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“Leader” Gosch Loses Fights for Payday Lenders, Against Teachers

Rep. Brian Gosch
Rep. Brian Gosch

House Majority “Leader” Brian Gosch (R-32/Rapid City) is not having a banner week for leadership. His effort to bully Rep. Lee Schoenbeck out of caucus failed to rally Republicans behind him on two crucial votes. Monday he lost his battle to torpedo the Governor’s teacher pay plan. Yesterday he threw in with the payday lending industry and supported their House Bill 1161, a trick intended to pre-emptively circumvent Initiated Measure 21, the real 36% rate cap that we get to vote on in November.

Like loan-shark front-woman Rep. Kris Langer (R-25/Dell Rapids), Rep. Gosch says it’s part of his job to pre-empt the voice of the people. In floor debate yesterday, Rep. Gosch said that passing initiative-defusing bills like HB 1161 is “not usurping anybody’s right. That’s just doing our job and deciding what good policy is.”

Read Gosch’s reasoning closely: The expression of our will in electing legislators is an expression of our desire to have the expression of our will stifled on policy matters.

Or read Gosch’s reasoning more simply: I’m smarter than you voters, so shut up.

“Leader” Gosch didn’t lead on this vote. As on HB 1182, the sales tax for teacher pay bill, Rep. Gosch lost to enormous public pressure. As on HB 1182, he couldn’t even muster a majority of his own party to support the payday lenders’ trickery.

Perhaps worth noting is the diehard right following Gosch to defeat at the hands of an angry electorate. These fourteen House members voted for HB 1161 and against HB 1182:

  1. Arch Beal (R-12/Sioux Falls)
  2. Thomas Brunner (R-29/Nisland)
  3. Chip Campbell (R-35/Rapid City)
  4. Lynne DiSanto (R-35/Rapid City)
  5. Brian Gosch (R-32/Rapid City)
  6. Don Haggar (R-10/Sioux Falls)
  7. Steven Haugaard (R-10/Sioux Falls)
  8. Roger Hunt (R-25/Brandon)
  9. Kris Langer (R-25/Dell Rapids)
  10. J. Sam Marty (R-28B/Prairie City)
  11. Tim Rounds (R-24/Pierre)
  12. Jim Stalzer (R-11/Sioux Falls)
  13. Mike Verchio (R-30/Hill City)
  14. John Wiik (R-4/Big Stone City)

Many of those Reps are in tough districts for Dems to crack, but as we see on both of these bills, popular sentiment runs across party lines. Energetic Dems in any of those districts can use these bad votes to beat down the turnout for their Gosch-faithful opponents and fire up their own base and Independents with one simple slogan: “I support teachers, not payday lenders.”

And remember: if you’re running against “Leader” Gosch for Senate in District 32, you have a friend in Lee Schoenbeck.


  1. Mark Winegar 2016-02-25

    South Dakota was the first state to provide the people an ongoing voice in governance via the initiated measure. It is tragic Rep. Gosch & friends dishonor that tradition.

  2. Charlene Lund 2016-02-25

    Gosch is in someone’s pocket and on the dole. He is a dangerous legislator and needs to go. Hope Rapid City can find some good candidates to run against him.

  3. Curt 2016-02-25

    Gosch, of course, is serving in his 9th consecutive year and ineligible to run for re-election to the House. Word is he would like Dist 32 Sen Solano to move to the House so Gosch can continue enjoying his 80 mph commutes to the Capitol. Solano may not cooperate, so there could be a Repub Primary there. In Dist 35, home of Campbell and DiSanto, there is a Dem challenger – Mike Hanson of Box Elder. There are rumblings that DiSanto deems her District’s Sen, Teri Haverly not extreme enough and may challenge her in a Primary. Stay tuned.

  4. Daniel Buresh 2016-02-25

    DiSanto is a waste of air. I’ll be donating to whoever, Dem or Repub, to remove that Betty “Bats— Crazy” Olson wannabe.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-25

    Daniel! You won’t have to spend any money to get Betty Olson out of office—she says she’s not running. But Republican Ryan Maher has filed to run for her seat. (See official statewide candidate list here,.) Maher was last seen pulling his catering wagon out of the ditch. I encourage you to spend your money to help a District 28 Democrat challenge him. You can also send some of your hard-earned money to Michael Hanson to temper District 35’s delegation with practicality and problem-solving.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-25

    Curt, shouldn’t “not extreme enough” be a red flag that would wave a majority of voters over to the other person’s side? We need moderates to get more extreme in their passion for voting!

