Entries Tagged 'Daugaard' ↓

Make us proud Gov’nor! (H/T – Helga)

Love all the national attention Denny is getting us on his (non) ideas for Medicaid expansion;

South Dakota is among the “hell no” states when it comes to Obamacare. No state-established insurance exchange and surely no Medicaid expansion. They don’t want no stinking federal aid to help more people have health insurance. To be clear, though, that’s the legislature and the governor talking. Not the people.

Despite a poll showing a majority of South Dakotans favor Medicaid expansion, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s office said Wednesday he has no plans to introduce legislation to expand health care in the state.In a survey released earlier this week by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, 63 percent of 400 state residents favored Medicaid expansion while 31 percent opposed it.

The others polled had no opinion. Republican pollster Glen Bolger conducted the poll for Alexandria, Va.-based research firm Public Opinion Strategies. The poll’s margin of error is 4.9 percent.

Yes, that’s a small sample size, but it’s still a pretty astounding result in such a conservative state. But South Dakota has about 48,000 people who are uninsured, also quite a lot for a small state. Medicaid expansion would save about 25,000 from falling through the Medicaid gap their governor has created, and bring about $57 million to the state this year.

Oh, but wait, no-bid contracts to foster care programs in the state that adopt kids into abusive homes? That seems to be a good way to spend taxpayer money. Right? But that controversy seems to be suffering the same fate as Benda’s autopsy report. CLOSED CASE.

Mayor Huether, “We get Sh*t done!”

Had to chuckle at this blog post by an outsider doing business in South Dakota;

On the city website, he is referred to as “Mayor Mike.” With a background in marketing, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether is none too shy about calling attention to his city.

“We should make the top two or three with every project you have,” he unabashedly told the assembled site selection consultants.

My experience is that a company will often have pretty good ideas on where it needs to be, as was exemplified by an email that I received from a CEO on Friday. My job, of course, is to refine those ideas and then find the best place, based on a whole lot of tailored criteria, where the risks are minimized and the chances for success are optimized.

I’m sorry to report to Hizzoner that Sioux Falls will not always make the finalist list. There are certain practicalities specific to a project that will simply prevent that from happening. I know it’s hard to imagine, Mr. Mayor, but sometimes your city will not be the best fit.

But I do believe the mayor, truly I do, when he passionately states that red tape doesn’t stand much of a chance in his city, with expedited permitting guaranteed. “We get shit done,” he said.

I only wish there were more like him.

Said Matt Healy, operations manager with Glanbia Nutritionals, now building a cereal ingredient processing plant in Sioux Falls: “The city and the state have been remarkably supportive. They have been exactly who they said they were.”

Yes, Mr. Barber, the city and state are very acommodating to ‘business’ but when it comes to their workers, they tax their food and pay them low wages. The unemployment rate in SD is low, because people here have to have multiple jobs to make ends meet. Funny how our mayor will pull no stops when it comes to ‘red tape’ for businesses, but when it comes to it’s residents he will threaten to haul your ass to the pokey for having grass that is 9″ high.

Did Mayor Mike try to ‘Huether’ the Governor’s Economic Development (ED) office?

Don’t mess with the ‘Wizard’ of Sioux Falls (reader submission)

After knocking a few cans over, I finally got the torrid details of the pissing match that is going on between the mayor and the governor’s economic development office.

I must remind you that these events are ‘rumored’ to have occurred, by an anonymous, reliable source. I have had two other people verify the events as I am laying them out.

It all started with a lunch meeting the governor’s economic development office was having with a company interested in moving to Sioux Falls. Now this isn’t your normal, run of the mill, strip mall retail center, this is a research facility that wants to spend about $60-$80 Million building a facility in Sioux Falls. Also in attendance at the lunch was an ED rep from the city, and MMM.

Huether seemed to be confused as to why there wasn’t an ‘executive’ from the company at the lunch. The governor’s ED office informed Mike, during the meeting, that the Governor has already had ‘several meetings’ with the company in the past few months.

Mike was not happy (a temper tantrum ensued), and Mike left the meeting.

Mike then instructed his ED office to stop working with the Governor’s ED office representatives, and went as far to tell the governor’s ED office to ‘reassign’ certain reps.

Would have loved to hear the laughter in the Governor’s office after that request.

As I understand it, the Governor’s ED office reps are very good at their jobs, they also dot their ‘I’s and cross their ‘T’s. They probably also don’t care who gets credit for this, though preferably, they would prefer their boss to get the credit, since it seems the governor’s office seems to be the one doing all the legwork on this project.

It seems MMM is a little bent out of shape, because the governor’s office is stealing his thunder on this project. What is unfortunate is that Mike could screw this whole thing up because of his ‘ego’ problem.

