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Senate GOP Health Care Bill Hurts South Dakota →

Senate GOP Health Care Bill Hurts South Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the Senate Republicans finally releasing the text of their secretly-drafted health care bill this morning:

“While Democrats are working to make sure all Americans have affordable health care, Republicans in Congress, led by Rep. Kristi Noem, and Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, are working to take that coverage away or to make it more expensive. Both the health care bill passed by the House with support from Rep. Noem, and the Senate GOP bill released today are, to use Donald Trump’s word, ‘mean,’  and both would hurt South Dakota families, communities, and health care providers. The proposed cuts to Medicaid would disproportionately impact rural areas and threaten rural hospitals, and its weakening of essential health benefit requirements would make insurance costlier or reduce coverage for needed treatments for those with pre-existing conditions like asthma and diabetes. While South Dakota families would be hurt, the wealthy would receive a tax cut.

“While improvements do need to be made to the Affordable Care Act, taking health care away from South Dakota families to give tax cuts to the wealthy will not do anything to improve South Dakotans’ health care. The Senate should reject this mean and cruel bill, and Republicans in Congress – including John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Kristi Noem – should finally sit down with Democrats and work in a bi-partisan way to write a bill that really does improve the coverage and health care of all South Dakotans.”

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South Dakota Democratic Party Announces New Executive Director →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Announces New Executive Director

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party today announced the hiring of Sam Parkinson as its new Executive Director.

Sam headshot“I am pleased to announce our Interim Executive Director, Sam Parkinson, has accepted the position on a permanent basis,” said Ann Tornberg, South Dakota Democratic Party Chair. “Sam has been a real asset to the Party through his work as Finance Director and Interim Executive Director. I look forward to his leadership working alongside our talented and dedicated staff, our energized volunteers, and our growing list of candidates for 2018.”

“I’m excited to take on the role of Executive Director for the South Dakota Democratic Party,” said Parkinson. “The Party is seeing a new surge of interest and energy from South Dakotans looking for a change from the corrupt and out-of-touch political establishment in Pierre. I am committed to build upon this great new energy so Democrats have a successful election in 2018.”

Parkinson has served as Finance Director for the South Dakota Democratic Party since August of 2015 and became Interim Executive Director in April of this year. Parkinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Dakota, majoring in Political Science. He grew up in Rapid City and is a graduate of Rapid City Stevens High School. Parkinson previously interned in the South Dakota Legislature for then-House Minority Leader Bernie Hunhoff and was a Young Elected Legislative Leaders Fellow during the 2014 election cycle.

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SDDP Statement on Today’s CBO Score of the GOP Healthcare Bill →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on Today’s CBO Score of the GOP Healthcare Bill

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) releasing its analysis of the Republican healthcare bill:

“Today’s release shows again just how devastating the Republican healthcare bill – voted for by Rep. Kristi Noem – would be to the the healthcare of working families in South Dakota and around the country. 23 million people would lose their insurance – including 14 million people who would lose it thanks to the proposed $800 billion cut to Medicaid, which will disproportionately impact children, the poor, those in nursing homes, and those with disabilities. Older South Dakotans will pay more. South Dakotans with pre-existing conditions will be forced to seek coverage in expensive high-risk pools. Insurance companies will have the ability to place lifetime limits on coverage, even on those South Dakotans with chronic illnesses. As with most Republicans policies, the only ones who will benefit from this bill are millionaires and billionaires, who will receive a huge tax cut.”

“We know how Rep. Noem feels about this bill – she voted for taking healthcare away from her constituents, or at very least to make it worse or more expensive, to give tax cuts to the wealthy. Senators Rounds and Thune and Republican congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs owe South Dakota voters answers about where they stand on this cruel bill. Do they stand with Kristi Noem, Donald Trump, and the millionaires and billionaires who will get a tax cut from this bill, or with the hardworking families of South Dakota whose healthcare would be devastated by it?”

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SDDP Statement on President Trump’s Cruel Budget →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on President Trump’s Cruel Budget

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the release of President Donald Trump’s cruel and regressive budget:

“While Democrats are working to create more opportunity for working families to succeed, President Trump’s first full budget submission makes clear that he puts the interests of millionaires and billionaires like his family over the interests of working families. Trump’s plan would gut Medicaid, decimate college loan programs, loan assistance programs, andpublic schools, and make deep cuts to middle and working class tax credits, farm subsidies, rural development programs, and more – all to fund a massive tax giveaway to the wealthy. Senators Rounds and Thune, Rep. Kristi Noem, and Republican congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs owe South Dakota voters answers about where they stand on this backwards budget. Do they stand with the millionaires and billionaires who will benefit from this budget, or with the hardworking families of South Dakota who would be devastated by it?”

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Democrats Respond to Release of GEAR UP Audit Report →

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg responding to the Department of Legislative Audit report of the GEAR UP program:

“This report shows in stark terms what we’ve known for some time: millions of dollars in taxpayer money intended for educating children was used instead for personal enrichment. Democrats have been fighting for more accountability and oversight in the use of taxpayer money for years, only to have our efforts blocked by the Republican majority in Pierre. We hope this report will motivate Republicans in Pierre to stop blocking Democratic efforts to end waste, fraud, and abuse in the use of taxpayer money and start working with us to make our state government more accountable.”

