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If GOP Rejects Non-SD-Funded Ballot Measures, Thune Is Toast

The most crushing, crowd-pleasing comeback of last night’s ballot question forum in Sioux Falls came from Amendment V campaign chairman Rick Knobe, just seconds after my video memory card blinked FULL.

Will Mortenson and Rick Knobe prepare for debate on Amendment V, SF Chamber/League of Women Voters forum, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 2016.09.15.
Will Mortenson and Rick Knobe prepare for debate on Amendment V, SF Chamber/League of Women Voters forum, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 2016.09.15.

Knobe squared off against Will Mortenson, the SDGOP’s designated hitter against the open nonpartisan primary bill. Mortenson repeated the ad hominem/ad pecuniam argument of his committee’s cheap YouTube attack on the funding sources of the Amendment V campaign, saying that the biggest reason to oppose V is some six-figure donation from New York. Amendment V is “not grassroots stuff coming out of Highmore,” said Mortenson (thus establishing the new criterion for ballot measure validity: making sure the first signatures on our initiative petitions come from Highmore… and maybe out in the suburbs in Holabird—Nick and Mary Jo Nemec, the next petition drive starts at your place!)

In his closing remarks, Knobe noted that it is… odd to hear Republicans bristle about outside money in South Dakota politics when their Senator John Thune has gotten 70% of his campaign cash from outside South Dakota. The fifty-some crowd at the forum laughed heartily.

Knobe actually lowballed that figure for Thune’s take in the current election cycle. A quick check of FEC records shows that donors listing non-South Dakota addresses have contributed 78.3% of Senator Thune’s itemized individual donations since January 1, 2015. PACs with non-South Dakota addresses have given Thune 99% of his recent committee contributions. Combine those pots, and out-of-state money makes up 89% of Thune’s recent contributions, $3.78 million out of $4.24 million.

Opponents of Amendment S and Initiated Measure 22 also lodged the argument that out-fo-state money means a ballot measure doesn’t reflect real South Dakota interests. That argument rings particularly hollow when it comes from anti-22 campaigner Ben Lee, spokesman for the wealthy Koch Brothers’ organization Americans for Prosperity.

But if Republicans lend that argument any credence, they must agree that a Senator who gets 89% of his money from outside of South Dakota isn’t representing the grassroots in Highmore, Huron, or Sioux Falls. Looks like Republicans will be voting for authentic South Dakota candidate Jay Williams, who has received 71% of his itemized individual contributions and 100% of his committee money (80% total) from Holabird, Houghton, and other South Dakota locations.


  1. Thomas 2016-09-16 07:58

    V makes me nervous. It sounds somewhat credible, but what happens if it turns out that it is always two republicans at the general election? We leave candidate seats unfilled. We hemorage registered voters. Could that not be a possibility?

  2. Steve Parsons 2016-09-16 08:15

    Amendment V is crap. It’s a last ditch effort for Democrats to hopefully squeak someone in because there is no (R) or (D) next to their name. You all know it, say whatever you want but that is the case.


  3. Dicta 2016-09-16 08:26

    It could, but V isn’t about a simple power grab for Dems. It’s about voters learning about candidates rather than having a simple R or D act as a proxy for actually policy proposals. If the people of the state of South Dakota like nutter policy positions, such is democracy.

  4. Darin Larson 2016-09-16 08:40

    Thomas, if it is two republicans in the general, do you think that a Democrat who came in third in the primary is going to win in the general? Not likely. However, instead of having the choice between a Democrat who received less than 1/3 of the primary votes and a right wingnut with an R next to his name with a 95% chance of being elected, Amendment V restores the sanity of having moderates elected once again. V stops the race to the extremes and a race to the extreme in SD is inevitably going to end up right wing.

    I know if you are a party line Democrat you may be disappointed when you can’t even vote for a Democrat in the general election. However, think of the bigger picture. Imagine being able to vote for a moderate Republican that believes in funding education as a state priority. Imagine voting for an independent that believes our regressive tax system needs to be reformed.

    I think the climate will improve for Democratic ideas as well as Democrats in the long run if V is passed. Right now we have a toxic environment of right wing extremists that poison our political landscape. Let’s bring the discussion back to the middle. Rome wasn’t built in a day and V won’t solve all our problems in a day, but it is a big step in the right direction.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-16 08:42

    Thomas, Dems face those stakes in the current system as well when we fail to fill all ballot slots. Giving Thune a pass in 2010 discouraged lots of Dem voters and donors. It’s not the law’s responsibility to ensure that Democrats get a candidate in the general election; it’s our obligation to organize, recruit, and win every chance we get.

