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House Votes to Move Forward With the Impeachment Trial of A.G Jason Ravnsborg
A Somber Day For South Dakota

UPDATED- The full South Dakota House of Representatives voted today April 12, 2022, in the matter of Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg's impeachment.

Ravnsborg, who was acquitted in a court of law for the murder of Joe Boever, was then challenged by Gov. Kristi Noem, as being "unfit for office". A Special Committee on Investigations then launched a full scale investigation of their own, to determine if Ravnsborg had acted in a manner that would warrant impeachment.

The special committee released their findings last week, and found the Attorney General innocent of acting in a manner that would warrant his impeachment.

South Dakota Speaker of the House, Spencer Gosch (R-Glenham) tells The Dakota Leader, "I stand behind the facts of the
committee report."

Today, the full House of 70 Representatives voted to recommend impeachment 36-31, with three members excused.



36 South Dakota Democratic Representatives, along with a divided Republican caucus voted a "do pass" recommendation to a full Senate impeachment trial.

Representative Tom Pischke (R-Dell Rapids), who voted against the impeachment recommendation. Pischke tells The Dakota Leader, "Regardless of how you feel about Jason Ravensborg, it's a somber day for South Dakota."

Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg would be the first elected official in the state of South Dakota to ever be impeached, setting a new precedent for the state.

Ravnsborg has been immediately suspended as the result of today's vote. However the Senate is not able to move forward for another 21 days.

An acting Attorney General will most likely be appointed, until a final determination is made. A.G. Ravnsborg was investigating Governor Noem, and one of her top political donors, Denny Sanford. With the suspension of Ravnsborg, it's unclear what will happen to these pending investigations, or the litigation Ravnsborg has pursued on behalf of residents, such as vaccine mandates.



Editor's Note- It was previously stated that Governor Kristi Noem had requested the impeachment, and that she would appoint an acting Attorney General. The article has been updated to reflect corrections. We thank our readers for sending us accurate details. If you ever see a correction, please let us know! Editor@DakotaLeader.com

Help Support Independent Journalism, Donate Today!

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-12 15:03:31Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:10:53


Wokeism in Private Schools. Going Undercover
No school is safe from the radical Left’s ideology of racism, historical revisionism, and hatred.

Summary Don’t be fooled- No school is safe from the radical Left’s ideology of racism, historical revisionism, and hatred. Most parents are familiar with how this disease—dubbed “wokeism”—has conquered public school systems in many Democratic-run states. But the woke curriculum is rapidly overtaking nonprofit, private schools across America. If it isn’t stopped, no child will be safe from its indoctrination.

If you thought your children were safe from the Left’s culture war in a private school, think again. Across America, a pandemic of “woke” ideology is quietly spreading through privately run schools and colleges supposedly shielded from government control.

Proponents may call this new teaching “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI), but that’s a euphemism for a dark agenda: inculcating kids with the Left’s malicious obsession with race. Far from promoting independent thought, it’s a campaign to crush dissent and rewrite history while teaching children to hate one another for the color of their skin.

The public is almost completely unaware of how activists are indoctrinating America’s youth with transgenderism, racial segregation, and other far-left “virtues”—and still would be, if not for the efforts of a handful of courageous moms bent on exposing the truth.



Meet Undercover Mother, a group of roughly 100 volunteer moms and dads from across the nation engaged in some of the finest investigative journalism happening today. These Undercover Mothers are fighting in the trenches to defeat the radical Left’s agenda that’s taken over our schools. If they succeed, it’d mean nothing less than saving America’s nonprofit schools—and the students they teach—from the radical Left.

Going Undercover

So who are these moms and dads? The group was started in mid-2021 after Amy Gonzalez and Andrea Gross, two mothers in Ohio, fought back against the critical-race-theory curriculum being taught in their kids’ private school—only for their children to be expelled.

“We tried, in the best way possible, to represent and speak up not only for our children but also our teachers,” Gonzalez told Fox News in July 2021. “At a private school, they did not have a union. I believe a lot of it is coming from The National Association of Independent Schools” (NAIS), a national body that oversees the country’s private school accrediting bodies.

Her hunch forms the basis of Undercover Mother and its deep dives into NAIS, the organization responsible for enforcing leftist ideology on campus.

Undercover Mother is a truly grassroots organization, with volunteers in numerous states. While many of its members are conservative or right-leaning, the group doesn’t have an ideological or partisan agenda. All of its members share the same goal: Halt the extreme, bigoted, and hypersexualized doctrines NAIS pushes on students and return schools to what they’re supposed to be doing—equipping students to be mentally strong, intellectually curious, problem-solvers ready to face the world.

Horror Stories from the Black Lagoon

Every volunteer that I spoke with shared his or her horror story about discovering what leftists were teaching their kids. No matter where they live, the experiences are the same.

One parent in Georgia recalled how her kids’ school chapel invited a Muslim cleric, gay wrestler, and an anti-Semitic, radical black poet as guest speakers and to work with students. The school was later “outed” for “keeping a list of ‘insubordinate’ parents.”

“My kids came home with stories about racism that weren’t actually racist,” another anonymous parent in the Midwest told me. “Kids were taught that all civilizations had slaves but America was by far the worst,” using as a textbook the far-left revisionist historian Howard Zinn’s A Young People’s History of the United States, which paints American history as irredeemably evil. “Kids were made to ‘break down their identity.’ White boys were taught that they were dominant oppressors.”



The experience was so eye-opening that it changed her political beliefs, though she still considers herself a “traditional liberal.” “I feel like I’ve been lied to about progressive policies,” she explained. “Nothing about my liberal past is in line with these progressive policies that are ruining an entire generation of kids.”

One of the founders of Undercover Mother—who considers herself “very liberal”—recounted how the head of her child’s school gave a 20-minute speech “arguing the need for a social justice curriculum as a war of countering the privilege that we had without one mention of academics or life skills.” Two years later in 2016, the school sent emails assuring parents that it was creating a “’safe space’ for the children” following Donald Trump’s election.

