Bjorkman: No PAC or special interest money; just people serving people

Bjorkman: No PAC or special interest money; just people serving people

I’ve pledged to run a campaign free of special interest political action committees (PACs), corporate and national party money. Unlike me, Dusty has taken over $221,000 of PAC dollars. On the other hand, I’ve lived up to the exact promise I made to voters – at significant sacrifice to our fundraising. 
That’s OK, because individuals made up the difference.
During last night’s SDPB Congressional Forum, Dusty showed he’s willing to distort truth in order to divert attention from how he’s sold out to special interest PACs and corporate PACs. So much for Dusty’s clean campaign pledges. Now, it’s obvious that Dusty pored through our more than 5000 individual donations in this campaign, and couldn’t find a single PAC or national party donation among them. None.
So what’s left for him other than explaining why he took all that money? Distort the truth.
He did just that by claiming donations from six individuals — two-thirds of it from former Sen. Tom Daschle – is special interest money. That isn’t truthful. Each of those individuals made individual gifts out of their own pockets,  not on behalf of any special interest.
I’m proud to have Sen. Daschle’s support and that of the other donors – either South Dakota natives, former workers for Sen. Tim Johnson, or in one case a former North Dakota congressman. They believe in my message of reform and gave out of their own pockets to help a reformer.
Our campaign has received the vast majority of it’s donations – most of them relatively small – from South Dakotans. I’m honored and humbled by the trust and confidence every one of these as well as each of our thousands of donors has placed in our joint cause to reform Congress.
Does Dusty feel similarly proud to have accepted money from the 90 or so special interest PACs who gave him over $220,000? Those groups, like the Koch Brothers aren’t giving him money because they believe he’ll be a great congressman for South Dakota, but because they want him to be the next congressman for Koch Brothers.
I’m glad Dusty has raised this distortion, because he’s not only acknowledging that he feels the heat in this campaign, but more importantly, he acknowledges what I’ve been saying all along: the central theme of this election should be special interest PAC money — and Super PAC dark ads — and their harmful impact on the democratic process.
I will be a voice for all the people in Congress, not just the PACs who control Washington, and that includes not spinning the truth to try to make political points.
Finally, rather than doing as promised and publishing the amounts they gave, Dusty just published names leaving the opportunity to further distort. So I’ll include them here:
Name Relation to the Campaign  Amount to Date  Contribution Dates
Dwight Fettig South Dakotan  $500.00 3/30/18 – $500
Haroon Khan Former Tim Johnson Staffer, Friend of adviser Drey Samuelson  $500.00 12/31/17 – $500
Earl Pomeroy Former North Dakota Congressman  $500.00 3/31/18 – $500
Tom Daschle Former South Dakota Senator  $5,400.00 2/14/18 – $2700, 6/27/18 – $2700
Greg Billings Father of a Campaign Intern  $250.00 8/31/18 – $250
Nikki Heidepriem South Dakotan  $500.00 8/31/18 – $500
Total Given:  $7,650.00
The Contrast Between the Tim Bjorkman and Dusty Johnson Campaigns is Striking

The Contrast Between the Tim Bjorkman and Dusty Johnson Campaigns is Striking

CANISTOTA—Both the Tim Bjorkman and Dusty Johnson congressional campaigns released their FEC reports today, “and the contrast between the two couldn’t be more striking,” Bjorkman communications director Tom Lawrence said.
“Many more South Dakotans contributed to Bjorkman’s campaign than Johnson’s, with 1,880 South Dakotans contributing unitemized contributions (under $200) to Bjorkman, and only 510 unitemized contributions for Johnson,” Lawrence said. “Bjorkman’s average donation was $126; Johnson’s was around $500.
“South Dakotans are responding to our campaign far more than Dusty’s,” he said. “It’s the well-off and well-connected who are responding to Johnson. It’s the everyday people of South Dakota who are responding to Tim.”
Bjorkman raised $261,442.69 during the third quarter of this year, according to a report released Monday. His primary opponent, Dusty Johnson had half as many donations.
Johnson did raise more money in the third quarter — more than $540,000 — by relying on larger donations from fewer people, and $143,000 in PAC contributions, which Bjorkman refuses to take.
“The reason that Tim refuses to take PAC contributions is because he knows that it comes with strings attached,” Lawrence said. “The special interests that have given Dusty over $200,000 in PAC money aren’t giving to him for any other reason than they want to whisper in his ear their instructions about how they want him to vote. This is the reason why healthcare is unaffordable for so many South Dakota families, why pharmaceutical prices are up to 10 times what citizens in other countries pay for them, and why our government in general favors the wealthy and well-connected over everyday South Dakotans.
“South Dakotans will have a real choice to make on November 6th, whether to send someone to Washington who will fit right in with the corrupt, failed status quo in Congress, or send someone who will fight to reform the system which so clearly doesn’t work for so many of us,” Lawrence said.
Bjorkman, a fifth-generation South Dakotan who lives in Canistota, is a former circuit court judge in his first race for a partisan office.

