Fact Check: Republican Gubernatorial Candidate
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SDPB's news team has dug into the details with a fact-checked transcript of our Republican Gubernatorial debate held May 29, 2018 in SDPB's Vermillion studio.
Stephanie R.: Hello and welcome to Election 2018, brought to you by South Dakota Public Broadcasting and The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. We have teamed up to bring you South Dakota's Gubenatorial Republican Primary Debate. I'm Stephanie Rissler. Here are the instructions and rules. Each candidate will have an opening and closing statement.
The questions have been solicited from members of both debate sponsors. We do ask that each candidate limit their answers to 90 seconds or less. We will also give each candidate up to 30 seconds for a rebuttal should they need it. Each candidate will be given equal opportunity to respond to all of the questions. Now, let's meet the candidates, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem.
Marty Jackley: Hi, Stephanie.
Stephanie R.: Thanks to both of you for participating today.
Kristi Noem: Thank you.
Stephanie R.: Names were drawn to determine the order of the opening remarks. Mr. Jackley, your name was selected first. You have one minute. You can begin.
Marty Jackley: Thank you, Stephanie and Public Broadcasting for hosting tonight. I'm running for Governor to create new and better opportunities for our kids, including my kids, Michael and Isabella. For the last decade, South Dakota see me as our trusted United States Attorney and Attorney General. I have the vision and the South Dakota experience to create those new and better paying jobs, to strengthen education for all of our kids, to make sure we have access to affordable quality healthcare, and to continue to keep our state safe. Washington hasn't been and isn't solving our problems, but we don't need them to here in South Dakota, but we do need a Governor that knows South Dakota best and that will always put South Dakota first.
I've done that as your Attorney General. I fight for you every day, and I'll fight for you every day as your Governor. Thank you.
Stephanie R.: Thank you very much. Mrs. Noem, it's now your turn for opening remarks. Go ahead.
Kristi Noem: Thank you. Thank you to everybody for tuning in tonight. I've been farming, ranching, and running small businesses in the State of South Dakota for almost 25 years. The last seven and a half, I've been fighting for South Dakota conservative values in Washington D.C., and I promised that I would not make a career out of being in Washington, and now, I'm coming home. I had the opportunity to work with President Trump to pass historic tax cuts, to defund Planned Parenthood, and to repeal the individual mandate of Obamacare.
We have the opportunity to bring the Trump agenda back to South Dakota, but we're going to need a strong Governor to do that. Now, my experience doesn't set us up for the status quo. I know how you feel. I know what it's like to make tough decisions, and when you're taxed first and considered last when a government lawyer wants to increase the size of government and raise your taxes and cost to your business. We also have to end the scandals and mismanagement that we've seen so often in South Dakota lately, so thank you so much for watching tonight and being with us. I'm looking forward to the discussion.
Stephanie R.: Thank you very much to both of you. It's now time for the question and answer portion of today's debate. Names were also drawn to determine the order. Mrs. Noem, your name was selected first, and here is the question. It's about Medicaid.
32 states, including ones with governors on both sides of the aisle have expanded Medicaid. South Dakota has not. If Medicaid is expanded, it would cover South Dakotans earning less than $1,000 a month. Many diseases, including cancer could be prevented through screening and early detection, and there would also be treatment for those who wouldn't be able to afford it otherwise. As Governor, would you support expanding Medicaid, and please explain your answer?
Kristi Noem: Thank you, Stephanie. I think that's a great question to start tonight off on. My goal is not to put more people on the Medicaid program. My goal is to get people off of Medicaid, by increasing their wages, giving them more opportunities, and letting them take care of their children in a better way that provides for a career for them. Now, I've addressed this in my Economic Development Plan, that called 'Kickstarting the Economy', and the reason it's such a huge issue in this campaign is because South Dakota's GDP rate is the lowest in the nation right now.
Fact Check: Mostly true: South Dakota had the lowest 3rdquarter GDP in 2017, but was 49th in the nation for percent change in GDP by the 4th quarter according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (North Dakota was last). Source: https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/qgdpstate_newsrelease.htm
Kristi Noem: That means people's wages aren't going up. Businesses aren't expanding. My goal is to grow those wages so folks can get off of Medicaid and get into a workforce training opportunity to fill a job we need filled here in the state.
Stephanie R.: Thank you very much. Mr. Jackley, again, the question is, "Would you as Governor support expanding Medicaid?", and please explain your answer.
Marty Jackley: I would not support expanding Medicaid, and the reason is, if you look at what Medicaid is doing to our state budget, it's about 25% of the state's budget. The federal government hasn't been solving our problems and hasn't been a good partner when it comes to Medicaid. When we as a state have asked to be able to have work waivers and work requirements on Medicaid, the federal government hasn't gotten back to us. IHS has broken here in South Dakota. We see it every single day.
It's costing our state taxpayers a hundred million dollars, so we need strong leadership here in South Dakota. We need to make sure that we're not expanding government Medicaid, that we're doing everything we can to put on work requirements, doing everything we can to make sure that IHS is taking on its responsibilities, and that we do a good job partnering to make sure that we partner with the federal government rather than having that federal partner dictatorship. One thing that I've done as Attorney General was I've stood up to the federal government when it came to that Medicaid expansion. I was one of the original 12 Attorney Generals that sued on Obamacare and that stopped it here in South Dakota. We can't let the federal government dictate what's happening on our Medicaid programs.
We need work requirements. We need to make sure we're doing everything we can to provide affordable healthcare, and that includes also expanding and having more insurance carriers. Every time I travel the state, I have South Dakotans tell me how high their insurance premiums are. The federal government hasn't fixed it, and this is an area where we don't need expansion of Medicaid. We need good South Dakota solutions.
Stephanie R.: We do have time for rebuttal. Mrs. Noem, if you'd like, you have 30 seconds.
Kristi Noem: I think it's incredibly important that we have some reforms to the Medicaid program. I've talked to President Trump about this extensively, and he's want South Dakota to be his pilot program. He's really hopeful that we have a strong Governor that will work with him to make sure that we use apprenticeship opportunities, workforce training opportunities to tie those on Medicaid to a training opportunity to fill the thousands of empty jobs that we have here in the state, and bring new opportunities to them to really lift their family out of poverty and into long-term careers.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mr. Jackley, you have 30 seconds.
Marty Jackley: Congresswoman, you oftentimes mentioned President Trump, but when you really look at what President Trump's been doing, he's been pushing up against Congress, trying to get the changes that we need, trying to get the federal government out of trying to run the state, and I think that's important, so I wish Congress would support the President. I wish Congress would do something about IHS to help South Dakota so that we can address the raising insurance that we see. It raised 29% in South Dakota alone this year, and that's too much for our families.
