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Nervous Ravnsborg Relied on Mickelson for IM 24 Arguments

In discussing the state’s surrender to my victorious legal argument against Initiated Measure 24, Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg admits to Jerry Oster that he felt queasy going into the case

Well, yes, I mean, I always had concerns about it… [Attorney General Jason Ravsnborg, transcribed from audio, in Jerry Oster, “SD Attorney General Declines to Appeal IM24 Ruling,” WNAX, 2019.06.13].

…and that he relied on crib notes from IM24 sponsor Mark Mickelson:

…but we did have a few, good, I believe, valid arguments, and we did research some of the case law and such that Mr. Mickelson provided, and… we always had concerns. I wouldn’t—I didn’t—I wouldn’t say I felt comfortable going in. I guess we had concerns going in [Oster, 2019.06.13].

I shoulda brought a bigger gun to court...
I shoulda brought a bigger gun to court…
Wait, Mark, I can't read this. It's written in Harvard....
Wait, Mark, I can’t read this. It’s written in Harvard….

Wait—so a blogger with degrees in math and computers beat Attorney General Ravnsborg and Harvard Law‘s Mark Mickelson? Boy, who’s the knothead now?


  1. Dana P 2019-06-14 08:01

    Cory, please don’t take my comment to diminish anything that you do or have done, but….

    This just shows that all of the issues that were brought up about how unqualified and incompetent this yay-hoo is, are true.

    Can you imagine what we don’t know? Ooofdah

  2. Roger Elgersma 2019-06-14 10:03

    When the state attorney general is uneasy about a law, the main person he consults on it should not be the writer of the law. There is a bit of conflict of interest there. He could ask him why he wrote it and the purpose, but if there is a problem, he should consult others who know the issue to get a clear understanding of the situation. This has buddy system written all over it and no sign of intent of producing good law or correction of a bad law.

  3. Donald Pay 2019-06-14 12:01

    I think you want to get the information from the people who wrote the initiative. It’s a little strange that he admitted that “…we did research some of the case law and such that Mr. Mickelson provided….” Some of the case law? It doesn’t seem they were that serious about defending that law if they didn’t bother to track down all possible case law on the matter.

    But at least Mickelson got to have some input to the AG. That opportunity is usually not afforded to regular citizens who have an initiative that passes and faces a legal challenge. We were able to provide some input to help the AG in the long battle with the waste dumpers, but it is usually best for the initiative sponsors to intervene and make their own case. That’s what we had to do when Chem-Nuclear challenged the 1985 vote on the Dakota Compact, which was based on the 1984 initiative. I’m not sure why Mickelson didn’t stand up and support his own measure. That was truly a chickensh*t surrender.

  4. Debbo 2019-06-14 15:19

    Ravsbutt is so massively incompetent. Cory does like to crow, but it’s truly earned here.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-14 19:11

    The only good thing about having Jason Ravnsborg occupying his current office is that he gives me much about which to crow.

    If I put I mind to it, I suppose I could complete a law degree in time to run against Ravnsborg in 2022… but that assumes the GOP will be foolish enough to leave that lightweight on the ballot. I’d go through all that study and get another degree just to find myself running against Sara Frankenstein.

  6. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-06-14 19:30

    I wouldn’t bet against Ravnsborg being on the 2022 ballot. In fact, the best bet would be to bet against whomever I bet on, since I am a consistent loser in political betting.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-06-15 05:42

    CIRD, I don’t bet, but I’d consider taking that bet. Ravnsborg is not distinguishing himself in this office. The GOP won’t let him sandbag their ticket, not when they have a bench of better lawyers who will happily fight for the job, even against Dan Lederman’s little buddy.

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