Archive for April, 2017

Test post of new SoDakLiberty

April 28, 2017 Comments off

This is just a test to ensure the upgrades I’ve been making to over the last week didn’t break my ability to actually blog. Actually, long story short, the upgrades did break my ability to blog for the last five days, but I think those problems are fixed now!

To the visitor there should be no noticeable difference from the old site. But, with these new upgrades in place I should now be able to implement some cool multimedia events in the future! Expect there to be more pictures and videos relating to South Dakota politics forthcoming!

Categories: Uncategorized

The GOAC meeting on Tues, April 25, is one to keep an eye on!

April 21, 2017 Comments off

Non-meandered lakes will be THE topic to keep an eye on!

On Tuesday, April 25, the legislative Government Operations & Audit Committee (GOAC) will meet in Pierre for its second meeting of the year. This is a meeting worth keeping an eye on for many reasons; I’ll go into some of those reasons as I list the agenda items below. Due to this meeting have so many big-ticket topic I plan to be in Pierre on Tuesday in order to record a video of the proceedings. Hopefully that will allow more people to see what GOAC does or doesn’t do.

The previous GOAC meeting was held on March 28 in Pierre. The minutes from that meeting can be read here.

The agenda for the upcoming April 25 meeting can be viewed here.  For this post I will briefly list each agenda items. Additionally I will add some notes pertaining to each agenda item.

Item 1 – Department of Legislative Audit to review the Single Audit Report for the State of South Dakota for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016

This agenda item has the two following documents posted online:

I haven’t had a chance to actually browse through either file yet.

Item 2 – Brand Board to review the 2016 annual report

The two documents available for this agenda item are:

Over the last few years I’ve learned the branding board is VERY important to ranchers. Cattle stealing still happens and the Brand Board is one tool used to keep rustling under control.

Item 3 – Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services to discuss Federal Communication Commission Direct Video Calling

For this agenda item the Department of Human Services (DHS) will give a presentation on Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS). The documents available for this meeting are:

Item 4 – Department of Game, Fish and Parks to discuss the discontinued access to non-meandering waters in South Dakota

Now we are up to what I think will be one of the, if not the, biggest item of the 2018 legislative session: non-meandered waters! This is a top that pits sportsmen against landowners against GFP. It is a topic I will spend more time blogging about this summer, so I will keep this particular blurb short. But I will say this is a topic everyone should be paying attention to. GFP’s move to close access to certain non-meandered lakes after a recent SD Supreme Court decision is getting a lot of attention. My next blog about this topic will be going over some of terminology and history around the topic.

Item 5 – Auditor General to provide an update on the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Special Review Report and the fiscal year 2015 Single Audit – final report to be reviewed at a future GOAC meeting

This is an ongoing issue and will continue to be HUGE. A lot of pressure is being placed on GOAC to find out everything about the GEAR-UP scandals, especially with MCEC. Recently Sen Stace Nelson (R, Dist 19) called out Rep Kyle Schoenfish (R, Dist 19)  for his firms part in auditing certain entities involved in these scandals. That will likely come up during the meeting as well. Unfortunately the Auditor General has not posted a copy of the audit update. People are demanding answers and hopefully this meeting will start to provide some of them.

Item 6 – Bureau of Human Resources to discuss:
• The length of time needed between the employment application and
the job offer
• Performance management indicators

I haven’t really looked into this agenda item….

Item 7 – Future meeting topics:

Finally, here is a list of what GOAC hopes to accomplish later in the year:

  • Juvenile Corrections Reports
  • Review the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Special Review Report
  • Department of Revenue review of performance indicators
  • Bureau of Information and Telecommunications review of performance indicators
  • University Centers financial review
  • Board of Regents application and acceptance process
  • Annual report from the Obligation Recovery Center
  • Annual reports from agencies receiving funds from the Building South Dakota Fund
  • Report from Bureau of Human Resources on compiled authorizations to derive a direct benefit from a contract
  • Report from the Auditor General on compiled authorizations to derive a direct benefit from a contract
  • Annual report from the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board
  • Review the annual work plan and report of the State Board of Internal Control
  • Annual report from the South Dakota High School Activities Association

Many of those topics will likely be blog-worthy. And all of the topics are worth keeping an eye on!

