Executive Director of the South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance, Norman Woods, gives an update on the opening and first week of the 2023 legislative session. To follow legislation and conservative efforts in South Dakota, make sure to hit the subscribe button on YouTube (below), or click here.
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This past June the SD Republican Party held their state convention and precinct people from across the state elected our constitutional officers, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General,- all Republican candidates for the general election in November.
What was so unsettling to the establishment republicans was the fact that conservative republicans (the ones that vote in line with our Republican Party Platform as well as our state and US constitution) dared to vote for real conservative leadership and not just the same old establishment monopoly.
But what do you expect after a dozen conservative candidates were targeted by Gov. Noem and Lee Schoenbeck, President Pro Tem of the Senate just weeks earlier in the primary election. Sen. Schoenbeck is the senator that encouraged the Republican Senate Caucus to cover-up the Drunkfest party of 2020 that involved the top three in senate leadership.
The conservative grassroots had mobilized and had enough votes to take out the sitting Secretary of State, Steve Barnett, replacing him with Monae Johnson, the conservative candidate who had worked in that office for eight years and is bringing some great ideas to improve the office.Â
Steve Haugaard, former Speaker of the House, came within a few percentage points of taking out Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden, who participated in the 2020 Drunkfest fiasco while functioning in the role of Lt. Governorâ€¦on the clock.
Charlie Kirk, with Turning Point USA, recently stated at Americafest 2022 that â€œthe backbone of the Republican Party is the precinct committee personâ€.
We have elections coming up tomorrow in Pierre (Saturday January 14, 2023) to determine who will be the new state chairman and vice-chairman of the state party.
Gov. Noem has allegedly hand picked Sen. John Wiik to be Chairman (a well known boot-licker for the Governor) who also voted NOT to form a committee to immediately investigate Drunkfest 2020, and later conspired to cover it all up. Rep. Mary Fitzgerald is her pick for Vice-chairman, who incidentally was very vocal at the June GOP Convention encouraging suppressing of the vote of the little people and concentrating the power in the hands of the Politburo.
Rep. Fitzgerald also called Rep. Liz Mayâ€™s county chair and told him that Sen. Wiik was running unopposed, an outright lie. How many others has she lied to?
So, there we have it, quite a cast of characters who desire to completely control the SDGOP!
Ben Franklin once said â€œa person when given new information can change their mind, a fool never doesâ€. If you are a precinct committee person and have committed to voting for the Wiik/Fitzgerald team, itâ€™s OK to change your mind.
No concessions made, but a â€œmassageâ€ has been sent
Editorial Note- "Massage" is not a typo, but a placeholder for a future conversation on capitol culture and inappropriate behavior. As a publication owned and ran by women, The Dakota Leader is on your side Editor@DakotaLeader.com.
PIERRE, SD- In a move that echoed that of Congressional Republicans, fourteen South Dakota State Representatives withheld their vote for Speaker of the House, Hugh Bartels (R-Watertown), this morning. Meanwhile, three female legislators were noticeably excused from that vote.
The 98th South Dakota legislative session opened Tuesday Jan. 10, 2022, with a vote for house and senate leadership. That vote was an utter embarrassment for Bartels, who somehow supplanted Rep. Jon Hanson, favored for the role. Although the holdout had no impact upon the outcome, it was certainly a statement made by the remaining conservatives in the house that sent a clear message to the republican establishment.
Following that first joint session was the governor's state of the state address where Noem clearly announced a plan for bigger government, along with the expansion of foster care, state regulated day cares, and adoption services. Noem also announced that South Dakota will be creating a committee to review land purchases from foreign entities to prevent the "CCP from buying land near critical infrastructure." Perhaps most perplexing however, is Gov. Noem's plan to increase PTO (Paid Time Off) payments to 100 percent, for up to twelve weeks, while simultaneously reducing the unemployment burden for employers.
Last session, things became tense between the executive and legislative branches after Gov. Noem accepted, then allocated, millions in federal aid dollars without legislative oversight. How the rest of that money is to be spent this session is a primary concern for many conservatives in the state, amid leadership changes.
