We must reform Congress

We must reform Congress

As a way to let voters know what I will fight to accomplish in Washington, I am making a series of promises to you of what I will do and what I won’t do as South Dakota’s lone congressman. I call it my Promises to South Dakota.
Here is my 1st Promise to South Dakota: I will represent the people, not the special interests.
I believe the fundamental question to be answered in this election is this: Does the government represent wealth? Or does it represent We the People? Is it Government of, by, and for the People? Or of, by, and for Wall Street? Are we two nations, or one nation in which everyone has a chance to succeed?
I want to be a part of restoring it to a government of, by, and for the People. So, I will also fight for these fundamental reforms:
1. Enacting a Congressional Term Limits Amendment;
2. Ending the deeply troubling Congressional Dues System, in which members pay dues to their parties to serve on committees of their choice;
3. Prohibiting members from raising money while Congress is in session;
4. Requiring Congress to live by the same insurance coverage as the average American, eliminating low cost Capitol Hill medical services that the rest of America lacks; and
5. Prohibiting a member of Congress from employment in firms that employ lobbyists for five years after leaving office.
Dusty has declined to tell the voters whether he intends to participate in the congressional dues system if he is elected. Importantly, he hasn’t rejected it, nor has he joined me in signing the term limit pledge that I signed a year ago. He first didn’t support Senate term limits at all. After I pointed that out he has taken the vague position of calling for them but not stating how many terms he believes should be enough. More wishy-washy political talk.
I will support a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Congress, six years in the House and 12 in the Senate, to include any service prior to the amendment’s adoption, which would send home roughly half of all incumbents as their current terms end.
Here’s the problem: Congress has an approval rating that hovers between 10 and 15 percent, incumbents have re-election rates of over 90 percent. That suggests we have a hard time firing people who we think are doing a lousy job for us. A major reason for this is that corporate and special interests supply those they control with massive amounts of PAC and other money to keep them in office.
Today we have members of Congress from both parties who have served for 30, 40, and even 50 years there. This isn’t what the founding fathers had in mind. Instead, the Constitution’s framers envisioned public servants who would “lay down their plows for a season of service” and then return to their communities to again live as one of the governed.
The reality of human nature is that the longer people spend time in Washington the less responsive they tend to be to the people who sent them there. Worse yet, those in Congress now who have been there for such a long time are taking seats in Washington that could go to new faces and a new generation of public servants with fresh ideas. It’s time for change in Washington.
I want to end the thinking that suggests that only a select few Americans can serve in Congress, and that it is a place to go to advance a career rather than a place to serve.
If a political leader is truly a wonderful public servant and wants to continue to serve, it doesn’t hurt our nation to allow that individual to sit out an election cycle, watching from the bench for awhile to regain the people’s perspective, and then seek election without the benefit of incumbency.
Real change will come only from the outside.
South Dakota can send a ripple across America by electing a person who refuses to participate in the big money campaign process so we can begin to reform Congress. These are the first steps to restoring government of, by, and for the People. If we continue to venerate and elect the candidate who raises the largest war chest and conducts politics as usual, let’s stop decrying big money in politics.

Tim: I’ll keep working hard

Tim: I’ll keep working hard

No one wants to be down by a big margin in a poll 12 days out.
But let’s keep it in perspective: lots of South Dakotans face long odds in life. It might be fighting cancer or trying to keep a farm or business afloat, or struggling with a loved one who is fighting addiction. They don’t stop fighting and anyone who knows me realizes that, just like them, I’ll keep working hard for votes until the final vote is cast.
I want to show South Dakotans there is a better way to run for office in this state than relying on big money donors, because that leads to representing monied interests over the people. My goal for our state and nation is to re-establish a place at the table of opportunity for every person again and to help every child have a fair shot at a decent life.
While these poll numbers show twice as big of gap as our internal polling has consistently shown, it does point to a key challenge: that while voters who know me have highly favorable views, almost two-thirds of the voters don’t know me well enough to have formed an opinion.
That’s a challenge I knew I faced entering this race without any political background or connections against a well-known career politician like Dusty.
I’ve purposely run a positive, issue-based campaign, drawing honest distinctions with Dusty – doing it respectfully. The biggest difference between us is this: I’ve refused to accept PAC, Super PAC and national party money while Dusty has benefited from over $500,000 in PAC and Super PAC money. I’ve refused this money because we will not see real change on issues that matter most to South Dakotans like affordable healthcare and reigning in an out of control budget until we start loosening the grip of special interests over our Congress.
So I offer a clear choice: If you are happy with the way Congress is working, I’m not your guy. But if you want someone who will work tirelessly for fundamental reform there, vote for me.

Tim to tour state in closing days of campaign for change

Tim to tour state in closing days of campaign for change

Tim is a runner, and he’s ready for a closing sprint to wrap up this campaign to bring change and fundamental reform to Congress.
Starting Thursday, Nov. 1, Tim will caravan across South Dakota, making multiple stops in different cities to meet with supporters and hold rallies. The tour will conclude with a rally in Sioux Falls on Monday, Nov. 5.
He will conduct media interviews, speak at rallies and meet with voters to discuss the campaign and why he can deliver the change that is needed in Congress.
Locations and times, which are subject to change, are as follows:
Thursday, Nov. 1:
10:30 a.m. – Madison Public Library, 209 Center St E, Madison
12:30 p.m. – Cottonwood Bistro, 1710 6th St, Brookings
3 p.m. – Redlin Arts Center, 1200 33rd St. NW, Watertown
6:30 p.m. – Brown Co. Democratic Office, 220 S. Main St, Aberdeen

Friday, Nov. 2:
10 a.m. – Huron Campaign HQ, 1459 Dakota Ave S, Huron
5 p.m. – Fork Real, 324 Saint Joseph St, Rapid City

Saturday, Nov. 3
1 p.m. – Cornerstone Coffee House, 123 E. 3rd Ave, Mitchell
4 p.m. – Location TBA, Yankton

Monday, Nov. 5:
Location and time TBA, Sioux Falls

Reporters are welcome to arrange interviews with Tim, a fifth-generation South Dakotan and former circuit court judge, and are invited to ride along during parts of the caravan.
For more information, contact field coordinator Kaleb Peterson at 605-553-4975 or kaleb@timbjorkman.com or communication director Tom Lawrence at 605-789-1605 or tom@timbjorkman.com.

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 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.