“I was surprised to see they were filtering down politics into the curriculum,” she added. “The school had essentially shut down the idea of freedom of thought in front of everyone.”

In the next installment, the march of woke ideology through private schools has been different than in public schools. Tags: American Federation of Teachers (AFT), critical race theory, marxism, National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), National Education Association (NEA), wokeis

Originally published by Influence Watch on March 13, 2022. Re-published with full permission to The Dakota Leader April 11, 2022.
--Hayden Ludwig- Senior Investigative Researcher

Post Date: 2022-04-11 13:20:49Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:10:24


Alex Hixon Speaks Out About Incumbent Tiffani Landeen
“While I’m grateful for the actions of the Board of County Commissioners, Lincoln County voters deserve a better Chairperson.”

SIOUX FALLS- Monday April 11, 2022, Candidate for Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, Alex Hixon is speaking out about his decision to run against Tiffani Landeen. Hixon, who is a business owner within the community of Sioux Falls has released the following statement

"Our community is growing exponentially, new business owners and families are staking their hopes and dreams on the freedom South Dakota represents.

"Meanwhile, we have issues plaguing our County such as inflation and skyrocketing costs of living. Tax increases are not optional, and yet increases continue to be the only option provided by current Chair Landeen. We can do better to provide solution oriented policies with cool heads and respectful decorum.



"Tiffani Landeen has a long record of inappropriate behavior, and actions that have cost taxpayers. What we witnessed last Tuesday, when Chairwoman Landeen silenced colleagues and turned a public meeting into an "us v them" situation, is unfortunately par for the course. These tactics are reminiscent of what we've seen in school board meetings across the country, as concerned parents have been thrown out, harassed and ignored, while fighting for their children. This type of behavior does not belong in local government, nor does it belong in South Dakota.

"While I'm grateful for the actions of the Board of County Commissioners, Lincoln County voters deserve a better Chairperson."

"Come June 7, 2022, voters have the ability to decide if they want to be included in their civic process, or continue with the status quo of being told to pay up, sit down, be silent, or get out," Hixon stated.


Post Date: 2022-04-11 11:27:03Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:09:40


After a Rocky Start, the Lincoln County Body Politic Finds Common Ground on Ballot Boxes
The Democratic Process Proves Successful, Yet Again!

UPDATED- Within hours of breaking this story, Minnehaha and Yankton Counties have followed suit making announcements that they will also be removing ballot boxes.

Public Service is often messy. It requires decorum, patience and long hours of hearing public concerns. It might not be for everyone, but for the elected officials of Lincoln County who work hard to represent the people, and the people who work hard to hold government accountable, common ground was found this week--reminding all that Democracy is still alive and well in South Dakota.

On Tuesday April 5, 2022 a
Twitter message began circulating social media. Nicole Ki stated, "residents are angrily storming out of the meeting, after being informed this wasn’t a public hearing and residents couldn’t speak after waiting 4 hours."

Residents are angrily storming out of the meeting, after being informed this wasn’t a public hearing and residents couldn’t speak after waiting 4 hours to. pic.twitter.com/wxdzOIngev

— Nicole Ki ʕ·ᴥ·ʔ (@_nicoleki) April 5, 2022

Chair of the Lincoln County Commission, Tiffani Landeen, can be heard telling people, "this is not a public meeting." Later in the video clip Landeen is heard saying, "and I'm calling a point of order, if anybody speaks out they're going to be asked to leave."

The response came as the result of angry outbursts from a crowd of Lincoln County residents, who had spent four hours waiting to be heard on agenda item #15, "ballot drop boxes". Despite the long meeting, Commissioner Joel Arends asked that the people be allowed to speak. Arends was then challenged by Chair Landeen, citing partisan rhetoric. "I think you need to come to us with a policy, discuss it with legal council, discuss it with the auditor before sittin up here and givin everyone a bunch of rhetoric for your political pundits."

Arends responded by saying, "I'm sorry if you want to challenge my votings, my only motive for being here is to comply with the law."

Landeen, interupts- "Of course and here you go,and you're out of order. If you want to discuss this and bring an actual policy forward that's been vetted by." (recording stops there)

Days prior to the meeting, current county elections auditor Sheri Lund had posted the April 5, 2022 meeting agenda in the Sioux Falls Politics Facebook page, asking for feedback on the issue of ballot boxes. In her Facebook post, Lund says

"Item # 15 -Discussion and action on County ballot drop box policy- If you are a person that took advantage of the ballot drop box or the deputy that was in Sioux Falls please email me at auditor@lincolncountysd.org and give us some feedback..."

According to the Lincoln County meeting agenda, the meeting was public, public discussion was scheduled, as was "the discussion and action on County ballot drop boxes." Residents responded to Lund's request for feedback, and sat through hours of discussion on various topics. Jessica Pollema was in the audience, and amongst those eager to share her concerns. Pollema is running this election to replace Sheri Lund, and says she's made election integrity her full-time job, after finding anomalies in the current voter rolls.

However, when agenda item #15 came up, the discussion was quickly shut down, as seen above. That doesn't sit well with Lincoln County Commissioner Candidate Alex Hixon. Hixon, who is running against Landeen, tells The Dakota Leader what occurred was unacceptable.

"The behavior by Commissioner Landeen was not befitting of a County Commissioner. Commissioner Joel Arends was bringing up legitimate legal issues about the ballot box, of which he is indeed correct. There is no South Dakota law that allows for the use of ballot boxes. Landeen was out of order to shut down communication on a topic that many members were obviously very passionate about. It's my understanding that 32 people attended and waited four hours to speak. These people just wanted their voices and concerns heard, which she blatantly protested."