    Steve, as Dicta says, V is no power grab. I’m certainly not advocating it for partisan reasons. I genuinely want every voter to have a say in every election. For instance, in District 1 and District 15, Democrats dominate. Dems and the Indies who show up pick their legislators; Republicans are essentially disenfranchised. I support V because it will allow those Republicans to vote in the primary. Even if Republicans don’t field candidates in Districts 1 and 15, Republican voters can still pull those Dems right. In 15 in particular, where abortion politics often divide Dems, Republicans could score a victory for their agenda under V.

    I’m not looking at V in terms of who’s in power now and who might benefit in 2018 from a change. I’m looking at it in terms of basic fairness for all voters and, as Dicta indicates, respecting the will of the voters. If voters choose not to back Democrats, that’s on us Democrats.

    Hashtag all you want, but I am #AlwaysAboutPrinciple.

  6. Darin Larson 2016-09-16 08:48

    Steve Parsons, what are you afraid of? Are you afraid voters might have to delve into the candidates a little rather than just voting party line? Surely you are not afraid that Democratic ideas will prevail when party affiliations are removed?

    Heck, you can send two Republicans to the general election with Amendment V. Don’t tell me you think Republicans have so little to offer that they are afraid removing the R beside their name will result in them losing to Democrats.

    Or are you afraid that wingnuts will be less likely to be elected when they are running in a general election against other Republicans? If so, I would agree you should vote against V.

  7. Steve Parsons 2016-09-16 08:49

    Hashtag away. You’re “always” about #hateGodhateChristianshateRepublicansDoAllICantoControlMyTemper

  8. mike from iowa 2016-09-16 08:53

    If a moderate or, gawd forgive, liberal wingnut gets elected, does that august body of stale wingnuts necessarily have to seat someone they feel is impure?

    I’m thinking these stinking polecats have more than one escape route planned.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-16 08:55

    Wow, Steve, you really got up on the wrong side of the bed, didn’t you? Did you notice this post is about Amendment V, Rick Knobe, John Thune, and out-of-state campaign contributions? I’m not going to bother responding to your patent falsehoods until you at least get back on topic.

  10. Darin Larson 2016-09-16 08:57

    Steve Parsons, I know you are, but what am I. How quickly a discussion about policy turns into a personal attack. I assume you are taking your ques from the Trumpster.

  11. Jim in DC 2016-09-16 09:58

    Parsons — You should throw in a few more hastags there. It was a bit hard to digest. You win the most out of touch hastag award with that last one. Pretty evident you don’t follow this blog. Your challenge: Show us when Cory has used the term hate with any of the items you list. And get some rest. You’ll need it to spruce up that spiffy website of yours.

  12. Mike Boswell 2016-09-16 10:05

    Cory as per usual you want to spin this to the liberal side. Fact is Republicans will reject measure V because it is bad for Republicans. Most of us could care less where the funding for V comes from. That goes for many of the other ballot measures designed to possibly give Democrats/Liberals a snow balls chance in heck to get a Majority in SD Politics. Keep Trying Cory but your spin doesn’t work.

  13. Don Coyote 2016-09-16 11:17

    Amendment V is nothing but an end around on the old blanket primary which was ruled unconstitutional in California Democratic Party v. Jones. Because of the required endorsement by political parties of candidates that were selected with the inclusion of non-party members, this essentially violates the principle of freedom of association.

    And while a non-partisan primary narrowly dodges that constitutional problem, it in effect accomplishes the same ends with the inclusion of the additional problems of the unseemliness of the top two candidates being from the same party, the increased likely hood of the exclusion of independents and third parties from the general election and the increased possibility of gaming the election by the major parties.

  14. Adam 2016-09-16 11:35

    Republicans implement gigantic double standards all the time because their voting base doesn’t pay enough attention to connect the dots. It works like a charm.

    “Slavery is freedom,” “chaos is order,” “blue is actually yellow,” and so, “vote Republican.”

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-16 12:07

    Welcome back, Mike. I see in your absence you’ve forgotten that I don’t spin. I mean what I say: my main reason for voting for V is to allow all voters to participate in every election. Fairness for everyone, regardless of party—that’s my principle here, regardless of how the chips fall for any party.