Tim: Glad E15 sales moving forward

Tim: Glad E15 sales moving forward

I’m glad that President Trump has finally made good on allowing the sale of E15 fuel year-round, even though it appears to be a political effort to shore up support in the Midwest. It reflects what members of both parties have been calling for in this state for months now, obstructed by former EPA head Scott Pruitt.
Adding more ethanol to our fuel is one good way to give slumping corn prices a boost and to use American product, rather than Middle East oil.
South Dakota family producers need a strong voice and dependable vote for them in Congress, free of the special interests and national party congressional leaders. That’s why I won’t ever take a dime from oil and fossil fuels companies, or any other special interest. You can’t stand up to the big interests that control Congress if you take their money.

Tim energized at Native American Days Parade

Tim energized at Native American Days Parade

SIOUX FALLS—You have to see Tim in action in a parade to appreciate his passion, his drive, his energy.
Of course, he’s had a lot of experience. Tim has walked — and ran — through parades across South Dakota since he announced his candidacy for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2017. For 15 months, he has crossed the state, shaking hands, slapping high-fives and engaging with South Dakotans.

The latest example was Monday in Sioux Falls during the inaugural Native American Day Parade. Tim was among the first to accept an invitation to the parade, which honored Native elders, including grand marshal Tim Giago, whose newspaper the Native Sun News endorsed Tim this summer.
Tim Giago, whose Lakota name is Nanwica Kciji, pushed for South Dakota to change Columbus Day to Native American Day and was able to persuade Gov. George S. Mickelson to do so in 1989, as they teamed to proclaim 1990 as a Year of Reconciliation in the state.
The two Tims took part in the parade, with Giago, perhaps the most acclaimed Native American journalist in the nation, hailed by the hundreds of people who attended the downtown parade in cool, wet conditions. Giago rode through the parade, waving to the assembled crowd.
Tim Bjorkman, however raced up and down the route along Phillips Avenue.
“Hi, everybody!” he called out. “Tim Bjorkman. I’m running for Congress. How are we all doing?”
The crowd responded with smiles and cheers.
“Go, Tim!” a woman called out.
“Good luck!” another woman shouted to Tim as he went past, offering handshakes and high-fives as he rolled along.


Native American issues are a vital part of the campaign. Tim has reached out to Natives throughout the campaign and has received warm support from the people he has met at parades, wacipis and other events.
It was a special day for the former Circuit Court judge and fifth-generation South Dakotan. Monday was Tim’s 62nd birthday but he didn’t take the day off.
Instead, he walked and ran along another parade route, continuing a campaign to represent all South Dakotans and bring reform and fundamental change to Congress. That’s what drives Tim.

