At a press conference with supporters of Amendment R in Sioux Falls yesterday, Governor Dennis Daugaard staked out his position on all ten of the ballot measures on which we get to vote this fall:
“Vote yes on Amendment R,” Daugaard said in a press conference to launch the campaign Tuesday afternoon. “You can vote no on all the others if you want to, but at least on Amendment R, vote yes” [Megan Raposa, “Gov.: ‘Vote yes on Amendment R, You Can Vote No on the Others’,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.06.28].
That’s a step up from the deceptive contrarianism trial-ballooned by Daugaard’s favored but ultimately failed candidate in the District 19 Senate GOP primary. But vote for my ballot measure, ditch everything else is still lazy political thinking. In another demonstration of the paucity of his leadership, Governor Daugaard is braving a position on the picayuniest of the ballot measures, a minor clarification of the constitutional provision for governance of the vo-tech schools for which supporters are over-promising workforce impacts, while hiding behind a default No on nine matters of greater consequence.
Governor Daugaard isn’t even showing the courage to stand up for measures that ought to be political priorities for his party:
- The Governor is abandoning Referred Law 19, the Incumbent Protection Plan that his fellow Republicans in the Legislature worked very hard to amend into more key advantages for their party.
- The Governor is abandoning Referred Law 20, the youth minimum wage that his party passed to punish Democrats for their successful use of ballot initiatives to enact Democratic policies.
- The Governor is abandoning Amendment S, the astroturf bill of rights for crime victims that SDGOP consultant and former party exec Jason Glodt has been working very hard to pass. Maybe the party doesn’t care about the policy, but one would think the SDGOP would at least do a favor to maintain the value of one of their prime consultant’s stock. The Governor’s No on S is Glodt’s second bruising repudiation from people who should be his allies in less than a week; last week, everyone but Glodt at the state bar convention voted to oppose Amendment S.
Governor Daugaard’s lazy No on everything but R stance makes my life easier. He’s endorsing my negative position on the two referenda I sponsored. Whether I’m stumping for the No vote on 19 and 20 or campaigning for the District 3 Senate seat, I can tell voters, “Even the Governor agrees with me that my opponent made the wrong call in supporting the Incumbent Protection Plan and the youth minimum wage.” He’s backing me up on Amendment S and Amendment U, the payday lenders decoy measure that writes unlimited interest rates for loan sharks into our constitution. The Governor’s laziness buys me some laziness: instead of working hard on all ten ballot measures, I can embrace the four gubernatorial Nos that agree with me, shrug at Daugaard’s Yes on the most inconsequential measure, and focus my advocacy on the five measures where Yes votes can make a big difference in South Dakota’s political and economic landscape.
But South Dakota, wouldn’t you rather have a leader who can give you good reasons for or against each ballot measure, instead of a Governor who seems more like a figurehead, trotting out a blanket No on nine diverse and complicated policies for the sake of focusing attention on the one ballot measure his business pals want?
That is such an ignorant response. Initiative and referendum are part of the South Dakota Constitution. Under the Legislative article, they are part of the governmental process. For a Governor to not be serious about it is telling. It’s as if he said would never have a position on any matter before the Legislature.
Yet, he could say this, “I have my position on some these issues, but I will study some of them more. In the end, the people have to make the decision on these issues, and they should take that seriously.”
Daugaard cannot help himself. He knows that his pockets will not be lined with moolah on anything but his preferred amendment. He speaketh from both sides of his mug on all issues including Medicaid Expansion because he and his gang cannot figure how they can capitalize on it. If there is bribe money or mollah to be made under the table, Daugaard would be in. He is just like Rounds in that regard. A perfect pupil. Give them an EB5 platform and watch how things get done.
In South Dakota’s race to the bottom it has a governor who epitomizes that endeavor.
Here is a crazy idea. How about the voters research all the ballot questions for themselves and let them make up their own mind.
The information about all that will be on the ballot can be found
Here is a hint, start early there is a lot to go through before you cast your ballot
Daugaard still has two years to go, a little early to be mailing it in isn’t it?
What would you expect from the Governor from the ‘do nothing’ party. Daugaard wants to maintain the status quo from which he and his cronies have profited from for decades.
It is insulting to be told to just vote “No” on the constitutional amendments and initiated measures on the South Dakota ballot. Or insinuating that voters don’t want to take the time to educate themselves on the issues. So just vote “No.” The majority party feels threatened by some of the measures which would take some of their power away. Yeah!
These ballot measures give us a chance to voice our wishes. It seems that if the legislature won’t do what the citizens want, they will take it upon themselves to put the issues to a vote. Long live initiated measures!
BTW. please use the correct name of the four post-secondary institutes which is ‘technical institutes’. Vo-tech is an outdated usage.
(Anyone wishing to revisit the “vo-tech” terminology discussion should review our June comment-section discussion first.)