Anti-Trans Potty Bill Advocate Deutsch Quits District 4 House Race

We won’t have Fred Deutsch to kick around next year. The Florence chiropractor has changed his mind about seeking reëlection to his District 4 House seat:

Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-4/Florence
Rep. Fred Deutsch, R-4/Florence

Rep. Fred Deutsch said Monday that he won’t run in the District 4 election in November at the request of his wife.

“My wife asked me to hang close to home so we can focus on my chiropractic practice,” Deutsch said Monday.

The Florence Republican said he and his wife had been working to fill the void after a long-time business manager at their chiropractic clinic in Watertown left his role there earlier this year [Dana Ferguson, “Lawmaker Who Pushed Bathroom Bill Won’t Seek Re-Election,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.04.18].

Dang—it looks like the Republicans will have to find someone else to push their kamikaze culture war against transgender students. And it looks like I’ll have to find a different Legislator with whom to bike out to the Oahe Dam during Session next year.

Rep. Deutsch’s departure leaves District 4 with only one Republican candidate, Jason W. Kettwig of Milbank, against two Democrats, Peggy Schuelke of Revillo and Matt Rosdahl of Clear Lake. The Republicans have the opportunity to appoint a replacement candidate to bring their District 4 House slate back to full strength. The party committees of Brookings, Codington, Deuel, and Grant counties have until August 9 to name someone to take Deutsch’s place. Of course, Rep. Deutsch wouldn’t want that. Last year, he voted for 2015’s Senate Bill 69, the Incumbent Protection Plan, which included Senator Corey Brown’s mean-spirited provision to forbid replacing withdrawn candidates unless the withdrawn candidate moves away, gets another political office, dies, or provides a doctor’s note saying he or she is too sick to serve (see my guide to SB 69). The Brown Amendment to SB 69 didn’t think “my wife asked me” was good enough reason to withdraw and replace a candidate, so surely Deutsch, a man of conscience and principle, will ask his local party officials not to name a replacement.

Luckily for District 4 GOP officials, Senate Bill 69 did not take effect. My Democratic friends and I stopped SB 69 from taking effect by successfully placing the Incumbent Protection Plan on this year’s ballot as Referred Law 19. District 4 Republicans thus retain the ability to fill placeholder Fred Deutsch’s spot with an active candidate, and Fred Deutsch can quit without the guilt of leaving his party with an empty slot.

You’re welcome, Fred.

28 Responses to Anti-Trans Potty Bill Advocate Deutsch Quits District 4 House Race

  1. Darin Larson

    Even though we are “losing” Deutsch (sounds like a win-win to me), Lance Russell says we have to protect our kids and our schools so we need the potty bill. Russell also doesn’t think that the boycotts and lost tourism and lost economic activity that have occurred in North Carolina would happen here if SD passed 1008. He apparently thinks that supporters of the discriminatory law would flock to SD to offset any lost revenue from those opposed to the law.

    I can’t wait to watch Russell and Stace Nelson take turns waxing poetically on the Senate floor. Add Cory to the mix and SDPB will have their own version of Must See TV!

  2. W R Old Guy

    I am waiting to see what happens in North Carolina if a transgender female who has completed the change to a male walks into a ladies restroom with a copy of her birth certificate with her. Can this person be prosecuted for complying with the law? There are a lot of public places that do not have a unisex restroom so that option is not always available.

    I transported hospital patients for several years from the hospital to home or other facilities around the state and into neighboring states. The hospital escorts would often be of the opposite sex from the patient. A female escort would wind up taking a male patient into the restroom that the patient felt most comfortable with and vice versa. Would that be illegal also?

  3. Steve Hickey

    “with whom to bike out to the Oahe Dam during Session next year”

    Cory, Unless you stay over the weekend, and hardly anyone can, you won’t have time to bike anywhere during the Session next year. Also, unless they’ve moved Pierre 500 miles south since I was there last you won’t find the weather bike friendly. :-)

    Fred is a great human being, servant, cares about all varieties of people and a good legislator. It can be a miserable job and hardly worth the personal cost, especially when the second floor throws you under the bus. My wife told me many times there was no payoff for me, her or our family. So, Fred, thanks for serving. It’s our loss. Pierre is losing an education-friendly legislator and an independent thinker, reasonable and gracious. Fred is hardly the obstinate Right of the party. So he felt strong about a bill that resonates with many many people. Oppose the bill, that’s fine. Make an enemy though and you’ll be one less supporter on the next bill you do agree on. Politics needs to change.

