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Equality SD PAC Picks Heidelberger over Novstrup

District 3 voters have a clear choice on equality and inclusion in their Senate race. In its new 2016 Voters Guide, the Equality South Dakota Political Action Committee endorses me over my opponent, Rep. Al Novstrup. EqSD PAC endorses me based on my “positive” responses to the candidate survey they sent out earlier this summer. Below are EqSD’s four survey questions, with my responses in bold:

EQSD-PAC_logo_horz-K180cEqSD Q1 CAH 20160703 EqSD Q2 CAH 20160703 EqSD Q3 CAH 20160703 EqSD Q4 CAH 20160703

I’m proud to have Equality South Dakota’s PAC endorsement. I look forward to fighting for equality for all South Dakotans in the Senate during the 2017 Session.

Rep. Novstrup apparently did not respond to EqSD’s survey, but his anti-equality voting record and public statements speak for themselves. On the two discriminatory bills EqSD spotlights in its survey, this year’s HB 1008 and HB 1107, Rep. Novstrup voted for discrimination and inequality every chance he got, including his futile vote against the Governor and the bill sponsor to override the Governor’s veto of the potty bill.

EqSD issues no recommendation on the District 3 House race. Evidently none of the four candidates, not even my Democratic colleagues Brooks Briscoe and Nikki Bootz, responded to the EqSD survey. Briscoe, Bootz, and Republican Drew Dennert are all newcomers with no voting record. Incumbent Rep. Dan Kaiser missed all but the last day of the 2016 Session, so he has no recorded position on this year’s potty bill or the discriminate-for-Jesus bill. However in the 2015 Session, Rep. Kaiser voted for the anti-transgender and anti-SDHSAA HB 1195 and SB 140.

EqSD PAC’s complete voting guide endorses 44 Legislative candidates: 36 Democratic, 8 Republican. 45 candidates, all Republicans, get EqSD’s explicit non-recommendation. EqSD leaves blank 75 no-info candidates: 42 Dem, 28 GOP, and 5 independent. EqSD gives 11 candidates—1 Dem, 9 GOP, and 1 indy—a “neutral” rating based on “mixed” voting record and/or survey responses.

Only five candidates with voting records responded to the survey. Of those five, only Rep. Dan Dryden (R-34/Rapid City) had different ratings, with a “mixed” voting record but a “positive” survey response. That was enough to earn him EqSD’s recommendation. EqSD also recommends Rep. Dryden’s fellow District 34 GOP House candidate Senator Craig Tieszen. Their Democratic challenger, Steve Stenson, did not respond to the survey and thus is left blank.


  1. Joe Nelson 2016-08-28 12:43

    South Dakota Right to Life also published their voting guide:

    Side note: The guide is in a weird format where the body of the guide is not text in the pdf, but an image….so I had to run text recognition, so any formatting errors or spelling errors are likely mine. Although I did try to clean it up a bit.

    South Dakota’s general election is Tuesday, November 8. Due to the large number of match ups between candidates with varying pro-life records and views, SDRTL is distributing a voter guide in an attempt to cut through some of the campaign rhetoric. Alphabetic grades were assigned to each established legislator based upon voting record. In addition, testimony for and against pro-life bills is noted. For candidates without established voting records, a uniform effort was made to contact each for a statement about his or her position. Some candidates did not respond. When this occurred, the statement ” failed to respond” is listed next to the candidate’s name. Further, if a nonresponsive candidate has elsewhere expressed a life-related opinion, a copy of that statement is provided. If your race is not listed in this voter guide, it is not a contested election. Remember, voting records always trump campaign rhetoric, and candidates can be intentionally ambiguous about their Intentions. Don’t forget to turn out to vote for LIFE on November 8th!

    Here is what they have for you (no rating though):

    Cory Heidelberger (D)
    •states “I’m pro-life. I deeply value human life and dignity, as does every sane South Dakotan. My respect for life and dignity also makes me pro-choice. It’s not my place as a man or a legislator to impose reproductive choices on any woman or on all women by force of law.”
    •states “There may be some logic to saying that life begins at conception. Clearly an embryo or
    fetus is an organism of some sort, though entirely dependent on the host organism for its
    survival. However, the ” lifeyness” of a newly conceived embryo does not provide a complete
    and absolute answer to the legal question of who controls the womb and whether a woman
    can choose not to submit to the service of that lifey thing inside her.” -Dakota Free Press,
    06.17 .16
    •states “North Carolina’s and South Dakota’s 72- hour waiting periods for abortion don’t protect women. They punish women.” -Dakota Free Press, 06.16.16
    •states “0 , in the abortion crusaders’ world, an embryo is a tool with which to punish women for
    having sex.” -Madville Times, 02.08.15
    •states “There’s a weird Jedi mind trick, Becca. The backers of HB 1162 think they are promoting
    diversity by protecting little babies of color from murder. But they are branding minority women
    as inherently more murderous than good Christian white women. Yeesh.” -Madville Times, 03.04.14

