Tim talks ag issues with Tri-State Neighbor

Tim talks ag issues with Tri-State Neighbor

Tim provided detailed information on agricultural issues for a story in Tri-State Livestock News.

“We have been placed on this earth to be caretakers and leave this land in the same condition we found it instead of raping and destroying the land for profit. We need to work with farmers to incentivize them to use the best practices to preserve the land. The Farm Bill cuts money from conservation and shifts it elsewhere, but we need some common sense to protect the land for future generations. CRP is good for pheasants, for conservationists, for hunting and wildlife.”

He also offered thoughts on how to aid livestock producers and work toward better prices.

“I’ll be a fierce advocate for restoring Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). It’s just wrong for imported beef and pork to be passed off as a product of the United States of America,” Tim said. “This all just benefits the packers while putting consumers at risk and penalizing the men and women who produce and market locally grown meat. One way to help cattle prices — which have been impacted as much as several hundred dollars a head — is to reinstate COOL, and it will be a priority for me from the day I am elected.

“There are other factors artificially suppressing livestock prices. I’ll also fight for our South Dakota producers to amend the 1921 Packers & Stockyard Act to prohibit vertical integration in the livestock industry, which packers also use to keep prices low. It’s just wrong that the Battista brothers, in serious criminal trouble in Brazil for corrupt practices, and others like them should be able to own some of the largest livestock herds and use them to control prices by slaughtering their own livestock when prices are high, and buying and slaughtering livestock from family-scale producers when prices are low.”

Republican candidate Dusty Johnson did not respond to a request for questions.

To read the full story, click here.

For coverage of the forum, click here.

It’s the third time Tim has been interviewed by Tri-State Neighbor. In June, he expressed his concern over the Farm Bill slowly working its way through Congress and said it must benefit family farmers.

“(I’ve seen) some signs that we’re in for some longer term choppy waters today like they were in 1984,” he said. “How are we going to replace this generation of farmers with the next generation? Everything in this bill points to more big ag and less family ag.”

For a story on his call for a Farm Bill that gives family farmers a better deal, click here.

Keep dark money ads out of South Dakota

Keep dark money ads out of South Dakota

Everyone knows that our Congress is a mess, and one of the main reasons is the overwhelming power of special interest PAC money.

It’s mainly responsible for the Congress we have: one filled with people who place their own election and re-election above their duty to America, beholden to special interests and under the thumb of Big Business, which buys senators and congressmen.

And, as great an impact as PAC money has on our campaigns, another type of PAC known as Super PACs has had an even greater negative impact. Super PACs came about in 2010, as the result of the Citizens United court ruling. Instead of making contributions directly to candidates or political parties, these groups may spend unlimited amounts on ads for or against a candidate, so long as they don’t coordinate with a candidate. It can be hard even to know who’s behind an ad; that’s why they’re called dark money ads.

They have negatively changed American elections, as we witnessed in the June Republican primary in South Dakota. During the late stages, a moderate Super PAC funded by wealthy donors spent more than $310,000 on mailers and other dark ads in an effort to defeat conservative, pro-Trump Shantel Krebs. That expenditure was the second-most spent against any candidate in America this year. A Super PAC of Krebs supporters responded with some $55,000 of their own dark ads, but it was apparently too little, too late.

This is swamp behavior at its worst.

I was more disheartened when I read in the Rapid City Journal that Dusty Johnson admitted to having met months earlier with the special interest group behind the dark money ads against Krebs.

What transpired in that meeting?

According to a Federal Election Commission report, Dusty Johnson has already taken large sums from a PAC for the coal, sugar cane and bankers’ lobbies, among others. His most powerful donors, though, are the wealthy Koch Brothers, whose Super PACs, including Americans for Prosperity, are the most gigantic of swamp creatures, having spent more on dark money ads — by far — than any other Super PACs. They plan to spend some $400 million nationally to influence this election.

In South Dakota, their candidate is Dusty Johnson.

I realize the swamp will likely attack me with negative ads in the same way they blitzed Krebs. Is this the kind of congressional race we want in our state?

Here’s the good news: we can overcome the swamp and its power: they have the money, but together ordinary citizens have the votes, and united, we are stronger than all the special interests combined.

In order to overcome the power of Super PAC influence, we must commit ourselves to vote against the candidate who stands to benefit from any dark money ads we see. All this is one key reason I’ve refused to accept any PAC money. Period.

I reject it because you can’t fight the special interests if you take their money.

And I promise South Dakotans this: if someone tries to run dark ads against any candidate in the race, I’ll immediately do three things: publicly condemn the ads; call on the sponsors to stop running them; and urge voters to ignore them.

I invite Dusty Johnson to join me in this pledge. This election is a simple test: who governs America, the special interests and their PACs and Super PACs, or We the People?

