Evans Seeks Constitution Party Nomination for Governor

The Constitution Party of South Dakota yesterday announced that Kurt Evans will seek our tiniest official party’s nomination for Governor in 2018. The CP notes that while Evans is mostly known as a Libertarian candidate, he was a delegate to the party’s second national convention in 1996, when the CP was still known as the U.S. Taxpayers Party and when they nominated party founder Howard Phillips for his second bid for the White House. Evans returned to the CP last year when he stood for their late Senate nomination.

I asked Evans what he’ll bring to the race that the other five declared candidates (four Republicans, one Democrat) cannot. Evans replied, “I understand the unintended consequences of restricting individual liberty in ways the other candidates don’t…. I’ll be able to convey that understanding to my fellow South Dakotans in ways the other candidates won’t.”

Among things the other candidates have that Evans doesn’t is a large signature requirement for his nominating petition, which he can start circulating January 1. Gubernatorial candidates must usually collect signatures equal to at least one percent of the votes that their party’s gubernatorial candidate got in the last election (SDCL 12-6-7). For Republicans, that’s 1,955 signatures; for Demcorats, 706. However, the CP didn’t field a gubernatorial candidate in 2014. Draft legislation under consideration by the state Board of Elections will allow the CP to maintain the recognized party status it reclaimed by petition in 2016 thanks to fielding other statewide candidates in 2014. Evans will thus be petitioning as a candidate for a “new” party, meaning he’ll only need 250 signatures (SDCL 12-5-1.4).

Of course, there are only 475 CP members statewide (136 in Minnehaha County, 87 in Pennington, 33 in Meade, 30  in Lincoln…), so Evans will need to secure the signatures of over half of his party members to make the ballot… or he could recruit 250 new members to register CP and sign his petition and increase the size of his forever fourth-place party by 53%.

Update 2017.09.26 05:12 CDT: Evans responds to my note about the signature requirement by contending that “registering 250 new Constitution Party members or tracking down 250 of the party’s existing members scattered throughout the state is actually a more difficult and expensive signature requirement than finding 706 Democrats…. [I]f the Constitution Party prevails in a pending ballot-access lawsuit, South Dakota will no longer be able to prohibit candidates for governor from being nominated at their state party conventions.”


35 Responses to Evans Seeks Constitution Party Nomination for Governor

  1. Mr. Lansing

    Best of luck, Mr. Evans.

  2. I have never met Kurt and only know of him based on his comments on this blog. I personally disagree with most of what I have seen Kurt post, but I respect the fact that he does his best to cite sources for his facts, he calls B.S. when he thinks he sees it, and he admits his own errors if he is shown to be incorrect about something. Pretty solid character in my opinion, and we could use more solid characters working for the people.

  3. Ryan, Kurt has demonstrated through his comments on this blog than you can expect more direct and honest answers from him on policy questions than you can expect from either Kristi Noem or Marty Jackley. Nor is he as cautious with his answers as the sole Democratic candidate, Senator Sutton. I’m still voting Democratic as of this posting, but I would welcome the Constitution Party’s ability to field a viable candidate who can drive public conversation about important issues.

  4. I’d written to Cory in a September 23 email:

    I believe I understand the unintended consequences of restricting individual liberty in ways the other candidates don’t, and I believe I’ll be able to convey that understanding to my fellow South Dakotans in ways the other candidates won’t.

    Cory initially quoted me in the above post as follows:

    I believe I understand the unintended consequences of restricting individual liberty in ways the other candidates don’t, and I believe I’ll be able to convey that understanding to my fellow South Dakotans in ways the other candidates won’t.

    I wrote to Cory in a September 25 email:

    I’d like [the words “I believe”] to be included because it seems arrogant to make a definitive assertion about what the other candidates do or don’t understand …

    Cory then changed his quotation of me in the above post to the following:

    I believe I understand the unintended consequences of restricting individual liberty in ways the other candidates don’t, and I believe…. I’ll be able to convey that understanding to my fellow South Dakotans in ways the other candidates won’t.

    In a September 26 email, Cory explains:

    … I always tell students that phrase is redundant for exactly the reason you are using it, the unnecessary soft-pedaling of one’s opinion… That any of us would presume to know things that others don’t or to be better at certain things than others may be characterized as arrogant presumption, no matter how many polite tags we try to put in front of it.

