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Nov. 1, 2018, letters

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Noem’s ad features a drug thief

I see Kristi Noem's new ad features Wade Juracek as saying Billy Sutton is too liberal. Wade Juracek used to be the mayor of Gregory and was convicted of stealing prescription drugs from people, including dying cancer patients and the elderly.

Lisa Knigge

Rapid City

Billie Sutton is the real deal

Billie Sutton is a man of integrity and substance. His opponent has spent more time attacking him than telling us what she plans to do for South Dakota. In short, she’s light on substance.

I’ve worked with Billie Sutton on education issues, and we’ve talked at length on numerous others. He is not some crazy liberal. He is like most South Dakotans, belonging to one party or the other but standing squarely and sanely in the middle. He has consistently stated that he is pro-life and has spoken strongly against a state income tax. Her repeating a position does not make it his. Billie will work with our Republican Legislature on issues important to South Dakotans, like cleaning up state government through bipartisan administrative oversight, moving education forward and workforce development, to name a few.

I’ve known Billie for over 20 years, and when he first ran for Senate, I thought critically about whether this likable young cowboy really knew what he was doing. When I pressed him on issues of substance, I saw that he had done his homework and had educated himself on the issues. Billie Sutton is the real deal.

Erik Person


IM 25 needed for technical education

Join me in voting yes on Initiated Measure 25. We have a problem in South Dakota that IM 25 directly addresses. Tuition at our technical institutes is the third highest in the country and two times higher than in our neighboring states. As a result, many of our young people are going out of state to seek a more affordable technical education and then choose to not return. IM 25 generates $20 million of new revenue dedicated to our state’s four technical schools through an increase on the tax of cigarettes by $1 a pack.

Unlike other states that fund their technical institutes with a local property tax levy, South Dakota chooses not to. IM 25 provides an alternative. My conversations indicate many in the education community have support for IM 25 and realize the benefits for our state. The K-12 funding issues were addressed several years ago with the half-penny sales tax increase.

Bottom line, voting yes on Initiated Measure 25 will raise $20 million to help our technical schools lower tuition, provide scholarships and add new programs. IM 25 will keep our young people and future workforce in South Dakota — something I care about deeply.

Melody Schopp


Trust Democrats on Medicare, Medicaid

Cal Thomas confirms in the Oct. 23 Journal that in the era of The Apprentice president, the man with no plan except to pander to a voter coalition providing Electoral College success to his unfit self, Republican leaders now see reasons to cooperate with said president, regardless that they were “never Trumpers” during the 2016 campaign. Thomas offers, as if it were a swell new idea, a Manhattan Institute proposal with a specific schedule to reverse Trump’s recent unsustainable tax cuts, and most important, cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to balance the budget.

The sour cherry Cal plops atop this rotten banana split is the same old sermon that you are a worthless parasite unless you’ve made your family rich enough to pay cash for everybody’s medical bills and all their living expenses, from cradle to grave, never mind the middle-class life of previous generations critically supported by those Federal programs.

Is this nonsense worth the fun of watching a president win wild applause from committed Christians while cavorting with hookers and calling refugee families fleeing terror criminals? It makes more sense to look again inside the big Democratic tent for common sense, stability, and compassionate forward-looking answers.

Peter Hasby

Rapid City

Noem doesn't care about veterans

Over the years, retiring Speaker of the House Paul Ryan proposed a number of budget proposals to balance the budget through budget cuts and no tax increases. Ryan’s No. 1 target for such cuts was entitlements. Entitlements are programs designed to help American citizens have a better life through grants, subsidies and other programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and building and maintaining our federal infrastructure. In Ryan’s eyes, it seems people with entitlement help were parasites who contribute nothing to the national good.

In 2012, Ryan decided wounded veterans were undeserving parasites. The cornerstone of his balanced budget proposal was to cut the Veterans Administration by 75 percent. This he proposed within months of our invading Iraq. Kristi Noem supported the budget proposal 100 percent. When asked what would happen if America became involved in a conflict, Kristi’s reply was, “If we don’t have the money …” and shrugged her shoulders. How do I remember this? I’m a Viet vet.

So, Kristi has already shown she would arm and gear up our young people to put them in harm’s way somewhere far away. When they return broken … Kristi would shrug her shoulders. Are those South Dakota values?

John McEnelly


Bible quotes can support many opinions

Go far enough in one direction, left, right, north, south, east, or west on this small planet we call home and guess what? You come back to where you started. In this toxic age of name calling led by our very own insulter-in-chief (oops, sorry I got swept up in the moment), we have become a nation of playground children intent on hurting those we might disagree with by placing labels on each other. Words do hurt if we allow them to, they provoke and make us defensive to the point where we cease talking to each other altogether.

Right wing, left wing, conservative, liberal, wingnut, commie, one can go on and on, but we are all just people trying to live our lives the best way we know how or at least should be.

Whether you are religious or not, the Bible can be used to cherry pick whatever sentiment one chooses in order to support their cause, so I will choose a few: “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” “Judge not lest you be judged,” and finally “God is Love.” Enough said.

John Newland

Rapid City

Reject hatred after synagogue slaughter

The slaughter of 11 Americans during their holy day worship at their synagogue is so awful and un-American that you cannot really grasp it.

In my pediatric practice of over 40 years I cared for white, black, Native, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and other American children. We saw American parents of Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, protestant and other persuasions. They all had these things in common. They all loved and cared for their children. They had wonderful aspirations for their children's health, education and character. And they all wanted to make our country a better place.

America is a better place than these racist, hateful, terrible killers think.

Willis Sutliff

Rapid City

Support Fiegen for state PUC

I want to tell you about my good friend PUC Commissioner Kristie Fiegen. She has sent back over $23 million this year in refunds to South Dakota utility consumers. After the president signed the federal tax cut legislation, Kristie and her fellow commissioners voted on the last business day of 2017 to send back all the benefits to South Dakotans. Commissioner Fiegen took the lead in sending back over $7.6 million this year to Black Hills Energy customers. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Black Hills Energy will reduce base rates by nearly $9 million for South Dakota consumers. More money in your pocket.

Commissioner Fiegen is our voice at the PUC. She looks out for South Dakota's taxpayers and is not afraid to be our voice and to make sure our concerns are heard. I'm asking that you join me in voting for Kristie Fiegen for the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission.

Sandye Kading

Rapid City

Under God, the dollars rule

It’s time for the people of South Dakota to hold our politicians accountable. As it stands, our government is unduly influenced by lobbyists and big donations. State politics shouldn’t be determined by who has the deepest pockets -- it should be about the will of the people. If we continue to do nothing, politicians will expand the Legislature’s control instead of preserving the rights of those they serve.

We don’t need more government control; we need to put the people back in charge and enforce our laws to hold rule breakers to task. We must hold our government accountable and rein in legislative excess, and the South Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment is the best way to do that.

Stephanie Ales


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