidacy for State Senate

Deutsch announces candidacy for State Senate

FLORENCE – Fred Deutsch, Florence, officially announces his candidacy for the South Dakota State Senate from District 4 in the 2024 Republican primary election.

First elected to the House of Representatives in 2015, Deutsch notes he is running for Senate to continue to be a servant for the people of District 4 and to protect families and children.

“As a father of four and a grandfather of nine, I worry about the world they will grow up in. I’ll bet you worry too. That is why I want to be a senator in the SD legislature,” says Deutsch.

Concerned about quality of life for our children and future generations, Deutsch believes now is the time to take a stand.

“Since you first sent me to Pierre, it’s been my honor to be your voice. As your state senator, I will continue to stand in the gap; I’ll continue to fight for you and your family, to support agriculture, our schools and small towns, and especially our common-sense, rural way of life in District 4.

“I am running because I believe it’s important we protect our way of life, give hope to moms and dads, and leave this world a better place for our kids.”

Deutsch is seeking the seat currently occupied by Sen John Wiik who is term limited.

To learn more, see

Release: SD Communities are Embracing Gov. Noem’s “Freedom Works Here”

SD Communities are Embracing Gov. Noem’s “Freedom Works Here”

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem’s “Freedom Works Here” nationwide workforce recruitment campaign is creating a lasting impact. The city of Mitchell is embracing the values of the campaign by offering folks $1,000 to help with relocating to the community. Geri Beck, the head of the Mitchell Area Development Corporation, highlighted this effort at the groundbreaking of a new soybean processing plant near Mitchell earlier this week.

“I am excited to see the Mitchell community join us in encouraging folks to move to South Dakota,” said Governor Noem. “We are building a winning workforce and ensuring that our state’s economy will continue to thrive for generations to come. I hope more communities across South Dakota will get involved in telling our story and welcoming families to our great state.”

Bob Douglas is a seasoned RV professional who recently moved to South Dakota from California. His skill set has already made an impact on the business model at TrailManor in Parkston.

“I accepted this position because TrailManor builds a first-class recreational vehicle and I wanted to be a part of the team taking it nationwide and even expanding worldwide,” said TrailManor sales manager Bob Douglas. “It was an easy decision to make to relocate to South Dakota. It is a beautiful state with a lot to offer and I like that my thought process is in alignment with the state’s view on mostly everything. No looking back, no regrets. Happiness is seeing California in my rear-view mirrors!”

6,958 people have applied to move to South Dakota through “Freedom Works Here.” 1,650 applicants are in the final stages of moving to South Dakota. The most applications have come from California (1,068), Florida (539), Texas (498), Minnesota (376), and New York (320). 189 South Dakotans have also used the campaign as a tool to get plugged into career opportunities. A map showing where applicants are from can be found 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 here.


Lindwurm lands in District 15… but still registered in District 10.

After admittedly doing some District shopping, former Republican legislative candidate Brad Lindwurm has filed paperwork to run for the House in Legislative District 15, according to documents filed with the Secretary of State on September 9th.

But in looking at Lindwurm’s voter registration this afternoon, you’re told a bit of a different story..

.. which still has Lindwurm voting from District 10.

Do we think he’s going to have it figured out by the time of the election?

Johnson Bill to Protect Wounded Knee Massacre Land Passes U.S. House 

Johnson Bill to Protect Wounded Knee Massacre Land Passes U.S. House

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial and Sacred Site Act passed the U.S. House by unanimous consent. This bill preserves a section of the land where hundreds of Lakota Indians were massacred by the U.S. Army. U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the bill in May after months of working in coordination with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The bill unanimously passed the House Natural Resources Committee in June.

“What happened at Wounded Knee is a stain on our nation’s past that cannot be washed away,” said Johnson. “But passage of this bill is a step closer to properly memorializing the lives lost and protecting the land forever.”

“In the dead of winter, December 29, 1890, the United States’ 7th Cavalry massacred our People, old men, women, and children. We stand as a united voice for our ancestors who suffered the pain of the Wounded Knee Massacre and our countless generations who continue to suffer from the historical trauma.  We, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, extend our strong support for the passage of the Wounded Knee Massacre Memorial and Sacred Site Act.  We thank Dusty Johnson and the House for taking this important step,” said Chairman Ryman LeBeau, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.

“We are pleased the House of Representatives acted quickly to pass this important legislation. This bill will protect our sacred land at Wounded Knee. It also continues the healing process for the descendants of victims and survivors of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre,” said President Frank Star Comes Out, Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Read full bill text here. Find the Covenant between both tribes here. Find the map here.

Wounded Knee Massacre Background:

In the late 1880s, a movement called the Ghost Dance swept across the nation. Indians believed that this dance would give stolen land back to the Indians, bringing about a renewal of Native society. Indians would join together, wearing shirts they believed would protect them from bullets, to dance for this renewal, all at the protest of the federal government.

On December 29th, 1890, a group of Lakota Indians led by Chief Spotted Elk had made camp near Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. There, U.S. Army 7th Calvary troops were sent to disarm the Lakota. A struggle occurred between the U.S. Army and some of Chief Spotted Elk’s band – a majority of which consisted of women and children. A shot rang out, and the U.S. Army opened fire on the largely unarmed group, massacring an estimated up to 350-375 Lakota Indians. Twenty-five U.S. soldiers also died.


Rounds Delivers Opening Remarks at Banking Hearing on AI 

Rounds Delivers Opening Remarks at Banking Hearing on AI 

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, delivered opening remarks at a committee hearing titled, “Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services.” Click HERE to listen to Rounds’ opening remarks.

“The U.S. continues to be the birthplace for new innovation in this field,” said Rounds in his opening remarks. “Congress should help shepherd the development of American AI – artificial intelligence that is embodied with key principles to promote confidence and trust – principles like privacy and transparency. We are at a crossroads. Artificial intelligence is real and it’s not going away. We have the opportunity to shape it in a way that reflects the values that are important to us. AI is a tool and it’s up to us whether we harness it to make improvements to our financial system or if we simply fall behind.”