Nelson Following Lead of Kloucek, Volesky, Kooistra, Bolin, and Heidepriem on Government Reforms

We’ve been having a pleasant conversation with Republican District 19 Senate candidate Stace Nelson from Fulton about putting Cabinet secretaries up for election and consolidating some state offices. But Nelson isn’t the first legislator to propose such reforms.

Back in 1999, Democratic Rep. Ron Volesky offered House Bill 1202, which would have given South Dakotans the chance to elect their Secretary of Agriculture. That bill died in committee. In 2007, Democratic State Senator Frank Kloucek from Scotland proposed the similar Senate Bill 194. The Department of Agriculture and Big Ag (oops, sorry, redundant) hated that idea, and Kloucek’s proposal failed in committee.

In 2000, Republican Rep. Clarence Kooistra offered HB 1248, to subject the Secretary of Education to election. In 2014, a coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans, including Nelson, supported Rep. Jim Bolin’s HB 1098 for the same purpose. Both bills died in committee.

In 2001, Representative Kloucek suggested HB 1220, to elect our Game Fish & Parks Secretary and commissioners. Nobody voted for that idea in committee.

In 2010, Democrats proposed two constitutional amendments to consolidate state government. Senator Kloucek offered Senate Joint Resolution 4 to combine the state treasurer and state auditor into one office, a state comptroller, like Illinois has. Senator Scott Heidepriem offered SJR 6 to combine the treasurer with the commissioner of school and public lands. Both resolutions died in committee… but Senator Gary Hanson (Gary D. Hanson* from Sisseton, not Gary W. Hanson from Sioux Falls, who was in the Legislature back in the 1980s but was on the PUC when these measures came up) voted for both.

Readers, can you recall any other bills to either subject Cabinet secretaries to election or combine state executive positions? If so, submit your examples below! Maybe we can give candidate Nelson some more good ideas.

*Update 09:24 CDT: I originally confused my Gary Hansons. Bob Mercer straightened me out. Thanks, Bob!

25 Responses to Nelson Following Lead of Kloucek, Volesky, Kooistra, Bolin, and Heidepriem on Government Reforms

  1. Roger Elgersma

    When you see problems for a long time you see the same type of solutions attempted for a long time. Although I am big on planning and proper administrative structure, nothing is better than honest people. Maybe the political powers that be would not do this but a Kloucek and Nelson for gov and lt gov would be the best. It would be both honest and bipartisan.

  2. Roger Elgersma

    The dishonest ones in charge gerrymandered those two into a race against eachother to get rid of at least one of them.

  3. Steve Sibson

    “Maybe we can give candidate Nelson some more good ideas.”

    Shrinking the size of government is a conservative idea, not a far-left Neo-Marxist one. Sad we have to use party affiliation to confuse the masses. Kloucek is a traditional populist Democrat who understands traditional conservative ideas. Cory you are a Neo-Marxist socialist that uses propaganda to paint true conservatives in the bad light of liberal corporate capitalism. (see the work of Martin Sklar) That change, to replace a competitive driven economic free market, was created by so-called “progressives” that included both political parties at the turn of the 20th Century. Progressive means using Big Government to foster Big Business. The only argument between party establishments is how exactly we do that and who gets the bigger share of the collectivists’ financial gains.

    There is far more important reforms needed than simply combing a couple of low level executive branch offices. Unfortunately, reducing the sized and scope of government and the power currently in the hands of the executive branch is not supported by establishment Democrats.

  4. Darin Larson

    Sibby, the Republicans have been in charge of South Dakota for so long that you seem to forget that fact. You are tilting at windmills if you are blaming Democrats for the mess in Pierre. We’ve tried it your way for more than a generation and as Dr. Phil would say “how’s that working for ya?”

  5. mike from iowa

    ut there is one area of job creation where President Bush clearly outshines President Obama: the public sector. Public sector employment is now down 608,000 workers since January 2009, a 2.7 percent decline. At the same point in President Bush’s term, public sector employment was up 3.7 percent. If, over the past 40 months, public sector employment had grown at the same pace as it did in President Bush’s first term, there would be 1.4 million additional people at work right now. That’d be enough to bring the unemployment rate down by nearly a full percentage point.

