Entries Tagged 'South Dakotans' ↓

South Dakota State Legislature proves their complete and utter ignorance by killing Saba’s Bill promoting economic development

Somethings just make you shake your friggin’ head;

Yet on the same day that the Senate State Affairs Committee votes 6–3 to force open South Dakota counties for more CAFO business, the House State Affairs Committee votes 9–4 to kill an opportunity to open South Dakota for far more diverse business.

As you read the story, you will see that North Dakota is kicking our butts almost 2 to 1 in non-oil exports. Why? Because they have an office in state government that promotes direct business with international clients (since 2004), and here is the other kicker, it isn’t funded by taxpayers.

This was certainly killed because of partisan politics. Saba, a Democrat, has already been successful bringing one of many trade delegations. Shouldn’t our state government be supporting his efforts? The stupidity in Pierre is so immense they should rename the town to Ft. Putz.

Survey on SD Legislature, SAD, but True

I voted on this survey Friday afternoon on Dakotanewsnow.com and took this screenshot. I knew the ‘NO’ percentage would be high, but I about fell out of my chair. 92% -WOW! Obviously this is unscientific and not sure how many votes were cast, but still astonishing. The problem is people continue to vote for the ‘R’ instead of the candidate. I tell people, research your candidates. We keep electing the same clowns and wonder why surveys end up like this.

South Dakota State Legislature Coffee, Feb 8, 2020

South Dakota State Legislator from Sioux Falls proposes a bill for mental health evaluations for his colleagues

I spoke with the legislator last night about his proposal, and at this point he wants to remain anonymous, but promises me that he will have several sponsors for the bill.

The bill, if passed would implement a law that requires all current and new legislators to undergo a mental health evaluation and IQ test. They will also have to take a UA (drug test) and undergo an addiction screening.

I asked Legislator ‘X’ why he is proposing this.

“Well, do you need to ask? Every year we are faced with more ridiculous bills, in this year alone there has been bills introduced that would limit surrogacy, limit transgender treatment, allows people to avoid vaccinations for their children, and take taxes off of guns and ammo (instead of food).”

I reminded him of what Hunter S. Thompson once said about that, why would people want to hoard food for an apocalypse? You want to hoard guns, because the people with the guns will have the food.

After a brief chuckle from Rep. ‘X’ he continues, “Many times these laws are unconstitutional and that costs taxpayers money to fight them in court, which brings us to HB 1004 which would allow the legislative body to ’employ legal counsel other than the attorney general…to represent the Legislature in any court of this state or the United States.’ In other words more kooky right wing groups interfering in our court system.”

So what do these bills this have to do with the mental health evaluation?

“Because the legislators that are proposing this crap are batsh*t crazy!”, exclaimed Rep. ‘X’ “They are either crazy, stupid or on drugs, and this bill addressed them all.”

Well you cannot argue with that.

So what are the repercussions if they fail one or more of the tests?

“If they are newly elected, they will be ineligible to serve to begin with, if they are already serving, they will be removed. In both situations they will also have to pay for the testing.”

I asked him how many legislators he suspects that will leave us with and Rep. ‘X’ said this, “A handful, and they will probably all be Democrats.”

So what would happen after this mass exodus of crazy folks? He said the first thing that would happen is we would have to increase the funding to the state hospital ‘significantly’ and secondly we would have to have a second emergency election to fill those seats. Rep ‘X’ is not certain how that would work, but he said in order to make the legislature viable we would probably have to leave ‘Republicans off the ballot’ in the emergency election.

Some have argued with Rep ‘X’ that this proposal is crazy and goes against personal choice of the electorate. “Yes, it does go against ‘personal choice’ and this may be why they just might support it”, says Rep ‘X’. “Because if the state legislature in South Dakota is good one thing, it’s taking away your personal choices.”

A majority of both houses just may be ‘crazy’ enough to support it.

*This piece is satire and only meant to inflame the nutty right wingers in Pierre.

State Legislature looks to strengthen stalking laws in reference to politicians

Could have seen this coming a mile away;

Stalking penalties could be getting stiffer for newcomers to South Dakota who have similar convictions in other states.

This winter, state lawmakers will consider whether or not South Dakota courts should be able to enhance the severity of stalking charges if the person accused has previously been convicted of stalking in a different state. 

In other areas of South Dakota criminal law, like driving while intoxicated or assault charges, state law provides language that allows out-of-state convictions to be used to justify enhanced charges.

“Like in these other areas of the law, if people are breaking that same law multiple times, then it shows that you’ve got a career criminal on our hands and society needs to be protected from those individuals,” Rep. Jon Hansen (R-Dell Rapids) told the Argus Leader. “This bill provides harsher punishment so hopefully it’ll keep that person from doing that again.”

