Noem: I’d like to Thank Exxon for This Opportunity

Being the day after Groundhog Day, we hate to be the bearers of bad news. Unfortunately, it looks like Congresswoman Kristi Noem has seen her shadow and nine more months of phantom representation are in the pipeline for South Dakota families. (and yes, the pipeline pun is entirely intentional, for you see kids – Kristi Noem’s latest attempt at being a lawmaker is being brought to you by Exxon Mobil and some very large donations to her campaign last year.)

Called “the worst transportation bill ever,” Kristi Noem and her fellow Republican leaders in the U.S. House are hoping that they can tie highway funding to Big Oil profits, which are in large part a result of their efforts to continue subsidizing an industry that contributes heavily to their campaigns. Let us pause here to note what a great idea Kristi Noem has stumbled upon (with the help of very large checks).

Back to the bill at hand—Kristi Noem wants to destroy the concept of a highway trust fund, the very trust fund that South Dakotans are depending on to fix roads washed out by recent record flooding across our state. Brilliant.

It is also clear, and it must be said, that the only job Kristi Noem is concerned about is her own.  For the construction workers who have built and maintained bike paths, and sidewalks, and roads, and bridges to carry our youngest citizens to school, home, and daily activities, Noem has only one thing to say to you, “You’re fired.”

Well, Big Oil may think that answer is just fine. But here in South Dakota, where we expect our lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives to actually do more than just lip-service, we have just one reminder: despite Mitt Romney’s claim, Exxon Mobil doesn’t vote; we do. And there are 277 days until Election Day.

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Nesselhuf Statement on Stephanie Herseth Sandlin

South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf released the following statement after former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin announced that she will not run for office in 2012:

“South Dakotans are calling for an alternative to Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s efforts to end Medicare as we know it and to increase taxes on working families. Matt Varilek and Jeff Barth will continue to focus on solutions for South Dakota instead of obstruction in Washington. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin will remain a source of leadership, insight, and determination through this election and many more to come.”

Matt Varilek, former Economic Development Director for Senator Tim Johnson, and Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth are seeking the Democratic nomination for South Dakota’s lone congressional seat. More information on both candidates can be found at and or by following them on Facebook at Matt for SD and Jeff Barth for Congress.

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Why We Are Not Too Late for Dr. King

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there “is” such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., uttered these words – taught us this lesson – the urgency of now existed in every home, every community across this nation. Today, we face that same urgency as we are called to act on problems new and old.

Without a doubt, we are a different country because of Dr. King. However, we have more work to do. We know what ordinary citizens can do when they seek to right injustice. We know the power of hope, of change, and of compassion for others.

We also know the world Dr. King envisioned, and the ability we all have to create that world today. For the jobless, the hungry, the sick, and the weary, we are not too late. We are not too late to fulfill Dr. King’s dream. As Democrats—today, tomorrow, and on Election Day, now is our moment, now is when we live the words of Dr. Martin Luther King.

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Noem’s Opponents Weigh In on Payroll Tax Vote →

Chairman’s Note: After weeks of deliberation, 89 Senate Republicans and Democrats came together on Saturday to pass legislation preventing a $1000 tax hike on working families. Then hard line Republicans like Kristi Noem rejected it to extract bigger concessions on more controversial measures. For working families, this isn’t a game of high stakes poker. Time is running out. If the House Republicans refuse to hold a vote on the bipartisan senate compromise, taxes will go up on January 1 for every working family across South Dakota. That’s an outcome South Dakotans can’t afford at the hands of Kristi Noem.


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Opinion: Noem Should Follow Thune’s Lead on Payroll Tax Cut

I’m going on record to thank Senator John Thune.

After weeks of deliberation, Senate Republicans including Senator John Thune joined Senate Democrats including Senator Tim Johnson to pass legislation halting a $1000 tax hike on every working family in South Dakota. They worked together to stop one of the largest tax hikes on working families in recent history.

