IM 22 Fiasco

Just finished watching NCIS (I DVR it). The quote, “If you are going through hell, keep on going” from Dr. Mallard, a very wise man., hit me…I like it.

So where am I going with this? This whole IM 22 fiasco is sad, just plain sad. To start, I voted against Initiated Measure 22 for various reasons. I was surprised it passed, but realize that the people have spoken; they were not hoodwinked; South Dakotans are a smart people.

With that being said, the methods being used to repeal it are beyond the scope of dignity; our legislature is better than that.

The bill was pushed to committee with a speed never seen in Pierre; the committee was run by Representatives who have skin in the game–they are part of the lawsuit testing the constitutionality of the measure. If it’s repealed, they will have no more legal bills.

I can only imagine the lobbying that went on by the sponsors of the bill (I’ve heard them all): If you want to be elected in 2018, if you want your bill passed, etc..It happens.

It’s not a good bill, but let’s be professional, honest, and open in improving it. South Dakotans want ethics, they want honesty, and they want transparency.

Thank you to those who voted against the repeal and to those who lobbied against the repeal. They may not have like the referred measure, but they surely didn’t like the methods used to repeal it…there is a system, there are procedures, let’s do it right.

Thank you.


Changed my mind…

I had  made a decision not to write about national politics, but in light of a comment on Facebook yesterday, I’ve changed my mind.

I hit my Facebook page about twice a day, read MSN, CNN, Reuters, the local news websites, a couple of local papers, and a blog or two. I listen to NPR and the BBC news, and Tweet a bit. I usually don’t respond to any of it, but am getting a bit tired of the “Get over it” speeches from Trump supporters, and the continuing statements of “He’s elected; get on with your life.” Etc,

I think most people have gotten ‘over’ the election. But what hasn’t been ‘gotten over’ are the actions and the rhetoric of the president elect. We are accepting him as our president, but are in shock and have concerns of his lack of professionalism, his too quick reaction to comments, his insults, and his dismissive attitude. But what I think is worse, is that his actions as president elect, as that of any leader, tend to be set as examples of acceptable behavior.

I do not condone the anti-Trump activities scheduled for inauguration week; I do not condone insults and false statements; I don’t like trash talk. I think that, as with any leader, that leader’s actions, choices, and statements, need to be made public by the media. They need to be discussed in a professional manner, opinions need to be respected, and logical options for action/reaction need to be presented.

We are entering four years of leadership like we have not seen before in our country. Name calling, narcissism, insults, and false ‘facts’, are going to get us nowhere. We need to be vigilant, well informed, and smart.

Yes, we are over it; we need to get on with our lives—but that doesn’t mean we have to roll over and accept everything that is happening or is going to happen. You have your opinion; I have mine. I will respect yours if stated in such a way that I and others aren’t insulted. Please do the same.

Thanks for letting me vent.



Got your attention, didn’t I? 🙂 Watching television while eating out this evening; and this was part of one headline. Today, the Rules Committee failed to pass a measure prohibiting sexual relations between legislators and interns/pages; and between government employees and interns/pages.

Knowing that there is something behind the headlines, I listened to the testimony. (All committee meetings are recorded and can be listened to at any time. I was nice to see the recording on the legislative site already.)

Anyway, the discussion was good. Those against the rule change felt that the change was covered in existing rules covering sexual harassment; those for the rule change didn’t feel that current rules weren’t well enough defined.

Is the proposed rule necessary? Five people thought so. Nine didn’t. If nothing else, the testimony promoted discussion of a sometimes not-so-easy to discuss topic and made public what avenues there are for those who might be caught in an uncomfortable situation. Thank you.

And yes, the headline was a bit misleading…can’t imagine that ever happening..

No, I’m not in hiding….

I have been really quiet since the 2016 election, basically watching what everyone else is saying and doing—smiling at some comments, cringing at some; and yes, laughing at a few and expressing disgust at others…from BOTH sides.

One smile is from Governor Daugaard’s comment on IM22—that the campaign was deceptive. That’s no excuse to have a law, passed by a vote of South Dakotans, overturned by the legislature. If ‘deceptive’ was a reason to overturn elections, there would be a few changes in the makeup of the South Dakota Legislature. With that being said, I voted ‘no’ on the measure, but understand why it passed: South Dakotans want ethics reform—but not just campaign ethics. Let’s get it done.