  4. I can see how serving in the legislature might be bad for business, no matter what business one is in. I’m sure it cost Rep. Deutsch money going to Pierre for 2 months away from his business, and it may have cost Rep. Hickey his job. Still I suspect that neither of them, if they could go back in time knowing what they know now, would decide not to run for office.

    By the way Cory, under Senate Bill 69 all the GOP party would need to replace Rep. Deutsch on the ballot is a note from Dr. Deutsch.

  5. mike from iowa

    Make an enemy though and you’ll be one less supporter on the next bill you do agree on. Politics needs to change.

    Preach to the obstructionist choir,Reverend. Our way or no way doesn’t make friends like sipping Kool-Aid together does. Wingnuts scorch the earth and burn the bridges well in advance of any political moves. They are yours. You helped create them. You own them.

  6. Calling those with whom one disagrees “wingnuts” serves the body politic how?

  7. Steve Hickey

    Maybe I’m out of place but I think it’s true Fred grew up in a Jewish home and had immediately family in the concentration camps. I’m really sure he’s not interested to dehumanize or discriminate. I went a different way than him on this bill but I’d bet the farm he’s not motivated by all he’s accused of being motivated by.

  8. Wow! What did Mr. Deutsch ever do to you? You could have said ‘Thank you for serving District 4.’ Instead we get an attack on his votes.

    Every candidate is very much aware of the spouse limit.

    The very fact he took time away from his practice to serve in the legislature (and take a pay cut) for District 4, says a lot about him. The opening statement say much more about you.

  9. mike from iowa

    Would you prefer I nuked them?

  10. MC, why does withdrawing from the election exempt a man from a critique of his votes and his bad policies? That’s like saying that when Nixon resigned, we should have just said, “Thank you for your service” and not written any of those books about Watergate.

  11. Steve Sibson

    Cory, your comments show happiness, in a mean-spirited way, that Fred got bullied out of the legislative toilet. Like Jesus said…hypocrites!

  12. You may critique his votes, his position on the issues of the day even call him names until the cows come home. That is your choice.

    Whatever else he may or may not have done, he did serve his district in the legislature.

    Nixion was forced out of office because he did some really bad things. Mr. Deutsch is simply stepping down at the request of his wife. He is not facing any legal action, he didn’t erase any tapes, there is nothing you, me or any other person did to force him to resign.

  13. Paul Seamans

    There are many good people who serve in the legislature out of a desire to make South Dakota a better place. There are also many legislators that are there to further an agenda or they are there as part of an ego trip. Not all legislators deserve our praise or adulation just because they take on the job. Receiving criticism is part of that job.

  14. Roger Cornelius

    When Deutsch presented his potty bill he brought national attention to South Dakota for a few minutes. Most of that attention was negative and outsiders looked at South Dakota with scorn for their continued attempts to deny civil rights to specific groups of people.
    So Deutsch is leaving the legislature, as Darin pointed out, Lance Russell will be picking up the lance to fight the good battle.
    While Rev. Hickey contends that South Dakota politics must change, it won’t, it can’t. When one bad legislator is replaced by another, how can anything possibly change?

  15. Fred pushed a bill that seemingly came out of nowhere, and only served to cause turmoil and discriminate against a portion of the state’s population who have to constantly face battles that most of us can’t even imagine. Read the headlines coming from North Carolina right now. The only thing stopping that from happening here is our governor had enough sense to veto the bill pushed by Fred and his cohorts.
    I am thankful when I think of Fred … thankful that he’s not running again.

  16. Ding Dong the RINO is. It’s shocking to me that someone would characterize this state legislator as ‘a great human being’ who ‘cares about all varieties of people’ when his actions as a state legislator are quite the opposite. This ‘great human being’ introduced legislation to marginalize and denigrate a minority community in South Dakota. This ‘great human being’ does NOT believe that women are equal to men. A ‘great human being’ is judged as such for their beneficence and good work, their empathy and compassion for those less fortunate, and their ability to bridge divides rather than widen them. Rep. Fred Deutsch did none of those things. The state legislature will be losing a mouse, not a leader. That’s the best news I heard all day today.

  17. Porter Lansing

    You lose Deutsch. Watertown won’t be hi-jacked for your personal agenda.
    This Just In … Today, A federal appeals court ruled that Title IX, the federal law that bars gender discrimination in schools, protected the right of a transgender student in Virginia to use the restroom of his choice. The ruling comes amid a nationwide debate on that issue. The student said the decision “gives me hope that my fight will help other kids avoid discriminatory treatment at school.”