"Additionally, she acted in an uncivil, and uncourteous manner to her fellow commissioner," Hixon said in a statement to The Dakota Leader.

The Dakota Leader has reached out to Commissioner Landeen, but has yet to hear back.



Regardless of the momentary tensions, by Friday the County released the following statement, earning relief and praise amongst constituents.

"NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that beginning on April 13, 2022, Absentee Ballot Boxes, aka ballot drop boxes (“Absentee Ballot Boxes”), will no longer be used in Lincoln County."

In a phone call with The Dakota Leader, Lund said she had people on both sides of the issue give feedback. However, given that pandemic restrictions have been lifted, and the courthouse is fully reopened, Lund says she will remove the ballot boxes.

In a statement made to her Facebook page, Lund writes, "during the pandemic there where (were) closures and concerns about mail not reaching the Auditor's office on time. We implemented a drop box in front of the Courthouse that was always monitored and an in person drop off in Sioux Falls. Now that the restrictions of the pandemic have been lifted, the need for the drop boxes do not currently exist. So, the new policy is going into effect, please see the attached notice. However, if there is a concern regarding getting ballots to the Auditor’s office, we will take every legal step to ensure all eligible voters have the opportunity to exercise that right. My intent is to still have the in person drop off in Sioux Falls."

Although Jessica Pollema is a primary opponent, she tells The Dakota Leader, "I appreciate the stance that Lincoln County took on the issue of voting and election integrity, in response to the concerns of citizens."

"We all care about our county, our state, our country and our vote. We just want secure elections, and it's vital to take proactive steps in order to restore the trust and confidence of voters."

(There are no conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise between The Dakota Leader and anyone mentioned or quoted within this article.)



Our goal is to clarify, and illuminate all sides of each subject, to the best of our ability. Our mission is to bridge the gap between elected individuals and the people they answer to, in order to rebuild trust and confidence in local government through unbiased reporting, and civic education. PLEASE HELP SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT WORK

--Breeauna Sagdal- Health and Policy Journalist for The Dakota Leader

Post Date: 2022-04-08 11:38:10Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:09:19


Gary Schuster Announces His Candidacy For The 12th District South Dakota State House
Press Release

“I’ve been interested in politics from an early age,” said Gary, “and decided that now is the time to take action. South Dakota is a great state and has largely avoided the political craziness that has taken hold in many of our nation’s large cities and states. Nevertheless, we need to be aware that even in South Dakota our liberties will slowly erode if we don’t actively defend them.”

Gary is a retired metallurgical engineer. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Iowa State Univ. A PhD in Metallurgical Engineering from the Univ. of Illinois and an MBA from the Univ. of South Carolina.

He was raised on a farm near Pleasantville Iowa. He’s lived all across the United States and his jobs have taken him to many countries. Even so, he’s never forgotten his early life on the farm and has respect for anyone that is honest and hard working. He sincerely believes that government should strive to create an environment that gives people the most opportunities to succeed and minimizes what is taken from them in the form of taxes and fees. He’s a fiscal conservative and constitutional originalist.

If you would like to learn more about Gary Schuster, check out his WEBSITE HERE. OR, scan this QR code with your smart device camera to take you directly to the website.



--Gary Schuster for SD House District 12

Post Date: 2022-04-07 13:58:09Last Update: 2022-04-11 11:13:29


Pischke Announces Bid for District 25 Senate
Press Release

Current State Representative Tom Pischke (R-Dell Rapids) announced his candidacy for the District 25 Senate seat.

“It has been a great honor to serve the people of District 25 in the House of Representative for the past six years, but the time has come for me to take my Conservative values and voting record to the South Dakota Senate.”

Pischke has received the following recognition during his time in the State House-

“I look forward to the opportunity to earn the support of the people of District 25 so we can have our strong, conservative Christian values represented in the South Dakota Senate.”

During Pischke’s time in the legislature, he has been a member of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee, the House Commerce committee, the House Judiciary committee and the Vice-Chair of the House Taxation committee for the past two years.

Pischke has also supported and voted for many conservative tax breaks including a reduction in the state sales tax, an elimination in the state sales tax on food and a gas tax holiday to give consumers a break at the pump.

Tom Pischke is a husband, father and a fourth generation South Dakotan. He, and his wife Lisa have a blended family with 4 children; Jayden, Gavin, Brooklyn and Preston. Pischke works for AllState Insurance in Sioux Falls while Lisa works for Avera McKennan.



--Tom Pischke For Senate District 25 Press Release

Post Date: 2022-04-06 11:34:08Last Update: 2022-04-06 13:57:26


House Condemns Governor Noem’s Actions During Ongoing Investigation Of A.G Jason Ravnsborg
Full Addendum Of The House Select Committee on Investigation


The Select Committee includes the following addendum to address the Executive Branch’s interference in the criminal proceedings and the impeachment process.

The Executive Branch made promises that the criminal investigation would be transparent and released to the public. The Highway Patrol thereafter asked Supervisory BCI Agent Arnie Rummel for permission to disseminate the initial crash report. Secretary Price testified to the Select Committee he was not aware of another case in which the Department of Public Safety released death investigation information before a state's attorney filed charges. The Highway Patrol, however, informed Supervisory BCI Agent Arnie Rummel that such reports were routinely disseminated to the public in seeking permission to disclose this case’s initial crash report. Supervisory BCI Agent Rummel did not want the initial crash report disclosed, but in being told they routinely released such reports, asked the Highway Patrol to make the report accurate before its disclosure. Specifically, Supervisory BCI Agent Arnie Rummel asked that the report not state Attorney General Ravnsborg was distracted by his cell phone, since the data was not yet extracted from his cell phones to make that determination.

