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Mickelson Cites Daugaard/Heidelberger Agreement to Push Amendment R

One moment, the state Republican Party bombs mailboxes in Aberdeen portraying me as a tax-and-spend tyrant. The next, one of their gubernatorial candidates cites me as proof that Amendment R is a good idea:

Rep. G. Mark Mickelson (R-13/Sioux Falls) evidently told Greg Belfrage and KELO Radio listeners this morning that my agreement with Governor Dennis Daugaard on Amendment R shows that the vo-tech governance proposal is a non-partisan issue. I agree that R is not a Republican or Democratic issue; it simply cleans up legal language to prevent fifty years of unconstitutional management of the vo-tech schools outside of the Board of Regents from blowing up into a lawsuit. I look forward to working with Rep. Mickelson’s replacements in Pierre, Ellee Spawn and P. James Eckhoff, to figure who should run the vo-techs.

CAH, DD, GMM—one big happy family...
CAH, DD, GMM—one big happy South Dakota family?

I disagree with Rep. Mickelson’s description of the Governor’s points of ballot-measure agreement with me as “not many.” If the Governor still holds to his lazy “No on everything but R” position, then he and I are voting the same on R, S, U, 19, and 20. That’s five out of ten! Imagine the collaboration and compromise we’ll be able to hammer out in Pierre!

And I promise: whatever compromise we work out to govern the vo-techs, I will not support raising taxes to do so.


  1. mike from iowa 2016-10-24 14:05

    You are on the right side of the issues and history. I agree with you. That makes it unanimous.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-24 20:38

    Mike, it was just a matter of time before Dennis Daugaard came to his senses and became one of us. :-D

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-24 20:39

    I’m just eager to hear what heck Mickelson catches at the next SDGOP meeting: “Come on, G. Mark! We’re trying to make Heidelberger look bad, and you go giving him free positive publicity in the biggest radio market in the state?”

  4. jerry 2016-10-24 20:54

    Will Mickelson be a regular on the Trump TV that just launched? How bout NOem, Thune and the little feller?

  5. Joe Nelson 2016-10-24 22:03

    You say you will not support raising taxes to govern votechs. If R goes through, would not the BOR take on further responsibilities? I imagine this would mean their budget would need to increase; so where would this money come from, if not from an increase in taxes? Administrative fees to students?

    I honestly do not know enough about how exactly they get their funding for their budget, but I would think that if they began governing these schools, they would want more money to do it.

  6. grudznick 2016-10-24 22:10

    Mr. Nelson, if that R thing goes through there will be a whole new vast level of government bureaucracy created that will cost millions and millions more of tax payer dollars. This is where I stand with my Libertarian friends, and plan to vote Libertarian a lot more this year.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-25 06:32

    Jerry, Mickelson on Trump TV? That’s far from his bailiwick. But expect Kristi Noem—she’s far more appealing to that demographic… and she’s far more willing to pander to the Trump salivators. Her clinging to Trump in this election suggests she is looking ahead to the 2018 primary and thinking about driving turnout among the GOP primary base. Think about it: whose poster do you think Trump voters are more likely to pin to their garage wall: Mickelson’s, Jackley’s, or Noem’s in her cowgirl outfit?

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-25 06:55

    Joe, if R passes, we guarantee the BOR will not run the vo-techs.

    If R passed and the Legislature took no subsequent action, the vo-techs would likely continue to be run as now, individually, by their local school boards. Maintaining that status quo (with R adjusting the constitution to accommodate the currently illegal scheme of management) would not result in any tax increase.

    If R passes and the 2017 Legislature creates a new board to run the vo-techs, then yes, taxes could well go up, although it is also possible that funding for this new board would come from cutting funding to other programs. Maybe the vo-techs even have some operating budget that could be diverted from the school boards to the new management. Heck, maybe we could just cut the vo-techs loose from the school boards and say to the president of each one, “You’re the decision-maker. Good luck!” Or maybe business leaders would be so excited to finally be free of the possibility of a Regental coup (wait—is it a coup if the constitution currently says its your job?) that they would fully fund the new vo-tech governing board with private donations. (Oh, goody: public education controlled by private corporate dollars. Ugh!)

  9. John Wrede 2016-10-25 12:56

    Please explain the reasons why mandating that the Board of Regents assume full administrative authority over the Vo-Techs is a bad idea. Does it honestly make sense to create another layer of government and expense by creating a new board? None of this makes sense!

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-26 06:19

    The Constitution already mandates that the Board of Regents assume full authority over the vo-techs. The Regents and the vo-techs apparently don’t want that to happen. Their reasoning is that the missions of the universities and the vo-techs are sufficiently different to justify separate governance. Mickelson et al. apparently believe that some new separate governance scheme will allow the vo-techs to respond more quickly to industry demands.

    I wonder, though: don’t the Regents already have a workforce/corporate mindset? Aren’t the universities already barking to the business-world tune?

  11. John Wrede 2016-10-27 11:27

    This just seems to be the typical, conflict avoidance, embarrassment dodging tactics of conservative republicans that goes on at all levels of state government. It just appears to me that this isn’t an administrative or mechanical issue that needs repair but just a simple matter of job discipline and absence of legislative supervision. “The Board of Regents don’t want to adhere to Constitutional Law nor do the Vo-Tech’s want to either.” That is just juvenile arrogance! I fail to understand people who have a constitutional job and duty to perform and don’t do it because they don’t want to……….. We’re talking about a group of people that stand as an example for future employees/employers that they propose to train for the job market. “Oh, by the way, if you don’t want to do a part of the job you’re assigned by your employer, all you have to do is propose a scheme for your employer to give that part of your job to somebody else and you won’t have to worry yourself to sleep every night. This is exactly what has happened with State Government as a whole. This is the “Mike Rounds” ideology poking it’s ugly head up again. In response to state employee complaints that they had to much on their plate, he just decided to rewrite job descriptions and work responsibilities in stead of taking a cold hard look at supervision and program accountability and oversight.
    They find all sorts of excuses for why things don’t get done, or why there are failures in administrative oversight of programs etc. etc. etc. and the real problem is just plain old responsible supervision and familiarity with one’s job description and responsibilities. We don’t need a constitutional amendment!!!! What we need is a legislature and administration with the spine that is willing to write a good job description for the Board of Regents and then hold their feet to the fire. If they don’t achieve results and expectations, the door should smack them on the butt on their way out.
    Judging from the corporate influence and “job fair” marketing at our state supported institutions, I’d have to agree that the Regents already have an overly generous workforce/corporate mindset. There is no where else where that is more than evident than at SDSM&T. If I had to guess, the reason the VoTech’s don’t want Regent oversight is because they might be required to focus a little more on primary academics such as reading, writing, math, sociology, and science before fully engaging students in chosen skills pursuit. That is as it should be. We need to provide students with “life skills” as well as vocational skills and if the VoTech’s aren’t doing that, they should. Skills of the mind are just as important if not more important than learning how to weld a pipe or climb a power pole. If a person can’t communicate well, doesn’t read instructions well, can’t manage a simple budget because of the lack of math skills, all that wrench turning and metal melding isn’t going to do him or our state much good in the long term. We’ve been complaining for years that our students are not getting a good secondary education and yet we continue to dilute the standards because somebody doesn’t want to do their job…………..

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