Family farms at heart of Tim’s ag policies

Family farms at heart of Tim’s ag policies

My family has roots in the South Dakota soil. That’s why family farms are so especially important to me in this campaign, and will be a focus for me in Congress.

I grew up in a series of small towns, but we had numerous relatives and friends who owned and worked on farms. I spent time on them, doing multiple chores, including shoveling manure. That experience will come in handy in Washington, D.C.

When I study agriculture issues, I always look at how it impacts family farmers. They’re the ones who need a friend in Congress, a voice and a vote for them. Believe me, the wealthy have plenty of allies bought and paid for already.

Family farms make up the vast majority of our producers, with 98 percent of our farms family owned, according to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

There are 31,800 farms, most of which have been owned by the same family for more than a century. They’re good, productive operations, with an average size of 1,374 acres, and 46,000 people work on them.

They do great work, which each farmer feeding 155 people across the world. They deserve someone in Congress who looks out for them and speaks up on their behalf.

The most glaring example is the multi-billion-dollar Farm Bill that is slowly making its way through Congress. It’s loaded with billions of dollars in subsidies for corporations and the rich, and all efforts to clean those up have been blocked by congressional leaders of both parties.

According to a Politico report, a bipartisan effort that included conservatives and liberals, with input from outside groups, proposed 10 amendments to the Farm Bill that would have capped two commodity support programs — known as Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage — at 110 percent of their projected cost. 

Among the ideas was to prohibit farmers with an adjusted gross income of $500,000 or more from being eligible for crop insurance premiums partially paid for by you, the taxpayer.

A means test for commodity and conservation assistance was also proposed. In addition, the subsidies for the sugar industry, which have been in place for more than 80 years and need to be reformed, were proposed for study.

We also need to raise the cap on conservation reserve program (CRP) acres. It’s at 25 million acres now, and it’s worth a look to see if placing more land in CRP would reduce our excess production and boost commodity prices.

They also would likely help the pheasant population in South Dakota, which would be good news for hunters, small towns where people flock to pursue our colorful state bird, and the South Dakota economy. 

But the people who run in Congress prevented these interesting ideas from receiving serious consideration.

We need a Farm Bill that’s design to help the farm, not the corporation.

I also favor a restoration of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL). We should not allow imported beef and pork to be passed off as a product of the United States of America. They are not.

COOL for beef and pork was lifted in 2016 and that has, once again, benefited Big Ag while putting consumers at risk and penalizing the men and women who produce and market locally grown meat.

We need to restore COOL, and Congress has the ability to do so. I will work on that from the day I am elected.

Another concern is the trade war sparked by tariffs President Trump imposed this year.

That has been a serious mistake. It’s a result of Congress ceding ins authority on international trade. I favor restoring that congressional authority, and it would benefit our farmers and ranchers.

I made that clear in an interview with Black Hills Fox this summer.

“The trade war that is now burgeoning in which our American farmers, and cattleman, and hog producers, are being shoved onto the front lines of against their will. We’ve got a terribly soft farm economy right now. This is making it far worse. In my view, we need a congressman who will be willing to stand up and say that international trade under the Constitution, belongs to Congress under Article 1, Section 8.”

The trade war has lowered commodity prices, especially soybeans. A new report says farmers are once again producing a bumper crop, but many will hold onto it, hoping for better prices.

The problem is there not sufficient storage capabilities. Soybeans will be damaged if left on the ground, making a bad situation even worse. These are some of the byproducts of poor trade policies.

One solution is build more storage facilities, and once again, the tariffs come back to bite us, as steel and aluminum prices have risen sharply with tariffs put in place by longtime trading partners.

We must prepare for difficult days next spring, when farmers seek new contracts for their crops and also talk to bankers about operating loans. Congressmen, like farmers, must consider the long term impact of choices.

I’m also interested in helping younger farmers get started. As the average age of a farmer nears 60, we need to assist the next generation of stewards of our land. They face a daunting challenge with the price of land, livestock and equipment, and I promise to be in their corner.

These are all issues that South Dakota’s sole member of the U.S. House of Representatives must devote himself to in 2019 and beyond. One way to work on them is being being appointed to the House Agriculture Committee

We don’t have someone on that committee now and that has been a mistake. I will correct that next year.

It’s about planting an idea to work for our farmers and I plan to nurture that into a healthy crop of support for family farms. 
 
