Archive for May, 2014

SDPB Governor Democratic Primary Forum tonight

May 29, 2014 Comments off
Susan Wiser and Joe Lowe at the QA session in Brookings

Susan Wiser and Joe Lowe at the QA session in Brookings

Tonight there will be a forum between Democrat primary gubernatorial candidates Susan Wismer and Joe Lowe. Personally I wish this would have been a debate. Maybe the organizers at SDPB decided against that after the Republican US Senate primary ‘debate’ went so poorly. The details on this debate are shown below. Hopefully the questions asked will be relevant to Democrat primary voters.

South Dakota Governor Democratic Primary Forum

60 minutes
SDPB1 TV & SDPB Online:
Thursday, May 29, 8pm (7 MT)
SDPB Online
Archived at

South Dakota Gubernatorial Race: a look at the five candidates

May 29, 2014 2 comments

MM900173989[1]There are now five days until the primary elections are done in South Dakota. Two days ago I wrote about the sorry shape of the US Senate race (I still recommend Republicans vote Stace Nelson!). Today I take a look at the five gubernatorial candidates. At least this race has some variance with the candidates (fewer scandals and less cronyism). Here is the recap of the gubernatorial candidates:

Republican Primary Candidates

Dennis Daugaard – Incumbent – I know most people within the Republican party seem to like Daugaard… Honestly I don’t see why. There are two very big issues I feel Daugaard has gone with big-government DC Republicans on, and forgotten his small-government roots. First there is Common Core. He mentioned it briefly during his State of the State address and his administration has been key in implementing Common Core in South Dakota. I actually find it mind-boggling that anyone could claim to be conservative while advocating for Common Core. Any Republican primary voter that cares about the state of public education should see this as a reason avoid giving Daugaard any votes. The second big issue I have with Daugaard is his lack of faith in the free market. True small-government advocates actually try to promote the ideas of the free market. Instead Dauggard has taken a different approach. Using creative tricks with on-time money Governor Daugaard was able to pre-fund Building South Dakota with an extra $30,000,000. This money will be handled by the Governors Office of Economic Development (GOED). GOED is the very office that is in part responsible for such debacles as the Aberdeen Beef Plant. The problems with GOED go much deeper than that however. At its core the purpose of GOED is to choose winners and losers in the market-place using taxpayers dollars. That is not the way of a small-government conservative. Rather that is the way a large-government crony likes to operate. Between Daugaard and his predecessor Rounds there has been a long run of crony-capitalism going on from the Governors mansion. Daugaard is the presumed winner of the primary; this is one presumption I hope is wrong… especially since he is too chicken to even debate Hubbel…

Lora Hubbel – Hubbel is a true small-government advocate. She has gone through a lot of time an energy to document the steps Rounds and Daugaard took to implement Obamacare in South Dakota (even if you like ACA, you have to dislike Rounds and Daugaard lying about their involvement with it). Lora has been at the forefront of fighting against Common Core in South Dakota. I’ve seen her speak a few times in the last year and each time she focuses on economic development by getting government out of the way. Plus, she has been working hard at discovering all the data mining being done by government agencies and how that might be used. Overall she is a great candidate from a liberty standpoint. Her biggest downside has nothing to do with her. The status-quo Republicans that do not like Hubbel’s message have waged a huge war on her character to make her look as if she is an extremist. Its ironic, she is called an extremist for actually promoting the small-government stances of the Republican Party. I would expect Democrats to attack her in such ways.. but no, it is the establishment in her own party that does the majority of the attacking. And to add to the irony, it is the same establishment Republicans attacking Hubbel personally that says it is out of line for Stace Nelson to attack the voting record of Rounds. This June 3 I will be casting my vote for Lora Hubbel as the Republican candidate for SD Governor and hope other SD voters that happen to be registered Republican will do the same.

Democrat Primary Candidates

Joe Lowe – If I were registered Independent or Democrat this is who I would choose (remember Independents, you can vote in the Democrat primary!). There is very little policy-wise that differentiate Lowe and Wismer. However Lowe has a lot of experience working in the executive branch of government. This includes being the states head fire chief under Janklow, Rounds and Daugaard. Lowe understands Daugaard and his ‘full steam ahead’ attitude gives Democrats the best chance of actually putting up a fight during this election. In addition he was the Mayor of a town of 100,000. I also think he would be more the type to offer solutions; as opposed to passing on party talking points. This would be my recommendation for anyone that can vote in the Democrat primary.