    In other words, Cory objects to my use of “polite tags” and the “soft-pedaling” of my opinion, so he’s intentionally misquoting me to make me sound more blunt and less polite.

    Either or both of the statements Cory falsely attributes to me could conceivably turn out to be untrue. As of today, I still believe both of them, but I’ve never directly asserted either of them, and Cory is intentionally or unintentionally lying when he says I have.

  5. Porter Lansing writes:

    Best of luck, Mr. Evans.

    Thanks, Porter.

    Ryan writes:

    I personally disagree with most of what I have seen Kurt post, but I respect the fact that he does his best to cite sources for his facts, he calls B.S. when he thinks he sees it, and he admits his own errors if he is shown to be incorrect about something. Pretty solid character in my opinion, and we could use more solid characters working for the people.

    Thanks, Ryan.

  6. Boy, don’t go for the fighting word “lying.” I don’t lie. I simply maintain that “I believe” is filler, an empty burp adding no meaning to a statement.

  7. I’d written:

    Either or both of the statements Cory falsely attributes to me could conceivably turn out to be untrue. As of today, I still believe both of them, but I’ve never directly asserted either of them, and Cory is intentionally or unintentionally lying when he says I have.

    Cory replies:

    Boy …

    I’m older than you are.

    … don’t go for the fighting word “lying.” I don’t lie.

    You lie frequently, Cory, and the suggestion that you never do is an example.

    I simply maintain that “I believe” is filler, an empty burp adding no meaning to a statement.

    The phrase doesn’t “add meaning” to my statement. It is my statement, a statement about what I believe, not a direct assertion about what other candidates understand or what I’ll be able to do during the campaign, things I could only know for absolute certain if they were revealed to me by the God whose existence you deny.

    Even if “I believe” were mere filler, you’d still be intentionally or unintentionally lying by misleading your readers—over the direct, specific, repeated objections of the person you’re supposedly quoting—into believing I didn’t use that “filler” in my statement. In any case, you’ve already tacitly admitted the phrase is more than filler by emailing me a detailed explanation of the real reasons you insist on misquoting me.

  8. Mr. Lansing

    Kurt … You seem agitated. What’s up? Boy is used here as an interjection … or is it a euphemism? Be thankful Mr. H is using “boy” and “man” instead of a religious interjection like “Jesus” or “God”? Using “boy” is a SoDak colloquialism. The common interjection is “Oh, boy.”
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/boy_2

  9. “frequently”? The fighting words multiply with a baseless accusation.

  10. I’d written:

    Either or both of the statements Cory falsely attributes to me could conceivably turn out to be untrue. As of today, I still believe both of them, but I’ve never directly asserted either of them, and Cory is intentionally or unintentionally lying when he says I have.

    Cory had written:

    Boy, don’t go for the fighting word “lying.” I don’t lie.

    I’d replied:

    You lie frequently, Cory, and the suggestion that you never do is an example.

    Cory writes:

    The fighting words multiply with a baseless accusation.

    Your claim that the accusation is baseless is another lie.

  11. C’mon Kurt. I don’t see a concerted effort to impunign your integrity here. While I disagree with the CP agenda as a whole, much of it makes sense. The theocratic nature of its presidential candidates of past puts me off, but I believe that representatives at a state level could remedy that. You seem like a likable, reasonable guy here. Bring people to you. Shake off the personal, and focus on the practical. I’ve enjoyed reading you, and hope to see more of you. Best of luck!

  12. Turning a blog post into a discussion of the author instead of the original topic is usually a tactic used by Pat Powers, OldSarg, and other conservative cranks who see their worldview failing, can’t respond to the logic and evidence presented to indict their worldview, and thus need a distraction. It’s unusual for the subject of a not-particularly argumentative blog post offering more neutral and thus useful publicity than any other blog or media outlet has offered to the subject’s campaign announcement to turn the discussion away from himself and toward a bitter indictment of the author’s character.

    But go ahead, Kurt. Substantiate the accusation. Catalog my “lies”. Not errors, not evidence we interpret differently, but deliberate misrepresentations of fact.