Secretary Price, in consultation with legal counsel and the Governor, authorized the posting of the initial crash report on the South Dakota Public Safety website. At the time the crash report was posted, he considered a portion of the investigation complete although additional work still needed to be completed. The video recording of the interrogation of Attorney General Ravnsborg was released after the Hyde County State’s Attorney decided to move forward with misdemeanors charges but before the arraignment. State’s Attorney Emily Sovell objected to the release of the video interviews and other investigative information. State’s Attorney Sovell was also not in favor of the Governor holding press conferences or any other public dissemination of the investigation. Upon learning of a planned press conference and planned dissemination of confidential investigative material, State’s Attorney Sovell emailed Secretary Price and the investigators stating her concerns and requested such materials not be released. State’s Attorney Sovell also emailed Secretary Price indicating that due to undue pressure Secretary Price was attempting to place on her, she would not be including Secretary Price in further discussions of the case. State’s Attorney Sovell did not want any perception that political pressures or anything else from the outside was affecting her decisions in the case.

While the Department of Public Safety released the initial crash report, containing incomplete information, the Department did not later release the more comprehensive crash report or its supplements after they were completed.

The Highway Patrol also asked Supervisory BCI Agent Rummel for permission to make Attorney General Ravnsborg’s vehicle open for public inspection. Supervisory BCI Agent Rummel objected to this request. The Highway Patrol also asked the BCI’s information be released to the Highway Patrol. Supervisory BCI Agent Rummel denied that request and sent BCI’s information to the State’s Attorney, as is normal protocol.

After the misdemeanor charges were filed, Secretary Price had discussions with the prosecutors indicating his displeasure and disagreement as to what was charged. Secretary Price indicated that he disagreed with State’s Attorney Sovell not charging second degree manslaughter.

Secretary Price was advised by counsel not to disclose to the Select Committee the content of his discussions with the Governor and whether the release of the investigatory information was at the Governor’s direction. Secretary Price testified that he had been advised by legal counsel not to talk about specific privileged conversations that he had with the Governor.

Attorney General Ravnsborg’s criminal defense counsel argued that Governor Noem made an unprecedented, unusual, and early release of information regarding the criminal investigation. See Exhibit A, No. 69, Motion for Order Precluding Release of Criminal Investigation Information to Protect Defendant’s Due Process Rights dated February 25, 2021. On February 23, 2021, Governor Noem informed she was going to hold a press conference regarding Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg and release information created during the criminal investigation process. Id. The Department of Public Safety released links on its website which contained the two video interviews with Attorney General Ravnsborg by the North Dakota BCI. Id. On February 25, 2021, Governor Noem held a press conference promising release of additional information on either February 25 or 26, 2021. Id.

On February 25, 2021, the Honorable John Brown issued an Order Precluding Disclosure of Criminal Investigation Information. See Exhibit A, No. 69. The Court ordered that the Department of Public Safety, law enforcement, or any member of state government, including Governor Kristi Noem, is precluded from producing any further criminal reports, interviews, test results, digital media, photographs, videos, statements, or anything whatsoever related to the matter to the public. The court further ordered that the links to the law enforcement video interviews should be removed by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety and any and all other State agencies having such links in order to prevent the public from having access to information which would constitute hearsay at a trial of the matter. A criminal defendant’s right to a fair trial is one of the bedrocks of the American judicial system. See e.g., State v. Weatherford, 416 N.W.2d 47, 50–51 (S.D. 1987) (“The right to a fair trial is a fundamental liberty secured by the Fourteenth Amendment.”). The Executive Branch’s efforts to share confidential information with the public and infringe upon this foundational right must be condemned.

Unfortunately, the Governor’s inappropriate involvement did not end at the conclusion of the criminal case. The following were published on the South Dakota Department of Public Safety website during this impeachment investigation (listed in Exhibit A under No. 67)

- September 1, 2021, letter to Speaker of the House from Craig Price, Secretary of South Dakota Department of Public Safety. Secretary Price states that Ravnsborg should have been charged with second-degree manslaughter.

On January 19, 2022, Governor Noem told the Associated Press that the South Dakota House Investigative Committee is “attacking the integrity of our law enforcement officers,” adding that it was an “inappropriate” and “tragic” use of the Committee’s attention.

On January 21 to 23, 2022, the Select Committee members were subjected to hundreds of telemarketing calls to their cell phones from the Ohio-based entity Grand Solutions, Inc. Angel Kane owns the entity and spokesperson Jonathon Petrea speaks on its behalf. It is apparent that these calls were meant to pressure members of the Select Committee to impeach the Attorney General. The telemarketing firm did not indicate who paid for these efforts during the call or at any point thereafter. A voicemail from the telemarketing company was received which suggests the Governor may be involved with those who funded the telemarketing campaign. The Governor’s Office has denied any such involvement. On January 24, 2022, a press release from Governor Noem was released attempting to pressure House lawmakers weighing impeachment charges against the Attorney General and to release the investigative file on the 2020 fatal car crash.

On March 9, 2022, a press release from the Secretary of Public Safety Craig Price was released urging the Committee to consider the facts in the impeachment investigation and “to consider the indisputable conclusions by the crash reconstruction experts”. Exhibit A, No. 73. On March 9, 2022, Secretary Price released to the press a three-page letter to Speaker Gosch detailing why he believes Ravnsborg is “unfit to hold the position as the chief law enforcement officer for the state of South Dakota.” Secretary Price also released to the press Trooper John Berndt’s supplemental report (Quadrants Described) dated March 9, 2022.

On March 9, 2022, Governor Noem sent a series of tweets questioning why Ravnsborg received a closed- door hearing with members of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations, telling readers “REMINDER: the House is still in the middle of impeachment proceedings.” “Let me get this straight. . . ,” Noem wrote, “they don’t have time to conclude their impeachment process, but they have time for secret closed-door meetings to give Ravnsborg $1.5 million with no accountability?”