More: Felony stalking charge reduced against Sioux Falls man accused of harassing mayor

Hansen said the measure stems from a recent case involving Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken and his convicted stalker, Christopher Bruce, who was found guilty on misdemeanor stalking charges after a three-day trial in 2019.

While I disagreed with The Living Man’s use of hyperbole in his written threats against the mayor, the council and his family, I still think it was just a bunch of bark with little bite, and protected by his free speech rights. I don’t think that elected officials, especially elected officials, should get special laws written for them so they can restrict free speech if they ‘think’ they are being threatened. Notice that The Living Man was not arrested until after he took on 5G in a Federal suit. I felt the arrest had to do more with repercussions for that suit. The Living Man was not able to prove that in court. But he did have this great quote;

Bruce told the Argus Leader Monday that he isn’t surprised to see his case earning attention from the State Legislature because “every time someone beats the state,” the state changes the rules. 

“This is how they get these kind of laws into place,” he said. “It’s not about our safety anymore, it’s all about protecting government officials and public servants.”

In 2014 when rabble rousers in Illinois felt their free speech rights were being violated, they got the Sheriff to arrest the politicians;

In what was one of their most epic displays of political crime-fighting, which was captured on video, Allen and Kraft held the entire Clark County Park District Board under citizen’s arrest on May 13, 2014, for violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act, a Class C misdemeanor.

When asked if there would be public comment, one of the board members said, “I vote no.” Followed by five other board members.

Deputies were dispatched to the scene, but instead, Clark County Sheriff, Jerry Parsley, personally responded that night. Parsley said he knew it was a heated situation and felt it would be best if he handled it. He said that Kraft handled the citizen’s arrest responsibly, and the board was definitely in violation of the Open Meetings Act by not allowing the public to speak.

“It’s not that they should have. They’re mandated to,” Parsley said. “The people need to have their voice. It’s not a dictatorship. It’s a democracy.”

The sheriff arrested six of the board members. The seventh board member was not arrested because he voted against the other members. As they were escorted out of the building, the crowd cheered.

This is what should happen when politicians limit our free speech rights. They seem to assert their power of arrest when they feel they are being threatened, shouldn’t we as citizens have that same right when our rights are being violated?

I believe Recreational Marijuana will pass

I have been saying for quite awhile that I think recreational will pass in November, but maybe not medical. BUT, it is important for medical to pass also so children with severe cases of epilepsy can get treatment without the high of THC. Recreational can only be sold to those 21 and older.

I have joked with people, Recreational will pass similar to Trump becoming president, people support it and will vote for it, but they won’t tell anyone. I think polling will be way off on the topic. I also think opposition to recreational is going to have a hard time arguing against these benefits;

But 2020 is a long way away from 2010 when it comes to marijuana policy. As we’ve noted, dozens of states have reformed their laws and the world didn’t come to an end. Some have tapped into the revenue source of legal, taxed marijuana. The measure that voters here will consider includes a requirement that marijuana be taxed at 15%, half of which is earmarked for public education.

Besides the tax, you also have to take into account that we will no longer be paying for crimes associated with marijuana. This could be upwards of $100 million dollar windfall to the state with the savings and additional tax money involved. We can bitch all we want about the negative of Rec Mary Jane, but the tax revenue will be significant, especially since Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota don’t have legal weed. Yes, they will be crossing the border to buy it.

When he ran the medical marijuana campaign a decade ago, Emmett Reistroffer recalls that he had scant resources. The campaign raised about $100,000 in cash, and Reistroffer had about $200,000 in in-kind contributions from supporters. It wasn’t enough to mount a serious statewide campaign, especially when the issue was drowned out by political spending in the U.S. House and governor’s races.

Today, the Sioux Falls native works as a consultant in the industry, based out of Las Vegas. Reistroffer said he hopes to play a role in this year’s election by raising funds for the legalization effort. If the campaign can raise $1 million by June, he thinks it might have a shot.

“This is not a slam dunk,” he said.

I helped Emmett with his efforts a decade ago. Promoting the campaign on the blog and assisting in graphic design. I knew in my heart it would fail, but we were all pretty surprised it only failed by a slim margin.

While I think SD has gotten more conservative in the neither lands outside of Sioux Falls, I think Sioux Falls is much more progressive and could carry this measure. I also believe that there is probably more Republicans that smoke pot than Democrats (well because there are more of them). I don’t think the public is naive on this topic. I think most agree that when it comes to mind altering drugs, marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, not as harmful physically and natural. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.

I once heard a comedian ask the question, “Please raise your hand if you think marijuana is more harmful than bacon?” No one raised their hands, and he quips, “What? No bacon defenders?” So if this passes, I might just start a new business selling marijuana infused bacon. We all need to live a little – right?