    This is the listing for Novstrup:

    Rep. Al Novstrup (R) •received an A rating from SDRTL for his 100% pro-life legislative voting record in 2015-16, 2013-14, and 2011-12

  2. Tim 2016-08-28 13:46

    So Cory I have to ask, in our very backward, very Republican state that claims to be “pro-life” but has no trouble denying health care to the many that are already born, will this be a plus for your campaign or the kiss of death?

  3. grudznick 2016-08-28 14:19

    It is not news when a libbie organization back Mr. H over Mr. A. Novstrup. It would be news if I can get the Conservatives with Common Sense to back Mr. H and send big PAC money his way, but I was shouted down at breakfast this morning. The waitress at Talleys actually had to ask us to keep it down. I only put it out there for a discussion point but some people were offended.

  4. Richard Schriever 2016-08-28 14:26

    “….whether a woman
    can choose not to submit to the (ETERNAL or LIFE-LONG) service of that lifey thing inside her…..”

    Just for clarity’s sake.

  5. Spencer 2016-08-28 16:04

    I oppose abortion due partly or entirely because of fraternal birth order. Where does Equality South Dakota stand on this issue?

  6. jake 2016-08-28 16:51

    Cory, stand your ground. I’m with you and and so are many others. I’m ‘pro-life’ because I love LIFE. But I’m anti-gov’t injecting itself into my business of life. I will not render unto gov’t decisions like this But these that follow the mantra of “all life is sacred and it begins @ conception” are among those clamoring for death in wars that they have never experienced of or death penalties for horrible crimes and refuse government help to those less fortunate than the ones that garner riches from businesses that cater to government that bestows favors on them. If SD were as restrictive to business that raped the taxpayers as they are against abortion we’d not have EB-5 and GEAR-UP and others waiting to be found……

  7. jake 2016-08-28 16:52

    Spencer, your definition of “fraternal birth order” is??

  8. jake 2016-08-28 16:54

    Grudz– there at one time were Conservatives with Common Sense but they’ve been brain-washed out by Limbaughs and Hannitys et al.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-08-28 19:04

    What, Joe gets to hijack this post into a pro-choice discussion? No one wants to discuss the merits of the Equality SD endorsement? I’m glad South Dakota Right to Life is reading my blog so attentively and sharing my text with their readers, and I’ll address their much greater interest in me than in Al’s meager droppings in a separate post. Let’s hear what you think the impact of an Equality SD endorsement will be in District 3. Any takers?

  10. owen reitzel 2016-08-28 19:25

    At least you answered the SDRTL survey Cory-knowing what would happened. Good job

  11. jake 2016-08-28 19:42

    Cory, “Hijackers” find a home in the GOP. Witness the “Sift Boating” Of Kerry and the assassination of the former head of the VA- a paraplegic that ran for Senate in one of the Carolinas, maybe Georgia. Character assassination fits them

  12. grudznick 2016-08-28 20:42

    Mr. Jake, you should come to our breakfasts. They are spirited these days. I hold out hope that Mr. H is one of the libbies with common sense who can reach across the isle but some days I am beaten down like a dog by my fellows. Just beaten down, like a dog. Voices like mine grow weaker as the shrill hairball voices grow.

  13. Joe Nelson 2016-08-28 22:15

    LOL, I was not hijacking anything, just sharing another voting guide. I thought it a good idea that you actually responded to their questions. The Republican for my District failed to respond! I also thought it interesting that they did go above and beyond to list some of your thoughts and opinions in their guide. I do wish they would have gone into more detail with your opponent though, as they did with others.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-08-29 06:33

    Yeah, but Joe, your mention of the topic shows how even folks in this comment section are easily distracted by abortion politics from other issues.

  15. Joe Nelson 2016-08-29 15:34

    Cory, perhaps your readership cares more about the abortion discussion than LGBTQ issues? Or at least they do not find the endorsement as note/comment worthy? I like that you shared your answers, and I would like it if Equality SD PAC provided everyone’s responses on their site.

Comments are closed.