GOAC meeting on Tues Aug 23

33372582On Tuesday, August 23, the Government Operations and Audit Committee (GOAC) will have its third meeting of the 2016 interim session. The meeting will begin at 9:00 AM CT in Room 413 of the State Capitol Building. The previous meeting was held on June 20. My post prior to that meeting can be viewed here, and the minutes from that meeting can be viewed here. There are future posts that will come out of that meeting which I am currently working on as part of another story, stay tuned.

The agenda for the August meeting can be viewed hereSDPB will also provide live audio for anyone wishing to listen in on the meeting.

There are eight agenda items to look at. In this post I will look very briefly at each item (I separated the ACJ in my right shoulder, have to keep my posts short for a few days):

Item 1

Department of Legislative Audit to review the calendar year 2015 audit reports of the:

  • South Dakota Authority Captive Insurance Company – Audit Report
  • South Dakota Property and Casualty Captive Insurance Company – Audit Report

The two above captive insurance companies were created by the legislature in 2015 via  HB 1185 (SoDakLiberty Posts), HB 1186 (SoDakLiberty Posts), and HB 1187 (SoDakLiberty Posts). This is to cover the great amount of assets the state owns, but has remained uninsured for all these decade.

Item 2

Follow-up information on the South Dakota Developmental Center

The SDDP was a huge focus of the previous meeting. There were unanswered questions. Personally I think there are even more questions that have yet to be asked. Perhaps that will be a future post!

Item 3

Technical Institutions of South Dakota – to discuss:

  • Student numbers
  • Programs
  • Economic impacts facing the schools
  • Salary enhancements

The Tech School instructors will also receive a pay raise this year thanks to an amendment from Rep Roger Solum (R, Dist 5) to the sales tax increase of 2016 via HB 1182 (SoDakLiberty Posts). Apparently that will be a focus for GOAC in this meeting.

Item 4

University Center in Sioux Falls to provide an update on the center

Item 5

Department of Revenue to provide an update on recently passed
legislation pertaining to the direct shipment of wine

During the 2015 legislative session HB 1001 (SoDakLiberty Posts) was passed into law. HB 1001 allowed the direct shipment of certain wines in South Dakota.

Item 6

Bureau of Human Resources to present the annual report of compiled authorizations in accordance with SDCL 5-18A-17.2. The Auditor General will provide an update on conflict waiver forms received.

Item 7

The Building South Dakota Fund annual reports from:

  • South Dakota Department of Education
  • South Dakota Housing Development Authority

Item 8

Department of Transportation to provide an update on the collection and use of additional taxes and fees raised by Senate Bill 1, 2015 Session

The SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) in question is the massive tax and fee increase from 2015 to pay for roads and bridges.

Regulation of Nursing and Assisted Living Beds Interim Committee on Tues Aug 23

32219276On Tuesday, August 23, at 9:00 am CT the Regulation of Nursing and Assisted Living Beds Interim Committee will meet in Pierre. The meeting will be held in Room 414 of the State Capital building. SDPB will also provide live audio for anyone wishing to listen in on the meeting.

This will be the committees second meeting. The first meeting was held on July 12. The minutes from that meeting can be viewed here and my post prior to that meeting can be viewed here. That meeting was mostly background information and  presentations from the Department of Health (DOH) andDepartment of Social Services (DSS).

The August 23 meeting agenda can be viewed here. Since I am most interested in the legislation likely to come out of this summer study I will be paying attention to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) update being provided by NCSL Policy Specialist Ashley Noble. The bulk of the meeting revolves around the NCSL presentation and I expect it is worth listening in on.

SD District 2 State House general election: Tulson, L Greenfield, and Graham

SD Legislative District 2
SD Legislative District 2

South Dakota legislative District 2 has  a general election for State Representative. District 2 is an odd shaped district that resides in northeast South Dakota. Towns in District 2 include Aberdeen (in the SW corner of town), Ashton, Bryant, Bradley, Brentford, Castlewood, Claremont, Clark, Columbia, Conde, Crocker, Doland, Estelline, Frankfort, Ferney, Garden City, Groton, Hayti, Hazel, Lake Norden, Lake Poinsett, Mansfield, Mellette, Naples, Northville, Raymond, Redfield, Stratford, Turton, Verdon, Vienna, Warner and Willow Lake.

The two Republican incumbents Rep Burt Tulson and Rep Lana Greenfield are being challenged by Democrat John Graham. Since there are two seats up for grab, there will be at least one seat retained by the Republicans.

