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Kochs’ AFP Not South Dakota’s Fiscal Friend

As I suffer Bob Mercer withdrawal, I review the Pierre reporter’s December 8th Tweets and notice this pointed observation of the Koch Brothers’ hypocrisy:

Bob Mercer, Tweet, 2016.12.08.
Bob Mercer, Tweet, 2016.12.08.

To review: Koch Brothers’ propaganda wing Americans for Prosperity provided 97% of the money spent to convince South Dakotans to vote against Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act. Their primary argument was that allocating up to $12 million every two years to voluntary public campaign financing and a state ethics commission would take tax dollars from other important public services.

In his budget address on December 6, Governor Dennis Daugaard said South Dakota misses out on about $50 million in sales tax revenues due to online shopping. A 2014 study pegged South Dakota sales tax losses from electronic remote sales at $29.8 million. Uncollected sales tax from online sales knocks a bigger hole in our budget than IM 22 ever would have.

But when Congress left an Internet sales tax out of its latest continuing spending resolution this month, Americans for Prosperity cheered this ongoing state budget buster:

“While passing a government funding bill during lame duck session under the threat of government shutdown is the wrong way to govern, it’s cause for celebration that this bill excludes several big-government priorities that Americans roundly rejected this year. It’s critical that Washington change business as usual and stop spending on corporate welfare to bail out failed Beltway programs or prop up favored industries and corporations. We’re glad to see this message starting to resonate in Congress as well, as they’ve protected past promises to cap discretionary spending and rejected efforts to make it easier for the Export-Import Bank to extend large, taxpayer-backed loans, or to bail out insurance companies under the president’s failed health care law.

“It’s also a victory for consumers that this bill does not include an internet sales tax, which would slap them with higher costs when they check out from their favorite online store [Americans for Prosperity, press release, 2016.12.07].

If Americans for Prosperity were really worried about South Dakota’s schools, raods, bridges, and public safety, they’d be supporting our state’s effort to collect the taxes it feels it is rightfully owed on online commerce. But they’re more interested in strangling civic institutions to ensure the rich stay rich and the poor stay powerless.


  1. leslie 2016-12-20 20:06

    KOCH SD (AFP SD) hahaha-welcome to SD. feel free to rip us little people off!

    You know, like EXXON did for decades. Anti-science. No wonder nobody believes Al Gore and 98% of climate scientists. Big Ag does it too. “…five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.”

    “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA Internal Medicine paper. nyt today

    Ah capitalism. great system for the .001 percent of Americans. Prosecutors (republican prosecutors—rigghhhtttt!) need to go after them for fraud and conspiracy. Republicans care nothing for lives when money is made.

  2. leslie 2016-12-20 20:10

    The president used a little-known law called the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which the White House said cannot be undone by an incoming president, to make drilling in the area off-limits indefinitely. It is not clear if a Republican-controlled Congress can rescind Obama’s action.
    By Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin, WAPO today

  3. leslie 2016-12-20 20:33

    “strangling civic institutions to ensure the rich stay rich and the poor stay powerless.” Republican primary goal

    Newquist: “Chris Hayes asked a union man why he, a Democrat,  had voted for Trump,  the man answered, ‘Because he’s not Hillary.’

    That reply reveals a degree of derangement that has still to be diagnosed.”

    At a casual unrecorded book signing event, while shopping last week Bill Clinton … was asked by an unnamed man if Trump is smart. “He doesn’t know much,” Clinton replied, according to the report. “One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.”

    Trump’s electoral college victory was propelled by unexpected wins in the traditionally Democratic-leaning states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin; the latter two were not frequent campaign stops for Hillary Clinton.

    Trump tweeted (no sheit??): “Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong.” The former president did offer “a very nice congratulations,” Trump allowed. But then he continued the criticism. Clinton, Trump wrote, “ ‘doesn’t know much’ . . . especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in the vital swing states (and more).”

    “They focused on wrong states,” Trump added. WAPO By John Wagner and Abby Phillip December 20

    for awhile anyway, this guy, trump, is shark bait for corporate elites looking for favors.

  4. Donald Pay 2016-12-20 21:49

    Yup. Republican corruption has gotten so bad that their corrupters are stepping on the very excuses the SD Republicans give for not passing an income tax. AFP are the bottom feeders in the swamp that Trump ain’t gonna drain. Reince Priebus is a big adherent to the AFP.line. They are in control and about to make the US a failed state. You’ve been warned.

  5. Curt 2016-12-20 22:45

    Don’t you get it? AFP is for ‘prosperity’. Taxes – ALL taxes – are inherently evil. Government evidently is the mortal enemy of ‘prosperity’. The aim is, as Grover Norquist famously said, is to shrink government to the point where someone like Mr Grover could metaphorically ‘drown it in a bathtub’.

  6. Mark Winegar 2016-12-21 00:49

    Had enough yet? If so, fight back by supporting IM 22.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-21 05:12

    Mark, you’re right: the AFP’s Norquistian impulses help make clear the need for the people to salvage IM22 to salvage their own power to govern themselves n their common interest.

  8. Darrell Solberg 2016-12-21 12:31

    Why would Denny-do-little not follow the will of the voters of S.D. with the majority voting for IM22 to get it passed? Could it be that they like the rigged system that they have been operating under for 40 years? Then again DD said that it was important to follow the will of the voters of S.D. when casting his electoral vote for the Donald. Denny, you can’t have it both ways!!!! I realize one limits your activities and the other one is OK because he has an ‘R’ by his name.

  9. Porter Lansing 2016-12-21 13:01

    Is there really a statewide governmental effort to collect internet use tax that’s due to South Dakota by online customers? Are there TV public service announcements demanding residents pay what they owe. SoDak citizens are honest and above that they’re deathly afraid of breaking the law. Many states are now aggressively pursuing the use taxes due them, as well as taking note of the latest (one week ago) USA Supreme Court ruling that a state may require the online seller to aggressively ask the buyers to pay up. It’s the online seller’s legal obligation to aggressively ask. Most online retailers have decided to just collect the tax (labeled sales tax at that point) instead of acting like a bully with their customers.

  10. Jana 2016-12-21 21:48

    So the Koch brothers rear their ugly heads again in South Dakota.

    Cory, do you have in your archives the legislators who have attended the ALEC conferences in the past and took the bribe of luxury resorts to bring back corporately written legislation?

    Do we know what corporate/ALEC bills were pushed in the legislature?

    With the Koch brothers expansive network of Astro-Turf organizations, do we know who their water carriers are in South Dakota that think they are more important than the actual citizens of South Dakota?

  11. Dave 2017-01-29 19:10

    Hey koch losers. Get out of South Dakota. We dont need your money. We dont need your political agenda. And its only a matter of time before all your Republican robots in our state capitol are exposed…most of us can see through BS. Do you really think your stupid ads are any more convincing then a used car commercial?..and to our so called governer ( You know who you are)..the voters have spoken on prop 22..why on earth would you go against us and sign to repeal it when you know its the right thing to do so that dark money cant continue to corrupt the people that are supposed to represent the people of South Dakota? I hope this is a wake up call to all of those who represent the status quo. We The People are tired of the koch brothers and all the people like them that think that money can trump the right of the people..just ask that other loser from texas ..hows the dakota access pipeline working for you? Ha!

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