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 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: All Americans deserve equal rights

Tim: All Americans deserve equal rights

All Americans deserve equal rights and a seat at the table of opportunity in America, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual  orientation.

Those are the very rights promised to every one of us in the Declaration of Independence and made law in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I support those same rights and that same opportunity for members of the LGBTQ community.

It’s a bipartisan position. President Obama initiated, and President Trump has maintained, workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for federal employees and contractors.

In addition, I’ll be a consistent voice against anti-LGBTQ violence, bullying and discrimination. Recognizing my commitment to Justice for All, Equality South Dakota endorsed my candidacy.

I will always work to protect the right of every American to be treated with dignity and respect in their communities, their workplaces and their schools.

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.

Tim: Medicinal Marijuana Has Value

Tim: Medicinal Marijuana Has Value

I view federal oversight of marijuana laws by the government to be overreach and an encroachment on states rights.

I believe the federal law prohibiting marijuana and limiting research on its medicinal value are wrong. Men, women, many children, war veterans and others appear to receive real help from marijuana in medicinal doses. It is wrong that they are kept from its benefits by antiquated drug laws.

So I support marijuana for medicinal purposes, in a form that doesn’t strip it of its medicinal benefits. I oppose marijuana prescriptions that simply allow an individual to buy a bag of grass or a joint.

I’m not a proponent of recreational marijuana legalization, but I believe the laboratory of the state should work its course on this issue.

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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.

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