The SDSU Collegian lands a meaty interview with South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson. Among the notable quotes:
- Dusty says the most important thing to get right in the Farm Bill is keeping Kristi Noem’s husband in business:
[Collegian]: Rep. Johnson, you were named the most effective House Republican for agricultural issues. What are your priorities for the upcoming farm bill?
[Johnson]…The number one job is to protect crop insurance. It’s a very effective risk management tool. A lot of producers buy it, and it’s something that they wouldn’t want to try to do business without. Number two is probably to make sure that we’re analyzing whether or not the right risk management tools exist for livestock. We’ve added a few more of those in the last couple farm bills, but I don’t know that we’re hitting the center of the bullseye yet.
Number three, I think, would be looking at our conservation programs and just make sure that we’re doing even more to encourage Working Lands Conservation [Jacob Boyko, “Rep. Dusty Johnson Talks TikTok, Pipelines, Student Debt,” SDSU Collegian, 2023.04.25].
2. Dusty says freedom means leaving people the opportunity to make bad decisions, like giving their data to Communist China:
You helped lead the charge on restricting TikTok in some federal government settings like military bases. Does Congress need to go further?
I’m a freedom guy, so I think we want to be really careful before we start to tell private citizens they can’t download private apps on their private phones. My bill, which was a Senate version of my bill, was passed at the time. That took TikTok off of all federal government devices, so I was very proud to be a pretty big part of that major legislative victory. But before we start telling private citizens what to do, I think we want to do some more analysis. I would say TikTok is nothing more than Chinese spyware. It’s just Chinese malware. Anybody who has it on their phone is making a big mistake. That being said, it’s a free country. … Our default assumption should be that people still have the opportunity to make bad decisions. Freedom isn’t getting you to decide what I want you to do. Freedom is getting you what you want to do. I think the best case scenario for all of America would be for the Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to spin TikTok off into its own company, because we know that there have been massive data releases to the Chinese Communist Party. Americans are being actively surveilled and they should not have TikTok on their phones [Boyko, 2023.04.25].
3. Dusty doesn’t say he’ll run for Governor, but he doesn’t say he won’t:
Last question: Are you running for governor in 2026?
Well, I mean, we’re a long ways away from that. I love service. I work hard. I do a good job. But it’s way too early for anybody to announce their interest in a job that’s not open for three more years [Boyko, 2023.04.25].
If we could count on Dusty to remain true to his word, it might be nice to have him run for Governor. It might be nice to have a Governor who (a) doesn’t decry socialism while deriving profit from farm socialism and (b) doesn’t preach freedom while trying to legislate away our freedom to do things that the Governor finds disagreeable.