Tag Archives: Dakota

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem taking swings at potential 2024 rivals

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 18 months before the first presidential primary of 2024, most potential Republican candidates are just getting a sense of the political landscape, tiptoeing through early voting states and trying to make friends in key places. Then there’s Kristi Noem.

The South Dakota governor has come out swinging as she tries to carve a niche among an early crowd of possible GOP rivals for the White House. Her combative style, no surprise to those who follow her, is evidence of how competitive the nomination race will be if Donald Trump stays on the sidelines.

Noem charged into Iowa on Friday singing a battle hymn and armed with barbed comments for her fellow GOP governors. At a conservative gathering in Des Moines, she told the crowd she “really hates this America” under President Joe Biden’s leadership, then led them in singing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

But Noem didn’t just take aim at political foes. She also unleashed sharp-edged comments on those within her own party, accusing fellow GOP governors of “rewriting history” by claiming they kept their states open during the pandemic.

“To pretend that they didn’t take actions that they had no authority to take isn’t standing on truth,” she told reporters Friday.

It’s easy to see why the 49-year-old governor, who is known as a scorched-earth campaigner in her home state, is elbowing out anyone trying to claim a more hands-off approach to the pandemic. She doesn’t have the experience of working alongside Trump, like Mike Pence, Nikki Haley or Mike Pompeo – all of whom have visited the presidential-proving ground of Iowa in recent days. Other potential rivals like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have the advantage of governing states that figure prominently in national politics.

The pandemic was rocket fuel for Noem‘s political rise. While she had been laying the groundwork to build a national profile and looking for ways to make South Dakota a testing ground for conservative policies, she jumped on decrying coronavirus restrictions early.

Conservatives nationwide have since made efforts to try to halt the pandemic’s spread into a favorite punching bag. At the Family Leadership Summit, where Noem spoke alongside Pence, Pompeo and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, speakers warned that government restrictions were eroding personal liberties. DeSantis has even begun selling “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merchandise to raise money for his gubernatorial reelection campaign, taking aim at another favorite target, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Noem didn’t mention DeSantis by name during a Sunday speech at another conservative conference in Texas, but seemed to single him out when she accused other GOP governors of “pretending” they didn’t shut down their beaches.

“All I’m saying is that we need leaders with grit. That their first instinct is to make the right decision,” Noem told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

But as an early wave of virus cases hit her state in the spring of last year, Noem initially showed a willingness to step in and use the force of her office. She declared an emergency and told schools to close, urged a meatpacking plant to temporarily shutter after an outbreak among workers, and even issued a stay-at-home order in two hard-hit counties for people over 65 or vulnerable to the virus.

While Noem never ordered businesses to close, many did so anyway. And city leaders, frustrated with Noem‘s inaction, issued their own orders that forced many to shutter for weeks in the spring.

As the response to the virus became increasingly politicized, however, Noem moved to the forefront of governors railing against government orders. By June of 2020, her message had shifted: “More freedom, not more government is the answer.”

With an eye on the economic and mental health ripple effects of the pandemic, she frequently touted the fact that her state has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and a growing economy.

But even as virus cases and deaths surged last year, she refused to urge people to wear masks in public. Instead, the state spent more in federal coronavirus funds on an ad campaign inviting tourists to visit than it did on public health advertising.

As her appearances on Fox News increased, conservatives across the country began suggesting she run for president. Noem has demurred when asked publicly about her White House ambitions and says she is focused on next year’s gubernatorial campaign. But recent actions – from registering a federal political action committee to hitting the nationwide speaking circuit – show she has her sights set beyond South Dakota.

It’s not clear how her record on the virus would play beyond the Republican base. South Dakota recorded the nation’s 10th highest COVID-19 death rate. Although some states with far more aggressive approaches to mitigating the pandemic saw similar outcomes, South Dakota had the worst mortality rate in the Midwest. But that hasn’t stopped Noem from bragging about it.

“When I ran for governor I ran on it being an example to the nation,” she told the crowd Friday. “I had no idea that that was going to happen through a pandemic.”

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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West Nile virus detected in South Dakota

The virus has been detected in mosquito pools in Brookings and Codington counties, state health officials said. They urged South Dakotans to take steps to protect themselves and their families against West Nile virus, which can cause fever, headaches, rash, swollen lymph nodes and muscle and joint aches.

“Given the rural nature of our state and increased outdoor activities during the summer, protecting yourself against mosquito bites remains an important factor against West Nile infection,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health, in a news release. “Something as simple as using bug spray or limiting activities between dusk-to-dawn hours can reduce your infection risk significantly.”