 
Campaign signs available across SD

Campaign signs available across SD

Looking for a Bjorkman for Congress campaign sign?
We have them available in cities and towns across the state and will add more towns as the campaign progresses. As the campaign heats up, it’s time to make your support for Tim known!
Here’s where and when signs are available.
Aberdeen 202 S. Main Suite 320 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. M-F
Beresford Ann Tornberg (605) 610-5360 or antornberg@yahoo.com
Britton Susan Wismer (605) 237-3086
Brookings 100 Main Ave. S. (basement of Hawley Insurance and Services) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F 605-633-1651
Chamberlain Karen Haynes 605-391-8166
Custer Mary Boots (605) 749-2225; (605) 515-9186
Deadwood Doug and Charlene Miller (605) 578-1215
Dupree Jean Farlee (605) 365-5485
Ft. Thompson Doris Kirkie 605-245-2817
Gettysburg Vic and Patty Beringer (605) 769-9924
Gregory Dan Andersson 605- 830-0740
Kimball Maynard Konechne 605-730-0462
Kyle Emily Bullbear 605-944-1510
Midland George England 605-454-0143
Mission Jim Colombe james@sddp.org, www.facebook.com/james.colombe, 605-201-0866
Mitchell Carl Koch 605-999-6546
Mobridge Rick’s Cafe  117 Main St
Montrose Jim Struck (605) 270-3676
Pierre Amanda Thronson 605-201-7535
Rapid City 605-415-9442
Redfield Chris Hansen (605)  472-0518
Salem: Leetta Bennett (605) 425-2336
Sioux Falls 1737 S Cleveland Ave. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F, 605-553-4975 or kaleb@timbjorkman.com
Vermillion Lisa Terwilliger (515) 351-9578
Watertown 922 W. Kemp Ave. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F or BIllie Sutton campaign office 917 Ninth Ave SE (Hwy 212, next to Papa Murphy’s)
Winner: Donna Duffy  (605) 842-0859
Yankton Jay Williams yanktondem@gmail.com
Tim: Native American issues important to all

Tim: Native American issues important to all

I know and have had relationships with Native American friends and clients my entire life, and as a lawyer and judge developed a knowledge and appreciation of and for the Lakota culture. As a lawyer I know what it’s like to defend Native Americans in court, including for first-degree murder – and secure an acquittal. I’ve met and learned to know thousands of other Natives across the state as a lawyer, judge, and now a candidate for office.
So I made it a point when I announced for Congress as someone with no political experience or connections to reach out to Native Americans across the state as I’ve tried to do with other South Dakotans. I traveled to the Pine Ridge and Rosebud on multiple occasions and have met with members of the Rosebud Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Yankton Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux, Standing Rock Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribes so far. I also have trips in the works to the Lower Brule Sioux and Crow Creek Sioux.
I have conducted town halls in Mission on the Rosebud (Jan. 13), in Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne for that community and Standing Rock (May 18), and on the Pine Ridge (May 25) and offered to come to other reservations and conduct them also.
In those town hall sessions I listened carefully to what each person who attended had to say, and answered every question asked until the questions stopped coming, then met individually and listened to stories until people were done.
I have heard seemingly unending accounts from those who have fallen through the cracks of IHS healthcare, something I saw on the bench for over a decade as well. I’ve heard their stories of failure to get basic healthcare even though our government has a federal treaty obligation to provide it. I’ve spoken across the state, not just on reservations, about the need to hold the government accountable for this travesty that is harming so many of our fellow citizens and spoken of the need to treat the meth and opioid epidemics as the national health crises they are rather than a ticket to prison.
I’ve listened to the many aspects of tribal jurisdiction issues, criminal justice issues, sovereignty problems, and a host of others.
In addition to the town halls we’ve held, I’ve met with Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribal Council members and toured their remarkable new healthcare clinic, and just this week met with tribal council members of Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate. We will continue to hold meet and greets and other events across the tribal lands in South Dakota and will continue to listen to tribal members who live off the reservations in our communities across the state.
Finally, I’ve fielded a large number of questions from Natives across the state on Facebook and on the campaign trail at fairs like Central States, the Sioux Empire and others.
While it’s important to sound the clarion about how Natives are crying out for a strong voice willing to stand up for them, it’s worth noting those who have already made their support clear. I’ve worked hard to be that voice and will continue to do that.
So don’t lump me in with any other candidates who haven’t shown the interest or dedicated the time to learning about issues important to Native Americans in our state.
I welcome your input and ideas. You can learn more about me and what I stand for by going to timbjorkman.com or our Facebook page @timbjorkmanforcongress to learn more, and send me your thoughts through both.