Tim details goals at congressional forum

Tim details goals at congressional forum

Tim detailed his goals for South Dakota during a forum in Sioux Falls on Wednesday, Oct. 3.
He described the challenges the state and nation face and what steps he would take to address them. Tim also sounded a note of optimism, saying South Dakota was a place dear to his heart.
“We have one of the greatest places on the face of the earth to raise a family,” he said.
But there is a lot of work to be done to preserve that, Tim said, including providing affordable healthcare for all, fixing the broken criminal justice system to return people to the workforce and restoring government to We the People, not the special interests who dominate it now.
Tim took part in a congressional forum sponsored by Americans for Prosperity-South Dakota, as did Republican Dusty Johnson, Libertarian George Hendrickson and independent Ron Wieczorek. About 100 people attended the event at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, which also was streamed live on the AFP Facebook page.
Augustana University Government and International Affairs/Political Science assistant professor Dr. Emily Wanless moderated the forum. All but the last question were written by her students, she said; she drafted the final one.
Tim said healthcare is the most pressing issue facing the nation.
“It has its tentacles all through government costs,” he said.
The answer is a bipartisan solution that obtains broad consensus to repair the system, he said. It would reduce spending and help balance the national budget while also reducing the burden on law enforcement.
Lack of access to healthcare is the “chief driver” in sending people to prison, Tim said. It helps explain why South Dakota’s prison population has grown at 30 times the rate of the state’s population.
A failed effort to clean up the problem by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, undertaken when Dusty Johnson served as his chief of staff, is an example of how government has failed to address and correct the problem, which only can be done by providing treatment appropriate for the needs of troubled people, Tim said.
Until that happens, law enforcement agencies will be burdened and taxpayers will have to cover the costs of these failed government choices.
Tim, who served on the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Parole, said 90 percent of South Dakota’s prison inmates have substance abuse issues. In addition, two-thirds failed to obtain a high school diploma and 68 percent did not grow up in a home with a father present.
It’s that cycle of unstable family lives, addiction, untreated mental illness and crime that has harmed the state and helped convince Tim to step down from his post as a circuit court judge to run for Congress.


During the 90-minute forum, he discussed how these problems have arisen and how they can be handled.
“Crime’s biggest enemy is a stable home, an education and job skills,” Tim said.
Methamphetamine has been “a scourge on our state,” he said. Meth has fueled a spike in crime and its production, distribution and use must be attacked and reduced.
But South Dakota has failed to address these concerns.
“It’s a fundamentally broken system,” Tim said. “It’s been used as a political football for far too long.”
Asked about the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare,” Tim said it was a “very imperfect first step” to address a problem that has existed for more than a century.
The primary problem, he said, is the inflated cost of health care, double what other developed nations pay for their care, because corporations, especially Big Pharma and Big Insurance, are making Americans pay far too much.
The cost of healthcare is $1.5 trillion annually. That should be cut in half, he said.
“That would about balance our budget even with the reckless spending we’ve seen this year,” Tim said. “We’re paying dearly for it. We can do it much more efficiently.”
He said it’s crucial the state has a strong advocate for family farmers and ranchers and he wants to serve on the House Committee on Agriculture.
Tim said he had consistently warned of the dangers of the trade war sparked by tariffs.
“I believe in free trade, but only if it’s fair trade,” he said.
Damaging trade relations will have a long-term impact, he said.
“Once they get severed, they’re very, very difficult to reestablish,” Tim said. “We’re going to see repercussions all across the Midwest.”
All this has caused great economic harm to farmers and ranchers, he said, with soybean producers losing $600 million off a crop of 270 million bushels due to the sharp decline in prices. More will face difficulties in the spring when they seek operating loans, Tim said.
As many as one in three may find banks declining to provide them with such capital, he said.
Tim has three more opportunities to face Johnson. They will debate the issues at the City Centre Holiday Inn in Sioux Falls at noon Monday, Oct. 22, in an event sponsored by the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary.
They will meet again on Thursday, Oct. 18, on South Dakota Public Broadcasting, with the event taking place at the SDPB Black Hills Studio, 415 Main St. in Rapid City. It’s set for 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, 8 p.m. Central.
Their final debate will take place the next day, Friday, Oct. 19, at the KELO-TV studio, 501 S. Phillips Ave. in downtown Sioux Falls, at 7 p.m. Central time, 6 p.m. Mountain.

Tim calls out Dusty’s position changes in RCJ

Tim calls out Dusty’s position changes in RCJ

Below is the full letter Tim wrote to the Rapid City Journal.  The editorial was published on October 2, 2018.

