Rep. Scyller Borglum critical of Congressman Johnson over discussion, Dusty says conversation wasn’t adversarial

Oh my.  A press release came out this morning from State Representative Scyller Borglum with some fairly incendiary language going after Congressman Dusty Johnson for asking about rumors of her running against US Senator Mike Rounds at the Lawrence County Lincoln Day Dinner.

The release didn’t mince any words. But when it comes to how Congressman Johnson related the matter, it was an entirely different conversation.

First, the release that came out from Rep. Borglum’s Press Contact, Ashley Granby, that I’ve abbreviated a bit, but you get the gist:

South Dakota Republican Establishment Eating Its Young

Congressman Dusty Johnson invited Representative Borglum, and her husband, for what appeared to be a friendly chat before the Lawrence County Lincoln Day dinner Saturday evening.

But instead, it was a DC-style ambush.

Borglum found herself in a crossfire between Dusty, Will Mortenson – a Pierre Lobbyist, and Katie Murray – Dusty’s West River Director, and former Rounds’ staff member.

What started as praise for Borglum’s efforts, energy, and ambition, quickly turned into a multitude of threats from the newly elected congressman. With henchmen like gile, Dusty demanded Borglum confess whether or not she plans to primary Senator Rounds in the 2020 election.

“I feel incredibly let-down by my congressman. I haven’t confirmed or announced any run for a higher office. I’m not even thinking about that. All I am trying to do is be the best state legislator that I can be. I work hard because that is who I am. I didn’t get to where I am today, by taking the easy road, or through entitlement. When I commit to something, I push, I grind and I give it my all. I am appalled by this backroom politics that feels more like what Hillary and Pelosi would pull,” says Borglum.


Borglum plans to publicly address this issue live on Facebook during her weekly Borglum Brief, Tuesday, April 30th at 8 PM MST!

The Rapid City Journal covered the story tonight and had the following response from Congressman Johnson, who disagreed that the conversation was adversarial. Among other things, Dusty noted:

Johnson said he told Borglum he could not support her if she challenges Rounds, but Johnson denied making any threats.


He thought the meeting went well, he said, until he saw the Monday news release.

“It was a friendly conversation,” Johnson said. “After the meeting we exchanged friendly texts. We talked later that night at the event briefly. I never got the sense that it wasn’t a friendly conversation.”

Read the Rapid City Journal’s entire story here.

I had spoken with a party that was there at the event, who said they didn’t see anything adversarial that was taking place, but I wasn’t there.

Not sure what to say about the whole thing, as I consider both friends.

(Can’t we all just get along?)

147 thoughts on “Rep. Scyller Borglum critical of Congressman Johnson over discussion, Dusty says conversation wasn’t adversarial”

    1. Probably an effort to distract from her liberal voting record. Check out her scorecard rankings:

      Family Heritage Alliance: 64% F
      Americans for Prosperity: 20% F
      Citizens for Liberty 2nd Amendment: 60% F
      Equality SD (promotes LGBT agenda): 100% A+

      1. Nice lady. Hypothetical, over confident political climber?? Perhaps….Republican? Not so much. TERRIBLE vote!

    2. Somebody’s full of crapola based on the very different explanations. Weird. Just weird.

    3. Why would Borglum want to challenge South Dakota’s most popular elected official? Rounds is even more popular than Thune.

      Run against Dusty.

    4. Why do the Rounds people care so much about a woman that no one has ever heard about?

  1. This is astounding. The freshman state legislator received and followed through on really bad advice on several levels. Talk about going nuclear. So much for her future.

      1. This is pretty ignorant. Running for high office without any friends in the legislature and coming out with this story won’t help her at all. Also, having a liberal voting record will not help her in a primary race against the “most popular” Senator from SD. Liberals can’t vote in a Republican Primary. She seems very competent and has a good grasp of outreach strategies… hopefully she can boost up that voting record and will be able to run for higher office later in the future when this all blows over.

        1. the only danger she’s in is that senator nelson or someone will offer to help her

    1. Who says “with henchmen like guile?” People like Lora Hubbel, who usually refers to sinister “ilk” plotting against her.

      This is a disturbing turn of events.

    2. Should have been “henchmen-like guile”. I kinda expect my representatives to be able to spell and use correct grammar. I had to read that a couple of times to interpret what was she was trying to convey.

  2. No political future for her now. Too bad.

    Who will ever have a conversation with her again? Throwing people under the bus like that. People who probably considered her a friend.

    Now she’s got no friends in the Rounds, Dusty or Thune camps. Nor the wingnuts. No pathway forward.

    I really can’t figure what she hoped to gain from this.

      1. she most likely has exposed exactly HOW the far distant beltway extends its reach and influence into each of the states at the contact point of the legislative districts. i don’t doubt her story at all, it only sounds crazy because she’s actually telling it publicly, instead of keeping her head down like most others would do.

  3. This is a terrible release. Why was this ever sent out? Now you can’t ask questions in a conversation? This seems like a really stupid political stunt from Borglum. Hopefully she runs either against Rounds or Dusty. That way her political career can go away, like this really really stupid story. Gutter politics and really early on.

  4. Here is some advice: change parties….quickly. Go ahead, start drafting the press release.

    1. Like I’ve said before, she has more ambition than Dusty or Shantel ever did and such an early stage in her political career.

      I’m stunned that this is a press release at all. She just burned a bigger bridge than she realize. Now there will be very few people who will ever trust her.

  5. Makes me like my congressman more knowing he’s friendly and willing to ask the questions that are on peoples mind.

  6. Mr. Dusty is a fine fellow. I’m sure the young Mr. Mortenson and Ms. Murray are fine young people too. I really doubt they whispered threats and pointed to their shadowy goons lurking on the edges for a brand new state representative who hasn’t done anything yet in the legislatures. All because Mr. Rounds is terrified of being primaried. Do you know who should primary him? Mr. Goodwin.

    1. 1. she isn’t running and wasn’t running. 2. she had an experience which involved these topics and tells us she was offended by the way it went. very well then. should she endure it quietly, or speak up and shine light on it?

  7. What do you know that liberal rag the Rapid City Journal trying to sew division in the GOP..the heck you say…you can’t pay me to read that trash…if you are a Republican you should not support these liberal papers…

  8. How is the Rapid City Journal a villain here? Representative Borglum issued a press release. If they didn’t report it, folks would call them out for it. The Representative made this a hard news story.

    1. The real ambush is her voting record. She sold herself to the RC area voters as a conservative. She ain’t no conservative,

      1. Who is Conservative anymore? They are pretty much extinct in SD other than a hand full of state legislators. Conservatives have very little chance of getting elected.

        1. Tara, AFP gave her a 1/5 on their scorecard. She’s not a conservative at all. So that doesn’t even figure in to this discussion.
          Her Facebook blather is even more bizarre, like mentally unbalanced.

          1. all these scorecards are BS..they ALL rate AFTER they vote…

            You have to tell what votes you are going to grade BEFORE to have any credibility

            1. Not True. They are credible as they allow voters to compare legislators. When Borglum scores 20% when others in the party score 100%, there is a clear difference that is meaningful to the voters

            2. I do remember that AFP sent emails before the votes letting us know if a vote might be considered for their scorecard.

            1. They gave Stace 5/7. House members were scored on five bills, Senators were scored on 7.

          2. I have never met Scyller and have no clue what her positions are, but I will do some investigating. I just want a straight-up, honest statesman. Party politics mean nothing to me.

  9. Her dismal voting record speaks louder than any press release ever could. All her “Borglum Briefs,” trips across the state and other PR work simply fails in light of liberal voting record.

    Mr. Powers, what’s to like about her?

  10. Does Rep. Borglum really expect us to believe that our U.S. Congressman is doing dirty work for Sen. Rounds? Sen. Rounds has too much respect for him and Rep. Johnson enough respect for himself to be involved in what is being alleged.

    It sounds like Rep. Johnson asked her questions that have been floating around in Republican political circles and laid out the political realities of making such a move. And judging by Rep. Borglum’s response, there seems to be at least an inkling of truth to what’s been going around. If there wasn’t, why would you react like this?

  11. Freshman Legislators don’t have a press contact putting out releases on the candidate’s behalf…. Obviously, if she has a “staff”, she plans on running for some higher office. What’s wrong with Dusty asking her about her future plans? So what if he said he couldn’t support her in a primary against Rounds?!? That certainly doesn’t sound like much of a “threat” to me! Sounds like she and her staff both have a lot of learning to do.