On March 12, 2022, Dakota Institute for Legislative Solutions, an organization touting itself as a non-profit organized to carry forward the Governor's agenda, began running billboard advertisements targeting four members of the House Select Committee on Investigation. The ads named the following Committee Members: Representatives Steven Haugaard, Jamie Smith, Jon Hansen and Spencer Gosch, the Speaker of the House serving as chairman of the committee. The signs accuse the Committee Members of obstructing the impeachment process: “What is [Committee Member] trying to hide??? Impeach the Attorney General Now!!!” Two of the Committee Members, Representatives Haugaard and Smith, are challenging Governor Noem in her re-election campaign.

On March 14, 2022, a fifth lawmaker, Representative Scott Odenbach, was added to the list of legislators being specifically named in the billboards. Representative Odenbach responded that he believes the Governor is eager to appoint another Attorney General before she must face the Government Accountability Board, referring to an investigatory panel of retired judges who have pending investigations open into abuse of power complaints levied against Governor Noem. The Governor’s Office denies being behind the billboard ads or Dakota Institute. During March of 2022, Governor Noem and Secretary Price made public statements that Ravnsborg is unfit to be the Attorney General.

On March 17, 2022, the House Select Committee on Impeachment issued a cease and desist letter to Governor Noem and the South Dakota Executive Branch. The Committee letter stated that the South Dakota Constitution places the sole power of impeachment with the House of Representatives and requires the Senate to try an impeachment. The Committee letter further stated that the Executive Branch is attempting to taint the Senator jury pool with irrelevant and confidential information. The letter stated that these efforts have been continuous and aimed at bringing irrelevant information to the public and undue pressure on the Select Committee Members. The letter further stated these efforts are both harmful and unwelcome and subject the outcome to judicial scrutiny. As previous requests to refrain from such conduct have gone unheeded, the Select Committee requested the Executive Branch cease and desist all further disclosures of the investigative file to the public and all further attempts to pressure and influence the Select Committee Members and the House of Representatives. See Exhibit A, No. 74.

The South Dakota Constitution clearly provides that an impeachment of a state official is purely a legislative proceeding. Article XVI of the South Dakota Constitution empowers the Legislature with the authority to impeach and try state officers. Section 1 places “the sole power of impeachment” with the House of Representatives. Section 2 requires the Senate to try an impeachment, with the Senators sitting as the jury under oath “to do justice according to law and evidence.” The Constitution does not include a role for the Executive Branch in impeachment proceedings. Despite the Constitution’s clear authority granted to the Legislature, the Executive Branch has continued to inappropriately attempt to influence legislators throughout the impeachment process.

Criminal prosecutors are granted prosecutorial discretion when making charging decisions. In order to protect this discretion and prevent intimidation and harassment, prosecutors are granted absolute immunity for charging decisions. Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478, 492–94 (1991). Members of the House of Representatives should similarly be free from harassment and intimidation during the impeachment process. The Representatives are sitting in the role of prosecutors – choosing to decide whether a state official should be impeached and then tried by the Senate. See Burns v. Reed, 500 U.S. 478, 492–94 (1991).

Instead of making her perspective known and then allowing the House of Representatives to investigate, Governor Noem and the Executive Branch have continued to insert themselves into the impeachment process. From tweets regarding specific legislators5, to press conferences calling for the Attorney General’s impeachment, to the Governor’s failure to condemn the phone calls and billboards improperly seeking to influence members of the Select Committee, Governor Noem has continued to improperly influence the impeachment process. Most recently, Secretary Price released a letter summarizing and citing text messages from the investigative file – the same investigative file he previously had warned legislators was confidential. These tactics by the Executive Branch ultimately resulted in a cease and desist letter delivered to the Governor.

The Select Committee on Impeachment unequivocally condemns Governor Noem’s attempts to influence this Committee. The Select Committee also notes that the question of impeachment is now in front of the entire House of Representatives. It cautions Governor Noem and the Executive Branch from seeking to improperly influence members of the House of Representatives.

For example, on March 11, Governor Noem tweeted from her official account, “Why is Speaker Gosch protecting the AG? And why is the @argusleader helping him?”

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-06 11:04:08Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:08:42


The Full Impeachment Report
Majority Report of the House Select Committee on Investigation


Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg attended a Lincoln Day Dinner in Redfield, South Dakota, on September 12, 2020. He attended this political function in his personal capacity as a candidate and not as a duty of his office. He consumed no alcohol that day. While he drove back to Pierre that evening, he spent approximately 69% of his time on his cell phone. His phone was locked prior to entering the town of Highmore, and he did not use his phone again until he called 911 after the accident on the west side of Highmore. A forensic study of his two cell phones confirmed that Attorney General Ravnsborg was not on a cell phone at the time or approximately 90 seconds preceding the accident. In response to questions regarding whether Attorney General Ravnsborg was obviously distracted, prosecutor Michael Moore said, “I guess I don’t agree with the fact that he was obviously distracted. People drive outside a lane for a variety of different reasons and it doesn’t mean they’re distracted.”

Approximately a mile west of Highmore, South Dakota, Attorney General Ravnsborg stated he began to accelerate in speed and looked down to set the cruise control. It appears that his vehicle may have left his lane of travel and drifted to the right onto the shoulder where he struck and killed Joe Boever. The South Dakota Highway Patrol concluded that all four tires of the vehicle were on the shoulder of the road, to the right of the fog line, and the point of impact was a foot from the ditch. This conclusion was disputed by Attorney General Ravnsborg’s statements and appeared to have been called into doubt by Mr. Boever’s bone scrape located to the north of the fog line, but close to the lane of traffic. No sufficient explanation has been provided to the Select Committee explaining how Mr. Boever’s bone fragments were left so close to the lane of travel, but the Highway Patrol concluded Mr. Boever was struck nearly on the grass line. No evidence indicated Mr. Boever’s body traveled under the vehicle, and no evidence supported that his body was vaulted over the top of the vehicle. Rather, all evidence suggests Mr. Boever’s face went through the windshield; and the body slid off the right side of the car, taking the passenger side- view mirror nearly off the vehicle. Some testimony regarding the vehicle’s paint chips and other fragments of the vehicle stated the vehicle was fully within the shoulder at the point of impact. However, the prosecutors involved believed the evidence was disputed as to how far into the shoulder the vehicle was at the time of impact. Tire marks previously associated with this accident by the media were determined not to be associated with this accident by law enforcement.