Personal precautions against West Nile virus are most important for those at the highest risk for the virus, state health officials say. Those people include those over age 50, pregnant women, transplant patients, individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure and those with a history of alcohol abuse. People with severe or unusual headaches should see their physicians.

Prevent mosquito bites and reduce the risk of WNV with the following precautions:

  • Apply mosquito repellents (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus 2-undecanone, param-menthane-diol, or IR3535) to clothes and exposed skin. Limit exposure by wearing pants and long sleeves in the evening;
  • Limit time outdoors from dusk to midnight when mosquitoes are most active. The mosquito species Culex tarsalis are the primary carrier of West Nile virus in South Dakota;
  • Remove standing water that gives mosquitoes a place to breed. Regularly change water in bird baths, outside pet dishes, and drain water from other flowerpots and garden containers and stay away from areas near standing water;
  • Support local mosquito control efforts.

No human cases of West Nile virus have yet been found in South Dakota. Nationwide, 11 cases have been reported including in North Dakota, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas and Arizona as of July 13, according to the Department of Health. One West Nile fatality, in California, was reported last week.

Models current predict South Dakota will have 85 cases of West Nile virus cases this year, considered a moderate amount.

Since its first human WNV case in 2002, the state has reported 2,634 human cases, including 850 hospitalizations and 46 deaths. Every county has reported cases.

For more information on West Nile virus and prevention steps, visit the Department of Health’s website, DOH.SD.GOV.

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Habitat efforts look to benefit more than endangered species in North Dakota & Regional

Whooping cranes rank No. 1 among Karen Lonefight’s bird sightings.

The White Shield woman learned birding in Grand Forks and goes all over, collecting photographs and enjoying the wildlife. Also among her favorites are a hawk owl and a great gray owl, as well as piping plovers — a threatened species.

She was out near White Shield in the spring of 2019 and initially assumed the six tall birds she spotted in a field were sandhill cranes.

“As I got closer and I saw that they were white, I just kinda freaked out,” Lonefight said. She sat and watched, photographing the rare whoopers, an endangered species for decades.

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COVID Act Now named South Dakota as low risk for COVID when fully vaccinated

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… FALLS, S.D. (KELO.com) — South Dakota is one of only four … “low” risk status are Massachusetts and Vermont and the territory of the … Islands.
Nebraska and Wyoming are rated at “high risk” and Iowa, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana are …

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Speaking at CPAC, the South Dakota governor and potential White House contender tried to draw a sharp contrast between her and her possible 2024 opponents

“We’ve got Republican governors across this country pretending they didn’t shut down their states; that they didn’t close their regions; that they didn’t mandate masks,” said the potential 2024 White House contender as she drew an implicit but obvious contrast to leaders like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who took a more restrictive approach in their states. “Now I’m not picking fights with Republican governors. All I’m saying is that we need leaders with grit. That their first instinct is the right instinct.”
“Demand honesty from your leaders and make sure that every one of them is willing to make the tough decisions,” added Noem, who repeatedly touted her hands-off approach to Covid-19 throughout her speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference — highlighting the fact that she never ordered a “single business” to close. “South Dakota did not do any of those (measures). We didn’t mandate. We trusted our people and it told them that personal responsibility was the best answer.”
Even when cases surged in her state last November, Noem refused to mandate masks and chose not to put in the precautionary measures that many other governors were taking to slow the spread of Covid-19. She insisted that her state had been most effective by swiftly identifying and isolating cases. As of this weekend, South Dakota had 230 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University — ranking the state 10th in that metric among the 50 states. The state had 14,090 cases per 100,000 people, ranking South Dakota with the third highest rate in the nation.
But in an October op-ed in the Rapid City Journal, Noem rejected “mandatory masking” by noting that some had questioned the effectiveness of masks, calling on each family to make “informed decisions for themselves.”
“As I’ve said before, if folks want to wear a mask, they should be free to do so,” she wrote in that piece. “Similarly, those who don’t want to wear a mask shouldn’t be shamed into wearing one. And government should not mandate it.”
She became a star headliner at the CPAC conference in Orlando in February, in part by taking aim at Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist, and insisting that her party could win by more clearly articulating that conservatives “are not here to tell you how to live your life.” To loud cheers, she said: “I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot.”