Video of Clare Lopez speaking at the Americans First, Task Force, event

April 8, 2017 1 comment

On Thursday, April 6, the Americans First, Task Force, hosted an event at the DEC in Aberdeen to address refugees in Aberdeen from a conservative viewpoint. The speaker at this event was Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. Earlier I posted about the protesters of this event. This post will focus on the video I shot at this event. As with most of these events I record, I will post these videos unedited (mostly, more on that below) and without commentary. If I find time I will blog separately about what I agree/disagree with from the event.

I have the event split into three separate YouTube videos to make it easier for people to view the portions of the event they wish. I have also included a fourth video below, which is actually a playlist including all three videos playing back to back.

The first video is the opening of the meeting and some remarks from Amy Willson, Chapter leader for Act for America SD. This video is just under nineteen minutes long.

The second video is the main presentation from Clare Lopez. It is completely unedited. It is interesting to note that she brought some things about Aberdeen specifically into her presentation. This is something many out-of-town speakers often fail to do. The video is just under one hour and eight minutes long.

The third and final video is the question and answer session with Clare Lopez. The video is just over thirty-six minutes long. I had somewhat of a technical issue filming this portion of the event. During the middle of the Q&A session I lost the video feed due to a technical issue with my camera. As always I was also recording the audio; so the audio from that portion of the Q&A session has been inserted to make the recording complete. That is the only edit to this video; no portion of this was edited for content.

Finally I will include this playlist which includes all of the three videos.

Pictures of protesters at the Americans First, Task Force meeting, plus video of organizer

April 8, 2017 Comments off

On Thursday, April 6, the Americans First, Task Force, held another event in Aberdeen revolving around the whole refugee issue. The speaker at this event was Clare Lopez of the Center for Security Policy. I will have a blog post up shortly with video I shot of her presentation. But for this post I want to focus on the protesters outside the event.

Up first is this video of a short interview with Briggs Tople. Tople is the Chair of the Aberdeen High School Democrats and spearheaded this protest effort. The video below allows Tople to explain in his own words why he felt this protest was necessary:

I think Tople should be commended for organizing this protest. Even people who do not agree with Tople should acknowledge that this young man is proactively doing something about an issue which resonates deeply.

I didn’t get a chance to get video interviews with other protesters; mostly because I wanted to get into the event and pick a good spot to record the meeting (it was a packed house). Over at Dakota Free Press there are a few videos of what other protesters had to say. I was able to get a few pictures of the protesters before the meeting started. Here are a few of those pictures:

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Protesters of the Americans First, Task Force, meeting in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 4/6/17.

Up next I’ll have the video footage I shot from within the event.

Categories: Aberdeen Tags: , ,

Blogging to resume and other quick notes

April 8, 2017 1 comment

After a few months off blogging will resume on I appreciate all the messages I received asking if everything was OK. This break from blogging had to do with working massive hours at the office and trying to complete some sections for a book. Now that tax season is basically done I will have time for some blogging once again.

On that note…

Earlier this week I attended the Americans First, Task Force meeting featuring Clare Lopez speaking about refugees. Before the meeting I was able to take some pictures of the protesters of this event and record a video with the young man who organized the event. I will have that post up later today. Additionally I was able to record the event with Clare Lopez. I will share that as well later today so the community of Aberdeen can hear what she has to say.

Going forward I am likely to do only a post or two a week on SoDakLiberty. There simply isn’t enough time to keep up with the amount of posting I used to do. 2018 already has a couple of races lining up that might be interesting. Additionally some of the possible ballot questions deserve a lot of blog space.

One final note. I am currently running for school board in Aberdeen. If you live in the Aberdeen school district I would appreciate your vote in June. As the campaign moves along I will post more information about that on my campaign Facebook page.

PS. It feels odd, yet satisfying, to be blogging again!

Categories: Uncategorized
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