  7. Curt 2016-02-25

    Cory – There are lots of flags and banners. Dist 35 House incumbents DiSanto and Campbell run as fast as possible from anything that smells ‘moderate.’ Less than 5 weeks ’til filing deadline. As I said, stay tuned.

  8. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-25

    I ran into a former legislator this morning. I said you should be in Pierre. Response, no we can work better from behind the scenes. Me, But you could make a difference on some of the key issues. Former legislator, “If I were in Pierre, the leadership would have me in the basement without any food.” This person was in the majority party.

    Which brings me to my point. Who picks the leaders, especially considering that there are term limits???

  9. Brandi 2016-02-25

    I’m so glad to see you wrote about this. When I saw the votes for bill 1161 posted yesterday, I was hoping you’d point out this comparison. Aside from Gosch, the other representative who stands out is DiSanto. She just posted on her Facebook page about being so proud of how far she’s come from the poor, single mom she was just fifteen years ago. Yet, she doesn’t seem to want to help those who may be in that position today. She sponsors a bill (that thankfully didn’t see the light of day) to burden low-income people with drug testing, and then she votes yes on this bill to help payday lenders. She refused to vote for the half-penny increase, saying she was following the will of the people (referring to the sales tax vote failing) yet has no problem dismissing the people’s choice to vote by supporting HB1161. Then, in my opinion, worst of all, she encouraged RC voters to vote against the opt out last June, promising the legislature would do something if people waited. When the legislature attempts to do something, what’s her response? Vote no. The voters in her district would be doing the entire state a favor by taking away her legislative seat.

  10. bret clanton 2016-02-25

    Term limits are the cause of the problems of which you speak Lanny…

  11. bret clanton 2016-02-25

    The state is run by the governor, dept heads, full time employees and lobbyists. Legislators are never there long enough to develop any clout….

  12. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-25

    Thanks Bret, but then why would they be behind mean spirited bills like HB1161 or the potty bill and the one to drug test welfare recipients? Or are those bills part of the Koch brothers scheme. I am sure that the two balanced budget constitutional convention bills are theirs.

  13. bret clanton 2016-02-25

    I have seen of which you friend speaks.. The basement is full of them at times.. The long term ones seem to bring enough lunch money to get through the week at the basement diner. And he also speaks the truth in saying it is easier to achieve something on the outside without the constrictions of being a legislator as witnessed in my earlier post.
    Currently there are a large percentage there for not much other reason than to offset national leadership… Term limits does nothing more than constrict local control..

  14. mikeyc, that's me! 2016-02-25

    Wasn’t Ryan Maher a Democrat originally?

  15. bret clanton 2016-02-25

    Oh and by the way we have greatest set of laws of all dealing with term limits.. They are called ELECTIONS……

  16. bret clanton 2016-02-25

    mikeyc… the legislature is full of dems with an r beside their name…Its the only way they can get in…

  17. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-25

    Bret, “They are called ELECTIONS……” That is what my older brother has always said. Thanks.

  18. mikeyc, that's me! 2016-02-25

    You’re right, Bret. Especially West River.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-26

    MikeyC, yes, Maher ran as a Democrat, then decided to rebrand to Republican. Let’s find a good D to keep him from inheriting Betty Olson’s seat.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-26

    I agree that elections are the only term limits we need. If the voters want to send the same person back to represent them in Pierre for five, six, or ten terms in a row, that’s the voters’ decision. I do not support the Legislature passing laws to trump the voters’ will.

    But how do term limits affect who legislators choose as their leaders? Have term limits placed Gosch in his leadership position?

  21. bret clanton 2016-02-26

    Without term limits you would have a proven long term leader in there instead of this constant flipping and fight for leadership EACH year..

  22. 90 Schilling 2016-02-26

    The quality of the legislature is so low, they are an easy feed by gov, lobbyists etc. It is up to the voters to change that. I wonder if we will ever wake up enough to do so? If Democrats are going to win, they need to come with solutions not revolution.

    Maher was an R, changed to D against Klaudt and back to R. Olson jumped over to hold this seat for Maher. That she is resigning is no surprise. District 28 could do worse than Ryan but he is a blowing in the wind kind of guy.

  23. Former Bearcat 2016-02-29

    Oh gee can I run if I can Lee for a friend!?!

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