Daugaard Boasts of Federal Funding for Local Water Projects That Trump Would Erase

The only good thing Governor Dennis Daugaard seems to have said so far about the Republican Senate wealthcare bill is that it “might be the only way that we will ever get control of spending.” That assumes, of course, that you read “get control of spending” as “shift costs to states, counties, and sick, poor, old, and female people.”

But Governor Daugaard is happy to get control of $3.4 million in Community Development Block Grant money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build small-town water and wastewater systems:

“CDBG funds assist projects that improve living conditions for our state’s residents,” said Gov. Daugaard. “These six grants are in addition to eight other grants awarded in December. Because we have so many community-minded leaders who continue to prove their commitment to their towns and cities, we’ve now awarded more than $6 million for projects totaling more than $23 million, and that’s something I think we can all be proud of.”

The CDBG awards include the following:

  • The city of Blunt will use a $515,000 grant to make improvements to the city’s wastewater infrastructure and treatment lagoons.
  • The city of Faith was approved for a $515,000 grant to upgrade its wastewater system.
  • The city of Lake Andes was approved for a $750,000 grant to upgrade the city’s wastewater system.
  • The town of Langford will use a $565,000 grant for construction of a new drinking water storage system and increase the capacity of the city’s water infrastructure.
  • The city of Newell was approved for a $324,370 grant to assist with replacing the city’s water mains.
  • The city of Veblen will use a $765,000 grant to make improvements to its wastewater infrastructure and collection ponds [Governor Dennis Daugaard, press release, 2017.06.22].

Community Development Block Grants would go away under the Trump budget, because spending $2.994 billion on things like water pipes in Faith and Newell is “poorly targeted,” “outdated,” “has not demonstrated results,” and should be done by state and local governments instead (see page 49).

Hmmm… by that budget rationale, the White House is saying that Governor Daugaard is mistaken when he claims these Community Development Block Grants “assist projects that improve living conditions.” Perhaps Governor Daugaard will recant and admit that those billions of dollars will do more to improve the living conditions of Trump’s rich friends via tax breaks.

28 Responses to Daugaard Boasts of Federal Funding for Local Water Projects That Trump Would Erase

  1. Richard Schriever

    Isn’t Daugaard’s job to assure the best outcomes for the state? Why would he be concerned about Federal spending – except as it is relevant to the state? Not his job.

  2. Yet, there is a strong economic point to reducing spending in depopulating areas. The towns and, for the most part counties, cited are not growing. This is not a case of, build it and they will come. “The rain follows the plow,” is classic phony 1800s nonsense. We should oppose 45th’s agenda; yet, this government malappropriates money like drunken sailors.

    If we taxpayers want to help citizens then spend infrastructure on where people live and are going to live in the next decades. That is not aging Blunt, Faith, Langford, Lake Andes, Veblen, and Newell. Funds should go to communities with growth over the past decade or two. These funds are investments for the future; not pay back for enduring in towns past their prime.

  3. The rural US is aging and shrinking. 1,350 rural counties lost population from 2010 to 2016 – the highest number ever. The only infrastructure worth putting into these places is on a road or rail to pass through them to get to the economic hubs or pass goods from field to market. On the other hand in South Dakota the tribal communities are growing – because the non-Indian majority nearly stopped stealing their children, (see the history leading to the Indian Child Welfare Act).


    Want rural communities to grow? If so, then do 2 things: 1) welcome immigrants – these places were settled by immigrants 5-7 generations ago and current residents’ practice ignores that; 2) reduce the large land holdings – a proven re-population formula used by the US in foreign interventions to break-up oligarchies.

  4. On June 25, 1876, Lt. Colonel George Custer, and the 7th Cavalry were wiped out at the Battle of the Greasy Grass in Montana. This day is that anniversary. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/history/the-battle-of-the-greasy-grass/

  5. Donald Pay

    I disagree with John. These arguments were made in opposition to rural electrification. Most rural counties have been losing population since shortly after statehood, so essentially John would abandon most of the rural Midwest and West. That’s what Trump is doing, so we’ll soon see how folks like it.

    Most of these projects are for improvements to operations that are point sources for water pollution. That benefits downstream water users, fisheries, etc. We all benefit.

  6. Don Coyote

    @jerry: “On June 25, 1876, Lt. Colonel George Custer, and the 7th Cavalry were wiped out at the Battle of the Greasy Grass in Montana.”