  6. Jeff Barth

    I attended a legislative committee when the Sec. of Agriculture bill came up. One woman rancher said she had no problem with the Governor appointing “a good man” to the position. No following testimony suggested that a woman might someday occupy that position. Oh well its South Dakota.

  7. Darin Larson

    Cory, forgive me if this is off topic, but you should review the Facebook page and twitter feed for Stace Nelson. The extremism you can find there is appalling to say the least.

    You raised the question in another thread if he could work with Democrats. Well, he was all in favor of shutting the federal government down to block any compromise at the federal level when he was running for US Senate. Moderate is a dirty word in Stace’s philosophy.

    His self ascribed pugilistic outlook is not something we should look for in a legislator.

    Stace is akin to having a pet lion around. He might provide a lot of entertainment and he might maim some of your political opponents, but eventually he is going to get around to eating you.

  8. Darin, I feel like Luke Skywalker staring down Darth Vader. There is still good in him.

  9. Darin Larson

    And I’m thinking you are Han Solo in The Force Awakens trying to talk his son into coming back to the good side.

  10. Mr. Nelson is insaner than most. Mr. H is still too naive to understand but if they both get into the legislatures and I can see it I will be so very entertained. And Mr. Rhoden will have to bonk both their heads together like coconuts the way good teachers did it back in the day.

  11. Han Solo is my favorite character. He and I seem to share similar religious views. I’ll stay off long catwalks with Stace.

  12. thks 4 the spoiler. btw, hugh glass’ fictitious son dies as does young jim bridger. so much 4 history

    is star wars as bad as revenant?

  13. Darin Larson

    If you haven’t seen it after more than three months I thought it was fair game. And I needed to make the point with Cory on terms he could understand.

    The Force Awakens is not as bad as The Revenant.

  14. @Darin Extremist? I am a constitutional conservative whose beliefs are rooted in the best practices of the USA which brought about the great successes of the USA. Limiting government and protecting the individual rights of the American citizens. You misrepresent my positions on the government shutdown and the idiocy that lead up to it. You also ignore 4 years of reality in which I supported my Democratic colleagues when I was able to. Of note, you should realize that the Democrats were responsible for GOP “leadership” being unable to kangaroo court me out of the legislature when they created lies about me that I “threatened to kill Rep Nick Moser” in 2012.

    Sorry folks! You cant be for building more and more government (The Empire) which takes away peoples rights and claim you are one of us rebels fighting the empire you support in real life. Good to see though that you at least subconsciously realize the error of your ways.

    I cannot believe that you don’t clearly see that Sibby is a real life Obiwan fighting the empire you folks support.

  15. Stace Nelson

    P.S. Taking in account that Cory was previously part of the light side (Republican) and has gone to the dark side, and my age.. Clearly I am Chewbacca and he is Ren..

  16. Darin Larson

    Stace- you can’t be a constitutional conservative if you don’t believe that your gun rights come from the 2nd Amendment; you think they come from God. If you can’t recognize any restrictions at all with regard to guns, you are to the right of Scalia and clearly outside of the Constitution.

    I read that you were in favor of the government shutdown when you were running for US Senate. If that is not the case, then I stand corrected.

    Shutting the government down and refusing to give a hearing to a Supreme Court justice nominated by the President are not in line with most people’s view of the Constitution and how government should function.

    I prefer to think of Cory as a young Luke Skywalker who was a Republican before he discovered the Force which allowed him to become a Democrat with extraordinary powers.

    Sibby is Jabba the Hut.

  17. Darin Larson

    Stace- they are petitioning to allow guns at the Republican National Convention. Probably better get signed up:

    The Secret Service is against this idea, but I’m starting to see the wisdom of 20,000 people in a confined space with booze and weapons at the ready. Sounds like a plan!

  18. Darin Larson

    BTW, the Big Short is a pretty good movie and very relevant.

  19. The Big Short doesn’t have blasters in it. It can’t be that good.

    Stace, I am much more stable and independent that crybaby Darth fanboy Ren.

