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Brown County Republicans Reagan lunch and Spink County Republicans Family Picnic

September 10, 2014 Comments off
Brock Greenfield coaching Clark's amateur baseball team. Photo by Ken Santema.

Brock Greenfield coaching Clark’s amateur baseball team. Photo by Ken Santema.

Tomorrow, September 11, the Brown County Republicans will be hosting their Reagan Lunch. This month the feature is speaker is District 2 Republican State Representative Brock Greenfield. Greenfield is running for District 2 State Senator this fall against the Democrat incumbent Chuck Welke. The District 2 State Senate race will be a tough battle for both candidates. It should be fun to watch how this election will turn out.

Here is the announcement of the Reagan Lunch provided by the Brown County Democrats:

Come join other fellow Republicans for lunch at the Victory Center Office (1205 6th Ave SW). The lunch is free but if you want to donate you will be able to do so. The Reagan Lunch will be at noon on Thursday, September 11th, 2014.
Brock Greenfield, currently District 2 Representative, will be our special speaker.

For those wishing to attend take special note it is at the Victory office in Aberdeen, and not at a restaurant this time.

In other local Republican news. The Spink County Republicans are hosting their family picnic on Sunday, September 14, in Redfield. The event will be from noon to 3:00pm at the Historic C&NW Depot. The picnic is free, but there will be a donation bucket available. This event will also have a candidate meet and greet. Last year’s picnic was a great event. While there I was able to speak with 3 hopefuls in the Republican US Senate Primary and 2 Republicans that were looking to run for Commissioner of School and Public Lands.

I would urge all local Republicans to attend one or both of the events. The political process works best when more people are involved.

Republican meet and greet with Rounds in Aberdeen today

August 4, 2014 Comments off

roundsaberdeenmgThis evening there is a Meet & Greet in Aberdeen celebrating the opening of the Brown County Republican Volunteer Center. Here are the details from the events invitation:

When: Monday, August 4

Where: 1205 6th Ave SW, Aberdeen

Time: stop by any time between 5:30-7:00pm

 

Join Mike Rounds, State Auditor Steve Barnett, Secretary of State Candidate, Shantel Krebs, State Senator Al Novstrup and State Rep. David Novstrup at the Meet and Greet.  Hot dogs and Hamburgers will be grilled.

The Grassroots Express will be coming along with a sno-cone machine.

Bring the entire family for a great time.

This is actually a pretty good chance to meet some candidates. Here is a rundown of the confirmed candidates in attendance:

  • Mike Rounds – US Senate Race – Rounds is the expected winner of the US Senate seat this fall. He has an incumbent-like advantage in this race.
  • Steve Barnett – SD State Auditor race – Barnett is a well-liked politician from the Aberdeen area. Currently he is unopposed in his re-election bid. There may be a candidate running against him after the Libertarian Party state convention this Saturday. But even if someone does run against him it will be a tough battle. Steve is well-liked and hasn’t seemed to do anything wrong on his job.
  • Shantel Krebs – SD Secretary of State race – Krebs is looking to replace current SOS Gant in Pierre this fall. She has experience as a legislator and business owner. With her experience, energizer-bunny intensity, and Republican label she will be tough to beat this year. Local Democrat Angelia Schultz can maybe give her a battle if she can find the financial support within the SDDP to run a true campaign. Lori Stacey of the Constitution Party is hoping the voters will look her way this year. And finally the Libertarian Party will likely choose Emmett Reistroffer to run for this office. So far I think only Schultz will give Krebs a good battle. Part of me fears Stacey and Reisroffer will focus purely on election issues. Election issues are important, but they are not the only aspect of the SOS office.
  • Al Novstrup – District 3 State Representative Race  – Al is switching from State Senate to the State House; which will allow David to continue his tenure in Pierre. Local Democrat Burt Elliott is in the race this year. It is expected Elliott will take a lot of votes. That means Al Novstrup and the other Republican Dan Kaiser are going to have to work hard to keep both seats in their party. Right now I give Novstrup an advantage over Elliott and Kaiser, but the election is still a long way away…  The fourth person in this race, Democrat Pat Hale, is unlikely to have any true impact.
  • David Novstrup – District 3 State Senate race – David was term-limited in the House so will try for the District 3 Senate Seat. He is running against city council member Mark Remily. This is a race the Democrats really want to win. I can see the SDDP giving financial support to Remily in this race if they have enough faith in him (and if they can find money).