But this Tuesday, December 20, 2011, Congresswoman Kristi Noem, together with House Republicans, rejected the bipartisan Senate effort to protect families from a $1000 tax increase. Continue Reading »

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Nesselhuf Statement: Noem Jeopardizes Bipartisan Senate Payroll Tax Cut Compromise

South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf released the following statement after Congresswoman Kristi Noem and House Republicans defeated the payroll tax cut extension that passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support:

“Congresswoman Kristi Noem and House Republicans are playing politics with South Dakota pocket books. With Noem’s vote against the bipartisan payroll tax cut compromise that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate, it appears that the only tax breaks Noem will pass without condition are tax breaks for millionaires. It’s time Noem and House Republicans quit holding everyday South Dakotans hostage for ideological gain.” Continue Reading »

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According to John Thune, the following is true:

“It’s just intuitive that, you know, if you’re somebody who’s in business and you get hit with a tax increase, it’s going to be that much harder, I think, to make investments that are going to lead to job creation.”

The problem with this statement: Warren Buffett.  You see, Senator Thune, Warren Buffett not only wants a tax increase; but he also wants to make investments leading to job creation at the same time.  Outrageous!

While John Thune relies on his intuition – which, let’s face it – is questionable, given that he just endorsed a guy who believes corporations are people; we prefer to rely on things a bit more tangible – they’re called facts.

Fact #1: The Bush administration created about three million jobs (net) over its eight years, a fraction of the 23 million jobs created under President Bill Clinton‘s administration and only slightly better than President George H.W. Bush did in his four years in office.

Fact #2: Since Republicans rededicated themselves to slashing taxes for the wealthy in 1997, the average annual income of the 400 richest Americans has more than tripled, to $345 million – while their share of the tax burden has plunged by 40 percent. Today, a billionaire in the top 400 pays less than 17 percent of his income in taxes – five percentage points less than a bus driver earning $26,000 a year.

Fact #3: Reagan raised taxes 11 times in eight years. Why? From the Gipper himself: “We don’t seek to aid the rich, but those lower- and middle-income families who are most strapped by taxes and the recession.”

So you see, dearest Republican friends, this fight isn’t about you.  It’s about hard-working Americans struggling every day to still achieve their American dreams.  It’s about moving a country forward, in a direction that honors all people, no matter their stature, creed, or bank account balance.

Most of all, putting this country back to work is about remembering the past; so much so that we dare to surpass its triumphs and never repeat its failings.  And yes, Senator Thune, that means we’re going to pass on your intuition.

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Nesselhuf Statement on Farm Dust Bill Following House Vote

South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf released the following statement after the House of Representatives moved forward with Kristi Noem’s bill to ban the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting farm dust regulations that don’t exist.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem has proven today that she is willing to spend $10 million in taxpayer money to ban farm dust regulations that don’t even exist.  Every day that Noem spends fighting farm dust regulations that don’t exist is another day that Noem is neither fighting to create jobs nor preserve taxpayer dollars.  Congress is already starting to debate the future of popular programs for farmers.  It’s long past time that Noem stop her $10 million effort to scare farmers and start joining the conversation on the real issues facing rural South Dakotans. Continue Reading »

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Ten Million Reasons Kristi Noem Hates Santa

Remember Congresswoman Kristi Noem professing that the government is broke and can’t afford more regulation?  We do too. That’s why we can’t figure out why she wants U.S. taxpayers to spend $10 million on her bill aimed at “farm dust” – a bill that would in effect regulate farm dust because such regulations currently do not exist. Let us repeat: regulations by the EPA on farm dust DO NOT EXIST.

Now, you don’t just have to take our word for it. The President of the United States (you know, the one in charge) has never created regulations on farm dust, nor are there plans to. In fact, President Obama’s predecessors, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush all determined that when it comes to “farm” dust, there is no such number.

Which brings us back to Kristi Noem – what does she know that Ronald Reagan didn’t in 1987 when he put the existing coarse particulate standard into effect?  We’ll give you a hint: it involves some not-so-secret santas and some very special interests. Continue Reading »

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Caution: Congresswoman Unavailable

Attention South Dakotans, if you are seeking representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, please continue to hold. Your Member of Congress, Kristi Noem, has left the building.  Please excuse any inconvenience caused by House leadership efforts to derail your country.

Should you wish to share your ideas before Election Day 2012, please feel free to contact the South Dakota Democratic Party here.  No purchase required.


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