Entries Tagged 'State Legislature' ↓

Young Americans for Liberty sends out goofy email

While I detest that most of our legislators in the state are Republican, I do get a good laugh when they start fighting over who is the most conservative. I don’t think any of them are, just Cuckoo. Read this email sent out defending State Legislator Julie Frye-Lactation;

Dear Mary Jane,

There’s something strange in the water out in Pierre.

President Pro Tempore, Senator Lee Schoenbeck thinks he’s the King of South Dakota.

Senator Schoenbeck thinks he can unilaterally decide who represents the people of South Dakota.

Schoenbeck, a notorious RINO, is acting like the King of South Dakota and illegally and unconstitutionally suspended a sitting state senator without due process.

His outrageous power trip is disenfranchising and silencing the elected representative of tens of thousands of South Dakotans.

You see, Schoenbeck unilaterally decided to punish South Dakota citizens by suspending Senator Julie Frye-Mueller before an investigation had even been organized, over a private conversation between Mueller and a legislative services staffer regarding childhood vaccinations and other motherhood issues.

Should a politician like Schoenbeck have the power to silence another Senator over a personal conversation?

Schoenbeck, working with Democrats and Establishment Republicans, forced through Mueller’s unconstitutional suspension, overriding the ruling of the chair and dismissing out-of-hand any constitutional concerns.

Schoenbeck needs to be reminded that he IS NOT the king maker of South Dakota

State Senators work for the people who elected them!

If this makes your blood boil as much as it does mine, I hope you’ll help me turn up the heat on “Little King Lee” Schoenbeck.

Click here to send a message to Schoenbeck. Remind him that the President Pro Tempore of the South Dakota Senate does not have the authority to remove a Senator simply based on his opinions of a legislator’s private conversation.

Demand he respects the Constitution and the right of ALL South Dakotans to representation in the State Senate.

I hope you’ll click here and tell “Little King Lee” Schoenback that he has overreached his authority and effectively robbed South Dakotans of their duly elected State Senator.

Unless South Dakotans like you fight back, Schoenbeck and his liberal cronies in Pierre are going to KEEP ignoring the Constitution.

If this challenge to our Republic goes unanswered, Schoenbeck will continue to block conservative bills and control the State Senate like a petty tyrant.

I hope you’ll join me in saying “Enough is enough,” to Little King Lee.

Click here to send a message to Schoenbeck.

Remind him that the President Pro Tempore of the South Dakota Senate does not have the authority to remove a Senator simply based on his opinions of a legislator’s private conversation.

For Liberty,

Bethany Young
Grassroots Director
Young Americans for Liberty

P.S. President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck is acting like he’s the King of South Dakota. He thinks he has the POWER to remove duly elected Senators based solely on his opinion.

Schoenbeck, a notorious RINO, has illegally and unconstitutionally suspended a sitting state senator without due process. His outrageous power trip is disenfranchising and silencing the elected representative of tens of thousands of South Dakotans.

I hope you’ll click here and tell “Little King Lee” Schoenbeck he has overreached his authority and effectively robbed South Dakotans of their duly elected State Senator. Demand he respects the Constitution and the right of ALL South Dakotans to representation in the State Senate.

Yeah there is something strange in the water alright, it is most likely vodka. While I do agree Ms. Frye-Lactation should be punished for having an inappropriate conversation it certainly doesn’t rise to suspension. As reporter Austin Goss recently pointed out on Matters of the State (2:50);

You have people in that chamber, as recently as last year, who have DUIs . . . you have others in that chamber who call each other pond scum and monkeys. So I guess if the reason to throw her off the floor is decorum, I am just kind of confused . . .

I am not confused, while the above email is chocked full of smoke and mirrors there is one clear thing going on here, Julie pissed off the wrong governor and it was time to eliminate her.

Is the South Dakota State Legislature looking at limiting Municipal Referendums?

It has been brought to my attention that a small southeastern town city administrator is pushing to get a bill submitted (hasn’t been yet) taking municipal referendum and initiative signature requirements to 20 percent of registered voters from 5 percent. This will eliminate yet another safety net to keep city councils in line. That would change the required signatures in Sioux Falls to jump from around 6k to over 24K. Ironically it would take more signatures in Sioux Falls to get an initiative or referendum on the ballot then the amount of people who typically vote in a municipal election.

I often remind people that 1) we need to make the referendum process easier not harder and 2) and signing a petition doesn’t mean you approve of the initiative just your right to vote on it. For example, I signed the slaughterhouse petition even though I already knew I would vote against it. Direct Democracy is a beautiful thing and any opportunity we have to use it and promote it is good for the public.

Advertise your salary

Several years ago, now retired Minnehaha County Commissioner, Jeff Barth suggested that Sioux Falls City Councilors impose an ordinance that requires employers within the city limits list their salary in want ads. Not only is it a good idea, employers who do list wages usually get better and more applicants. We all know why some don’t list the salary, because it ain’t squat and most people see thru the ruse and don’t apply. Senator Reynold Nesiba is proposing such a thing statewide;

A private employer with one hundred or more employees shall disclose in each job posting the hourly or salary compensation or range of the hourly or salary compensation and a general description of all benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired, promoted, or transferred applicant or employee. Such disclosure shall not affect the applicant’s ability to negotiate compensation or benefits.

