Venhuizen on Rejected IM22 Campaign Cash Limits: No Pie Better Than Some Pie?

We knew the Republicans on Senator Jordan Youngberg’s interim task force on campaign finance would never let Democrats sneak the old IM 22 camapign finance limits back into law. The task force rejected Senator Craig Kennedy’s proposal to that effect along party lines yesterday.

What we didn’t know was that task force member and gubernatorial chief of staff Tony Venhuizen, who’s usually pretty clever, would contradict his party’s line on why it was o.k. to repeal an initiative the voters supported:

Tony Venhuizen, unusually off message
Tony Venhuizen, unusually off message

Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, signed the IM 22 repeal. Tony Venhuizen, his chief of staff, was a task force member. Venhuizen said Monday his perception of IM 22 was the reduced contribution limits were intended to work with a public campaign financing system.

Kennedy’s proposal Monday called only for the lower limits.

“If we’re going to do half without honoring the other half, we are not honoring the will of the voters,” Venhuizen argued. Venhuizen said he voted against IM 22.

Kennedy agreed his plan was “a piece” [Bob Mercer, “Republicans Won’t Restore IM 22’s Contribution Limits,” Pierre Capital Journal, 2017.10.17].

Wait a minute: so if voters approve A, B, and C, and if arrogant legislators repeal A, B, and C, then legislators would further dishonor voters by offering a compromise and restoring A?

I don’t buy that. Neither did Rep. Larry Rhoden, who supported passage of IM22-like lobbying restrictions to “provide[] assurances to the people of this state that we are listening, that we abide by their wishes.” Neither did Venhuizen’s boss back during Session, when he cheered the passage of bills to “replace portions of IM22″… unless, of course, Venhuizen is saying that Governor Daugaard dishonored the voters by signing those partial replacements, in which case, everybody go stake out the Capitol to watch Dennis toss his son-in-law Tony and his things out of his second-floor office.

Tony! Get on message! Your own party says that restoring parts of an overturned law is acceptable practice. I’m willing to bet lots of voters would take a similar, practical, glass-half-full perspective, that at least restoring the campaign finance limits in IM22 would be better than nothing.

A piece of pie is better than no pie. Serve it up, Senator Kennedy!


4 Responses to Venhuizen on Rejected IM22 Campaign Cash Limits: No Pie Better Than Some Pie?

  1. It’s hard to come up with good and consistent messaging when you’re trying to undermine the will of the voters. The GOP Party is struggling with that same problem at the national level too. The public isn’t buying the arguments that throwing 20 million people off of health insurance or increasing premiums by 30, 40 50% is “making health care better and more affordable.” The public isn’t buying that tax cuts for millionaires = middle class tax relief or that the huge deficits that will result from slashing millionaires’ taxes will disappear with economic growth. Voters don’t believe that populating the swamp with taxpayer-sucking mosquitoes is “draining the swamp.” Messaging around bad policies is difficult. Tonnis apparently needs Grandpa Cheap to raise his 6-figure nepotism salary to motivate him to offer his best efforts.

  2. Donald Pay

    My Mother always told me, “Don, if you don’t lie, you won’t have to remember what stories you told.” I could never get away with anything.

    My Mom worked for the Republican Party in 1972 when Nixon came to Sioux Falls. She had to work with the “Committee to Re-elect the President,” also called CREEP. She wasn’t that surprised when some of the CREEP guys went to prison.

    My Mom could sniff out lies pretty good. I should know, because I always got caught. She didn’t much like Janklow, and she had to work with him, because, well, he had a big mouth and he lied with it. I have a feeling this current crop, Daugaard and Venhuizen, would not pass the Phoebe Pay test, either.

  3. It seems to me that Mr. Tony was just beating Mr. Kennedy at his own game. Mr. Kennedy kept saying “the voters will,” “the voters will,” “overturned the voters will.” Mr. Tony was just making Mr. Kennedy be consistent. Heck and gosh darn it, the ignorant and hoodwinked voters passed the heinous Measure Initiated #22 with democracy credits in it. I say, if you want to re-instate the voters will, then put those back in your law bill. See how much attention this time gets called out on Slick Rick’s real intention and if the voters like handing their tax money to politicians to run ads. grudznick has double-dog-dared this challenge many times. Why is not Mr. Kennedy following the voters will?

  4. The legislatures did not restore parts of the IM #22, they FIXED the pieces that could be fixed. They cleaned up Slick Rick’s mess.