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Glodt Running Anti-IM 25 Campaign, Already Getting Numbers Wrong

If we applied Al Novstrup’s “relationship” politics to our ballot in November, we’d vote for the amendments and initiatives based not on the merits of each policy but on which ballot question sponsors or opponents are our cronies.

If that were the case, I could vote either way on Initiated Measure 25, since the sponsors and the opponents are all blecchy Republican gas bags.

I have been grappling against the selfish urge to vote against IM 25, the tobacco tax hike for vo-tech funding, just because it is sponsored by crony fake Republican Speaker G. Mark Mickelson. But now any tempting but ill-advised impulse to vote on personality is negated by the news that insider Republican operative Jason Glodt is running the campaign against IM 25:

Jason Glodt
Glodt once again burning up money on ballot questions.

Foes recently launched a “significant” television advertising campaign and volunteers are speaking to organizations to sign up new opposition coalition members, said Jason Glodt, grassroots director for South Dakotans Against Higher Taxes. Voters in the Nov. 6 general election will decide Initiated Measure 25, which would increase taxes on different tobacco products including a $1 hike per 20-cigarette pack.

“It hurts small businesses,” Glodt said. “It’s a $35 million tax increase on small businesses in our state” [“Foes of South Dakota Tobacco Tax Hike Initiative Mobilize,” AP via KDLT, 2018.09.03].

This concern about fiscal responsibility comes from the man who led the extravagantly funded campaign for Marsy’s Law in 2015–2016, promising it wouldn’t cost taxpayers extra money. Ha!

We know “grassroots” belongs in mock quotes before Glodt’s insider establishment name. So does his claim of “$35 million.” As AP notes, the fiscal note released August 16 puts actual new revenue at $24.9 million.

Such are the actual policy details we’ll have to deal with now that the Republican sleazeballery on the anti-IM 25 cancels out the Republican sleazeballery on the pro side.


  1. Kathy Bergquist 2018-09-04 08:59

    Your AP link took me to KDLT (NBC). You have it listed as KSFY (ABC).

  2. 96Tears 2018-09-04 09:25

    State government is a big cash cow when you’re a SDGOP hack. This is what deep-seeded corruption looks and smells like.

  3. Donald Pay 2018-09-04 17:28

    Glodt is talking bullsh*t. This isn’t a tax on small business. I’m not sure why he angles it that way, because it’s patently false. It is a tax on smokers, most of whom are lower middle class and poor folks. Tobacco is the biggest of big businesses that markets an addictive drug. The people they hook are the less educated, which are also, usually, the poorest among us. But Republicans don’t give a damn about the poor, so the use the usual Republican strawman whine about “hurting small business.”

    I’m still conflicted on this one. The revenue from a cigarette tax should shrink as people cut down or stop smoking. The only way you can keep that revenue going up is for the state to encourage or at least not discourage smoking. If that happens, that would increase health costs, and the costs of this tax would be shifted onto non-smokers, through higher premiums from health carriers, and to state taxpayers through increased Medicaid costs.

    Second, people who smoke tend to come from lower economic circumstances, compared to the total population. Thus, a tax on cigarettes shifts even more of the tax burden onto the lower middle class and poor. These folks usually have to spend their entire paycheck, which gets taxed through the sales tax. They will have less money to spend at the 5.5% rate, so there will be a decrease in sales tax revenue, which will affect every other area of state government. K-12 education and teacher pay will inevitably have a cut to pay for this tax. It won’t be a large cut, probably, but there will be a cut if the tax results in decreased sales taxes revenue.

    Now, let’s look at the positive side. An increase in the cigarette tax may encourage some percentage of smokers to quit. Great, that’s what this tax should do, and if it does nothing else it will vastly improve health outcomes in those folks and reduce costs of health care. However, fewer smokers means less revenue going to funding vo-tech.

    You notice Mickelson didn’t propose a higher tax on luxury cars or a tax on capital gains to fund the vo-techs. He found poor and lower middle class folks to stick with the costs. This is a typical Republican tax gimmick design to shift costs of state government from the rich to the middle class and poor. But you won’t find Glodt and his well-heeled interests proposing taxes on luxury cars as substitute. Tax fairness is something that they never consider.

    I think people should cast a protest vote by not voting at all on this IM.

  4. Debbo 2018-09-05 00:12

    “blecchy Republicans gas bags.”

    This is one of my favorite Cory-isms. 😆😆😆

  5. Dan Nelson, SDAHT 2018-09-05 04:52

    South Dakotans Against Higher Taxes (SDAHT) is confident in the accuracy of its calculations projecting IM 25 will generate approximately $35 million per year in new tax revenue. SDAHT intends to bring these discrepancies to the attention of the South Dakota Legislative Research Council. (SDLRC)

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-05 19:48

    Whoa, you’re right about that, Kathy! Sorry about the misdirection. I have edited the citation to correctly name KDLT.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-05 19:50

    Dan Nelson! Glad to have you. Can you tell us the source of this ten-million-dollar discrepancy? Different math? Different assumptions?

  8. Dan Nelson, SDAHT 2018-09-06 06:16

    “At this time, SDAHT intends to resolve the discrepancies directly with the LRC.”

  9. Darin Larson 2018-09-06 10:15

    SDAHT has a commercial on TV that warns against the possibility that IM 25 funds will be misappropriated to the general fund “just like they done with the video lottery.” Yikes! I hope their math skills are better than their grammar skills.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-09-06 20:07

    Come on, Dan—why not make your case to the public? We’re the ones who will vote on this, you know.

    Darin, do they say that “just like they done” with a cowboy drawl?

  11. Darin Larson 2018-09-06 21:49

    Cory, I don’t think it was a cowboy drawl, but I did consider the fact that it may have been intentional.

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