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Ironically, Neal Tapio Does Business with Saudi Arabia

Sen. Neal Tapio speaking to press, Pierre, SD, 2018.01.10. Screen cap from that Sioux Falls paper.
Sen. Neal Tapio speaking to press, Pierre, SD, 2018.01.10. Screen cap from that Sioux Falls paper.

After declaring that SD-ELCA Bishop David Zellmer, the Presentation Sisters, and other South Dakota Christians are waging war on “the Christian fabric of our nation,” Senator Neal Tapio (R-5/Watertown) launched into a diatribe about how Saudi Arabia is funding 150 mosques that teach Wahabbism—a “hateful and deadly ideology”—in the United States.

The Saudis also appear to be funding Senator Neal Tapio:

Ironically, I do business with people in Saudi Arabia almost every day. I sell into the oil industry… [Sen. Neal Tapio, comments to press, transcribed from video posted by that Sioux Falls paper, 2018.01.10].

Tapio used many words yesterday, many without thinking, but the word he used most correctly was ironically.

Tapio then held a press conference to “publicly enlist in this War on Terror.” Choking with tears as he stood next to a Gold Star mother and two Purple Heart recipients, Tapio proclaimed, “I’m proud to sacrifice along with you.” We’ll see if that sacrifice includes ending his business ties with American allies whom he accuses of waging war on us or if his public crusade goes on hiatus the next time he has a chance to make private profit from his Muslim associates overseas.

Related Speculation: Hey, I wonder if unregistered Saudi agent, now Tapio’s party chairman Dan Lederman helped Tapio get some business in Saudi Arabia.

Related Reading: Sojourners reminds us how Lutheran pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer responded to Nazism in 1933:

In that 1933 essay, Bonhoeffer wrote that the church has the right and responsibility to ask whether the state is fulfilling its duty to preserve justice and order. He wrote that the church has the right and responsibility to aid victims of the state, even if they are not Christians. And, most famously, he wrote that the church has the right and responsibility to jam the spokes of the wheel of the state if it is creating too much or too little law. Jamming the spokes, he wrote, “is not just to bind up the wounds of the victims beneath the wheel but to seize the wheel itself. Such an action would be direct political action on the part of the church” [Lori Brandt Hale and Reggie L. Williams, “Is This a Bonhoeffer Moment?Sojourners, February 2018].

Good Lutherans, good Christians, good Muslims, and good Americans need to seize the wheel from Tapio and his fellow Trumpists.


  1. Jenny 2018-01-11

    Tapio is just odd. He was all over the place with his Lori Waslsh SDPR interview. Some of the claims he makes are
    1. With the process of immigrants coming into the country, there is a secondary migration lottery where the refugees aren’t vetted when they come in.
    2. He and South Dakotans are concerned about being kept safe with all these refugees coming in.
    3. Luther Social Services has a hidden agenda to make money off of the refugees that come in.
    4. South Chicago has 2.5 million people on welfare and SD should try to get them to come here to work at the packing plants instead of the refugees
    5. He also mentions that about half of Watertown graduates can’t pass a basic drug test b/c of being positive for marijuana and so that is why Watertown can’t find workers.
    If I got something wrong here let me know. It was a bizarre interview.

  2. jerry 2018-01-11

    Tapio proves he is a typical roypublican with his dealings with Muslim money on one hand while denouncing them with the other. Kind of like the money changers in the temple.

  3. jerry 2018-01-11

    Jenny, sounds to me like the first drug test should be done on this nut case. I bet he cannot even hit the bottle for the test, kind of shaky that boy is.

  4. Rorschach 2018-01-11

    I don’t know when Tapio’s ancestors came over from Italy, but it may have been at a time when the WASP majority (white anglo saxon protestants) didn’t want those dark-skinned papists over here speaking a different language and pledging allegiance to the pope over the US of A. It turns out that Italians are pretty o.k. – most of them – and have contributed greatly to the US of A. And Catholic faith is a non-issue. But then nobody can seem to determine whether or where Tapio attends church. Maybe he’s a Muslim. Looks to me like he worships the dollar $$.

  5. o 2018-01-11

    Has the new GOP really become profit first, party second, god and country third?

  6. jerry 2018-01-11

    Yes o, that is the case. Tapio and the rest of the cabal blather about Muslims so that small operation farmers and ranchers don’t think of their bottom lines. “The president has signed off on legislation that is bad for small farmers and rural communities. According to the New York Times, the new tax law will “lower farm output in the years to come and effectively raise taxes on the lowest-earning farm households, while delivering large gains for the richest farmers.”” Tapioca signed off on all of this just like NOem/Thune/Rounds/Krebs and Opie have done.

  7. Steve Hickey 2018-01-11

    Major cringe factor when the Left and the Right hi-jack the Bonhoeffer legacy and his quotes to back their politics. The left does it more.

  8. o 2018-01-11

    Steve, is your objection to finding common ground where it can be found? Are things really better when we divide and force fear and hatred of “the other?”

  9. jerry 2018-01-11

    Here is what the right does more of and you are among the rah rah supporters of this Mr. Hickey

    “The core ideological idea behind the change is that Medicaid can be improved by using it to incentivize (i.e., require) able-bodied adults to work, or seek job training or education, or enter into other forms of “community engagement” to collect benefits. The federal government will now allow states to “test” such policies to improve the “well-being” or foster the “independence” of Medicaid enrollees. The Obama administration had refused to grant such requests by states, on the grounds that such requirements don’t “further the objectives” of Medicaid. The Trump administration thinks these requirements will further those objectives.””

