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Open Letter to Educators
[OPINION] “The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum was made by professors and teachers—not bureaucrats, not activists, not journalists—teachers.”- Dr Kathleen O

Dear Teacher,

As you know, teaching is one of the most important professions in human history. As an institution whose purpose it is to teach, we at Hillsdale College are acutely aware of what it takes to teach and to teach well, especially today. We thank you for taking up this charge in general and this curriculum in particular. We hope and trust that it will serve you and your students in the ways that you and they most deserve.

The pursuit of truth is an unapologetic pursuit. For those who strive for honesty, it cannot be otherwise. As such, you the teacher should be aware of the truths which Hillsdale College holds to be accessible to human reason, proven through the ages, and true of all people and all times. This curriculum is based on these truths. They are as follows.


The Plains, Grand Opening in Watertown

September 15, 2022 By Breeauna Sagdal

The Governor's Office of Economic Development announced today that Alliance Management Group has opened the first of three new apartment buildings in Watertown. Alliance Management Group broke ground on a new development located in northwest Watertown called The Plains, earlier this spring.

The apartment buildings will consist of 72 units along with a clubhouse, providing an additional 216 total residencies in Watertown. The second and third buildings are currently underway, and projected to open by the summer of 2023.

The Plains were created in order to address work force housing needs. Apartments range
between $1,035 per month for a one bedroom, to $1,745 per month for a three bedroom two bath.

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According to Commissioner Steve Westra, “the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) was able to participate in this project with a Revolving Economic Development and Initiative (REDI) loan. The use of this funding makes it easier to finance this kind of project in communities like Watertown.”

“We appreciate the investment by Alliance Management Group in our community. This project helps fill critical housing needs for both our existing and future workforce,” said Michelle Kakacek, executive director of the Watertown Development Company.

“Housing availability is key to workforce growth throughout South Dakota. The partnership between the state, the Watertown community, and Alliance Management Group on this project is a great example of what can be accomplished,” said Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden.

“We appreciate Governor Noem’s leadership at the state level and the city of Watertown working with us to make this development a reality,” said Rick Berg, owner of Alliance Management group. “My hope is this new development will help address Watertown’s housing needs. We are excited to open this project and be a part of Watertown’s growth.”



Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Breeauna Sagdal- Editor At Large

Post Date: 2022-09-15 08:17:34Last Update: 2022-09-15 10:16:45

    


Biden’s “Bioeconomy,” Hacking Humanity Through Genetic Engineering
Federal Funding Far From Free Money...

The solution phase of COVID-19, and supply chain shortage Hegelian Dialectics, have begun to take shape. On September 12, 2022 President Biden signed a new Executive Order titled "Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe, and Secure American Bioeconomy."

This
concept is linked to bioeconomy strategy, which was adapted by the European Commission in 2012 as Innovating for Sustainable Growth of "circular cities," or smart cities . Following this, the bioeconomy strategy was updated in line with the objectives of the U.N. 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement, as the "EU Updated Bioeconomy Strategy" of 2018.

While the White House acknowledges that the bioeconomy is mostly known in the context of health today, the E.O, outlines the need for biotech manufacturing as a means to help "achieve our climate and energy goals, improve food security and sustainability, secure our supply chains, and grow the economy across all of America."

The Executive Order goes on to describe how biotech will be used, and why this private industry warrants the focus of federal dollars and all agencies.

"For biotechnology and biomanufacturing to help us achieve our societal goals, the United States needs to invest in foundational scientific capabilities. We need to develop genetic engineering technologies and techniques to be able to write circuitry for cells and predictably program biology in the same way in which we write software and program computers; unlock the power of biological data, including through computing tools and artificial intelligence; and advance the science of scale‑up production while reducing the obstacles for commercialization so that innovative technologies and products can reach markets faster."

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The new Executive Order comes on the heels of Biden's cashless society and Central Bank Digital Currency pledge, which may provide insights as to why South Dakota State lawmakers argued against taking federal ARPA dollars last legislative session.

Many
have sounded the alarm starting with 9/11, only to be shrugged off as "conspiracy theorists," for their cited concerns related to data collection used to create digital dictatorships, similar to Orwell's 1984. Dr. Yuval Noah Harari of The World Economic Forum, on the other hand, now says we should just get used to the idea because it's already here.



“In the past, many tyrants and governments wanted to [hack millions of people], but nobody understood biology well enough,” Harari stated at a recent conference. "And nobody had enough computing power and data to hack millions of people. Neither the Gestapo nor the KGB could do it. But soon, at least some corporations and governments will be able to systematically hack all the people,” he goes on to say, adding, “We humans should get used to the idea that we are no longer mysterious souls. We are now hackable animals.”