  18. LOL….it seems the SD legislature’s decision to address this issue cautiously and thoughtfully last legislative session was wise on their part. Other States who recklessly and foolishly pushed this type of legislation are now paying the financial and on stage buffoonery price…and soon the courts will weigh in accordingly….boy aren’t we lucky.

  19. Fred deutsch, keep your bigoted opinions to yourself. You have no business being involved [in any] sort of government you ignorant pig.

  20. jimmy james

    The Republican Party is now down to about twenty-five percent of registered voters. Under twenty percent of all adults. A more radical candidate needs a maximum of ten percent of adults to win a Party nomination and often significantly less. Deutsch is just one example. The Orange Supremacist is another yuuuge one.

    And its not just the Republicans. Ten years ago, I don’t believe that a socialist would have gotten close to winning the nomination. Now, he can take in 80% of the votes in some states. Both parties are often controlled by their hard left/right.

    A third party may be inevitable. I’d argue that it could happen this year. And they don’t have to necessarily win a majority of electors. They can throw it to the House of Representatives by winning as few as one or two states. Win Florida and Ohio and then what? I would like to see a poll with Rubio/Kasich or Kasich/Rubio as a third option. How about Bloomberg or Webb? There have to be more than a few candidates that would shake things up. Sure, I know many of you don’t want to hear this, but it just might happen. The terrible approval ratings of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are open invitations to a third party run.

    About 40% of voters are in the ideological middle and that number is growing. This primary season may change the future of American politics by causing the creation of that third party.

  21. Steve, I am as happy as you are when politicians with whom you disagree on important issues leave power. There is no evidence Deutsch was bullied, and I celebrate no bullying.

    However, if political pressure did play a role in Deutsch’s decision, that’s not bullying. Bullying, like racism, has to do with power dynamics, with the powerful picking on the weak. Deutsch is a sitting legislator of the majority party in South Dakota. He is not among the weak. It is thus tenuous to contend that he can be a “victim” of “bullying.” You’re just playing word games to divert our attention from the fact that Deutsch and others in the Legislature wanted to use their power to pick on a vulnerable minority of children. That, my friend, is bullying.

  22. More on the Virginia story Porter links:

    “At the heart of this appeal is whether Title IX requires schools to provide transgender students access to restrooms congruent with their gender identity,” the court’s opinion said. “We conclude that the Department’s interpretation of its own regulation . . . as it relates to restroom access by transgender individuals, is . . . to be accorded controlling weight in this case” [Moriah Balingit, “Federal Appeals Court Sides with Transgender Teen, Says Bathroom Case Can Go Forward,” Washington Post, 2016.04.19].

    The case isn’t done; it goes back to lower court for consideration. But the appeals court affirms what we were telling Deutsch and the Legislature all along, that HB 1008 would have violated Title IX and put us at risk of losing $200 million in federal education funding. Note also that the case is brought by an individual who was born female but identifies male and simply wants to use the men’s room. Hmmm… where’s the predator seeking to ogle our little girls here?

  23. Porter Lansing

    Bill Sponsored – 20 week abortion ban
    Prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain and to provide a penalty therefore.
    Prohibit the abortion of an unborn child who is capable of experiencing pain and to provide a penalty therefore.
    3/11/2016: Signed by Governor on March 10, 2016 S.J. 610
    HOWEVER: Experts agree that a 20 week ban is improper.
    The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has agreed with Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Journal of American Medicine Association study’s findings, writing in 2012 that “supporters of fetal pain legislation only present studies which support the claim of fetal pain prior to the third trimester. When weighed together with other available information, including the JAMA and RCOG studies, supporters’ conclusion DOES NOT STAND.”
    – “It is now clearly recognized that infants and preterm babies process pain through different structures than adults, so ‘adult based’ arguments are not relevant.” Still, he said, “we are no closer to defining a gestational age below which” pain might not be felt. – Kanwaljeet Anand ~ Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology and Neurobiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

  24. bearcreekbat

    Wow, it really is a good thing that the legislature did not over-ride the governor’s veto of the anti-transgender bill. North Carolina porn lovers have now been boycotted by a major porn web site due to their anti-trans bill. What would our sex and genital obsessed legislators have to look at if South Dakota had the same boycott?

  25. Porter Lansing

    good one, BCB

  26. Mr. Russell, should you prevail in the finest of all districts, #30, and should you bring a potty bill there will be much gnashing of teeth.

  27. mike from iowa

    The li’l X-Hamster hamster follows your mouse around the screen with its eyes, not that I have ever personally seen it do that more than once or twice…………

  28. A porn boycott?! Bear, we’ll never hear about it, but that could hit some of those legislators where it hurts. Where would they be able to do their… research?