Tim sets tone at opening congressional forum

Tim sets tone at opening congressional forum

MITCHELL–Tim Bjorkman displayed his knowledge of agricultural issues during the opening match-up of the four candidates for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I stand with the farmer,” Tim said during the Dakotafest Congressional Forum in Mitchell on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
A packed house of around 200 people listened intently as Tim led the discussion during the 90-minute forum, sponsored by the South Dakota Farm Bureau and moderated by Zippy Duvall, a Georgia farmer who is the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Republican Dusty Johnson, a Mitchell resident, Libertarian George Hendrickson of Sioux Falls and independent Ron Wieczorek of Mount Vernon also took part in the opening forum of the campaign.
Tim stressed his years of working for farmers, ranchers and rural residents.
“I was one of those who fought to save the family farm in the 1980s Farm Crisis,” he said.”Farmers, ranchers, small business owners … these are the people I stood and fought for.”
He said during his career as a small-town lawyer, he won a wetlands case, stood up to big corporations that tried to bully South Dakotans, battled insurance companies to ensure his clients got a fair deal and dealt with rental agreements to make sure the law was followed.
Tim also decried the trade war launched by tariffs imposed this spring. He sounded an alarm on them in April during a speech in Mitchell, calling on South Dakota’s congressional delegation to work to reverse the tariffs, an idea so bad that President Trump’s chief economic adviser resigned when they were imposed.
Sen. John Thune and Mike Rounds and Rep. Kristi Noem did not act, and farmers saw commodity prices, already low for the past several years, further reduced. Congress must take back the power it has ceded to the president to handle international trade, Tim said.
The best way to fight a war, including a trade war, is with a broad international coalition the doesn’t allow trade violators like China to target one segment of one nations economy like our agriculture economy.
The idea of offering farmers and ranchers $12 billion to ease their losses is merely “hush money,” he said. It won’t serve to reopen trade agreements and routes that took 25 years to establish.
When farmers sit across from their bankers in the spring, they will face the harsh reality of the damage done by these tariffs, he said.
Tim also spoke of the two Farm Bills that have been debated in Congress. The House bill is a deeply partisan document that provides enormous loopholes for the wealthy. It barely passed, while the Senate version is more reasonable and was approved by an 86-11 vote.
Serious reform is needed, Tim said.
Tim said the House bill, if it becomes law, will hasten the decline of rural America and main streets while setting back conservation efforts.
He said this bill — and Johnson’s support of it – is a symptom of much that is wrong with Congress, showing the kind of laws that are passed when Congress is controlled as it now is by Wall Street and other special interests.
The wealthy already receive 73 percent of money from farm programs and 83 percent of the money provided by crop insurance. But they want still more, he said.
“It’s morally wrong, it’s reckless financially,” Tim said.
He also called for a reduction in regulation that over-reached and did not provide intelligent, reasonable solutions. It’s all too human to create more rules than are needed, Tim said.
But he said not all regulations are bad. One way to encourage farmers is to offer incentives, not by penalizing them.
He also expressed support for broadband, saying it has been great for rural areas, allowing people to live in the small towns and rural areas they love and work remotely. It also allows telemedicine to serve people in areas without adequate medical services.
We need to boost the family farmer and aid young farmers who want to get started. Conservation programs also deserve support, and Tim said he favored increasing the conservation reserve program (CRP) from 24 million acres to 31 million as well as promoting the use of buffer strips to reduce runoff.
We have been placed on this earth to be caretakers of it and to pass it on to the next generation in at least as good shape as we got it, he said.
Tim said it was sadly obvious the H-2A temporary farm worker program is a failure. Temporary visas are not the answer, he said, differing from Johnson’s response.
Tim said one answer to the workforce shortage is to lift up the 10 million to 12 million Americans not working or even seeking employment. He said people such as these came before him in the more than decade he served as a circuit court judge.
Tim said America must focus on treating people suffering from mental illness and addiction.
“We can’t push the problem down the road again,” he said, noting it was not what people had ever heard at a political event before.
Tim repeated what he has been saying since he launched his campaign in July 2017: Fundamental reform and change is needed in Congress and across all levels of government.
“Washington is broken. Both parties are failing us,” he said. “I think it’s time for change in Washington.”
He reiterated his opposition to the congressional dues system, and pointed out he favored term limits for both senators and representatives, while Johnson has only called for term limits in the House.
Tim said the goal was to “light a fire” under members of Congress to get them to do the work of the people and then go home. Prohibiting them from raising money while in session is another needed reform. He repeated his call for new congressional leadership in both parties.
Tim said South Dakota’s next congressman must help lead an effort to return the people to power and get rid of the special interests who control Congress with contributions to candidates and elected officials.
“You can’t serve two masters,” he said several times in the forum, drawing applause from the audience.
Tim said Johnson was not his target. Despite some spirited exchanges, they get along fine, he said.
“My opponent is the special interests and big party bosses in Washington,” he said.
Tim said he wants to represent South Dakota in Congress, not the special interests who wrap their tentacles around elected officials and control them from the wings.
“I ask you to give me that opportunity to be your voice there,” he said.