South Dakota Manufacturer builds surveillance trees, and Dusty says, ‘Cool’

Wouldn’t this be a fun Christmas tree to have? It could catch all the great moments when your grandchildren open their gifts (or their frowning faces when you give them crap). **Note: The family mentioned is NO relation, they spell their last name different.

“The system was designed to be able to get daytime and nighttime video of people as they are coming across the border, in real time, to a dispatch person that would then be able to dispatch certain patrol people to that area,” Taylor said. “It gives them a great way to see how many people are coming, be able to track them as they are going, and it can allow U.S. Customs and Border personnel (CBP) to know how many people to send. If there’s a potential issue or concern with that group coming across, then maybe it can help identify that prior to them getting here.”

Ironic, isn’t it? A family business in Yankton, South Dakota, that probably has immigrant heritage from Germany, Austria and Switzerland is building fake trees to stop immigrants. I won’t bring up that other famous German that thought this was also good idea.

AARP features a story on Mayor TenHaken

I was actually surprised they were able to track him down for an interview, wait, the article came with a photo shoot, so of course he showed up;

After the summit, TenHaken created a Department of Innovation and Technology, hiring as its leader Jason Reisdorfer, who had previously worked in sales. Reisdorfer got to work on redeveloping the city’s transit system. Among the city workers he and TenHaken picked for the Core Team, only one had previous transit expertise. The diverse team included a firefighter, a police officer, a librarian and a health care worker.

“We didn’t want to have a bunch of people in the same room who said, ‘This is how we’ve always done it,’ “ Reisdorfer says.

So he headed this team up with a former tool salesman (who BTW just quit) that came up with a plan that has failed in other communities across the continent. Seems like a good thing for the AARP to write about.

TenHaken allowed the team freedom to work on its own. “When a mayor gets involved in any sort of meeting, his or her voice trumps any other discussion in the room,” he says. But his presence was felt. The team communicated using a messaging app, and TenHaken frequently chimed in with uplifting emojis.

That’s because one of the first things PTH did as a Mayor was give his COS executive authority so he could jet set all over the country and world. As of right now I guess he is in Haiti trying to set up more missionaries over there with a team of local bankers and businessmen. While I am all for charitable work, all the mayor has to do is drive about a mile east from his city hall office to Whittier neighborhood and see people right here in our community that need charity and help.

If the pilot works, part of the bus fleet would be replaced with vans and cars.

TenHaken embraced the idea, but also the possibility that it might not work. “We’re experimenting and we’re innovating on a very public stage,” he says. “The alternative is to do nothing at all.”

And it won’t work, or it will work but help very few people. There is an alternative, fix paratransit and the fixed route system first, get ridership up and make it more affordable, than screw around with taxi apps.

The Saudi Prince of South Dakota needs to go

As I posted about on January 2, there is a little trouble in the SD GOP;

A group of Fall River Republicans are demanding that Dan Lederman resign as chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party due to his lobbying work for Saudi Arabia.

The Fall River County Republicans’ Central Committee unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday night alleging that Lederman has a conflict of interest between his role leading the state Republican Party and his work lobbying “against American citizens on behalf of a foreign government.”

The resolution has been sent to the party’s State Central Committee for consideration.

I heard about this on January 2, when I posted about it. But as I understand it, Fall River is NOT the only county organization drafting letters. I have heard about at least 3 counties if not more. This will be interesting to see how this plays out.

GOP controlled South Dakota Legislature continues to pass unconstitutional laws

Isn’t it sad? Riot boosting, petitioning, etc. Why does our state legislature continue to pass laws that are violations of our 1st Amendment rights? I will tell you why, because we are allowing a super majority to legislate us.

I have often been baffled by how South Dakotans vote for initiatives that overturn the foolishness and inaction in Pierre yet continue to send these same fools to Pierre.

Want to have fewer initiatives on the ballot? Start electing legislators that pass laws that benefit you and that can hold up to a constitutional smell test.

I told Cory when he first announced he was suing the state over this issue he would win, I considered it a ‘slam dunk’ and if you read the opinion of the judge, it is very apparent. Cory pointed out to me that this paragraph says it all in the ruling;

And that’s all our legislature really does, put’s regulations on our rights to petition the government. And instead of apologizing and vowing to stop passing these restrictions they argue they are right;

Rep. Jon Hansen, a Republican from Dell Rapids, sponsored the bill to regulate petitioners last year. He disagreed with the ruling and said the law was intended to prevent out-of-state petitioners from influencing South Dakota laws.

If Hansen and his fellow lawmakers were so concerned about out of state influence, maybe they should stop taking marching orders from ALEC and the NRA. The party and it’s members also receive millions in donations from out of state entities. I would go so far to say that Noem could not have been elected if it weren’t for out of state contributions. It’s the norm with the SD GOP, it’s okay for them to not follow the rules, but the rest of us minions have to. This time they got their butts handed to them, and rightfully so.