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Questions Abound About Al Novstrup’s Dishonesty and Hypocrisy

Dr. David Newquist has written a vigorous response to the sole attack card that the South Dakota Republican Party deigned to send out on Senator Al Novstrup’s behalf this year to distract the voters of District 3 from Novstrup’s self-interested, anti-child voting record. I thank Dr. Newquist for his kind words.

Dr. Newquist’s post also elicits this following comment from Aberdeen ex-pat Dr. Michelle Kalehzan, who questions Novstrup’s claim that he never insults other people:

Al Novstrup, part-time legislator.
Al Novstrup, part-time legislator.

I have been wondering when someone would ask Al Novstrup whether he had participated on the Aberdeen American News online discussion in and/or around 2004. I was informed by multiple sources at that time that he was participating using one or more alternate screen names. The postings attributed to these screen names were highly offensive and degrading to various individuals and demographic groups. I still have hard copies of these postings. Given Al Novstrup’s letter to the editor which appears in today’s edition of the Aberdeen American News in which he claims to have never been insulting to others, I felt compelled to ask:

Al Novstrup, Did you participate in the Aberdeen American News online discussion forum in and/or around 2004? Which screen names do you use? Was “Fair” one of them?

This 5th generation South Dakotan from Brown County would like to hear your answer [Dr. Michelle Kalehzan, comment to David Newquist, “Protecting Kids from a Political Party That Runs on Nothing But Malice,” Northern Valley Beacon, 2018.11.02].

I can’t find the 2004 forum posts in question archived online. However, I can find Novstrup’s latest false character attack in Friday’s paper:

Mr. Heidelberger’s style is to denigrate anyone he disagrees with. He calls others corrupt, dishonest, a bigot, lazy or a racist. He also dismisses Christian values as “Christian right” and unworthy of fair consideration. He even calls pro-life policies immoral [Al Novstrup, letter to the editor, Aberdeen American News, 2018.11.02].

It is true that I have called some people corrupt, dishonest, bigoted, lazy, or racist. Dan Guericke was corrupt. Al Novstrup is dishonest. Al and his friends who support the local anti-Muslim rallies are bigoted. John Thune was lazy and incoherent in his refusal to consider the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court in 2016 (and George Will backs me up in that assessment). And in backing racial profiling and saying, “Here’s what a terrorist looks like: they are of mixed racial background,” Al Novstrup demonstrated his own racism. When people do wrong, I have no problem calling them as I see them… a quality Trump lovers like Al usually love.

But Novstrup lies when he says I denigrate anyone I disagree with. I have disagreed with my wife, my best friend, my parents, and numerous friends in the comment section of this blog without denigrating them. Personally denigrating people who decline to accept one’s claims without question is the Novstrups’ style. On the radio last week, every time I tried to make a policy point that he didn’t like, Al responded by mocking me for talking instead of listening. When I disagreed with his son David’s illogical argument that overturning the voters’ will on the minimum wage in 2015 wasn’t really an affront to voters, Al’s son David (a sitting Senator at the time) said he doesn’t care what I think and called me a “liar.”

Novstrup also lies when he says I “dismiss Christian values as ‘Christian right’ and unworthy of fair consideration.” In the same series of blog posts that another conservative cites this week to claim that I can’t represent all South Dakotans, I enumerate several core Christian values that I not only deem worthy of fair consideration but openly profess and follow. I praise Jimmy Carter for his honest application of Christian principles and criticize the current occupant of the White House for failing to live up to his claimed Christian beliefs. I don’t dismiss Christian values; I dismiss politicians’ cynical exploitation and exclusionary misapplication of Christian values.

Having to deal with constant lies and insults instead of honest policy debate is one of the most frustrating parts of running for office against Al Novstrup. Al and I could have had a great series of instructive public forums. He could have joined me at the four monthly forums I hosted at the public library, and we could have had civil debates about education, labor, taxes, and the ballot measures. I certainly tried to lead such conversations, but Al’s persistent response to policy criticism is to cry Cory called me names! while joining his party in throwing his own special brand dishonest insults… a habit Dr. Kalehzan says Novstrup has practiced since his earliest days in politics.