I’ll be there this evening to speak with the candidates. Have I said before how happy I am to be a political geek in South Dakota? I’ve lived in states where it is almost impossible to meet candidates without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a plate of food. Even the candidates I write blog posts against have been gracious and are always willing to speak with me. South Dakota is truly a great state. Not once have I regretted moving back here.

About the SD GOP resolution calling for Obama’s Impeachment

June 23, 2014 7 comments
Bush-Obama Image Source Unknown

Bush-Obama
Image Source Unknown

Yesterday I noted the SD GOP state convention was pretty boring in its selection of candidates. That is not necessarily true in its passage of resolutions. One resolution in particular has garnered South Dakota quite a bit of national attention. By a vote of 191-176 delegate passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Obama.

Before continuing this post I will get three statements out of the way:

  1. I support the idea of this resolution due to the many illegal activities performed against civil liberties by the Obama administration.
  2. I supported the same idea of impeaching President GW Bush for the many illegal activities performed against civil liberties by the Bush administration.
  3. The chance of any President actually getting impeached is so slight that it might as well be considered impossible.

With that out of the way it is time to look at the actual resolution. Here is what a delegate sent me as the text of this resolution:

WHEREAS, The president of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and protect it from all enemies both foreign and domestic,
WHEREAS, The president has violated his oath of office in numerous ways with the latest being the release of five terrorists in exchange for a soldier without consulting Congress as required by law,
WHEREAS, The president of the United States has willfully and wantonly lied to the American people telling them they can keep their insurance company, and they can keep their doctor under Obama Care, prior to an election,
WHEREAS, The president has ordered Federal Agencies to enact rules (laws) that threaten the security of the people of this great nation (EPA regulations) by passing Congress and usurping its authority,
WHEREAS, the president has abused his executive privilege usurping his authority as decided by numerous federal courts,
WHEREAS, The Constitution and Declaration of Independence are very clear on the authority of the President and the Federal Government, and when they violate their oath it is the right, it is the duty of the American people to act,
WHEREAS, America was designed as a Lex Rex (the law is king) rather than a Rex Lex (The King is the law) system of government. It is a government of the people, by the people and for the people.
THEREFORE, be it resolved that the South Dakota Republican Party calls on our U.S. Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States.

I definitely agree with some of the WHEREAS statements, yet I could build a similar list for Bush (or almost any previous President). There are a couple of  WHEREAS statements I would like to focus on a little bit.

Yes, the move by Obama to exchange POW’s was technically illegal since the President is required by the NDAA to notify Congress of such actions 30 days ahead of time. Yet it is the establishment war hawks in DC (from both parties) that have created this situation by keeping the Guantanamo Bay detention center open. If politicians truly cared about such situations they would work hard to end our interventionist wars and close Guantanamo Bay now; as opposed to playing political games in order to keep it open for at least another year. I somehow failed to see the SD GOP pass a resolution condemning the immoral and unconstitutional facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Yes, Obama lied to Americans and many people (including me) received letters saying their insurance would be cancelled. But should it be any surprise that a major piece of legislation that was written by special interest groups and unread by those voting on it (or signing it in Obama’s case) would be based upon lies? I never believed Obama. I can only think that enough people believed his “hope and change” campaign enough to think he was honest. Too bad they are just now realizing Obama was just a double-down on the same bad big-government policies of GW. I somehow failed to see the SD GOP pass a resolution condemning the many lies perpetrated by the Bush administration.

In order for an impeachment to actually happen the US House of Representatives would have to pass the resolution with a simple majority vote. Then the Senate must concur with that resolution by a 2/3 majority vote. Even if the resolution passes the House (which I doubt), it would be very unlikely to even be taken up in the Senate.

Basically this resolution was a political statement by the SD GOP. The resolution might have had more impact if the politicians representing the Republican Party would actually support small-government policies all the time.. instead of just when it suits their candidates.

For comparison, below is the resolution to impeach Bush (H.Res. 1258 – 110th) introduced by Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) in 2008. Bonus question to those saying the impeach Obama resolution is the work of anarchistic anti-government Tea Party types: did you make similar statements about Kucinich in 2008 for doing basically the same thing?

