The Governor's Office of Economic Development and Madison's Lake Area Improvement Corporation score another coup, bringing Iowa sexy bra manufacturer Best Darn Guns (should a company really force us to swear?) to town:

Best Damn Guns website, http://bdguns.corecommerce.com, screen cap, 2014.11.13

Best Damn Guns website, http://bdguns.corecommerce.com, screen cap, 2014.11.13

In a brilliant example of vertical (or is it horizontal, or cross-your-heart?) integration, the LAIC announces it is also bringing the closely associated Wilt Manufacturing, whose subsidiary Wilt Wire and Fabrication does something with Wire EDM, which is obviously connected to the the supporting industry of making underwires.

Or not. Once I get past the crass and gratuitous disembodiment and oversexualization of the female body, I realize Best Darn Guns makes gun parts. But their advertising makes clear the real psychology behind South Dakota's gun nuttery. Carrying guns and now building local economic development makes us real men and gets us action.

Welcome to South Dakota, Best Darn Guns and Wilt Manufacturing! We look forward to your billboards.

10 comments

Hey, Pressler Democrats! Does this flyer help pull you back to Democrat Rick Weiland?
PP Weiland v Pressler 2014 front
PP Weiland v Pressler -back
Planned Parenthood MN-ND-SD's PAC has been filling South Dakota mailboxes with this mailer. Planned Parenthood has also put up ChooseWeiland.com to remind pro-lady Dems that Weiland supports their values better than Pressler. The pros for Weiland:

Let Women Decide, Not Politicians

We need leaders like Rick Weiland who will protect our right to make private medical decisions without government intrusion.

Protect Life-Saving Preventive Care

Rick will protect funds for lifesaving pre-cancer screenings and mammograms for millions of women and will fight against any attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.

Supports Expanded Paid Family Medical Leave

Rick will fight to expand paid medical leave to workers in companies with fewer than 50 employees [links mine; Planned Parenthood MN-ND-SD PAC, ChooseWeiland.com, downloaded 2014.11.03].

And the Pressler cons:

Voted 100% against the Pro-Choice Position

Former Republican Senator Larry Pressler voted against the pro-choice position 100% of the time.

Opposed the Family Medical Leave Act

Former Republican Senator Larry Pressler voted against the Family Medical Leave Act passed in 1993.

Opposed Life-Saving Preventive Care for Women

Former Republican Senator Larry Pressler said he probably would’ve voted against the legislation which has expanded life-saving preventive care to millions of women without a copay [links mine; ChooseWeiland.com].

One pale yellow flag: on preventive care, we're talking about the Affordable Care Act. (Preventive care with no copays—yeah, remember that benefit that Mike Rounds and Kristi Noem would repeal?) Yes, Pressler did say that, had he been in the Senate in 2010, he'd have voted against the ACA. But he has also said that the ACA is the law of the land, that repeal is unrealistic, and that we should work to make the ACA better. That puts Pressler somewhere in the neighborhood of where Stephanie Herseth Sandlin stood in 2010. Of course, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin didn't have to run against a Weiland....

So Dems, if you're still thinking of making Mike Rounds Senator by voting for Larry Pressler, does the pro-choice issue swing you back to Rick Weiland?

6 comments

Susan Wismer is making her final campaign pilgrimage around the state this weekend, including  a 2 p.m. stop today at Dem headquarters in Madison. She ought to play this Joan Jett Get-Out-The-Lady-Vote video at every stop, really loud:

In his Thinking Unenslaved reboot podcast Wednesday night, Jered Dawnne and I discussed how being a Democrat and fighting for women's rights can get one a bad reputation in South Dakota. Democrats, feminists, and other believers in equality and liberty need to get our Jett (and our Tyler, and our Page, and our Weiland) on and not give a damn. Go, fight, vote!

5 comments

I love South Dakota. I love ladies. So why doesn't South Dakota love ladies?

Never mind the syllogistic stretch; check out why 24/7 Wall Street says South Dakota is the seventh-worst state in the Union for women:

Median earnings for women in South Dakota were roughly 75% the earnings of their male counterparts in 2013, one of the lower rates in the country. The lower earnings may be due to the relatively small percentage of women in management occupations. As of 2013, slightly more than 31% of workers in managerial roles were women, well below the national rate of 39.2%. Working women in South Dakota cannot take paid time off to care for sick family members or tend to their own health or pregnancy. Moreover, South Dakota has not begun to implement the expansion of Medicaid benefits allowed under the Affordable Care Act. With women accounting for nearly 55% of all state residents living below the poverty line in 2012, expanding Medicaid benefits would likely improve the living conditions for women [Thomas C. Frohlich, Alexander Kent, and Alexander E.M. Hess, "The 10 Worst States for Women," 24/Wall Street, 2014.10.16].

I love South Dakota. I want to say good things about South Dakota. But candidates like Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard are claiming they deserve your vote because they've done good things for South Dakota, when in fact they have only left in place a political and economic system that denies a huge majority of moms (and dads!) the opportunity to leave one parent at home to raise their kids, then hurls those women into an oppressive business regime that excludes them from lucrative positions of power.

Women, you appear to have your doubts about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Susan Wismer. You should harbor even greater doubts about the economic status quo in which the Republicans vest their interests. Check your pocketbooks, and vote accordingly.

15 comments

If Larry Pressler can get mojo back, why can't Susan Wismer?

Susan Wismer has touted her gubernatorial bid as South Dakotans' chance to elect their first female governor. She doubled the female fun by naming Susy Blake as her running mate.

