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Impeachment Target Rejects South Dakota’s Request for FEMA Money

In our discussion of the various Obama outhouses, one of my commenters suggested that the next time Governor Dennis Daugaard and impeach-happy South Dakota Republicans came asking for disaster assistance, the President should respond, "'And how many outhouses would you like?' He might even send them pre-loaded for our convenience."

I don't think the President would poop on all of South Dakota for a cheap, half-hearted partisan insult. But he's not sending Governor Daugaard any disaster money this week:

...the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has rejected the state’s request for Individual Assistance programs to help residents impacted by tornadoes and flooding.

The denial of Individual Assistance came in a letter from FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, who said damage to homes and businesses fell short of the severity and magnitude to warrant federal assistance.

...Governor Dennis Daugaard called the denial disappointing but said South Dakotans will continue to work together to help individuals and communities recover over the coming weeks and months. He said the state is examining all its options, including a possible appeal of the federal decision [South Dakota state government, press release, 2014.07.10].

Republican Senator John Thune is also disappointed and is encouraging South Dakotans suffering from the storms to seek other federal handouts.

Note that the three counties most affected by last months tempests—Jerauld, Lincoln, and Union—all voted against the SDGOP's presidential impeachment resolution. So denying these FEMA handouts can't be direct political retaliation.

Impeachment talk is supposed to be a way for Republicans to make money. The ironic possibility that such talk is losing South Dakota money is unlikely.

But hey, if the Governor feels that the storms were bad enough that local folks can't bear the cost of cleaning up the damage themselves, and if the federal government just won't come through, why doesn't the Governor Daugaard just bite the bullet, do the right thing, and help those storm victims with some state funds?


  1. Danno 2014.07.11


    I wonder when we'll cut off funding for people who do stupid things like build on flood plains... (Dakota Dunes)...

  2. grudznick 2014.07.11

    Indeed some of that leftover money that didn't go to good teachers could be sent to these people instead.

  3. Steve Sibson 2014.07.11

    And besides the Federal government is broke anyway. South Dakota has enough resources to fix the latest problems.

  4. John 2014.07.11

    The hypocrisy never ends of how the republican majority in this state of the faux self-sufficient run to the federal government, which they pretend to hate, for a welfare bail out every other time it rains, snows, or the wind blows. Make them have private insurance or go broke - wiping away the old, the broke, the bankrupt is one of the largest things to invigorate new business, opportunities, and to advance the economy.

  5. Rorschach 2014.07.11

    So Thune wants to throw free taxpayer money at people and businesses who, if prudent, would insure themselves against the risks we experienced recently - and we experience somewhere in SD every year? I would like to see our federal representatives treat people like adults and say, "It's undeniably tragic when your home was damaged by an act of nature, but if you could have bought insurance to cover it but didn't then don't expect taxpayers to bail you out."

  6. Jerry 2014.07.11

    I wonder how the Dakota Dunes gets underwriters to cover them. At my house, they do check ups and tell me that I need to do this and that so that I may continue paying premiums. My insurance agent tells me that they are seeing folks turn in a claim for hail damage and then they get dropped. I wonder how Dan and his group were allowed to build there in the first place or Marion, along the big muddy, for that matter. They should be on their own and if there houses get washed away, no big deal, they have others so they damn sure won't be homeless.

  7. Joan Brown 2014.07.11

    From what I have heard about flood insurance is that your buildings have to have the water rush in and not just have a bunch of it seeping in. I have heard of cases in different places where people have flood insurance but can't get any help because it was determined that the water had seeped in and not rushed in.

  8. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.11

    Two items in the Rapid City Journal caught my attention today, the first was that AP is reporting that South Dakota for a third year in a row reported a surplus, this $10 million that will be banked is the result of savings in the medicaid program.
    The second item was a letter to the editor from a Republican couple from Illinois that said they were boycotting South Dakota over the state's GOP resolution to impeach President Obama.
    Why Daugaard keeps requesting money from the president when he knows that are slow to pay or not keep their word on funding (i.e.Medicaid Expansion) and having access to $10 million this year alone that should be used to help state residents in need.
    Dammit Daugaard, quit white knuckling a buck and help those taxpayers that have suffered hardship.
    The boycott South Dakota is interesting, a friend from Wisconsin and I are planning a road trip this fall and he wants me to come over there so he won't have to spend in South Dakota, I plan to comply with his wishes.

