Republican blogger John Tsitrian makes two remarkable statements in his July 4 post on corruption and voting in South Dakota.
In the undercard, Tsitrian says South Dakota Democrats who raised alarms about the EB-5 scandal in 2014 have been “vindicated by the continuing unraveling and disclosures of the fiasco’s details.” Our cries about EB-5 were not just politicking: they were legitimate complaints about the corruption eruption Mike Rounds made possible.
The logical response to that corruption is to vote out the people who’ve let that corruption happen. Tsitrian springs from that point to contend that a major step we must take to challenge corruption is to get beyond the party labels that insulated Republicans from accountability in 2014 and pass Amendment V to create a new, non-partisan election system:
Ergo, my belief that a non-partisan setup–like Nebraska’s, which has had non-partisan government since the 1930s–would be a welcome change from the stultifying domination of Republicans in this state. What Amendment V would create is an opportunity to vote for the person, not the party, in our primary and general elections, which means that elected officials would be free to act independently, without fear of party retaliation–and with the ability to approach agenda items on an issue-by-issue basis. Given the way that “rage against the establishment” has made such a powerful showing in this cycle’s presidential campaigns, many South Dakotans are probably as fed up with political business-as-usual as millions of others across the country. Voting in favor of Amendment V would be an effective way of registering our contempt for the status quo and send the message that it’s time to shake things up [John Tsitrian, “Time for South Dakota Government to Go Non-Partisan,” The Constant Commoner, 2016.07.04].
Amendment V’s open non-partisan primary system, like Amendment T’s independent redistricting commission, won’t by itself remove anyone from office. But Amendment V, like Amendment T, resets the dynamics for South Dakota’s elections and gives more people—candidates and voters—a chance to challenge corruption at the ballot box.