Click here to read the Mitchell Daily Republic story,

The Mitchell paper profiled Tim earlier in the week. To read that story, click here.

 

Pro-Life for the Whole of Life  

Pro-Life for the Whole of Life  

To my fellow South Dakotans, here is my position on abortion.

I am pro-life. When I use those words it means that I believe in supporting and ensuring a dignified life for the whole of life, from the womb to the grave.

As a former judge, I also respect the rule of law and I recognize that today, based upon constitutional rulings, the right to an abortion is allowed by the law and that it will remain the law until either the Supreme Court changes it or a constitutional amendment is passed. And despite all the talk from politicians, no member of South Dakota’s current congressional delegation has offered such an amendment on the floor of Congress, nor has any such amendment reached the floor of Congress in over 30 years.

The competing rights involved and the vast divergence of how reasonable people see this topic are what make it an achingly difficult and highly divisive issue.  Yet, the sad reality is that the abortion debate is only one of several issues that have polarized us as Americans.

And we’ve allowed our differences to keep us from working together on problems we can agree exist and can address.

We need to apply generous doses of tolerance and respect for the differences in one another’s views, which often spring from deeply personal life experiences. Then we must put our heads together seeking ways we can move forward together.

We have not done a good job of caring for vulnerable young lives on either side of the birth process. Abortion and our failure to care for vulnerable children in dysfunctional homes all across America are twin problems that represent different sides of the same coin. Think of this: there were around 900,000 abortions in 2014. In addition, an estimated 2,000,000 more children last year suffered from abuse or other maltreatment that will have a profound impact on their lives.

Re-establishing a respect for vulnerable, young life only begins by outlawing abortion, because ending legal abortion without adding protections for pregnant women will not only result in other harms; it also won’t resolve this deeper cultural disrespect that fails to protect our most vulnerable children after birth.

That’s why we should think not just about laws that outlaw abortion but about laws that protect life and ensure its dignity.

To do that we must develop meaningful measures to help women — especially those who are poor and abandoned — who find themselves pregnant, including protection from workplace and educational discrimination.  And it means confronting some of the factors underlying the decision to abort by ensuring access to prenatal care and quality childcare, encouraging family leave; eliminating discrimination against pregnant workers; improving the adoption process, and ensuring that all Americans, including children and their caregivers, have affordable healthcare.

This is the path to a life of dignity for each vulnerable child.

An approach that simply outlaws abortion but fails to address our troubling infant mortality rates, food insecurity, abuse and neglect, and poor academic outcomes among poor children isn’t worthy of the label ‘pro-life.’  The person who is truly pro-life actively works to protect vulnerable children born into highly dysfunctional homes, to ensure our collective responsibility to protect and educate them so that they have a fair shot at a decent life, because that person realizes this: they are ALL our children.

It is the right thing morally, but it is also the fiscally responsible thing to do, because it’s the surest way to narrow the road to school failure and prison, and to widen the path for those children to become responsible citizens.

Only this sort of whole life approach can make a movement authentically pro-life.

There is more. While both sides have debated the abortion issue for over 40 years, each side has too often taken its collective eyes off the underlying problem in the abortion debate — unintended pregnancy — which has, ironically, mushroomed since 1973. Consider these numbers: among adults with no more than a diploma — who are mostly low income – the unintended birth rate is startlingly higher than that of all other Americans, and is now stunningly more than twice that of the emerging world average!

Those numbers help explain why today in South Dakota, 47 percent of births are paid for by Medicaid. And why about 2 in 3 mothers with a high school diploma or less raise children in single-parent homes. And why 70 percent of children born to never-married parents grow up in poverty, at high risk for academic failure.

Fiscal responsibility alone should cause us to ensure that every adult – including those who cannot afford them – have access to contraceptives that will prevent pregnancy when not trying to conceive.  

This is particularly important among those struggling with addiction. As a judge, I witnessed the unspeakably tragic pattern of unintended pregnancies for children entering the world from the womb of a mother addicted to meth, after the state government had ended the mother’s Medicaid eligibility because she no longer had a minor child in the home.

How can we say to the child born to a meth-addicted mom that she has been given a fair shot at life?

Regardless of one’s views on abortion, we should be able to join forces to actually confront the root of the problem: unintended pregnancy, a condition that has reached epidemic proportions among impoverished women in this state and nation, and that profoundly impacts our economy, our families, and our most precious resource: our children. No less than the preservation of the American Dream for millions of our children is at stake in how we respond to this challenge.

The path forward for our state and nation is to ensure a life with dignity to every child.

Thanks for reading.