But Dr. Harari says this merger of human life with technology will not benefit the average person so that he or she may improve their own future. Instead, Harari claims a handful of “elites” will not only “build digital dictatorships,” for themselves but “gain the power to re-engineer the future of life itself. Because once you can hack something, you can usually also engineer it.”

While the White House gives a nod to human rights, it's done so with respect to
Executive Order 13985 signed on January 20, 2021, "Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government." Biden's 13985 Order revoked two Trump era E.O.s, specifically the "1776 Advisory Commission," and "Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping" Executive Orders.

In addition, E.O 13985 pledges significant federal funding specific to minority and undeserved communities, in order to study and provide recommendations for identifying inadequacies in existing Federal data collection programs, policies, and infrastructure across agencies and implement actions that "expand and refine the data available to the Federal Government to measure equity and capture the diversity of the American people."

According to
The World Economic Forum's Internet of Bodies, we're quickly approaching a world run by A.I, where everything we do, think, and feel is monitored by implanted, ingested or wearable devices that collect our bio data in real-time. Applications for biotechnology range from; Elon Musk's neural-net brain interface, to FDA approved remote sensing pills.

According to the U.N. and the World Economic Forum, biotechnology will help to monitor and regulate how citizens participate in the world around them. A 2017 Forum, hosted in Stockholm, Sweden, outlines some of the pros and cons of human rights in the era of the internet of things, and smart city infrastructures in which bio-technologies and the internet of bodies will be integrated.



The creation and stakeholders behind smart cities have been largely shrouded in secrecy, until recently. Opponents point to this lack of disclosure as a barrier to understanding whose definitions of human rights will be adapted. Considering the rapid implementation of these policies in the wake of COVID-19, concerns and rumors have already began to circulate on social media, related to the virus and mRNA vaccines.

For example, social media posts cite a 2013 Supreme Court Case, which granted Myriad Genetics a patent on the company's synthetic cDNA sequence.
The Court's ruling stated that DNA manipulated in a lab is eligible to be patented because DNA sequences altered by humans are not found in nature. The Court specifically mentioned the ability to patent a type of DNA known as complementary DNA (cDNA), a type of synthetic DNA that is expressed as a protein, after receiving cellular instructions from messenger RNA (mRNA). While this theory of patenting humans, post vaccination, has largely been debunked by online sources, critics argue that grey areas exist in the law related to privacy, access, and implementation of the bioeconomy.

Building out the infrastructure for bio-security now appears to be a race against time. However, with
trust in the government at an all-time low, individuals from across the political spectrum are voicing concerns for centralized control in the hands of a few. Time will tell how these policy adaptations will impact South Dakotans, farming, business, and day-to-day life.

Stay tuned for this Friday's Dakota Leader Radio Show at noon central time, to learn more.



Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

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

Post Date: 2022-09-14 09:12:06Last Update: 2022-09-14 11:26:57

    


Legal Cases Against Mandates Gain Teeth After FDA’s Court Ordered Disclosure
When State Legislatures Fail to Act, Due Process is Left Open to Interpretation and “Rational Review” of Liability.

This issue of mandatory medical intervention is being called into question, as is the way COVID-19 has been handled by U.S regulatory agencies. On September 12, 2022 researchers at Harvard, University of San Fransisco, Oxford, Edinburgh, John's Hopkins et al Medical Schools published a study in which researchers assert that the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are 98 percent worse than the virus itself, for young adults. In addition, the authors challenge coercive policies, making five arguments against "ethically unjustifiable" mandates on campus.
  1. "No formal risk-benefit assessment exists for this age group;
  2. "Vaccine mandates may result in a net expected harm to individual young people;
  3. "Mandates are not proportionate: expected harms are not outweighed by public health benefits given the modest and transient effectiveness of vaccines against transmission;
  4. "US mandates violate the reciprocity principle because rare serious vaccine-related harms will not be reliably compensated due to gaps in current vaccine injury schemes; and
  5. "Mandates create wider social harms. We consider counter-arguments such as a desire for socialisation and safety and show that such arguments lack scientific and/or ethical support. Finally, we discuss the relevance of our analysis for current 2-dose Covid-19 vaccine mandates in North America." - quoted from the study's abstract.
Challenges have come on the heels of full disclosure, compelled by a court ruling last year. A group of highly qualified and credentialed scientists and doctors filed a Freedom of Information Act with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), to release the documents they received prior to granting EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for Pfizer's BioNTech biologics. Although the FDA had promised complete transparency through their licensing period of the COVID-19 biologics, the FDA refused to release the documents, initially stating they would need 75 years to produce the clinical trial data, or about 500 pages per month.