  9. Old Guard 2014.07.11

    Rapeublicans have been wishing that the federal government would stay out of their lives. Wish granted!

  10. bearcreekbat 2014.07.11

    The hypocrisy in this State is appalling. Please tell me again why we continually vote the same conservative Republicans in to all branches of our State government?

  11. Jana 2014.07.11

    Wonder if the Governor and his GOP buddies will rally the same people who donated to the ranchers who were hit so hard with the blizzard.

    Of course, now that the USDA has sent billions to the ranchers, wondering if the ranchers will pay it forward to the homeowners?

    Does anyone know if the Farm Bill disaster relief for the blizzard takes into account all of the private donations for rancher relief?

  12. Jerry 2014.07.11

    The Farm Bill does not take into account private donations, that was the icing on the cake. With that in mind, I think that answers bearcreekbat's question about why we send this bunch of crooks and liars to run the state cycle after cycle, they can live with the stench they cause. Money stinks and those skunks can't smell it. Those that vote them in are in on the fix.

  13. Darrell Reifenrath 2014.07.11

    I believe Thune and Noem voted against aid for hurricane Sandy victims. Correct me if I'm wrong.

  14. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.12

    Darrell, I was thinking the same thing about Sandy.

    Roger, I'm in Wisconsin this weekend, in Oconomowoc, about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. I read a local paper with a front page article about how dirty this governor, Scott Walker is. He's being investigated for election fraud. He colluded with mostly out-of-state mega money donors funded by the notorious Kochs, Milwaukee's own slimy Bradley Foundation, Karl Rove's organization, etc. Candidates are forbidden by law from coordinating campaigns with such types.

    Oh yeah, Walker is a Republican. WI went from a relatively successful Midwestern state, directly downhill since Walker succeeded his Democratic predecessor.

    I'll tell you what Roger, meet your friend in Minnesota! MN, enjoying Democratic majorities in both houses, a Democratic governor, and Democrats holding most of the constitutional offices, is at or near the top of every economic measure. MN raised taxes on the wealthy and businesses, plowed much more money into education, raised the minimum wage, and the state is taking off! Yep, meet in Minn.

  15. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.12

    I've been following the Scott Walker saga for sometime, what he did with unions is unforgivable and has caused serious economic damage to my beloved Wisconsin. I'm seriously hoping his recent corruption will finally be the glue that sticks.
    As it turns out Deb, I consider Wisconsin one of my ancestral homes. I'm an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation and have family members and friends in both states.
    My friend is very adamant about boycotting South Dakota and also feels bad about it, he taught on the Pine Ridge Reservation and still has many friends there, but agree with his political sentiments.
    Boycotting South Dakota won't have a financial impact on the state but it sure feels good to say it.

  16. mike from iowa 2014.07.12

    Scott Walker is a thug and has been since being kicked out of Marquette U for campaign cheating. His ideas for improving the koch bros economy have worked quite well. For the rest-not so much. Walker thinks prevailing in the recall was vindication,most citizens think the recall wasn't warranted at that time. I hope they are fed up enough with the damage done to kick his ass out on the street this Fall.

  17. 96 Tears 2014.07.12

    Memo To: Gov. D. Daugaard, titular head of SDGOP
    Memo From: President Barack Obama

    Just read your most recent SDGOP platform. Really? Now suck it.

  18. Danno 2014.07.12


    I think I can answer your question, (posted this several times in the journal comments):

    The state legislature takes up about three months, (Jan-Mar). Almost everyone I know works, and is unable to take off work for a three-month period. It's a pretty severe scheduling issue.

    This leaves us with self-employed individuals, (think Al N who runs a seasonal business), members of family-run businesses, wealthy individuals, or people who can live off little or nothing.

    Point being, due to the "nature of the beast", very few qualified individuals are able to compete for these positions because they need to provide for their families. Some that are there now can hardly be considered to be qualified IMHO......

    Nuff Said.

  19. bearcreekbat 2014.07.12

    Danno, that is an interesting observation.

    Yet I still wonder what drives so many SD voters to consistently vote for conservative candidates that waste time and money passing impeachment resolutions, discrimination legislation and bills restricting women's health care options, refuse federal medicaid money even though over 12% of our population is below the poverty line, and even pass legislation they know will be challenged in court as unconstitutional. Indeed, recent news stories rank SD as one of the four worst states with unsafe bridges, yet we vote for conservatives who would prefer to have a "budget surplus" year after year rather than take care of our kids, our needy, our sick and injured, our schools, or our roads. And we have counties in our state that repeatedly rank as the poorest in the USA.