After the impact, Attorney General Ravnsborg pulled his car over and called 911. (Exhibit A, No. 58, p. 35 of SD Highway Patrol Report.) Hyde County Sheriff Michael Volek responded to the call, and both Sheriff Volek and Attorney General Ravnsborg looked in the surrounding ditches to see what had been hit. Both indicated they did not see Mr. Boever’s body, which was in the grass a short distance from the road. Sheriff Volek allowed Attorney General Ravnsborg to take his personal vehicle home to Pierre, and called a tow truck to transport Attorney General Ravnsborg’s vehicle to Highmore.

The next morning, September 13, 2020, Attorney General Ravnsborg and his Chief of Staff, Tim Bormann, returned to the accident scene before returning Sheriff Volek’s vehicle. Each began to search the area, and Attorney General Ravnsborg found Mr. Boever’s dead body. He alerted Chief of Staff Tim Bormann to come over to the location of the body. They then drove to Sheriff Volek’s house and reported the body. Sheriff Volek thereafter reported the body to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). DCI reports directly to the South Dakota Attorney General. The South Dakota Highway Patrol requested the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) assist with the investigation due to the conflict of having DCI involved. The South Dakota Highway Patrol reconstructed the crash, while the North Dakota BCI collected the evidence and primarily interviewed the witnesses.

North Dakota BCI Special Agent Joe Arenz and North Dakota BCI Supervisory Special Agent Arnie Rummel interviewed Attorney General Ravnsborg on September 14, 2020 and September 30, 2020.1 (Exhibit A, No. 44). During the first interview, Attorney General Ravnsborg stated, “I never saw anything until the impact.” Some have alleged that this statement suggests that Attorney General Ravnsborg saw he hit a person at the time of impact. During the second interview, Attorney General Ravnsborg stated, “You know I’m walking and looking to try and see that sign to make sure that’s the, and then I turn around and I’m looking into the ditch so I don’t know exactly where I turn around and saw him. I-I didn’t see him. I did not see him.” Some have alleged that this statement suggests Attorney General Ravnsborg saw the body in the ditch as he walked to view the Highmore sign. Attorney General Ravnsborg also may have simply misspoke, as he corrected his statement later in the interviews.

On September 15, 2020, Attorney General Ravnsborg spoke to DCI Special Agent Brent Gromer in Pierre at the DCI Headquarters. (Exhibit A, No. 29). Attorney General Ravnsborg asked Special Agent Gromer about digital forensics and what information the North Dakota BCI may be able to obtain from his cell phones. These questions made Special Agent Gromer uncomfortable and caused him to type a statement about the interaction.

Attorney General Ravnsborg issued a public statement regarding the accident on his official Attorney General letterhead. (Exhibit A, No. 68). At Attorney General Ravnsborg’s second interview on September 30, 2020, he was questioned regarding his phone use the evening of the accident. (Exhibit A, No. 44). 1 There is a transcription error on Exhibit A, No. 44, which lists the date of the second interview as October 30, 2020.

Attorney General Ravnsborg was charged with three class two misdemeanors, pleading no contest to two of them as discussed below. Prosecutors determined there was insufficient evidence to charge any more serious offenses. The Select Committee considered all other possible charges. Attorney General Ravnsborg was not charged with any crime related to obstructing or lying to law enforcement. Chief of Staff Tim Bormann testified that there has been no disruption in the Attorney General’s Office due to the accident. No evidence indicated Attorney General Ravnsborg abused his power of office.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-04-06 10:34:58Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:08:28


AMENDMENT B - Does the City Council Not Already Have the Power to Hold City Directors Accountable Regarding the Affairs of the City?
Op-ED submitted by Mike Zitterich of Sioux Falls

Come April 12th - the Electors (the voters) will be voting to amend the City Charter on two topics. Amendment A regarding the salaries of the Mayor and City Council, and Amendment B which will allow for the City Council to basically fire the City Attorney on its own terms. While Amendment A is getting all of the media coverage, it is Amendment B which is getting overlooked, and going without notice. To better explain what it is what the council is hoping to accomplish, let's take a look at what the charter does and does not do first.

Section 4.03 creates the City Attorney position -

"There shall be a legal officer of the city appointed by the mayor effective with the advice and consent of a majority of the eight members of the council. Notwithstanding Charter
Section 2.05(b), the legal officer may be removed by the mayor during the mayor's four-year term of office only with the consent of a majority of the eight members of the council. The consent of a majority of the council is not required for the expiration of the legal officer's term of office that occurs upon the mayor's expiration of term of office. The legal officer shall serve as chief legal advisor to the city council, the mayor and all city departments, offices and agencies, shall perform any other duties prescribed by state law, by this charter or by ordinance, and shall handle or monitor the representation of the city in legal proceedings."

Basically, the charter here is telling you who the City Attorney works for, what his responsibilities are, and what his job function shall be, and what it shall not be. It also states clearly that the 'term' of the City Attorney expires at the end of the Mayor's four year term of office, so the mayor controls whether or not the City Attorney can come back for a second term or not, considering whether or not the mayor is re-elected as well.

To better understand the role the City Council has in managing the role of the City Attorney, one now must look to
Section 2.05 to better get clearity of how the process of appointing or replacing the City Attorney as it relates to the powers of the city itself.

