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Eye on Gerrymandering: Noem Hands Trump South Dakota’s Driver License Data

How far will Kristi Noem go to please Donald Trump? How about handing him your driver license data so he can circumvent a court order and rig elections for his failing party the next ten years?

South Dakota Public Safety Secretary Craig Price — who was appointed to President Trump’s commission on law enforcement earlier this year — signed an agreement in April to share information from driver’s licenses and state ID cards with the U.S. Census Bureau, according to a copy of the memorandum of understanding the state’s department of public safety provided to NPR.

Over the past year since the Trump administration failed in its attempt to add the now-blocked citizenship question to 2020 census forms, the Census Bureau has been gathering state and federal records under directives from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, and an executive order Trump issued last July [Hansi Lo Wang, “South Dakota Is Sharing Driver’s License Info to Help Find Out Who’s a Citizen,” NPR, 2020.07.14].

The state chooses not to answer the reporter’s question of why South Dakota would do such a thing and simply says we can do such a thing:

…Asked why the South Dakota Department of Public Safety decided to enter into this data-sharing agreement with the bureau, spokesperson Tony Mangan replied by email: “South Dakota’s Driver Licensing program is authorized to share information for use by any government agency in carrying out its functions. Information was provided at the request of the U.S. Census Bureau to carry out its function” [Wang, 2020.07.14].

We understand the real reason Trump is harvesting our personal data—gerrymandering:

Using that kind of information to exclude U.S. citizens under 18 and noncitizens — both those lawfully and unlawfully in the country — when redrawing districts, would be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites,” a GOP redistricting strategist concluded [Wang, 2020.07.14].

Ah, so maybe that’s why our Republican Legislature and Republican Governor were finally willing enact a law allowing us to give driver’s license tests in Spanish: they wanted more immigrants to come in and get driver’s licenses, then hand that info to the Census so they could use it to purge immigrants from the redistricting maps and disperse minority communities into larger Republican-dominated districts.

Of course, 2020 Senate Bill 70’s Spanish driver tests won’t be offered until January 1, 2021, so those data won’t affect the 2020 Census… and we’ll have time to crush the Grand Old Pandemic Party under the lasting shame of the damage they did with just one term of Trump by demonstrating what a solid decade of Democratic governance can do to save the world.


  1. jerry 2020-07-14

    Gerrymandering in South Dakota is not necessary. All you need is BRIBE money.

    “Direct farm aid has climbed each year of Trump’s presidency, from $11.5 billion in 2017 to more than $32 billion this year — an all-time high, with potentially far more funding still to come in 2020, amounting to about two-thirds of the cost of the entire Department of Housing and Urban Development and more than the Agriculture Department’s $24 billion discretionary budget, according to a POLITICO analysis. But lawmakers have taken a largely hands-off approach, letting the department decide who gets the money and how much.”

    These government teat suckers will be hard to wean from the banquet of BRIBE.

  2. grudznick 2020-07-14

    South Dakota legislatures could already use the vast piles of state data the Council of Legislature secretly hordes to gerrymander districts of the 35, which really should be 20 or less. Mr. Trump can use this data to gerrymander the one, single federal election congressional district to have a different shape, eh? Like change the borders of the state?

    What you fellows need to worry about is how the 35 get redrawn, not how the at-large congressional district works.

  3. Old Spec 5 2020-07-14

    Hey gringo. Do I sense a bit of paranoia ? I will have to send you 25′ of GREAT VALUE aluminum foil. That way you will be in style with the ‘Publicans in SD

  4. Debbo 2020-07-14

    Old Spec 5, that’s funny right there. 🤣🤣🤣

  5. leslie 2020-07-14

    Thus, the reason behind the 747 flight with Trump?

    Data collection—as Brad Parscale…suggested—is perhaps the most powerful thing the Trump 2020 [campaign] app does. On signing up, users are required to provide a phone number for a verification code, as well as their full name, email address, and zip code. They are also highly encouraged to share the app with their existing contacts. This is part of a campaign strategy for reaching the 40 to 50 million citizens expected to vote for Trump’s reelection: …the campaign says it intends to collect every single one of these voters’ cell-phone numbers. This strategy means the app also makes extensive permission requests, asking for access to location data, phone identity, and control over the handset’s Bluetooth function… the app was compiled with an older version of Android, which does not include some of the latest privacy improvements, and uses software provided by a company called Phunware, well known for collecting people’s location information and relations with the Trump campaign, a role highlighted by a Wall Street Journal investigation last year.

    Phunware has come under major scrutiny recently for accepting millions of dollars in federal loans intended to help small businesses cope with the coronavirus, and in May Nasdaq filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist the company over its finances. Phunware’s invasive tactics for gathering data and reaching voters have drawn comparisons to Cambridge Analytica.

    The [apps] are…designed to use that data to build lists of similar citizens. Meanwhile, they provide the infrastructure to help users in these closed media environments bring in like-minded people through relational organizing by way of the addictive engagement strategies that social media and apps have perfected in the past 20 years.

    Trump’s casino-like campaign app seems to be his own attempt to create a “one-way tool of propaganda.” Its deployment is part of a global trend, piggybacking on years of unresolved privacy and security issues within the app ecosystem. As researchers studying the intersection of technology and propaganda, we understand that political groups tend to lag behind the commercial ad industry. But when they catch up, the consequences to truth and civil discourse can be devastating. ***

    The array of data-gathering tools the Trump…apps use are a legacy of a “freemium” social-media and app landscape that is manipulative, non-transparent, and purposefully addictive, with a mentality of “collect data first and ask question later.” For the last five to 10 years, the pervasiveness of these tools and their use in data scooping has been well documented. Sporadic, state-by-state data regulations have been the only response. In Europe, the GDPR was a big step toward meaningful consent and transparency, but the Official Trump 2020 App does not fall under its jurisdiction. A global perspective is now critical to understanding the implications of data-fueled political manipulation and preparing for the next wave of disinformation. Countries must work together to create effective regulation, and citizens must demand this of them.

  6. clara hart 2020-07-15

    Where is Shantel Krebs?

  7. mike from iowa 2020-07-15

    On June 5, 2019, Krebs, a board member of the Miss America Organization, replaced former Miss America 1989 and former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson as Chairperson of the Miss America Organization.

    Maybe she is donnie mandering.

  8. Debbo 2020-07-15

    This is the mob Kruel Kristi has given all your info too:

  9. jerry 2020-07-15

    George Will hits it out of the park (pun intended).

    “This nation built the Empire State Building, groundbreaking to official opening, in 410 days during the Depression, and the Pentagon in 16 months during wartime. Today’s less serious nation is unable to competently combat a pandemic, or even reliably conduct elections. This is what national decline looks like.” Paywall, Washington Post 7.15.20

    Indeed, gerrymandering and voter suppression are the only ways that these republicans can “win” an election. So how is this a democracy?

    “Never has a U.S. election come at such a moment of national mortification. In April 1970, President Richard M. Nixon told a national television audience that futility in Vietnam would make the United States appear to the world as “a pitiful, helpless giant.” Half a century later, America, for the first time in its history, is pitied.

    Not even during the Civil War, when the country was blood-soaked by a conflict involving enormous issues, was it viewed with disdainful condescension as it now is, and not without reason: Last Sunday, Germany (population 80.2 million) had 159 new cases of covid-19; Florida (population 21.5 million) had 15,300.” Same article

    We thought we had the most corrupted president of all time with Dick Nixon, now we have the gangster, Fat Nixon, stealing us blind and killing us with ease. The entire South Dakota republican establishment here, from the top to the bottom, are all part of the gang of cutthroats that undermine democracy at every turn.

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