  12. She’s showing up at all these Lincoln Day Dinners. She should assume people are going to ask what she’s up to and why. She was looking for bait it appears. Bad decision. Hopefully in her follow up social media she can explain whose helping her? I’ve heard she has staff for a run, who are they? Because they just ruined her political career without question. No one next session will want to work with her.

    1. You’ve heard of the twilight-zone, that bizarre world of alternate reality? In the SD legislature it’s called the Stace zone. It’s a bizarre world where nothing gets accomplished. This young lady just entered it.

      1. I heard their are a lot of people out their trying to get a few conservatives to run.

  13. It’s a shame that a single, private conversation
    along with
    a single, stupid press release
    along with
    a highly liberal voting record
    along with
    constituent promises of being conservative
    faster than you can say USS South Dakota.

    1. Bad week for Borglum. Will she defend her house seat? Other capable conservatives would be honored to represent Dist. 32 & stay for more than one term. It puzzles me how rapidly some tire of places they’ve won. Reminds me of a country song: “She only wants what she can’t have…”

      Scyller seems a bright lady. A bit liberal for RC, granted. Maybe she’ll push through this mess. I expected to see her re-elected & doing great things. Now? I wish her well, but I plan to vote for Mike Rounds.

    2. The USS South Dakota is a submarine now… I don’t know if you know but it’s supposed to sink and sink quickly…

      That’s actually a good thing in this case so your reference sucks

      1. Anon: If we’re getting technical, it’s good when our submarines DIVE. It’s bad when our submarines SINK. If you care to check, pop into Groton/ Norfolk, find an E3, tap his shoulder & say: “Hey, I hope your boat sinks!”

        BTW, Navy Sailor, thank you for your service.

      2. Of Course I know that you Dip. Subs are supposed to DIVE, not sink.

        The reference was used because Borglum represented SD at the commissioning of the USS South Dakota.

  14. It sounds like Rep. Borglum asked for money from some important Republican donor and word got out. When pie slices start to get thinner, questions get asked.

  15. Borglum’s version makes no sense. Why would Dusty care if she ran (and got trounced) by Rounds? Sounds like he was asking her plans and trying to offer reasonable advice.

    She needs to get her act together if she wants to retain any relevance. These are echos of a Doctor from 2014 with U.S. Senate aspirations.

    1. or making sure she was not primarying him after not supporting the President’s emergency declaration which is what I hear everyone talking to Dusty about.

      1. I agree…Dusty is vulnerable and knows people are ticked off about fighting Trump…not from Skyler but shows he is nervous why s the CONGRESSMAN CONFRONTING HER…and not have someone else ask????

  16. All I know is that if Dusty the Democrat is one side of the issue, you can almost bet the other side is in the right or at least neutral. Dusty is just a progressive pretending to be a conservative, which means lies, lies, and more lies.

    1. So if Dusty advises that challenging a very popular incumbent is going to be a waste of time and money, he’s wrong?
      News flash: anybody who challenges Rounds is wasting time and money. Pointing this out is not a threat. It’s a statement of fact.

  17. Have the Democrats announced any candidates to run against Rounds? I have not seen anything yet or posted on “the out of state name caller blog.”

  18. Heuther will run as the Democrat from what is being talked about in Sioux Falls.Not as an indie but a moderate DEM.

    1. I suspect the Dems themselves will chew him up for that after he left the Dem party.

    2. Are you sure? Mikey should lick his finger and test the winds closer to election time as he will want to see how he should present himself before he starts a campaign. That is what someone with no core beliefs but a big ego does.

  19. Pat, your point is well taken. However, by all indication Billie isn’t running against Rounds. Who else can the Dems even run? I suspect they may not like Huether but he may give them some sort of fighting chance?

    1. I’m sure Jay Williams is looking for something to do…..

      I think it will be a “take-one-for-the-team” candidate. Paula Hawks takes over as chair tomorrow (? I believe), and I think she’s going to find that she has to spend a majority of her efforts raising money to keep the lights on.

  20. I expect a 3-way race w/ Billie Sutton and M. Huether (Ind.) both losing to Senator Rounds. Huether = 3rd place. Scyller won’t jump in.

    1. she wasn’t going to run at all. taking what she says on its face, it seems to be an attempt to sandbag her pre-emptively for any future plans, by directly threatening her work in the sd legislature beginning right now. that’s corruption folks. she should fight.