    Are you really admitting, Mike, that Republicans are voting against V not because of principle but simply for their own crass desire to hold power? If that’s the case, then you’re telling us that Republicans are really the spinners here, trying to make it sound like they’re voting on some faux principle like opposition to outside money when really they’re just selfish.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-16 12:09

    Don, V does not infringe on anyone’s freedom of association. Show me any way in which V stops you from meeting with fellow party members to organize and take political action.

  17. Adam 2016-09-16 12:55

    Cory, I am afraid that you are 100% correct about what Mike said.

    It’s also really important to note that the SD GOP really doesn’t think their voters can tell the difference between a Democrat and a Republican without printing it on the ballot. People don’t seem to realize what a slap in the face it is to conserva-voters calling them stupid like that.

  18. Don Coyote 2016-09-16 12:56

    @cah: Sorry, but you are wrong. Amendment V takes away a political party’s right of it’s members to determine who they want to represent them in a general election. If the party wants to make exceptions in that determination, such as SD Democrats allowing Independents to vote, that is their decision. Closed primary elections, caucuses and conventions are all means of democratically selecting candidates and most faithfully protect the party’s and my association rights. Blanket or open primaries and jungle primaries don’t.

  19. Mike Boswell 2016-09-16 13:05

    I think Cory that people will do what is in their best interests and not necessarily some kind of subversion. Republicans for the most part like that the party has a majority in South Dakota and would like to keep it that way. Most independents in the state vote for Republican Candidates anyway. V is an attempt to possibly allow more Democrats into office. It’ isn’t crass, but knowing how things are. As you know I am about what is real. No politician here.

  20. Dicta 2016-09-16 13:57

    Don, apparently, knows what is constitutional better than SCOTUS. The blanket primary was ruled unconstitutional in California Democratic Party v. Jones because it required political parties to associate with candidates they did not endorse. The nonpartisan blanket primary disregards party preference in determining the two candidates to advance to the general election, and for that reason has been ruled facially constitutional by the Supreme Court in Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party. So, no, Don. You go further and say:

    “Amendment V takes away a political party’s right of it’s (sic) members to determine who they want to represent them in a general election.”

    No. Party members are still free to vote for whomever they feel best represent their interests in the general. It does not do what you say it does. And a political party is an instrumentality, not an independent being that holds its own rights. The right to association is a right held by its members, not the damn political edifice that they belong to. Those members are still free to vote their conscience.

  21. Anne 2016-09-16 14:47

    Underscore Dicta’s more informed reading on this issue. But in South Dakota, the open primary is not merely a matter of eliminating partisanship; it is a chance to control the corruption that has become endemic to state government.

  22. pk 2016-09-16 14:50

    Parties could hold pre-primary conventions and endorse certain candidates, get info on them out to their party members… and make their intentions known to anyone that’s willing to listen. Then OTHER candidates can also run… as many that would like to… and promote their ideas. Finally, all adults, 18 and over who have taken the time to register to vote in SD, has the opportunity to vote for whomever they want, based on whatever criteria they hold dear. Please, this is so simple and for anyone that has ever wanted to run and help serve others, this is a breath of fresh air. Does it change things? You bet. It asks us as voters to step up. It asks candidates to step up. And, it asks parties to work with them… and the people of the state, perhaps to come up with broader ideas, built on understanding and some compromise. I love the absence of party labels on the ballot; very freeing!

  23. drey samuelson 2016-09-16 16:53

    Don Coyote–if the Republican Party wants to close it’s elections from all South Dakota citizens–meaning they acknowledge that the Party is, in fact, a private club–then it should pay the cost of holding them.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-17 10:00

    Coyote, as Drey points out, V does not deprive parties of their right to decide who represents them in our elections. V does take away the guarantee that their preferred nominee makes the general election ballot, but why do parties deserve that privilege? If the Democratic Party can automatically place a candidate on the November ballot, why can’t the Aberdeen Kiwanis Club?

    V says every party can name a nominee or mulitple nominees to run for office. V then lets the people have a vote to weed that field down to the two most impressive candidates, who then fight it out for a majority vote in the general election. I see no awful loss of rights in that situation; I see a net gain in rights.