Fact Check: True for those with insurance through Avera. Avera initially proposed a 20% increase in 2018, but insurers were able to refile rates after President Trump cut off CSR (Cost-sharing reduction) funding. The final approved average rate increase for Avera was 29% and 15.9% for Sanford. Source: https://www.healthinsurance.org/south-dakota-state-health-insurance-exchange/
Stephanie R.: We're going to move on to question number two. It will remain on healthcare. Mr. Jackley, you'll go first, and the question is, "One of the best ways to lower healthcare cost is through prevention. As Governor, will you prioritize funding for cancer prevention and screening programs in your budget proposals?"
Marty Jackley: Absolutely. When you look at that, that's a great question. That's a great idea. That's how you actually save money when it comes to healthcare. That's been one of the challenges that we have faced though as a state.
As we've sought to do that in certain areas, the federal government and Obamacare and those regulations have really hurt our programs, and so I'm a strong believer that we need to put prevention in place. With two little kids, I get it. I understand the need to make sure that we're doing everything we can to catch early disease in South Dakota to make sure that we have available certain protections because at the end of the day, when we invest in healthcare this way, we ultimately save state dollars. We ultimately save dollars that go to the County poor fund. We ultimately save dollars that could end up in Medicaid and other areas, and so by being proactive at the very, very beginning, it ultimately saves those tax dollars, and that goes back really to the Medicaid.
If you look at what's happening in the South Dakota Medicaid system, we pay about 46 to 48 cents on every Medicaid claim, and we need to make sure that when we ask for those certain waivers and we take certain steps, that the federal government actually gives South Dakota that opportunity for flexibility, and when it comes to flexibility, we need to make sure that we're doing everything we can for preventive medicine, and that includes telemedicine, to make sure that we're making that available not just in parts of the state, but in all the rural areas here in South Dakota, because that's the right thing to do.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. I'll re-ask portion of the question. As Governor, will you prioritize funding for cancer prevention and screening programs in your budget proposals if you become Governor?
Kristi Noem: Yeah, I've already made this a priority. In my time in Congress, I've advocated for, sponsored, and passed legislation to make more resources available to this kind of research that's happening across the nation, so absolutely. The people of South Dakota know how incredibly important this is to me, and we have healthcare systems and businesses in the state that are already investing, that we could make an, as clear way for them to streamline their efforts and promote economic development at the same time. We have some huge opportunities in South Dakota. We're a low-tax, low-regulatory, burdened state.
Then, we have healthcare facilities already doing research here that we can benefit from and our families can benefit from, but if we promote and bring in the next big industry in our state, which I believe is biotech, and bring that into our state and create new higher-paying jobs while we're doing that research, it's an incredible win for our families, and that's the kind of vision that a Governor of South Dakota has to have. It's been years since we've gone out and gotten the next big industry for our state, and our Economic Development team needs to focus on that so we diversify our economy and we're stabilized through difficult times, but also make sure that we're helping those businesses that are here grow already. We've got small hospitals, small clinics, big systems as well, telecommunication and telehealth, resources that we can utilize. Research just makes perfect sense, and we can do it better here in South Dakota. With our business environment and our medical research environment that we have that's coordinated with the state government, we could set an example to the nation.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. We do have time for rebuttal, Mr. Jackley.
Marty Jackley: Thank you. I do believe we can do it better here in South Dakota, but one of the challenges we continue to have is, Washington hasn't been solving those problems. They haven't done what they need to for preventative medicine. Whether it's dentistry or cancer, they haven't provided those dollars and those efforts, so we need to solve that right here in South Dakota. We need strong leadership that understands the Department of Health, the opportunities, the budgeting necessary to be able to make preventive medicine a priority right here in South Dakota to help our kids, as well as adults be able to prevent certain diseases.
Stephanie R.: Mrs. Noem, you too have rebuttal?
Kristi Noem: Yes. Marty's exactly wrong on that issue. We have committed more resources at the federal level. I've worked extensively on that. I also have a comprehensive bill that would reform Indian Health Services to deliver better healthcare to our tribes than what they've had.
We've also worked to repeal Obamacare. I personally have voted many, many dozens of times to repeal Obamacare, and successfully in tax reform legislation that I helped right with President Trump repeal the individual mandate in Obamacare. We're going to keep trying in getting it through the Senate to get that accomplished and get it completely done and healthcare reform completed.
Stephanie R.: We're going to move on to question number three. Mrs. Noem, you'll take it first. It has to do with tobacco. Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death nationwide. In South Dakota, it's estimated that 1,300 adults die from smoking every year, with $373 million annually in state healthcare costs directly caused by smoking. As Governor, what policies will you implement to reduce tobacco use?
Kristi Noem: I've worked on these issues when I served in the state legislature, and that's a clear difference between me and Marty. My background is in business, farming and ranching, but I also served in the state legislature in leadership, so I've worked on these issues here and at the national level while I was in D.C., advocating for conservative values on your behalf. We have dollars that are committed to prevention. We also have dollars that are committed to education. I think it's very important that we're in our schools talking to kids about the dangers of tobacco.
I know we do that today, but we could do that much more thoroughly to make sure that they have all the information on what the impact is on them, their families, and their health going forward. We also have taxes on tobacco in the State of South Dakota. We debated that legislation, and they've recently debated changes to that policy as well. I think it's incredibly important that we continue to go out there and do exactly what we need to do on all of these tough issues. Some of the toughest issues I've talked about in this campaign are crime and drugs.
Tobacco is a drug, but since Marty's been Attorney General, our drug crimes have gone up 222% in South Dakota, so I would argue that our government lawyer that's in charge of controlling drugs in our state isn't doing a great job. We need new leadership to really educate our kids about the dangers and prevent them from having more of a problem far into the future.
Fact Check: The Argus Leader reported that combined drug and drug equipment offenses did increase 222% in the last decade (Source: https://www.argusleader.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/14/drug-crimes-south-dakota-candidates-aim-rein-drug-use/597797002/). However, that statistic does not include tobacco.
Stephanie R.: Mr. Jackley, as Governor, what policies will you implement to reduce tobacco use?
Marty Jackley: This is a perfect example. This isn't a question about crime. This isn't a question about experience in business. This is a question about, "What would you do for here in South Dakota to help on tobacco prevention?" It's really a difference between Washington experience and South Dakota experience.
