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Latterell Says He Prioritizes Education; Bills and Votes Say Otherwise

Ping. Ping. Ping-ping-ping-ping-ping-ping-ping-ping—

Rep. Isaac Latterell (R-6/a P.O. Box in Tea) sets off the B.S. meter with this ad misportraying himself as a defender of education:

Rep. Isaac Latterell, campaign ad, Lennox Independent, 2016.10.06, p. 7.
Rep. Isaac Latterell, campaign ad, Lennox Independent, 2016.10.06, p. 7.

Rep. Latterell claims that he is “Prioritizing Education Funding.” Horsehockey—during the 2016 Session, Latterell prime-sponsored one abortion bill and three resolutions (including a call for an Article V convention), none dealing with education. In 2015, Latterell offered three abortion bills, a fireworks bill, and a another Article V convention resolution. In 2014, Latterell prime-sponsored two abortion bills, four other non-education bills, and another Article V resolution. In 2013, Latterell wrote just one bill on elderly dementia. Rep. Latterell’s bills and resolutions over his last two terms in Pierre show he’s expended far more energy waging war on women and issuing faux-Minuteman calls to rewrite the Constitution than funding education.

Rep. Latterell claims that he voted during the 2016 Session to increase teacher pay to $48,500. When did he cast that vote? It certainly wasn’t on House Bill 1182, the half-penny sales tax that is funding the Governor’s plan to raise K-12 teacher pay to a statewide average of $48,500. Rep. Latterell voted to block that funding in four roll call votes. Only after the Governor secured victory on that funding source did Rep. Latterell surrender and vote for Senate Bill 131, the funding formula that set the target salary of $48,500. But even in that surrender, Rep. Latterell couldn’t vote for SB 131 without voting for the Sly Amendment, which hurt schools with declining enrollment and, by my calculations, prevents us from reaching the formula’s teacher salary goal.

Rep. Latterell further undermined the Governor’s goal of raising teacher pay with his vote on Senate Bill 159, the stealth vouchers plan. The same day that he cast his grudging vote for the new K-12 funding formula, he supported the final House vote to raid two million dollars from public school funding to subsidize religious schools. If Rep. Latterell is prioritizing education, it certainly isn’t public education.

Rep. Latterell touts his support for House Bill 1130, Rep. Lance Russell’s (R-30/Hot Springs) teacher-pay plan that didn’t survive its first committee hearing. I appreciated the cleanness of the bill, but former appropriator Susan Wismer noted the bill was an overly simplistic plan that demanded later, harmful budget cuts. Latterell thus signed onto a plan that clearly was going nowhere; his subsequent votes on the sole passable funding mechanism on the table showed he was not prioritizing education.

SDGOP mailer for District 3 Republican Legislative candidates, received 2016.10.08—nice targeted mailing, Republicans!
Ping-ping-ping goes my mailbox, too: SDGOP mailer for District 3 Republican Legislative candidates, received at Dakota Free Press World Headquarters 2016.10.08—nice targeted mailing, Republicans!

Latterell is like most members of the majority in Pierre: they send out ads and postcards boasting that they (and Drew’s fiancé?) strongly support education, but their voting records show chronic neglect, distraction, and disrespect that left South Dakota teachers at the bottom of the nation in pay for three decades. Even this year, Republicans had to be dragged kicking and screaming to support a half-measure that leaves South Dakota teacher pay in last place in the region while increasing the regressive burden of South Dakota’s taxes (another issue about which Rep. Latterell gives not one practical darn).

Don’t let Rep. Latterell trick you, District 6. If you want to prioritize education, you want new legislators, like Clara Hart and Kyle Rogers.


  1. mike from iowa 2016-10-11 07:14

    Rep. Latterell claims that he is “Prioritizing Education Funding.”

    He the one that permits education grant administrators to siphon funds for themselves and their cronys? That seems to have been the Numero Uno priority.

  2. Darin Larson 2016-10-11 07:29

    If Latterell didn’t vote for the funding mechanism for the $48,500, how did he vote to “increase teacher salary funding to $48,500?” He may have voted for the formula, but he didn’t vote for the funding. And the formula is nothing without the funding.