Here is a brief look at all three candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Burt Tulson

Rep Burt Tulson speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/10/15.
Rep Burt Tulson speaking on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 3/10/15.

Rep Burt Tulson (R, Dist 2) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
SDPB Video: 2014 2012

Burt Tulson has served three terms as State Representative for District 2. Tulson doesn’t bring forth a lot of legislation, but when he does it is usually focused on local issues.

First up from 2016 is a bill that received quite a bit of attention from detractors of the bill:

HB 1178 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize township boards to prohibit the operation of certain off-road vehicles along township highways.

This bill was withdrawn by Tulson before it even had a committee hearing. Basically this bill would have allowed township boards to close off certain ditches, a power which county commissioners already have. Almost immediately this was labeled as an anti-hunting/fishing bill and Tulson was pressured hard to kill the bill. Apparently there are some who feel (perhaps rightly) counties have already abused this power and there was fear the same would happen with townships. If that is true, perhaps it is time to revisit the power given to the counties and modify it. The original intent appears to be allowing local government the ability to close certain stretches of ditch that have certain hazards that make atv and snowmobile travel quite dangerous.

Up next is a bill that makes travel in SD faster and safer:

HB 1124 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Authorize motor vehicles to exceed the posted speed limit under certain conditions.

This bill as signed into law allows a vehicle that is going down a 65 mph road to pass a vehicle which is going under the posted speed limit. The person passing can do so up to ten miles an hour over the speed limit. By doing this a car can complete a pass much faster and safer than if they had to stay 65 mph or lower. This faster pass could potentially reduce the amount of accidents that occur on highways.

Finally it is worth looking at a bill from 2012 and one from 2015, both of which were passed into law and modify the same statute:

HB 1131(SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain provisions regarding the notice for meeting of public bodies.

HB 1125 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Revise certain provisions regarding the notice for meeting of public bodies.

Both bills modify § 1-25-1.1, which basically handles the notice of public meetings for all government bodies in SD except the state level bodies. The 2012 bill seemed to be mostly language cleanup and allowed for website and email to be used in giving notice.  HB 1125 from 2015 was an even simpler bill, but a good open government bill nonetheless. Basically 1125 clarified in law that agendas posted per public law for public bodies must be posted for ” at least an entire, continuous twenty-four hours immediately preceding any meeting”.

If Tulson proceeds to the 2017 legislative session I expect local issues will continue to be a priority for him.

Lana Greenfield

Rep Lana Greenfield speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 3/7/15.
Rep Lana Greenfield speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 3/7/15.

Rep Lana Greenfield  (R, Dist 2) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015
SDPB Video: 2014

Lana Greenfield is currently in her freshman term as a State Representative. Greenfield does not bring a lot of legislation forth; a quality many conservative voters appreciate. In her two legislative sessions there has only been one House bill she has prime sponsored:

HB 1109 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Exempt from liability persons who voluntarily maintain certain no maintenance roads.

Rep Greenfield withdrew the bill before it was actually taken up in committee. This is a bill I wouldn’t think would be needed, and apparently it wasn’t. It isn’t uncommon for farmers to do snow removal on no maintenance roads.

As an ex-teacher and a social conservative Rep Greenfield has taken an interest in Common Core. In 2015 Greenfield was the House prime sponsor of a couple Senate bills aimed directly at Common Core. The first was this one:

SB 117 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Further protect the privacy of certain student information.

SB would have added a few pieces of personal information to the information which elementary or secondary school students should not be asked about on a survey, analysis or evaluation. In particular the student information that could not be collected would be the students biometric information, social security number, home internet protocol address, and external digital identity. None of this should be needed by the schools. The Senate education committee killed the bill.

SB 188 (SoDakLiberty Posts) – Require the Department of Education to use a competitive bidding process when acquiring academic assessments.

This was another bill killed by Senate Education. SB 188 was brought forth because South Dakota spends large quantities of money on the tests that are being implemented alongside Common Core. This bill would have required the Department of Education to use open and competitive bids to develop these tests. The Department of Education fought against the bill and had it defeated.

The battle against Common Core appears to be a big focus for Rep Lana Greenfield. If she is reelected I would expect that will remain true.

John Graham

John Graham speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/27/14.
John Graham speaking in Aberdeen. Photo by Ken Santema 9/27/14.