Susan Wismer – Wismer is almost the opposite of Lowe. Her government experience has been as an appropriator in the SD Legislature. That is a very important job. Appropriators learn quite a bit about every government agency in South Dakota. That knowledge would be valuable as a governor. However she is severely handicapped by her timid mouse demeanor. Every time I see Wismer speak it seems that she holds back; almost afraid to say what is on her mind. Anyone going against Daugaard must do so ‘full-on’. For that reason I would recommend anyone able to vote in this primary (Democrats and Independents) to avoid choosing Wismer.

Independent Candidate

Mike Myers – This is the candidate I like best overall in this race. He is also who I will likely support as the general election is closer. Myers has quite a resume ranging from being a CEO for a large healthcare facility to being a law professor. I’ve noted many of his answer are almost libertarian. Myers is campaigning hard on transparency and ending the cronyism currently enjoyed by Sanford and Avera. Hopefull we will get to see of a lot of Myers in the coming months.

Final Abbreviated Summary:

Republican Primary: Vote Hubbel

Democrat Primary: Vote Lowe

Best Candidate: Independent candidate Mike Myers appears to be the best candidate at this time.

South Dakota US Senate Race: am I the only one with a headache?

May 27, 2014 10 comments

molumen_Pills_and_bottle_2There are seven days left until the primary elections are done in South Dakota. I’m actually ready for the general election to be done already…  Here is a recap of our current candidates in this US Senate race and some thoughts on each:

Republican Primary Candidates – There are currently 5 candidates in this race.. and more than anything I will be glad when the primary is done in one week.

Stace Nelson – Stace is still my candidate of choice as someone who would actually push for limited-government. I think most of his recent 100 Eyes interview went well.. most.. Stace did irk me a bit when he went after fellow candidate Jason Ravnsborg by calling him just “a truck driver in Iraq”. As a veteran I was disappointed in Stace for this comment. Yes, Jason started this with implying that Stace’s military record was irrelevant. But really? Every member of the armed service takes an oath to protect the country and do their part for the missions they are given. That is true whether they active duty, reserve, or National Guard. All members of the military should be treated with respect for what they are willing to give up. But, with that said, I will continue to support Stace in this race. I still feel he is the small-government candidate of choice and this small transgression is nothing compared to what other candidates in this circus of an election are doing.

Annette Bosworth – I don’t even know where to start with Bosworth. Annette has a few potential scandals (such as land raffle scams, unpaid employees, calling poor & hungry people zoo animal, etc…). But to me the point Bosworth stopped being a legitimate candidate is when she appears to have falsified her nominating petition. I looked at Bosworth’s nominating petitions posted by Cory H. I was able to see with my own eyes her written oath that she witnessed every signature. I was then able to look on social media and see she was in the Philippines during some of those days. Currently I have no faith in AG Marty Jackley to bring Bosworth to court and have her tried for her crime. On that note, I do believe that as a matter of law she is innocent until proven guilty. But at the same time we the voters have to take her actions into account and make sure her behavior is not accepted by anyone that wishes to run for public office. Her “adults only” presser today solidified my thoughts on Bosworth. She did not truly answer any questions about her scandals or the petitions. Actually, on that matter I agree with Mr Heidelberger in that she basically admitted today that she broke the law. I cannot wait for this primary to be done…

Jason Ravnsborg – Jason, Jason, Jason… Ravnsborg entered this race late. He has an interesting mixture of experience ranging from farming, to military deployments, to practicing as an attorney. For months I’ve heard the rumors of him being a “plant” set by Lederman on behalf of Rounds to take votes away from Stace… I’ve tried hard to give Jason credit that he is not a plant. I never gave him much of a chance in this race, but thought if he played his cards right it could lead to a good shot at office in 2016. But then Ravnsborg put out a commercial that implied his military service was “more relevant” than Nelsons. And now a national Tea Party figure, Ken Crow, has left his campaign team. Part of Crows reason for leaving Jason’s team is in part because “Mr. Ravnsborg either isn’t hungry enough for victory or there are hidden agendas that I am unaware of.” (quote copied from Ken Crow Press Release). Crow went on in a later press release about how often Ravnsborg spoke of Lederman and how certain legislators talked Jason into entering the race. I still don’t feel Jason entered this race with the intent of the becoming a Rounds “heat shield”. But no matter what Ravnsborg will forever more be associated with Lederman, and there will always be doubt about his entry as a candidate. I cannot wait for this primary to be done…

