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Tapio Says Opponents Should Lose Voting Rights, Congress Shouldn’t Scrutinize Budget

Republican U.S. House candidate Neal Tapio thinks voting is a privilege, revocable if you support his opponent:

Neal Tapio, Facebook post, 2018.05.23.
Neal Tapio, Facebook post, 2018.05.23.

Shantel Krebs is proposing to go “line by line” through the nation’s $4.3 trillion budget. Does she really comprehend the size of our problems? $1 trillion deficits? $1.3 trillion omnibus bills? Line by line? Seriously?

Career politicians are incredible.

Anyone who thinks her proposals are credible should have their voting privileges taken away [Neal Tapio, Facebook post, 2018.05.23].

Neal, first, don’t post at midnight. You should be in bed, resting up for another hard day on the campaign trail.

Second, when you talk about voting as a privilege, you sound like your arrogant Republican colleagues in the South Dakota Legislature who have worked to make voting more difficult instead of protecting our sacred democratic rights.

Third, do you really want to criticize a fellow Republican for talking hard-nosed fiscal conservatism?

Shantel is also proposing zero based budgeting. After all, she did it in the $1.6 million budget of the Secretary of State. Her assistant said they were able to save .005 cents per envelope, for a total annual savings of $25,000, by driving outgoing mail to the Pierre Post Office instead of having it picked up from her office. I appreciate anyone in state government who will try to save .005 per envelope. Unfortunately, our problems at the federal level are a little beyond the 1/2 cent league.

Zero based budgeting? After watching the video, do you really think Shantel is credible?

Oh, to be a fly on the wall when she demands House leadership take up her proposals. Will they be able to hold off laughing at her until she leaves the room? Or will they laugh right to her face?

Shantel Krebs is embarrassingly naive.

Line by line?

Good one! [Tapio, 2018.05.23].

Sure, reading every line of the 2,232-page omnibus spending bill is a tall order, but it’s doable. Dusty Johnson read all 641 pages of the Farm Bill (only to have your party fail to pass it), and he’s not even in Congress yet. Plus, Congresspeople have staff to help them with that line-by-line analysis.

Besides, laughing at Krebs’s concrete savings in the Secretary of State’s office make you sound laughable. Shaving five-thousandths of a penny of the cost of each mailer sounds trivial, but those tiny shavings add up, and if every office finds teeny-tiny thrifty moves like that, the budget gets better.  This one instance of thriftiness saved 1.6% of the SOS budget. If Krebs could come up with just one reform with similar impact on the 1.3-trillion-dollar omnibus bill that you consider so incomprehensible, she’d save American taxpayers $20.3 billion.

But what do we expect from a midnight-tweeting devotee of Donald Trump, who regularly trivializes voting and embraces reckless deficit spending? Instead of protecting voting rights and diligently scrutinizing the budget, Tapio would rather scapegoat Muslims and sing other Trump karaoke hits. I’ll take Krebs’s practical budget hawkery over Tapio’s empty late-night gusts any day.


  1. Nick Nemec 2018-05-23 09:53

    Driving around the state this weekend I noticed that Mr. Tapio is winning the sign count race on US-14. Krebs second and Dusty a distant third. I realize sign counting is not an accurate way to judge the eventual outcome of a political race, but it is an in interesting observation. I wish him the best of luck in the primary and if he wins will congratulate future Congressman Bjorkman but also remind Bjorkman that it ain’t over until it is over.

  2. o 2018-05-23 12:20

    Tapio’s chiding does serve as a not-so-subtle reminder that when it comes to passing legislation, nobody really reads any of it and it all is a partisan roll-over for a vote. Get with the system!

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-23 13:15

    Indeed, O—Republicans still cry about the allegation that no one read every line of the Affordable Care Act, yet they rush the federal omnibus spending bill and the South Dakota budget in such a way that no lawmaker can read them line by line. Tapio and his party just can’t pick a rhetorical lane.

  4. Donald Pay 2018-05-23 13:33

    I don’t like that kind of snark, and the un-American threats Tapio proposes for his opponents, even if he has a point with some of his criticism. It is impossible for every Congressperson to participate in the nuts and bolts of every budgeting decision. Yes, zero-based budgeting is a talking point, not a real budgetary strategy. But, he offers nothing, which is just shocking for someone who claims to be conservative.

    Going line by line through a budget is what I would expect Congressional representatives on the relevant committees should do, but it should be done in open sessions in a bi-partisan way. That hasn’t happened in decades, which is why our country is a fiscal mess and wastes lots of money. The most important thing that could happen is to take the process out of the secret, midnight leaders-staff-lobbyists-executive branch circle jerk sessions and let the process work in open session.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-23 16:14

    Donald’s right: saying his opponents don’t deserve the right to vote grates on my ears the same as when I hear Tapio’s followers here in Aberdeen suggest that if we progressives don’t agree with their (fascist) views, we should move to another state. Tapio and his followers are trying to exclude opponents from public discourse, now, with Tapio’s words, including voting.

    On the budget process, Donald sounds just like Shantel or any other honest fiscal conservative: a lack of scrutiny is a sure-fire route to wasteful spending. Tapio’s cheap shot at Krebs sounds like a disavowal of everything fiscal that Republicans say they stand for.

  6. Debbo 2018-05-23 21:08

    It seems to me that I can remember watching big budget arguments in Congress when I was fairly young, though maybe I’m wrong. Does anyone remember that belong televised? Actual budget debates with the proposed budget there in front of everyone with plenty of time to read, research, argue, check in with constituents, etc? Maybe it’s just wistful dreaming on my part.

  7. Paul 2018-05-23 21:09

    Tapio should just watch what his own followers are doing. I have spotted three signs of his (all I have seen in Yankton). All three are illegally placed in the right away, which is illegal in Yankton.

  8. Jason 2018-05-24 07:29

    Tapio better walk back his comments on zero based budgeting or he could lose votes.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-05-25 08:57

    If you want a balanced budget, you pretty much have to do what Shantel recommends, rather than throwing your hands up and declaring the budget beyond rational scrutiny.

  10. leslie 2018-05-25 20:29

    as cory links “Lesley Stahl asked Trump in semi-private meeting why he’s always attacking the press. His answer: ‘I want to demean you and discredit you so that when you do negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’”

    and Trump violated revoked players’ 1st amend rights and their union voting rights: “Lesley Stahl asked Trump in semi-private meeting why he’s always attacking the press. His answer: ‘I want to demean you and discredit you so that when you do negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’ ”

    Tapio’s misplaced trust is deplorable and should be revoked.

  11. Robin Friday 2018-05-27 17:08

    So now voting privileges are to be taken away from anyone who just disagrees with Tapio on policy? Does he realize how Fascist this sounds?

  12. Robin Friday 2018-05-27 17:15

    I would say it doesn’t matter to me because I’m not going to vote for her anyway. . .but it does matter. I know it’s not going to happen, it’s just fascist rhetoric, but yes, it does matter.

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