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Republican Candidates Owe the People of South Dakota Answers →

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Republican Candidates Owe the People of South Dakota Answers

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from South Dakota Democratic Party Chair Ann Tornberg responding to Dusty Johnson’s “Campaign Kick-Off” tour in his campaign for the Republican nomination for South Dakota’s U.S. House seat:

“If Dusty Johnson, or his opponent in the Republican primary, Secretary of State Shantel Krebs, wish to serve the people of South Dakota in Congress, they owe us answers on where they stand on two very important issues. First, do they stand with the 78% of Americans who want an independent investigation of the Russian government’s interference in our election and ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, or do they stand with our current congressional delegation in protecting a president who may have obstructed justice and admits he shared highly classified information with top Russian officials?”

“Second, where do they stand in the debate on the future of healthcare? Do they support the House Republican plan, voted for by Rep. Kristi Noem, which will cost ten of millions of Americans – including thousands of South Dakotans – their healthcare, which will raise premiums on older Americans, which will have disastrous effects on rural America, which is opposed by healthcare groups, and is only supported by 21% of Americans? Or do they stand with the vast majority of Americans in opposing this plan?”

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SDDP Awarded $10,000 Grassroots Organizing Grant from the DNC →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Awarded $10,000 Grassroots Organizing Grant from the DNC 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) announced today that it had been awarded a $10,000 grassroots organizing grant from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as part of its “Resistance Summer” program. The SDDP is one of the first state parties to receive a grant through the program, and will use the money to fund the hiring of seven (7) grassroots organizers in tribal communities around South Dakota and two (2) paid internships with the SDDP through the summer.

“We are very pleased to be among the first states to be awarded a grant as part of this program,” said SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg. “It’s an encouraging sign that the DNC is committed to helping Democrats win elections up and down the ballot in all 50 states. This program is an important first step in the grassroots organizing Democrats will do in South Dakota to achieve victory in 2018.”

Tornberg said the hiring of the organizers will help build stronger relationships between the Democratic Party and tribal communities.

“These organizers will not only register voters, mobilize volunteers, and help us bring our message to tribal communities, they will also share with us the wisdom they learn from these conversations. This will help us build a stronger South Dakota for everyone,” Tornberg said.

The program is a competitive matching grant program, where the DNC will approve and fund programs which will be executed by state parties. Recognizing that a one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective, each grant proposal will be unique to the state’s strategic priorities and organizational capacity.

“There has been an explosion of activism and energy after the election of Donald Trump, and we need to turn this moment into a movement.” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “As the Democratic Party, it is our role to support this activism and energy, and convert it into electoral wins up-and-down the ballot by making sure state parties have the tools and resources they need to succeed.”

“The best way for Democrats to turn the #Resistance into electoral wins is by doing one thing: organizing,” said DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison. “Resistance Summer is the starting point and will take the Democratic Party’s message of fairness and equality to activists on the front lines and all Americans looking to get engaged. The American people want affordable health care for all, good jobs that pay well, and a tax code that rewards hard work. The Democratic Party is the party that will fight to make these issues a reality. We have never had a better opportunity to win up-and-down the ballot. But showing up is not enough. We have to organize, knock on doors, and motivate voters to the polls. Only then can we deliver what hardworking American families need.”

Other states receiving initial grants from the Resistance Summer program include Arizona, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Michigan.

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SDDP Statement on Trump Revealing Highly Classified Information to Russians →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on President Trump Revealing Highly Classified Information to Russians 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement from Chairwoman Ann Tornberg responding to the report that President Donald Trump shared highly classified intelligence with top Russian officials, which the President confirmed this morning on Twitter:

“President Trump’s reckless behavior with such sensitive information is shocking, and by endangering the ability of our intelligence agencies to gather the best possible intelligence, it puts American lives at risk – including the many South Dakotans defending our country as members of the armed services. It is long past time for Senators Thune and Rounds and Rep. Noem to put their country before their party and hold the President accountable for his actions.”

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78% Want an Independent Investigation – Why Don’t Thune, Rounds, and Noem? →

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78% of Americans Want an Independent Investigation into Trump/Russia Ties – Why Don’t Thune, Rounds, and Noem?

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to a poll released yesterday showing 78% of Americans want an independent investigation of the Russian government’s interference in our election and ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government:

“The overwhelming majority of the American people – almost 80% – agree that an independent investigation is necessary. Yet South Dakota’s congressional delegation stubbornly continues to protect President Trump and his associates from an independent investigation. Senators Thune and Rounds and Rep. Noem need to explain why they continue to stand with someone who admits he fired the Director of the FBI to stop the Bureau’s investigation into him and his campaign and against the overwhelming majority of the American people. Further, congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs owe it to people of South Dakota to let us know where they stand on this important issue – do they intend to thwart the will of the American people as well, or join us in demanding such an independent investigation immediately?”

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Statement on Senators Thune & Rounds Rejecting Calls for a Special Prosecutor →

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South Dakota Democratic Party Statement on Senators Thune and Rounds Rejecting Calls for a Special Prosecutor

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to the continuing lack of support from Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds on appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government:

“If Senators Thune and Rounds really do have “questions” about the timing of the firing of Director Comey, the only way to find answers to this matter as well as the issues of the Russian government’s interference in our presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and that government is a special prosecutor and an independent commission – with subpoena power. We call Senators Rounds and Thune, as well as Rep. Noem and congressional candidates Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs to join us in demanding such an independent investigation immediately.”

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