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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bjorklund's Dreaded "Legislation, Taxation, and Regulation" Comes from Kristi Noem

"Independent" candidate for District 8 State House Jason Bjorklund continues to insist that "legislation, taxation, and regulation" caused the recession and put his trucking company out of business. Yet in his campaign literature and forum speeches, Bjorklund has failed to identify specific South Dakota "legislation, taxation, and regulation" that caused these problems and that he would repeal. Where'd all this evil "legislation, taxation, and regulation" come from?

Kristi Noem. Russell Olson. The very Republicans whose signs Bjorklund places in his yard. The Herseth Sandlin campaign points out that Kristi Noem has supported and sponsored at least seven tax increases in the South Dakota State Legislature:
  • In 2010, Noem cosponsored SB 186, which increases taxes on small businesses to cover shortfalls in the state unemployment insurance fund. (Senator Olson backed that, too.)
  • In 2009, she was the prime sponsor of HB 1217, which gives the Governor authority to raise taxes unilaterally by suspending tax exemptions – such as exemptions on churches, hospitals, doctors, clinics and prescription drugs.
  • She was also the prime sponsor of HB 1218, which increases taxes by raising fees collected by any state department or agency by 2.5% per year since the last time they were raised.
  • She was also the prime sponsor of HB 1229, which increased the gross receipts tax on South Dakota’s tourism industry by 50%.
  • She voted to increase vehicle license fees by 67% (HB 1007), and cosponsored another bill to raise license fees on vehicles older than 5 years by an additional 33% (SB 11). (Senator Olson did vote to table the former.)
  • She cosponsored SB 116, which imposes a new gas tax for ethyl and methyl alcohol used in motor vehicles. (Senator Olson also sponsored that one.)
Noem supported increased business regulation with this year's HB 1203 and 2008's HB 1128.

Noem also voted to raise her own pay 33% with HB 1250 in 2008.

Bjorklund has a profound capacity to ignore the reality of South Dakota politics: nearly all of the South Dakota legislation, taxation, and regulation under which he labors and against which he rails have been passed by Republican legislative majorities and signed by Republican governors. Bjorklund's and the Tea Party's darling Kristi Noem has promoted that very legislation, taxation, and regulation.

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