    So now, we can expect Tapioca and the rest of the cabal to bring grandma and grandpa to their knees and make they go to work to supplement their Medicaid nursing home stays. We can expect if this dope NOem is elected, to form the evil alliance that Bonhoeffer speaks of to further cause great harm to those that need the help the most.

  10. David Newquist 2018-01-11

    “…Bonhoeffer has been claimed by quite different, indeed opposite, religious groups, individuals, and political leaders to support their purposes. George W. Bush invoked his name before the German parliament in 2002 to justify the invasion of Iraq. Nelson Mandela read him in prison on Robben Island before his release in 1990. East German youth sang verses of his prison poem “By Powers of Good” before the fall of communism, without necessarily knowing he was a Christian.”

  11. jerry 2018-01-11

    While Tapioca, that sticky little feller, continues to do business in fossil fuels, a Minnesota based company proves that renewable energy is cheaper to produce than coal. “”Solar, wind, and battery prices are dropping so fast that, in Colorado, building new renewable power plus battery storage is now cheaper than running old coal plants. This increasingly renders existing coal plants obsolete.

    Two weeks ago, Xcel Energy quietly reported dozens of shockingly low bids it had received for building new solar and wind farms, many with battery storage (see table below).

    The median bid price in 2017 for wind plus battery storage was $21 per megawatt-hour, which is 2.1 cents per kilowatt-hour. As Carbon Tracker noted, this “appears to be lower than the operating cost of all coal plants currently in Colorado.””

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-11

    Let’s not get distracted here. To Steve’s concerns about misusing Bonhoeffer, I am willing to maintain that I can apply Bonhoeffer’s theology here far more consistently than Tapio can, and he can’t dismiss Bonhoeffer as some pale, substanceless Lutheran as Tapio tried to dismiss every member of the ELCA yesterday.

    The analogy between Tapio’s scapegoating of Muslims and Hitler’s scapegoating of Jews is frighteningly solid. The Muslims are part of a global conspiracy to destroy our country—we must make our country great again by excluding Muslims… Bonhoeffer would recognize that rhetoric, and he would respond to it with the same exhortations to true Christians that I cite above and more.

    I in no way misuse Bonhoeffer. My mention of him here is perfectly consistent with my overall contention that Tapio is bad for our politics and that Christians have a duty to resist his politics and remove him and his ilk from power.

    I’m far more consistent than Tapio, who declares holy war, then does business with his sworn enemy. Tapio in 1941 would have been warning of Japanese militarism then selling plane engines to Hirohito.

  13. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-11

    Rorschach, I pointed out on earlier thread that Tapio is also a prominent Mexican surname

  14. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-11

    “I’m not a racist” is usually the first cry of a racist.
    Tapio and those like him post almost daily anti-Muslim comments and hatred and even have the gall to call those that disagree with them racists.
    Sorry, Tapio you are a racist.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-11

    …and a traitor! He says we’re at war, then does business with the enemy! Impeach!

  16. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-11

    The only difference between Trump doing business with our Russian enemy is that at least Trump loves Putin, while Tapio calls his Saudi business associates hateful names.
    It does make me wonder if the Saudi’s know how Tapio feels about them.

  17. Nick Nemec 2018-01-11

    How old is Tapio? Is he a veteran? If he really wants to “publicly enlist in this war on terror” hasn’t he had ample opportunity to actually do so? Instead he embraces a gold star mother and two Purple Heart vets while crying crocodile tears.

    Cry me a river.

    Nick Nemec USMC

  18. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-12

    Will Neal Tapio go in front of the legislature to defend or deny Trump’s “sh*thole” comment?

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-12

    He’ll defend anything Trump does, Roger. Along those lines, I just heard former Republican Rep. Charlie Hoffman somehow invoking Bill Clinton’s sexual misbehavior as an excuse for Trump’s foul language… which I guess means we now have conservative Republicans saying we should follow the example of a Democrat they view as immoral. It’s all a confusing mess… which we will only rectify by outnumbering the Trumpists at the polls.

  20. Roger Cornelius 2018-01-12

    I’ve been reading the Charlie Hoffman type comments since this story broke yesterday, all they do is confirm that Trump is an avowed racists since there is absolutely no correlation between Clinton’s behavior 20 years ago and Trump’s vile behavior today.
    As Mormons and evangelicals stand by Trump, it is being reported today by the Wall Street Journal that he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money just prior to the 2016 election
    With his “sh*thole mouth and illicit behavior, Trump is a perfect family values president.

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-12

    Tapio and Trump both seem to represent what the family values crowd really wants: the mantle of supreme, unquestionable piety as cover for their vile impulses and hatreds. Tapio does business with the Saudis and helps them improve the industry that funds the jihad he says they are pushing, but never mind that—we’re bad people for questioning Tapio’s dedication to God and country.

  22. jerry 2018-01-12

    trump just got outed for a $130,000.00 bribe for a porn queen hooker 4 months after the birth of his kid! Tapio sure knows how to pick them. He needs to show his chain immigration papers like every other roypublican trump supporter. Show us your papers!

  23. mike from iowa 2018-01-12

    Pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress offers pathetic defense of president’s “++++hole” comments

    Like Cory was just saying, this guy here-Jeffress usually finds a convoluted kristian reason to give Drumpf a pass. However, this time he just uses nationalism.

    You can read the story at Vox. I couldn’t post it for reasons of salty langwidge.

  24. jerry 2018-01-12

    The evangelicals got their man mfi, as big of fraud as they are.

  25. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-01-18

    Neal Tapio is playing Annette Bosworth better than Annette Bosworth did. He’d better hurry up and open his House fundraising account; he could make millions from easily duped Trumpists.

  26. grudznick 2018-01-18

    Mr. H, you should not give Mr. Tapio such ideas. It will now be your fault if people are bilked.

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