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Republicans Excited About Bigger Government, E-30, Killing Four-Year Terms, and Lying About Forced Counseling

Kayla Weis asked a question at Saturday’s crackerbarrel here in Aberdeen. Funny: you’d think that being married to a legislator would give her more than enough opportunity to ask questions about doings in Pierre at home. And since Representative Kaleb Weis is otherwise unemployed (for which unemployment his Republican colleagues uniquely recognize him as a paragon of stay-at-home-dadly virtue, contrary to their disdain for Democratic men who stay home to raise kids), it’s not like Kaleb’s out running around taking care of other business when he gets home from Pierre.

Like lobbyist Julie Johnson, Kayla Weis may have blocked other citizens with less access to their legislators from asking questions at Saturday’s crackerbarrel, but to her credit, she didn’t waste our time with an anti-immigrant screed or any other similar side effects of her Trumpism. Instead she pitched her husband and the rest of the Republican panel a softball, simply asking them to talk about bills they are “excited” about.

In the thirteen minutes that followed, three of the five self-professed conservatives spoke in favor of bills that involve increasing government spending and regulation. Rep. Drew Dennert supports requiring more campaign finance reports and subsidizing private horseracing. Senator Al Novstrup advocated spending millions on Northern State University, putting more kids behind bars (or barbed wire, or whatever his new youth prison camp would look like), and inserting government between doctors and patients. And Rep. Kaleb Weis, apparently unprepared to optimize his speaking time with his wife’s question, schlubbed to the mic to imitate Bernie Sanders and advocate having government pay for more kids’s college.

Rep. Carl Perry joined seatmate Dennert in praising a move to require state vehicles to use gasoline with 30% ethanol. I won’t call that big government: state vehicles have to get around on something, so it’s not really an expansion of government power to buy locally brewed put-put juice instead of pure gasoline from elsewhere.

Senator Brock Greenfield missed the point of the question, talking about legislation he was excited to see die. He noted that he was excited to have helped sway Senate State Affairs chairman Bob Ewing to vote against Senate Joint Resolution 1, the exceptionally bad idea (which Novstrup co-sponsored) to extend legislators’ terms from two years to four. Greenfield also acknowledged Sister Kathleen Bierne of the Presentation Sisters for speaking against Senate Bill 6, Senator Stace Nelson’s politically doomed forced-sonogram bill.

Speaking of abortion, Senator Novstrup apparently wasn’t listening to the present tense in Kayla Weis’s question. He took the bulk of his time to pat his own back for his now eight-year-old vote for 2011 HB 1217, the odious 72-hour delay and forced propaganda sessions he decided to impose on women seeing abortions. Ever detached from truth, Senator Novstrup gallingly claimed that that law, if it survives court challenge, does not force women to seek counseling. It does, Al. Read the law, Al:

…prior to the day of any scheduled abortion the pregnant mother must have a consultation at a pregnancy help center at which the pregnancy help center shall inform her about what education, counseling, and other assistance is available to help the pregnant mother keep and care for her child, and have a private interview to discuss her circumstances that may subject her decision to coercion

…prior to signing a consent to an abortion, the physician shall first obtain from the pregnant mother, a written statement that she obtained a consultation with a pregnancy help center, which sets forth the name and address of the pregnancy help center, the date and time of the consultation, and the name of the counselor at the pregnancy help center with whom she consulted [SDCL 34-23A-56, excerpts].

With his anti-abortion lie here, Senator Novstrup lays bare the Republican strategy: when faced with questions about what we’re doing to solve real problems right now, put on your “I love fetuses!” tiara and dance.

So ask five South Dakota Republicans what bills they are excited about, and those Republicans praise bigger government, talk about bills they don’t like, and wallow in the past and lie to us.


  1. jerry 2019-01-29 09:43

    When ya ain’t got nothing, you go to bs’n like Muse Weis did to her bed partner, the hapless Kaleb. Reminds me of our Number 2, Thune and this nugget: “Three Republican Senators introduced a plan Monday to repeal the federal estate tax, moving to eliminate a tax on a small number of the wealthiest households just as leading Democrats ramp up calls to tax the richest Americans.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-SD), members of the Senate Finance Committee, in releasing legislation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax.”

    Yes, NOem worked so hard with the same kind of bs’n that Muse Weis is doing to smoke screen the complete absurdity of the republican party as it now exists, to eliminate the “Death Tax” for 2,000 people in America. The do nothing republican South Dakota legislature on full display, that matches perfectly with the do nothing republican senate in Washington….bookends

  2. Doug Kronaizl 2019-01-29 15:45

    SJR1 is not yet dead! It looks like Rep Karr, one of its cosponsors, resurrected the idea as HJR1006 albeit with far fewer signatories this time around.

  3. Debbo 2019-01-29 17:38

    “rew Dennert supports . . . subsidizing private horseracing.”

    Huh? What is that about?

  4. Debbo 2019-01-30 13:53

    That would be pretty sweet for the horse racers. There are car racers too, who can probably use some dough. Dachshund racing is becoming a thing. With financial assistance, maybe it could become another SDGOP boondoggle.

  5. Porter Lansing 2019-01-30 14:10

    Drinking Liberally could always use a few hundred thou. Terry Peak All Night Slumber Parties could be a thing. Frisbee golf on the lee side of every hill. Free, state run go cart tracks in every county.
    But, seriously. Casinos should be able to put kiosks anywhere there’s a demand for sports betting. The casinos will pay for them, because they’d be very popular. The state would get a cut and the bookies could return to their long haul, day jobs bringing in groceries from Mpls.

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