Press Releases

Democrats Announce YELL! Program Award Winners →

 

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Democrats Announce YELL! Program Award Winners

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party announced today the award winners from its 2017 Young Elected Legislative Leaders (YELL!) Program, held April 7-8 in Pierre. The award winners, along with their hometowns and schools are as follows:

Best Committee Member, Committee A: Hunter Dunteman, Harrisburg, Harrisburg High School

Best Committee Member, Committee B: James McDermott, Rapid City, Stevens High School

Best Committee Member, Committee C: Grace Bucklin, Sioux Falls, Roosevelt High School

Best Committee Member, Committee D: Avery Scott, Sioux Falls, Lincoln High School

Best Advocate: Michael Linngren – Watertown, Watertown High School

Best Speaker: Michael Linngren – Watertown, Watertown High School

Legislators’ Pick: Hunter Dunteman – Harrisburg, Harrisburg High School

The YELL! Program is an annual event sponsored by the South Dakota Democratic Party, bringing young Democratic leaders from across South Dakota together for a mock legislative session with Democratic legislators, State Party staff, and other political insiders at the State Capitol in Pierre. A picture of the Award winners is below.

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 Award winners from (Left to Right): Hunter Dunteman (Harrisburg High School), Avery Scott (Lincoln High School), James McDermott (Stevens High School), Grace Bucklin (Roosevelt High School), Michael Linngren (Watertown High School)
Yell award winners

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Rounds Fails to Draw a Crowd in Murdo →

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Rounds Fails to Draw a Crowd in Murdo

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to the weak turnout at the “Coffee and Conversation with Mike” held by Senator Mike Rounds in Murdo Monday morning:

“From the picture of the event posted on Mike Rounds’s Facebook page, it looks like only about six people turned out to the event. A sitting Republican U.S. Senator drawing such a low number in John Thune’s hometown does not reflect very well on Sen. Rounds. Reflecting even worse on Sen. Rounds, though, is that by holding an event at a time when most working people and students could not attend, and giving hardly any notice of the event, he almost seemed to be discouraging turnout. Sen. Rounds might be hoping for low turnout at his public events so he is not held accountable for his support of the extreme and out-of-touch agenda of Washington Republicans. However, Sen. Rounds has a responsibility to the voters of South Dakota to meet with them and answer their questions – at times and places that encourage turnout, not discourage it.”

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Still No Town Halls Scheduled for Delegation During Two-Week Recess →

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Still No Town Halls Scheduled for Noem, Rounds, and Thune During Two-Week Recess

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to Senators Rounds and Thune and Representative Noem having no town halls scheduled, despite Congress beginning a nearly 2-week recess tomorrow:

“Kristi Noem, Mike Rounds, and John Thune have a responsibility as our members of Congress to meet with the voters of South Dakota and answer their questions about their views and votes on important issues before them in Washington. Given their support of the unreasonable and out-of-touch agenda of Republicans in Congress, including taking healthcare away from 25,000 South Dakotans and changing a 200-year-old rule to ram a Supreme Court nominee through the Senate, it is true they might face some tough questions from attendees. But if they cannot handle tough questions about their records in the House and Senate from the people of South Dakota, they have no business representing our state in Washington.”

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Rounds and Thune Change 200-Year-Old Rule to Ram Court Nominee Through Senate →

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Rounds and Thune Change 200-Year-Old Rule to Ram Court Nominee Through Senate

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune voting to change a 200-year-old Senate rule to ram Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court through the United States Senate:

“There is a reason this move is called the ‘nuclear option’ – it is a drastic, unprecedented step. This is just one more example of Mike Rounds, John Thune, and the rest of the extreme and out-of-touch Republican establishment in Washington making up their own rules when the old ones get in their way. If a nominee for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the nation cannot secure the votes of 60 senators, the nominee should be changed, not the rules. By their votes today to invoke the ‘nuclear option,’ Senators Rounds and Thune have shown they care more about the big-money corporate interests behind this nomination than the democratic institutions and procedures which have guided our country for over 200 years.”

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Democrats Call on Congressional Delegation to Hold Town Halls →

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Democrats Call on Congressional Delegation to Hold Town Halls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding calling on South Dakota’s congressional delegation to start holding town halls in our state:

“The people of South Dakota want to be heard by their elected officials. We’re not sure why Senators Rounds and Thune and Rep. Noem are so reluctant to meet with their constituents and discuss their views and votes on important issues before them in their role as our representatives in Washington. Since a hastily arranged town hall meeting held by Rep. Noem in Watertown last month for which there was almost no notice given, there have been no town halls and no indication of any town halls being scheduled in the future. Over the past month, our delegation’s social media feeds have shown all three spending time in South Dakota, but apparently answering their constituents’ questions was not important enough to them to hold town halls. Rep. Noem, for example, had time for a campaign meet and greet event this past weekend, but not a public town hall. We call on Senators Thune and Rounds and Rep. Noem to start holding town halls so they can answer the questions of the people of South Dakota about their support of the extreme and out-of-touch agenda of Republicans in Congress.”