  13. I didn’t see Kurt as making any bitter indictments – I think he is just pedantic.

    Cory has a good point, he is giving Kurt’s campaign some attention, so it’s surprising that Kurt would focus on the intentional yet harmless misquote. However, Kurt is simply sticking to his guns. He made a statement that was reproduced in less than its complete form, and he wanted to make it known that he disagrees with being edited. That’s respectable. But come on, everyone misquotes political candidates – it’s like a national pastime.

    Cory doesn’t like to be called a liar, which is understandable. But come on, we all lie, so taking offense to that comment seems as thin-skinned as Kurt being so bothered about such an innocuous misquote.

    I don’t know either of you, but “I believe” you both have more important stuff to talk about. Let’s call it a tie and discuss something of substance.

  14. On September 26, before I’d ever commented on this post, Cory and I had a discussion by email.

    I’d written to Cory:

    First off, thanks for the changes you’ve made to the article, and especially for the update regarding the signature requirement.

    Secondly, we may be in the midst of one of our strongest disagreements ever.

    If I’m being redundant and unnecessarily soft-pedaling my opinions, do you have the right to mislead your readers into believing I’m not? It seems to me that those who agree with you should be able to evaluate my words for themselves, and those who agree with me should as well.

    I gave you statements about what I believe, not a direct statement about what the other candidates do or don’t understand, much less a direct statement about what I’ll be able to convey to South Dakotans during the campaign (if I’m not murdered this morning). I really don’t see how the fact that you disapprove of my “polite tags” or anything else about the way I align my words could possibly give you the right to misrepresent them.

    Cory had written:

    I spotted you one “I Believe” mid-phrase and simply elided the first one, picking up the quote without changing meaning.

    I’d replied:

    No, actually when I asked you to put back the first “I believe” you removed the second one.

    I’d asked:

    Would you have any problem with me addressing this dispute in the comments?

    Cory had replied:

    I welcome your public commentary on the issue. It could even prompt a separate English teacher post dedicated to the phrase in question.

    Now, in his comment above, Cory writes:

    Turning a blog post into a discussion of the author instead of the original topic is usually a tactic used by Pat Powers, OldSarg, and other conservative cranks who see their worldview failing, can’t respond to the logic and evidence presented to indict their worldview, and thus need a distraction.

    My statements are the “original topic” of the post, Cory, and you explicitly indicated that you welcomed my public commentary on the way you’d authored it. You’re the one who’s refusing to “respond to logic and evidence” here, and your suggestion that I am is another lie.

  15. Mike Q. writes to me:

    You seem like a likable, reasonable guy here… I’ve enjoyed reading you, and hope to see more of you. Best of luck!

    Thanks, Mike.

    Ryan writes:

    … it’s surprising that Kurt would focus on the intentional yet harmless misquote.

    I don’t believe intentional misrepresentations of fact are ever harmless. (Intentional misrepresentations of fact are never harmless, but I’ve framed the preceding statement in terms of my own beliefs because it seems more polite.)

    Cory doesn’t like to be called a liar …

    To be clear, I don’t believe everyone who’s ever lied can be appropriately called a liar, and so far I haven’t called Cory one.

  16. Mr. Lansing

    You say you’re not contrary on purpose but using three “believes” in three sentences affirms my accusation, Kurt.
    -The word “believe” seems like a somewhat flimsy way of persuading someone. If you have evidence or experience to support your position, then isn’t it more than a belief? Yes, it is. Use the words, “I’m confident.”
    -Phrases such as “in my opinion,” “I think that,” and “I believe” create three problems for writers.
    They delay the writer’s message.
    They demonstrate insecurity.
    They tell the reader what he already knows.
    -Instead of writing, “I believe …” you should write concisely, directly and confidently.
    -(various research materials)

  17. My odd interest in this comment thread comes mostly from my hatred for people being told what to do or what to say. With that in mind, I think Kurt sticking to his original statement is excellent. You made a statement, you were misquoted, and now you won’t back down from your position. Well done.

    I’m also somewhat curious how far Cory will defend his actions. Kurt made a statement and didn’t ask for input, edits, or any filter from anybody. Digging in and justifying your position might make people wonder how many other quotes you post from other sources that you take liberties with for your own personal reasons.

