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Ethan Marsland Announces District 33 House Candidacy

Ethan Marsland lived up to his early press and announced his candidacy for District 33 House yesterday. Rather than waiting for South Dakota Public Broadcasting to shoot its Legislative candidate videos next summer, Marsland fires up YouTube himself with his raison d’être candidat:

On aesthetics, I still revolt at vertical video, but if we can shoot portrait photos, why not portrait videos? Vertical orientation has some interesting sci-fi movie precedent (remember Total Recall?). Marsland is framed neatly here, and there’s probably nothing going on to his immediate left and right, so why not? YouTube, time to offer a vertical embed option so we can get rid of the brackety-black!

On delivery, Marsland aspires to statesmanly oratory, but this pitch needs some rehearsal. Marsland has good lines and delivers some well, but he’s still stuck to the script. I know video is a pain, but if we’re going to the trouble of putting forward a candidacy document like this, we can go to the trouble of another take to get rid of the fumbles (“Leddies—”? Dang, I was hoping to here where that internal vowel spoonerism was going to take gentlemen.) Those little slips undermine the solemn tone for which Marsland aims. That same tone also seems too big for the small screen, as well as the chair and apparently small room. Orators stand for words like these! They take to their feet and command the stage and a big house full of listeners! Keep this script, internalize it, and break it out when there’s a big hall and an audience to resonate with it. For sit-down videos like this, adjust to a gentler, Tom Daschle-style

On policy, Marsland clearly grasps the connection between student debt, rock-bottom teaching salaries, and South Dakota’s teacher shortage (unlike the Blue Ribbon K-12 task force members, who are stacking the record to persuade themselves there is no need to work on recruitment). He speaks firmly for guaranteed family leave, rebuilding infrastructure (roads and rail… now what about more bike trails, Ethan?), and LGBT rights:

It has become clear to me that some legislators seek not only to legalize discrimination but to protect it under state law. These acts are not only shameful, immoral, and a violation of the U.S. Constitution, these ridiculous displays of hatred are a waste of taxpayer money, a waste of time, and would only put up walls that will divide our communities, families, and friends [Ethan Marsland, campaign announcement video, 2015.08.22].

Marsland appears to be taking aim at Rep. Rev. Scott Craig (R-33/Rapid City), whose HB 1220 last session was another unsuccessful attempt to cloak discrimination in religious freedom. (Hey, Ethan! Don’t forget to critique Rep. Rev. Craig’s disdain for college students in general, gay or straight!)

We now have two Democrats—Ethan Marsland out west, Ellee Spawn back east—making early announcements for the Legislature. Just 103 more candidates, and we Democrats will have a full slate!


  1. Lynn 2015-08-24 06:35

    I’d be curious to read where Ethan Marsland stands on our state’s Marijuana and other illegal drug policies since some state Democrats feel steps towards legalization either recreational use or this flawed/fake medical pot initiative unlike Minneosta’s which essentially legalizes it for rec use will help them get votes to win.

    Ellee Spawn is endorsed by SDAP. You know the group that had a petitioner for whatever pot related at the Mitchell Skate Board Park so the skateboarders could sign to “get their medicine” and stressed “they didn’t have to be a skateboarder.” That still gets me since I knew many wrestlers in high school and college in what was one of the hardest sports to train and compete in yet I don’t see these medical pot petitioners or maybe for both pot related petitions hanging out at a wrestling room, camp, or other sport groups like football, volleyball, runners, basketball, cyclists or whatever where there are aches and pains from training, injuries, crashes and competition especially the older they get when recovery is increasingly important.

    There must be some special medical pot related need for skateboarders to “get their medicine.” LOL

    Ethan please let us know where you stand on this in your run for District 33.

  2. larry kurtz 2015-08-24 07:54

    Lynn and PP back at the blogs simultaneously, how curious.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-24 12:42

    Wrong tree, Larry.

    Lynn, will Marsland win your endorsement with anything less than active support of current state laws against marijuana, with maybe an exception for support for the Minnesota med-pot plan?

  4. Lynn 2015-08-24 17:21


    It looks based on Ethan’s facebook page that he endorsed Steve Allender’s campaign for Rapid City mayor. Curious if he agrees with Steve Allender’s opinion on changing/tweaking the state’s Marijuana laws. Rather than putting offenders in jail if caught with a small amount they require them to attend addiction programs and keep sending them there until it sticks. Those who are caught dealing drugs/Marijuana are locked up.

    My endorsement would hinge on the maintaining the marijuana/drug laws as they are or tweaking to what Steve Allender proposes, and a medical marijuana law exactly the same as Minnesota’s. Anything else is problem creating that will have far reaching social costs for our state and not practical problem solving.