The company is close to making a decision. They also admitted that 60% of the jobs they already provide are already from this region (I believe they are an Iowa company that is in the region) But have vowed to of course fill the remainder of the jobs from this region also. The main reason they want to move to Sioux Falls is they plan expansion, and they know they can only do it in Sioux Falls. They will also provide good wages, remember, as I understand it, this is a research facility, not a Walmart.

*As I noted, this comes from a very reliable source, but this is all second-hand accounts of the events.

Another Republican SD Governor thumbing his nose at voters

Remember the abortion issue? Voters have said TWICE we are a pro-choice state. What does the legislature and governor do? Pass more laws to restrict abortion. Now we have incentives for businesses going down at the polls;

During the general election in November, South Dakotans voted down a measure that provided a large-project incentive for large businesses interested in coming to South Dakota.

So what does the governor think of the voter’s wishes?

Governor Daugaard says he would welcome new ideas from the legislature to give companies incentives to bring their businesses to the state.

“I know there is still a concern about this tax and about the adequacy of our state’s economic development programs.  And I welcome a discussion with the legislature this year about how we should move forward. I need your help and your ideas,”

NO. You are concerned about your corporate buddies. The voters of this state are NOT. We told you that in November. Why are we not concerned? Because this state has oodles of incentives for business to relocate here. TIF’s, high productivity, low wages, NO state income tax, low crime, etc, etc. We do not need to give cash incentives to businesses that are not paying income taxes.

Daugaard did say the state’s economy is doing much better than many other states across the country. He said while others are looking for places to cut money from budgets, South Dakota can now look at where to spend.

Good. Spend it where we can get the most bang for our buck; Public education, enough with the corporate welfare.

Interesting polling on Mike Huether for Governor

A South DaCola foot soldier told me they got a poll call the other day (couldn’t remember the polling company). But the caller asked various questions about state issues then asked,

“Who would you vote for in the governor’s race if it was Daugaard VS. Huether?”

Not sure who paid for this poll, but I do think Huether is exploring the governor’s race. Like I have said in the past, he can transfer any of his mayoral campaign funds into a governor race fund.

Drop me a line if any of you have more info on this.

Justice as Retaliation; The Mette Case

This is an amazing report by the Lakota People’s Law Project about how the State of South Dakota is Attempting to Punish Lakota Child Welfare Advocates and Protect Child Abusers. You can read the entire story; Final Mette Case Special Report

On May 1st, The Aberdeen News of South Dakota reported that former South Dakota state attorney Brandon Taliaferro and court appointed child advocate Shirley Schwab were being charged by South Dakota State Attorney General Martin Jackley with witness tampering and subornation of perjury. Attorney General Jackley filed these charges in relation to the separate criminal prosecution of Aberdeen-based foster parents Richard and Gwendolyn Mette. Mr. Taliaferro is a well-known South Dakota Indian child advocate and, as a former Assistant State Attorney, he was in charge of prosecuting child abuse cases in Brown County. Mrs. Schwab is the widely respected court-appointed child advocate for Brown County. Richard Mette had been charged in 2011 by Mr. Taliaferro with a total of 23 felony counts of aggravated rape of a child and aggravated incest against two of four young Native American sisters who had been placed in his and his wife Gwendolyn Mette’s custody by the Department of Social Services (D.S.S.) over the protests of the children’s Lakota family. Gwendolyn Mette had been charged with 11 felony charges of aiding and abetting his crimes, and with neglect of the children.


Hunhoff slams Daily Republic for praising the governor for budget surplus

From SD Alliance for Progress;

By Representative Bernie Hunhoff

A recent Daily Republic editorial proclaimed “good news” that our state finished the fiscal year with a $47 million surplus. Yes, $47 million is good, but there’s no news there.

We’ve balanced our budgets in South Dakota since statehood. That’s 123 straight years. And in recent years we haven’t even come close to being in the red. State government is awash in cash. We now have $134 million in official reserves, plus another $725 million in trust funds and as of right now it looks like we could see millions more in surplus for the current fiscal year.

Remember, news happens when a man bites a dog. News is when we don’t balance the budget. Our state constitution requires it.

The real news is this latest confirmation that we unnecessarily slashed school spending by $52 million, and when the federal government sent $26 million the Pierre bureaucracy kept that in their own coffers. Then we slashed spending for children’s health programs, nursing homes and hospitals.

Frugality is a virtue. But we’ve taken it to the extreme in South Dakota. At some point it becomes a vice — like a well-to-do father who won’t buy shoes for his kids.

Despite a guise of frugality, the current administration has started a litany of new programs — many of them for big corporations. One example is the Manpower program that will spend $5 million to help a few companies recruit

workers from out-of-state. That’s what often happens with exorbitant surpluses: they are reclassified as one-time monies and then spent in areas that are low priority, if necessary at all. Thus, frugality turns into waste.