Washington has not done anything on this issue to solve the problems, but yet, the nation's Attorney Generals have. In fact, you see our truth campaign, those dollars that come from the tobacco companies that we, Attorney Generals settled with, that I've litigated with as your Attorney General. In fact, just a few weeks ago, the tobacco companies gave another $28 million that went in the South Dakota's education fund. Those dollars go to parents, go to teachers to help educate kids. There's about $595 million in the education fund.
Fact Check: This is in reference to the $27.5 million settlement reached in March, after companies withheld money from a 1998 settlement due to belief that the state was not fulfilling its end of the deal. SDPB story: http://listen.sdpb.org/post/sd-attorney-general-announces-tobacco-settlement
Marty Jackley: Part of what we do with that funding is just precisely what the question was about. We educate, so that truth campaign, when South Dakotans see those ads on TV, some of them were funny. Some of them tried to touch the hearts of young kids so they stay away from tobacco. That's what's important. Since the Congresswoman brought up the issue of crime, those statistics just simply aren't accurate. Those aren't the statistics here in South Dakota.
They come from Washington. In fact, the first page of those statistics says, "Don't rely on them." There's a disclaimer. What I would ask South Dakotans to look at, 62 sheriffs looked at who would be the best person to keep our community safe, and they all came to the conclusion it's our Attorney General to continue working together with small and large communities to protect the public.
Fact Check: Again, this number comes from the Argus Leader report based on the data from the State Attorney General’s office.
Stephanie R.: We have time for rebuttal. Mrs. Noem.
Kristi Noem: Marty's wrong again because the number that I referenced, the 222% increase in drug arrests comes right out of his Attorney General's report, so tobacco clearly is a drug, and it is something that we're to be using that revenue to educate our kids and prevent them from becoming addicted to tobacco, but also, we can use that as an opportunity to educate them about the dangers of other drugs going forward. Our situation in South Dakota is getting worse and worse over time. I want to bring new leadership to help make it better for our kids and safer for our kids.
Stephanie R.: Mr. Jackley, you too have 30 seconds.
Marty Jackley: There has been an increase in drug crimes. That's methamphetamine, but that wasn't what the Congressperson was talking about, and in fact, tobacco isn't a methamphetamine as part of any of those statistics. We do have meth issues in South Dakota, and we're dealing with them in law enforcement and communities, but we haven't seen those increases. The stats are right on the Attorney General's webpage. They come from right from the sheriffs, the chiefs and the highway patrol. We do need to address tobacco prevention, and the Attorney Generals are doing it, and as a Governor, I'll keep doing it for all of our kids.
Stephanie R.: We're going to move on to question number four. Mr. Jackley, you'll go first. Each of you are hoping to win the Republican to get to run for Governor. What does Republican mean to you?
Marty Jackley: Republican means when I sat down and talk to my kids and what we talked about, Republican means to me limited government. It means not having government in our homes, not having government telling us what to do, especially from Washington or Pierre. What it means is low taxes, to making sure that we understand that we balance our budgets here, whether it's the low-level positions to the high-level positions. We all need to do everything we can to balance the budget. I'm a Republican because I believe in life.
I have a record of protecting life as Attorney General. I'm a Republican because I believe in the Second Amendment. I have an A-plus rating from the NRA. I also believe that I'm a Republican because of those religious freedoms that I protect every day as Attorney General, so if you look at my record, it really speaks as to why I'm a Republican, balancing those budgets, protecting taxpayer dollars, making sure we do everything we can to keep government out of our lives when it doesn't need to be there. I've been that Attorney General, that trusted, conservative Attorney General, and that's one of the reasons that the nation's Attorney Generals elected me to be their Chairman.
It's that strong Republican leadership that I was able to show, to be able to show not just on a state level, but a national level, and in doing programs that were conservative in nature, always balancing budgets whether they're at the Attorney General's office, or at the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the nation's Attorney General's offices. I've always balanced budgets because I believe being a Republican means understanding to protect taxpayer dollars.
Stephanie R.: Mrs. Noem, what does Republican mean to you?
Kristi Noem: Republican means a small government, fighting for our constitutional rights and freedoms, for making sure that we're protecting those each and every day not only in the words that we say, but in the actions that we take each and every day. I've made four promises in this campaign to you. I've pledged that I will not raise your taxes, that I will not grow the size of government, that I will make sure it is small in your life. I'll increase transparency, and then I'll fight the federal government intrusion on our state's rights. Those all line up with Republican values.
I also have an A-plus rating with the NRA. I'm a lifetime member of the NRA. Ran a hunting lodge for many years and enjoy sharing that heritage with my kids each and every day, and as we make memories out there, enjoying the outdoors and the wildlife. I also am pro-life, 100% endorsed by the Susan B. Anthony Group. They're a national organization that solely focuses on protecting life, and I'm so proud that they have seen that I've been the aggressive pro-life candidate in this race.
In fact, I think that's really the difference between me and Marty, is how aggressive will we be really defending our Republican values, our conservative values? Now, Planned Parenthood in the State of South Dakota broke the law for many years. They were not informing mothers of what they needed to know before they were having an abortion, and Marty knew they were breaking the law and refused to prosecute them for it. In fact, their state legislature had to pass another law to make sure that that situation was taken care of. I've been aggressive while I've been in Congress defending life, passing bills to ban abortion, to make sure that people had conscious protection rights and making sure that every single life is valued.
Stephanie R.: Mr. Jackley, it's time for rebuttals. You have 30 seconds.
Marty Jackley: This is again I think a clear difference between Washington and South Dakota. There is a difference between a Washington Republican that talks about things and a South Dakota Republican that does things. Everybody in South Dakota knows I'm pro-life. I've been in courtrooms defending South Dakota successfully against Planned Parenthood when they sue me. I'm not the one that's in Washington funding Planned Parenthood.
Everybody knows in South Dakota I passed a legislation that actually made it a felony to sell certain fetal body parts, so why in the world would I as the Attorney General that defend South Dakota, that passes this legislation not do something about it? It's simply again Washington-style politics. That's not true.
Stephanie R.: Time. Mrs. Noem, your turn.
Kristi Noem: I sponsored, voted for, supported, and pushed through a bill that allows states to defund Planned Parenthood. I voted to defund Planned Parenthood many, many times. The facts are they were breaking the law in the State of South Dakota. Marty chose not to prosecute them for it. I think that's wrong, and we need to aggressively defend life no matter what stage it's at.
Stephanie R.: We're going to change gears here and talk about workforce. Once I ask the question, Mrs. Noem, you'll go first. South Dakota is facing a human capital shortage. What will you do as Governor to keep more young South Dakotans in state while attracting out-of-state professionals?