John Graham (D)
Ballotpedia – VoteSmartSoDakLiberty
SDPB Video: 2014

There doesn’t really appear to be a lot of activity this election season for John Graham. He was also a candidate in the same race back in 2014 (plus a few times prior to that). I last saw Graham at a Brown County Democrat event back in October of 2014. Here is what I had to about Graham’s part of the event:

District 2 legislative candidate John Graham was up first. Graham kept his speech very short. During the intro given to him it was mentioned that he has been to Pierre lobbying on behalf of labor. I think that is something he should be talking about when before crowds like this. Graham talked briefly about funding. Graham would like to see a day where SD isn’t depending upon the federal government for funding. But until that day happens he said it is important to use the money that South Dakota gets from the federal government where it is needed. Graham finished off by saying he is there to represent labor in Pierre.

I did speak with Graham a number of times during that election, and each time he reiterated that he felt labor was very underrepresented in Pierre.

Here is the SDPB video of Graham from the 2014 election:

I don’t see Graham as having too much of a chance in this election. Greenfield and Tulson have a solid incumbency advantage that would be hard to overcome.

Rules Review committee meeting on Mon Aug 22

2054482On Monday, August 22, at 10:00 am CT the legislative Rules Review committee will meet in Pierre. The meeting will be held in Room 414 of the State Capital building. SDPB will also provide live audio for anyone wishing to listen in on the meeting.

The previous meeting was held on July 12. My post prior that meeting is here. The minutes from that meeting can be read here.  All  rules from the July 12 meeting were passed through the committee without an issue.

Below is a look at the proposed rule listed in the Agenda for the August 22 meeting. Whenever possible I have also included links to the rule in question on the rules.sd.gov website. Due to time constraints I won’t be looking deeper into any of these proposed rule changes in this post.

Department of Agriculture: South Dakota Animal Industry Board

Health Requirements for Animals. Repeal rule number 12:02:10:01 Health Requirements for Animals

Listing on rules.sd.gov

The description on the agenda for this one is “Amend rules to change and update current language of reference material”.

Department of Game, Fish and Parks

GFP 2016 June Proposals – July Finals
The proposed administrative rule changes will: 1) amend rules on time restrictions for use of state parks, public hunting areas, and lake access areas, 2) amend administrative rules for camping registration procedures and campsite reservations, 3) establish a 2-day sage grouse season with 40 resident permits, 4) amend the rules for the fall wild turkey hunting season and set license allocations, 5) amend rules for the 2016 antelope season, 6) amend the records requirement rules for wildlife processing facilities, and 7) amend the pheasant season rules disabled veterans.

Listing on rules.sd.gov

Quite a bit going on with this one. Here is what is listed in the agenda:

Amend Uses of Parks and Public Lands rules to clarify that the time restrictions applicable to use of the state park system and use of public hunting areas and lake access areas apply to persons who not only enter, but also use or occupy, the areas designated in rule, and repeal a redundant rule that restricts use of bicycles to certain designated areas in Newton Hills State Park and Lewis and Clark State Recreation Area; amend Camping Permits and Rules to limit occupation of a campsite at any state park, recreation area or lakeside use area to 14 consecutive nights and require a person to remove their camping unit from the campsite by check-out time the day following the 14th night for at least one night before reserving the site, or another site, at that location and revise the manner in which campers make reservations for campsites in campgrounds; amend a Possession, Processing and Transportation of Game rule to exempt licensed private shooting preserves from the records requirements set forth in ARSD § 41:06:03:11; amend a Sage Grouse Hunting Season rule and an Application for License rule to establish a two-day season to consist of all public land and private land leased as Walk-In Areas in Harding County and west of US Highway 85 in Butte County, bag limit of one sage grouse per hunter per season, offer 40 licenses allocated by a limited drawing process; amend Fall Wild Turkey Hunting Season rules to set the number of licenses for the Prairie units, dissolve the West River Prairie Unit and in substitute, offer license specific allocations for Unit 30A (Gregory County), Unit 50A (Mellette County), and Unit 53A (Perkins County and that portion of Meade County north of US Highway 212), modify Unit 08A (Davison and Hanson counties) to include an area within immediate vicinity around the city of Mitchell, change the designation of Unit NE1 (Northeast South Dakota) to Unit 48A (Marshall and Roberts counties) and retain the same geographic area open for the fall season, repeal language which limits a person to two fall turkey licenses, and remove the language depicting the license type and number of license from each hunting unit and substitute with the cumulative number of single and multiple tag licenses; amend Antelope Hunting Season rules to add language to clarify that if no licenses are allocated for a specific hunting unit, that unit is dissolved for the purposes of designating areas open to hunting as it pertains to the archery antelope season and the provisions of codified law which describes reduced fee licenses for landowner on own land licenses, and remove the language depicting the license type and number of licenses from each hunting unit and substitute with the cumulative number of single and multiple tag licenses; amend Pheasant Hunting Season for Disabled Veterans rules to establish special pheasant hunts for qualifying disabled resident and nonresident veterans by allowing any nonprofit organization to establish special one-or-two day pheasant hunts during the months of October and November and repeal a rule that requires a disabled veteran be confined to a wheelchair; and amend a Private Shooting Preserves rule to increase the number of harvested preserve birds without plumage attached that may be enclosed in a vacuum-sealed or shrink-wrapped package.