The team of scientists took the FDA to court, and in September of 2021, a
Texas Judge ruled that the FDA had until March of 2022 to release all documents publicly. As the evidence used to issue EUA status is slowly being revealed, challenges of ethical and medical malfeasance mount.

Now, a group called Nations in Action,
has filed an Amicus Brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals citing the Liberty Clause. Plaintiffs Katie Sczesny, Jamie Rumfield, Debra Hagen, and Mariette Vitti allege the state of New Jersey via Governor Philip Murphy, violated their due process, fourth and fourteenth amendment rights, by conditioning the benefit of employment upon the relinquishment of a constitutional right.

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"The fact that the government in this case conditioned the benefit of employment on the relinquishment of a constitutional right does not alter the Liberty Clause analysis. Pursuant to the doctrine of unconstitutional conditions, the extraordinary level of coercion involved in the COVID-19 injection mandates render them presumptively unconstitutional and subject to the same judicial scrutiny as laws of general applicability," the Amicus Brief states.

Law Professor and lead author of the Amicus Brief, Deana Sacks, says she is frustrated that other attorneys have failed to argue these cases, or practice the law on the basis of "strict review."



Sacks asserts that the burden of proof falls upon each attorney, and up until this point, the history of bodily autonomy has yet to be laid out or shown to be a constitutional right through proper pleadings, and arguments.



Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

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

Post Date: 2022-09-14 08:40:57Last Update: 2022-09-14 14:17:34

    


Hay Shortages Are Affecting Food Security
Op-Ed on The Importance of Hay

Hay does not feed Americans in the way that other crops do like potatoes, wheat, corn, beans, and other commodity crops. Even though we don’t have hay at our dinner table, its production is vital because it feeds livestock, and that livestock in turn feeds us. Without hay, we find ourselves with a break in the food security supply chain.

Farmers and ranchers across the United States are currently facing a hay shortage due to extreme drought and inflation. These issues have led to increased costs of fuel, fertilizer, and other inputs. The general population may not notice this issue right now, but the shortage of hay will impact our food security in America as it becomes more apparent in the colder months.

The hay shortage will have a three-fold effect. It will first hit the bank accounts of farmers and ranchers who grow and sell hay. Then the shortage and subsequent high prices of hay will impact those who feed hay to their livestock. Already there have been reports across the country of long lines at sale yards where ranchers are selling their herds because they do not have feed available at affordable prices. Lastly, the hay shortage will impact the general population that enjoys a glass of milk or a hamburger. The scarcity and skyrocketing cost to feed livestock will ultimately result in a higher cost at the grocery store.

While some American consumers may be able to absorb these price increases, many will not. Those unable to afford these products will be pushed into purchasing food items that may not be as nutritionally dense as animal protein.  

FOOD INSECURITY

Food insecurity is not new. In 2013, roughly 14% of our nation’s families were facing it at some point. In 2019, the number of families experiencing food insecurity had dropped by 3%, down to roughly 11%. Unfortunately, in 2022, due to inflation and policy, food insecurity for families across the country has spiked. As of this spring, 64% of American families were struggling to afford the cost of living. Crop shortages causing food insecurity are not new either.

DROUGHT

While this may just be another hot summer for some, for farmers and ranchers who grow hay, it has been devastating. Many regions across the country have experienced severe drought this spring and summer. The drought has impacted crop yields because many people who farm rely on regular rainfall to water their crops. To make matters worse, a select few states rely on irrigation, but many of those areas have had their water use cut by governmental policy.

During a typical year, the United States on average (excluding Hawaii and Alaska), gets about 30.21 inches of moisture. This year (2022) we are approaching record lows after the long hot summer across the nation. This lack of precipitation has caused farmers and ranchers to grow less hay because there is simply not enough water. Additionally, hay crops are dying much earlier than they would during an average crop cycle. Ultimately, this leads to a lower yield for farmers and ranchers who have planted and harvested hay this season.

Hay production this year has decreased by 17.9% in Oklahoma and 22.5% in Texas. Overall hay production this year has decreased by 10.1% when looking at the past ten-year average (2011-2021).

HIGH COST OF INPUT

In terms of man-made factors affecting hay production in 2022, inflation caused by policy and the rising cost of fuel can be listed as the biggest. Not only does the high cost of petroleum products affect the cost to run equipment, but it also raises the prices of goods across the board, including fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides. This year alone, the cost of fuel has risen nearly 60%. Despite news stories reporting that the cost of fuel has decreased in recent months, the price is still more than double what it was last year.