Mike Rounds – I’ve written about Rounds many times. The biggest problem I have with Rounds is that he is an establishment big-government candidate. True, he gives the talking points that he is for ‘limited-government’. Yet he is the Governor that expanded the use of State dollars (taxpayer dollars) for ‘economic development’. He is NOT a true believer in the free market. Rather, by example Rounds has shown himself to be a politician that believes government should pick winners and losers in the market. Yes, Mike is a nice guy; but that doesn’t mean he is right to be a US Senator. I believe it is time for the Republicans to choose a US Senator that actually walks the walk, instead doing what special interest groups pay to be done. And now, he has his buddy Lederman use the Rushmore PAC to create an attack ad on Stace because he had to go to the bathroom during a vote this previous legislative session. Really? Going to the bathroom is a big scandal? Yet wasting millions of taxpayers dollars on economic development crony capitalism isn’t a problem for the supposed conservatives backing Rushmore PAC? It is mind-boggling that Rounds is the presumed winner of the primary election. I cannot wait for this primary to be done…

Larry Rhoden – I don’t really have anything bad to say about Rhoden. He is a nice guy, but so is Rounds; and that is part of the problem. The only different between Rhoden and Rounds is their ability to speak in public. Policy-wise both Rounds and Rhoden have similar records. But as a speaker Rhoden tends to be quite monotone. It is hard for any candidate to gain traction when they appear to be a less charismatic clone of the front-runner. If Rhoden truly wanted to serve in a statewide office he should have looked at something like the Commissioner of School and Public Lands. I cannot wait for this primary to be done…

Democrat Candidate – There is only one Democrat in this race: former Daschle staffer and DC insider Rick Weiland.

Rick Weiland – I was hoping the Democrats would be able to field a good grass-roots South Dakota grounded candidate.. they failed. Rick came out the gate proposing a constitutional amendment that would restrict free speech. When I spoke with after a town-hall he admitted he would have supported Senator Reid in suppressing minority opinions by killing the filibuster. Add to that he is a former Daschle staffer and has made a lot of money in DC as a lobbyist. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with people making money… But can someone who makes money as a DC lobbyist truly be trusted to bite the hand that feeds him? Weiland is more of a status-quo politician than Rounds; and that fact alone precludes him from being a true grass-roots South Dakota candidate (traveling town to town isn’t the same as being grass-roots). I cannot wait for the general election to be done…

Independent Candidates – As an independent thinker I would normally be happy to see a few Independent candidates on the roster. Not so much this time…

Larry Pressler – Pressler is a true example of a status quo politician that doesn’t know his time is done. Pressler already served in DC as an elected official for over 20 years. Since serving as an elected official he has been a highly paid DC lobbyist… To me it almost seems that he wants the taxpayers to directly subsidize his living in DC. I cannot wait for the general election to be done…

Gordon Howie – Howie entered this race as a ‘contingency plan’ in the event Stace Nelson does not win the Republican general election. I hate moves like that. Either get in the race, or stay out! Gordon could have entered the race full-force, and then decide to pull out if Stace had not won the Republican Primary. But no, instead he will only begin campaigning once he is sure Nelson doesn’t win. That is no way for any candidate to win a race. Plus I have my doubts about what type of Senator Howie would be. Would he be the Tea Party smalll-government type. Or would be the “government should intervening in people’s social lives uber-christian” conservative. I have no problems with religion, but taken to an extreme it has no place in politics. I cannot wait for the general election to be done…

Clayton Walker – Walker never officially made the ballot due to a slew of illegitimate signatures on his petition. Too bad, we will never know if a good independent option would have been available on this falls ballot. I cannot wait for the general election to be done…

Final Summary – I think I know the cause of my headache. I cannot wait for the primary and general election to be done…

Same-sex couples are rightfully suing SD over right to marry

May 23, 2014 4 comments

Gay-Love-Equal-LoveYesterday was a historic day in South Dakota. According to the Argus Leader there were six same-sex couples that filed a lawsuit against the state of South Dakota over its ban on same-sex marriage.

Nancy and Jennie Rosenbrahn and five other South Dakota couples filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court just before 5 p.m. Thursday that seeks recognition of same-sex marriage in South Dakota, their lawyer Joshua Newville said.

The five other couples involved in the lawsuit include: Jeremy Coller and Clay Schweitzer, Lynn and Monica Serling-Swank, Krystal Cosby and Kaitlynn Hoerner, Barbara and Ashley Wright, and Greg Kniffen and Mark Church.