A growing concern also exists over the consolidation of power from the Watertown, SD area. Watertown is home to Speaker Bartels, Gov. Noem, and former Senate Pro-Tem Lee Schoenbeck. Sen. John Wiik, who will face-off against west-river's former lawmaker Thomas Brunner on Saturday for SDGOP Chair, is also from Watertown. If Wiik wins the vote for SDGOP chair, some say they are worried that the old money, east-river-establishment will become unstoppable. As we have witnessed in Washington, D.C. with the democratic party, the ability to allocate funding is often rewarded with larger donations and re-election.
Watertown is already growing rapidly after receiving large sums of money last session, earmarked for workforce housing and infrastructure. In fact, the Governor's Office of Economic Development confidently announced new construction projects like The Plains, a 216 unit apartment building that began breaking ground before financial disbursements were even released from the treasury. With 216 new units, young professionals and families will ultimately move to the area, just ahead of the next redistricting process.
With money on the table, pork in the water and conservatives effectively hobbled, this legislative session is already off to a rocky start for the "limited government" state.Â
A special thank you to our friend Pat for making this article possible.
ESG- a global social scoring system, is said to have major national security implications
PIERRE, S.D. Dec. 8, 2022 â€“ The South Dakota Freedom Caucus is praising Governor Noem's efforts today, after Noem ordered a full review of state investments.
According to a statement released today, The Freedom Caucus agrees with the governor's risk assessment related to threats the Chinese Communist Party potential poses on national security.
State Representative and Freedom Caucus Treasurer, Tina Mulally (R-Rapid City) said the governor's efforts are commendable.
â€œGovernor Noemâ€™s conscious effort to protect our financial sector is to be commended,â€ Mulally said. â€œGood money, to bad people, makes bad policy and weâ€™re encouraged to see good policy being implemented here.â€
According to Justin Haskins, Senior Research Fellow at the Heartland Institute, ESG is an arbitrary set of financial policies that allow for discrimination, inequality and unfair practices in the marketplace. Further concerns have been cited related to the centralized power that ESGs would give to the world's wealthiest corporations to dictate national policy.
Nearly half the states in the U.S. are currently working to create policies that would block the implementation of ESGs for businesses, and social scoring systems like MyLife for citizens.
â€œItâ€™s great to see the Governor acknowledging the impact of foreign interference and how it can impact our financial markets,â€ Mulally said. Mulally also noted that the Governorâ€™s recent actions are timely and necessary in light of recent news.
Bashur wrote "environmental, social and governance ratings, coupled with the Biden administrationâ€™s subsidization of electric vehicles, are facilitating the misallocation of capital toward firms controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. ESG ratings are encouraging the politicization of retireesâ€™ life savings and bolstering Chinaâ€™s stranglehold on the global energy sector."
According to Mulally, this has been an issue of concern for sometime and she is looking forward to working on policies that will help protect South Dakotans from foreign countries that are currently working to purchase critical food supply resources.
Chair of the Freedom Caucus, Representative Aaron Aylward (R-Sioux Falls) said â€œthe governor is right in framing this as a national security issue, this is economic warfare and we are fighting an enemy within.â€
â€œThereâ€™s more at stake here than most people know,â€ said Freedom Caucus Vice Chair Representative Tony Randolph â€œand now is the time to act, before itâ€™s too late to do so.â€
The 2023 South Dakota legislative session begins this January 10th.
The Transformation Project, a Sioux Falls based 501(c)(3) working to educate, support and empower trans youth and their families, was just given a $145,000 grant after being "found and vetted" by the San Fransisco based non-profit, wayOUT. The grant, funded by a Hollywood Gala, came on the heels of HB 1057, which The Transformation Project lobbied against during the 2020 legislation session. While the bill failed to pass, it managed to gain national attention, and according to the Washington Post made South Dakota "the unlikely epicenter of a transgender uprising on the American Great Plains."
Additional partners included Fiji Water, Amazon, Facebook, In-N-Out Burger, Hasbro Games, and donations from the Travel Industry. Jet Blue, Lyft and various Hoteliers partnered to provide vacation packages for the auction.
According to Alexander Moore, National Marketing Chair of the wayOUT, they specifically look for, and closely vet LGBTQ+ organizations within conservative areas and states to fund-raise for.
In total, a check for $145,000 was presented to The Transformation Project's Founder, Susan Ann Bill.