Impeaches President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors.
Sets forth articles of impeachment stating that President Bush, in violation of his oath of office:
(1) illegally spent public dollars on a secret propaganda program to manufacture a false cause for war against Iraq;
(2) misused intelligence reports to deceive Congress and the public about a connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001;
(3) mislead Congress and the public into believing that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an imminent threat to the United States;
(4) illegally misspent funds to begin a war in secret prior to congressional authorization;
(5) invaded Iraq in violation of U.S. law, the United Nations Charter, and international criminal law and failed to obtain a declaration of war;
(6) failed to protect U.S. troops in Iraq by not providing them with body and vehicle armor and promoted false stories about the deaths and injuries of members of the U.S. military;
(7) used public funds to construct permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq;
(8) invaded Iraq to obtain control of its oil resources;
(9) created a secret task force to guide U.S. energy and military policy in usurpation of the role of Congress in legislating such policy;
(10) misused classified intelligence information and conspired to identify a covert agent of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA);
(11) established policies granting U.S. government contractors in Iraq immunity from prosecution;
(12) recklessly misspent public dollars on private contractors in Iraq;
(13) detained U.S. citizens and foreign captives indefinitely and without charge;
(14) authorized torture of captives in Afghanistan and Iraq;
(15) kidnapped and transported individuals to countries known to practice torture;
(16) authorized the arrest and detention of at least 2,500 children as enemy combatants in violation of the Geneva Convention;
(17) mislead Congress and the public about threats from Iran;
(18) created secret laws through the issuance of legal opinions by the Department of Justice and violated the Posse Comitatus Act;
(19) authorized warrantless electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens;
(20) directed telecommunication companies to create databases of the private telephone numbers and emails of U.S. citizens;
(21) used signing statements to claim the right to violate laws enacted by Congress;
(22) failed to comply with congressional subpoenas and instructed former executive branch employees not to comply with such subpoenas;
(23) tampered with the conduct of free and fair elections and corrupted the administration of justice;
(24) conspired to violate the voting rights of U.S. citizens;
(25) pursued policies calculated to destroy the Medicare program;
(26) failed to prepare for the predictable disasters caused by Hurricane Katrina;
(27) mislead Congress and the public in an effort to undermine efforts to address global climate change; and
(28) failed to take proper steps to protect the United States against the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, obstructed investigations into such attacks, and recklessly endangered the health of first responders near the site of such attacks.

SD College Republicans Music Video

June 11, 2014 1 comment

The South Dakota College Republicans (SDCR) earlier this week released a YouTube music video that has actually been getting a fair amount of views. I think it is worth a view from everyone for one simple fact: it is created by millenials who are interested in the political process! I think it is great to see young people getting engaged in politics and using modern technology for activist work. I think the Democrat version of college students in South Dakota should be doing similar things (if they are please let me know, I’ll pass that on as well).

As to the actual content of the video. I think the SDCR’s do a good job of showing Obama pushing his millennial supporters away. I would however say that the average disenfranchised Obama supporter is not turning to Reagan (as is implied in the video). Instead I would say between George W Bush and Barack Obama that most politically aware millenials I’ve talked to are learning not to trust the promises of any big party candidate. If young Republicans are able to push for a more efficient and transparent small-government agenda they could make some headway and gain some numbers. A good follow-up to this video would be to show what a post-Obama political landscape should look like.

Here is the actual video:

Brown County Republicans Reagan Lunch this Thursday at Minervas

May 6, 2014 Comments off

It is that time of month again for the Brown County Republicans Reagan Lunch. This month there will be two guest speakers. Below is the info sent out in the Brown County Republicans newsletter. Anyone planning to attend must take note that this meeting will be at Minervas!

Reagan Lunch

Thursday, May 8, 2014

at Minervas (Noon)

Larry Rhoden and Shantel Krebs

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” Ronald Reagan

Come join us at the Ramkota (MINERVAS) onThursday, May 8th for lunch.  Notice the change in venue.  Larry Rhoden, US Senate Candidate and Shantel Krebs, Candidate for the Secretary of State position will be our guest speakers.  Meet Larry and Shantel and listen to why you should vote for them.  Lunch will be in the restaurant for a cost if you decide to eat.  The lunch is casual and social.  Bring a friend. We hope to see you there!