Kristi Noem: We've got an incredible opportunity to develop our workforce. We have a good work ethic here in South Dakota, but we have thousands of empty jobs, and these are high-paying jobs that pay 25 to $30 an hour, but people don't have the skills and the education that they need to fill those jobs. My proposal that I've put forward would take those that are on government programs, tie them to an employer in an opportunity to gain a skill to fill the jobs that we need. It's an awesome opportunity that we have to use apprenticeship programs, the administrative skills that our technical schools have, to give on-the-job training to individuals that are in housing assistance, child care assistance, Medicaid, welfare, TANF, tie them to that employer and that training opportunity so they can become an electrician, an HVAC worker, a plumber, a welder, and fill one of the jobs that we need across South Dakota. It's a perfect opportunity for us to help them become much more successful and change their lives not just for them, but for their kids and grandkids.
We need to strengthen those kinds of opportunities. It's incredibly powerful for kids to watch their parents work and provide for their family, and we have cyclical and generational poverty in the State of South Dakota. Making sure that we have these changes to those assistance programs, tie them to opportunities for workforce training will fill those jobs and help our economy and those families be much more successful.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mr. Jackley, same question. What will you do as Governor to keep more young South Dakotans in state while attracting out-of-state professionals?
Marty Jackley: Stephanie, that's a great question. In fact, that's the question I hear from parents almost every day. It's what I heard when I gave the commencement speech at the School of Mines. It's what I heard last Sunday when I spoke to the new graduates at Hill City, "What can we do to keep our young people here?", and government alone isn't the sole solution for that. I think that the answer is partnering with private businesses to make sure we're doing everything we can as a state to strengthen education early on.
What I mean by that is those dual credits in high school. Those are important. We need to continue that. We need to make sure as we look to education, our tech schools need to be a huge part of that answer. They're doing a wonderful job. Our four tech schools are providing a skilled labor.
The Build Dakota Program, that's a wonderful program. A lot of kids in South Dakota are gaining from that, and the best part of that program, there's a commitment that those kids have to remain in South Dakota for a period of time to help for pay for that, and that's something that I want to expand on as Governor, so in the future, we have more opportunity type scholarships, Build Dakota Scholarships so that we can continue to build up that workforce right here in South Dakota, and we have to make sure we're working with our university system to make sure the Board of Regents is also focused on the type of jobs we need and making sure that we're tying scholarships to those dollars. I'm one of 12 members of the JAG, Jobs for America Graduates. It's actually 13 of us. 12 governors, and me as the Attorney General, and we're working on just that. In fact, we just brought about $50,000 to South Dakota to work on those apprenticeships, to work on opportunities where we can build out job skills for all of our kids in South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. We do have time for rebuttal, Mrs. Noem, if you need it.
Kristi Noem: Stephanie, this is one of those areas that you really need someone who started businesses and run businesses before to bring their expertise to the table. For instance, South Dakota is one of the hardest states to get licensed in in many different careers. We can streamline that at the state level, allow those who wish to move to our state to make the transition simple and more successful, and help that going forward. I just don't see how a government lawyer who spent his life doing that job will have the experience necessary to really kickstart our economy and get it going.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mr. Jackley, 30 seconds.
Marty Jackley: Once again, it's the difference between Washington and South Dakota experience. I'm not just a government lawyer. I grew up in Sturgis, working on the family farm in Butte County, started up a business here in South Dakota, Main Street business and ran it, had an opportunity, do a lot of different things in tourism in other areas in South Dakota. What we really need is a Governor that understands South Dakota that's looking for good South Dakota solutions, solutions that involve K-12, that involve our tech schools, and then involve our universities, and a component that requires our kids to give back and stay right here in South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. We're going to move on to education. Mr. Jackley, you'll take it first. Many of South Dakota's most rural schools face ever-declining enrollment and lack of property tax base to support livable wages for the teachers. What is your long-term plan to address these issues in our small schools?
Marty Jackley: Education is very important to me. It's personal. I have a 12-year old daughter, Isabella and a 14-year old son, Michael. My mother was my high school accounting teacher, so education is important. In fact, that's part of the keys to our workforce development.
When you look at what we need to do in South Dakota, it's a big difference between me and the Congresswoman. I believe government doesn't have all the answers, and we need to put together that task force to take a look at South Dakota's educational formula, a task force made up of South Dakotans that volunteer. They don't charge for their time. We get their expertise for free, and what we need to ask them is that funding switch that went on a per student basis of 5,400 to 5,600. When it switched over to a teacher-student ratio, that's hurt some of the smaller schools, so we need to make sure we're doing everything we can to not pick winners and losers, and to help out all kids.
Fact Check: Unable to confirm. When the shift was first being considered, state taxes brought $4,800 per student to each district. Critics were concerned about the impact on smaller schools (Source: http://listen.sdpb.org/post/small-schools-student-teacher-ratio)
Marty Jackley: The other thing that happened with that education formula, it wasn't helpful for some of our more senior teachers in their teacher pay. We need to make sure that we're addressing that and fixing it, and when you fix those things, of course, it takes funding. I'm the only candidate that's brought that funding here in South Dakota. It is part of that tobacco settlement that we earlier talked about, bringing in dollars for teachers so that we can better educate, so there's some things that we need to do here in South Dakota when it comes to education. That's why we need a Governor that understands the issue of education that's been there.
I've had an opportunity to work with the Department of Education. I have a complete education plan that talks about this, and I would hope that the viewers will take an opportunity to look at all of our initiatives, all the candidates' initiatives. Ours is very complete on that opportunity to help rural education with the South Dakota Virtual Network and other opportunities.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mrs. Noem, do you need me to repeat the question?
Kristi Noem: No. That'll be fine. You talked about how important education is to our state, and I'm incredibly familiar with that. I have three kids that go to public schools and have gone through public schools in the State of South Dakota. I worked on education policy when I was in the state legislature, and at the federal level, I helped write the bill that reauthorized our K-12 education system and funds, and what we did is cut strings to the money.
We said the federal government could not mandate common core compliance, which I firmly believe that we should not be implementing common core in the State of South Dakota, and I've promised to do that and continue to hold to that line if given the opportunity to be Governor of our state. Also, when we look at our small schools and the challenges that they have, I put forward a plan that's called the 'Rural Revitalization Plan'. Now, Marty is right, I did say that I don't want to grow the size of government. I said I don't want new boards, new commissions, new Blue Ribbon Task Forces, because it's incredibly important to know that every time we create a new board or commission, it cost the taxpayers money. We have 134 of them already in the State of South Dakota, and they come with costs and red tape, and licenses, and per diems and hotel costs the taxpayers pay for.