Ironically, Bill is a registered republican in the State of South Dakota. A former Mary Kay salesperson, Bill began getting politically involved after her ten-year-old wrote her an eight page letter, explaining that he felt trapped in the wrong body.
Similarly, HB 1057 failed to pass due to republican-led opposition, even drawing criticism from Gov. Kristi Noem. Democrats in South Dakota have failed to gain momentum, until recently, but currently do not have the numbers to stop or pass legislation like HB 1057. Clearly republican does not equal conservative in South Dakota, and yet, wayOUT still decided to aim their sights on the "conservative state."
State Sen. Casey Crabtree (R-Madison), recently elected to senate leadership, told talk radio host Bill Zortman that the media needs to pay close attention this session because the abortion debate will be coming up. "South Dakota's voters are not as conservative as the legislature," Crabtree said.
With national attention attracting out-of-state donations, large healthcare lobbies and teachers unions funding progressive lawmakers, and special interest groups currently funding an abortion measure on the ballot, the matter of South Dakota's "conservatism" is apparently up for debate. Meanwhile, the state is on the radar and in the cross-hairs of powerful donors, who want to see change, and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.
â€œCOVID-19 Vaccines- What They Are, How They Work and Possible Causes of Injuriesâ€
WASHINGTON D.C.- U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson leads a round-table discussion, COVID-19 Vaccines: What They Are, How They Work, and Possible Causes of Injuries, to shed light on the current state of knowledge surrounding the vaccine and the path forward. Medical experts and doctors who specialize in COVID-19 vaccine research and treatment join Sen. Johnson at the table.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. â€” On Monday Dec. 5, 2022 the Sioux Falls Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of 259th St and 471 Ave.
According to Sergent Joel Dalton, police arrived at 1:44pm to find a Ford F-150 had overturned in the middle of a field.
The vehicle's driver is said to have been a male, who was pronounced deceased at the scene. Information has yet to be released about the driver's identity. However, police say they are currently investigating the accident and will be employing the use of UAS (Unmanned Aerial Surveillance) to accomplish this task. The UAS/Drone team will be assisting the Sioux Falls Police Department to determine the cause of the accident.
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According to a statement released today by the Sioux Falls Police Department, they are now notifying the public ahead of time, as is there policy whenever aerial surveillance aircraft are flown.
According to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, "utilizing UAS for crash-scene reconstruction can significantly reduce the data collection time at a crash scene, resulting in shorter road closure times, and officer on-scene times." In just one flight, UAS can collect hundreds of images to create accurate and detailed 2D and 3D modeling for thorough accident investigations.
The Sioux Falls Police Department began using drone assistance for crash-scene reconstruction in 2019, after thoroughly researching the program for over a year. According to flight logs, the UAS program has been used for things like tracking deer populations, and even assisting in missing person cases.
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Dec. 5, 2022 By Breeauna Sagdal.
The Watertown School District's Superintendent has created quite the stir among his staff and parents alike, after intrusive surveys were passed out during a mandatory in-service training on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. During the mandatory training, teachers and staff listened to a four-hour-long presentation from "Equity Consultant" Wayne Felton. At the end of the presentation however, surveys were passed around to teachers and staff that asked very personal questions. Although the surveys were optional to complete, several attendees have since shared that they felt very uncomfortable at the time. Others have taken to social media, voicing concerns related to the district's general direction under Superintendent Dr. Jeff Danielson.
According to Public Action Notice 23079, Superintendent Danielson used $3,000 in taxpayer funds for Wayne Felton's speaking fee. Felton, a previous Christian minister, now travels to help educational facilities with consulting, training and strategic planning of D.E.I policies and racial incident response procedures.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has become common place on many college campuses, and is now creeping into k-12 education under the auspices of closing the achievement gap. However, according to a 2021 study conducted by Backgrounder, results showed that "the existence of Chief Diversity Officers may actually exacerbate achievement gaps between white and black students, white and Hispanic students, and wealthier and poor students. These findings are consistent with the observation that CDOs have more to do with political activism than with improving education outcomesâ€”or narrowing achievement gaps between students."