    Clearly we need to consolidate a few Cabinet offices so we can make room for a Secretary of Movie Metaphor. We could get a lot more people paying attention to and talking about South Dakota politics if we had Senators and a Governor who would break every bill down in terms of Star Wars.

  20. Stace Nelson

    @Darin- I believe what the USA’s founding fathers believed that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–”

    I made it clear at the time that I did NOT support the disfunction in DC and the unconscionable failure to do their duty of all those responsible for not getting a budget passed that CUT spending. Republicans were idiots fro allowing it to get to the critical stage and Democrats were equally responsible for manipulating the circumstances.

    Ironic that big government loving liberals can see the evil of big government in the movies, and fancy themselves the Heroes of opposing big government; however, continue to push for the same freedom devouring big government.

    The “Empire” is the all powerful government that so many of you support in real life..

  21. Roger Cornelius

    It never ceases to amaze me how South
    Dakota republicans whine and cry about the size of the government they created.
    It further amazes that they would want to join the size of that government

  22. Darin Larson

    Recall in Star Wars there was a Republic and it was democratic and honorable. Then it was overthrown by the scheming Senator Palpatine who was in fact Darth Sidious, who managed to get himself appointed as Emperor by the Republic. I see Trump as Senator Palpatine with less ability to hide his dark side influence.

    Hillary Clinton is Yoda and Bernie Sanders is Obi Wan Kenobi. I’m hoping it goes better for the Republic this time around.

    We are still at the Republic stage of Star Wars, not the Empire stage. If Trump wins, it would mark the beginning of the Empire and the demise of the Republic.

  23. Mr Nelson always playing the “taking away rights” card…..has no problem taking away the rights of women and their families and putting the government smack dab in the middle of the doctors office. Has no problem with intruding and taking away the freedom of a woman and her decisions about her reproductive health. Has no problem playing doctor, without having any medical knowledge.

    Mr Nelson wants it both ways.

  24. Darin Larson

    Stace- what I think you fail to understand is that there is a huge role for government in combating the Empire. The Republic was a large government apparatus that served the galaxy well for thousands of years before the Empire. The Republic was big government that avoided the formation of the Empire.

    Speaking less metaphorically, we need a large government in many ways to protect people’s rights. For example, we need the SEC to enforce the anti-trust laws so that there is competition in the marketplace and no business is too big to fail. We need banking laws like Glass-Steagall (which was repealed) to put some brakes on Wall Street speculation and separate commercial lending from speculative investment banking. We need regulation of the Credit Default Swaps and other derivatives which are akin to legalized gambling and should not be allowed to threaten our economy again. We need the EPA to regulate pollution so that companies don’t create messes like super fund sites that the taxpayer is on the hook for. These are examples of the role that government must play to protect citizens and our country. We are way past the time when we could do without the government’s role in these and many other areas.

    If government is not properly regulating “Big Business” and looking out for its citizens, we risk Karl Marx being right about capitalism. Without regulation, capitalism can feed on itself until only the one percent or less own everything in this country and the middle class is exploited and destroyed. Fortunately, we have generally avoided the worst aspects of capitalism by proper regulation.

    There has been and will continue to be a role for government in assisting the poor and downtrodden as well. Welfare, while not a way of life, is a necessity for some less fortunate in society. Those who are well off under the freedoms and opportunity provided in America should contribute to the public welfare. “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.” Luke 12:48

    How can you have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without healthcare for all Americans? Without healthcare you do not have life, liberty or happiness. Instead of passing endless bills of no affect to repeal Obamacare, why not help improve it? Oh, that wouldn’t be politically expedient for the Republicans. But recognize the government has a role here as well.

    Does government need to work more efficiently and do a better job for its citizens? Absolutely! Is there a large role for government in making sure people get a fair shake and that the rich do not exploit the poor and middle class? Absolutely!

    The government is the great equalizer in the balance of power between the people and big business interests and the moneyed power brokers. If you reduce government’s role too greatly, the people are liable to be exploited. In Star Wars, the Republic protected the people and we need that same protection in the real world.