Surely, any challenge that comes our way, one of those 134 boards and commissions can handle the challenge in front of us. When it comes to K-12 schools and small ones at that, they need rural revitalization. I've pledged to bring them economic development, get them broadband service so they can recruit businesses that do business globally and hire people locally, grow those towns so those small schools can continue to grow and have kids in them that are thriving, and make sure that our funding formula is accurate and treats them fairly. It hasn't in the past.
Stephanie R.: Time. Thank you very much. We do have time for rebuttals. Mr. Jackley.
Marty Jackley: This is a key difference between the two candidates. What Congresswoman Noem is referring to are licensing boards that licensed me as an and electrical engineer. That isn't what I'm talking about. I'm talking about task forces. They are volunteer task forces. Those are the tax forces that I've created as Attorney General that haven't cost the state any money.
They're important. We need to have them, and Washington hasn't solved our education problem, but we don't need to. Parents, school districts and our governor is what can help solve the educational challenges in rural South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: Mrs. Noem.
Kristi Noem: You don't have to grow government to listen to people. You just simply don't have to do that. In fact, the last Blue Ribbon Task Force resulted in one of the largest tax increases that we've seen in our state's history, so we need to make sure that we're listening to people putting forward solutions and addressing what we need to do in a fast, streamlined manner that really doesn't grow the size of government going forward.
Stephanie R.: Thank you very much. We're going to switch gears now and talk about federal funding. Mrs. Noem, you'll go first. What can be done to better regulate state agencies using federal funds to avoid future scandals like what we've seen with the EB-5 and Gear Up?
Kristi Noem: Yeah. This is a real challenge for our state because we've seen our headlines filled with scandals, EB-5, Gear Up, federal funds that came down from the federal government that the state was responsible to oversee that was mismanaged and lost. In fact, that lack of accountability is what I've specifically said that I would like to address in the State of South Dakota. There's a lot of people that just don't trust their state government anymore. They've seen unfortunate debts, they've seen millions of dollars go missing, and they want an end to it.
They want to be able to trust their state government. I have a transparency plan that would do that, that would put all things online, streamline public meetings, make sure we have reporter shields law so our reporters do their job and look into these tough issues. What's concerning to me is that the EB-5 scandal, Gear Up, we have the Laura Kaiser situation going on as well, we've got Aquaponics, Global Aquaponics in Brookings that swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars out of people. The common denominator that we find in everyone of these situations is that our Attorney General has been involved. That's concerning to me.
I think people need to know that we have scandals and that we've had them, but we also need to get to the bottom of them and change our ways, so my transparency agenda would make sure that this state government has someone in the Governor's office that's honest, willing to be accountable to them, and to make sure we don't have somebody in there that's been tied to all those previous scandals.
Stephanie R.: Mr. Jackley, same question. What can be done to better regulate state agencies using federal funds to avoid future scandals like what we've seen with EB-5 and Gear Up?
Marty Jackley: Congresswoman, the reason the Attorney General is involved in those cases because that's what the Attorney General does. When somebody violates the law, the Attorney General forms a grand jury, and he issues indictments, so when you look at EB-5 and Gear Up, the only person standing on this stage that's done anything about it is me as the Attorney General. Specifically in EB-5, I formed that grand jury. Actually formed two grand juries. They ultimately issued an indictment. I obtained the conviction.
Fact Check: Joop Bollen, the man who once ran the investment for visa program, pled guilty to one of five felony counts he was facing. He was sentenced to two-years probation and a $2,000 fine. According to the AP, he was accused of diverting more than 1.2 million from an account created as part of a contract with the state to protect it against costs or liability from the EB-5 visa program.
Marty Jackley: When you look at what Washington has done, that's a federal program. On each separate occasions, Congresswoman, you had an opportunity in voting for EB-5 to actually make reforms and changes. In fact, you didn't, and you told two respected reporters, Dana Ferguson and Bob Mercer right here in South Dakota that you wouldn't vote for that without reforms, so we can't change the EB-5 and Gear Up programs from South Dakota. Those are federal programs, but what we can do is demand our federal officials to be honest and open about what they're doing. When it comes to what we can also do in South Dakota, I've done it as Attorney General working with the legislature, and that was SB 27, so much of what was talked about in the plan.
We've actually done it here in South Dakota. Senate Bill 27 was the Attorney General's response to what I had seen here in South Dakota on those two federal programs, Gear Up and EB-5. It put in a whistleblower statute to protect reporting parties. It requires agencies to report directly to the Attorney General, and it changed the conflict violation from a misdemeanor to a felony, so the one person that's done something about those is the Attorney General, and I'm going to keep working for the people of South Dakota to protect their taxpayer dollars.
Stephanie R.: We'll move on to rebuttals, Mrs. Noem.
Kristi Noem: Transparency is the key. I'm the only one that's pledged to be completely open with the people of South Dakota, but listen, in EB-5, the State Oversight Program, nobody went to jail. On Gear Up still, nobody's been punished. When we talk about what's going on in Brookings with the Global Aquaponics scam, a con artist, Tobias Ritesman held a fundraiser for Marty Jackley. Marty attended his phony groundbreaking for his phony project.
People lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Still, nobody's been investigated and nobody's been prosecuted. That needs to change in our state.
Fact Check: Ritesman and his associate, Timothy Burns, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts of mail and wire fraud. They have until June 12 to reach a plea agreement. Jury trial is set for June 26th.
Stephanie R.: Mr. Jackley.
Marty Jackley: Congresswoman, he didn't hold a fundraiser for me. I was at an event that he was at, and I did go to groundbreaking because that's what's important in South Dakota. When we have businesses expanding, I think it's important that we attend those. You talk about Gear Up. There hasn't been a sentencing because these defendants are presumed innocent, but I as Attorney General, unlike Washington, have done something about it.
Marty Jackley: I actually formed a grand jury, indictments have been issued, they're scheduled to begin jury trials in June, June 26th, and I plan on trying those personally as Attorney General because that's what a leader does. He steps up to the plate and takes on those hard cases and leads from the front.
Stephanie R.: We're going to move on, but still talk about over open government. Mr. Jackley, you will go first. Open government is something that we are hearing more and more about. Efforts have been made over the past several years, including opening invitation lists to governor events, placing agency information online, plus more, but there's still a long way to go when it comes to making government open and transparent to South Dakota citizens. What will you do if elected to make state government more open and more transparent?
