Entries Tagged 'State Funding' ↓

South Dakota State Legislature proves they still hate the poor & working class

No surprise, every year this comes up, and every year their desire to stick it to the poor (and frankly anyone who eats food) is maintained;

The House Taxation Committee voted 11-3 Tuesday to defeat the bill. It would have increased the state’s 4.5 percent sales tax rate on other goods and services to remove the tax on food for home consumption.

Long a popular idea among Democratic lawmakers, such food sales tax bills have failed in the past. Democratic Rep. Ray Ring, the bill’s main sponsor, says the measure would help make South Dakota’s tax structure less regressive.

Business organizations, Republican lawmakers and the executive branch opposed the bill.

It is estimated that those on the lowest level of the income bracket in our state pay between 16- 20% of their income towards taxes, and the working class isn’t much better.

I’m against sales taxes to begin with, a horrible and regressive way to fund government, but taxing food and exempting stuff like advertising makes no sense at all. If we are going to tax food at the full 4.5% state tax rate, we should tax EVERYTHING at that rate, no exemptions.

The SD GOP proves once again what they think about the working stiffs of this state, you are dirt, oh, and please stop voting for measures that make us do our job ethically.

‘House of Lords’ is right.

Legislative Coffee, Feb 4, 2017, Sioux Falls

Look for the pauses, blank looks, dumb stares and empty comments at the first 2017 Legislative Coffee in Sioux Falls on February 4 at the Ramada Inn. Wow, some of the answers to good questions were less than stellar. Granted it was less than 24 hours since the close of bill submission but why does everyone have to go to their computers to even know what had been submitted?

The next coffee is in one week, let’s see how quick the next group is when answering questions. This Sioux Falls area group hails from Districts 6, 9 and 11, all Republicans.

District 6 attendees: Isaac Latterell, Herman Otten, Ernie Otten
District 9 attendees: Michael Clark, Wayne Steinhauer
District 11 attendees: Chris Karr, Jim Stalzer, Mark Willadsen

The Wisdom(?) of Isaac Latterell

Oh Isaak says some funny things sometimes or is it always? We were looking forward to a boring SD Legislative cracker barrel to finish up when we finally got our morsel of funny. Rep Isaac Latterell didn’t disappoint us. The end is always near when a starry-eyed follower of something decides to drive home a point about non-believers.

IM22 and the ethics of South Dakota are a hot topic this year. Somehow the legislative players are always right and never hoodwinked by power players, only the majority of South Dakota voters. In 2016 an out of state ethics group with an idea decided to follow the example of other out of state no-ethics groups to bring a measure for us to vote on. South Dakota voters thought about the shenanigans of the powerful and decided IM22 was better than the nothing we had.

Isaac decided to get the crowd going home on a boisterous high by calling out the voters as uneducated? Uninformed? Stupid for using an idea from an east coast group? What about being hoodwink attempt by the Georgia high interest credit group? How about the expensive and worrisome west coast amendment set to destroy our rights called Marsy’s law?

There is a reason South Dakota ranks so low in ethics laws, because of the way Isaac was talking. Oh brother…

Government Secrecy in closed settlements serves no one

Ellis says something I try to bang in people’s heads all the time, it’s your money, you are the boss;

Put aside the corruption issue. It’s a matter of good government. And good government is about understanding who the boss is. And the boss is you, the taxpayer.

YOU pay the money that gets secretly negotiated away in these confidential settlements to who knows who for who knows what. It’s YOU, the taxpayer, who pays the salaries of the public officials who negotiated the confidential settlements. They work for YOU, not the other way around. And besides the potential for abuse, confidential settlements also allow government officials to hide their incompetence from you, the employer. What if the government is negligent in some matter? They can hide it from the taxpayer with a confidential settlement.

You can bet that when Jamison’s bill gets its hearing, the defenders of this practice will argue that confidential settlements give local governments leverage to negotiate better deals. That they save taxpayer money.

They can say it all they want. But you know what they can’t do? Prove it.

That has been my argument for ages. They tell us it must be secret, but they can’t tell us why. Because if they did, a lot of them would be in jail.

We need to Repeal our State Legislature

Were voters hoodwinked by both sides on IM 22?

After the repeal today of IM 22, I started thinking about a rule I usually abide by, Never trust a politician (or politico) farther then you can see them (in person).