As you can see, this would only affect larger employers. While a great idea that has proven to have beneficial opportunities to employees and employers it will likely die in committee because one of the legislators wives on the committee will cry about paying her 10 year old niece minimum wage to make goat cheese soap candles in the barn.

Three South Dakota Judges dismiss Noem’s airplane use complaint because they don’t know how to use Google

How many judges does it take to get rid of a complaint towards the governor?

I find it hysterical that three supposed well educated judges in our state don’t know the definition of ‘state business

The state Government Accountability Board dismissed a complaint Tuesday regarding Gov. Kristi Noem’s use of state aircraft, citing no sufficient legal definition of “state business.” 

Isn’t law prickly? Judges conveniently throw out a complaint saying a law doesn’t exist. So if that is true, how do thousands of state employees show up to work each day and know what to do if a legal definition of state business doesn’t exist?

Game wardens could argue fishing all day with a state patrol boat is ‘state business’. Or a highway patrol officer could give UBER rides during their down time. Why not? There is NO definition of state business. And do you trust this legislature to fix it? They are still trying to figure out what the definition of ‘elected representative’ means.

When out legislative process fails we go to the judicial branch for clarity. Senator Nesiba points that out;

In October, Nesiba said the current law allows the attorney general or a state’s attorney discretion to look at “state business” and what it means. 

I guess these judges are struggling with defining the state’s legal definition of ‘state business’

Noem has faced scrutiny for a number of her uses of state aircraft, including flights from Custer and back again during the weekend of her daughter’s 2019 wedding at Custer State Park. Noem has also used a state airplane to attend several political functions in other states.

If you do a five second Google search you will find this handy piece of information;

Official state business or “state business” means any activity conducted in conformance to these rules and directed and controlled by a state agency to advance the lawful policies and purposes of the agency.

I don’t have a fancy law degree or a judgeship under my belt, but I am pretty sure flying your nephew to your Daughter’s Jewish Gun Rights CPAC Wedding extravaganza isn’t the definition of ‘state business’. Maybe if the 4th judge decided not to recuse themself the 4 of them could have took turns typing the definition into the Google search engine?

Jesus Snowplows invade the South Dakota State Capital, sorta

When I started reading this article, it reminded me of the Jesus Snowplows in Sioux Falls (there are 2 this year).

That’s because several chairs in the committee room where the votes took place were adorned with holy crosses ahead of the meeting.

And now, the well-intended gesture by Sioux Falls Rep. Sue Peterson and others is drawing the attention of the South Dakota Legislature’s Executive Board, which will consider if action is necessary should the oil substance used to make the markings be unable to be removed.

When are these politicians going to figure out they can’t use taxpayer funded property as if it were their church? But there are other issues besides separation of church and state;

“We were simply praying and blessing the room in which leadership elections were going to be held,” she added (Sue Peterson). “It appears that someone is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill and shame me for my Christian faith.”

Even if you ignore Sue’s little Jesus moment, she also may have damaged taxpayer property, and she could be charged with a crime.

There is nothing wrong with a legislator having faith in a religion, there is also nothing wrong with them praying before a meeting, I actually support an invocation (invented by Ben Franklin, a deist). I wouldn’t even of cared if she passed out New Testaments at the meeting, BUT, you cannot defile or decorate taxpayer owned property with religious symbolism (or any symbolism) BECAUSE WE OWN IT!

I think a fitting punishment would be making Sue lick the crosses off the chairs. Maybe she could bring her son Robert who has been actively licking his wounds after the slaughterhouse ordinance failed.

A tax cut I can get behind!

Finally, the legislature is proposing a property tax cut this session;

“Because it would exempt the first $100,000 in valuation from taxing,” Ladner said. “Rather than a proportional cut, South Dakotans with smaller home value will get a bigger percentage tax cut from this mechanism.”

In Sioux Falls that would be about $1,500 a year tax break. Of course, I doubt this even gets out of committee considering towns, schools and counties will push back on it. It would help a lot of first time homebuyers getting into a starter home and the elderly on a fixed income.

After the Failure of IM 27 lawmakers attempting to restrict Med MJ even more

Well, we should have seen this coming, a NEW drug war has emerged after right wingers killed IM 27 with a campaign littered with lies;

Lawmakers want to make it more difficult to expand the list of conditions that might qualify a citizen for a medical marijuana card.

Patients who want relief for conditions not explicitly listed in the law ought to ask their elected lawmaker to add the condition for them during the legislative session. 

Yeah, that sounds convenient and legitimate! NOT! As I have told people in the past, all Medical Cannabis is, is aspirin that gets you high. It’s a pain reliever, sleep aid and relaxant. It can and should be prescribed for ANY ailment. Isn’t it funny how a group of mostly white male business owners with NO medical, chemistry or biology degrees seem to know so much about reproductive health and chronic pain disorders.

I mean, I knew they were big group of smart fellers (or was it fart smellers?) but they constantly amaze me with all of their genius medical advice and recommendations 🙁

Go Vote!