Marty Jackley: Transparency is one of those issues that again, it's important to look at action, not just words. You've seen your transparent Attorney General. You saw it when I first became Attorney General when I joined with Governor Daugaard to put forth a task force. That task force didn't cost South Dakota any money. It was made up of volunteers that came together and improved our laws, and the Governor and I as Attorney General sponsored that legislation.
In fact, just two years ago, I had an opportunity to again, at no cost to taxpayers, put together the stakeholders and bring forth legislation that I sponsored on booking photos, and I think it's always action over words that is so important. Congresswoman raised issues with my travel budget not too long ago, said I had excessive travel. It turned out during that timeframe, it was $1,900, and so in response to being open and honest, I just simply turned over those travel records.
Fact Check: According to a Rapid City Journal article by Seth Tupper, “Further documents from Jackley’s office showed that his personal travel vouchers totaled $4,803.51 in 2017, up from $4,054.20 in 2016. Those figures are for expenses such as meals and hotels. Jackley travels in a state-owned vehicle, and records from his office show the vehicle was driven 14,097 miles in 2017, which was down from 15,674 in 2016.” http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/jackley-denies-democrat-claim-of-campaigning-on-taxpayer-time/article_e4bc2db4-dc2d-592a-834e-f7c7367aac71.html
From the Jackley campaign: Ok I was able to get overall mileage from the vehicle that AG Jackley uses. In addition to Marty using it, Assistant AGs use the vehicle for travel for hearings and/or trials and it is used to distribute Project Stand Up materials across the state. So our best estimate is that Marty used the vehicle about a third of the miles listed below. September 11, 2015--Odometer 27,784 (mileage when we received vehicle); October 17, 2016-Odometer 43,458 (15,674 miles on that year); October 16, 2017-Odometer 57,555 (14,097 miles on that year); January 10, 2018-Odometer 59,751 (2,196 last three months). The rate for reimbursement to Fleet & Travel for this type of vehicle is .43 a mile.
The Congresswoman hasn't bothered to turn over her federal travel records, so I think this really shows its action over words, and Senate Bill 27 I think is a good example of not just action, but leadership. It was me as Attorney General saying part of what happened in Gear Up and part of what happened in EB-5 from prosecuting those cases is the sun wasn't shining in, and we need to be able to do everything we can to have that sunshine in, so I don't just talk about maybe having a plan.
I had a plan. It has a whistleblower protection to protect that employee to bring those concerns up without losing their job. It has agency reporting requirements, so they have to tell local law enforcement and the Attorney General, and it makes crimes more significant for conflicts of interest. I'm doing just that as Attorney General, and I'll keep making sure we are open and transparent as your Governor.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mrs. Noem, again, what will you do if elected to make state government more open and transparent?
Kristi Noem: In reference to what Marty was just talking about, all of my records are open and transparent. You can see them. In fact, if you dig into my office's budget, you'll see that my budget is 17% less than what my predecessor's was back in 2010, so when it comes to balancing budgets, I've done that running businesses, I've done it at the state legislature, I've voted for $6 trillion worth of spending cuts at the federal level, but also in my own office budget, which is incredibly transparent to everybody across the country. I've cut that budget by 17% going forward. Now, I put forward a transparency agenda. It said that all agendas, meeting minutes, and all of those meetings were going to be put online so that every single person in the state could see what their state government was doing, and I was going to encourage local boards to do that as well to make sure your local government was very accountable as well.
Fact Check: Link to the current Statement of Disbursements for House members: https://www.house.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/documents/SODs/2018q1_vol2.pdf Archived Statements of Disbursements: https://www.house.gov/the-house-explained/open-government/statement-of-disbursements/archive
Kristi Noem: I wanted to make sure there was a reporter shield law so reporters have the opportunity to do their jobs without fear of being punished for investigating some of these tough scandals that we see pop up in South Dakota from time to time. I also wanted a property tax toolkit so that everybody knew exactly how their property taxes were spent. What's concerning to me is that the Attorney General's office hasn't been transparent. In fact, we talked about those 134 boards and commissions. He's got a board that he's responsible for that hasn't posted minutes, hasn't posted agendas, and isn't in compliance with state law.
Now, he's the government lawyer in charge of enforcing the law of the State of South Dakota. Why does he and his office have a board that isn't following the law today?
Stephanie R.: We do have time for rebuttal. Mr. Jackley.
Marty Jackley: Congresswoman, this is once again you bringing Washington to South Dakota, that the Law Enforcement Training Commission is what you're referring to, and they actually have all that posted on the Attorney General's website. I went and looked and had my office go look, so it's all right there on the Attorney General's website, so that's unfortunate.
When Seth Tupper asked you for your travel records, you didn't produce them, but I think it really comes down to action over words. Who do you trust to keep government open and honest? You've seen me as your Attorney General, and you've seen me do that as your trusted Attorney General, and I'll do that as your Governor.
Stephanie R.: Mrs. Noem?
Kristi Noem: You're right, Marty. We did draw attention to that board a few days ago and that probably, that's been updated now, but this is the concern for me, that when it comes to putting trust back into your state government, we need someone who's committed to transparency, has put forward a plan to do that, and also put forward a campaign finance plan, some reforms that we need to make more transparent, the dollars that are flowing into campaigns in the State of South Dakota so that we can be held accountable to you in doing the right decisions once we get into office.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. We're going to move on. We're going to talk about internet sales. Mrs. Noem, you'll go first. South Dakota continues to fight a battle that will require internet retailers to collect and remit the same sales tax collected by South Dakota businesses. What efforts would you be able to provide in fighting this battle as Governor?
Kristi Noem: That's an incredibly important issue for the State of South Dakota. I started working on collecting online sales tax when I was in the state legislature. I was the Assistant Majority Leader. I sat on the tax committee. We agreed and participated in the streamline sales tax effort at that time, knowing that we needed to have a federal fix.
When I got to Washington D.C., I immediately jumped on and sponsored the bill that would collect online sales tax, recognizing that we needed to reform that system to give our Main Street businesses opportunities to have fairness. That's what this is, is simply giving those folks and employ people on our small towns that pay property taxes and create our economic growth, have a level playing field, and so I've, that's been the sponsor of that legislation. I built support for that. I'm hopeful we can continue to push that and get it done through Congress. It's something I've been incredibly passionate about and will continue to fight for each and every day just to make sure that our businesses here in South Dakota aren't penalized for doing business because they have to compete with someone online who isn't paying their sales tax, and that sales tax already due and owed.