  25. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-17 10:05

    Mike Boswell, you’re still playing word games to evade the key point: Republicans are opposing V because they want to hold power. I am supporting V not for personal or party power but for principle: I want more people to have more chances to vote, and I want every office in South Dakota ultimately decided by majority vote.

    I am a politician. I am also about what is real. By engaging in this conversation, Mike, you too are a politician, one studying and seeking to influence the affairs of the polis, the community. There’s nothing wrong with being a politician. You are playing a word game to make it sound like you are somehow committed to truth while those of us disagreeing with you are not. But really, you are trying to avoid the real argument. That sounds more political (in your incorrect, denigrating sense of the word), more “spinful” than anything I’m doing.

  26. Darin Larson 2016-09-17 12:10

    You have to love the Republican spin here: by restricting people’s choices to Democrats or Republicans people have more freedom to associate. Really, in what universe? As has been pointed out, parties can still choose their own candidates to run in the primary and can identify those candidates as their own and urge people to vote for them. What they can’t do is restrict the rights of others to also run for office if the latter gathers the signatures necessary to be on the primary ballot.

    If you are like Mike Boswell and your interests are just to do what is best for your party, maybe V isn’t for you. Although, I would argue that both the Republican and Democratic parties would be better off in the long run when they are more responsive to the voters and when the primaries are not a race to the extremes. We once had a thriving moderate influence on our politics that allowed for compromise and effective governance instead of gridlock and obstruction. V is a big step in the right direction.

  27. bearcreekbat 2016-09-17 18:07

    drey’s point nails it. There is no reason for the public to fund a private groups’ process for choosing their party’s candidates. Once we decide to use public money in such endeavors the public has a right to put conditions on the use of such funds, including limiting information on ballots.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-17 21:21

    Public money supporting private organizations—Bear, that argument should appeal immensely to Boswell and his Republican friends, at least if they hold true to their professed principles.

  29. Don Coyote 2016-09-17 22:50

    @drey samuelson: “… then it should pay the cost of holding them.” What would charging political parties for closed primary elections accomplish other than placing a financial burden on the smaller political parties and further concentrate power in the dominant parties? Not to mention that coercing a party to open their primaries smacks of taxation for exercising the Constitutional right of association. Refresh my memory, didn’t the 24th Amendment do away with poll taxes?

    I find rather ironic that it was by the initiative process that Progressives in the early 1900’s democratized the nominating process, removing that power from the party elites of the dominant parties. Now once again the Progressives (or do you prefer to be known as Liberals, I get confused by all the switching back and forth) choose to upset the apple cart as they try to game the system because the system doesn’t work in their favor.

  30. jerry 2016-09-17 23:36

    Great article about why the top two would work so well here in South Dakota. I can see why there may be a problem in California because of the cost, but fail to see how cost will enter the picture here. Interesting that the richest states in the nation are so heavily Democrat. The states with the most opportunity as well. In failed states, we have do not see Democrats as strong contenders. That may well change here if this bill becomes law. Who cares what party as long as we can get away from all the corruption we presently see here.

  31. Darin Larson 2016-09-17 23:40

    Coyote, I read the article from Stanford and I am skeptical.

    First, the anti-majoritarian consequences are much more of a problem in California than in SD because of the relative populations of the state and the number of viable candidates that may be interested in running for statewide office. Moreover, the parties could deal with this by having a pre-primary to choose a candidate that would be backed by the party, possibly with pledges by party candidates to abide by the party primary results. Furthermore, the anti-majoritarian consequences are much more possible in a statewide race. District level races don’t have the interest level that statewide races do and would attract far fewer candidates to split votes.

    Second, your article claims that “top-two primaries have effectively shut out third parties, who have little reason to run candidates at all in a primary where they have zero chance of making the general election.” If argument #1 is that the major parties can split their vote and have anti-majoritarian consequences, how can the article also argue that third parties will be shut out? If the major party candidates split the vote, the natural consequence could be for independent candidates to win elections.

    I’m sympathetic to the third point about more expensive races, but I’m not sure that is the most important consideration. Money is out of control in politics currently. I suppose it could always get worse.

    The article is also disappointing in that it doesn’t give any examples of anti-majoritarian results, nor does it provide much, if any, data to back up its claims. I’m not sure that it has been well-tested yet.

    At first blush, I would say that V will be more successful in moderating the district level races rather than the statewide races.