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training is currently optional, left to the discretion of school boards and superintendents. However, the issue of political activism in the classroom is becoming a more nuanced discussion, especially within school districts that accept federal funding like Watertown, Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
LEAs (Local Education Agencies) that receive certain types of federal funding, like the school lunch program, and NCLB (No Child Left Behind) are mandated to implement federal guidelines or face repayment. Federal guidelines for program eligibility have changed often over recent years. Despite push-back from parents, federal funding was leveraged during the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of ensuring adherence to CDC guidelines on social distancing, masking, and may even have an impact on vaccine requirements going forward.
Under the Biden Administration, federal funding guidelines have become drastically more stringent, while definitions for violations have largely been expanded. Recently a year-long process ended, whereby the White House and U.S Department of Education redefined the Title IX anti-discrimination law in its entirety. The once simplistic civil rights law, is now 554 pages long, redefined to include gender identity, an expanded version of sexual orientation and expanded policy mandates for LEAs receiving any form of federal funds.
With the allocation of COVID-19 relief funds, centralized federal funding is now capable of bypassing state rights. In 1932, American Communist Party Founder William Z. Foster, wrote "among the elementary measures the American government will adopt to further the cultural revolution are the following: the schools, colleges, and universities will be coordinated and grouped under a National Department of Education and its state and local branches. The studies will be revolutionized, being cleansed of religious, patriotic, and other features of bourgeois ideology."
As a result, schools that were providing federally funded lunches during the pandemic, are no longer able to continue that service. It's possible that Gov. Noem has a long-term strategy however, as parents who have lost trust in public schools are creating million dollar deficits in budgets due to unenrollment. Homeschooling is currently the fastest growing educational method in the U.S, jumping from 2.3 million in 2020 to 55.292 million students today, with the top reasons reported as concerns for "the school environment," political indoctrination and teacher's union policies like "tenure."
Johnson says she is eager to begin working on stronger tribal relations, election integrity, campaign finance transparency and helping businesses to succeed
PIERRE, S.D. â€“ Monday Dec. 5, 2022 Monae Johnson has assumed the role of Secretary of State this morning, after the resignation of Steve Barnett. Johnson, who was elected to the office of Secretary of State by a 64% landslide in the midterm election, was appointed by Gov. Kristi Noem to serve the remaining month of Barnett's term.
â€œMonae Johnson has the confidence of the people of South Dakota,â€ Gov. Noem said in a statement released Friday afternoon. â€œShe was elected because of her promise to focus on election integrity, and I look forward to working with her on those efforts.â€
Johnson won additional voter confidence while taking a stand for campaign finance transparency, and economic prosperity when she unveiled her plans to make updates to the current Secretary of State website. With eight years of experience in the office, having served under two previous Secretaries of State, Johnson says that the website could be more user friendly for reporters, business owners and the public.
â€œI am truly grateful to Governor Noem for the opportunity to finish the current term as Secretary of State, and to the people of South Dakota for trusting me to serve in the role for the next four years,â€ Johnson said. â€œTom Deadrick, my new Deputy Secretary of State, and I will immediately get to work for the citizens of South Dakota to finish up the year-end duties. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!â€
â€œFreedom has many branches, and we are all at different stages of our journeys. H.O.L.D. Summit is sure to have something for everyone to learn how to own their health, develop their liberties, and protect their freedom.â€
Health Freedom South Dakota is an organization that advocated for medical decisions to be put in the hands of individuals and families, not in the hands of government organizations or pharmaceutical corporations. They acknowledge the importance in technological advances such as sanitation and clean water, but also see the need to exist in balance with nature and not let modern technology reduce peopleâ€™s quality of life by going too far.
Doors open at 5pm on Friday night for a VIP dinner, panel discussion with the featured guest speakers, and a presentation by Tim Grover of Rev-tac about Second Amendment rights and responsibilities. Rev-tac is a range in Jackson, NE that teaches families about safe, conscientious gun ownership in a relaxing environment that has leisure activities such as paintball and sniper competitions as well as courses in womenâ€™s self-defense, trauma management, and obtaining concealed carry permits. The H.O.L.D. Summit will also have hands-on workshops for guests to learn self-defense skills from experienced instructors sharing invaluable knowledge. Instructors at Rev-tac are made up of snipers, SWAT, competitive shooters, and seals. Their motto is, â€œPractice Makes Prepared.â€
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Beginning at 8am on Saturday, there will be a vendorâ€™s market where guests can shop for Christmas presents with local merchants and a series of presentations by speakers who have unique perspectives due to their expertise in various fields and share a passion for health freedom.