It is something that those people that shop online owe that tax. They're just out of compliance. If we get this legislation, which I've drafted and sponsored, it protects small businesses, but it also makes sure that we bring them into compliance with the law and collect that online sales tax.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mr. Jackley, same question.
Marty Jackley: On April 17th, I was never so honored before as when I stood in front of United States Supreme Court for the people of South Dakota. The opportunity to support what the South Dakota legislature said was important, what all of our retailers in Main Street businesses said was important, and all of South Dakota was supporting that effort to even that playing field, so that that Main Street business that sells an item charges the same amount of sales tax and collects it as eBay or some out-of-state business. In that moment, as I'm arguing in front of the United States Supreme Court for the people of South Dakota, I've never been so disheartened to hear opposing council use the words of my own Congressperson against the people of South Dakota. He read her statement that was given in a political environment in Washington D.C. to say that if the people of South Dakota won, it would be devastating. I hope that that statement didn't affect that ultimate argument, but it was certainly not helpful, and that's the difference between South Dakota experience and Washington experience.
That's transcript's public record. I rose above that for the people of South Dakota. I gave the strongest argument that I could because I believe truthfully, that this is the right thing for us to do for Main Street. They're the ones that buy those Little League uniforms. They're the ones that take care of our community. They deserve better than that than what we received at that argument.
Fact Check: The complete transcript from oral arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair: https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2017/17-494_7lho.pdf Here is the excerpt Mr. Jackley cites:
MR. ISAACSON: It's interesting, if you take the statement of Colorado's only member of the House of Representatives, Katie Noem, said, "If the Supreme Court rules in South Dakota's favor, it could become a marketplace free-for-all. A South Dakota small business, for instance, could be forced to comply with 1,000 different tax structures nationwide without the tools necessary to do so." That's from a high official representing the State of South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: It's time for rebuttals, Mrs. Noem.
Kristi Noem: That's completely inaccurate. What I said was that we absolutely needed to have this fixed, that I supported the Supreme Court case that was before the Supreme Court that day, that we needed protections in place for small businesses, for moms and pops and basements that have little online shops so that they will have the ability to make this work and not be driven out of business. I don't like distortions on my record, but that's been happening pretty consistently throughout this campaign. Listen, we went into that Supreme Court case, thinking it was going to be a lay-up. After Marty's arguments, it looks like it's a toss-up now, and that's concerning.
Stephanie R.: Mr. Jackley, you have 30 seconds.
Marty Jackley: What I will tell you is I was standing from here to Stephanie, and I will guarantee you that that Congresswoman's statements were used against the people of South Dakota. I gave a strong argument. We have a good argument. It's the right argument, but at the end of the day, please go listen to that transcript. Go read the transcript. It's all been put down on record, and those statements that were given by the Congresswoman in Washington hurt the people of South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: We're going to move on and talk about agriculture. Mr. Jackley, you'll go first. Agriculture is our state's number one industry with an annual economic impact of over $25 billion, however, in recent years, deflated prices and lower than average yields have delivered economic challenges. What will you do as Governor to help those in the ag industry get back on their feet?
Marty Jackley: That's a big part of what a Governor does, is works in the agriculture. I mean, when you look at my background, we have that family farm in Butte County. I get it. I understand how important agriculture is. I understand that every South Dakota farmer feeds about 155 people.
It's important, so when you look at those opportunities, this is a perfect example of where Washington isn't solving our problems. We don't have a farm bill, so we've got to do what we can as a state to diversify, to make sure that we do everything we can to support value added ag, that we support precision ag. I did have an opportunity to go to AquaTech the other day in Volga and see the groundbreaking, and see the different things that we're doing for agriculture, the opportunities that we're doing for some of the biofuels. We need to continue to do that. I've set forth a very detailed plan for agriculture.
It's called 'Grow South Dakota'. The other thing that I've done is recognized the importance of infrastructure. When we have the right infrastructure in place in South Dakota, we add value to our crops, we add value to our products. The Turkey Plant here on is a perfect example of that, and we've done that in so many different areas in our state. We need to continue to put that value to our different crops.
We need to have a strong leader that will push Washington. When they're not doing what they should be doing in the farm bill, which is putting more farming in the farm bill, then they'll hear from me, and they've heard from me often as Attorney General, and they'll hear from me as Governor.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mrs. Noem, what will you do as Governor to help those in the ag industry get back on their feet?
Kristi Noem: I appreciate the opportunity to talk about agriculture because that's where my heart is. I think all of you know my story. I've spent my life farming and ranching in Hamlin County, took over our operation when my dad was killed in an accident, and made hard decisions to keep it going and to diversify so our family could stay together and continue in the family business. I've worked on federal policy and worked to pass a farm bill that created a safety net that we need in this country. The farm bill is our one policy every five years that gives us a safety net for our crops, for our livestock, disaster programs, gets us provisions for our forestry title so we can fight the pine beetles in the Black Hills.
I had five separate bills wrapped up in the last farm bill that we authorized, and today, I'm advocating for the next farm bill to get done and completed before this one expires at the end of September. It will get done because of the passion that I have for agriculture, and the knowledge that I have from not just going to a groundbreaking or talking about value added. I've done it. I've driven the tractors, I've pulled the calves, I've also invested in value added businesses because I knew what they did to create new markets for agriculture. We have to continue to focus on value added opportunities that we have.
Ethanol is one of them. I've defended and fought for the RFS at the federal level. As your Governor, I will move the state fleet to 30, E30 Ethanol to set an example and challenge governors around this in other states to do the same thing to support the industry. When we build in new markets and we advocate for more trade opportunities overseas, that's how we strengthen our commodity prices, and then also focus on infrastructure to support agriculture because it's our number one industry.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mr. Jackley, we do have time for rebuttal. You have 30 seconds.
Marty Jackley: Congresswoman, I have done it in a ranch and farm too, but importantly, I've done it as our Attorney General. In fact, when I was Chairman of the Nation's Attorney Generals, there wasn't an ag committee with the Attorney Generals, and with my leadership, we formed the first ag committee, and I as Chairman picked the actual chairs, and we were the ones that actually stopped waters of United States that would have devastated agriculture. Those are the things that the State Attorney Generals are doing. Those are the things we needed Congress to do.
Stephanie R.: Mrs. Noem.