I would recommend anyone in the area come. One of the great things about South Dakota is the accessibility of politicians and candidates at events such as this. Just remember the lunch this month is at Minervas!

Status quo Republican candidates and their false campaign promises of overturning Roe v Wade

May 5, 2014 5 comments

The 2014 election season is going strong. As with any election season the subject of abortion is already coming out in the literature of political campaigns in the Republican Party. For many people this is their most important topic when choosing a candidate. It is also the topic where I see Republican status quo politicians break their campaign promises once they make it to DC.

Before going on I will say this post is not about which side of the abortion debate I fall on. As full disclosure I will say I fall with most Americans that are somewhere between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice; therefore I believe abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances (in my case I believe those ‘certain circumstances’ should be rare). See the Gallup poll trend below to see how the public generally falls on abortion.

2014-05-05_10-25-34

Gallup poll trends on public perception of abortions from 1975-2013

What this post is really about is the promise, either directly or implied, from status quo Republican politicians that they will overturn Roe v Wade via legislation. Status quo DC politicians typically ignore their campaign promises when they get elected; and in particular DC Republican status quo politicians seem to ‘forget’ their Right-to-Life promises as soon as they get sworn in.

Proof of this lack of willpower to keep campaign promises can be seen during the Bush years where there was a period of Republicans holding a majority in both houses (2003-2006). If status quo Republican politicians were going to actually take steps to overturn Roe v Wade that would have been their opportunity. Even though the opportunity was there, DC Republican status quo politicians failed to take actions on their campaign promises.

2005 provided the best opportunity for Republicans to actually try overturning Roe v Wade. In that year the Sanctity of Life Act (HR 776) was brought forth by Representative Ron Paul. This Act basically said that legal personhood begins directly after conception. It would have also prevented federal courts from overturning abortion laws enacted by States. This is the legislative equivalent of what status quo Republican politicians had been promising each election cycle. The bill only received five co-sponsors and died in committee without a hearing.

Rep Paul tried again in 2007 (HR 1094, HR 2597), 2009 (HR 2533), and 2011 (HR 1096). Each of those attempts were sent to subcommittees so the bill could be killed without a public hearing.

Personally I don’t feel any of those attempts would have made it through a filibuster in the Senate. But that isn’t the point. The point is the status quo DC Republicans didn’t even attempt to pass this legislation that would have kept their campaign promise to overturn Roe v Wade. Many of the status quo politicians relied heavily upon RTL groups in order to get elected; yet these same politicians ignored the RTL groups after making it to DC.

As the 2014 election proceeds I would recommend anyone voting purely based on Right-to-Life issues to avoid status quo Republican politicians. They typically love to make campaign promises to end abortion; yet when it comes time to actually make good on those promises they outright avoid any attempts to publicly vote on abortion once elected. Instead you might be better off looking at candidates that will actually make good on their promise to fight against the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions. That is another RTL stance that status quo politicians love to talk about, yet somehow fail to actually push legislation on.

Notes about Dusty Johnson and Mike Rounds at the Brown County Republicans Reagan lunch

January 9, 2014 12 comments
Dusty Johnson speaking in Aberdeen

Dusty Johnson speaking in Aberdeen

Today the Brown County Republicans hosted their monthly Reagan lunch. I’ve been going to these events for months, and I would say this had just about the best attendance. The guest speaker was Dusty Johnson, Governor Daugaard’s Chief of Staff. Following Dusty was Mike Rounds, former South Dakota governor currently seeking to win the Republican US Senate primary. Both speakers were well worth listening to today. In this post I will briefly pass on some highlights and some personal thoughts about their message.

Dusty Johnson started off by letting people know what exactly a Chief of Staff is. Basically the chief of staff is the equivalent of a Chief Operating Officer at a corporation. This means Dusty has to deal with the daily operations of the executive branch in Pierre and answers directly to Governor Daugaard. This is part of the reason I love these events, I get to find out what exactly people do in Pierre.

