Rounds traveling to Israel for six-day briefing

Mike Rounds will be going to Israel at the end of the month for an intense six-day briefing; a key part to his campaign is to have a clear understanding of the possible solutions in the Middle East.

He will have an in-depth confidential discussion with three Israeli generals concerning the military situation. In addition, he will be meeting with business leaders, press individuals, and members of both parties of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament).

Mike is looking forward to three focus groups of Israelis from different parts of the society to understand their concerns and more fully understand the significance of the relationship with the United States.

LaCroix leadership in our city government

Art LaCroix was Rapid City’s best mayor, ever. Always creative, always doing what some called “impossible.” Thanks to him we have a Civic Center, city wide bike path, a modern airport.

He received a battlefield commission during the Battle of the Bulge. His achievements were a source of pride for all of us.

During a hearing of an advisory committee to the Civil Rights Commission he told a story that none of us had heard.

“I walked up the steps into the lobby of the Alex Johnson hotel. I was still in uniform, and was feeling proud. I was told, ‘We do not serve Indians here. Please leave.’ Now I am welcome everywhere in Rapid City.”

As a former US Army I captain I cannot believe that happened in our town, to a man in the uniform of an Officer of the United States!!??

Art’s nephew Lloyd LaCroix is running for City Council and faces some of the same prejudice. Lloyd has an opponent who defends the racist statements made by Councilman Bill Clayton.

I’m urging all my friends to show that Rapid City rejects such sorry politics and elect the best candidate for the job, Lloyd LaCroix.

Cuts to Head Start could have been avoided

Tuesday’s Rapid City Journal had an article about the need to remove 200 children from Head Start because of budget sequestration. This is the most important issue in terms of having children succeed in school and this problem never should have arisen.

I learned about the cut in Head Start, as the member of the Appropriations Committee, during this session. I discussed spending available state dollars to cover the funds required in order not to have children forced out of the program. I was told that the administration would oppose any such bill because Washington had not determined or released a specific dollar amount to the state. The bill’s only chance of escaping the administration’s opposition was if it carefully documented specific dollar amounts and if formal notification had been received from the Federal Government. I sought and received this information and determined the exact dollar amount that would be cut from each one of the Head Start districts, totaling $1.36M.

I submitted this specific data in good time and prepared an amendment (HB1185MX) to the general bill appropriation bill, HB1185.

The governor’s office still opposed the amendment, preferring instead to take back $4M that had been removed from his appropriation to the Future Fund for the development of the state. What could have been more important to South Dakota than to have children succeed in school?

And this administration calls its self an “education administration”…