    Why won't SD voters support more progressive candidates who want to enact bills and support programs that will help our poor and needy, improve teacher pay and school funding, help women with safe access to health care, work on improving our state's infrastructure, etc., and who have the desire and ability to serve?

    What are the values of the typical South Dakota voter anyway?

  20. Danno 2014.07.12


    I can't argue against your questions, as I wonder many of the same things myself. I'm a "moderate republican", (and as such an "endangered species"). Not investing in infrastructure is like letting your house rot around you in my opinion. Not educating our youth the best we can is purest folly.

    My only guess on our voting choices is a lack of qualified moderate/independent/democratic candidates and/or lack of sufficient campaign $$ to mount an effective challenge. I also blame the moderates/independents and Left for not creating excitement, (look at the percentage of voters that actually turn out to vote, it's abysmal).

    Another observation is an overall aging population, where the most active politically are also active listeners of AM radio where far-right talk show hosts hold sway, (exceptions are our few population centers like Sioux Falls). Many of these listeners lack critical thinking skills. Look at the skills of most of the posters on the Rapid City Journal. Critical thinking training is a MUST in my opinion.

    I would suspect in another decade or two there will be a political swing as am radio and their listeners slowly die off. Could happen sooner if somehow we can hold onto our youth and get them motivated. At times I get discouraged, but I spend a lot of time working with young people, and i do my best to get them to question things, even me.

    This was a rambling reply, hope at least a part of it made sense. I would pose to you that a very active few are driving us this way where the vast majority are not taking part at all, and thus are following the few in a lemming-like manner. Sad really, and frustrating.

  21. bearcreekbat 2014.07.12

    Danno, your ramblings made sense to me. I am disappointed in how the Republican party has moved so far to the right that if you are a moderate and believe that our state and federal government can do positive things for the people in this State and our Country, you are now labeled a RINO. Indeed, the choices we had in the West River primary for legislative seats tended to pit one extremist vs. another.

    And you are right about the lack of excitement in the moderate to liberal crowd, although I have been impressed by Rick Weiland's persistence. I agree, however, that the pendulum will swing back at some point, I just hope too many good people aren't hurt by extremist policy positions before it does. And when the pendulum does swing, I wonder if the Republicans will go the way of the Whigs.

  22. Tim 2014.07.12

    Danno and Bear, do you suppose the pendulum will have to swing so far to the right that a lot of good people will have to get hurt before voters wake up and smell the coffee? I point you to places like Missouri, Mississippi, Kansas and a couple others, they have it as bad and in a lot of cases worse than here, all are controlled by the radical right and all continue to elect even more radical every election cycle. Is it possible that South Dakota is a lost cause?

  23. bearcreekbat 2014.07.12

    Tim, I sincerely hope not.

  24. Danno 2014.07.12

    I echo Bear's reply, but again say the voter turnout is abysmal, and I don't know why that is.

    The Dave Johnson vs Dave Jensen turnout was shockingly, appallingly low, In Rapid I saw many yards with BOTH their signs in it. Turnout was appallingly low. Both are self employed by the way, one doing honest tree removal work (Johnson), the other in a multi-level market campaign. Go figure.

    My primary point is this is not a full-time job, and the most qualified cannot possibly consider it as work would not allow it. We need to make these FTE's, or suffer the consequences. which is exactly what we are doing now.

    Jensen is a choice to turn back to the crusades.

  25. Tim 2014.07.12

    I agree that voter interest and turnout must change to get things turned around. But I also agree with the Newquist post about how republicans run campaigns these days, I am pretty sure I wouldn't want to put my family through that. Sad that campaigns can't be ran on past accomplishments and future visions, instead of the mudslinging and garbage we see these days. I am surprised Rounds hasn't cranked it up against Weiland yet, Rounds don't have much in the way of accomplishments or vision so I'm sure it won't be much but mud.

  26. larry kurtz 2014.07.12

    DD is all about disaster capitalism: a nut in shining armor all.

  27. scott 2014.08.15

    If FEMA denied SD aid, why are they moving in to the old Centeral Plains Clinic building north of O'Gorman high school, and telling people that they are here because of the floods and tornados from last month?

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