Department of Labor and Regulation: State Plumbing Commission

The South Dakota Plumbing Commission amends the following administrative rules: §§ 20:53:06:01, 20:54:02:01, 20:54:19:01, 20:54:20:11, 20:54:21:01, 20:54:21:03, 20:54:22:02, 20:54:22:03, 20:54:25:02, 20:54:25:03, 20:54:26:04
The amendments to the rules exempt Class 1 or above certified water or wastewater operators from the Commission’s sewer and water licensing requirements and updates the Uniformed Plumbing code from the 2009 version to the 2015 version.

Listing on rules.sd.gov

Here is the description of this from the agenda:

Amend rules to exempt Class 1 and above certified water and wastewater operators from the commission’s sewer and water licensing requirements and update the Uniform Plumbing Code references to the 2015 edition.

Department of Labor and Regulation: Appraiser Certification Program

The South Dakota Appraiser Certification Program amends ARSD §§ 20:14:05:05.05, 20:14:10:05.01, 20:14:11:01, and 20:14:11:01.01.
The amendments will create the option for a mid-year review for those appraisers who are attempting to upgrade, establish a fee for the mid-year review, removes anonymous complaints, creates allegations of non-compliance, and clarifies that any official complaint will be made by the Secretary of the Department.

Listing on rules.sd.gov

Here is the description of this from the agenda:

Amend rules to allow appraisers to submit appraisals for compliance review midway through the experience hours required to upgrade to a higher level of licensure or certification; add midway review upgrade fees; establish allegation of non-compliance as the first step for initiation of an investigation and prior to formal complaint charges; and replace the term anonymous complaint with allegation of non-compliance

Department of Revenue: Division of Motor Vehicles

DMV Rules
These rules are being promulgated to update and clarify procedures for rebuilt vehicles and VIN assignment.

Listing on rules.sd.gov

Here is the description of this from the agenda:

Amend rules to have the department conduct the inspection and identification functions of the replacement and assigned vehicle identification number (VIN) system, clarify where applicants need to apply for assigned or replacement VINs and that the department will be scheduling and conducting any required inspections, clarify where applicants need to apply for trailer identification numbers and that the department will inspect and attach the trailer identification number to any trailer weighting 3,000 pounds or more, clarify that the secondary VIN location will now be obtained by the department from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, clarify that the department is ordering, storing, and maintaining information regarding replacement and assigned VIN plates, change the application requirements for an assigned or replacement VIN plate and how the mutilated or damaged VIN plate is removed from the vehicle and returned to the department, clarify who is assigning the new VIN and attaching that VIN to the vehicle, repeal a rule that is no longer needed, clarify and make consistent the numbering system and application process for trailers, clarify that the department assigns VINs to newly constructed vehicles, and clarify that numbers will be affixed to all vehicles, including rebuilts, in the same manner.

Department of Social Services

Economic Assistance, Child Care Services, and Medical Services
The effects of the rules will be to update certain rules to reflect annual changes, update terminology to align with current practice, implement the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act requirements, repeal duplicative rules, and implement Medicaid coverage groups added by the 2016 legislative session.

Listing on rules.sd.gov

Here is the description of this from the agenda:

Amend Economic Assistance, Child Care Services, Medical Services, and Behavioral Health rules to update certain rules to reflect annual changes, update terminology to align with current practice, implement the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act requirements, repeal duplicative rules, and implement Medicaid coverage groups added by the 2016 legislative session.