Dusty said one thing during the beginning of his speech that I think is worthy of repeating: “If good people are in government there is a better chance of good government.” I actually agree with that statement completely. As a limited-government advocate I believe in small government. But no matter the size government, it will only be as good as those involved. When people go to the polls this fall they should heed that statement and vote accordingly.

Talking about the upcoming 2014 South Dakota legislative session Dusty mentioned a few economic issues he feel will be hot. He expects dealing with the governor’s budget to be a top hot issue. He mentioned 85% of the budget goes to education or programs that are designed to help people. Of course included in that hot topic will be how to best spend this sudden surge of one-time money. I think this will be an interesting issue to watch over the next couple of months.

Dusty also spoke briefly about economic development. He said the session would likely include a lot of policy discussion and forensic discussions. In his view the legitimate discussion should be about how much state government should do in regards to economic development. The discussion should include infrastructure items and determining what beyond that is the realm of a good conservative economic development program. I actually hope he is right that this discussion will take place. Personally I think scandal aspects of the EB-5/Benda situation may overshadow any legitimate discussion.

Common Core came up as a question to Dusty. He started off by saying that we should be nervous about federal intervention into our children’s education. He did specify that Common Core is not technically a federal program; but that dangling a carrot in front of states so we can get some of our taxpayer dollars is basically the same thing as a federal mandated program. He went on to say there should be some basic standards to be used within the state, and that South Dakota should be deciding for itself what standards we use. Dusty called himself a true federalist and as such believes education clearly is left to the states.

When answering a question about why Governor Daugaard didn’t close all schools in the state like Minnesota, I believe Dusty inadvertently gave a good answer to common core as well. Dusty said Daugaard did not close the schools because we had a lot of diversity in weather temps throughout the state and it was thought the decisions of whether kids can go to school should be left to the school boards and the parents. I believe I will steal a variation of this answer from Dusty to use in future Common Core posts.

Mike Rounds in Aberdeen

Mike Rounds in Aberdeen

After Dusty was done speaking it was Mike Rounds time to give a short speech. For full disclosure I openly support someone else in the Republican primary, but I came into this meeting with an open mind and am going to write this post accordingly. I will simply pass on a few notes and thoughts about Rounds speech.

First I have to say this is a different Mike Rounds than I have ever seen live, or on videos. Mike spoke passionately and talked about specifics. In the past I have found Rounds to be an almost boring speaker, but not today. I don’t know if his campaign team has been coaching him, or if he was trying outdo Dusty, but whatever change he has made is working. His new approach definitely has the potential to get crowds actively supporting him; instead of just voting for him because they know his name. If he keeps this up the other Republicans in the primary might have to step their game up a bit.

Rounds did talk about out-of-state money. Many have been critical of his campaign for seeking such high amounts of campaign funds, especially from outside states. Mike said this was due in a large part because of the Super-PACs that helped to swing elections in 2012. He may find himself having to defend himself against large sums of money spent on attack adds aimed at taking him down. I have to agree with Rounds on that, this is an eventuality he has to prepare for and one I find quite likely.

Rounds mentioned the biggest problem he sees in DC right now is that Congress is letting the executive branch do whatever it wants. He went on to say his first priority if he becomes Senator would be to become part of a team of Republicans that will unify to reduce regulation.

The Aberdeen American News was there, so I will let them report on the specifics of what Rounds said. But I will say that Rounds was doing a good job of actually specifying conservative stances, instead of being general. Most of these were standard issues such as getting rid of the federal Department of Education, stopping Obamacare, and removing burdensome regulations. With this new-found surge of passion and talking about the issues Mike is acting more like someone who really wants to be a US Senator. It will be interesting to see if this lasts and how it impacts the Republican primary.

After the meeting I did speak briefly with Mr Rounds on a few issues. He does stand by the EB-5 program and believes at its core the foreign investment of money has helped the US economy. He pointed out that many small businesses are still applying for EB-5 money and that only cases such as the Aberdeen Beef Plant get any attention. I think we will find out in June if Republican voters agree with Mr Rounds on his stance.

As always the Brown County Republicans held an informative event that was worthy of attending. I recommend anyone interested in politics on any level to attend these monthly Reagan lunches.

PS. Even after this meeting I still don’t support Mike Rounds, but I think the other candidates have to take into account this new surge of passion from Mike.

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