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Mickelson Needs to Stop Feeding the Republican Koch Addiction

If Speaker G. Mark Mickelson is serious about banning out-of-state money from South Dakota politics, he needs to expand his focus from ballot measures to candidates and from ballot measures from fringe nuts he doesn’t like to rich guys like the Koch Brothers whom his Republican Party really likes.

A letter to the editor in the Watertown paper speaks of the addiction Mickelson ought to be fighting:

We have a drug problem.

Our problem is addicted politicians. They have become “Koch addicts.”

To be elected and stay elected takes money, lots of money. So politicians depend on their “dealers.” And the “dealers” with the most money are people like the Koch brothers, who get politicians hooked and keep them hooked.

Politicians remain hooked “Koch addicts” through the threat of having their “fix” taken from them (if the “Koch” agenda is not served) and being given to someone else [Murray Smart, letter to the editor, Watertown Public Opinion, 2017.10.10].

Nine Republican legislators traveled to Koch-backed ALEC events across the country in Fiscal Year 2017. Speaker Mickelson approved taxpayer dollars to reimburse those trips.


  1. o 2017-10-11 08:52

    I wonder where the fracture point will be for the GOP. After decades of the “big tent” philosophy and adoption of any and all strays (yes, I include southern Democrats after the Civil Rights movement in that list), the Kochs and the radical-corporate-conservatives seem to be winning the directional/defining focus of the party. Wielding the slur of “RINO”, the most radical have imposed a purity test for the party, but so far, rather than centrists parting ways from that direction (a direction they do not seem to support when posed as issues away from party affiliation: as seen in support of the ACA but hatred of “Obama-care”) and that party, it has worked to direct the party and the flock that label-identifies as GOP.

    The GOP needs to split, send the Koch fringe on its way and stop being the stooge footmen for a radical corporate profit agenda. The first step would be fielding candidates who are willing to voice those positions and move the debate from the simplified “R” or red label.

  2. mike from iowa 2017-10-11 18:47

    Would that be a Koch-Ayn addiction?

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-10-12 04:50

    O says, “The GOP needs to split.” I’d love to see Mickelson and others in the GOP prove their principle, reject the radical corporate fascist agenda of the Koch Brothers, and push the ALEC fatcats to a separate party.

    But O’s statement gets me thinking about the track Citizens for Liberty, Stace Nelson, and Lora Hubbel are promoting this week about all those darn Democrats like Dan Lederman and Deb Soholt registering as Republicans to get elected and taking over the SDGOP. The arch-conservatives complain that those party-flippers are mere opportunists taking advantage of the GOP’s positive brand recognition. But maybe the Nelson/Hubbel wing are opportunists, too. Maybe instead of sticking with the GOP for its advantages in branding and resources, the Nelson/Hubbel wing should split from the GOP and form their own new party, dedicated to absolute conservative principles instead of the opportunism and corporate beholdenness that Lederman and Soholt represent.

  4. o 2017-10-12 11:19

    Why did the GOP hand the ability to label “RINO” to the fringe of the party? That is the part that baffles me. Why doesn’t the reasonable core get to decide what the party stands for? This really is the tail wagging the dog. To keep the ultimate goal of “majority,” too many reasonable Republicans fall in line.

    The reckoning is coming. Now that Trump is THEIR responsibility, now that the 1% uses this congress and president to line their pockets at the expense of the rest, now that health care (with today’s erosion by the President) is only for the wealthy, now that there is absolute protection on the right to create an arsenal for the mass murder of fellow citizens, , maybe being a RINO,one that has moderate tendencies, is not such a bad political stance to take.

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