    I know I’m not the only one. There are a number of practical minded voters who would easily vote for political change here in South Dakota but there is no way in hell they will vote for a candidate that supports legalization of Marijuana or any other drug that is currently illegal. It’s not about some old reefer madness movie whatever nobody has ever seen or could care about. It’s about seeing firsthand the poor choices, negative consequences of addiction/dependency and the costs.

    This will only divide efforts for change here in SD and insure defeat. Ethan Marsland I look forward to reading your specific stances

  5. Curt 2015-08-24 18:37

    Hey, he could be our first pre-pubescent legislator.

  6. Curt 2015-08-24 21:27

    Doubtful that anyone cares, but the American flag should be on the opposite side.
    And besides the SD flag, what are those others?

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-24 21:41

    Curt, I care about flag protocol! What’s the rule—U.S. flag always farthest stage right?

    It looks like from stage left to stage right we have US flag, SD flag, maybe POW flag, another US flag… but that blue and yellow banner has me puzzled. Thoughts, readers?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-24 21:42

    Lynn, I hesitate to make marijuana a deciding factor for or against a candidate. If all a candidate talks about is pot, pro or con, then yeah, busted, no vote from me. If a candidate takes a position but says it’s not a priority, I’m more than willing to listen to the rest of the platform.

  9. happy camper 2015-08-25 07:27

    Lynn is becoming a one-issue voter kind like the far right was on abortion. Would be easy to dismiss her except I suspect her opinion, though less fervent, is shared by many South Dakota Democrats who are more conservative than the rest of the country. It might be in the best interest of all Democratic candidates to just say they will leave it up to the voters to decide. Why alienate Lynn and like-minded voters for no reason?

    Not that I agree with her. Yesterday my neighbor was smoking on his patio. He’s permanently disabled in a wheelchair, but let me tell you his lungs work! It’s cruel to disallow something that takes away pain and gives solace. South Dakota sure has raised a lot of puritans.

  10. Lynn 2015-08-25 08:06


    It’s interesting because when I’ve visited with a few others including those who have voted as Democrats, Independents and Republicans we will both go thru what we like and agree on about the positives about certain candidates and once I bring up their stance on legalizing pot or a fake medical marijuana effort they instantly are shocked and feel it is totally idiotic and eliminate them from consideration. Your not going to BS them on this.

    These people I visited with have had to deal with what some keep touting as personal liberty (drug use) spilling outside their personal bubble into the work environment and elsewhere with employees not showing up ready to work(loss in productivity) being drunk or high, absenteeism, trends with rent being paid late or not at all, breaking leases, apartments needing a major expensive work or clean up as a result of them vacating to seeing the personal wreckage in relationships with getting high or drunk as their main obsession in life.

    Then you have the latest trend where we have pro-pot advocates and obviously marketing for future consumers by those who will financially benefit telling kids it’s all harmless and it’s actually good for you like a vitamin supplement. Even many long time self described stoners are angry at the BS being spread trying to sell weed to get public approval.

    It’s called the School of Hard Knocks.

  11. leslie 2015-08-25 09:34

    i just got a virus notice clicking on a blue sand yellow flag on googlesimages-world flags, assuming it a netherlands area flag. the other 3 are obvious.

  12. happy camper 2015-08-25 10:48

    Now I agree with Lynn. It would be political suicide to support marijuana legalization in our state. Our state is what it is and will change slowly, in part because progressives or most ambitious people want to get the heck out. In my experience raging alcoholics damage rental property. Anything to excess is damaging. Have you ever heard the expression moderation in all things???

  13. leslie 2015-08-25 11:08

    85 million americans are affected by raging alcoholics. one in three families have it as their core. kind of a big deal. i would have to research it to give a more accurate statement.

    about 10% of the population become addicted. one in 10 drinking in your local bar are alcoholics (or more). go to any liquor store and observe. so SD has 80k alcoholics (and no, that is NOT every Native American). 5 family members ave=400,000 people affected in the state? depends on assumptions.

    then the question-how many of the 10% gain healthy recovery? it usually take 25 years on average to achieve lasting sobriety without relapse. again, kind of a big deal. emotional maturation matters.

    marijuana has a similar statistic however i don’t know if adequate research exists.

  14. Lynn 2015-08-26 21:47

    Happy and Leslie Thank you! :)

  15. larry kurtz 2015-08-26 22:21

    Ethan: watch your six.

  16. leslie 2015-08-26 22:24

    as a liberal i doubt happy’s camp suits me, but a liberal sadly that has experienced the worst addiction can dish out to a family. thus, my strangely “conservative” position in these matters. am not sure happy has a grasp on the depth of the cultural experiment of constant mood alteration perhaps rendering an emotionally immature, “dysfuntional” (not a precise term, however) society.

  17. leslie 2015-08-26 22:26

    sorry to clutter up your thread ethan. best wishes!

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-27 10:20

    No kidding, Leslie. I’d write a post about industrial hemp, but I’m not sure I could stand where that comment section would go.

Comments are closed.