I, along with many South Dakotans, am missing Bob Mercer and his coverage of the State Legislature. To keep in touch with what is happening in Pierre, and how it will affect you. (Yes, everything done in Pierre affects everyone somehow, some way), newspapers and television are great. There are also a couple of blogs that research and offer well written explanations. is written by Cory Heidelberger, (Yes, he’s a Democrat) a former debater. His research is meticulous; and his blogs are seldom derogatory as are so many others.

I also like the Constant Commoner. There are others, and if you have any favorites, please let me know. I love expanding my knowledge base. As with any blog, the comments can get a bit out of hand. ‘Anonymous’ tends to post a lot; would like to meet him/her. And, blogs allow you to express your opinion, too!

With that being said, I don’t always agree with bloggers, editorials, or my husband. I research and get both or all three sides before making a statement. Please do the same.

It’s going to be an interesting session. I am so glad that the Governor has shut down a bathroom bill: “It’s a solution waiting for a problem.” Ethics, taxes, drugs, and natural hair braiding (Yes, it’s a real bill)—are on the bill listing already.

Please don’t let national politics turn you away from state and local happenings. I hope to keep up with the State Legislature here. You can also follow it at If you have any questions, just ask.

Take care and have a great day.


From the Brookings Register:

Tyler ‘looking out for the small guy’
&bull Former lawmaker from Milbank seeking District 4 seat in state Senate

Kathy Tyler
Kathy Tyler


BY JOHN KUBAL The Brookings Register

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of two stories featuring the candidates for state Senate for District 4. Competing for one seat are Democrat Kathy Tyler and Republican John Wiik. The boundaries of District 4 include most of Brookings County, except the City of Brookings and Brookings and Medary townships. It also includes Grant, Deuel and rural Codington counties.
BROOKINGS Democrat Kathy Tyler served two years 2013 and 2014 as one of District 4’s two members of the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Now, after two years out of office, she’s telling the voters she wants them to send her back to Pierre as a state senator.
“I’m running probably for the same reason I ran back in 2012,” she says. “In 2011, there were huge cuts to education. I was a school board member . That was my kicker for running in 2012. I loved it. I love being a legislator. I love helping the people.”
Education has played a major role in Tyler’s life. Following her growing-up years on a farm west of Sisseton in the Sleepy Hollow area, she attended and earned a teaching degree from Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen. She followed that with a master’s degree in education from Bemidji State University in Minnesota. She then taught school in Milbank for 24 years.
Following retirement, Tyler served 14 years on the school board. During that time she started her own business, Tyler Computer Services, in Milbank. She recently sold the business to a Milbank resident.
Today she lives on an acreage in rural Milbank and serves as a member and leader of various community organizations . Tyler has two grown children. Health care a key issue
In making an argument for sending her back to Pierre, Tyler looked back to her past service there before looking ahead to next year’s session.
“I was one of the leaders in the EB-5 investigation, Northern Beef Packers plant scandal.” The EB-5 program, run out of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, offered permanent visas to resident aliens investing in South Dakota projects.
The Northern Beef Packers project, touted by and tied to then-Gov . Mike Rounds’ vision for a South Dakota Certified Beef program, never came to fruition and the whole complicated EB-5 business died in a round of charges of “fiscal misconduct.”
Tyler wants to go back “to help education funding.” She sees the half-cent sales tax increase as “a really good start” but adding that “it needs to be finetuned a little bit.”
“A lot of small schools in our area and some of those smaller districts didn’t get their real fair share of the education funding,” she explained. “And that was just because of the way the formula is working out. I feel that needs to be fixed.”
This go-round , the retired educator is adding health care especially Medicaid expansion to education as a key issue that needs attention.
“The governor’s Medicaid expansion plan working with the IHS (Indian Health Service) and the feds is an absolutely amazing plan for South Continued from page 1 Dakota,” Tyler said. “It’ll give the opportunity for access to health care for 50,000 people who aren’t covered by insurance right now or can’t be. Sixty percent of those are working people. It’s not giving money to welfare people; it’s giving access to healthcare to 50,000 people.
“With that whole plan that the governor has, the state will actually end up $10 million in the black with it. The economic development potential with that amount of money $57 million going into the economy is amazing. Also with that money, Medicaid providers, their reimbursement can be increased and that sort of thing.”
Finally, Tyler noted that she “would really like to see an ethics commission developed in South Dakota. I know that a couple of ethics bills have been introduced in the past; but I think we really need to look at an ethics commission type of organization. We’re the only state that doesn’t have one.”
Underpinning what Tyler has done and would like to do again as lawmaker is her philosophy of public service.
“I just enjoy looking out for the small guy,” she said. “Big business had all of their representatives out there. But the little people don’t . I love going out there and helping regular people and small businesses and small communities thrive. “I care. That’s my line: I care. I’m a good person. I use my common sense in making decisions . I am willing to listen. I base decisions on facts rather than rumor.
“There’s a heart in me. If you elect me, you know that I will listen to you. I will care about your concerns, and I will do the absolute best that I can for us.”
Citing what she called her “elevator speech,” she added, “If you want a senator who will support education, who will make sure that everyone has access to adequate health care, you need to vote for Kathy Tyler.”
Contact John Kubal at

