Youth Minimum Wage Helps District 3 Senate Campaign

This is no lie—Senator David Novstrup has helped me recruit good campaign help and turn at least one Republican into a Democrat. Writing up Referred Law 20, Novstrup’s plan to cut the minimum wage for workers under 18, AP’s James Nord speaks with young former Republican activist Briggs Tople from Aberdeen. Former:

Tople worked at a children’s theater program over the summer for minimum wage and said he wants to do the same next year.

“I go out of my way to volunteer, so when I actually have the chance to get paid, it’s very nice for me,” Tople said. “We just work our butts off to be in the positions we are, and when we get a job, we take that job seriously.”

Tople contacted lawmakers and spoke against the bill without luck. Now, he’s campaigning for Democratic state Senate candidate Cory Heidelberger, who helped lead the push to send the youth minimum wage to the ballot [James Nord, “Youth Wages Law up to Voters; OK’d Minimum-Wage Hike in ’14,” AP via Washington Times, 2016.09.05].

Tople isn’t speaking up against Novstrup’s youth minimum wage because he’s working for my District 3 Senate campaign. He’s working for my Senate campaign because he believes Novstrup’s youth minimum wage is wrong. Thanks, David!

Nord finds seemingly likely proponents of the youth minimum wage as eager to talk as Tople. Nord reports that the South Dakota Retailers Association, which took the lead in fighting the minimum wage increase in 2014 and which testified in favor of Novstrup’s youth minimum wage bill scant months later in 2015, “isn’t going to take an active role on the youth minimum wage.” Past Retailers president and Madison DQ mogul DeLon Mork, who forecast doom from paying 16-year-old broom bumblers $8.50 an hour, tells Nord he doesn’t know how he’ll vote in RL 20 and probably won’t use the youth minimum wage if it does pass.

Nord heads up Highway 81 to get Jason Parker, owner of Arlington’s 1481 Grille, to say he’ll chisel the kids working for him if voters give him the chance:

Parker plans to vote for the youth minimum wage and take advantage of the option if it becomes available, because it means he could hire more high school students, who can be expensive and time-consuming to train and who may not last long.

“That dollar does mean a lot because then it would allow us to be able to hire more high school students so they get that opportunity to make money, to get an education, to gain experience in the workforce,” he said [Nord, 2016.09.05].

Dang—I do like 1481’s burgers. But I have to wonder: why doesn’t Parker just use the federal training wage?