Aside from Cosby and Hoerner, each couple involved in the lawsuit has been legally married outside of South Dakota.

This is the proper move for these same-sex activists. It is also the only logical outcome that can come from allowing government to control marriage.

An important concept in America the right for all citizens to be treated equally under the law. Political activists from all perspectives use this concept to advocate for their beliefs. As a libertarian I believe this means that any law created must apply to all citizens equally and special ‘classes’ of people would be unconstitutional. A more authoritarian person would believe this concept means the government has to use its power to create equal outcomes for all citizens. Ironically both viewpoints should theoretically see same-sex marriage in a similar manner: reserving the right to marry to one subset of the citizenry creates a special class and is therefore unconstitutional.

Many people, such as myself, believe marriage is a commitment between two people and see it as a deeply spiritual/religious experience. But spirituality and religion are not the domain of government. By allowing the government to become involved in marriage the country has decided marriage is a legal status, and not a religious experience/commitment. Anyone that sees marriage as a religious endeavor should be appalled that government has become involved. I would also say that for the marriage-equality movement. A year ago I posted that I wish the marriage-equality movement would take a more libertarian approach:

Having said that I wish the pro-marriage-equality movement would take a more libertarian approach: get government out of the marriage business! There is no reason within the limits of the Constitution for the government to regulate the personal relationships of citizens. Currently the marriage-equality movement is ASKING the government for the privilege to marry! Let me restate that “the marriage-equality movement is ASKING the government for the privilege to marry.” This is not how rights are supposed to work in the United States of America.

I still feel those words to be true. Had the marriage-equality activists chose to get government out of marriage I think marriage as a religious institution would have been all the better for it.

But, that is unrealistic and unlikely to ever happen. At the heart of the matter is the legal benefits that come with marriage. The legal benefits become apparent last summer when the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was found to be a violation of the US Constitution. At that time I noted that DOMA was passed, in part, to prevent people who were in a same-sex marriage or civil union from receiving federal benefits. Now those same-sex couples that are legally married by the State will be allowed access to the same federal benefits and welfare programs that other married citizens enjoy. That is the only part of the expansion of marriage I truly dislike: it will lead to an expansion of federal benefits and entitlements to more people. Yet as distasteful as I find the current entitlement policies in DC, I find it even more distasteful to outright arbitrarily classify citizens based upon the religious beliefs of some Americans. Perhaps this expansion of the entitlement state will now force social conservatives to get the government out of the business of marriage. I doubt it, but I can always hold out a little bit of hope.

For now I will watch the case with interest. I have no doubt SD Attorney General Marty Jackley will defend the case. Yet I cannot see any constitutional grounds for a Judge to side with Jackley. Instead I believe SD will make headlines when this lawsuit is done by being yet another state to rightfully overturn unconstitutional laws that create arbitrary classes of citizens.

PS. Not that it matters. But personally I don’t care one way or the other about same-sex couples getting married. What other people choose to do with their lives is no business of mine.

Categories: Rights, South Dakota Tags:

Constitution Party of SD will hold State Convention in Sioux Falls on June 21

May 21, 2014 1 comment

A heads up to all members of the Constitution Party of South Dakota. The party will be hosting the state convention in Sioux Falls on June 21. Tickets can purchased on Constitution Party of South Dakota website. Here is the information on this event:

CP150x150Constitution Party of South Dakota State Convention 2014

The Constitution Party of South Dakota will be holding its state convention on Saturday, June 21st in Sioux Falls.  This fun and informative event takes place in meeting rooms A & B of the main library located at:  200 N. Dakota Avenue in Sioux Falls.

The event will start at 10:00 am and admission includes a catered lunch.  A limited number of vendor tables will also be available to showcase your small business or services, set-up will start at 9:00 am.

We are excited to be bringing back Constitutional Attorney Richard D. Fry to South Dakota.  This time he will be teaching a workshop at our state convention titled, “The Dirty Dozen:  What every constitutional officer should know”.   He will be covering all the bases with great information we all should learn.  CP members and the public are welcome to join us!

