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Haugaard Writes Check for $12,000 to Atone for Abuse of Power

How much does it cost to act like a power-mad goofus and violate a South Dakotan’s Constitutional rights? In Speaker Steven Haugaard’s case, $12,000, written not from a state account, as Governor Kristi Noem falsely warned was under consideration, but from a checkbook under his control:

South Dakota House Speaker Steven Haugaard confirmed Tuesday he authorized a $12,000 check be sent to a Rapid City law firm that represented a South Dakota Municipal League official whom Haugaard banned from the House floor during the 2019 legislative session.

After receiving the payment, attorneys for executive director Yvonne Taylor in turn have now asked U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange to dismiss the league’s federal lawsuit against Haugaard, a Sioux Falls Republican.

“No state funds,” Haugaard said Tuesday afternoon when a KELOLAND reporter asked him about the payment.

The speaker added, “I had broad support for the position I took” [Bob Mercer, “S.D. House Speaker Paid $12,000 for Lobbyist’s Legal Fees,” KELO-TV, 2019.04.23].

The context doesn’t make clear what “position” Speaker Haugaard is declaring enjoyed broad support. If he means the illegal decision to ban Municipal League lobbyist Yvonne Taylor from the House floor for an eight-month old opinion piece calling his sub-caucus “wacky,” um, no, I’m not detecting that broad support. But if he’s referring to the position that he needed to take to end a lawsuit he was going to lose, well, sure, I guess we can all support that.

For his power trip, Haugaard has essentially forfeited his $11,378 pay for this Legislative Session and a couple day’s pay from next year’s.


  1. leslie 2019-04-26

    We are not concluding he will personally pay this amount. He “authorized” a check be cut….

  2. Donald Pay 2019-04-26

    Mercer didn’t seem to follow up to ask about that “broad support” comment or if he paid the full freight himself. The support in Pierre, I would surmise, extended to Haugaard and the mouse in his pocket, and a few dead-enders. I doubt he paid the full amount himself, though, so I expect he’s talking about the “broad support” among a few sheep who forked over money to pay off for his bad judgement. “The Lord provides,” and all that. People like Trump and Haugaard never take responsibility for their trespasses.

  3. leslie 2019-04-26

    Kristi/Speaker: “no state money”

    Trump: “no money paid for Otto”

    Do we believe these elected “leaders”?

  4. grudznick 2019-04-27

    Mr. Haugaard is insaner than most, and he will wreak vengeance amongst the legislatures next year and they will have to atone for their total whacky failure of putting him at then podium. Ultimately the citizens will suffer.

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