    Hey, are we saying that California couldn’t make this work, so therefore it won’t work in South Dakota? Interesting.

  32. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 11:11

    No Cory as you will find out. The majority of South Dakotans are conservatives and have conservative values. They identify themselves with the Republican Party. That’s a fact you chose not to realize. While maybe the larger cities have some Democrat strong holds. South Dakota is a Red State through and through. The people of South Dakota will defeat V and 22 because it is in their interest to do so. We (South Dakotans) could careless about what the Party HQ is doing. I am about what people think and reality of that situation. To ignore that fact is to put your head in a pocket gopher hole.

  33. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 11:16

    I am not a Republican Party puppet as I will not support Donald J. Trump for President. It is one of the few times that shames me as a Republican and shames me that so many supported him.

  34. Don Coyote 2016-09-18 11:35

    @cah: “… and I want every office in South Dakota ultimately decided by majority vote.”

    There are much better voting systems that have been developed that are much fairer than the your top-two system when it comes to electing representatives (ranked and proportional systems come to mind).

  35. mike from iowa 2016-09-18 11:57

    South Dakota conservatives approve of corruption, rampant cronyism, keeping the poor from getting healthcare, paying teachers starvation wages, griping about federal over reach while taking billions in payments from the very same fed, taking property from private citizens via eminent domain, keeping government papers hidden from citizens, helping big oil cover up spills, wasting taxpayer dollars fighting federal court orders, preventing women from exercising their rights on reproductive health choices, trying to prevent all citizens from having and enjoying equal rights, not bothering to allow oversight on government projects-especially when federal funds are at stake, and I’m sure there are many more to think of.

  36. Jana 2016-09-18 13:53

    Don Coyote…the GOP would fight ranked and proportional systems tooth and nail as well. It’s their country club and there is no way they will give up their money, power and control. Unless the greater good of South Dakotans is brought to play.

    I don’t blame them. They’re exactly what Donald Trump has been saying about the system being rigged.

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-18 17:38

    Coyote, you’re good at missing Drey’s point. I don’t think any us of Progressives or Liberals or anyone else are interested in making the parties pay for the state to conduct their primaries. Drey offers a rhetorical point that supports the main intent of the primary system: the state should conduct elections for all voters, not just limited partisan subsets. The parties should conduct their own selection processes. I’m not seeking to game any system by supporting V; I’m just trying to create a fair election system.

    I like Darin’s analysis of the Stanford article. If parties are worried about anti-majoritarian consequences, smart parties would respond by holding a pre-primary selection process to green-light their party apparati to rally around one most viable candidate.

    I stand by my analysis that third parties have a better chance of breaking through and placing second in a shared primary than they do of placing first in the current general election against nominees from both major parties. Indies and third parties aren’t winning jack now in the status quo… but wait: if I argue that V will make life better for indies, won’t Coyote accuse me of trying to game the system to benefit a specific group of candidates?

    Coyote, how does the top-two system not result in every office on the general election ballot being decided by majority vote? It’s pretty straightforward: two choices, one will get 50% + X. You bring a ranked-choice voting system as legislation in the 2017 Senate or as a 2018 initiative, and I’ll probably cheer for it. But right now, V offers an improvement over the status quo.

  38. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-18 17:42

    Mike, I’m not sure what you’re saying “No” to, but explain to me: how does the average voter benefit from voting against V and preserving the status quo? Are you saying that because the majority votes Republican, the majority should vote for a less fair election system that maintains the partisan power dynamic they prefer? Are you saying that selfish partisanship is o.k. if a majority back it? That seems to conflict with your assertion that you and you imagined majority (how conveniently comforting) don’t care what Party HQ is doing; quite to the contrary, it sounds like you are saying the majority is marching perfectly to Party HQ’s drum.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-18 17:43

    On the good side, I acknowledge that Mike Boswell is choosing reality over partisanship in his rejection of Donald Trump. Thank you, Mike. Tell your friends to do the same.

  40. Adam 2016-09-18 18:06

    When Bosewell said, “No Cory as you will find out. The majority of South Dakotans are conservatives and have conservative values. They identify themselves with the Republican Party. That’s a fact you chose not to realize.” – it was an intentional aggressive assault on our opposition party’s basic intelligence in South Dakota – let alone one of the finest candidates.

    Mike, you oughta grow a brain and stop thinking Democrats are some kind of subhuman group of brainless dummies. You actually think we don’t even know that we’re out-numbered in most SD voting districts – so ya must be stupid or something.