As we head into the general election season, it is very important that we offer the voters of South Dakota some great choices on the ballot in November.  We will be nominating candidates for the following statewide offices:

  • Attorney General
  • State Auditor
  • State Treasurer
  • Secretary of State
  • Public Utilities Commissioner
  • Commissioner of School and Public Lands

All serious candidates wanting to have their name entered into nomination for any of the above offices will receive complimentary admission into convention.  You MUST contact State Chairwoman Lori Stacey by June 10th to have your name printed on our HAND-COUNTED paper ballots. An additional blank line for each office will be provided on ballot for write-in votes of any additional candidates entered into nomination at convention.  ALL candidates will be entered into nomination from the floor.  The actual voting for nominations will be done by Constitution Party members only.  Voter registration forms will be available for guests wishing to participate that are not currently CP members.


1 Adult (includes lunch)  $17.89
2 Adults (includes lunch) $30.00
Vendor table plus 2 adult admissions & lunch $50.00

Seating and vendor tables are limited.  You must RSVP your advance purchase by either using the drop-down menu on button below by credit/debit card or paypal or contact Lori Stacey for payments by check or cash at

See you at the convention!!!

Lowe comes out ahead of Wismer in Brookings QA session

May 21, 2014 4 comments
Susan Wiser and Joe Lowe at the QA session in Brookings

Susan Wiser and Joe Lowe at the QA session in Brookings

Yesterday evening I took a drive down to Brookings in order to see what I thought was going to be a debate between the two Democrats in the SD gubernatorial primary. Unfortunately the event was not a debate, and instead was a QA session. I really had hoped to see candidates Joe Lowe and Susan Wismer go head to head with their ideas. Even though this was not a debate I feel Lowe treated it more like one and provided more actual ideas (he even took some jabs at Wismer).

This is the second time I’ve seen both candidates together. The first time was during the the Oglala Lakota College candidate forum. During the OLC event I felt Lowe trampled over Wismer. My opinion has not changed based upon this QA session. In fact I think Lowe did a much better job at actually providing solutions and answering questions. There were a couple of questions that Wismer spent way too long bashing Republicans, and didn’t really provide any solutions. Joe also took jabs at Republicans, but spent more of his time actually providing his solution to move forward.

I can’t vote in the Democrat primary so I’m not going to provide a question by question analysis. There was a progressive blogger in attendance. See her post over at Sustainable Dakota for a different take on this event. She also has a link to some videos she took during the Brookings QA session.

Below I have embedded the audio from this event for anyone that wants to listen to the candidates own words. The MP3 file can also be downloaded by clicking this link: Lowe & Wismer QA session. The file is 75 minutes long and has a download size of 68MB.

I also live-tweeted the event. Here are my tweets from the QA session in Brookings. (please ignore the many misspellings and blatant grammatical errors).

