I don’t get Lee Schoenbeck’s mid-Session resignation from the South Dakota House of Representatives.
The Watertown Republican crafts an amendment (based on his early forward thinking back in July 2015) and leads the reconsideration push that save the Governor’s sales-tax-for-teacher-pay bill. In the process, he forges a two-thirds majority, including a simple majority of his own tax-averse and teacher-neglecting (for 30 years, at least) Republican caucus who may now owe their survival of the 2016 election to Schoenbeck (Bob Mercer uses the word hero). The only downside of Schoenbeck’s week is Majority “Leader” Brian Gosch sending two of his fellow naysaying goons, Rep. Kris Langer and Rep. Don Haggar, to physically block the door (backed up by
a Highway Patrol trooper a sergeant at arms*) to prevent Schoenbeck from entering yesterday’s GOP caucus meeting.
Gosch won with 20 rump Republicans and Gordon Howie’s anarcho-theocrats. Schoenbeck won with the majority of his party, the Governor, the education lobby, and a majority of South Dakota. Maybe I’m missing something, but Schoenbeck appears to have all the marbles. I can’t help but think that the logical course of action for a legislator in this position is to press his advantage, get more of what he wants, and crush some nuts.
Why Schoenbeck steps away from the game now, before the game is done (the Senate still has to debate the sales tax; the House still has to wrestle with the new school funding formula and salary targets, and good grief, there could be conference committee on either bill), before he can drive home the historic victory he is winning for the Governor and for South Dakota’s schools, defies my understanding.
An early autumn lion in South Dakota’s winter is stepping down, making way for one more of the Governor’s suckling cubs.
I don’t get it.
Correction 16:07 CST: The Pierre Capital Journal corrects the story from which I took the HP detail. A participant in the incident erroneously reported to Bob Mercer that a Highway Patrol officer was involved.