Political news

Dakota Political Junkies

May 22, 2019

In The Moment ... May 22, 2019 Show 581 Hour 2

Government transparency, high taxes, and former Senator Tom Daschle joins a cannabis investment company.

Dakota Political Junkies Roger Whittle and Jonathan Ellis join guest host Stephanie Rissler for this week's roundtable. 


In The Moment ... May 15, 2019 Show 576 Hour 2

South Dakota High School students propose a deeper look at "In God We Trust." U.S. Senator John Thune calls for trade deals that fuel economic growth. Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter joins In the Moment host Lori Walsh to discuss this week's political headlines.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

An agricultural economist says South Dakota is feeling the effects of tariffs imposed on goods between the US and China.

He calls the Trump Administration proposal to buy up domestic commodities and redistribute them as food aid to other countries a “band-aid.”

The last time soybeans prices were this low was December of 2008. For more than a year, China has imposed a 25 percent tariff on soybeans from the US.

Evert Van der Sluis is an agricultural economist with South Dakota State University.

More SD Producer Frustration As Tariffs Escalate

May 13, 2019
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

As trade talks stall, China is imposing retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods. These new tariffs come days after the US increased tariffs on over $200 billion on Chinese goods.

The tariff exchange is testing the patience of South Dakota producers.

Scott VanderWal is the president of the South Dakota Farm Bureau. He says South Dakota producers have been dealing with lack of a marketplace for over a year now. Especially for soybeans.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A federal judge is overturning a ban on out-of-state money for South Dakota ballot questions.

Voters approved that ban at the ballot box last year.

IM 24 sought to ban out-of-state people and groups from sending money to ballot question committees.
Backers of IM 24 brought the idea to the ballot box after attempts in the state legislature failed.

Proponents sought a ban after a political reform package known as IM 22 passed in 2016. That question was funded in part by a Massachusetts-based group Represent Us.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Trade talks between the U.S. and China are underway – and there’s a Friday deadline for a possible increase in tariffs on Chinese goods.
President Donald Trump has recommended a 25 percent tariff on some $200 billion worth of products.
One thing in the crosshairs? South Dakota soybeans and that has farmers worried.  


In The Moment ... May 8, 2019 Show 571 Hour 2

The Dakota Political Junkies discuss the debate over Initiated Measure 24's constitutionality and the Oglala Sioux Tribe's ban on Governor Kristi Noem coming to the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Former legislator and South Dakota Newspaper Hall of Famer Noel Hamiel and Watertown Public Opinion managing editor Roger Whittle are this week's panel.

A business improvement district board for downtown Rapid City is approving $20,000 for ambassadors in the area.

The Rapid City mayor says ambassadors would be pedestrian kiosks with pamphlets and recommendations downtown. He says they would also interact with anyone who brings discomfort to shoppers.

The vote is unanimous to invest $20,000 to the group Destination Rapid City for four part time ambassadors to walk around the downtown core.

Photo by Victoria Wicks

Governor Kristi Noem says she doesn’t think her ban from the Pine Ridge Reservation will impact efforts to meet a federal assistance threshold from natural disasters.

She says the state was proactive in providing resources during recent flooding.


In the Moment ... May 6, 2019 Show 569 Hour 2

As college and high school seniors prepare to launch into the world, commencement speakers offer words of wisdom for a new generation of thinkers, innovators and leaders.

Steve Jarding gave Sunday's commencement speech at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. Born in Mitchell, Jarding has taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University since 2004. He was worked in local and national politics for more than four decades.

RC Mayor Seeks Money For Ambassador Program Downtown

May 6, 2019
Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

Tuesday morning, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender will pitch an ambassador program for the downtown area.

Allender says the ambassadors could be pedestrian kiosks of information about what to do downtown. He says they will also keep an eye on any problems that arise in the area.

Mayor Allender says he sees an ambassador program for downtown as a compliment to a law enforcement presence. He says typically the request is for more police in the area.

OST Asks Noem To Stay Away

May 6, 2019

The Oglala Sioux Tribe requests South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem stay away from the reservation until she rescinds support for two pipeline related bills she passed during session.

A spokesperson for the Oglala Sioux Tribal president says the tribe is asserting and interjecting themselves in the discourse of this pipeline.

Chase Iron Eyes says the governor should have consulted and obtained consent from tribes on the issue.

A South Dakota state legislator claims she was threatened not to run for a U.S. Senate seat by U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson. The congressman says he was just trying to be politically helpful.

Republican Rep. Scyller Borglum sent a news release and posted a Facebook video this week about a "DC-style ambush" at a Lincoln Day dinner last weekend. Borglum says Johnson, a Republican, threatened her not to challenge U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds next year.

State Democrat Executive Director Heads To DC

May 2, 2019

The executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party is leaving for a position in the Democratic National Committee.

Sam Parkinson is the Western Regional Representative by the Association of State Democratic Committees.

Thursday is his last day.

In his new role, Parkinson will work with state parties in the western region of the United States. He says his new role will help coordinate these states by helping them grow through fundraising, messaging and getting elected.

Parkinson says he’ll bring a South Dakota brand of Democrat to Washington DC.

The office of Dusty Johnson

South Dakota’s lone representative in the US House says he doesn’t see the Climate Action Now Act as the proper way to address climate change.
Republican Dusty Johnson says the Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, wants to force the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement.
However, a South Dakota climatologist says a climate accord helps put the world on the same page.
Representative Dusty Johnson says he wants to make sure the country is taking care of the environment, but disagrees with the climate accord.