    That would be wrong. Only Custer’s Battalion consisting of Companies C, E, F, I and L were wiped out. Major Reno and Captain Benteen’s battalions consisting of 6 companies fought two days of defensive action and survived.

  7. Recall that the vast majority of rural water pollution is from non-point sources – i.e., agriculture.
    The rural west and Great Plains is abandoning itself. There is no need for “us” to abandon rural counties. They are doing a fine job of it themselves. The agriculture economic model drives families from farms and ranches, shrinks rural school, then communities. There is no need to prop up such failure with millions of tax dollars.
    Now if we flip the community block grants to reduce non-point water pollution – that would be a prudent expenditure since non-point pollution is widespread.

  8. Duly noted Coyote, the words “most of” should have been inserted after the and.

  9. Larry Kurtz was and is a strong advocate to re-wild the West. The more time that goes by, the more that realization seems to be the best way of going. In your interesting take John, you seem to be saying that very same thing, as that is really what is happening in rural South Dakota. If you add roads into the equation, then you see that counties are going underwater to build and maintain them. Put a few bridges into play and the red ink starts to flow. You cannot raise property tax enough to pay for the needed improvements.

  10. Don Coyote

    @Jerry: Actually it was approx 42% killed. (274). It would have been a different story if Custer had brought the gatling guns along. A victory but a costly Pyhrric victory for the Sioux and Cheyenne. An interesting note that is never brought up was the Sioux and Cheyenne were encroaching on Crow land. The Crow hated the Sioux and were acting as scouts for Custer that day.

  11. Mr. Jerry, I am Mr. Kurtz advocate and surrogate here in South Dakota for his project. If you would like to discuss or review the files we have, and they are extensive, let me know.

    Roads and counties are the areas in which Lar has given me total free reign. I am an expert in those, when it comes to re-wilding.

  12. “Custer divided his command into battalions, and retained personal command of two battalions (five companies, about 210 men). Reno was given command of three companies and most of the scouts (about 175 men). Captain Frederick Benteen was given command of three companies (about 125 men). One company and six men from each company (about 135 men) were assigned to protect the pack train and provide a rear guard for the advance. It has often been claimed that this decision doomed Custer, but never before had a battalion (let alone an entire regiment) of cavalry been whipped by Plains Indians.”

    268 killed outright, 55 severely wounded with 6 to die as a result of the whipping. If Custer had brought up the gatling guns, the Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapahoe would have taken control of these weapons and used them on General Terry. Custer was not in a defensive position as he attacked the villages.

    Custer made his case in Washington that the federal government was not keeping their word to the tribes, all of them. Custer noted that the belligerence could be fixed by keeping their word on food, medical needs and the other agreed upon terms in the signed treaty with the exception of Sitting Bull’s mark.

  13. Don Coyote

    @jerry: “If Custer had brought up the gatling guns, the Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapahoe would have taken control of these weapons and used them on General Terry.”

    Probably not since the Gatlings required a four man crew to operate. It is highly unlikely the Sioux would have possessed enough weaponry knowledge to fire let alone aim, clear a jam or reload the weapon. Also they had no harness or teams of horses to haul the weapons.

    “It has often been claimed that this decision doomed Custer, but never before had a battalion (let alone an entire regiment) of cavalry been whipped by Plains Indians.””

    Custer was following standard military tactics by using a frontal assault while executing a flanking action. Reno’s charge failed because of sheer exhaustion of the men and horses from the forced all night march. A supporting secondary charge by Benteen, who had been ordered to protect the left flank, may have helped Reno. In addition his failure to respond to Custer’s order to come forward in support of Custer’s flanking action might have doomed Custer as well. Benteen was a disgrace.

  14. When you attack, you cannot use a gatling gun. They are a bulky weapon that require wagons and teams to haul them. They have pretty simple mechanics to operate as the soldiers who did were not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer. The gun is a defensive gun more so than anything. For a cavalry unit to be slowed with these would mean that the reason for them was to protect the rear and to protect bivouac areas. The guns were loaded on wagons with teams that could have been utilized. Indians had fought teamsters for a decade, they knew how the harnesses worked and how the wagons did as well.

    “The barrels are so arranged as to fire independently of each other, so that an injury to one does not affect the others. There are no complicated parts, and the common soldier can keep it in order as readily as he can his musket. It is so substantial as to endure without injury the same usage as an ordinary field-piece. The discharge can be made with all desirable accuracy as rapidly as one hundred and fifty times per minute, and may be continued for hours without danger, as we think, from overheating. Two men are sufficient to work the gun, and two horses can carry it over the field with the rapidity of cavalry.” The minute General Terry would have found that his adversaries now had that fire power, he would have stopped to parlay.

  15. The common denominator of cult republicans like Daugaard, is a lying. They lie about Medicaid cuts, they lie about Russian involvement in stealing our elections. they just lie. Whatever a cult republican says, they mean the opposite. No soup for you.

  16. mike from iowa

    Benteen had his hands full of angry Indians and had no possibility of reinforcing Stoopid. According to Discovery Channel, Custer’s command was spread out all over in groups that were easy to overrun.

    Custer’s lack of respect for the enemy caused his downfall. That and the poor nutrition of the troops.

  17. Donald’s comparison to rural electrification enhances my hesitance to go down John’s abandonment road. I understand the argument that investing in new infrastructure won’t spark economic growth in dying rural places; however, those who do live/endure in those tiny towns still ought to have access to basic utilities like electricity and water.

    I wonder: are there two levels of infrastructure investment? Can we use CDBGs and other federal and state funding to guarantee water, electricity, and other basic services to every community while reserving a different, higher level of economic development assistance only for communities that meet growth criteria like what John suggests? In other words, should we put some small, rural, dwindling communities on life support while focusing more resources on places with a chance of growing?

    Maybe what John proposes is really what Trump is after… if Trump had a real political philosophy rather than just self-obsession.

  18. John does have a point about rail and transportation. I personally did not see the REA come into our area, but it was during my childhood, I just do not remember being without power. We also had the rail system, and between those two, the small communities did well. Then the rail was pulled up and the road systems changed and that was the end of it all. Communities dried up like Russian Thistles (trumps favorite plant) and blew away.

    I see communication as the rail and roads of South Dakota’s future. I also see it being diminished by the wrong headed moves by Thune/NOem and the other guy with the killing of Net Neutrality. In small communities, both on and off the reservations, there is now high speed internet, with more being brought to line (thank you President Obama for your visions on rural America) to give all the opportunity to get up to the second information. This could mean agriculture futures to video streaming on fixing machinery at the place, money saving technology that is for the people.

    Now, bring in light rail to tie into heavy rail as service to communities and we may have put the life blood back into our state with immigrants forming the nucleus of trade. Public transportation, and a place to call home, the rise of rural America.

  19. Don Coyote

    @mia: “Benteen had his hands full of angry Indians and had no possibility of reinforcing Stoopid.”

    That’s a load of bs. At the time Benteen rejoined Reno on Reno’s Hill, the Indians had yet to attack Reno’s position as they were too busy dealing with Custer’s attack on Battle Ridge. In fact Captain Thomas Weir, who was fed up with Benteen’s slowness in acting, took his company of men to Weir’s Point where he watched Custer fighting the Indians. Weir was later joined by Benteen and three more companies and watched the fight for almost an hour before withdrawing.

  20. mike from iowa

    the Little Bighorn, Benteen, as senior captain, had been sent southwest with a battalion of three companies to determine if more Indian encampments extended to the south along the Little Bighorn River. Finding none, Benteen turned back north encountering trumpeter John Martin who delivered a message from Custer’s adjutant, Lieutenant W. W. Cooke, to come quick and bring the extra ammunition with the pack train. Benteen encountered Major Reno’s depleted command before he reached Custer. In response to the firing heard down river, Benteen followed Captain Thomas Weir’s initiative to respond to the sound of the guns. The relief was stopped after moving a mile north and forced back to Reno’s original position where they dug in defensively.

    From that point on Benteen took over the active defense for the 7th Cavalry through the rest of that day and into the afternoon of June 26. With Reno’s consent, he deployed the various companies, actively led an attack to clear warriors from his section of the perimeter and encouraged Reno to do the same in his sector. He further deployed sharpshooters to cover volunteers sent to the river to secure water. The consensus among officers and men was that Benteen saved the day at the defense site above the Little Bighorn River. Benteen was on his feet the entire time during the siege, positioning and directing the troops while distaining seeking cover. He had the boot of his heel shot off and was hit in the finger by a spent bullet. As a result, about 350 men of the 7th Cavalry survived the siege.

    Benteen, unlike Drumpf0-like Custer was the hero of the day and saved over 300 troopers from being slaughtered.