Meanwhile, state government’s share of education spending has dropped precipitously over the last decade, and is now the lowest in the nation in relation to local spending from property taxes. The 49 other state governments contribute an average of 43 percent of their schools’ budgets. In South Dakota, the state’s share has dropped below 30 percent — lowest in the nation — yet we have hundreds of millions in trust funds, excess cash accounts and reserves.

The age-old line from the Pierre bureaucracy is that we dare not risk an adequate investment in education because disaster could be lurking — a flood, a forest fire, beetles, drought or recession. But our penny-pinching has caused a disaster for schools, for property taxpayers in South Dakota and for many community health care facilities.

Your editorial board accused me of playing politics with the “good” budget news this week. I suppose anything can be construed as politics — giving your wife flowers on her birthday, for example. But the only reason many of us are even involved in politics is because we want to improve the lives of South Dakotans.

Is your life better because the state salted away tens of millions of your tax dollars rather than making smart investments in health care and education and keeping property taxes down?

Bernie Hunhoff, a Democrat from Yankton, is the state House minority leader.


UPDATED: Hubbel & Steele: Governor is endorsing anti-gun lesbian abortionist candidates

I just attended their press conference, which consisted of about 5 minutes of gay bashing and about 10 minutes of Obamacare rants (I thought it was going to be about the Doogard endorsing candidates?) Oh, they eventually got to that.

Dunsmoor from KELO-TV stated, “Bob Mercer told me that Governor Rounds endorsed Doogard for senate.” (implying that it has gone on in the past).

I asked, “Don’t you think all of this infighting between Republicans was inevitable since there are so few Democrats in Pierre – since it is mostly Republicans you now have to fight each other.”

Hubbel’s response was, “Well, there is a lot of Democrats in the legislature that are registered Republican.”

Uh, okay, De Knudson.

Then I mentioned that Republicans have been the majority party in Pierre for over 30 years, why not change the rules when it comes to ethical behavior and open government? Democrats have tried unsuccessfully for years and have been shot down.

Hubbel did point out she supported Initiative 10 (I did also) and an audience member did mention that two Republican sponsored bills last year were about open government were shot down in committee.

Do I think this press conference will change anything in Pierre. Nope.

Back to bugging the mayor . . .

UPDATE: Here is a copy of Lora’s latest Anti-Energy efficient light bulb mailer (click on images to enlarge);

Did the governor really have to promise millions to Bel Brands to get them to come here?

It seems they already had their eyes on our university and cows;

Published reports when Bel Brands announced its decision to build in Brookings indicated that the company was particularly taken with things like a robust dairy industry in South Dakota that will provide the raw materials needed to manufacture cheese and the world-class dairy facilities and dairy research at South Dakota State University where there sits a $9.5 million brand new dairy processing and research facility. Only one other university in the country has a similar facility. Could it be that Bel Brands would have selected Brookings without up to $10 million in South Dakota taxpayer incentives? We will never know.

In addition, what is the process for determining who gets money and how much from this new Large Project Development Fund? Apparently, the process is whatever deal companies can negotiate with Dennis Daugaard behind closed doors and with no post-deal transparency.

Is this how our state intends to do business in the future? The iron-handed, no checks and balances, no transparency one-party Republican Governor with his rubberstamp lemming legislature can cut whatever deals he wants with whomever he wants, with taxpayer money and we are supposed to just shut up and be grateful for his actions? And by the way, what if Dennis Daugaard is a horrible negotiator? What if he gave away $10 million in tax dollars when $1 million might have done the trick? We have no way of knowing because there is absolutely no oversight of his actions.

Like I have said in the past, we need to end this practice of handouts to corporations in order to attract them here. 1) Because we already have other incentives and 2) It’s OUR tax money they are giving away. Wouldn’t investing in education be a wiser use of the money?


Governor Daugaard, “F’ck Education, we need money for handouts to foreign corporations.”

Government Cheese?

Who does the governor think he is buffaloing? They continue with the same old argument to bring in new business to SD;

The governor said that to persuade Bel Brands to invest in Brookings, the state had to offer a mix of economic incentives from the Large Project Development Fund while it still exists, and from the new incentive program that’s future is now in doubt because of the referred law.

Bullcrap. Use your brain.

1) The dairy program at SDSU helps with research

2) There is NO state income tax on corporations

3) South Dakota workers are more productive and work for less then their peers (not that this is a good thing for workers in our state, but an incentive for companies to come here.)

I get so tired of this crap that we need to GIVE taxpayer dollars to foreign companies to lure them here, then turn around and defund education and wonder why out-of-state companies have trouble getting skilled workers from within the state . . . hmm. Ever think that some companies don’t want to come to SD because of the lack of skilled labor? I’m just saying.