Updated Stance

It that time again—the time for the deluge of postcards for/against political candidates. Two years ago, my opponents launched one of the nastiest postcard campaigns I’ve ever seen. The postcards and the radio ads were quite descriptive of a person that I am not. My opponent, John Wiik, has promised a clean campaign this year, but rumors tell differently. So, just in case, the rumor is true (And I hope it’s not)  and to answer a few comments I’ve heard, it’s time to re-clarify where I stand on a few things.

First of all, there’s not an anti-ag (farming) bone in my body. Our neighborhood fought against, 6500 sows moving into our neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean that we’re anti-ag. We agree with the president of the state’s Farm Bureau organization:

1.        Put them where they are wanted.

2.       Keep your poop off the road.

3.       Be good neighbors.

I grew up on a farm, milked the cows, put up the hay, picked the eggs, fed the calves, etc. and loved it. If things would have turned out a bit differently, my husband and I would be running a nice little farm/ranch in rural Marshall County, but they didn’t, so here we are with our horses, cats, dog, lots and lots of trees, and huge gardens. We own approximately 440 acres of land. Some is an old gravel pit—that’s our wildlife conservation spot. There’s about 20 acres of virgin prairie that nobody is touching. A couple of parcels are being transitioned into organic by the neighbors. The biggest plot is rented to a family rancher, who by the way, is a winter feedlot CAFO operator.  The key factor in all of these is ‘family.’

They also claimed I was pro-abortion. I don’t think anyone is pro-abortion; everyone is pro-life—some just a little more than others. I believe that life begins at conception. Along with that is the support of common-sense anti-abortion legislation. (I don’t remember any pro-abortion bills being introduced in the Legislature.) I support prenatal care for all women; that includes immigrants. (John Wiik doesn’t.) That bill finally passed this year. I also support Medicaid expansion (John Wiik doesn’t. It’s pro-life, too.) It’s a win-win for South Dakota. (That’s another article.)

If there’s anything I missed, please let me know. Email me,; Facebook, 4; or call 605.237.0228. I would love to talk with you.

Ballot Issues in Plain Language

Constitutional Amendment R

An Amendment to the South Dakota Constitution regarding postsecondary technical education institutes.

Currently the four technical institutes, Lake Area Technical Institute, Mitchell Technical Institute, Southeast Technical Institute, and Western Dakota Technical Institute are governed by the school boards of their local school districts. When the constitution was written, there were no technical institutes.

A “Yes” vote updates South Dakota’s constitution to recognize Technical Education as the third form of education in SD. It does not change local control, nor does it establish a state level oversight board.

A “No” vote leaves technical education out of the constitution. No opponent site as of 8/23/16.

 Constitutional Amendment S

  An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to expand the rights for crime victims

Currently most of the rights listed in the amendment are in South Dakota’s codified law, and the state is implementing the SAVIN system, Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification.

A vote “Yes” will put victim’s rights in the Constitution, where updating and changing are very difficult.

A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is and allow changes to victims’ right laws to be easier through the legislative process. There are numerous ‘no’ articles on newspaper web pages, which require a subscription. Here is a link to a radio spot on it. You may need to cut and paste.

Constitutional Amendment T

  An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to provide for state legislative redistricting by a commission

State senators and representatives are elected from within legislative districts. The South Dakota Constitution currently requires the Legislature to establish these legislative districts every ten years. Some say this has led to gerrymandering.  This amendment creates a redistricting commission composed of nine members of which no more than three can be from the same political party; and members cannot have served in public office or been a political party official.

A vote “Yes” will change the Constitution so that a commission instead of legislators will determine legislative boundaries.

A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is—a legislative committee will determine the boundaries. No opponent site as of 8/23/16.


Constitutional Amendment U

   An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution limiting the ability to set statutory interest rates for loans.