When prices for inputs rise sharply, like herbicides and fertilizer, many farmers and ranchers simply cannot afford to utilize them to maximize crop yield per acre. The high cost of fuel to run planting and harvesting equipment has also caused some farmers and ranchers to leave fields fallow.

According to a study done by John Baffes and Wee Chian Koh for the World Bank, fertilizer prices have gone up nearly 30% since the start of 2022, putting them at a record high. This rise in cost has made it nearly impossible for the average hay farmer to afford fertilizer in order to maximize crop production per acre and yield.

Pesticides that keep crops from being consumed by insects (like the locusts and grasshoppers ripping through nearly every field in the Eastern South Dakota currently), have also spiked upwards in 2022. It appears there is a battle on all fronts for farmers and ranchers as they try to scrape by without losing their livelihoods.

HOW HAY IMPACTS FOOD SECURITY

In 2020, the meat and dairy industries took large hits from Covid-19 shutdowns. Since then, food industries have worked hard to recover and start on an upward trend.

However, due to drought and inflation, this year the crop yield for hay is critically low. The hay shortage is impacting the dairy industry and the meat industry (specifically beef) which rely on hay as a food source for livestock.

Meanwhile, the need for hay grows as more food is needed to be produced. Agricultural experts across the country have expressed concern that farmers and ranchers will not have enough hay to sustain livestock this winter. The early sell-off of cattle by many farmers and ranchers and the coming winter will ultimately mean shortages in grocery stores as well as rising prices. Shortages of food products will directly impact foods that make it to dinner tables across America.

Consumers are already starting to see a rise in the cost of beef products. In 2020, a pound of ground beef cost $4.12 on average. In 2022 that number is roughly $4.78 and much higher in many areas. The price hikes have brought us past a $0.50 increase in under two years. At the current rate of increase, the average American family may not be able afford to buy steaks or even ground beef for dinner on a regular basis. Other staple products have also risen dramatically in price.

Continue Reading HERE...



Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Protect The Harvest- Republished With Permission

Post Date: 2022-09-14 08:11:28Last Update: 2022-09-13 19:12:06

    


Will Governor Noem Take A Plea Deal?
While Gov. Noem continues to argue that complaints filed against her are a “political attack,” a timeline of events paints another picture.

September 10, 2022 By Breeauna Sagdal

On August 28, 2020 a story broke in ProPublica regarding an investigation into Denny Sanford. "The richest man in South Dakota, T. Denny Sanford, was investigated for possible possession of child pornography, according to four people familiar with the matter. Sanford is a major donor to children’s charities and Republican politicians."

"Investigators with the South Dakota attorney general’s Division of Criminal Investigation obtained a search warrant as part of the probe, according to two of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. They said the case was referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for further investigation."
Denny Sanford, according to open secrets has been one of Gov. Noem's largest campaign donors.

On September 12, 2020, fifteen days after the story broke of Denny Sanford's alleged child pornography probe, then Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was heading home, when he hit something outside of Highmore. It was confirmed the next day that he had hit and killed Joseph Boever, a Highmore resident who was
found to have been highly intoxicated in an autopsy report.

On September 28, 2021, a year and 16 days after Jason Ravnsborg had fatally hit Joseph Boever, a complaint was filed with the GAB (Government Accountability Board), regarding allegations of malfeasance and misconduct associated with the Governor's daughter Kassidy Peters.

In a
letter that accompanied the complaint, dated September 28, 2021, Ravnsborg turned over the investigation of Gov. Noem and suggested using out-of-state legal counsel in an attempt to avoid any impropriety on his behalf, or that of his department.

Allegations of misuse began in 2019, when flight-logs showed Gov. Noem used the state plane to fly to an
NRA Conference, a meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition at a Las Vegas casino and other trips during Donald Trump's 2020 re-election bid. Members of the South Dakota state legislature, on behalf of the taxpayers, requested that A.G Jason Ravnsborg look into the possible misuse of the state plane, after Gov. Noem requested 5 million dollars for a newer model plane.

Both issues were brought
before the legislature during the 2021 session, which began in January.

On February 17, 2021, State Senator Reynold Nesiba sent a formal letter, to then Attorney General Jason Ranvsborg, requesting an investigation into Gov. Noem's use of the state owned airplane.

On February 23, 2021, following three misdemeanor charges of then Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, Gov. Noem called for his resignation. Earlier this summer, Ravnsborg was impeached by the State Senate and removed from office. Meanwhile, the investigations of Governor Kristi Noem's alleged misuse of state resources, along with her potential misconduct related to her daughter's appraisal license, have remained on-going.