  21. Stace is already posting on the “Out of State Name Caller Blog” saying Rounds already is on the far left of the GOP calling him a RINO and blocks Borglum who he also calls a RINO.

  22. Mr. Nelson Goes to Washington offers some “fish out of water” comedic appeal. Scene One: Stace runs to hide in the bathroom… only to discover they’re all gender-neutral!

  23. The heidelberger blog is drooling over skylar’s actions. That should tell us all we need to know.

    1 and done.

  24. The best part of her strategy is no one knows what it is and it has everyone buzzing…

    She is in the first year of the legislature and has time to build a network and wait for an opportunity…which is what I think she is doing….

    There are only 6-7 statewide spots that are really sought after and they do not come open often here.

  25. all we see here is that borglum has evidently made the right enemies, by virtue of the vitreol spouted here lol she’s a shoe-in to win

    1. Win what? She made enemies out of potential donors, Never a smart move. Who is going to give her money now?

      This press release is just nuts.

      1. win the wrestling match with whoever is trying to shove her in their back pocket right now. this wasn’t about primary-ing rounds lol

    2. She had no chance at National office just like every Democrat in SD.

      This is something you should know already enquirer.

  26. Solano is not term limited till 2022…double checked that also for state senate I mean…thinking she may move up, but that looks unlikely

  27. Wow, Scyller. Talk about self-destructive. Yeah, Dusty Johnson and Katie Murray are the two dirtiest thugs I’ve ever met. 🤪

    1. The article didn’t say anything about Katie Murray being dirty… just that she was there.

  28. Wow- check her voting record- the first election she voted in was 2016 General – so she only lived in our state a few years and now she is making stuff up about good people who have been fighting for the GOP for decades.

    1. How do you know she’s making stuff up? Were you there to hear the conversation? Nope, didn’t think so.

      Seems to be a she-said, he-said situation and the he isn’t looking so good.

      1. She’s making it up.
        And she lied in her press release about not giving it a thought. I know people she talked to about running against Rounds.

        1. Oh, so, we find you still were not part of the conversation. You know people she talked to, great, you and they were not part of the conversation between Dusty, Will Mortenson and Katie Murray.

          Her perception is not the same as Dusty’s, that seems to be a she-said, he-said situation.

          1. I talked to a person in that conversation too, which makes me more informed than you.

            1. I talked to them too, so maybe you’re not as informed as me? See how easy that is?

                1. How are we to know you’re the truth-teller? You say I’m lying and I say you’re lying, so there you go.

      2. Eating their young? A DC-style ambush? Henchmen-like guile? Caught in a crossfire? Threats?

        Sure, that sounds just like Katie and Dusty. If she really believes that she’s crazy as a bedbug.

  29. Visions of cannibalism and crossfire! Is she going to the Codington County LDD? Is an ambush planned? Is ragout of TARs on the menu? Should attendees wear body armor?

  30. Idiottest -2, Rep Borglum – 0…. she complains because Rounds isnt helping guide here career, he’s making sure his donors stay with him, he’s probably going to do research on a person who may run against him.. this seems like good due diligence. Did I miss something? You can tell she isnt ready for this stage.

  31. Will NOT be voting for her again. This is not what SD politics looks like. We need to stand against this.

  32. This past Thursday evening Dusty and Scyller were both in attendance at the Brown County LDD. Zero fireworks that I witnessed anywhere. Jack Hieb was the MC; did a great job, and introduced all sitting and former Legislators along with two local pols running for city council and Mayor.
    Dusty gave a very sincere talk on what it is like serving in a body run by people who break every rule they can get away with to hurt and stifle the opposite party members. So much for their BS civility demands. Regardless Dusty hasn’t changed much but the one thing I did notice was his skin is much thicker. LOL

  33. Watertown LDD is May 3rd. Rounds and Dusty are both keynote speakers. Last I heard, Borglum will be there. Come join us and support the Republican Party. PS – “boring” legislators will be there too.

