Governor Dennis Daugaard has replaced one flood-plain country-club Republican with another in the District 16 Senate seat vacated by bail bondsman Dan Lederman. The Governor will appoint Dakota Dunes businessman William J. Shorma as District 16’s next Senator, because, you know, businessmen know everything there is to know about being a Senator:
“Bill Shorma learned the value of hard work from an entrepreneurial family, and he knows what it takes to start a business, create jobs and make a payroll,” said Gov. Daugaard. “He has also given back to his community in many ways, and I thank him for taking on this new public service role” [Governor Dennis Daugaard, press release, 2015.04.30].
At what point in the Republican worldview are legislators called upon to start businesses and create jobs? Has Shorma’s entrepreneurial experience also schooled him in constitutional law, parliamentary procedure, and other factors that weigh daily on legislative work? Will Senator-Appoint Shorma be called upon to help our K-12 schools make a competitive payroll? And will Senator-Appoint Shorma call upon his fellow businessmen and businesswomen to increase their payrolls as the single surest way to address South Dakota’s workforce issues?
Shorma has served on the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, which makes me think he must be kinda smart (additional smarts indicated by two trailer tarp patents!) and makes me hope that he’s in touch with the really smart Minneapolis Fed Prez Narayana Kocherlakota and can thus help the Legislature look for ways to collaborate with the Minneapolis Fed’s Indian reservation economic development project. Shorma’s Fed background may also help better insulate our Legislature from anti-Fed paranoia (which Shorma’s predecessor Lederman endorsed in 2014).
Shorma has done plenty of business in Yankton and Springfield, and if business is all that matters, then his South Dakota bona fides are fine. But the Governor’s announcement notes that Shorma and his wife Marcie are members of Morningside Lutheran Church in Sioux City, Iowa. Hmmm… I’m all for separation of church and state, but if a legislator’s church is completely separate from our state, will he be completely focused on our state? Membership in a church suggests active participation in that church community’s affairs. If Shorma’s participation in his church matters enough to mention in the announcement of his anointment with earthly power (yes, he’s a Christian, he’s o.k.), then that participation must be significant enough to take up a fair amount of his time, and that time would likely be spent in Iowa.
Governor Daugaard has one more legislative appointment to make, to fill the District 25 Senate seat vacated by Tim Rave last month.