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Democrats React to Congressional Delegation Selling Your Personal Information to the Highest Bidder →

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Democrats React to Congressional Delegation Selling Your Personal Information to the Highest Bidder

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to this week’s votes by Rep. Kristi Noem and Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune to reverse the landmark FCC rule banning telecom and cable companies from sharing customers’ personal information, including web browsing history, without their consent:

“In their last election cycles, The telecom industry gave Representative Noem $38,200, Senator Rounds $40,166, and Senator Thune $215,000. Their votes this week indicate the industry’s investment in them has paid off, as once again, Representative Noem and Senators Rounds and Thune are putting big-money donor interests above the welfare of everyday South Dakotans. It seems the tens of thousands of dollars (or in Senator Thune’s case, hundreds of thousands of dollars) they received in campaign donations meant more to our state’s congressional delegation than protecting the Social Security numbers, financial materials, and health information of their constituents.”

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Despite Latest Appointment, Partisan Makeup of Board of Regents Appointments Still Violates State Law →

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Despite Latest Appointment, Partisan Makeup of Board of Regents Appointments Still Violates State Law 

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement in response to today’s appointment of Dr. Joan Wink to the South Dakota Board of Regents by Governor Dennis Daugaard:

“SDCL 13-49-2 states that “not more than six” members of the nine-member Board of Regents “may be members of the same political party.” Dr. Wink, a Democrat, replaces Dr. Kathryn Johnson, a Democrat. Other Board members include Harvey Jewett, Jim Morgan, Randy Schaefer, Bob Sutton, Kevin Schieffer, Pam Roberts, and Conrad Adams – all registered Republicans – and John Bastian, a registered Independent. The board includes seven Republicans, one more than state law prescribes. Therefore, the partisan makeup of the Board of Regents is still in violation of state law.

“South Dakota Republicans seem to think they are above the law, whether it be repealing voter-backed measures months after being supported at the ballot box or by stacking state boards with Republicans in violation of state law.”

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House Leadership Pulls Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill →

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House Leadership Pulls Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s decision by House leadership to pull Rep. Kristi Noem’s inadequate healthcare bill from the floor moments before a scheduled vote:

“This is an embarrassing defeat for Kristi Noem and her friends in the political establishment. It raises serious questions about Rep. Noem’s leadership – if she can’t pass a priority bill like this that she helped write through the House with her party having a sizable majority, how can she meet the challenges she would face as governor?

“At the same time, this is a victory for the healthcare of South Dakota families who would have lost their health care or been forced to buy substandard insurance that didn’t even cover essential services like pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care, preventative and wellness services, and prescription drugs. We hope today’s defeat teaches Kristi Noem and her fellow Washington Republicans a lesson – instead of rushing a bill through Congress which throws tens of millions of our neighbors off of their healthcare to give tax breaks to the wealthy, they should work across the aisle to find real solutions to the challenges facing our healthcare system which help improve affordability and coverage for all South Dakotans.”

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House Delays Vote on Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill →

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House Delays Vote on Inadequate Noem Healthcare Bill

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s decision by House leadership to delay a vote on Rep. Kristi Noem’s inadequate healthcare plan:

“Today’s decision is a victory for the health and well-being of the people of South Dakota. Kristi Noem’s healthcare bill would mean 25,000 South Dakotans could lose their health care and our state could lose $300 million in Medicaid funding.Further, in an attempt to cater to the most extreme elements of her party, the bill was made even worse, as Republicans moved to eliminate Essential Health Benefits from Americans’ coverage, which means that insurance companies will no longer be required to cover the following services:

  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
  • Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth)
  • Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (like surgery and overnight stays)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices (services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
  • Laboratory services

“After this and other changes to the bill made to satisfy Republican extremists, the CBO found the bill became far more expensive while still costing 24 million Americans their healthcare. Fortunately, despite Kristi Noem’s support of this inadequate bill, it does not currently have the votes to pass. We call on Rep. Noem to work across the aisle to find real solutions to the challenges facing our healthcare system which help improve affordability and coverage for all South Dakotans.”

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Noem to Finally Hold Town Hall →

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Noem to Finally Hold Town Hall

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The South Dakota Democratic Party released the following statement responding to today’s announcement that Rep. Kristi Noem will finally hold a town hall in South Dakota:

“The people of South Dakota want to be heard by their elected officials. After months of pressure from people of all political parties across South Dakota, Kristi Noem has finally relented and will hold an in-person town hall tomorrow in Watertown. We encourage any person who is able to attend and ask her to answer for her inadequate healthcare plan and her support for the extreme and out-of-touch agenda of Republicans in Congress. We hope Rep. Noem will move beyond stale talking points, and give real answers to why she supports a healthcare plan which will have the following negative impacts on South Dakota:

  • 25,000 South Dakotans could lose their health care.
  • South Dakota could lose $300 million in Medicaid funding.
  • 447,800 South Dakotans could lose coverage of preventive services like cancer screenings and flu shots.
  • 448,500 South Dakotans could lose consumer protections like the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits, protection against unfair policy rescissions, and coverage of preexisting health conditions in their employer-sponsored health insurance.
  • 15,100 South Dakotans could lose cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance, making healthcare coverage unaffordable.

“Put simply, Rep. Noem owes it to the people of South Dakota to explain why she is so proud of a healthcare plan which means tens of millions of people without insurance, and an increase in the cost of care for everyday South Dakotans – especially the elderly, all while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and insurance company CEOs. We call on Senators Rounds and Thune, and announced candidates for Congress, like Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs, to hold town halls of their own to answer for their support of this plan.”

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