Noem’s political future

Her comments Sunday were a shot across the bow from Noem as she positions herself in a field that has been essentially frozen by former President Donald Trump, who is teasing another run for his former office as he falsely claims that his 2020 contest with Joe Biden was rigged.
Noem, who was greeted with a standing ovation at CPAC hours before Trump was slated to speak Sunday, has been defined in part by her intense loyalty to Trump after a year in which she campaigned aggressively to help re-elect him. In a brief exchange with reporters Sunday after her speech, she said she hopes to see Trump run again in 2024. When asked about her own ambitions, she demurred.
“I think he’d be fantastic. He gets up every day and he fights for this country,” Noem said. “Most people when they watched what he and his family went through would be exhausted and quit, out of discouragement. And the fact that he’s still fighting is inspirational to me.”
“Would I run? Oh, I’m not focused on that,” she said when pressed about her White House plans. “I love South Dakota and I worked to come home to South Dakota, so I could be there and be with my people and ride horses for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.”
When asked whether she would be open to joining Trump on the 2024 ticket as his No. 2, as some GOP voters would like to see her do as a replacement for former Vice President Mike Pence, she said she was “open to going home and putting on my cowboy boots right now. I’ve been in these heels a long time.”

North Dakota sues Biden for shutting down oil and gas lease sales that will cost the state tens of millions in revenue

North Dakota is suing the Biden administration over its halting of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water. The shutdown will cause significant damage to the state’s economy, and North Dakota has already lost tens of millions of dollars in revenue.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday with the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota Western Division, asserts that President Joe Biden’s suspension of lease sales in North Dakota is unlawful. The complaint claims the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management illegally halted oil and gas lease auctions in the state.

North Dakota’s lawsuit calls on the BLM to reschedule the two lost lease sales, and would prevent the agency from blocking future sales in the state.

The lawsuit said the two canceled sales this year have cost the state more than $ 80 million in lost revenue. The state claimed that the canceled leases could cost the state “billions” in the coming months if the leases are not reinstated. North Dakota is the second-biggest crude oil-producing U.S. state, and a bulk of its tax revenue come from oil and gas production.

“Oil and gas production are central to North Dakota’s economy and the welfare of its citizens, responsible for 54% of the value of the State’s economy, generating approximately 76% of the State’s tax revenue and creating approximately 66,000 good-paying jobs in the State,” the complaint states.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a statement, “I have taken this action to protect North Dakota’s economy, the jobs of our hard-working citizens, and North Dakota’s rights to control its own natural resources.”

“Without following the legally required procedures, [the Bureau of Land Management] arbitrarily canceled the March and June lease auctions and shows every sign of continuing to violate its statutory duties,” Stenehjem’s news release stated.

“In addition to being a foolish idea, President Biden’s moratorium on oil and gas leasing on public lands is illegal,” North Dakota Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer said in a statement. “It increases federal and state budget shortfalls, hampers state and private mineral owners’ rights, and makes the United States less energy independent and more reliant on foreign producers who are not all good actors, like Russia, Saudi Arabia, or Venezuela.”

The Bureau of Land Management declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Last month, a federal judge in Louisiana temporarily blocked Biden’s suspension of oil and gas leasing on public land and water. The judge noted his ruling applied nationwide.

Stenehjem said, “I welcome and support the Louisiana federal district court’s decision, and I look forward to defending North Dakota’s vital interests in its natural resources and continuing to put the pressure on the Federal government to do the right thing for our state.”

In March, a lawsuit against Biden was launched by 21 states over the president’s executive order that shut down the Keystone XL pipeline. The lawsuit included North Dakota as well as Texas, Montana, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Biden halted oil and gas lease sales once he entered office in January, citing climate change concerns as the reason for shutting down the leasing.

North Dakota law enforcement admits critical failures at Standing Rock

In an internal report, not meant for public view, North Dakota law enforcement admits that it lacked training and experience, and had no policies in place, when it fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and other chemical agents into Standing Rock Water Protectors.
Law enforcement admits critical failures at Standing Rock during its militarized attacks on Water Protectors

North Dakota law enforcement admits critical failures

Article by Brenda Norrell
Photos by Ryan Vizzions
Censored News

North Dakota law enforcement admits that it had little experience, and no policies in place, when it fired rubber bullets, tear gas, and other chemical agents into Standing Rock Water Protectors.

In an internal report, not meant for public view, three North Dakota Congressmen are identified who aided law enforcement in the excessive force used at Standing Rock: Congressman Kevin Cramer, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, and Senator John Hoeven.

Among 178 agencies named in the militarized buildup for the benefit of Dakota Access Pipeline is the unlikely agency of US Customs and Border Patrol. The report confirms that North Dakota Game and Fish was responsible for aerial spying on Standing Rock camps.

While stating the pros and cons of its SWAT Team, the report states, “There were no formal, pre-planned policies on the use of less-than-lethal munitions and riot control/chemical agents.”

The report is the North Dakota Emergency Response After-Action Report, made public by The Intercept.

The report states, “The historical lack of experience with large-scale violent protests meant that little planning had gone into the use of less-than-lethal munitions and riot control/chemical agents.”

Read the full article at Censored News: