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IM22 Protest Planned for Capitol January 10; Chamber Hosts Dinner and Drinks Afterward

The Legislative Research Council hasn’t posted any bills in the hopper yet, but Mark Winegar has a protest on tap. The Vermillion Democrat invites us all to help ring in the 2017 Legislative Session with a protest on the Capitol steps to call for enactment of Initiated Measure 22, the Anti-Corruption Act:

On election day, voters in South Dakota passed the Anti-Corruption Act to change the corrupt status quo in Pierre. Now, corrupt politicians are attacking the new law in court and making plans to repeal it when the session starts on January 10. 

We can’t let politicians ignore the will of the people – and that means we have to get their attention and show overwhelming support for the Anti-Corruption Act. We’ll be delivering petition signatures and rallying in front of the state capital building in Pierre on January 10 to pressure lawmakers into listening to the voters [“Rally to Stop Attacks on South Dakota’s Anti-Corruption Act,”, downloaded 2016.12.25].

Winegar is organizing this protest under the banner of Represent South Dakota, a new chapter of the national organization that helped promote IM22 in the 2016 campaign. The protest convenes at 11 a.m. Central.

In a normal political environment, the case protestors could make to their legislators for IM22 would be pretty simple: voters passed a law, but one activist judge has stymied it. The first order of business for legislators, who were elected to do the people’s business, should be to immediately enact the portions of the law that everyone agrees are constitutional, then write and pass revised measures that fulfill the people’s mandate without tripping on constitutional hurdles.

Plaintiffs in Curd et al. v. South Dakota #32CIV16-000230: members of GOP leadership highlighted.
Plaintiffs in Curd et al. v. South Dakota #32CIV16-000230: members of GOP leadership highlighted.

Of course, in South Dakota’s political environment, that’s unlikely to happen, since the plaintiffs who brought the suit that opened the door for their fellow Republican judge to kill IM22 include 24 Republican legislators, among them the Senate Pro-Tem, the House Speaker, the majority and assistant majority leaders of each chamber, and two Senate majority whips. Nonetheless, those 24 legislators need a reminder of who writes their checks and pays for their meals in Pierre…

…which reminds me: you can come for the IM22 protest, then stick around for the Governor’s State of the State address (should be at 1 p.m.), then the big Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Welcome dinner:

Jan 10 @ 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Welcome is January 10th from 5:30-9pm at Pierre Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center. $25 per seat or $200 for a table of 8

Help the Chamber welcome legislators to the community for the 2017 Legislative Session. The Chamber is looking for sponsors to host the legislators. Sponsor one or more, call the chamber at 224-7361 to find out which legislators are still available [ Calendar, downloaded 2016.12.25].

Protestors, help your legislators work up an appetite. Engage them in friendly, vigorous, policy-oriented conversation before and after the day’s formal Legislative activities, then join them for dinner at the Ramkota to remind them for whom they really work.

p.s.: Be prepared for a Frosty reception from the Pierre Chamber of Commerce. This is their current Facebook page banner:

Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Facebook banner, downloaded 2016.12.25.
Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce, Facebook banner, downloaded 2016.12.25.

I want to see that Chamber snowman shaking hands at the door at dinner. Embrace the snow!


  1. grudznick 2016-12-25

    It would be swell if the Dakota Free Press Blog sponsored a table of the legislatures, and Mr. H plus 7 of the insanest of them all debated throughout dinner.

  2. grudznick 2016-12-25

    Mr. Tim, so you think the legislatures are really that into a warm Bud Light and free hot dogs as their biggest perks? I have heard they get a lot of free breakfasts but that they are usually the sad kind of breakfast with no hot sausages and gravy served with fancy accoutrements. But I do not think free hot dogs are at the top of the list of reasons to vote. I bet you even Mr. Nesiba would not sell his vote for a sausage gravy breakfast, for it is illegal already.

    I have voiced this opinion before, but I feel we the taxpayers should feed the legislatures free beer and hot sausage breakfasts every single day and all day long to keep them at the Capitol building working instead of going out to basement parties with the lobbies and dancing the night away. It would be a small price to pay to get some real work out of them.

  3. grudznick 2016-12-25

    It is funny how these out-of-state fellows call everybody “corrupt.” It will be interesting to see if they start calling any of the Democrat legislatures corrupt, morally corrupt, or inept. All might be true on some level. For sure with some of the legislatures.

  4. mike from iowa 2016-12-25

    Funny how in-state fellows can’t see the corruption in South Dakota. Must be wilfull blindness or apathy. Of course it has been prevalent for so long you get used to it. At least we don’t have crooked HRC here. Go eat more prairie dog stew, Grudz.

  5. grudznick 2016-12-25

    Crooked Henry Red Cloud in Iowa? What? I never once heard it said that HRC is crooked. He did get beat like a government mule by that Mr. Nelson fellow, but I doubt he is crooked.

  6. jake 2016-12-26

    Grudz-it’s not the GOP way to give people working for you (legislators) MORE than they expect (free beer/sausage)-but here in SD they can be corrupted so easily in other ways!

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-26

    Grudz continues to distract. Mark Winegar, principal organizer, is an in-state dude. So am I. We both call the Legislature corrupt.

  8. 96Tears 2016-12-26

    And our official state motto is “Under God, the people rule.” I guess it really got put to the test this month. It must get a lot of laughs in Pierre.

  9. jerry 2016-12-26

    @96 Tears, the new official motto has been “Under Daug, we are fooled”. This is printed on a Jolly Roger that is sworn by oath by rank and file Republican legislators seeking their personal treasure.

  10. Donald Pay 2016-12-26


    It’s not the dancing that’s the problem, though I agree legislators could work a little harder during the first couple weeks of session. The most powerful lobbyists ,when I was involved in lobbying in Pierre, rarely, if ever, went to the social events and the bars afterward. They might have picked up a few breakfast sweets when that was happening in the Capitol Building, but they weren’t the main hogs at the trough. That, usually, was me and other lobbyists for non-profits, who were on tight budgets. And, yes, legislators did pick up a plate, too. It was all in the open. I looked at these events put on by the power structure as a little progressive redistribution of the wealth.

    While some are dancing, the powerful lobbyists are in the Governor’s office or the mansion or the Majority Leaders’ offices, arranging legislation they way they wanted it. The rest of us had to content ourselves with a couple minutes of testimony before a committee.

    Sometimes you got a few minutes at a social event to discuss a bill, but I never found the events very conducive to extracting a promise for a vote. Mostly, legislators preferred not to discuss work while at the social event.

    So, yeah, the social events are very obvious, but the real evil is occurring elsewhere.

  11. John W. 2016-12-26

    Grudz suffers from the same ailment that most other self proclaimed conservatives do. Cognitive dissonance.. An the crux of the matter is there are so many definitions and obtuse descriptions of the term that the confusion has lead to utter incoherence. The state and nation suffer from a unique and depreciating form of group think that was recognized nearly two centuries ago. “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.” ~ Charles Mackay (1814 -1889)…. It is for this reason that many an astute mind originated the term progressive in order to keep this country and the world from further decay from backward, back slapping, hollow reasoning.

  12. grudznick 2016-12-26

    That is a wonderful thought, Mr. W. Men go mad in herds. The herd, indeed, is insaner than most.

  13. jerry 2016-12-26

    I hope to attend the meeting in Pierre and be a part of the recovery sense crowd. It would not surprise me to see many self proclaimed conservatives there as well. This attempt at silencing the citizens has an impact on conservatives as it does all honest South Dakotan’s. The lawlessness of this legislature is why RICO laws should be utilized here. If you cannot be there, call the outlaws or email them your displeasure.

  14. Todd 2016-12-26

    Funny how that hotdog and bowl of chili persuade the votes on the reservation and it is vote buying but that same hotdog is not when dealing with the SD legislators?

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-26

    Give that man a chili dog! :-D

    Todd, I would suggest the hypocrisy you catch is another example of legislators’ thinking that they are better than the voters. The Republican litigants fighting IM22 think average voters will surrender the only vote they get for one measly meal, but they say that the scrumptuous buffets laid out for them nightly in Pierre not just won’t influence their daily votes but are actually vital to allowing them to interact with their fellow citizens.

  16. grudznick 2016-12-26

    I, for one, think chili dogs should be free at all voting places, reservation or not. As long as the chili dogs are put out for all to enjoy and not just the legislatures, why can’t everybody have chili dogs?

  17. Roger Cornelius 2016-12-26

    I was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation and spent the better part of 50 years there, never once was I offered a bowl of chili, hotdog or anything else to vote.
    Does Todd really think Indian voters are that damn gullible?

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