    However, the stage on which Kurt mounts this principled defense seems silly. There are probably about six South Dakotans following this comment thread. Maybe. Pick your battles.

    And, Kurt, people who have told lies are called liars. It’s the right noun for the verb. You might think there is a difference between saying that somebody lies and calling that person a liar, but the English language doesn’t agree with you. Also there are millions of intentional yet harmless lies told every minute of every day – don’t get so wrapped up in the anti-lying argument that you pretend something means more than it does. It takes away from the gravitas of issues you might actually be passionate about later. On the drive to daycare this morning, my toddler asked to wear my sunglasses that I normally keep in my truck. I don’t want them to break, so I said I left them at home. A lie. Also harmless.

  18. Porter Lansing writes:

    You say you’re not contrary on purpose but using three “believes” in three sentences affirms my accusation, Kurt.

    It wasn’t intentional.

    Instead of writing, “I believe …” you should write concisely, directly and confidently.

    That way you’ll end up telling a lie every time you believe something that isn’t true.

    Ryan writes:

    My odd interest in this comment thread comes mostly from my hatred for people being told what to do or what to say.

    I’m usually open to advice, and I’m not objecting to Cory telling me what to say. I’m objecting to Cory intentionally or unintentionally lying about what I said.

    I’m also somewhat curious how far Cory will defend his actions. Kurt made a statement and didn’t ask for input, edits, or any filter from anybody.

    It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which that will ever happen again.

    Digging in and justifying your position might make people wonder how many other quotes you post from other sources that you take liberties with for your own personal reasons.

    It’s already made me wonder.

    You might think there is a difference between saying that somebody lies and calling that person a liar, but the English language doesn’t agree with you.

    I’m not sure languages have opinions, but you’re welcome to yours. In any case, so far I haven’t applied the word liar to Cory.

    Also there are millions of intentional yet harmless lies told every minute of every day … On the drive to daycare this morning, my toddler asked to wear my sunglasses that I normally keep in my truck. I don’t want them to break, so I said I left them at home. A lie. Also harmless.

    I’m not a parent, and parenting well looks really hard, but it seems to me that it would be better in the long run if you’d say you’re not going to let the toddler wear the sunglasses because you don’t want them to break.

  19. misquote… lie…—would this debate disappear if I added three dots between the opening quote mark and “I understand”?

  20. Cory writes:

    … I added three dots between the opening quote mark and “I understand”…

    No you didn’t, Cory. (See what I did there?)

    I gave you a statement about what I believe. I haven’t made a direct assertion about what other candidates understand or what I’ll be able to do during the campaign—things I could only know for absolute certain if they were revealed to me by the God whose existence you deny—and you’re intentionally or unintentionally lying when you say I have.

  21. Any affirmative statement, by default, is a statement of belief. Appending “I believe” at the beginning of the vast majority of English statements, including the one you made, is redundant.

  22. Mr. Lansing

    Claiming that your contrariness wasn’t intentional is affirming you’re contrary by nature and say contrary things without thinking.

  23. Contrary to what Mr. Evans believes, arguing with Messrs. H and Lansing about god and lying are not likely to help him get elected. Paying grudznick to take Rapid Cab all about town to every watering hole to buy drinks for the house and elaborate on Mr. Evans’ plans if he is elected governor would do much more.

  24. Mr. Lansing

    Grudzie … From the timelime of events and the postings from Mr. Evans before his announcement, I’m confident that his motivation isn’t to win. It’s to be allowed to wander around SDSU and socialize with students that are much younger and possibly less mature than himself. Emphasis on the possibly.
    My motivation in picking on him is to see if it’s possible that Mr. Evans would ever honestly and without deception, admit to being wrong. Just because I’ve not seen that to be a part of his quibbling character. (I borrowed your word there, Mr. G.)

  25. Porter Lansing writes to me:

    Claiming that your contrariness wasn’t intentional is affirming you’re contrary by nature and say contrary things without thinking.

    I haven’t made any claims about the “contrariness” you allege, Porter.

    [Mr. Evans’s motivation to run for governor is] to be allowed to wander around SDSU and socialize with students that are much younger and possibly less mature than himself.