Dusty reverses himself on tariffs

Dusty Johnson has reversed his position on tariffs: he now agrees with me that Congress
should end the statutory authorization the president acted under in imposing steel and
aluminum tariffs.
But Dusty didn’t leave it there. He then claimed — in an opinion piece in the Journal —
that I urged Congress to unilaterally remove those tariffs. Now, Dusty knows Congress
can’t undo tariffs that already have been put in place under its grant of authority. So when
he makes that claim about me, he’s telling you something he knows isn’t true.
The fact is, I called on Congress to end that grant of presidential authority to impose
tariffs in early April, long before the first of them was imposed. Dusty disagreed back
then, claiming then Congress would make it too political.
The Founders provided in the Constitution that only Congress can impose tariffs, which
are a tax, believing no one person — not even a president — should possess the power to
tax. We must combat trade violations the
right way: in a deliberate, methodical manner — and with congressional approval.
South Dakota needs and deserves a strong, independent voice in Congress who will fight
for us with conviction. I’ll be that voice.

Tim Bjorkman
Canistota

Tim tours every corner of SD

Tim tours every corner of SD

I traveled across western and north-central South Dakota last week.
On Friday, we stopped at 14 communities, meeting people in cafes, bars, a sales barn and on the street. I sat for newspaper interviews, chatted with folks and learned what issues and concerns they want addressed by their next congressman.
It was in keeping with a September sweep across South Dakota. I visited more than 60 communities in every corner of the state during the month. We may be outspent by our Republican opponent, who is taking money from special interests and political action committees, which Tim has refused to do, but we won’t be out-worked.
On Thursday, Sept. 27, I met with the Rapid City Journal Editorial Board, two days after sitting down with the Argus Leader Editorial Board in Sioux Falls. After discussing why I am running and what issues and beliefs make me a new kind of candidate with the Journal staffers, I spoke to the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association at its 127th Annual Convention and Trade Show.
I found them very receptive and enjoyed hearing their thoughts. When I said he strongly supported a restoration of the Country Of Origin Label policy, the stockgrowers rose to deliver a standing ovation. It was a marked contrast to their feelings about Dusty Johnson, who opposes COOL.
“We need to restore COOL, and Congress has the ability to do so,” I have repeatedly said. “I will work on that from the day I am elected.”

The next day started in Whitewood, as I met with folks at the local coffee shop and listened to them as they explained their concerns with workforce development and putting South Dakotans back to work.


From there, it was on to the St. Onge Livestock Auction, where I talked with general manager Justin Tupper and his father, Kimball Mayor Wayne Tupper. Ag issues are a primary concern in this campaign, as I have has stopped at elevators, sales barns and fairs to ask farmers and ranchers their thought and advice.
We then headed to Nisland, followed by a stop in Newell, where he chatted with Doug Wallman, a local electrician, and Bret Clanton, a rancher and photographer. Clanton is a Republican, but like many people in the GOP, he supports me, introducing us to people at Saloon No. 3, where we had lunch, followed by a local bank, grocery store and hardware store.

From there, we headed to Reva and Meadow, Bison, Shade Hill and Lemmon, where I was interviewed by LaQuita Shockley, owner and editor of The Dakota Herald. Chad Peterson, my scheduler and regular traveling companion, and I also toured the famed Petrified Wood Park & Museum.
Then it was back on the road, as we headed to Keldron, Morristown, McIntosh and McLaughlin. We made a stop in Mobridge before heading on to Aberdeen as midnight approached.
Saturday meant the Gypsy Days Parade as Northern State university celebrated its homecoming. It was a wet and cool day, but I found a warm reception at the Gypsy Days Parade.
This campaign has involved long hours and a lot of travel, but it’s also been enlightening, educational and a lot of fun. We plan to continue at this pace in these closing days as we connect with South Dakotans.

Tim to hold rally in Rapid City on closing swing

Tim to hold rally in Rapid City on closing swing

The Oct. 7 Rapid City concert and rally for Tim Bjorkman has been rescheduled to be part of statewide tour in the closing days of the campaign.
Tim will hold a rally in Rapid City as he travels across the state before the Tuesday, Nov. 6, election. The tour will cover the state and include stops at numerous towns.
In Rapid City, Tim will rally his supporters at a site to be announced closer to the date. Music, food and drink will be part of this celebration of a campaign of change and reform.
Tim will end the tour in Sioux Falls on the eve of the election, Monday, Nov. 5. Once again, music, food and drink will be part of the event as Tim thanks his supporters as they prepare for the big day.
The Oct. 7 concert and rally was rescheduled for several reasons.
Tim’s packed schedule that weekend, with Dakota Days in Vermillion on Saturday, followed by the inaugural Native American Day Parade in Sioux Falls on Monday morning, led to the decision.
The arrival of earlier-than-normal cold conditions in South Dakota also made holding an outdoor concert challenging.
All tickets sold for the show, which would have featured South Dakota Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Famers Darla and Don Lerdal and Hank Harris, have been refunded.
Tim has made many appearances in Rapid City and the Black Hills during the campaign and will return in his pre-Election Day tour.
For more information, go to www.timbjorkman.com.