  41. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 18:59

    No Adam I am stating reality. It was in no way an attempt to dismiss Democrats, but point out the obvious. I am about how things are, now how you empathize or wish things are. If you are so offended by that reality, maybe you should move east of SD and feel more at home (now that is a an verbal assault). Cory many Republicans in South Dakota are not following the party drum. For the most part establishment Republicans don’t support Trump. They hold Trump at arm’s length and hope not to get caught in the splatter.

  42. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 19:00

    Adam contrary to what you said, I would like both parties (once elected) to work together and actually get the people’s work done. That hasn’t happen in Washington DC since the early part of George W. Bush’s administration.

  43. grudznick 2016-09-18 19:04

    Mr. Boswell, I have often taken note of how many libbies who frequent Mr. H’s bloggings nearly always castigate all Republicans and cast everybody they think they disagree with into the same boiling pot. I also often take note that many of these individuals aren’t even from South Dakota. It seems to be a theme.

  44. mike from iowa 2016-09-18 19:12

    Fortunately for the benefit of the entire nation, many of us commenters come from far more enlightened areas of the country. We don’t need a steady diet of stale gravy-taters.

  45. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 19:13

    Cory, don’t think that my non support of Trump in anyway is a nod to Hillary Clinton. I don’t throw my vote to proven liars, cheats, or bullies. I am supporting Johnson/Weld 2016, so I don’t have to hold my nose while voting. I am IN.

  46. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 19:14

    Mike from Iowa, this isn’t really about you now is it. Those of us who are life-long South Dakotans can take care of this.

  47. Adam from South Dakota 2016-09-18 19:28

    I might, from now on, comment under this new name. Just to be clear about where I am from, just for people who rely on that before they can possibly consider the merit of my words.

  48. grudznick 2016-09-18 19:31

    I know I go to sleep at night chuckling with contentment how many like Mignon Mike, who is from the smaller end of Iowa, envy the Great State of South Dakota, and then I sleep soundly knowing many of those who drain the public teat are moving east.

  49. grudznick 2016-09-18 19:37

    Just made it the best state in the nation, Mignon Mike. That’s all.

  50. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-09-18 19:42

    (Mike, I neither thought nor suggested anything of the sort. I was quite sure you would not be voting for Clinton. I welcome your vote, based in reality rather than reality-TV, for any candidate other than Trump.)

  51. grudznick 2016-09-18 19:46

    In our state we are lucky we have people in the legislatures who know more than your average citizen bumbling through life listening to goofy ads. Look at Mr. Novstrup, for instance. Who else would have the actual expertise to draft law bills that work for South Dakota owned businesses but make sure that the roving carnivals, freak shows and circuses are subject to tight inspections to protect our citizens.

  52. Adam 2016-09-18 19:57

    Mike Boswell, the two parties stopped working together when Obama Bin President happened to them. Republicans simply stated outright that they were going to obstruct everything, shut government down and all that jazz. We have ONLY the GOP to blame for the parties not working together.

  53. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 20:10

    Adam I beg to differ with you it happened starting at the Second Term of George W Bush and by the Democrats Including a young senator Barrack Obama.

  54. Darin Larson 2016-09-18 20:15

    Grudz, when you are right, you are righter than right. What other state can rely on so many people in the legislature to pass legislation regulating or deregulating themselves without the burden of conflict of interest laws to consider? I mean Mr. Novstrup, for example, has the expertise to know which businesses might compete with his and ensure their proper regulation. He readily lends that expertise to our legislature free of conflict of interest concerns and without charge to our state, except for his paltry legislative salary.

    Further, we don’t even have to concern ourselves with what goes on behind the closed doors of the Republican caucus. They wisely do not apply open meetings laws to the legislature themselves. It is best if we let the experts in the caucus speak freely behind closed doors than suffer the inefficiency of public meetings and all that public scrutiny. Maybe they could use one of those secure apps that automatically delete the messages and can’t be hacked instead of their private caucus meetings?

  55. grudznick 2016-09-18 20:19

    I have heard nobody goes to the caucuses of the Democrat party because there is nothing said there.

  56. mike from iowa 2016-09-18 20:32

    Mr Boswell, your wingnut party has had 40 ears of near total command of South Dakota and have made corruption and cronyism a way of life for pols as well as made it easier to accomplish and easier to conceal.