A. Holding other office. No council member shall hold any other elected public office during the term for which the member was elected to the council. No council member shall hold any other city office or city employment during the terms for which the member was elected or appointed to the council. No former council member shall hold any compensated appointive office or employment with the city until two (2) years after the expiration of the term for which the member was elected or appointed to the council. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the council or mayor from selecting any current or former council member to represent the city on the governing board of any regional, national, or other intergovernmental agency.

B. Appointments and removal. Neither the city council nor any of its members shall in any manner control or demand the appointment or removal of any city administrative officer or employee whom the mayor or any subordinate of the mayor is empowered to appoint, but the council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the mayor anything pertaining to appointment or removal of such officers and employees.

C. Interference with administration. Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations under section 2.09, the council or its members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the mayor solely through the mayor and neither the council nor its members shall give orders to any such officer or employee, either publicly or privately. Pursuant to
Section 2.09 - The city council may make investigations into the affairs of the city and the conduct of any city department, office, or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, and require the production of evidence. Failure or refusal to obey a lawful order issued in the exercise of these powers by the council shall be a violation and punishable as provided in state law.

Basically put -
Section 2.05 sets in place prohibitions placed on the City Council of what it can and cannot do. Here it is saying, it cannot directly remove the City Attorney, at least not by demand. If it wishes to hold the City Attorney accountable for his opinions, public statements, to the residents, the overall interest of the city itself - it has to include the Mayor within that process. The Council cannot personally, nor publicly interfere with the duties of the mayor, who was elected at-large by the very people who elected the counselor(s), it cannot go around the mayor to speak to city staff, employees, or department manages to go behind the mayor's back in order to convince the mayor to remove his choice of the City Attorney. The 'charter' point blank gives the full power of appointing the city attorney to the mayor himself (herself). IF, and only if the City Council utilizes section 2.09 in order to conduct an official investigation, of which it must hold public hearings, calling forth subpoenas, bringing evidence, facts, and testimony into that hearing, can the City Council itself force the the City Attorney to resign, or step down without the mayor's opinion, can they remove the city attorney (or other department head) from his office.

The City Attorney is appointed by the people's choice of Mayor, the council has the ability to provide advice and consent, object to that choice up front, but once they agree to place the City Attorney in his current chair, they cannot physically remove him without first including the mayor, thus jointly discussing the city attorney together. They cannot demand, nor force his removal from public office, at least without bringing forth such investigation/trial to be held publicly, at least not during the Mayor's 4 year term itself.

If the mayor is up for re-election, and gets re-elected, a new term begins, and at this point, the council could request to discuss with the mayor the possibility of changing City Attorney's, but then again, it still has to be the mayor's choice to do so, they cannot force the mayor to make such decision, except by means of a legal investigation, based in South Dakota Law, this Charter, etc.



So what does Amendment B actually do - well for that, let's take a look at what it says shall we:

AMENDMENT B- Shall Sections 2.05(b) and Section 4.03 be amended to read: Section 2.05(b) [Prohibitions] Appointments and Removal. Except as authorized by Charter Section 4.03, neither the city council nor any of its members shall in any manner control or demand the appointment or removal of any city administrative officer or employee whom the mayor or any subordinate of the mayor is empowered to appoint, but the council may express its views and fully and freely discuss with the mayor anything pertaining to appointment or removal of such officers and employees. Section 4.03 [Legal Officer] There shall be a legal officer of the city appointed by the mayor effective with the advice and consent of five (5) or more members of the council. Notwithstanding Charter Section 2.05(b), the legal officer may be removed by an affirmative vote of six (6) or more members of the council or by the mayor with the consent of five (5) or more members of the council. The consent of a majority of the council is not required for the expiration of the legal officer's term of office that occurs upon the mayor's expiration of term of office. The legal officer shall serve as chief legal advisor to the city council, the mayor, and all city departments, offices, and agencies; shall perform any other duties prescribed by state law, by this charter, or by ordinance; and shall handle or monitor the representation of the city in legal proceedings. The role of the legal officer is to provide counsel in the best interest of the city, not the interest of one inquiring source.

What the change is in fact attempting to do is impose the will of the City Council to remove the "City Attorney" without the mayor's opinion or approval. While part of the change does include the mayor, I feel it was a compromise in order to include the mayor in that decision, because now if the Mayor wants to freely remove the City Attorney, which by our own 'charter' he legally can, now the 'change' restricts the mayor to doing so. This is a power play by the City Council in order to strip the mayor of his constitutional and chartered authority.

As for the overall responsibility of the City Attorney himself - his main role is to work with the Mayor, as an elected city official to run, operate, manage the City in the best overall interest of the residents, based on the needs, wishes, and wants of the people. By electing a mayor, the people are wishing for, and supporting the current mayor's direction, promise, and agenda to manage the city government in a stated or governed right to do so, so long as all acts and agenda are within the rules put forth by the state constitution, the city charter, and all statutory rules and ordinances set forth by laws adopted within this state and city.

Are the changes necessary? No. Does the City Attorney represent the views of all members of the council? No - not directly. His main job is to provide the mayor, city staff, and the city council opinions, proclamations, and viewpoints on legislative documents, as they come before the mayor and city council. The city council has the right to request an opinion of the city attorney anytime they wish to, by current charter, the City Attorney while working for the mayor, must also represent the best interest of the people, and that alone binds him to the city council.

I do not support Amendment B - it is a power play by the City Council to over-step the mayor, giving the city council, of which the "mayor" is actually a member of a more direct authority in all legal matters of city government. While I support the councils in holding the mayor accountable, I also feel the manner of which the current charter is written in relation to appointment and removal of the City Attorney is worded in such manner, it allows for the city council to create that dialogue with the mayor in order to discuss the city attorney and his role, his duties, and the effects of his decisions.