Tim and his Team celebrate Homecomings across SD

Tim and his Team celebrate Homecomings across SD

The Gypsy Days Parade in Aberdeen was held on a cool, damp Saturday. The crowd, however, was warm and welcomed me and our campaign team to celebrate Northern State University’s Homecoming.
Walking down the parade route, I enjoyed meeting our supporters, exchanging high-fives and handshakes, hearing words of encouragement from people who back our campaign of reform and fundamental change.

The Wolves have a great deal of support in Aberdeen and across South Dakota. My son Sam, our co-campaign manager, lives in Aberdeen with his wife and children, so I have a special place in my heart for the Hub City.
“It was cold and wet in Aberdeen but I enjoyed another great Gypsy Day Parade!”
But we also wanted to show our support for other South Dakota colleges that celebrated homecoming. We had entries in the Trojan Days Parade in Madison to help cheer on Dakota State University on its big day, and we also had people wearing Bjorkman for Congress T-shirts marching in the Swarm Days Parade in Spearfish to help Black Hills State University marks its Homecoming.
Members of Tim’s Team attended Homecoming Parades in Canistota, Beresford and Chamberlain. We want to share our message with South Dakotans across the state and are appreciative of the towns and schools that welcome us to their events.
School spirit is a wonderful thing to feel and witness. We enjoyed the opportunities to cheer on South Dakotans this week!
“Thanks to the whole team, volunteers and staff alike for a great weekend all the parades!”

Supporters invited to Oct. 3 forum

Supporters invited to Oct. 3 forum

Tim will take part in a congressional forum sponsored by Americans for Prosperity at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3.

Tim’s supporters are asked to attend this free event at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. Just register at AFPCongressionalForum.com.

Admission will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

There are strict rules for this event.

The audience must remain silent during the entire 90-minute forum, although they may applaud at the start and finish. Cameras are not allowed and all phones must be shut off.

No campaign T-shirts, stickers, pins or other material may be worn, displayed or made visible. No campaigning will be allowed before, during or after the forum.

Tim will be joined at the forum by Republican candidate Dusty Johnson, Libertarian George Hendrickson and independent Don Wieczorek. Dr. Emily Wanless, an Augustana University political science assistant professor, will serve as moderator.

The forum will focus on economic and regulatory issues, which may touch on trade, healthcare, jobs and the economy, infrastructure, veterans’ issues, taxes and spending, criminal justice and immigration.

Tim counting on strong Native American support

Tim counting on strong Native American support

Tim has had Native American friends, neighbors and clients for decades. He has a deep understanding of Native American history and culture and has dedicated a great deal of time this campaign to the Native community.

The Native Sun News strongly endorsed Tim, with publisher Tim Giago urging people to support him and help Tim win this fall. We are counting on a great outpouring of support from Native Americans this fall.

You can register and vote at the same time through Oct. 22. Here is information on voting in South Dakota this year.

Questions? Need help voting? Call 605-201-0866

ROSEBUD

Todd County Building, Mission, SD: Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00 AM-3:00 PM CT starting Tuesday, 9/25.

Trip County Courthouse, Winner, SD: Every Weekday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM CT from 9/21 until 11/5.

Mellette County Courthouse, White River, SD: Every Weekday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM CT from 9/21 until 11/5.

PINE RIDGE

SuAnne Big Crow Center, Pine Ridge, SD: Monday-Friday 8:00 AM-5:00 PM MT from 9/21 until 11/5.

Eagle Nest Life Center, Wanblee, SD: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM MT from 9/24 until 11/5.

CHEYENNE RIVER

Veteran’s Building, Eagle Butte, SD: Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-3:00 PM MT from 10/22 until 11/2.

Dewey County Courthouse, Timber Lake, SD: Every Weekday 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM-5:00 PM MT from 9/21 until 11/5.

Ziebach County Courthouse, Dupree, SD: Every Weekday 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM-5:00 PM MT from 9/21 until 11/5.

STANDING ROCK

Corson County Courthouse, McIntosh, SD: Every Weekday 8:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM-5:00 PM MT from 9/21 until 11/5.

YANKTON

Charles Mix County Courthouse, Lake Andes, SD: Every Weekday 8:00 AM-4:30 PM CT from 9/21 until 11/5.

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Interview: barriers to running for Congress

Kay and Tim Bjorkman sat down recently for interviews on a broad array of topics.  In this video, Tim discusses their personal decision process in entering a congressional race.  The challenge for candidates who refuse to be “bought” by special interests is simple:  How do you raise the necessary money to mount a campaign without accepting PAC money?

Tim presents his strategy, embodied in his campaign, for defeating special interest “swamp” influence.  The strategy relies on voter recognition of the huge threat PACs and Super PACs represent to our political system.  Tim’s vision is a template for how candidates across the country might succeed, while still remaining beholden only to the voters they represent.

As always, Tim holds hard to his outright refusal to take a single dime from special interests, and all those that use political donations as leverage to attain specific legislative goals.  Tim remains committed and beholden only to the people of South Dakota.,

Rally for All was fun for all

Rally for All was fun for all

Tim’s Rally for All in Terrace Park on Friday, Sept. 7, drew more than 500 people. They heard great live music from the Last Call Band from the El Riad Shine, dined on barbecue sandwiches and hot dogs while relaxing in the natural majesty of Terrace Park.

Tim delivered an off-the-cuff speech that explained why he is running and why the nation and state must return to the fundamental reasons the United States was created: To provide a voice for all, and opportunity for everyone.

Attorney General candidate Randy Seiler also spoke and Democratic candidates for the Legislature and county offices also were introduced to the cheers of the audience.

Tim’s emotional and powerful address was met with a standing ovation and he then chatted with folks, posed for photos — and not for $5,000 a picture, either, although one supporter delighted him with a fake $5,000 bill. It was an enjoyable day on the campaign trail and Tim joined the talented Last Call Band for a rendition of “Sweet Caroline,” with the crowd joining in on the chorus.

Here are some images from the Rally for All:

 

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Rally for All draws large, enthusiastic crowd

SIOUX FALLS—More than 500 people came together to celebrate an American tradition Friday in Sioux Falls, enjoying a picnic, great live music and a resounding message of the need for a return to our political roots.
Tim Bjorkman hosted the Rally for All at Terrace Park and spoke in the midst of a two-hour performance by the El Riad Shrine rock group The Last Call Band. The crowd, basking in an ideal late summer evening in the park, gave him a loud and long ovation after his remarks.
“This election is about values,” Tim said. “About our values. About who we are as Americans, as South Dakotans.”
That is why he chose to step down from the circuit court bench last year and run for South Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, he said. Tim said he and his wife Kay decided they needed to try to make a difference.
“We’re convinced that Congress is broken,” he said. “Both parties, nationally are responsible.”
A big part of the problem is elected officials who are more concerned about their next election than the next generation of Americans, Tim said. Instead, we need to be concerned about the kind of nation we leave behind.
The path to that future is by retracing our original steps as a country, Tim said.
“Our nation was founded on a simple, yet profound idea — that every person counts,” he said. “Our government was founded to protect life, liberty and that quintessential American trait, the pursuit of happiness.”
Tim said he wanted to restore the promise of America, the opportunity to succeed and build a full, productive life.
“We’re losng it in America today,” he said.
Tim said for too long, we have failed to invest in our neighbors, allowing untreated mental illness, addiction, a lack of education and healthcare, to build a permanent underclass where crime is all too common. It has filled our jails and prisons, reduced the number of people in the workforce and dramatically increased costs to taxpayers.
He said he saw it on the bench and on the parole board. It helped spur him to run for Congress. Tim said he is promoting healthcare for all, education and job training. All those will help build a stronger community and a thriving economy for all.
“We can do better and it goes back to the fundamental idea this country was founded on,” he said.
Today, politicians are addicted to special interest dollars and dependent on big donors who fund their campaigns. Candidates must choose if they will take part in that corrupt process, Tim said, or instead run for office with the help of friends, supporters and people who share their belief in change.
“You can’t fight against the special interests if you take their money,” he said. “So, I won’t take a dime of it.”
It’s a question of who owns America, Tim said.
“Is it the special interests or Wall Street?” he asked. “Or is it still We the People?”
Tim said he was dedicated to ensuring every man, woman and child had a seat at the table of opportunity.  That drew a loud round of applause.
The Rally for All was a free event, but supporters donated money after enjoying the music, good food and clear message of the need for change and reform. Tim wore a broad smile as he posed for photos for people, and he didn’t charge $5,000 for that, either.
He joined The Last Call Band for a rousing version of “Sweet Caroline” and people in the crowd, relaxing on chairs, blankets and picnic benches on the sloping terraces that give the park its name, joined in.
“What a beautiful day to be here in South Dakota,” Tim said.
Tim hosting Rally for All at Terrace Park on Friday

Tim hosting Rally for All at Terrace Park on Friday

Not invited to the political rally in Sioux Falls on Friday?

That’s OK. Tim Bjorkman invites you to join us at Terrace Park for a free weekend kickoff, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, September 7! We will serve food and soft drinks, and live entertainment is being planned as well.

The best part? It’s not $500 per plate — and there will be no $5,000 per person photo-ops, either! It’s all free. You may, if you wish, donate to the Tim Bjorkman for Congress campaign. A suggested donation is $5.

Photos with Tim will be available — and they won’t cost you $5,000, either! They’re free, too!

Last Call, a rock band based out of the El Riad Shrine, will perform starting at 5 p.m., which is when food service will begin in the upper shelter. Tim will speak starting at 6 p.m.

There are some benches and picnic tables at the bandshell, but bring lawn chairs and blankets and be ready to have a good time. Remember, you’re invited to the PAC-free people’s picnic!

Tim clear winner in State Fair Debate

Tim clear winner in State Fair Debate

HURON—Tim Bjorkman was the clear winner at the South Dakota State Fair Congressional Debate in Huron on Sunday afternoon.

Tim was declared the winner by about a 2-1 margin in a KSFY online poll, by Dr. David Ernest, head of the USD Political Science Department, who served as KSFY’s analyst — and judging from the applause that greeted Tim’s responses.

Tim called for South Dakotans to cooperate to solve problems — and to elect him to help lead reform in Washington, D.C.
“America works best when we work together,” he said in his opening remarks.
Tim said he would be an advocate for Social Security, farmers and all South Dakotans. He said the deep problems in Washington won’t be fixed by another professional politician. Instead, reform and change is needed.
Tim said by refusing all special interest money and running as a bipartisan newcomer to politics, he would provide a fresh voice in Congress.
“I will be, most of all, a strong independent voice for South Dakota and for all of you there,” he said. “I’m not happy with the way Congress has been running, and I don’t think you are, either. Let’s try something different.”
Tim said he would work from the middle of the political aisle, and would act to represent South Dakota.
The 90-minute debate touched on numerous issues as the four candidates for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives fielded questions from KSFY anchor Brian Allen, who served as moderator. They also made brief opening and closing statements.
The debate started with a discussion of tariffs, an issue Tim has repeatedly focused on this summer.
“I’ve been a steady, unwavering opponent of trade barriers imposed by tariffs,” he said.
He said trade wars ”start in one sector and spread like wildlife” and never end well. Tim said Congress must reassert its control over trade, a point he made before these new tariffs were imposed.
Republican Dusty Johnson disagreed then, he noted, although he has come around to some of Bjorkman’s positions. South Dakota’s congressional delegation has been largely silent, he said.
Tim noted there are two Farm Bills, with the version that emerged from the House of Representatives a highly partisan bill that benefits the wealthy and corporations at the expense of family farmers, young farmers and veterans who want to get started and conservation. Johnson favors that version,Tim noted, while he supports the Senate version, which is better for all.
“It will damage small communities,” he said, saying the House bill had come “directly out of the swamp.”
Tim said the economy has been tilted to favor the wealthy and that must be corrected.
“One family has the same worth as 130 million Americans,” he said, largely because of tax laws and other policies that favor the few.
“The first thing we have to do is get government spending under control,” Tim said. “We’re going incredibly, deeply into debt. We need to support working families, and not cut their Social Security and Medicare. We need to stand up for working families again.”
He said there are short-term and long-term problems with our immigration system.
“We’re using immigration, legal and illegal, to paper over a problem that 12 million of our fellow Americans are not in the workforce,” he said.
Tim said the workforce would be strengthened by helping people who are out of the system due to mental illness, addiction or other problems. The state has failed to provide available care, he said.
“Why haven’t we taken advantage if the federal held we’ve always been offered through Medicare expansion?” he said.
He said decisions made by the Daugaard administration, with Johnson serving as chief of staff, prevented people from getting the help they needed, turning away $300 million annually, tax dollars we had sent to Washington. He said he witnessed the impact of that when he was a circuit court judge.
Tim said he wanted to see the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continue. Special counsel Robert Mueller must be allowed to complete his work and present a well-researched report to allow Americans to understand what happened.
“I have a deep respect for the rule of law,” he said. “Let the facts and the law be addressed. Justice is best served in that way.”
He said Johnson, who also supported a continuation of the investigation, is well aware of the interference, since he introduced Russian agent Maria Butina to a group of teenage Republicans in South Dakota, unaware of her mission in this country.
Asked how to reduce the nation’s $22.5 trillion debt, Tim said the tax cuts that were imposed in 2017, he recognized, “as an old tax lawyer,” that they would pile up more debt and largely benefit the wealthy. Johnson said he now favors finding reductions — but he supported the tax cuts then.
“This is what is wrong with Washington,” Tim said. “You can’t have it both ways.”
He said he would cut spending but protect Social Security. Johnson has indicated he supports reductions in Social Security, he said.
Tim said “it would be a huge mistake” to send private contractors to Afghanistan instead of American troops. In fact, involvement in wars around the world is a mistake in general, he said.
“We need to start investing in our neighbors, in their healthcare, in their education, in their lives,” Tim said.
He said the United States must support our ally, South Korea, and tread carefully when dealing with North Korea. Quoting President Ronald Reagan,Tim said we must “trust but verify” any agreement with that outlaw nation.
On abortion, Bjorkman, who has a pro-life stance, said he has been consistent on his views.
“I have been convinced my entire adult life that the unborn child is a human being,” he said.
Tim said we have done a poor job of taking care of vulnerable life both before and after birth and that must be corrected.
“We need to have a whole life pro-life view,” he said.
Tim said he supported continuing to provide healthcare coverage to people if they have a pre-existing medical condition, having seen people suffer and, in one case, die because of hassles with an uncaring process.
“We don’t want to return to those days,” he said. “We can do better. We cannot have people denied that coverage. It’s too crucial.”
Tim said he favored reasonable and intelligent solutions to reduce gun violence. He noted 60 percent of gun deaths are suicides, and 90 percent of those people suffer from mental illness. There is a growing need for a national effort to treat mental illness, he said, and to reduce access to items like bumpstocks, which can convert a rifle into a mass-murder weapon.
He said he was opposed to banning the use of weapons made from models downloaded off the internet, since it is already happening, while admitting it was a troubling issue.
Tim said when dealing with energy issues, we “have to first be honest with real science. It’s overwhelming that climate change is real, and is human-made and effecting the planet.”
He said he supports clean science, such as solar panels, both for environmental issues and to drive our economy.
Tim favored allowing driverless vehicles on the road, as did all four candidates. He said research and a steady, step-by-step process to create an efficient and safe system is the answer.
Tim said if elected, he would consider his term a success by being a voice and vote for reform, by standing up for Social Security, healthcare and against the special interests that control Congress.
“We need to bring down the costs of healthcare and we need to make sure it’s available to all men, women and children,” he said.
Republican Johnson, Libertarian George Hendrickson and independent Ron Wieczorek also took part in the 90-minute debate, broadcast live on KSFY and live-streamed on KSFY.com. It was held before a large audience at the State Fair’s Freedom Stage and is available at KSFY.com.
For more information, go to timbjorkman.com.
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.