As you know, while I sympathize with the pathetic class the South Dakota Democrats have become, I still hold on to my independent roots, and for good reason. Neither party offers many solutions, they are here to protect themselves.

It seems to becoming clearer everyday that IM 22 is an example of when both parties decide to bake a cake together. Yeah, you know how that will turn out. Ever ate a sh*t sandwich?

While I still think the SD GOP is destroying our state with one party rule and the lack of any ethics reform or rules, I still think there are stinkers in the Democratic party.

No doubt, the repeal by the Republic party of South Dakota of IM 22 is stupid. But hey, they are stupid. They should have just let the Supreme Court decide, but they are so worried someone is going to take their bag of chips they didn’t want to hear the truth from them, they wanted to make their own rules.

Not such a bad idea really, when you know your power is going to be taken away from you after 40 years of iron fist rule. Just look at their heros, like that character Bill Janklow, who worked in public service most of his life and became a multimillionaire. Gee, wonder how that works? Cream of the crop ass-wipes, who wiped their asses with IM 22 today.

But, But, But.

What about all this talk about all the ‘outside’ and ‘dark’ money from the supporters of IM 22.

For the record, I think all political money is ‘dark’.

Which brings us to Mr. Weiland.

Why couldn’t he drive to Pierre and make his case? Really? Why couldn’t he?

Maybe it was about money? Was it Rick? Was it about money? Or was it about us?

Good question.

The Sunshine state still remains dark, very dark. Both sides of the coin.

Legislative Update from Bread for the World


It’s not just HB1069 (Senate floor on Wednesday). There are more bills that mess with citizens rights to initiative and referendum. THEY ARE ALL IMPORTANT.  This alert tells where things stand. Look for your legislators’ names and write personal messages! Let them know we expect any replacement of IM22 to be AS STRONG AS IM22.

—>Email. The format is firstname.lastname@sdlegislture.gov

—>Phone messages during legi days: Senators 605-773-3821, Rep’s 605-773-3851

Here are anti-voter bills, ie, bills that interfere with our citizens’ rights to initiative and referendum:

Senate floor (=ALL Senators):

Wed.Feb.1:  OPPOSE  HB1069. It repeals all of IM22. Oppose this repeal of what the voters approved! Respect the will of the people. Honor our state motto “Under God, the People Rule.”

Be sure to mention: There is no “emergency.” The use of the emergency clause is an attack on the power of the people.

Senate State Affairs committee has these 5 bills. Wow, 5!

Senators Bolin, Curd, Ewing, Heinert, Langer, Maher, Netherton, Al Novstrup, Sutton

SB54, WHAT TO SAY ABOUT IT: Its new campaign finance rules are NOT strong enough to justify overturning the voters’ will. But it turns out IF we don’t get to keep IM22, then we need it, in which case the committee needs to make it as strong as the campaign finance reforms in IM22.

OPPOSE SB67. It increases number of petition signatures required to place constitutional amendments on the ballot. An initiative for the next election would need 88% more signatures! This attacks the initiative process.

OPPOSE SB77. It attacks the initiative process by requiring fiscal analysis, even to get started. It makes it harder to do petitions. It causes delays and clutters the ballot.

OPPOSE SJR2. It would make it harder for us voters to amend the state constitution. It requires 60% approval rather than a simple majority. But note: it is ALREADY harder to amend the constitution because twice as many petition signatures are required. SJR2 reduces the power of the people.

OPPOSE HB1035. It takes away the opportunity for petitioners to challenge rejection of his/her petition  with the election official, forcing rejected petitioners to turn directly to costly court challenge. This is not fair to citizens, who may have good reason to point out irregularities on a petition, but may not have the means to go to court.

House Commerce Committee

Rep’s Beal, Gosch, Lana Greenfield, Hawley, Johnson, May, McCleerey, Mills, Pischke, Rounds, Steinhauer, Willadsen, Zikmund

OPPOSE HB1090. It messes with the 36% payday loan rate cap that voters approved by 76%. Don’t give lenders any wiggle room to resume charging triple-digit annual interest.

House State Affairs Committee has these bills.

Rep’s Bartling, Beal, DiSanto, Don Haggar, Hawley, Heinemann, Latterell, Lust, Mickelson, Kent Peterson, Qualm, Rhoden

HB1073, WHAT TO SAY ABOUT IT: It is too lax. Ask the committee to make it as strong as the lobbyist gift ban in IM 22.

