Howie Cries Corruption, Has One Logical Recourse: Vote for Democrats

Daugaard conflict of interest graphic from Lakota People's Law Project, May 2015Gordon Howie has some fun bashing Governor Dennis Daugaard by reposting a Lakota People’s Law Project report from May 2015 on corruption in South Dakota. LPLP recapitulated charges from the controversial and questioned October 2011 investigative report by NPR’s Laura Sullivan that contended Daugaard and other state officials have systematically violated the Indian Child Welfare Act and turned the foster care system into a personal profit center.

I’m all for help from the right in pointing out corruption in state government. But when is Gordon Howie going to rally his readers to do something about that corruption? Howie has mounted two statewide campaigns that amounted to hill-o’-beans voter response. A handful of like-minded right-wing radicals have won Legislative seats, but they never seem to wage a concerted effort to investigate corruption and challenge the self-serving agenda they impute to the Governor.

May I suggest, Gordon, that in this time of trouble, your best route to fighting corruption is to help elect the opposition party that would gladly help you fight that corruption?

Gordon, you mention Senator Alan Solano (R-32/Rapid City) as one of the players in Daugaard’s corruption. LPLP mentions Solano’s apparent conflict of interest with state contracts for his non-profit organization (a conflict picked up by the mainstream press) and calls Solano one of “many unsavory businessmen who will continue to take advantage of Lakota children.” If Solano is part of this corruption, why not help elect his challenger in this year’s Senate race, Democrat David Hubbard?

Gordon, you express concern about $50 million in no-bid contracts. Why not tell your conservative readers to set aside their family-values absolutism—the very guns/God/abortion propaganda that South Dakota’s mainstream GOP uses to distract us while they pick our pockets—and vote for a whole slate of Democrats who could take over the Legislature and the budgeting process and order audits of all the departments you and LPLP say are handing out no-bid contracts to their pals? Why not back Democrats who would eagerly sponsor legislation to tighten scrutiny of state contracts?

Gordon, why not really kick the GOP establishment in the pants by helping elect Democrats to Congress? If the mainstream GOP is as corrupt as you say it is, one of the surest guarantees that they will continue their grip on power is the enormous campaign war chests of John Thune and Kristi Noem. If Democrats Paula Hawks and Jay Williams knock Noem and Thune out of Congress, Noem and Thune lose a big chunk of their ability to prop up corrupt Republicans in Pierre in the 2018 election. Plus, victories for Hawks and Williams this year would energize Democrats to run for more officesand wage harder campaigns in 2018, which would scare the remaining Republicans in Pierre into cleaning up their act.

Gordon, your logical course of action is clear: if the party in Pierre is corrupt, you should vote for the other party. And since the Libertarians and Constitution Partiers don’t have anyone on the ballot, your only viable option is to vote for Democrats this fall.


9 Responses to Howie Cries Corruption, Has One Logical Recourse: Vote for Democrats

  1. barry freed

    Name a Democrat who has blown the whistle.

  2. Cory Heidelberger

  3. Steve Sibson

    “May I suggest, Gordon, that in this time of trouble, your best route to fighting corruption is to help elect the opposition party that would gladly help you fight that corruption?”

    It would be illogical to support the Democrats in fighting corruption because the Democrats are part of the corruption too. The teacher pay legislation during the last session is an example. And let me remind you all again…in 2008 the National Education Association gave the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce over a million dollars to protect the system of legalized corruption in Pierre. Didn’t hear one Democrat whine about that.

  4. Jenny beat me to it, Barry. Why is this blog here, if not to blow the whistle?

  5. Sibby, I don’t see anyone else offering a viable solution. Give me a chance. Give a Democratic majority a chance to root out corruption from a position of strength instead of the position of weakness that forces SDEA and other groups to cut deals with the GOP establishment to make even minor progress.

  6. Lanny V Stricherz

    Already in the legislature, Barry, that would have been Kathy Tyler, but she didn’t get much help from the other Dems.

    Gordie Howe, doesn’t start his conflict indictment early enough. DD was a legislator before 2003, when he got the funding switched to Childrens’ Home Society of South Dakota at a time when CHSSD was nearly bankrupt. When I sent a LTE to the Argus Leader on that issue a couple of years ago, they were unwilling to publish it, saying that there was no proof. Fortunately I had saved the links to the stories that did document it, some from their own paper, so they did publish it.

    Not sure about any other districts, Cory, but we have an Independent, Mike Myers running in District 15. So there are other choices. The thing that will help to elect more Dems is for the Dems who are in office to start acting like Dems and not like Republican lite, and that is both locally and nationally.

  7. People are vaguely distressed about corruption happening in South Dakota, but we’ve hardly scratched the surface. That MidCentral situation was more normal than people would like to admit. Everyone keep thinking critically. Ask questions. Shame those who did wrong by abusing the public’s trust. In particular I would suggest that we should try to focus the shame on individuals and not parties.

    I believe that corruption coincides with uninterrupted power. It makes sense to me that Republicans should have a proportionately larger share of blame for poor government if they have had the monopoly on state government, but the same thing could very easily have happened in a state managed by Democrats. In fact sometimes it does (e.g. Illinois). It is tempting for folks from one party to vilify everyone in the opposition party, but it’s just not fair. Meanwhile I worry that efforts to stoke the fire of indignation could falter when some folks get alienated by inaccurate stereotypes.

  8. mike from iowa

    By that same token, Timoteo, you have wingnuts from the party of corruption blaming Dems for the corruption because they have no standing or visibility in your state.

    I am not seeing where Dems have control of any state office or program and I doubt they have shared the spoils of corruption.

  9. Steve Sibson

    Mike, then you have not seen the comment I made at the top of this thread. I now I will add the point that Obama sent hundreds of millions into this state since 2008 to fund the corruption…EB5, Gear Up, etc etc.

    The only way we can change things if good people from both parties stop pointing fingers at the other party. Both parties are responsible.