Once again, Pat Powers exaggerates in a headline.
“Sen. Phil Jensen Chastises Legislators in Editorial,” reads one of his measly two Thursday blog posts (his sponsors must have run out of press releases). The headline enticed me, because Senator Jensen is a pretty good chastiser. When radically right-wing Republican Jensen wants to chastise someone or something—say, a former colleague for bringing a quarter-baked idea to committee, or LGBT neighbors for being like pedophiles, or the whole darn Legislature for being puppets of the Governor, he up and chastises in no uncertain terms.
But District 33’s Senator chastises no one in his Thursday editorial. He simply summarizes votes on key conservative bills:
Rapid City representatives voting in favor of the national motto posting: Michael Diedrich, Taffy Howard, Chris Johnson, Tina Mulally and Tony Randolph. Those voting against posting the national motto: Scyller Borghlum [sic] and David Johnson.
…A bill to promote free speech and intellectual diversity on South Dakota college campuses (HB1087) was supported by all local legislators except Rep. Jessica Olson.
…The only Rapid City legislators voting against Constitutional [sic] Carry were Rep. Jessica Olson and Sen. Jeff Partridge.
…In a disturbing loss for parental rights, HB 1205 went down to defeat in the House Health and Human Services Committee in a 5-8 vote…. The only Rapid City legislator on this committee voting against parental rights was Rep. Scyller Borglum.
…Rapid City representatives that voted in favor of prohibiting the teaching of gender confusion in K-7 are Tina Mulally, Tony Randolph, Taffy Howard, Michael Diedrich and Chris Johnson. Those voting against were Scyller Borglum, David Johnson and Jessica Olson. These three also received top endorsements from Equality South Dakota, a far left LGBTQ group [Sen. Phil Jensen, “Conservative Wins in 2019 Session,” Rapid City Journal, 2019.07.25].
Now I’ll chastise Senator Jensen for being as misleading in his leads as Pat Powers: he introduces his editorial by referring to “major issues,” but not one of the bills he discusses is a major issue. Not one of the bills whose local votes he catalogs substantively promotes the daily general welfare of all South Dakotans. Etching the national motto in stone in front of every school doesn’t improve literacy or graduation rates. There is no crisis of “intellectual diversity” on our campuses. concealed pistols haven’t saved any lives this month and never raise wages. House Bill 1205 was another tub-thumping sham bill for the anti-LGBT and anti-science fringe trying to raise the specter of health care professionals imposing transgenderism on kids. Likewise HB 1108, the anti-trans school gag rule, which showed contempt for transgender South Dakotans and education and fabricated another non-existent crisis.
Senator Jensen spends a lot of his Legislative time attacking bogeymen. But his editorial doesn’t attack any legislators. Senator Jensen just states voting records.
But we know how sensitive the Republican establishment that pays for Powers’s blogging is to having people point out their voting records. I guess when a Senator points out how his colleagues voted, the SDGOP spin blog by default reads that as criticism.