Dr. Paul Thomas states on the H.O.L.D. Summitâ€™s event page that, â€œThe time has come to take our health and that of our children into our own hands. Gone are the days when you could blindly follow your doctorâ€™s recommendations or count on your health plan or some government agency to put your best interests first.â€ The H.O.L.D. Summit aims to empower attendees and their families to know what their rights are and to protect liberty and freedom.
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The H.O.L.D. Summit will feature issues pertaining to medical freedom, but it also is about a wider variety of liberties. Some topics that will be discussed are homesteading, home schooling, legislative opportunities, and career choices. The two-day event will facilitate more community involvement for participants in the future and connect people who have shared interests with each other. The goal goes far beyond a weekend event, towards building a more resilient community long-term.
Tickets are available on the event webpage. The code "Freedom50" can be used for a 50% discount on the ticket price for a limited number of guests.
Gov. Noem Takes Action as The DOJ and Now the FBI Warns of National Security Breaches Due to Chinese Owned Telecom Companies
PIERRE, S.D.- Gov. Kristi Noem has signed Executive Order 2022-10, taking decisive action as tensions continue to mount with China. The E.O bans state government agencies, employees, and contractors from accessing the social media platform TikTok from state issued devices.
Noem's order corresponds to recent warnings issued by the DOJ and FBI, as various national security breaches have been unearthed. In addition, tensions mount as China's President Xi Jinping has taken aggressive actions, and absolute control of both the government and the military. According to ABC news, Jinping replaced most of the top leadership with his generals last month during the 19th Party Congress.
Upon seizing control, Jinping outlined a new path forward that refocuses the Country's prior emphasis on economic security, to now making China a world power by 2035. According to the Chinese Communist Party Leader, this will be accomplished and backed by creating the top ranked military in the world.
Jinping's actions, and the use of Chinese owned telecom companies to spy on Americans, have many within the U.S State Department warning of threats to homeland and national security.
During the Nov. 15, 2022 Congressional Oversight hearing on Homeland Security, FBI Director Christopher Wray told members of Congress that "under Chinese law, Chinese companies are required to essentially, and Iâ€™m going to shorthand here, basically do whatever the Chinese government wants them to in terms of sharing information or serving as a tool of the Chinese government. And so thatâ€™s plenty of reason by itself to be extremely concerned.â€
TikTok has come under recent fire, and is now facing multiple lawsuits in European countries for allegedly oversharing their userâ€™s data.
TikTok is owned by parent company ByteDance, a Beijing-based company that has links to the Chinese government . Shou Zi Chew, who simultaneously served as the CFO of ByteDance until November 2021, began serving as CEO for TikTok in April 2021, solidifying concerns related to the influence of the Chinese parent company over the app's data management.
FBI Director Wray is one of several within the intelligence community to warn Congress, stating that they do not believe the app has the ability to protect user data.
During a press conference on Oct. 24, 2022 DOJ Director Merrick Garland announced charges in three separate cases accusing more than a dozen defendants, most of them Chinese officials, of participating in schemes to repatriate critics of the Chinese government, obtain secret information about a U.S. investigation into Chinese telecom firm Hauwei and recruit spies to act as agents of the Chinese regime in the U.S.
"This case exposes the interconnection between PRC officers and Chinese companies," Deputy Attorney Lisa Monaco said during the press briefing.
Noem has said that the E.O is needed immediately in order to prevent the Chinese Communist Party's ability to gather data from state issued devices. The app is able to track user location, videos watched and commented on, as well as the data gathered off the device itself such as; personally identifiable information, contact lists, addresses, photos, health information, and even banking information.
â€œThe Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data off the devices that access the platform,â€ Noem said. â€œBecause of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakotaâ€™s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well,â€ Noem concluded.
EO 2022-10, signed Nov. 29, 2022, takes immediate effect and only applies to employees and agencies of the State of South Dakota, including persons and entities who contract with the state, commissions, and authorities or agents thereof. The order prohibits downloading or using the TikTok application or visiting the website on state-owned or state-leased electronic devices capable of internet connectivity.