Under this constitutional amendment, there is no limit on the amount of interest a lender may charge for a loan of money if the interest rate is agreed to in writing by the borrower. Proponents claim that this amendment restricts rates to 18%. That is not a true statement.

A vote “Yes” will add provisions to the Constitution that limit the state’s ability to set interest rates for loans. No proponent site as of 8/24/16

A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as it is; interest rates can be set by the state.

Constitutional Amendment V

  An initiated amendment to the South Dakota Constitution establishing nonpartisan elections

Currently, most general election candidates for federal, state, and county offices are selected through a partisan primary or at a state party convention. This Constitutional amendment eliminates those methods by establishing a nonpartisan primary to select candidates for all federal, state, and county elected offices–not presidential elections. All qualified voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote for any candidate of their choice. There will be no party affiliation listed on the ballot.

A vote “Yes” will add provisions to the Constitution to establish nonpartisan elections.

A vote “No” will leave the Constitution as is.

 Initiated Measure 21

An initiated measure to set a maximum finance charge for certain licensed money lenders.

The initiated measure prohibits certain state-licensed money lenders (payday lenders) from making a loan that imposes total interest, fees and charges at an annual percentage rate greater than 36%.

A vote “Yes” will limit the interest on payday loans to 36%.

A vote “No” will leave the rates unregulated. No opponent site as of 8/24/16

 Initiated Measure 22

An initiated measure to revise State campaign finance and lobbying laws, create a publicly funded campaign finance program, create an ethics commission, and appropriate funds.

This measure extensively revises State campaign finance laws. It requires additional disclosures and increased reporting. It lowers contribution amounts to political action committees, political parties, and candidates for statewide, legislative, or county office. It also imposes limits on contributions from candidate campaign committees, political action committees, and political parties. The measure creates a publicly funded campaign finance program for statewide and legislative candidates who choose to participate and agree to limits on campaign contributions and expenditures

A vote “Yes” will revise the state’s campaign finance and lobbying laws.

A vote “No” will leave things as they are.

Initiated Measure 23

 An initiated measure to give certain organizations the right to charge fees.

The measure gives corporate organizations and non-profit organizations, including unions, the right to charge a fee for any service provided.

A vote “Yes” will allow fees to be charged.

A vote “No” is against the measure.

Referred Law 19

An Act to revise State laws regarding elections and election petitions

Referred Law 19 is a referral of law passed by the state legislature in 2015, SB 69.  The law changes candidate petition deadline dates, requires more signatures on candidate petitions, changes the criteria for withdrawing from a campaign, and takes away the right of Republicans and Democrats to sign the petitions of Independent candidates.

A vote “Yes” will revise state laws regarding elections and election petitions. No site available as of 8/24/16

A vote “No” keeps current election laws in force. No site available as of 8/24/16.

 Referred Law 20

An Act lowering the State minimum wage for non-tipped employees under age 18.

In November of 2014, South Dakota voters passed Initiated Measure 18, a measure that increased the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $8.50. During the 2015 session SB 177 passed, It allows employers to pay a minimum wage of $7.50 to employees under the age of 18.

A vote “Yes” will lower the minimum wage to $7.50 per hour for non-tipped employees under age 18. No site available as of 8/24/16.

A vote “No” keeps the law intact—the minimum wage will be the same for all employees. No site available as of 8/24/16.


Constitutional amendments change the State Constitution. The Constitution cannot be changed by the legislature; changes must be voted on by the people. Constitutional amendments can be placed on the ballot by a resolution of the legislature or through the petition process.

Referred laws are laws that have been passed by the legislature, but a party has petitioned the state to have the law referred to a vote of the people. The petitioning process is extensive, requiring over 13,000 validated signatures within a certain time frame. The law will not go into effect if the referred measure passes. If one does not want the law to go into effect, a ‘no’ vote is needed.

Initiated measures are measures that have been petitioned by a member of the public to be placed on the ballot. Again, it’s an extensive process. They are new laws that do not need to be approved by the legislature.

Full texts of each measure and the Attorney General’s opinions (some of which were paraphrased here) can be read at

How will I vote?

Yes      No

__     __   Constitutional Amendment R

__     __   Constitutional Amendment S

__     __   Constitutional Amendment T

__     __   Constitutional Amendment U

__     __   Constitutional Amendment V

__     __   Initiated Measure 21

__     __   Initiated Measure 22

__     __   Initiated Measure 23

__     __   Referred Law 19

__     __   Referred Law 20


Your vote is your voice.