  • At the Brookings library, waiting for the Lowe/Wiser debate May 20, 2014 
  • Host mentioned this is NOT a debate, rather it is a QA session with the candidates. May 21, 2014 
  • There is already a long list of questions the locals have submitted for answering. May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer up first with opening remarks. May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer going through her history, including the history of her family in politics as Democrats May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said South Dakota needs more balance in Pierre, better competition for ideas. May 21, 2014 
  • Wsmer sums up end of her opening statement by saying she is running for young people May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe now with his opening statement, starts saying he has been hitting road hard campaigning. May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe picking up with calling Daugaard mean-spirited for not expanding Medicaid May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe mentions the legislature getting a per-diem raise while state employees didn’t get that (Wismer got that per-diem raise) May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer sums by saying we can do better for the state. May 21, 2014 
  • Question about what to do to replace and enhance Ed funding May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe would get rid of the 3% cap on the districts May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe highlighting how different districts can’t be treated the same. May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says the sustanability of any solution must be looked at. He would suggest 1% tourist tax for four months to raise Ed money May 21, 2014 
  • He would want the voters to decide if the 1% tourist tax is what the state wants. May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said she started thinking of running for Governor in the budget cut year May 21, 2014 
  • Highlights the cuts were not actually neccesary May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer says education does not have an advocate in Pierre, and says the Republicans do everything behind closed doors May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer says someone from Republican party needs to stand up and say things are wrong May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer sharing a story about an administrator job that couldnt’ be filled in a school district, due to low pay May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer often tells that story to show it is not a school district problem at all, but purely the fault of Pierre May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said the “Powers of the state” (lobbyists) prevents any attempt to raise more revenue to pay for education May 21, 2014 
  • New question. Should Medicaid be expanded, as per ACA, and how to fund it May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer says funding is not an issue, it is such a ‘nominal’ ammount May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer says the state treasury would gain money if Medicaid expansion (presumably from more health services sold). May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer closing that question with “its the law” May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says Daugaard stepped over the line because he doesn’t trust fed gov on Medicaid expansion, but OK with other half of SD budget May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe implies Daugaard didn’t expand Medicaid because he doesn’t like the administration in the WH May 21, 2014 
  • Question about equality for LGBT in all apsects May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says absolutely May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says we have to respect each other and values. May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer says she definitely supports equality May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer mentions PA and Oregon successes in this area recently May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer is tired of legislators in Pierre with old simple ideas May 21, 2014 
  • Questions about Death Penalty. Good question!f May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer is opposed to the Death penalty. May 21, 2014 
  • But she also said she has never been in the position of a victimes family. So she understands the other side. May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer would suppport repealing death penalty May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe said he seen a low of death with him time in fire fighting industry. Says it is not pretty May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe would definitely support the Death Penalty. People who commit ed hanious crimes deserve it May 21, 2014 
  • Live-tweeting the SD Dem gubernatorial QA in Brookings May 21, 2014 
  • Question about uranium mining May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe brings up historical problems with uranium mining. Says we as SD shouldn’t want the Black Hills to have contaminated water May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe said the few jobs aren’t worth the great possible environmental risk May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe brings up problems if there is a uranium fire (using his fire fighter experience to answer this) May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer relates a story of her husband being part of the cleanup where they built “the bomb” and also cleaning nuclear plants May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer has concern about uranium mining, mentions this new mining would be different than what has been done May 21, 2014 
  • But, Wismer said she is not absolutely opposed to uranium mining, because she doesn’t know enough about it May 21, 2014 
  • Style-wise: Lowe loves to roam in front of podium talking, WIsmer likes to stand behind the podlium May 21, 2014 
  • KXL question May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer asks why would do anything that would hurt our land and tourism industry May 21, 2014 
  • She has concerns about the pipeline and would be very leary of it, especially with its route May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe said he would hever as a legislator or governor take away the ability of state to regulate uranium mining (dig at WIsmer) May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe highlights the jobs promised by KXL are temp, and has many possible economic downsides May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says Kalimizoo River history shows this is a bad idea, the spill there is still there May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe mentions the steel being made for the pipeline comes from China and India, not America May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe mentions a foreign company exercising eminent domain in US for KXL May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe also mentions KXL will go through land with treaty obligation (reservation) May 21, 2014 
  • Question about Economic Development plan May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe mentions the bad deal with Manpower May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says he would follow best practices. The new trend he likes is develop the human capital within the state May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says industry and tech schools should work together May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe mentions tech schools need to look at needs of industries May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says there need to be transportation hubs to bring good in/out of state, and need qualified workers May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe said make university R&D more available to private sector May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says public-private partnership work May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer mentioned bad outcomes from companies coming in, and failing after getting taxpayer dollars May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer mentions the problems with Dairys and EB-5, plus mentions Norther Beef May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer said it “doesn’t sit well” to buy way into country (EB-5) May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer mentioned Building South Dakota was allowed more Dem input, after it had failed on ballot last fall May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer highlighting successes she sees in Building South Dakota program May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer mentioned Building South Dakota was gutted by Daugaard this year (thereby taking away the Dems victories) May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer mentioned vocational programs that had to be cut after Daugaards big budget cut a few years ago May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer said if state isn’t willing to pay for education, the private sector has to step in May 21, 2014 
  • On that questions: Lowe spent most time saying how he would promote econ dev, Wismer spent most of her time talking about how done now May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer finished by saying educaiton is important for econ dev May 21, 2014 
  • Asked if SD has a fair tax system May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said the tax system has been patched for thirty years, said SD has strange tasxes other states don’t May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer mentions contractor excise tax, lotto tax, unclaimed property. May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer said a change of priorities would help. She is also promoting the Mainstreet Fairness ACT (Internet tax) May 21, 2014 
  • INternet Sales Tax that is May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says SD has one of the most regressive tax systems in the US May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says we have a structural budget deficit. Says it needs to be looked at. And new ways to make taxes fair and sustainable May 21, 2014 
  • Questons about mass transit in SD May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe is surprised there isn’t train service between bigger cities in SD May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says we need to support mass transit, tying this back to the transportation hubs he spoke about in earlier question May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says there is mass transit in her county, for senior citizens. (scheduled buses?) May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer said viability of mass transit have to be looked at, especially west river May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer cannot say she in favor of mass transit in SD May 21, 2014 
  • Question, how can governor promote better family planning May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer wants to get government out of family planning altogether May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said “I’m not used to expanding on things” May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe said planned parenthood and other organizations exist, no need for governor to get into it May 21, 2014 
  • Question if there is hypocracy in SD (Pierre) because we take so much fed money May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe relates story about this. Too long to tweet, but shows the hypocracy May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer highlights how some state agencies were able to get more money from feds after state budget cut a few years ago May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer said SD is proud to make things work with little money, says that since the feds “are so far away” we don’t see the hypocricy May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer says Republicans in SD get elected by promising no new taxes May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer thinks there is a lack of good citizenship causing a decline May 21, 2014 
  • Q: would winner offer Lt Gov to loser May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer won’t speculate on that May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer mentions LT gov has different strengths that are required May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe backs up a question, and mentions how SD balanced budget on stimulus money May 21, 2014 
  • One more question. What personality traits, abilities, etc make you best suited to be gov May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says he has proven leadership. (Takes a few good shots at Daugaard) May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe said he got things done working in executive branch, and got respect from people that didn’t agree with his politics May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe mentioned only Cuba, China, and North Korea have one-party rule longer than SD May 21, 2014 
  • Lowe says he is not afraid of Daugaard, and wants to go toe-to-toe with him in the general May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer said a governor is hired as someone to establish policy May 21, 2014 
  • WIsmer thinks it will be important in the general election to have someone that can appeal to the moderates May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer mentions her “lifelong history in the state”… is she finally taking a dig at Lowe? May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said her six years in the legislature makes her in a good position to hold Daugaard accountable during general election May 21, 2014 
  • Wismer said frustrations with feds needs to be disconnected from what happens in Pierre May 21, 2014 
  • That is it for the Brookings Dem gubernatorial primary QA May 21, 2014 