In The Moment ... May 1, 2019 Show 566 Hour 2

A South Dakota lawmaker is accusing Congressman Dusty Johnson of intimidation. It's just one of the topics addressed by the Dakota Political Junkies.

This week's panelists are Jonathan Ellis, investigative reporter for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and Jon Hunter, publisher of the Madison Daily Leader. 

Rep. Johnson Calls For USMCA Vote

Apr 30, 2019
Contributed photo / Dusty Johnson's twitter

US House Representative Dusty Johnson says he wants Congress to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

President Donald Trump pulled the country out of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 2018, which had been in place for a quarter century. This trade agreement is viewed as a replacement.

Johnson quotes statistics from the International Trade Commission analysis of the agreement.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... April 25, 2019 Show 562 Hour 1

When Governor Kristi Noem took office and the 2019 South Dakota Legislature convened, the governor asked state lawmakers to have a reporter shield law on her desk for signature by the end of session.

Lawmakers passed House Bill 1074, "An act to provide a privelege for journalists and newscasters regarding refusal to disclose information." HB1074 did not pass, however, without some heated debate.

Kevin Woster writes about it on his On the Other Hand blog. 


In The Moment ... April 24, 2019 Show 561 Hour 2

Representative Dusty Johnson recently made a trip the the U.S./Mexico border and South Dakota journalists travel to Washington D.C. in the ongoing quest for SNAP benefit data the USDA deems confidential.

Dakota Political Junkies Noel Hamiel and Jon Schaff take on these issues among others. 

South Dakota Republican Chair Looks To 2020

Apr 17, 2019

In The Moment ... April 17, 2019 Show 558 Hour 1

Republican leadership will stay the same at the top as the South Dakota GOP looks to the 2020 legislative session and a big election year.

Dan Lederman continues at the helm. He discusses the recently ended session and 2020.


In The Moment ... April 17, 2019 Show 558 Hour 2

2018 gubernatorial candidate Billie Sutton has announced a new bi-partisan leadership program.

Dakota Political Junkies Seth Tupper and Jonathan Ellis visit about the program as well as the latest on CBD oils in South Dakota, American Indian voting-rights, Paul Erickson and more.


In The Moment ... April 16, 2019 Show 557 Hour 2

Members of the Republican and Democratic leadership were guests on a recent South Dakota Focus. They shared their thoughts on the impact of bills passed and rejected during the session, as well as other topics left for further study or action next year. SDPB’s Larry Rohrer summarizes the discussion.

The office of Dusty Johnson

In The Moment ... April 15, 2019 Show 556 Hour 2

U.S, Representative Dusty Johnson briefs listeners on flooding and the conversations going on in Congress.

He was in Vermillion Monday to meet with political science students and faculty at the University of South Dakota.

Dakota Political Junkies

Apr 10, 2019

In The Moment ... April 10, 2019 Show 553 Hour 2

Governor Kristi Noem was in Watertown Tuesday to talk about job development. While she was there she announced the reopening of the state's Emergency Command Center in anticipation of another winter storm.

Meanwile, Senator John Thune is working to battle those annoying robo-calls.

The Dakota Political Junkies discuss the issues. Roger Whittle joins from a snowy Watertown while Jon Hunter joins from a lightning-struck Madison. 

FDA To Hold Hearings On CBD In May

Apr 9, 2019

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration announced it will hold public hearings on CBD—a non-intoxicant component of the cannabis plant.

It’s a component that’s appearing in drinks, hand lotions and in oil form.

Governor Kristi Noem says uncertainty surrounding CBD is a major reason she opposed an industrial hemp program in the state.

An Alaska man was arrested in Sioux Falls for possessing CBD oil. Law enforcement officials say CBD oil is illegal in South Dakota.

CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants—both marijuana and hemp. It appears in products like lotions and drinks and appears in health stores, spas and coffee shops.

It’s the first such arrest after Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg issued a clarifying statement saying current state law makes all forms of CBD oil illegal.

Others say the law is not so clear.

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... April 8, 2019 Show 551 Hour 2

The South Dakota Democratic Party has elected a new chair. Paula Hawks has been a state lawmaker and a candidate for U.S. House.

Hawks recaps the past legislative session and looks ahead at items like legislative interim studies and the 2020 election.

Thune, Johnson Want Full Mueller Report Released

Apr 5, 2019


All three members of South Dakota’s delegation to congress say the Mueller report should be made public.

Last week, Senator Mike Rounds says he wants as much of the report released as possible. The others agree.

US Attorney General William Barr released a summary of the Mueller report findings late last month. The Mueller reports is nearly 400 pages long, but so far, the American public has gotten a four page summary from the attorney general.

Lee Strubinger / SDPB

A record number of Native American women are running for municipal positions in Rapid City.

It’s part of a national trend that shows more women with tribal affiliation are running for political office.

Cante Heart spent an evening back in February at the state capitol.

She testified before the House State Affairs committee supporting a bill to collect data on missing and murdered indigenous women. The very next day—Valentines Day—she organized a march to spotlight the issue.

Dakota Political Junkies: Interim Studies

Apr 3, 2019

In The Moment ... April 3, 2019 Show 548 Hour 2

The South Dakota Legislature will conduct interim studies of industrial hemp and the meth epidemic as they look ahead to the 2020 session.

And, Representative Scyller Borlum is traveling the state and talking with people about how to make education in rural South Dakota more accessible.