On one hand, the charter says the city council "shall not" demand nor ask for the removal of the city attorney, but on the flip side, the "amendment" is allowing the city council to go around the mayor to remove the city attorney for any stated reason or belief. To me, the amendment poses a huge conflict with the city charter itself, and that may be cause enough to allow someone to bring forth a legal challenge to a public court.

IF we are wishing for diplomacy in the matter of appointing or removing the city attorney, the amendment at best is removing any hope of diplomacy to be had. This appears to be a huge power play by the city council itself, and with that, I urge my fellow voters to "VOTE NO" on Amendment B.

There are simply better ways to address the issue of holding the City Attorney accountable, but this style, form, and manner of which to do so, is not in my opinion, the right approach. I am all for separation of powers between the Mayor and City Council, but this is not the proper way to go about it, it will cause more divisive issues than not. My recommendation would be - to change the charter to force any mayor, elected or re-elected to go thru the process of reaffirming all Department Heads at the beginning of each 'term', in this manner, the council then has the ability to discuss publicly every four years, the ability to select a new department head, let alone the City Attorney himself.

On April 12, 2022 - you will be asked to approve or disprove of Amendment B - I simply want to help you understand what the amendment does, how it changes the city charter, and why I am choosing not to support it. End of day, you have the right to vote any which way you wish. That is your protected right. But I wanted to at least help you understand what Amendment B is hoping to do.

--Mike Zitterich

Post Date: 2022-04-06 09:52:16Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:08:18


Dennert Announces Bid For Brown County Commission
Press Release

Current State Representative Drew Dennert announced his candidacy for a position on the Brown County Commission.

“It has been a great honor to serve District 3 and the residents of Brown County in the State Legislature and I hope to continue serving Brown County as a member of the County Commission.”

If elected he will work to support the following issues

“I look forward to the opportunity to earn the support of the people of Brown County. As a Commissioner, I will work to support creating an environment where we can fund the key functions of county government while being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

During Dennert’s time in the legislature he has been a member of the Transportation and State Affairs committees as well as House Taxation where he has served as Chairman for the past two years.

Drew Dennert is a husband, father, and a sixth generation resident of Brown County. He and his wife, Ashton have a 2-year-old son and another child due this summer. Dennert is a part owner and operator on the family farm and ranch in the Columbia area.



--Press Release Drew Dennert for Brown County Commissioner

Post Date: 2022-04-05 18:32:06Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:07:51


Mark Mowry is on the ballot!
Press Release

A South Dakota AMERICA FIRST candidate for U. S. Senate 2022 Spearfish, SD: Mark Mowry has reached the qualifying number of signatures to be included in the U.S. Senate Republican primary election, June 7. This completes Step #1 of our ‘SD to DC’ campaign.

What’s the next step? I intend to do the same thing that I’ve been doing all along – talk to people everywhere about the absolute imperative to stand up and speak out at the grotesque mannerisms and abuses of politicians and regulatory powers in our federal system. I will continue to say that we can count on no one except ‘We the People’ to finally save this Republic from its enemies domestic and foreign, as I believe we are in ‘The Final Showdown’ for either maintaining a Constitutional Republic or becoming a socialist regime. Finally, I believe that our battle will only be won as we call on the name of the LORD, the Covenant-Maker and Covenant-Keeper acknowledged in our brilliant U.S. Constitution.

What should you do? You should decide where you are in this pitched battle for our nation’s destiny, then get involved. This is your nation, this is your legacy, these are your generations that are being affected by the roiling waters of anarchy and rebellion. I’m asking everyone to fight the good fight for our democracy from your own street, porch, or coffee shop. We certainly won’t win this primary trying to use the same procedures as our shrewd, financially advantaged competitors.

As you are inclined, ask the Holy Spirit to show you your role in this primary election; after all, God loves this country far beyond any of us. We are simply protecting and upholding those hard-won, stubbornly-held freedoms bestowed upon us by those who have gone before us. It is my honor and privilege to have a part in holding the line for Faith, Family, and Freedom!

America First, Mark Mowry

--For Immediate Release Contact- Paulamowry@mowryforsenate.com

Post Date: 2022-04-05 17:57:27Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:07:40


Conservative Republican Colin Paulsen Enters Race to Unseat Senator Lee Schoenbeck in District 5
“South Dakota Deserves Better Leadership”

WATERTOWN, SD Tuesday April 05, 2022—Republican challenger Colin Paulsen announces bid against Senator Lee Schoenbeck in District 5 after session's failures and diminished decorum. Paulsen is a Watertown native, veteran, and currently serves on the Watertown City Council.

Paulsen released the following statement;

"Under the failed leadership in the Senate this year, South Dakota has been left without protections for parental rights. Workforce housing was made far too political, granting the ability to expand and have more representation in Pierre to larger cities, while small rural communities were offered high interest loans. Our most vulnerable populations have been left without job protection, and our elderly with healthcare staffing deficits, just as they need care the most. Farmers and ranchers are left without certainty as energy costs skyrocket, and voters are losing confidence in the integrity of free and fair elections. These are all issues that could have been solved by good policies—common sense legislation that should have been passed by the Senate this year. Instead, these policies were either blocked or died in committee due to a lack of decorum and statesmanship.

“We have seen far too much harassment in Pierre, emboldened by the lack of accountability, and special interest funding. South Dakota deserves better leadership. We need to focus on people over profits, and taxpayers over special interest dollars. It's time the good people of District 5 had a real choice for conservative representation in the Senate. It's time to remind the people that we work for you, the voters.

"As an engineer by training and trade, I'm focused on solutions. My petitions have been certified, and I'm fired up to serve the people of Senate District 5 and this State. I will work hard to earn your trust, your vote, and to be your voice in Pierre. As of today, I’m proud to provide that choice for voters, as I announce my candidacy.

"Under God, the people rule. May God bless South Dakota"
--Press Release

Post Date: 2022-04-05 15:58:22Last Update: 2022-04-21 21:07:07


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