OLC candidate forum part 4: questions from the public

May 20, 2014 3 comments
QA portion of the OLC candidate forum

QA portion of the OLC candidate forum

This last Friday, May 16,  the the Oglala Lakota College (OLC) hosted a South Dakota Congressional, Senatorial and Gubernatorial Candidates forum. So far I’ve written three posts dealing with this event: a brief recap of the event, a look at the SD gubernatorial candidates, and then a look at the SD US Senate and US House candidates. Now it is time for the final post in this series: the quests asked of the candidates by the public. 

Two of the candidates from the gubernatorial forum (Hubbel and Wismer) had to leave by this time due to other commitments. That left five candidates still around to answer questions from the crowd. Still left from the gubernatorial forum was Joe Lowe (D) and Mike Myers (I). Remaining from the US Senate race was Stace Nelson (R) and Jason Ravnsborg (R). And finally from the US House race was Corinna Robinson (D).

This portion of the forum was quite short, clocking in at only 30 minutes (by this point the event had already gone on about 3 1/2 hours). I’ve embedded the audio from the QA session below. The MP3 of this portion can also be downloaded by clicking this link: OLC Forum Q&A. The file is 30 minutes long and has a download size of 28MB.

Here are some notes/thoughts on the questions and answers portion of the candidates forum:

