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SD Dems Call out District 11 Republicans’ Bullying for Transgender South Dakotans

Update 09:18 CST: South Dacola gets the video of Senator David Omdahl’s outrageous remarks about transgender South Dakotans. HIs remarks are even worse in full video than in mere print:

Original Post: Stu Whitney is trying to talk some sense into our bigoted legislators. So is the South Dakota Democratic Party, which says the ignorant comments by Sioux Falls legislators about our transgender fellow citizens at public meetings yesterday demonstrate the meanness of Republicans who pretend to be statesmen:

Senator and bully David Omdahl (R-11/Sioux Falls)
Being mean is a choice: Senator and bully David Omdahl (R-11/Sioux Falls)

Republican State Senator David Omdahl (R-11) said of transgender individuals, “I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t even know who you are.”

He then suggested they seek psychological help. “They’re treating the wrong part of the anatomy. They ought to be treating it up here,” Omdahl said gesturing to his head.

“The only thing twisted is Sen. Omdahl’s medieval worldview. Supporters of this session’s transgender discrimination bills have tried to suggest they were about accommodation. These comments show their true colors. They’re bullies. Plain and simple,” said South Dakota Communication Director Michael Ewald [South Dakota Democratic Party, press release, 2016.02.06].

The state Dems note that even if these legislators don’t feel any moral compunction about bullying fellow South Dakotans with their public remarks and discriminatory legislation, they might want to consider that bigotry is bad for business:

“Similar discriminatory legislation against the LGTBQ community caused Indianapolis to lose $60 million dollars in business convention opportunities. Arizona was forced to veto legislation or risk losing the Super Bowl. These comments jeopardize one of Sioux Falls and the entire state’s major opportunities for growth– tourism,” Ewald said [SDDP, 2016.02.06].

The entire District 11 delegation made yahoo remarks. District 11 Democrats, I hope you’re running three candidates for Legislature who won’t be afraid to knock these bullies out of their seats in Pierre.


  1. grudznick 2016-02-07 08:22

    The amount of silliness shown by some of these fellows staggers the brain. Perhaps somebody will get a petition to stop the legislatures from meeting more than 5 days a year.

  2. larry kurtz 2016-02-07 08:25

    But, laud Omdahl, Deutsch and their nutball sidekicks for burning up the clock with this tripe avoiding accountability for the culture of corruption in Pierre, Bendagate and the Westerhuis murders.

  3. grudznick 2016-02-07 08:33

    That Goac committee already investigated all of that, Lar. Would you have the legislatures rehash it all again and to what end? I did not read that Mid Central Cooperatives had anything to do with transgenderism at all so I do not think one has much to do with the other. If we found that Mr. Westerhuis was transgendered, then you’d really have something that could knock people over with a feather.

  4. Mark Winegar 2016-02-07 08:50

    Whatever happened to the GOP passion for small government? It appears they don’t trust the local school boards to make rational decisions.

  5. Loren 2016-02-07 09:13

    It amazes me that the, seemingly white, male, mostly aging, individuals in this legislature see themselves as “qualified” to make many of these diagnosis. Guess they see themselves as psychiatrists, OB/GYNs, clergy… Are they really that qualified to make these diagnosis or are they just spouting off? I certainly have my opinion. According to the Argus, SD is becoming the national focal point for transgender legislation. This could get more embarrassing, quickly… and expensive!

  6. Sam2 2016-02-07 10:50

    The republicans have the votes to pass this stupid bill. Next battle line is to vote them out in November.

  7. owen reitzel 2016-02-07 11:53

    so Lynn what are your thoughts on what Omdahl said? You agree?

  8. Lynn 2016-02-07 12:06


    I completely disagree and am in the process of contacting Sen. Omdahl and a few others. They need to be better educated on this.

  9. Jenny 2016-02-07 12:09

    Is this bill passes and Gov Daugaard signs it, trust me, SD will be looked at as an even more ignorant, uncompassionate backwards state. I see boycotts also. MN has a very passionate vocal LGBT following that is very effective at boycotts and standing up for their rights. Minneapolis is the San Francisco of the North. I will be notifying the LGBT president and MPR immediately tomorrow morning.
    Minnesotans love your Black Hills, but when it comes to their passionate causes, no one fights more than a group of forceful and energetic MNs. Expect a decrease of MN tourists enjoying your state. Seriously.

  10. Jenny 2016-02-07 12:14

    I will be calling Sen Franken’s office also, an avid, passionate fighter for LGBT rights also. Franken makes national headlines easily because of his celebrity. So get ready South Dakotan for negative headlines.

  11. Jenny 2016-02-07 12:24

    “I’m sorry you’re so twisted” I’ll send you the MPR link tomorrow when it becomes headline.

  12. Rorschach 2016-02-07 12:26

    Sen. Omdahl should be in the national news. Hopefully Jenny can make that happen.

  13. Cody Johnson 2016-02-07 12:29

    If this passes, NCAA may pull all tournaments from South Dakota. NCAA preaches diversity. They contemplated pulling tournaments from Indiana last year. It would be a lot easier finding a venue to host a tournament that was taken away from Sioux Falls then Indianapolis. South Dakota keep trying to get the ViQueen to have Training Camp in Sioux Falls. The NFL is trying to be all inclusive. Citibank and other banking institutes will reconsider sending people to South Dakota.
    SD GOP is only inclusive when it comes to Economics = Economic Inclusive.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-07 13:14

    [Sorry, folks. Hard edit on this thread, due to outbreak of irrelevant agenda. We stay on topic on this thread, because Senator Omdahl’s bigotry and ignorance are grave enough to deserve our full attention and outrage. Let us know how your effort at civil discourse with Omdahl goes, Lynn. Let us know how he responds to your carefully chosen, well-reasoned, well-evidenced explanation of the basic humanity of transgender students. Ride your hobbyhorse over to another post, and allow readers interested in this issue a coherent, focused conversation.]

  15. larry kurtz 2016-02-07 13:17

    Thank you, Cody Johnson for your comment. Nothing hits South Dakota like a blow to the pocketbook.

  16. Lynn 2016-02-07 13:18

    “Let us know how your effort at civil discourse with Omdahl goes, Lynn. ”

    It’s ok. What I and other legislators will have talked about will be kept confidential. The SDDP is simply not relevant.

  17. larry kurtz 2016-02-07 13:23

    Thank you, Cory for your patience with some readers. Your efforts to bring the South Dakota Democratic Party back from the brink are being watched in the highest levels of the party.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-07 13:30

    Ooo, so special. We won’t need your unreliable testimony, Lynn. The proof will be in the pudding. Omdahl will vote for HB 1008 nd the rest of the bullying bigots’ agenda and continue to be just as willfully ignorant on the campaign trail. I’ll focus my effort on supporting decent candidates who will publicly call out such bullying instead of pretending its something that can be handled quietly behind the scenes.

  19. jerry 2016-02-07 13:35

    Tom Cool looked like he was running a progressive style of campaign and was defeated by not such a great margin in the anti Obama election. This would be a great time for him to run against this buffoon in District 11. The first thing he could do is show what a divisive type of senator they elected. Is that candidate still interested?

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-07 13:57

    Jerry, yes! Tom Cool is going to run for District 11 Senate again. Now let’s encourage his neighbors to join him on the ticket and run for House against the other District 11 yahoos.

  21. grudznick 2016-02-07 14:36

    Ms. Jenny, I want to be clear that I was shocked by this Mr. Omdahl’s comments and completely disagree with him. I hope you do get him in the news, but anything you can do to encourage Minnesotans to visit the Wisconsin Dells instead of the Black Hills of South Dakota would be encouraged as well.

  22. scott 2016-02-07 14:55

    You can say people will boycott South Dakota, but its hard to boycott a state that most people don’t want to visit or move to anyway.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-07 15:24

    Technically, Scott’s statement is true: most people don’t want to visit or move to South Dakota. But we could say that about many places: out of 319 million Americans, only a small fraction visit any given state each year.

    Over two million people a year come to Mount Rushmore. Sturgis draws half a million a year. State figures say that in 2010 (really? That’s the freshest data the state has?) put $265 million in state and local kitties.

    A serious boycott effort could put some serious hurt on South Dakota. We can’t afford any more bad press from willfully mean legislators acting as the face of our state.