So consider, District 3: isn’t 16 years of dirty Novstrup politics enough? Let’s elect a Senator who will simply work hard and tell the truth.

Related Misleading: Al Novstrup’s moral and political model, Donald Trump, has made 6,420 false or misleading claims since taking office in 2017.


  1. Donald Pay 2018-11-03 07:50

    The reason Al can’t engage in policy debate is that he is a cipher in the Legislature. A cipher is a zero, a nothing. All he does is go to caucus and meet with lobbyists to get his instructions on how to vote on bills. He role is to be a 0.

  2. David Newquist 2018-11-03 12:22

    Novstrup says, ” I know politics can get nasty, but that is not, nor will it ever be, my style.” That postcard sent in his name is a contrived defamation that refutes any claim to decency. It is an insult to voters who expect their intelligence to be treated with respect and decency.

  3. Porter Lansing 2018-11-03 13:03

    That postcard and many hateful, lying postcards just like it are frequently bragged about by their sender. Pat Powers (Novstrup’s mouthpiece) has said, “All I have to do is send out a couple more of my postcards and my winter trip to Florida will be paid for.” paraphrased.
    *Condolences to the Powers family in their time of grief.

  4. grudznick 2018-11-03 15:05

    I’m surprised Mr. H doesn’t find it concerning, or think that it won’t reflect on his own campaign. I mean, the name calling by most of his out-of-state bloggers. South Dakotan’s don’t like rudeness, as Mr. H points out in his blogging above, but his minions flit about his feet like short haired guinea pigs around the floor of a low-end barber shop. Aberdeen must totally ignore this blog, or else they don’t. I guess we shall see.

    Mr. Novstrup is still winning on class.
    Mr. H is still winning on haircut.
    It’s going to be close.

  5. Porter Lansing 2018-11-03 15:20

    grudznick … Al Novstrup sent out a libelous postcard to the voters in Mr. H’s district telling them that Cory was a danger to children and that they should keep their kids away from him. Do you think Mr. H is a danger to children? Of course he’s not. He’s a tier one teacher by anyone’s standards. Novstrup deserves all he gets and he’s not getting nearly what he deserves for telling lies like that. Don’t you agree, sir?

  6. mike from iowa 2018-11-03 15:43

    Novstrup and lap dog Grudzilla have bigger problems than rude out of state posters. You want rude, I can deliver, Grudzilla.

  7. Porter Lansing 2018-11-03 16:27

    It’s been an hour and Grudz hasn’t responded, so I’ll assume he agrees that calling your opponent a child danger is about as despicable as it gets. I know what would happen in a Hollywood movie if the hero got insulted like that. High noon in front of the saloon, pod’ner!!

  8. OldSarg 2018-11-03 16:46

    “It is true that I have called some people corrupt, dishonest, bigoted, lazy, or racist.” some?

    Lets make a list of what qualifies for yo auto call someone corrupt, dishonest, lazy, racist:
    1) Holds a different opinion.
    2) Provides link to opposing views
    3) Believes in the right to life
    4) Believes in God
    5) Believes in civil society
    6) Believes identifying people by the color of their skin is racist
    7) Argues against socialism\communism
    8) Hasn’t been a teacher
    9) Has held a job for more than 3 months
    10) Believes most people, including republicans are not racist
    11) Thinks mike is nuts
    12) Thinks Porter is just all mouth
    Damn, that’s just the start. . .

  9. Donald Pay 2018-11-03 17:16

    When a candidate refuses to engage the issues in a campaign, it’s clear he has nothing to offer. Republicans have perfected a set campaign tactics they put into action for the nonentities that gravitate to power in that party. Al is one of them. Real leaders generally don’t shy away from policy discussions. They relish discussing issues. Al is not one of them, but then Al has a lot of company. Most Republican candidates are not good at engaging in issues. It is one thing the Republicans don’t do well.