    I’d definitely like South Dakota State University to overrule Tim Heaton’s decision to ban me from my alma mater without providing a reason, but that isn’t why I’m running for governor.

  26. Cory writes:

    Any affirmative statement, by default, is a statement of belief.

    Regardless of anyone’s belief, that claim is absurd.

    Appending “I believe” at the beginning of the vast majority of English statements, including the one you made, is redundant.

    If I were being redundant, would you have the right to mislead your readers into believing I wasn’t? It seems to me that those who agree with you should be able to evaluate my words for themselves, and those who agree with me should as well.

    In any case, Cory, I wasn’t appending “I believe” at the beginning of my statement. I was making a statement about what I believe. I haven’t made a direct assertion about what other candidates understand or what I’ll be able to do during the campaign, and you’re lying when you say I have.

  27. Mr. Lansing, you may be right about the wandering around the SDSU place that Mr. Evans is trying to achieve. I did some research, and it appears that if elected governor, Mr. Evans would be the first governor ever banned from any state institution and the only governor ever banned from any land grant university in the nation. But that’s just grudznick’s cursory data…it hasn’t been verified by the Conservatives for Common Sense research department yet.

  28. Who is Tim Heaton, what powers does he have to ban people, and how can others gain these powers?

  29. I only ask out of curiosity. It’s not like grudznick wants the power to ban people. No sir, that’s not why. Not at all.

  30. Mr. Lansing

    He’s a campus police chief.

    https://www.sdstate.edu/directory/timothy-heaton

  31. Mr. Heaton seems very young. Stocky, yet soft. Well coiffed. There is nothing wrong will all of that, however, he must have been a child when he was in charge of banning Mr. Evans from all of the campus of the SD State University. A child, I say. I submit, for your consideration, that Mr. Evans should just take a stroll through the Gardens McCrory some fall afternoon and see what happens, and he should wear uncomfortably tight shorts and odd sunglasses when he does so.

  32. Porter Lansing posted:

    [Tim Heaton is] a campus police chief.

    https://www.sdstate.edu/directory/timothy-heaton

    “grudznick” responds:

    Mr. Heaton seems very young. Stocky, yet soft. Well coiffed. There is nothing wrong will all of that, however, he must have been a child when he was in charge of banning Mr. Evans from all of the campus of the SD State University.

    That photo on SDSU’s website appears to be very old. I believe Tim Heaton is about three or four years older than I am, which would mean he was in his mid thirties when he banned me from the campus and his mid forties the last time he explicitly refused to rescind the ban. He’d be about 50 now, but this more recent photo suggests he’s as physically fit as ever:
    https://www.sdstate.edu/sites/default/files/2017-08/updaccreditation.jpg

    I’d written to Cory:

    If I were being redundant, would you have the right to mislead your readers into believing I wasn’t? It seems to me that those who agree with you should be able to evaluate my words for themselves, and those who agree with me should as well.

    … I haven’t made a direct assertion about what other candidates understand or what I’ll be able to do during the campaign, and you’re lying when you say I have.

    I’d note again that Cory is the one who’s refusing to “respond to logic and evidence” here.

  33. Mr. Evans responds to Messrs. Lansing and grudznick:

    blah blah blah fat man

    To which grudznick replies, indeed.

  34. Mr. Lansing

    I don’t know,Grudzie. I’ve just finished watching 20 hours of Vietnam history. It was the beginning of this political divide that seems so wide, today. What’s the damn point?
    Signing Off ….. ✌️

  35. I’d written:

    [Tim Heaton would] be about 50 [years old] now, but this more recent photo suggests he’s as physically fit as ever…

    “grudznick” writes:

    Mr. Evans responds to Messrs. Lansing and grudznick:

    blah blah blah fat man

    To which grudznick replies, indeed.

    I’m not entirely comfortable with the word fat in this context, but “grudznick” is still quoting me more accurately than Cory is.

    http://dakotafreepress.com/2017/09/12/mentele-claims-sdsu-cops-assaulted-daughter-on-campus-saturday-night/#comment-88090
    http://dakotafreepress.com/2017/09/17/dusty-johnson-brings-campaign-to-sdsu-stadium/#comment-88433