Tim calls for new congressional leadership in Fox News interview

Tim calls for new congressional leadership in Fox News interview

Tim continued his call for new congressional leadership in a Saturday morning appearance on Fox News.
“I think Congress is broken and both parties play a big role in that,” Tim said during an interview on “Cavuto Live.”
He is one of more than 50 Democratic candidates for Congress who have called for new leadership in their caucus in 2019.
Tim first called for leadership change in both parties in July 2017 when he announced his race for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He underscored that position while speaking with Neil Cavuto.
“We need to start sending people to Washington who are willing to put country over party again and work across the aisle on some of the biggest issues we face to help solve America’s problems,” Tim said. “It’s not happening. Both parties are responsible.”
Cavuto asked Tim if he agreed with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who wants to redo the tax cuts passed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017.
“Tax cuts are good,” Tim replied.
But he said he favored reductions that benefit the middle class without putting the nation further into debt. In this latest cut, 83 percent of benefits went to the wealthiest 1 percent, Tim said.
He said he wants to emulate the 1986 tax cuts passed with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Tim said as a former “tax lawyer and judge,” he knows the best way to reduce taxes is with revenue-neutral tax cuts that help all people.
“The one thing both parties have been able to do, Neil, is spend us into debt,” he said. “We cannot keep doing that.”
Tim also talked about the need to aid people on the fringe of society, those who are not in the workforce largely because of dysfunctional upbringing. He said he saw many of those people come before him when he was a judge.
“They grew up without a lot of guidance in life, started school behind the others,” Tim said.
“They did not learn a work ethic and job skills, have little education and no hope,” he said. That’s a major reason, along with addiction fueled by the plague of meth use, that South Dakota’s prison population has grown at 30 times the population increase since 1978.
It’s costing everyone millions of dollars to send people to prison and pay government assistance, when the better answer is to help treat people’s needs and set them on the path to a productive and healthy life.
Tim, a Canistota resident, is running against Republican Dusty Johnson, who also was invited to appear on “Cavuto Live,” according to host Neil Cavuto, but did not respond. Independent Ron Wieczorek and Libertarian George Hendrickson also are vying for the seat being vacated by Rep. Kristi Noem, the Republican candidate for governor.
To watch the entire interview, click here.
For more information, go to timbjorkman.com
Tim to be interviewed on ‘Cavuto Live’ Saturday morning

Tim to be interviewed on ‘Cavuto Live’ Saturday morning

South Dakota congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman will be a guest on “Cavuto Live” on Fox News Saturday morning.

Bjorkman, the Democratic candidate for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, was invited Thursday to appear on the show. He is scheduled to be on at 9:30 a.m. Central time, 8:30 a.m. Mountain time.

Bjorkman will speak to Cavuto from a TV studio in Sioux Falls before heading to Yankton to take part in Riverboat Days.

Cavuto is a senior vice president, anchor and managing editor of business news for both FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network.

Bjorkman, a Canistota resident, believes Congress is broken and in dire need of fundamental reform to remove the death grip of special interests on Washington. His message is resonating with South Dakotans all around the state during his travels to more than 130 towns.

He will discuss those issues, and his belief that change is needed in congressional leadership in both the Democratic and Republican parties, on Saturday.
Tim preparing for Dakotafest forum on Aug. 22

Tim preparing for Dakotafest forum on Aug. 22

The first debate of South Dakota’s Nov. 6 congressional and gubernatorial campaigns will be held Wednesday, Aug. 22, at Dakotafest in Mitchell.
The Governors Forum is set for 10 a.m. and the Congressional Forum is slated for 1 p.m. Both will be held at the Dakotafest Education Building on the Dakotafest grounds, 2300 E. Spruce St. in Mitchell. There is a $10 admission fee for Dakotafest; you can obtain advance tickets for $7 at Dakotafest.com
The Governors Forum will include Democratic candidate Billie Sutton, Libertarian candidate Kurt Evans and Terry LaFleur of the Constitution Party. Republican candidate Kristi Noem was invited but has not accepted. It is scheduled for 90 minutes, with agricultural topics emphasized.
Don Norton, CEO of South Dakota Ag and Rural Leadership, will serve as the moderator.
The Congressional Forum will include Democratic candidate Tim Bjorkman and the other three candidates, Republican Dusty Johnson, independent Ron Wieczorek and Libertarian George Hendrickson. It’s a 90-minute debate focusing on agricultural issues.
Zippy Duvall, a Georgia farmer and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, will serve as moderator.
The Bjorkman campaign is inviting supporters to be there at noon to obtain seats and cheer for Tim. Free T-shirts will be provided. You also are asked to vote in the daily poll on the race conducted by the Farm Bureau. Go to the Hoop Building to vote; totals will be released on social media every day.
There is some construction in Mitchell, so the best route to the Dakotafest grounds is to get off Interstate 90 at Exit 330 on the west edge of town and make the three-mile drive over on 256th Street to 411th Avenue and then north to the Schlaffman Farm, where the event is held because there are width restrictions in place for the Burr Street construction project.
For more information, contact Tom Lawrence, communications director, Tim Bjorkman for Congress, at tom@timbjorkman.com or at 605-789-1605 
Tim: Include all candidates at forums, debates