Oddest picture of the Brown County Fair

South Dakota is a small place. The more I cover politics, the more I seem to understand that. Earlier this week I was reminded of that fact at the Brown County Fair. During the fair I try to get pictures of all the candidates for posts I will use in upcoming blog posts. I didn’t expect to get a picture I can use for other types of blog posts as well…

In this case I wanted to get a picture of District 3 State Senate candidate Cory Heidelberger, who also happens to be the blogger for Dakota Free Press. The picture I had taken of him earlier in the afternoon was a little more fuzzy than I would have liked. So I proceeded down to the Brown County Democrats booth (which is only a couple of booths away from my business booth) to take another picture of Cory speaking with constituents. The constituent Heidelberger was speaking with seemed familiar, but it didn’t occur to me who he was until after I had finished a series of camera clicks…

Joop Bollen speaking with Cory Heidelberger at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema 8/17/16.
Joop Bollen speaking with Cory Heidelberger at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema 8/17/16.

Speaking to Heidelberger was Joop Bollen. I last took a picture of Joop Bollen back in April when he had been charged with five felony counts regarding his misuse of security interests relating to the EB-5 program with his company SDRC, Inc. Heidelberger has actually written about Bollen a LOT, and most of it in a very unflattering manner. I’m not sure what the two were talking about, but their conversation lasted at least fifteen minutes and seemed quite civil.

South Dakota is a small place. So small I can somehow grab pictures of two people such as Heidelberger and Bollen at the same time.

Substance Abuse Prevention Study meeting on Weds Aug 17

Cocaine in package on greyOn Wednesday, August 16, at 10:03 am CT the Substance Abuse Prevention Study interim committee will meet in Pierre. The meeting will be held in Room 413 of the State Capital building. SDPB will also provide live audio for anyone wishing to listen in on the meeting.

The post I wrote prior to the July meeting can be read here and the minutes can be read here. I haven’t really had time to listen to the audio or review the minutes from that meeting. Hopefully I can find time to do so soon!

The agenda for the August meeting begins with a presentation on Methamphetamine and the Reservations—The Challenges of a State and Federal Approach. This is being present by Tim Purdon,
Partner, Robins Kaplan LLP, Former United States Attorney
for North Dakota (2010-2015). Here is the blurb written on the agenda about his presentation:

Drawing on his experience as North Dakota’s U.S. Attorney, Mr. Purdon will discuss the challenges of fighting methamphetamine and other drug problems in Reservations Communities. He will describe a frame work for a “three-legged stool” approach to these problems include the need to combine enforcement efforts with support for viable crime prevention efforts and for offenders who are re-entering reservation communities from state and federal custody.

Also on the agenda are the following items:

  • Presentation by Good Health Television
  • Public and Committee Discussion on Methamphetamine Use on the Reservations
  • Public and Committee Discussion on Opioid Abuse
  • Committee Discussion on Potential Legislation

Because of the focus of this blog I will be paying close attention to potential legislation to come out of this committee!

Time to focus on the general election races

Ballot boxNow that I have completed looking at the general election races already won and the ballot questions in the 2016 South Dakota general election it is time to focus on the legislative and statewide elections where there are actual races. Just as I did with all of the primary election races, I plan to do a post for each legislative race giving voters some basic information and links to research candidates. The general election in 2016 is not until November 8, but absentee voting starts September 23. I hope to have most, if not all, of the legislative and statewide race posts before absentee voting begins.

In the meantime I have updated my page listing the 2016 General Election legislative races. The list of candidates matches up with the SOS website. I have also reordered the candidates on the page to match their order on the ballot. It should be an interesting month of blogging!

Constitution Party of SD will not have a Dist 23 legislative candidate or US Senate candidate on the ballot

cp of sdWhile recapping the South Dakota legislative races without a general election I noted District 23 may have a race for State House, depending on a ruling from the court. The Constitution Party of South Dakota had made two nominations during its state convention that normally can only be made through the primary system. Wayne Schmidt had been nominated for District 23 State House candidate and Kurt Evans had been nominated for US Senate candidate. The US District court has decided against allowing these two candidates on the ballot.

This of course stems from a lawsuit against the state by the Libertarian Party of SD and the Constitution Party of SD. Richard Winger over at Ballot Access News has a story about the court rejecting the candidates being placed on the ballot. Basically the court would not intervene because the original lawsuit was about ballot access for Presidential candidates; and not for other offices. The courts decision can be read here. This decision by the court should have no bearing on the overall case.

District 18 State Senate won by Craig Kennedy

SD Legislative District 18. Screenshot from LRC website.
SD Legislative District 18. Screenshot from LRC website.

The District 18 State Senate is another race that has been won after a candidate withdrew from the general election. District 18 is Yankton and some of the surrounding area around Yankton. Other towns in this district include Lesterville, Utica, Volin, Mission Hill, and Gayville. It appears the very West edge of Irene may also be in this district.