  24. Curtis Price 2016-02-07 16:16

    Should update your first graf to identify Omdahl as R-11, not D-11.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-07 16:30

    Thanks, Curtis! That letter for party label is like the “not” in writing—crucial to meaning, but somehow so easy to mistype!

  26. Dave 2016-02-08 11:36

    One of the biggest South Dakota events that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the nation/world is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I’ve never been to the rally, but I understand that some of the bikers are really nice people, some like to drink too much, some like to ride with little or no clothes on (according to some photos I’ve seen), some like to use drugs, and some are members of gangs that can be violent and are not exactly the epitome of lawful behavior. We don’t worry about this collective group descending on our state every summer, but we think a kid using the “wrong” stall in a bathroom will plunge South Dakota into unending chaos. Good Lord.

  27. jerry 2016-02-08 11:54

    So how can we crowd fund the individual candidates against all of these bone heads that are stealing us blind without going to the state party for their stamp of approval?

  28. Tiffany Campbell 2016-02-08 20:23

    I have lost count of the number of progressive friends who have moved out of state. It’s not just the young people, it’s middle-age and retirement age. And before any conservatives say “good riddance”, you actually do need them, I’m talking about 50+ people who will no longer be paying taxes and holding jobs. They all either have a college degree or higher, some are doctors, some have masters or a doctorare. Every single one of them left for states where progressives are welcomed.

  29. larry kurtz 2016-02-08 20:33

    Ms. Campbell, how would you make South Dakota safe for Democrats again?

  30. grudznick 2016-02-08 20:42

    I blame the failures of the SDDP. They failed so badly that now the Libertarians are becoming the 2nd most powerful party. The SDDP failed themselves. They will have to start over, I fear. This dates back to Roger McKellips failures as the senate majority leader. Roger, I know you’re reading this and you know I am right again.

  31. John 2016-02-08 21:22

    Omdahl, Craig, and their apologists spit on the grave, tradition, memory, witness, and works of our Founding President George Washington.

    Washington wrote in his August 18, 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport:
    “The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.”

    Washington continued – blasting the doctrine of “tolerance” whereby an apparent higher or true-believer class momentarily or spiradically may “allow” a “lesser” lower or believing class to openly practice. Washington blew past the false doctrine of “tolerance” proclaiming: to bigtroy no sanction, to persecution no assistance.

    “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

    Omdahl, Craig, their legislative supportors, their electors, and even the official ‘silence’ of the Sioux Falls School District need to check their oaths, even their citizenship. Often the only requirement for evil to prevail is for otherwise good folks to do nothing.

  32. Roger Williams 2016-02-11 13:03

    This is Appalling! South Dakota politicians should do more research. I am not Transgender, but I know some wonderful men and woman who are. They are far from “Twisted”. They are loving, caring, intelligent, productive, hardworking people that are citizens of this great state. Oh… and they pay taxes! This bill passing upset me yes. But what really made me furious is that our politicians are now harming our children! Not only transgender children either! Our politicians are teaching all children of South Dakota that it is ok to discriminate against anybody who is different or people you don’t understand. Our politicians claim that they support the anti-bullying in this state. Well, now they have opened the door wide open with the target being transgender youth.
    I personally am going to open the lines of communication with the LGBTQ and Ally’s across the United States encouraging them to spread the word to plan their vacations to anywhere but South Dakota. It seems like the only things politicians listen to is money! Let’s see what happens with the billions of dollars of expendable income from the LGBTQ and Ally’s money is not filling South Dakota’s pockets.

  33. Roger Williams 2016-02-11 13:12

    I was there in person when the past Bill HB 1112. What shocked me was when Senator Steve Haugaard of Brandon stated something to this effect. “Transgender suicide is extremly high. But it’s not due to bullying or how they are being treated. It’s because of what they are dealing with in their heads.” Do some home work Senator! I thought you were a lawyer.

  34. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-11 13:26

    Roger, thanks for your willingness to spread the word on our Legislature’s backwardness. When you contact those LGBTQ allies around the country, ask if they’ll contribute to candidates to replace legislators like Haugaard and others who promote this discrimination. If so, get me in contact with them!

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