  21. News for Daugaard and anyone who believes his claptrap the owners will not agree to this. Koch and company are on this and Daugaard, knows this very well. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/history/2017/06/james_mcgill_buchanan_s_terrifying_vision_of_society_is_the_intellectual.html

  22. Don Coyote

    @mia: Nice cut and paste of the plain vanilla National Park Service pamphlet. I’ve got one of those. What sanitized pablum.

    Both Benteen and Reno lied at their inquiry denying that they had heard any firing from Custer’s position. Benteen lied about there being too many Indians close by. Benteen pee’d away over an hour before Captain Weir took off under his own initiative to ride to Weir’s Point. Benteen only followed shortly after. Benteen disobeyed Custer’s direct order for support. If Benteen had acted in a more timely fashion there is no doubt in many military historians minds that a second charge of 200+ fresh men would have broken through the Sioux’s attack and into the undefended villages below the bluffs which was Custer’s intent.

  23. Nope, never would have happened. Custer was like trump, an idiot that got caught up in his own glamour. Crazy Horse was more than a match while bringing out a can of whoop ass and opening it. http://www.astonisher.com/archives/museum/crazy_horse_big_horn.html Benteen and Reno did what they could and that was that, they knew that the only way to survive was to do defense rather than offense, more or less the same thing happened to Lee at Gettysburg. Benteen and Reno lived to tell their story. You can call it what you will, but the fact is, Custer and 267 men of the 7th cavalry died on June 25, 1876, almost exactly like Fetterman and his troop, at the hands of an elite cavalry defending their women and children along with their way of life. 6 more died later while 55 men were severely wounded, enough to take them out of the fight forever. The old medicine man vision seeker foresaw this at the sun dance, so there was no doubt.

  24. mike from iowa

    My apologies, Coyote. I fergot you were there when it all went down.

    I’ll bet just as manyhistorians would say it was a suicide mission and Benteen did the right thing by protecting the living troops.

  25. I was there, and it was not in Iowa.

  26. James McGill Buchanan—wasn’t that Saul Goodman’s real name? ;-)

    Interesting that the core anti-government ideas of the Libertarian godfather in Jerry’s link were mostly philosophical speculation and wish that don’t stand up to empirical analysis. Daugaard is trapped between the anti-government impulses of his base and the practical need for government to subsidize basic services in South Dakota.

  27. Don Coyote

    @mia:”My apologies, Coyote. I fergot you were there when it all went down.

    I’ll bet just as many historians would say it was a suicide mission and Benteen did the right thing by protecting the living troops.”

    Save me from your hurt feelings mia. You and jerry’s timelines and order of battle at the Little Bighorn are woefully lacking in facts and context. While I don’t claim to be an academic historian, I have studied the battle since a high school American history class when I had to research and write a paper on the BoLB and present it to the class as part of an independent study program. I own a couple of dozen books on the subject and have read numerous academic studies and papers on the topic.

    What really happened at Little Bighorn? Professor Paul Hutton states it best:

    “The last quarter century has seen amazing advances in battlefield scholarship: a critical reading of native testimony by Jerome Greene, Richard Hardorff, and other scholars; the time-motion analysis of John Gray; the incredible archaeological evidence unearthed by Douglas D. Scott, Melissa Connor, Richard Fox, and others after a fire swept the battlefield in 1983; and the provocative theories presented in new books by Michael Donahue and James Donovan. Based on a careful study of this new scholarship and my recent work with James Ersfeld, John Doerner, and Melana Stichman on a National Park Service mapping project at the battlefield, I believe the conventional interpretation of Custer’s movements is deeply flawed and that, in fact, Custer retained the offensive throughout the battle. He did not run away or hunker down but sought always to attack, attack, attack, until, at the bitter end, with no options left, he made his last stand, creating the indelible heroic image that resonates in our national consciousness.”


  28. mike from iowa

    What a load of coyote doo doo. Custer took after 6-7000 braves that had superior weapons with 220 troops with single shot rifles with a history of jamming.

    Custer’s disdain for plains Indians cost him his life, and those of his men. Custer’s men were killed here, there and everywhere over the ensuing slaughter and none were able to put up much resistance. The battle lasted from 20 minutes to maybe an hour at most. Some generalship.

    Where did the comment about hurt feelings come from? You don’t bother my feelings. You amuse me on occasion.