  34. She really felt the need to put out a release defaming Dusty and his staff for asking a question? Wow. The whole state would advise against an out-of-state freshman legislator from running for higher office. What can we assume when she starts a PAC for women in politics AKA herself and starts attending LDDs all over the state, what are we supposed to think? She must truly take South Dakotans for a bunch of foolish drones that will believe anything she says. Pshhh, what a fake. Dusty had the decency to actually ask her about it and try to provide council and this is her way of showing gratitude? Maybe she should move to Minnesota and run for office there instead.

  35. If Scyller wants to run for higher office, more power to her. Competition is good. This is America folks.

  36. Scyller J. Borglum was live.
    17 hrs ·
    Comment “change” below if you value people over politics!! #BorglumBrief

    Watch Again
    17 Comments7 Shares562 Views
    31You, Mary Fitzgerald, Billy Lurken and 28 others

    I just watched her video on her fb page. Pretty impressive.

  37. Very telling story. If she was a man none of this bullying by Johnson would have occurred. He wants Russian women who don’t speak up.

    1. Since when did telling someone who just moved to our state that running against our incumbent US Senator is a bad idea become “bullying”? Borglum is either the ultimate snowflake or delusional.

  38. It has nothing to do with being a woman. She could be a man wanting to run against Dusty or Mike and the same thing would happen. This is a country club mentality.

    1. If she were a man she wouldn’t have dared file a press release or gone on Facebook live about how she was bullied by Dusty and Katie. Real men don’t play victim. As the saying goes “politics ain’t beanbag.” She’s not ready for prime time.

      1. From the you-tube she basically said she’s not taking their crap.

        1. I must have missed where Scyller said Katie was part of the bullying? Can you or Anne direct us to that comment?

          1. Anonymous at 11:19, in the press release she says she was caught in the “crossfire” between Dusty, Katie, and Mr Mortenson. Mortenson is identified as a Pierre lobbyist so I don’t know whom he works for. Katie is referred to as a former Rounds staffer, which is true, but not relevant to the accusation that there was “crossfire.”
            “Crossfire” refers to overlapping lines of fire. By definition it has to be coming from at least two weapons. The incident she described suggests a multifaceted assault. That would include Katie and Will. I don’t know Will, but I’m terrified of Katie.

  39. Anonymous 8:10 doesn’t agree: “If she was a man none of this bullying by Johnson would have occurred”

  40. Do you recall Stace Nelson? I am pretty sure he is a man. This is milk toast compared to what Nelson has been through. Watch what happens if or when Shad Olson announces. lol. PP will be working over-time.

    1. Shad Olson running for what? There will be earthquakes throughout the Midwest when he announces.

      1. I heard there is a large group of Conservatives that are encouraging him to run. He makes are Congressmen look like flaming Liberals.

  41. Maybe Scyller will flip to dem? They need candidates. Is she pro life? Does she support Trump?

    1. A lot of SD Democrats are pro-life and support Trump. Trump could have run as a Democrat and still won.

      1. I’d guess you probably know better than most of us what SD Dems support, so I won’t argue the point.

        Is SJB pro life & pro Trump?

        1. Well Thune and Daugaard weren’t Trump supporters .Dusty and Mike are Thune and Daugaard cheerleaders. There are no Independent thinkers in SD that stand for the people

  42. Scyler should just suupport building a wall and she would pull down 45% against Dusty.

    1. Dusty has supported the wall in at least a dozen votes, I’d bet. He had a problem with just one of the accounts the President wanted to access.

      Dusty has been at the White House twice in the last couple weeks, so apparently Trump isn’t holding the same grudge you are. 🙂

  43. It would be great if she would be transparent on if she is pro-life (conception) or up to first trimester and if she supports Trump. Also, does she support legal action against parents who don’t support their child if they want to medically transition genders?

    1. Her voting record shows she aligns with the LGBT people 100% of the time. She also aligns with the pro-life people 100% of the time. No idea if she is a Trump supporter, but looking at her full voting record it is clear she is left of center so my guess is she does not support him.

  44. nobody wants to know how the sausage is made. the political machine’s true m.o. is brutally ugly and the survivors discover how to live with that sort of thing or get out. nobody in this equation has any angel in their d.n.a., so let’s ask ourselves what is worse, her public rant about the incident, or our public rant about her rant? everyone can reach for the ‘big boy pants’ here lol

  45. Rounds and Johnson are very anti-Trump. SD loves Trump and that is why they are using him to get re-elected. They are Republican establishment. Trump isn’t. He hates the swamp.

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