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.

A comprehensive solution to immigration issues

A comprehensive solution to immigration issues

Immigration is an issue that has torn this nation apart for far too long.
We need to reach a comprehensive solution that resolves the issues relating to those here illegally, strengthens our borders, ensures a strong vetting process and monitoring of those who seek to enter the country on a visa, and respects the rights of lawful immigrants.
As a nation of immigrants, America has always been a beacon of hope for those who seek
freedom and justice. That must never change. Immigrants are an essential and vibrant part of the American saga.
The vast majority of those who come to America leave everything they know behind to give their children a better life. Most, naturally want to cling to their own traditions, but their children want to learn the ways of their American friends.
We must also address the reality that we have millions here illegally, yet be mindful that for years we did not enforce our laws, largely because of businesses’ desire for a ready, cheap labor force.
Something else has happened over the past 50 years: legal immigration rates have significantly increased our immigrant population from around 5 percent in 1970 to 14 percent today.
The immigrant workforce – legal and otherwise – while supplying businesses with reliable labor, has allowed us to ignore deep problems that have developed in American culture among those who lack more than a high school diploma. This additional workforce also tends to suppress wages of working Americans, which have remained stagnant over the last 40 years, despite enormous gains in worker productivity.
Today in America, there are an estimated 10 to 12 million Americans of working age who are neither working nor looking for work. Some key reasons are: untreated mental illness, addiction, lack of a work ethic or a felony record that makes it hard to find a job.
We are supporting them and their children through our government aid programs, and their absence from the workforce hampers economic expansion. Worse yet, their children often struggle academically and themselves fail to learn a work ethic, and, importantly, personal
responsibility.
Unless we address their plight, those of the generations who follow us will not be able to afford the monetary or the societal costs they will bear.
All this means that we must address the pressing and divisive issues of immigration in a way that is humanitarian and also respects our laws and its borders. I support these tough but sensible measures:
1. A grace period of 12 months for every adult in the nation illegally to apply for permission to remain working in the country, without a path to citizenship – the price of illegal entry – so long as they hold jobs and have no felony record.
2. Strengthening border security with continued development of the decade-long border fencing program, smart walls and increased numbers of border agents.
3. Institution of federal laws making it a crime to hire an illegal alien, imposed against a company’s CEO, with the first offense constituting a misdemeanor-level offense, but the second a felony level crime, with a defense for any company that used E-Verify showing lawful status.
4. Enacting laws that allow those who came here as children of those here illegally to remain in this country and apply for citizenship if they meet basic requirements and have no felony record.
5. Reducing the number of legal immigrants over the next decade and at the same time focusing on efforts to restore adult Americans not in the workforce to working status, so that they are supporting themselves and their children.
If we’re serious about ending illegal immigration, let’s show it by enacting and enforcing stronger laws that honor legal immigration but safeguard our borders and nation.

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!”