Yet both of the big SurveyUSA polls have shown no advantage for Wismer among the ladies. The September poll showed 55% of men and 53% of women going for Dennis Daugaard; the October poll shows Daugaard winning 58% of men and 60% of women. Ladies, why aren't you flocking to Wismer?

We can ask the same of a big chunk of Democrats. From September to October, the number of Democrats voting for Daugaard has risen from 23% to 32%. A third of my fellow travelers are voting for the Republican incumbent, the leader of the corrupt one-part regime in Pierre and part owner of the EB-5 scandal.

Fellow Democrats, fill me in. What possible reason does a Democrat have to vote for Dennis Daugaard instead of a Democratic challenger who could upset the balance of power and challenge the Legislature to create a better budget?

104 comments

Anti-abortion crusaders are more concerned about political grandstanding than women's health outcomes. The Center for Reproductive Rights finds that states where such anti-abortion sentiments prevail in policymaking tend to have worse health outcomes for women and children.

Now the study doesn't say that abortion restrictions make women sick (although they should). The study simply affirms that policymakers like Mike Rounds, Dennis Daugaard, and Larry Pressler who are willing to ignore scientific evidence that abortion bans don't reduce abortions will probably do a worse job of making evidence-based, effective public health policy.

State abortion restrictions and health outcomes for women and children, Bridgit Burns, Amanda Dennis, and Ella Douglas-Durham, "Evaluating priorities: Measuring women’s and children’s health and well-being against abortion restrictions in the states," Ibis Reproductive Health and Center for Reproductive Rights, September 2014.

Bridgit Burns, Amanda Dennis, and Ella Douglas-Durham, "Evaluating priorities: Measuring women’s and children’s health and well-being against abortion restrictions in the states," Ibis Reproductive Health and Center for Reproductive Rights, September 2014, p. 11.

In kinda-sorta good news, South Dakota is not the most oppressive place for women. Like Texas, we only have twelve of the fourteen restrictions on abortion considered by the researchers. Kansas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have all fourteen; eight states have thirteen such restrictions.

9 comments

Nebula Group labors on Labor Day producing press releases for two of its South Dakota Legislative candidates. District 12 House candidate Ellee Spawn announces that Senator Tim Johnson has endorsed her. Spawn also cites endorsements from Senator Angie Buhl O'Donnell (D-15/Sioux Falls), Rep. Paula Hawks (D-9/Hartford), and lieutenant governor candidate Susy Blake.

Meanwhile, District 33 Senate candidate Robin Page opens fire on Klan-shielding Republican Senator Phil Jensen. Campaign consultant and Nebula boss Bajun Mavalwalla portrays Jensen as the kid no one wants to play with.

“Look, there is no denying that Jensen is simply beyond the pale and the Republicans want to get rid of him. He’s an embarrassment to the South Dakota GOP who don’t want to be associated with him.”

Prominent Republicans from across the state are distancing themselves from him. “I found his comments to be completely out of line with South Dakota values,” Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard said “I don’t agree with him and I haven’t talked to anyone who does.”

“No one wants to be associated with him. Who wants their State Senator to be a pariah?” said Mavalwalla [Robin Page for District 33 Senate Campaign, press release, 2014.09.02].

The press releases tout both Spawn's and Page's support for raising the minimum wage. Spawn also mentions South Dakota's rock-bottom teacher pay as an issue worth considering on Labor Day.

Nebula Group has announced its work for four South Dakota candidates so far: Spawn, Page, Valerie Loudenback for District 14 House, and Angelia Schultz for Secretary of State. All Democrats, and all women. (It's probably sexist of me to notice, since I've never mentioned a campaign outfit whose candidates are all men.) Could Nebula be trying to capitalize on the gender gap that all of the national GOP's rebranding can't close?

A detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups — including one backed by Karl Rove — paints a dismal picture for Republicans, concluding female voters view the party as “intolerant,” “lacking in compassion” and “stuck in the past.”

Women are “barely receptive” to Republicans’ policies, and the party does “especially poorly” with women in the Northeast and Midwest, according to an internal Crossroads GPS and American Action Network report obtained by POLITICO....

When female voters are asked who “wants to make health care more affordable,” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage, and a 40 percent advantage on who “looks out for the interests of women.” Democrats have a 39 percent advantage when it comes to who “is tolerant of other people’s lifestyles.”

Female voters who care about the top four issues — the economy, health care, education and jobs — vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. Most striking, Democrats hold a 35-point advantage with female voters who care about jobs and a 26 percent advantage when asked which party is willing to compromise [Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer, "GOP Poll of Women: Party 'Stuck in Past'," Politico, 2014.08.29].

The GOP poll and Politico chatter focuses on opportunities for Congressional office seekers and Hillary Clinton to capitalize on Republican Neanderthalism, but perhaps Nebula's client choices in South Dakota signal their view that some feminine mosquitoes can sting the GOP in state-level races.

2 comments

Looking for the oldest moms in South Dakota? Odds are you'll find them in Eureka:

Average Age of Mother by SD County 2008-2012

Source: South Dakota Department of Health (click to embiggen!)

McPherson County has the highest average age of ladies making babies over the five-year period from 2008 to 2012. New McPherson moms are a ripe old 30.0 years on average. Also waiting the longest to put buns in the oven are women in Hanson, Faulk, and Campbell counties.

The youngest moms are in Indian Country. Shannon/Oglala Lakota County has the lowest average baby-making age in the state, 24.2. Nearby Mellette, Todd, and Bennett counties also have average mother ages under 25.

1 comment

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