Despite media reports claiming that allegations regarding Noem's misuse of the state airplane had been dismissed, the investigation was in fact handed off to recently appointed A.G Mark Vargo.
Three lawmakers, including Rep. Jamie Smith, running against Noem for Governor of South Dakota, called upon A.G Mark Vargo to recuse himself from the investigation of Noem. Vargo, who was appointed to the position of Attorney General by Gov. Noem, has now handed the case off to Hughes County State's Attorney Jessica LaMie.

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Jessica LaMie, according to her LinkedIn account, has practiced law for a mere four and-a-half years, and was trained under former Hughes County State's Attorney, Roxane Hammond. Hammond, who recently engaged in "prosecutorial misconduct," was found to have violated the Brady Act in a case resulting in the mistrial of second degree murder suspect Barry Allman of Box Elder. LaMie took over for Hammond as the Hughes County State's Attorney, when Hammond went to work for now Attorney General Mark Vargo, in Pennington County.

Early Friday morning, September 9, 2022, the Government Accountability Board (GAB)
released the records and complaints related to the on-going investigation into whether or not Gov. Noem abused the power of her office to intercede on behalf of her daughter's appraisal license.

Within the released records, is a motion to dismiss the case dated April 15, 2022, from Gov. Noem's attorney Lisa Prostrollo. Prostrollo argues in the motion that the Board should not proceed further with a contested case hearing, citing that the A.G did not have proper standing to file, nor does the Board have proper statutory or Constitutional authority to provide relief.

"The Attorney General has filed his complaint in bad faith while acting in his official capacity without the requisite authority, and he is seeking relief from this Board that is well beyond its statutory and Constitutional power to provide. Therefore the complaint should be dismissed outright without a contested case hearing," Prostrollo states, who has also claimed that turning over the investigation was a "political attack."

The Government Accountability Board was created in 2017 by the legislature in order to investigate statewide office holders, and members of the legislature after various scandals emerged, like
EB-5 and Gear-Up. The Board is codified in state law under SDCL-3-24-1 through 3-24-11. According to the SDCL, the only requirement stipulated to file a complaint, is being a citizen or resident of South Dakota.

The Government Accountability Board has dismissed one charge related to Noem's daughter, Kassidy Peters. It was alleged that Noem had misused state funds to settle a $200,000 dollar age discrimination case with former director of South Dakota’s Appraiser Certification Program, Sherry Bren.

The Board has moved forward on other charges however, including "malfeasance" as outlined in SDCL 3-24-3(4). Sources close to the investigation tell The Dakota Leader that Gov. Noem has been given the option to take a type of plea deal or go to a contested case hearing. Sources also indicate that Gov. Noem has been given until next week to decide how she intends to proceed.



Help Support Our Work... DONATE TODAY!

--Breeauna Sagdal- Editor At Large

Post Date: 2022-09-10 08:15:48Last Update: 2022-09-13 12:40:57

    


New Recording Surfaces From the August 27 SDGOP Central Committee Meeting
More information comes to light....

September 7, 2022 By Breeauna Sagdal

A new recording has surfaced from the August 27, 2022 Central Committee Meeting, where state GOP leaders discuss the termination of voting rights for certain party members.

(0:00-1:16) The defeat of the substitute motion (by Anne Beal) has been just been confirmed and discussion returns to the original motion.

Marilyn Oakes restates the original motion, but there seems to be some confusion over the actual wording of the original motion and some discussion occurs away from the microphone in regard to that.

1:16- 1:31 - Dan Lederman takes the microphone and says they will re-state the original motion so everyone can hear it.

1:31- 2:00- "To direct the Bylaws committee to explore options to set election times for PCPs to allow time for training and familiarization prior to the convention, and then the report will be brought back [from the Bylaws committee] by the winter meeting."

2:00- 2:50 - Mary Fitzgerald (elected rep from Lawrence County) states that she would like to amend the current motion, and she is then asked how she wants to amend it, and is asked to go to the microphone so that everyone present can actually hear what she is saying. There is also cross-talk from someone (possibly Fitzgerald) about just having the Bylaws committee look into the duties of a precinct committee person and make recommendations to the executive board prior to the winter meeting.

2:50 - 3:20 - At this juncture, Mary Fitzgerald is heard to say:

"They [newly elected precinct people] want to participate in our county meetings, they want to try to take control of our convention, take control of our county [central committees], and I think it's really important that we have people who work hard and are rewarded by actually doing things. And now we have these people who come in and go to the convention and vote and we never see them again... until maybe when we have a county election and they try to take over [in] a coup and take over our central committee."

3:20 -3:40- She goes on to say "I know that [the suggestion for an amendment to the motion] it's really vague, so maybe someone else can change it or whatever. So vote it up or vote it down, whatever..."

3:45- 4:15 - There is some unintelligible discussion, and then a remark is made that Fitzgerald's motion to amend requires a second, and the motion to amend is seconded by Roger Meyer.

4:15-5:15 - Dan Lederman takes the microphone to say that he'll repeat what was suggested. "The motion (to amend) is to direct the Bylaws committee to rewrite precinct committee (PC) duties, responsibilities, privileges, and timing of service (timing of term) and come to the state central committee winter meeting with a proposal for bylaw change."

5:45- 7:10 - The "friendly" amendment proposed by Fitzgerald and seconded by Meyer is approved on a voice vote, and Lederman then makes an off-handed remark about the "Word Salad" they're creating. There is some small talk and discussion about giving Marilyn Oakes [secretary] time to catch up with the meeting notes in regard to the current amended motion.

7:10 - 8:10 - Marilyn restates what is being proposed in terms of a friendly amendment to the original motion.

Lederman remarks that they are now back to discussing the original motion as currently amended.

8:15- 9:35 Jefferey Church takes the microphone to suggest that they direst the Bylaws committee to explore options for removing Precinct People who do not participate in their county duties (as yet undefined) . Someone in the group suggests that should actually be made as its own separate motion. Church then retracts his motion and says he'll bring it after the current motion is voted upon.

9:50 -11:35 Charlie Hoffman of McPherson County (District 23 representative) takes the microphone and says:

"The inside baseball everyone needs to be aware of. We're at a pinnacle in this party where we can't allow disenfranchised people [to sever] the party statewide. If we don't do something- this is a very important meeting- and the meeting in January will be of utmost importance for this reason"

"I know for a FACT there will be legislation brought that will GUT our conference [convention], GUT our summer celebrations, that will do things to this party that we don't like... and there isn't much we're gonna be able do about it... [except] maybe get the Governor on our side to veto it."

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"But there's a lot of power pushing back against the things that happened at convention. Now just to say this, because I've got the microphone and I won't speak again- My thoughts of the previous [proposal] is there has to be skin in the game for you to be able to vote at convention and here [central committee]. All of us have skin in the game, okay? The constitutional offices... when you come to a convention and you've done your homework and you want to be the best Secretary of State, or the best Treasurer, the best Auditor, or the best School and Public Lands Commissioner- that's fantastic- you're running for a position-not so much running against someone else.

"BUT...when you come to our convention, and you run against the Lt. Governor... you are not running to be the best Lt. Governor, you're running to SPITE the governor. There is no way in hell".... (Scattered applause from meeting attendees)

11:40-12:45 Hoffman continues his remarks- "I was at both last conventions where there were two people running to 'take out the Lt. Governor.' Now here's the deal... think about this: We all think we have the expertise and knowledge to elect the best person in our party to be the governor of this state, and whoever that is, that person ends up being the most powerful political person in the state.

"Yet by convention we don't think that person has the audacity, intelligence or drive to pick their own Lt. Governor. Let's have a discussion on that [the Lt. Governor nominating process], leave the [other] constitutional offices alone. That gets the grass-roots [involved], we don't want to screw up the grassroots in this. We're moving in the right direction- I'm not sure we can go all the way to 105 [seats in the legislature] - if it happens, that's fantastic...[then] all the constitutional offices are all held by us- let's keep that preserved.

"Let's work on making sure we don't get some Nut Bags from the other party - especially in the PUC (Public Utility Commissioner) race. But otherwise, that's all I've got. Thank you very much for your time." (end of Hoffman remarks) (applause from some of the meeting attendees)



Help Support The Dakota Leader... DONATE TODAY!

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-08 08:54:56Last Update: 2022-09-07 14:59:42

    


The Dakota Leader Radio Launches with Special Guest Rep. Spencer Gosch
Catch us every Friday at noon central

The Dakota Leader has launched its very own radio show broadcast, which will air live every Friday at noon central time. Our first guest, Speaker of The House Representative Spencer Gosch, joins TDL Editor Breeauna Sagdal, to discuss South Dakota politics and headlines in the news. Join us live every Friday at Revolution.Radio, Apple Podcasts, on your ROKU device, or catch us later on our YouTube Channel.



This Friday at noon, we will feature special guest Senator-elect Tom Pischke (R-Dell Rapids)



The Dakota Leader Radio is Member Supported. If You Like The Information We Bring To You Each Week, Please Consider a Monthly Donation!

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-08 08:41:52Last Update: 2022-09-07 14:58:07

    


Renters Pay Higher Property Taxes Than Home Owners According to Researchers
A look at the correlation between property taxes and housing affordability

By Mike Zitterich *UPDATED 09/08/22 By Editor Breeauna Sagdal*

Each year, beginning the first of August through the end of September, the Sioux Falls City Council holds public meetings to discuss the Annual tax revenues, expenses, future projects, programs, and projected plans of the city government. Part of that process includes the City Finance Officer seeking approval of the residents to take its allotted increase from the State Property Tax Assessments.

This allotted increase, in addition to the increases of the Sioux Falls School District budget, could mean higher property taxes for residents in the 2023 fiscal year. Property taxes, aside from impacting home-owners, also impact renters and access to housing affordability according to researchers.

In May of 2018, SmartAsset published a nation-wide study of the "Most and Least Severely Housing Cost-Burdened Cities in 2016". The study found that many people in 2016 were paying 30-50% of their income on housing, but the authors state, "it’s especially a problem for households that rent."

"Nationwide, renter households are more than twice as likely to be housing cost-burdened as owner households," the authors state.

While South Dakota has some of the highest property taxes in the nation, the cost of living is is offset by a small sales tax, and no income tax. In 2016, Sioux Falls, South Dakota ranked amongst the lowest cost-burdened cities.

However, according to the SmartAsset study, "no city is perfect." In 2016 4% of households across all income levels within Sioux Falls were still paying 50% or more of their incomes on housing costs, while 10% were spending between 30-50% of their income on housing. In the five years since then, property taxes in Sioux Falls have increased by another 14.2 million dollars. It's important to note that the max tax rate is set by the state legislature, but each city, and county have separate agreements and operating expenses that fluctuate budgets and property taxes.

Over the past five years, the City Council has steadily approved property-tax increases by $14.2 million dollars. $60,129,933 (2017); $62,523,959 (2018); 66,576,460 (2019); $70,288,580 (2020); and $74,349,770 (2021). Per the "2022 Request for Property Tax Dollars", the City Finance Officer has assessed, and confirmed that the City may be entitled to increase property-tax evaluations again, by another $2.2 million dollars ($78,572,716) for F.Y. 2023.

The 2.2 million dollar property tax increase is on par with the last five years, and in fact Mayor Paul Tenhaken's budget proposal for 2023 is below forecasted revenues for the year. With the costs of inflation, living costs for many are increasing, but some are feeling the squeeze more acutely. According to Derek Lobo of SVN Rock Advisors, these cost increases disproportionately impact renters.

Derek Lobo is the founder and CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc in Ontario Canada, and says that sometimes renters actually pay more property taxes than home-owners.

"It’s widely believed that only property owners pay property tax, but it’s actually not true, and in fact renters sometimes pay more property tax than those in single-family dwellings. They just pay it in their rent," Lobo said in an article for Real Estate News EXchange.

Lobo also points out that most renters do not think about property tax, because these taxes are “seemingly borne by the landlord." However, like Ontario, the city of Sioux Falls taxes homes that are
owner-occupied, and homes or multi-unit residencies that are renter-occupied, differently.

Renter occupied properties, be it single-family or multi-family such as apartment buildings, are taxed at higher rates because they are considered income properties for the owner. However, these costs get passed along to the renter in the form of rent, as do higher interest rates, increases in water, sewer, electric costs and more. In addition, renters share the same, or higher, tax burden for school districts, regardless of use.

According to a study recently published by Zillow, minorities often shoulder more of the cost burden, and are further behind on their rent than non-minorities, following the pandemic. According to a study recently published by the University of Chicago, the disparate inequality of housing costs for poor and minority households, are driving factors of homelessness, and access to housing.

According to the study's author,
Christopher Berry, housing inequality across the country is being driven by disproportionately higher property taxes in poorer neighborhoods. "Across the country, in city after city, homes in low-income neighborhoods are systematically over-assessed relative to their actual market prices, while those in rich areas are under-assessed. The net result is a transfer of billions of dollars of tax burdens from rich households to poor ones."

The total property value assessed in Sioux Falls,
according to the state's Department of Revenue is $16,800,000,000 billion dollars. The tax rate for Sioux Falls is currently set at 1.42% of assessed value, meaning the average home valued at $250,000 will pay about $3,550 dollars per year for owner-occupied properties, slightly over more than the national average.

Lloyd Companies, is a rental property company that owns approximately $212,113,800 dollars worth of assessed property value in Sioux Falls. Renters of Llyod property's, such as those living at Philip Ave Lofts, The Cascade and so on, pay an annual combined $3.02 million of the property tax burden to the city. Similarly, Ronning Rental Properties owns $45,521,500 million in assessed value, with their renters currently paying an estimated tax of $650,000 per year to the city.

The City Council will discuss the 2023 fiscal year's budget at the next meeting, September 13th.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

*Editor's Note: We have retracted a former version of this article, and we apologize for the mistake made by our team. The current version accurately reflects the author's intended story and corrected math.



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--Mike Zitterich- Edited By Breeauna Sagdal

Post Date: 2022-09-08 08:06:04Last Update: 2022-09-08 13:15:48

    


The U.S. and the Holocaust
A new documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein

Premieres September 18 at 8/7c

The U.S. and the Holocaust is a three-part, six hour series that examines America’s response to one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the twentieth century. Americans consider themselves a “nation of immigrants,” but as the catastrophe of the Holocaust unfolded in Europe, the United States proved unwilling to open its doors to more than a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of desperate people seeking refuge. Through riveting firsthand testimony of witnesses and survivors who as children endured persecution, violence and flight as their families tried to escape Hitler, this series delves deeply into the tragic human consequences of public indifference, bureaucratic red tape and restrictive quota laws in America. Did the nation fail to live up to its ideals? This is a history to be reckoned with.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2022-09-08 07:08:16Last Update: 2022-09-08 08:03:31

    


A.G Mark Vargo Announces Settlement Against Medicaid Fraud Case

Essilor International, Essilor of America Inc., Essilor Laboratories of America Inc., and Essilor Instruments USA (Essilor), headquartered in Dallas, Texas has settled a case of alleged Medicaid fraud. The company manufactures, markets, and distributes optical lenses and equipment used to produce optical lenses. Pursuant to the settlement, Essilor will pay the United States and 35 states a total of $22 million plus interest.

The settlement resolves allegations that between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2016, Essilor knowingly and willfully offered or paid kick-backs to eye care providers to bribe providers into exclusively ordering and purchasing Essilor products for their patients, including Medicaid beneficiaries. The government alleges that the Essilor’s conduct violated the Federal False Claims Statute and South Dakota statutes, and resulted in the submission of false claims to the South Dakota Medicaid program.

According to a statement from A.G Mark Vargo's office, however, "the settlement is neither an admission of liability by Essilor, nor a concession by South Dakota that its claims are not well founded."

The total settlement amount recovered by South Dakota is $56,009.03, of which $31,286.18 will be retained by the federal government for the federal Medicaid share. The remaining $24,722.85 will go to the state general fund to offset alleged Medicaid damages in this case.

This settlement came after two whistleblowers filed lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A team from the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (“NAMFCU”) participated in the settlement negotiations on behalf of the states. The South Dakota Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the South Dakota Department of Social Services assisted in recovering the settlement money.



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

Post Date: 2022-09-07 11:03:28Last Update: 2022-09-07 11:20:44

    


UPDATE - Noem Misconduct Allegations
Bi-partisan effort calls on A.G Mark Vargo to recuse himself

As previously reported by The Dakota Leader, the Government Accountability Board has turned over the case of Gov. Kristi Noem's "nepotism" allegations to interim A.G Mark Vargo.

As of August 23, 2022, three state lawmakers, from across the political spectrum, are now calling on Vargo to recuse himself from the investigation into Noem. State Representative Jamie Smith (D-Sioux Falls), is joined by Speaker of The House Rep. Spencer Gosch (R-Mobridge), and Rep. Scott Odenbach (R-Spearfish) in calling upon the interim Attorney General who was appointed by Gov. Noem this June, following the impeachment of Jason Ravnsborg.



Rep. Smith, who is running for the Governor's office this November, told Dakota News Now/KOTA Territory, “I am asking that we have a special prosecutor assigned this,” Smith said. “As honorable as the appointed Attorney General is, this puts him in a bad spot, there is going to be an impropriety because he was appointed by the current governor who is being investigated.”

Representatives Spencer Gosch and Scott Odenbach told Dakota News Now reporter Austin Goss,

“I think in order to show the people of South Dakota that we take ethical violations and complaints seriously, then it is only appropriate that the Governor appointed Attorney General in Vargo steps aside, to allow for a third party investigator to look into the ethics violations by Governor Noem,” Gosch said.

“It is only appropriate for him (Vargo) to immediately recuse himself and appoint a special counsel so that there is a continued faith and trust in the process, that you are held accountable no matter who you are,” Odenbach said in a statement.

Vargo contends that no decisions have been made yet.



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--Breeauna Sagdal- Editor At Large

Post Date: 2022-09-07 10:19:51Last Update: 2022-09-07 11:02:41

    


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