    Grudz- lay off the gravy-taters. If everyone in South Dakota moved East, the vast majority of them would end up in Minnesota. You aren’t much better at geography than you are at anything else.

  57. Darin Larson 2016-09-18 20:39

    Grudz,you may not believe this, but I have seen and heard the Democrats’ caucus. I snuck in and thought I would be found out and removed from the room. To my astonishment, they left the door unlocked and unguarded and more people came in unfettered and certainly unmolested. I whole thing was strangely democratic and foreign to our state government.

    I guess it is only when you have enough members of the legislature to pass whatever legislation you want that the meeting should be closed. Who knew?

  58. grudznick 2016-09-18 20:40

    Mignon Mike, from the shorter end of Iowa, here in South Dakota we are happy to have the libbies in Watertown move to Minnesota and the libbies in Harrisburg move to Iowa, where apparently they measure things in ears.

    Ears indeed. Must be an Iowegian thing.

  59. Adam 2016-09-18 20:45

    Grudz, try not to obtain so much police from simply being in the majority. It’s like you’re proud to be a lemming – running into the sea in complete unity with your local masses. America is a significantly different place than South Dakota, thank goodness for us all.

  60. Adam 2016-09-18 20:45

    *solace not police – arg – sorry

  61. mike from iowa 2016-09-18 20:56

    Gravy Grudz is mainlining gravy-taters. South Dakota doesn’t regulate freak shows. Wingnut lege is the freak show in South Dakota.

  62. grudznick 2016-09-18 21:33

    Adam, are you from Hot Springs, South Dakota?

  63. Mike Boswell 2016-09-18 21:44

    This is conversation is going no where. V and 22 will be defeated by the people of South Dakota.

  64. bearcreekbat 2016-09-19 10:19

    I find it interesting that folks like Mike Boswell refuse to vote for Trump, but also refuse to vote for Hillary. In Trump’s case it seems reasonable to refuse to support pernicious policy proposals that are predicted to harm our county’s economy, and put our liberties at risk.

    But there seems to be a much different dynamic when it comes to Hillary. Her opponents never seem to mention policy. They don’t tell us which policies that Hillary is proposing that they believe will harm our country’s economy or threaten our liberty. Instead, the Hillary opponents seem to rely exclusively on calling her derogatory names.

    I hereby challenge any and all Hillary opponents to tell us what policy proposals she has put forth that they object to, without calling her a single derogatory name. Focus not on attacking her character or honesty, but focus on which policy proposals you find so uninviting that you are willing to live with Trump’s policy proposals by voting for a 3rd party candidate that reality tells you cannot win.

  65. Adam 2016-09-19 12:52

    I do not think we can count on many conservatives voting against Trump. I’m pretty sure when they think about his obnoxious attitude and reckless use of words, deep down, he is who they are and they love him – they just can’t bear to admit it in front of a group of reasonable people. But deep down in their gut, where all that senseless anti-government inner dialogue takes place, you can’t trust them for a second.

    Anti-Trump conservatives even have a hard time pointing at Trump policy they disagree with – just say they don’t like ‘the kind of guy he is.’ They passionately don’t pay enough attention for the rest of us to trust them any further than we can throw them.

  66. Dicta 2016-09-19 13:11

    Yeah, that’s definitely it. We might as well be Donald Trump. Also, yeah: you definitely can’t trust “them.” Once again, the comments section displaying how scarily accurate horseshoe theory truly is.

  67. Dicta 2016-09-19 13:17

    Let’s play a game. It’s called David Duke or Adam from the Dakotafreepress comments section:

    “I’m firmly convinced that you just can’t trust the people outside of our demographic. Deep down, they are dangerous.”

    Think about what you write, dude.

  68. Adam 2016-09-19 13:56

    Admitting that one voted for Trump is going to be like how you just can’t find anyone who voted for Nixon.

  69. Dicta 2016-09-19 14:11

    Assuming republicans voted for Trump and having their denial just solidify that they did is going to be your pet version of McCarthyism. I see communists everywhere, I tell ya.

  70. Adam 2016-09-19 15:54

    Dicta, that just simply and clearly is not what I wrote. I don’t trust for one second that the pea-brainiest of SD conservative demographics will reject Trump even if they say they will. Trump will take South Dakota if he doesn’t quit first.

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