District 18 is currently represented by Democrat Sen Bernie Hunhoff. Hunhoff waited until about the last minute to let it be known he would not be seeking reelection and fellow Democrat Craig Kennedy submitted his petition for the office instead. This left the Republicans scrambling because they didn’t bother to try any candidate against Hunhoff. But a new candidate would be easier to take on. Since there was no time to get a Republican on the ballot, the party got petitions circulated for Matt Stone as an Independent. Later Stone withdrew from the race. Since there is no provision in state law allowing for the replacement of an Independent candidate, that left Kennedy with the win in the District 18 State Senate race.

In this post I will look briefly at Kennedy. Even though he has already won the general election I feel it is important for voters in District 18 to know at least a couple of things about their new State Senator.

Craig Kennedy

Craig Kennedy (D)
BallotpediaVoteSmart – SoDakLiberty
SDPB Audio: 2016

To learn more about Craig Kennedy a good place to start is the SDPB Meet the Candidate audio which was posted about a week ago.  An interesting part of that audio is his talking about economic development. Instead of bringing in large companies, he would like to encourage economic development through local entrepreneurs to grow more businesses directly inside South Dakota.

Kennedy is an Attorney out of Yankton. The bio on his law firms website can be viewed here. Since 2000 Kennedy has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for South Dakota. He lists his general areas of law practiced as:

  • General Civil and Criminal Defense Practice

  • Health Law

  • Contracts

  • Business Formation, Management, Sale and Acquisition

  • Real Estate Issues, Sale Acquisition, Development and Management

  • Non-Profit Organization and Operation

  • Administrative Law

There really isn’t a lot about Kennedy available online. I guess more will be found out about him during the 2017 legislative session.

District 5 State Senate won by Tapio

SD Legislative District 5. Screenshot of map from SD SOS website on 4/28/16.
SD Legislative District 5. Screenshot of map from SD SOS website on 4/28/16.

I have given more than enough time for any placeholder candidates to be placed on the ballot. Now it is time to update my list of SD 2016 General Election Legislative Races with a few more races that have already been won.

Up first is the State Senate seat for South Dakota legislative District 5. District 5 is in Coddington County and is basically Watertown.  Sen Ried Holien (R, Dist 5) had his nominating petition in, but then withdrew from the race. Rep Roger Solum faced Neal Tapio in a Republican primary, which Tapio won. The Democrat in this race, David Johnson, withdrew and was never replaced by the party. That allows Tapio to win the general election without opposition.

When I did my post looking at the District 5 State Senate Republican Primary there simply wasn’t a lot of information about Tapio available. That has changed. Below is a brief summary of what I can find about Tapio for the voters of District 5. Even if there is no general election it is worth it for the voters to know something about their elected official.

Neal Tapio

Neal Tapio (R)
Website – FacebookBallotpedia – VoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Neal Tapio. Photo from Tapio's FB campaign website.
Neal Tapio. Photo from Tapio’s FB campaign website.

Tapio recently made news by being selected as the State Director of South Dakota for the Trump/Pence Campaign. In that press release Tapio mentions some of his political history:

Tapio has extensive involvement in government and politics that complements his 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. He has worked as a aide to Senator Larry Pressler and was the campaign manager for US House candidate Larry Diedrich. He has been a general contractor, publisher and currently is the owner of NT Sales and Leasing, Inc. of Watertown.

A couple of months ago Dakota War College did welcome him as a paid advertiser and had this to say about Tapio:

Neal is a successful entrepreneur, a long time conservative Republican, and self described “Tea-Party believing, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin listening, Donald Trump loving potential candidate for office” who is looking to change the conversation for South Dakota conservatives, and re-focusing what’s important for members of the Republican party in South Dakota.

Tapio also lists the following values on his website:

  • Pro Life.
  • Pro Family.
  • Pro Business.
  • Pro 2nd Amendment.
  • Fiscal and Social Conservative.
  • Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner.

A Facebook post shows the following items Tapio believes are important to “reward hard work, sacrifice, self reliance, freedom, faith and family”:

1. Every government program needs to be reviewed to determine if it creates an incentive or a disincentive to self reliance.
2. We must reward those willing to do what it takes to be self reliant.
3. We must recognize that successful people work more than 40 hours per week.
4. It must be our goal to reduce dependence on government, not increase it.
5. We must create government policies that reinforce values of our homes and churches, not undermine them.

With Tapio running the South Dakota Trump campaign I expect to hear more from him in the news. Tapio might be a legislator to watch in the 2017 session.

South Dakota political blogging from a libertarian-leaning individual

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