    Republicans pay really awful people to come up with last minute attack ads because they know how weak on substance most of their candidates are. In a state like South Dakota, where you can win 70 percent of the time by just smiling and putting an R behind your name, ciphers like Al are told to dodge issues. You see this in Noem, too. They are warned to act semi-politely, but to engage in sly and slimy name-calling, rather than issues. The power brokers don’t want ciphers like Al saying anything on policy. That is for the elites in the state and the party to figure out, not a cipher like Al. And so most Republican candidates will not engage on issues as a well-thought-out campaign tactic.

    It’s frustrating, but this Republican tactic has been pretty successful for 40 years. This is also why Republicans try to hamstring initiatives. They have little ability to actually deal with policy and issues that come from the people. If it comes from the wealthy elite, they don’t have to think. They just take it and enact it. And that’s why people like Al get elected. Not to develop policy, not to understand and debate issues. He’s there to be a sock puppet. Apparently, he’s good at that.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-03 17:29

    OldSarg, stop lying about me. Your statement is false. None of the actions you cite are automatic triggers for me to use the words you cite.

  11. mike from iowa 2018-11-03 17:50

    Grungezilla, here is one of yer North Mississippi buds spreading lies about Cory and calling names. Sic ’em, boy. Read him the riot act or do you hypocritically do that only for outsiders?

  12. grudznick 2018-11-03 18:34

    Mr. Lansing, I do in fact agree that Mr. H is a tier one teacher as measured by the SILT (Seven Indisputable Levels of Teachers.) He is indeed, or was when he worked as a teacher. Now he probably does a pretty good job enabling others to be better teachers.

  13. Debbo 2018-11-03 21:23

    It’s too bad Novstrup lacks character and decency. Real political issue campaigns are fascinating. The SDGOP is so messed up, the most corrupt in the nation, they have zero to offer.

    The people of SD deserve so much better. There are real citizens who want to serve the people. That’s Sutton, Seiler, Bjorkman, both Fredericks, Cool, Cory, Toni Miller and others.

    Voters really shouldn’t mark their ballots for candidates who’ve pledged their loyalty elsewhere than the state constitution and it’s citizens. Your members of the legislature should be loyal to You and your state, first, last and always.

    Don’t vote for anyone who operates in secret either. What are they hiding from you? What is it they’re afraid of letting you know?

    There’s so much wrong with the SDGOP. Loyal South Dakotans, you deserve much better.

    VOTE DEMOCRATIC on Tuesday.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-03 23:07

    Grudz, I have no minions. I control no one. I barely control my dog.

  15. Jason 2018-11-04 07:36


    What percentage of your district visits your website and has read that you want a State income tax?

    If you were an honest person, you would be advertising that you want a State income tax.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-04 08:11

    Unlike you, “Jason”, I am entirely honest. I use my real name, and I have frequently discussed the superior fairness of taxing farmers and others based on how much money they make this year rather than on arcane formulas guessing how much they might have made with their land based on past years and other people’s production decisions. I also speak favorably of income tax in the podcast I just put on the radio for thousands of area listeners.

    But I’m also a pragmatist. I recognize we’ll make progress on other urgent policies before we get to comprehensive tax reform. It’s like building a third overpass in Aberdeen: I recognize it’s a good idea, I’d like to see it happen, but it’s not on my top-ten list of Legislative priorities. Thus, it would be more dishonest of me to satisfy your spin-motivated desires and lead every speech with that issue than to set priorities.

    I’m also profoundly more honest about pragmatic reality than my opponent. Al Novstrup wrings his hands about the importance of funding Aspire and other community service providers, but he never comes out before the election and explains to voters how to get that money. After the election last time, he put up his showboat bill to fund Aspire with a $39-million state-run property tax, but he didn’t take real steps to compromise and craft a practical bill that would survive committee. Novstrup continues the same line this year, saying he cares about Aspire but not saying how he would realize that care in dollars. I’ve proposed two policy options for putting real money into Aspire: repealing the sales tax exemption for advertising and enacting Billie Sutton’s 5-0 sales tax plan.

    I’m honest, Al’s not.

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