    Just another lying liar promising to support education until he is elected and goes to Pierre. Then he treats education like a battered spouse.

  3. DR 2016-10-11 09:31

    Pretty sad that Rep. Latterell had to move to SF area to get elected. I don’t like him, and does nothing for South Dakota.

    Maybe they purposefully sent that mailer to you. I will say, the GOP should scrub their lists though as I got two of them at my house. One would have been sufficient.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-11 10:28

    DR, the SDGOP clearly enjoys spending extra money on me. ;-)

    They may not be as bad as Jason Glodt, who is burning up Henry T Nicholas’s money sending Amendment S flyers indiscriminately to everybody, including lots of people who, as is likely noted on various research lists, are not likely to swing their votes.

    DR, how has Latterell’s unelectability here not translated into unelectability in District 6? Has he played nicer with the local Lincoln/Minnehaha party leadership? Will his little show-off face at the RNC hurt his standing with those leaders and District 6 voters?

  5. Craig 2016-10-11 11:10

    Latterell should have just sent out mailers reminding people he is the facepalm guy from the GOP Convention. At least that shows he isn’t 100% sold on Trump… and anything that detracts from his lack of accomplishments in Pierre is probably a good thing if he wishes to win his race.

  6. Rorschach 2016-10-11 11:21

    My spouse and I haven’t received a single Amendment S flyer.

  7. DR 2016-10-11 11:34

    I believe he was sole reason the great divide of the republican party in Aberdeen at the end of Dana Randall’s reign as Brown Co GOP Chair. He thought it was a good idea to take on a very good legislator and current Brown Co Commish Duane Sutton in a primary. Sutton lost the primary to Latterell in 2006 by 17 votes. Latterell then lost to Al Hoerth by 34 votes ( He then went on to get the Brown Co GOP Chair position in which he won against Duane Sutton. He violated the GOP rules on who was eligible to vote for leadership positions. So they had another election in which he won again, only b/c Duane had enough.
    After he won the leadership position, he completely ignored the county GOP. It would have been completely dead if it wasn’t for Jason Williams and the rest of the executive team at the time.
    He tried again in 2008 and 2010, placing 4th and 3rd respectively.
    Latterell is about himself and himself only. He says he cares about South Dakota, but if he did, he wouldn’t have pulled that crap that he pulled at the convention. I have heard donations were pulled, and the Minnehaha GOP & Lincoln GOP was going to refuse to help him this fall.
    When he was elected in District 6, he was dating Jenna Haggar, who at the same time was elected in her district(10), which leads me to believe, he used that relationship to get into the legislature. From what I gather, Jenna and her father Don are pretty popular in Sioux Falls.

    To sum up how I feel about Latterell. I would vote for Nikki Bootz over him….

  8. Darin Larson 2016-10-11 12:32

    People tell me that Latterell is the Hitler Youth wing of the GOP in SD.

  9. Jeff Barth 2016-10-11 16:34

    My opponent made the same claim after voting against the Governor’s teacher pay bill…. twice. Then went on to say that she had done more than needed so those funds could be reassessed this coming session.

  10. Jeff Barth 2016-10-11 16:37

    PS – Jenna Haggar got married last weekend after a five week engagement. Jenna and her husband are moving but I don’t know where.

  11. grudznick 2016-10-11 16:53

    Ms. Haggar getting married probably drove Mr. Latterell even insaner than he already was.

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-11 19:39

    Ror—no S for you? Well, there must be some targeting afoot.

    Jeff: hammer on education! Don’t let Langer spin her lack of support! Is she sending out similarly bogus ads on the topic?

    (Jeff—five weeks? wow! Is the wedding announcement in the paper? And do you know there where at least in terms of whether staying in District 10 or not?)

    DR: if your last sentence is the case, then think of Drew as a young Isaac… ;-)

  13. Rorschach 2016-10-12 13:05

    When is Jenna Haggar’s baby due? Sounds like a shotgun wedding.

  14. Rorschach 2016-10-12 13:25

    You can’t have Langer without anger.

Comments are closed.