OPPOSE HB1074. It violates free speech rights while making fundraising and bookkeeping practically impossible for ballot question committees.

OPPOSE SB59. It delays enactment of voter-approved measures from approximately one week after the election to July 1 of the coming year, making it easier for the Legislature to amend or repeal any initiative before voters can see those measures in operation. If it were amended to read January 1, rather than July 1, it would be acceptable. Another option would be to require the initiative itself to specify the start date. But as it is, SB59 is an attack on our citizen rights to initiative.

Coffee with Legislature AND Council

The lawmaker, the troublemaker and the deal maker

It was a nice surprise to not only see councilors Neitzert and Stehly, but legislators Michael Clark and Greg Jamison were also in attendance talking to constituents today and the Coffee with Council event at HyVee. Jamison and I had a good conversation about repealing IM 22 (we didn’t solve much though) He thinks (mostly his caucus) we should repeal it ASAP, I told him that we should let the Supreme Court address it, and further more, Judge Barnett has already halted the law, so what’s the hurry for repeal until the SC weighs in? I also I have a problem with the legislature making it’s own rules when it comes to ethics.

Should we really be surprised that our Legislature and Governor want to gut IM22?

Time and Time again we have watched our state legislature, which mostly is controlled by Republicans, defy the wishes of the voters. They are doing it again with the attempt to repeal IM22.

We have seen the mountains of corruption over the past 40 years this party has wreaked on South Dakotans, and I believe, this is why IM 22 passed. We have had enough.

But when are South Dakota voters going to really get it? Most if not all of the corruption is being sewn on us by the Republicans in the state legislature. I want to be careful how I say this, I know many Republicans in government in South Dakota that are good people, but it seems the Republicans in the State Legislature are the cream of the crop when it comes to corruption.

Going to Pierre to essentially benefit themselves and their businesses, and without ethics laws, running rough shot over the citizens. You might say that not all of the Republican legislators are bad, and I get the argument, but as Stace Nelson pointed out on Belfrage today, the good ones are no better then the bad ones if the good guys don’t stop the bad guys in their party. In other words, if you are not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Also, as Stace points out, the corruption runs deep, if it isn’t suspicious suicides and murders over EB-5 and Gear Up, it’s sex scandals. What will it take to reign in this problem?

First off, the opposition party is ‘part of the problem’ they need to not only grow a spine, but they need to grow in numbers and overtake the snake pit that has become the SD GOP. This means educating voters that Republicans in the State House ARE the problem and need to be voted out and kicked out of Pierre, they are destroying our state. It’s obvious from this repeal, that they are happy with the status quo, and don’t want things to change. It takes more then measures, initiatives and referendums to stop them, it takes giving these clowns their walking papers.

As I told a local government official tonight, there is not much we can do as citizens when the SD GOP has held us hostage for so long. I can only blog so much about the despicable behavior of these characters. It will take massive education to get South Dakotans to send some of these whack jobs packing in 2018.

So at the end of the day, don’t be surprised if this repeal passes, you voted in these crooks, and when you have the fox watching the hen house, you should know what the results will be.

I wonder how the SD GOP Leadership’s boots felt up Wollmann’s ass over the weekend?

My butt feels a lot better then it did on Saturday and Sunday. Man! Mark and Dennis wear some big shoes!

Make no mistake, Mr. Wollmann cut and run just as soon as he could pull the boots out of his ass;

In a statement released Monday House leaders say, “The South Dakota State legislature, like any other organization, is comprised of human beings.  Consequently, we will experience human failure and imperfection.  Every legislator has an obligation to refrain from behavior unbecoming to the Legislature and inconsistent with maintaining the public’s trust.”

House leaders also say they will be meeting over the coming weeks with legislators, current interns and legislative staff to discuss any improvements they can make in the legislator and employee training.

Nice (BS) statement. Try to quickly sweep this under the rug before people start asking real questions, like how this has been going on since the 1960’s, or why a governor’s cabinet member was let go? The SD GOP is quick to bury their own when they are trying to cover up there scandalous institution. Besides, how can you justify repealing an ethics law the voters passed when you are being unethical yourself? Watch a bunch of scum.