Keeping track of all the noise leading up until Tuesday’s election has been overwhelming, so I am going to just concentrate on the big ones with my predictions.

Some of the issues are easy to predict;

• Slaughterhouse ordinance will pass with 60-70% of the vote (this of course doesn’t really matter since it ultimately will be decided in court).

• Medicare expansion will pass with 55-65% of the vote (I think it is a pretty big no brainer when the Feds are supplying 90% of the funding – a tax pool we pay into – that it makes sense to take them up on the offer.

The next two issues are a little sticky;

• IM 27 will pass with 58% of the STATEWIDE vote. I believe that once again the urban areas will carry the measure. (I have felt for awhile that this race would be a wider margin of victory than originally predicted. With the failure of Amendment C in June it showed me that when it comes to personal freedoms being voted on in the ballot box, South Dakotans will vote to protect them. I think the anger and frustration over Amendment C and the kangaroo court that overturned the original constitutional measure, voters are coming back in full force to show the governor, the supreme court and the legislature that yes, we are adult enough to know what recreational MJ is, and we want it).

• Kristi Noem will be re-elected to another term by at least 55% of the vote. (Trust me, I would love to be wrong, and I encourage everyone to vote for Jamie Smith, but the stars don’t align. Besides name recognition and the lack of funding, Smith needed these 3 things to happen tomorrow to win;

  1. Almost all of SD registered Indies need to vote for Smith, and ALL dems need to vote for him.
  2. Libertarian candidate Tracey Quint needs to garner at least 3-4% of the Republican vote
  3. A large percentage of Republicans need to ‘undervote’ in the governor’s race (not place a vote at all for governor.)

Those stars will probably not align.

I really cannot say much about the local races except in my very own District 10, I encourage you to vote for Erin Healy and send MAGA Sutton and her placeholder husband Tom packing. I also encourage everyone to NOT fill out the judgeship portion of the ballot. There is NO choice, just a confirmation. I left it blank to protest our very broken judicial system in South Dakota.

It is supposed to be 43 degrees tomorrow at 7 AM and 53 degrees at 7 PM with light rain after 11 AM. A perfect day to spend 10 minutes voting.

Kermit Staggers the first Republican to try to cut the food tax 20 years ago

There has always been a long standing tradition of our local media throwing the good professor under the bus, even after he died, there is still an effort to paint Kermit as too fiscally conservative, yet over 20 years ago when he served in the legislature, he tried to cut the food tax by 50%;

2001 

Senator Kermit Staggers, a Sioux Falls Republican, proposed reducing the state sales tax on food to 2% from the then-4% rate. The Senate Taxation Committee killed it 5-4. SB 171

2002 

Senator Staggers again proposed reducing the state sales tax on food to 2% from the then-4% rate. The Senate State Affairs Committee killed it 6-2. SB 67 

Staggers also led a small bipartisan group of lawmakers who wanted to exempt food from the state sales tax in North Sioux City and Dakota Dunes. The Senate Taxation Committee killed it 7-1. SB 116

Even when Kermit served on the city council he fought against tax and fee increases. Kermit had a big heart, and he always looked after the working class of this state and city. Funny how twenty years ago Staggers had the vision that the food tax was regressive. This coming from a supposed extreme conservative.

I was surprised the media didn’t use this information to further criticize him, maybe 20 years is too soon?

IM 27 opponents spread lies

The worst part about the campaign is it is being funded by the mayor of the largest city in South Dakota. The opponents know they need Sioux Falls to vote this down in order to win so they spread the lies.

Rick Steves was the guest on The Dakota Scout podcast this week. He did a marvelous job of explaining decriminalization further and how it will be up to our state legislature to fine tune the law if passed. He called it the ‘Reefer Madness’ propaganda.

Lalley brought up the sticky situation Mayor TenHaken has put himself in;

But Mayor TenHaken made an interesting point. He said that if IM27 does pass, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to buy weed in Sioux Falls, other than what’s currently allowed for medical marijuana use.

The mayor brought up Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the city doesn’t allow dispensaries even though it’s legal in that state. Ultimately, it would be up to the South Dakota Legislature to decide how marijuana is regulated, he said.

So I asked him what he would tell lawmakers should that come to pass.

“If I could tell them what to do, I would say we have what’s called home rule in Sioux Falls. I think that is a muscle that we would certainly flex on this. But I can say other vices that we limit. We limit the number of liquor licenses. We’ve limited medical (marijuana) dispensaries. It’s not going to be a cannabis free-fall in Sioux Falls if this would happen and we have to put this here. We need to be pragmatic about if it would pass.”

First off, even with Home Rule, the mayor doesn’t have the power to limit anything, that is up to the city council. I would also find the limitation of casinos, bars, liquor stores as NOT a fair comparison. You can gamble, drink or buy alcohol for home ingestion on any corner in this city. I guess I would ask what limitations he is talking about? By that comparison we could have a dispensary within a half mile of everyone’s house in Sioux Falls.

I don’t care if you are running for office or are advocating for or against a measure. Lying to constituents to get the intended result will always fail in the end. Liars will always be losers no matter what happens on election day.