  • One Party Rule Question – The first audience member mentioned that people tend to vote how their parents and grandparents vote. He also noted it is quite unusual that the Republican candidates are asking something odd by pleading with reservation voters to temporarily switch their registration just to vote in the primary. The audience member calls Rounds a “one issue candidate” with no real plans beyond killing Obamacare. He also notes the Republican party has been in charge in SD a long time, and has a bad reputation (I think he means on the reservations in particular). The question was then directed at Nelson asking him why the voters should trust his Republican party when the party has destroyed this state.
    • Nelson – Nelson makes the case that there are a lot of people going around calling themselves Republicans that truly are not Republicans. He specifically goes after Rounds for his record of exploded government spending and crony capitalism. Nelson says he doesn’t consider that to be asking like a Republican, and he won’t be held responsible for what Rounds does. Nelson says there are a lot of people in the Republican party register that way just to be elected. Nelson then brought up Rounds by mentioning a millionaire insurance agent ‘loosing sleep’ over his dad’s health insurance. Stace also said that traditionally native Americans have been limited government people, and he called native Americans the ‘epitome of libertarians”.
    • My Thoughts – This was a tough question. I think Stace did pretty good on it… But… I do think there is a lot of reason for there to be mistrust of the Republican party by the tribes. It will take more effort from the party as a whole to fix the disconnect between the establishment SD GOP and the reservations. All I could think during this question was that another Russel Means is needed in the modern world.
  • Native American Adoptions – This is a story everyone should listen to. I’m not going to try summarizing what this audience member (Doug) has to say. Most of the real bad parts of the story are not in this audio because I heard those details later. The question was then asked as to how are the politicians going to help people if they are going to run away (Daugaard had avoided talking to this person). This couple had spoken to a LOT of people in all the right places and is getting no help; and children are suffering due to it.
    • Robinson – Said congressional delegates should continue to bring attention to the issue. (from what I’ve heard of the situation, our current congressional delegates have not tried bringing attention to the issue).
    • Ravnsborg – Jason is an attorney. He offered to speak with the couple after the event (which he did).
    • Lowe – Brought up the fact he has never ran from anything and has heard other says Daugaard has run from issues like this. Lowe outright said Daugaard will not look people in the eye and help people in situations such as this.
    • Nelson – Mentions he had talked to Doug before, and that he had recommended going through the California AG (that is where the children are now). He also recommended Doug take up Ravnsborg’s offer to speak with him, since he is a practicing attorney.
    • Doug – The audience member brought up the candidates need to work on communications between the tribes and state. He said both sides need to stop worrying about who gets credit, and focus on the children. Doug also mentioned Sen Johnson sits on the committee that handles ICWA. That is very relevant to Nelson and Ravnsborg, since they are running for Johnson’s Senate seat.
    • Lowe – Lowe mentioned working for Janklow, and the fact he would listen to people. He said Jankow would have called the CA governor. The implication being that Daugaard isn’t the type to do that.
    • My Thoughts – I’m not going to go into this topic at this time. I heard a few other adoption stories that evening in Kadoka, a couple of which were even worse than the one shared this audience member. This is an issue I am looking more into. Previously I had ignored this issue due to my own bias; my bias is to think anything to do with government is bad, so yes government involvement with adoptions and foster homes is going to create problems. Unfortunately I let me bias for thinking something was bad keep myself from looking more into the topic. If I had done so I would have realized the situation was much worse than even I would have expected. This is a time where people (especially the senatorial and congressional candidates) need to drop any pre-conceived notions and dig deeper into the issue.
  • Media Missing From this Event. Tara Volesky  (Mike Myers campaign staff) took a moment to tear into the white mainstream media for not covering this event. Tara mentioned the great amount of work done by the OLC library staff to hold this event. Then she specifically called out Daugaard for not attending; and Rounds for not even replying to the invitation. Tara then asked the candidates if they knew of any more televised debates from the mainstream media coming up.
    • Ravsnborg – Jason mentioned he believes there is a KELO GOP Senatorial debate being televised on May 28. As far as he knows Nelson and himself have confirmed the event. He also has the understanding that Rounds is not attending the debate.
    • Lowe – Joe mentioned the SDPB Democrat Primary debate on SDPB TV May 29th.
    • My Thoughts – The tragedy here is the debate that is missing: the Republican Primary Gubernatorial debate that Dauggard declined. There was no attempt to try rescheduling the debate. Daugaard apparently doesn’t feel the need to answer to constituents.
  • Cryptocurrency Question – Payu Harris mentions the Mazacoin, the cryptocurrency officially adopted by the Traditional Lakota Nation. He asked the candidates is they would work on appropriate regulations for cryptocurrency that would take into account sales tax, income tax, etc. This would basically show the currency is ready for primetime and allow it to grow.
    • Nelson – He supports cryptocurrency in principle. He would have to see legislation before he could do anything about it.
    • Robinson – Thinks it would be worth looking into.
    • Ravnsborg – Has interest in the topic.
    • Myers – I like Myers, but he didn’t really answer this. Just said it was disappointing establishment politicians were not here.
    • My Thoughts – This is an issue I have a lot of hope for. It is also a tough question because few people understand cryptocurrencies and what they are truly about. I’ve used Bitcoins and Litecoins before, and advocate for their use. Regarding politics, cryptocurrencies such as Mazacoin have even greater potential when it comes to transparency. Yes it is true that often cryptocurrencies are used to ‘hide’ transactions. But the reality is this: all transactions using cryptocurrencies are out in the open. If used correctly, cryptocurrencies could bring a whole new level of transparency to campaign finances.

I don’t really have any final thoughts on this portion of the forum. The QA session for me was more about discovering issues that I as a blogger should be digging deeper into. I look forward to attending future events at the  Woksape Tipi Library. It is well worth the drive!

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