Kristi Noem: One of the things we can focus on in adding a new industry that will help support agriculture is focusing on biotech. If we give our ranchers and our commodity growers an opportunity to promote and work on research and have it close to home like our precision ag facility at SDSU will be, that will not only give them the best opportunity to be innovative, but also potentially give them a new opportunity. They get another stream of revenue on their operations, because that's really what they need. It's the first thing our family did when we hit difficult times, diversify and make sure we're promoting economic growth.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. We have time for one last question. It is not enough time for rebuttal, so each of you will have a minute 30 to answer, and we will begin with Mrs. Noem.
Kristi Noem: Okay.
Stephanie R.: It is about drug crimes. South Dakota continues to see an increase with drug crimes in our state both violent and non-violent. As Governor, explain your approach on fighting this increasing problem, while also addressing the issue of the misuse of prescription drugs and addiction.
Kristi Noem: This is a big challenge in the State of South Dakota. In the last 12 to 13 years, we've seen crimes increase. In fact, our violent crimes have doubled. Our rapes have tripled. We've seen our drug use become an epidemic, and most of the crimes that are committed in the state that are violent are tied to drugs and alcohol addiction.
Fact Check: Here Kristi Noem refers to the fact that South Dakota has the second highest rate of rape per capita in the nation: https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/03/opinion/sutter-alaska-rape-list/
Kristi Noem: I've put out a comprehensive plan that focuses on prevention, intervention, and rehab. We have a lack of services in South Dakota. In fact, the biggest provider of mental healthcare in the State of South Dakota right now is our criminal justice system. We just don't do a great job at taking care of people. If we did more on the prevention side to make sure we were intervening before people got addicted to heavy drugs, opioids, meth, we could potentially get them into rehab and back on their feet before that violence was committed.
This is part of what concerns me so much about this campaign. We have higher crime rates than the states surrounding us. Sioux Falls has higher rates of violent crimes than our regional cities surrounding us, so while illegal drugs coming over the southern border are a problem, we also aren't dealing with it as well as other states have, and we also need to make some changes in South Dakota. Now, Marty's been the government lawyer in charge of dealing with crime and drugs since he's been in that role for the last eight years, and things have only gotten worse. In fact, crime has escalated.
The drug use and epidemic has escalated. We need new leadership to implement the changes and be much more aggressive to deal with the drug issue we have in South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: Thank you. Mr. Jackley, you too have 90 seconds.
Marty Jackley: There you go again, Congresswoman, using Washington D.C.'s statistics that are simply not accurate in South Dakota. Those numbers aren't true. In fact, you said that rapes tripled. When I became Attorney General in 2009, there were 163 sexual assaults. Last year, there were 111.
Fact Check: Here Marty Jackley refers to the crime report compiled by the Attorney General’s Criminal Statistical Analysis Center, which relies on reports from SD law enforcement. In 2017, there were 111 sexual assaults. Drug offenses were up 7.2 percent. Crimes that dropped included murder, kidnapping, and child pornography. Here is a link to the full report: https://atg.sd.gov/docs/crime%20in%20South%20Dakota%202017.pdf
Marty Jackley: It doesn't take an electrical engineer to realize that that isn't a tripling. It's actually reductions. What we do though is we need to continue to do everything we can that President Trump wants to do, and that's secure the border. The reason we need to do that, and Congress hasn't, I don't know why, but it's because that's where the meth is coming from. The meth that we see every day in South Dakota isn't manufactured here.
It's coming from that southern border, and that's why we have a three-point plan that I put in place and that I'm working on that I think is making a huge difference in protecting our families, protecting our communities. It starts with prevention. It's Project Stand Up. I encourage the public go check it out if it's an opportunity to get in the schools. It's anonymous texting.
If you have information about a drug crime, give it to us. The other part is doing everything we can for treatment. I've been a strong supporter at drug courts, HOPE courts, making sure we're doing everything in South Dakota to help those that are addicted, and then it comes to reasonable enforcement. When it comes to that enforcement, 62 sheriffs took a look at the candidates, and they said that Marty Jackley is the candidate that they feel most comfortable with working to protect our communities. I've been doing that as your United States Attorney, as well as your Attorney General, and I'll keep doing that with your Governor, building those strong relationships with local law enforcement, the men and women in blue that deserve better than the political statements that have been given here tonight.
Stephanie R.: Thanks to both of you. That is all the time we have for the question and answer part of the debate. It's now time for our candidates to share their closing thoughts with us. Each candidate has one minute for their closing remarks. Names were drawn to determine the order.
Stephanie R.: Going first will be Mr. Jackley. You may begin.
Marty Jackley: Thank you, Stephanie. There are significant differences between the gubernatorial candidates. There's Washington experience versus South Dakota experience and solutions. The Congresswoman likes to talk a lot about Marty Jackley, including in a lot of ads, but what I'm talking about is you, South Dakota. I'm talking about what I can do to create those new and better-paying jobs for you and your families, what I can do to strengthen education for all of our kids, what I can do to bring access to more affordable healthcare here in South Dakota because Washington hasn't done that, and to make sure I can continue to work with our sheriffs, our chiefs in keeping your community safe.
I've been your trusted, conservative Attorney General. I'm asking for your vote to serve as your next Governor. Thank you so much. God bless you and your families and our great state.
Stephanie R.: Mrs. Noem, you have one minute to share your final thoughts with the citizens of our state.
Kristi Noem: Like President Trump, I've spent my life running businesses. I've had to make hard decisions, and then live with the consequences. I also served in the state legislature in leadership and been in Washington D.C., seeing how federal dollars impact our state. My background is very different than my opponents. He has spent his life as a government lawyer, creating more bureaucracy.
In fact, in this campaign, he's pledged to grow the size of government and he's pledged more lawsuits. Leadership isn't filing lawsuits, and the other day, he was standing up, talking about protecting victims while behind the scenes, he was working to silence one to help his political career. That's not leadership. You deserve a Governor who will be honest with you, who'll be truthful, and is willing to be held accountable. I would love to have your vote on June fifth.
It would mean the world to me and my family. We thank you so much for your support and prayers over the years, and may God richly bless you and your family in the great State of South Dakota.
Stephanie R.: That is all the time we have. Thank you to the candidates for joining us. Attorney General Marty Jackley, thank you, Congresswoman Kristi Noem. If you missed part of tonight's debate, you can listen to the audio version tomorrow afternoon on SDPB Radios in the moment. That's at 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain. Tonight's television debate will also be archived in its entirety on our website at SDPB.org.
There, you can take a look at our 2018 Election webpage, where you can find all of the network's election coverage. On behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and South Dakota Public Broadcasting, I'm Stephanie Rissler. We thank you for tuning in. Good night.