Tim: Include all candidates at forums, debates

I’ve been disappointed to learn that two of the four members of the congressional race have been excluded from several of the scheduled congressional forums and debates.
George Hendrickson and Ron Wieczorek have worked hard to qualify for the ballot and are running on their convictions, which South Dakotans deserve to hear. The sponsors clearly have the right to invite who they choose, but I think they should invite all candidates who qualify for the ballot.
I am glad to hear the South Dakota State Fair Congressional Debate is now considering the addition of Ron Wieczorek and George Hendrickson on Sept. 2.
These are important opportunities both for candidates to address the people and for voters to learn what we stand for. I’ll be at every debate no matter who is invited. https://timbjorkman.com/

Tim was leader in refusing PAC dollars

Tim was leader in refusing PAC dollars

From the start of his campaign, Tim has refused to accept money from special interests and political action committees.

“I have put some of my own money into the campaign and I am relying on regular South Dakotans who will support a candidate who won’t be owned by anyone, and every day will do the business of the people,” he said. “I solemnly promise that I will not bow to the big money that controls Washington. If I had to raise money that way in order to win, I’d rather stay home because  I wouldn’t be any more effective for the people than those we now send.”

A growing number of candidates are taking that same stand against the cronyism, corruption and careerism that has bogged Congress down into a Swamp of ineffectiveness and political gamesmanship.

That is not how Tim is elected when he gets to Washington. A New York Times story out Monday, Aug. 13, shows that Tim was ahead of the curve on this issue.

“Campaign finance was once famously dismissed by Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, as being of no greater concern to American voters than ‘static cling,’” the story stated. “But since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010 opened the floodgates for unrestricted political spending, polls have shown that voters are growing increasingly bitter about the role of money in politics.

“The issue is now emerging in midterm races around the country, with dozens of Democrats rejecting donations from political action committees, or PACs, that are sponsored by corporations or industry groups.”

To read Tim’s op-ed on the need for congressional reform, click here.

To read The New York Times story, click here 

 

 

Tim meets supporters at Sioux Empire Fair

Tim meets supporters at Sioux Empire Fair

Tim enjoyed a warm summer day at the Sioux Empire Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

He was met with friendly smiles and handshakes as he moved across the fairgrounds on Agriculture Appreciation Day. It was the second straight day at the fair for Tim, who came out on Tuesday for Senior Citizen Appreciation Day.

On Wednesday, Tim spoke with Larry Kotat, 78, of Sioux Falls, at the gate. Kotat said he is ready for real change and is fed up with the same old song-and-dance from politicians.
Tim also stopped by the Democratic booth, where he chatted with a pair of legislative candidates, Margaret Kuipers and Teresa Ann Robbins, as well as volunteers staffing the booth.
A large blue Bjorkman banner hung from the top of the booth and people stopped by to express their support.
Ron Winkel, 79, of Sioux Falls, also chatted with Tim. They are old friends, and Winkel said he think Tim’s campaign is running well and he is impressed by it.
“I think he’s doing a good job,” he said.
Tim enjoyed a visit with Rundale Dobson of Sioux Falls, who was on a break while working at the fair. Dobson asked for a yard sign to show his support.
His friend Gwen Baudion of Sioux Falls was at the fair with her grandchildren Jamiah, 7, and Jalayah, 2, and also chatted with Tim. They were all smiles as they talked about the annual summer festival and the coming fall campaign, and they wished Tim well.
Steve and Doris Bushard of Sioux Falls also expressed their support.
“I’m for Tim!” Steve said.
He said he follows the news closely and is concerned about healthcare and social programs that help people in need, especially children. They said those are the people who need a voice like Tim’s in Congress.
Some people shook hands and moved along, but others engaged in lengthy discussions, eager to learn Tim’s positions and ask him about why he was running.
Tim toured the fair, stopping to chat with people and listen to their thoughts. It was a warm day, but the support of the people he came across was cool to see.
Bjorkman: Poll from noteworthy source shows tightening race

Bjorkman: Poll from noteworthy source shows tightening race

Congressional candidate Tim Bjorkman has narrowed the gap in his race for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, a new poll shows.
In addition, Bjorkman is within the margin of error in the Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey when voters are told more about each candidate.
The poll shows Republican Dusty Johnson leading Bjorkman 39 percent to 37 percent when the positions and backgrounds of both candidates are provided. In the initial head-to-head match-up, Johnson leads Bjorkman 43-33, with 14 percent undecided.
However, this lead is largely due to Johnson’s substantially greater name recognition, an advantage that will certainly decline as Bjorkman becomes better known.
While Johnson’s own recently released polling shows him with a 21-point lead, there are reasons to question those numbers. For unexplained reasons, the pollsters left out two of the four candidates who will appear on the November ballot, which may help account for the polling firm’s low accuracy ratings.
While Bjorkman’s pollster, PPP is ranked fifth for accuracy by FiveThirtyEight, which tracks political surveys, FiveThirtyEight ranks Johnson’s pollster, Public Opinion Strategies, near the bottom — 25th.
Additionally, an analysis from a Fordham University political science professor ranked Public Policy Polling as the most accurate polling firm in the nation for the 2012 presidential election.
“I believe our numbers accurately reflect the state of the race,” Bjorkman said Tuesday. “I am the underdog, but I knew that going into this race. We’re running with a purpose; we don’t accept PAC money of any sort and we want to fundamentally change the way elections are run. As this reliable polling seems to suggest, we are gaining ground every week.”
While most voters already are well-acquainted with Johnson, a two-time state office winner, less than half know Bjorkman, but those who do view him more far favorably than Johnson, suggesting that as the campaign heats up, voter sentiments will likely shift strongly to Bjorkman.
It’s also noteworthy that despite Republican voters’ familiarity with Johnson, even after he has spent over $750,000 so far on his campaign, he hasn’t won over 41 percent of Republican voters.
Additionally, Bjorkman runs relatively strong among them with 16 percent supporting him, another 16 percent say they’re unsure who they’ll vote for, and 9 percent supporting other candidates. And by a wide margin of 60-19 percent, voters are more likely to vote for Bjorkman after learning that he is refusing all special interest money from political action committees.
PPP surveyed 641 registered South Dakota voters, 53 percent of them Republicans, from July 19-20. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percent. The poll was conducted by automated telephone interviews.
The POS poll surveyed 400 people. There was no available breakdown by party.
The Johnson polling also shows that, while Johnson enjoys the predicted name recognition edge, he’s not liked as well as Bjorkman among those who have opinions of each man: Bjorkman enjoys favorability ratings of 4:1 in the Johnson poll, while Johnson’s favorability rating is half that at 2:1.
Congress must take back authority on international trade

Congress must take back authority on international trade

​South Dakota’s number one industry is agriculture, and its success is vital to our small towns and our state’s future. The ag economy was already soft going into planting season, so the timing of the president’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, imposed under a law authorizing him to act where our nation’s security is at risk, only made matters worse.
Our trading partners responded predictably — by placing retaliatory tariffs on our commodities like corn, soybeans, beef, pork, wheat, and sorghum — almost all of the ag products that we raise here in South Dakota.
While it’s important that we combat trade violations, we must also do it right: in a deliberate, thorough, and methodical manner. And keep this in mind: the Constitution grants only Congress — not the president — the authority to impose tariffs.
For months now, I have called on our congressional delegation to support legislation restoring the Constitution’s requirement that ANY president must obtain congressional approval before imposing tariffs.
Our state’s delegation now agree with me that these tariffs are harming our economy and costing South Dakota farmers and ranchers “hundreds of millions of dollars that they could not afford to lose.”
So what did they do about it? They wrote the president a mildly worded letter warning him of the danger of imposing tariffs and asking him to reevaluate them.
That’s weak.
​Think about it: our producers have lost hundreds of millions of dollars, and our congressional delegation’s response is … a letter.
But the response from Dusty Johnson, the Republican nominee for South Dakota’s lone House seat, was even more passive. Dusty also agrees that tariffs are bad for South Dakota. He’s just not willing to stand up for us to oppose them.
He says that while “it’s important for Congress to have oversight over the executive branch’s actions,” he thinks the president should maintain authority over trade negotiations: “Injecting more congressional involvement, at least at this time, is going to inject more politics into it,” Johnson said.
It’s hard to know what oversight Dusty envisions Congress could have over a president who can impose tariffs on his own. And does Dusty really believe that when Congress exercises a constitutionally granted power it’s playing politics.
This is no time for passivity, hollow words, or hand-wringing politicians. The framers established Congress as the people’s branch of government, and it’s time for leaders of conviction to restore the constitutional checks and balances they intended. If a candidate for Congress is not willing to act on the constitutional authority the framers granted to Congress, he likely won’t be the strong independent voice South Dakota needs and deserves.
South Dakota’s rural communities may soon be in crisis if we don’t act now. Our congressional delegation — and anyone who seeks to join it — need to act as if real people’s economic lives are at stake.