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One Third of SD Legislature Opposes Impeachment; Two Thirds Silent

Conservative activist group Citizens for Liberty polled South Dakota legislators last week on impeachment and related matters. The one third of legislators who responded were unanimous in opposing the removal of an incompetent criminal from the White House.

Last week SD Citizens for Liberty sent a brief questionnaire to all South Dakota legislators asking them to weigh in on the impeachment proceedings going on in Washington, D.C.. “If the legislature was in session, we would have asked the members to pass a resolution calling for a fair and transparent process,” said Tonchi Weaver, the SDCFL board member who sent out the survey. “That’s not an option in the ‘off season’.  We believe that our state legislators support due process, open hearings and public votes and that they would appreciate a chance to show unity.” She noted that several legislators replied with comments affirming their support of President Trump and expressing disapproval of the current spectacle, but they didn’t answer the questions directly, so their responses couldn’t be included in the tally.

Legislators were asked to respond “Yes” or “No” to five questions by October 18, and roughly one third of them did. The remainder either did not open their email, or chose not to respond. Those who did answer were fairly unified in their answers to the following questions:

#1 – Do you believe the Democrats’ departure from a 152-year precedent of a full House vote is proper? NO – 100%

#2 – Do you believe that any Congressional impeachment vote should be a public vote? YES – 96%; NO – 4%

#3 – Do you believe the Democrats’ secret closed hearings and denial of due process to President Trump is proper? NO – 100%

#4 – Do you believe House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff should be censured? Yes – 88%; NO – 4%; UNSURE – 8%

#5 – Do you believe President Trump’s telephone call with President Zelensky was a “high crime and misdemeanor”? No – 100%

“Some legislators only agreed to answer the questions if someone from their own legislative district posed them, and one legislator expressed disagreement with the framing of the questions,” Weaver noted. “The combined voice of our state representatives is important; it serves to bolster the resolve of our national delegation to oppose the current misuse of the power to impeach. We appreciate all of the elected officials who took the time to respond. Impeachment of a duly elected President is an issue that affects every South Dakotan” [Citizens for Liberty, press release, 2019.10.21].

I have just two questions:

  1. Citizens for Liberty, will you release the names of the legislators who responded?
  2. Legislators who didn’t respond… why not?


  1. Porter Lansing 2019-10-21 15:29

    Why would you vote yes on #2 but no on #1? If precedent is more important than the Democrat controlled rules of the House (the Constitution actually says nothing about the process the House is supposed to follow other that it has to approve articles of impeachment before sending the matter to the Senate), then wouldn’t you not want precedent interrupted by making impeachment a national vote? Or, is precedent only important sometimes?
    #3 shows ignorance in the SD legislature of the rules of impeachment. What impeachment means is indictment. The Democratic controlled House has the sole power to determine if sufficient evidence exists to spur a trial in the Senate.
    #4 – Republicans may try to censure CA Rep. Schiff. Censure’s are privileged so minorities CAN introduce them. Dems will then move to table and there will be a vote on whether or not to table the motion. Never will a vote be taken on whether to censure. Repubs may try again.
    #5 – It’s a “What is your opinion question.” It doesn’t matter what SD legislators think or even believe. It matters what the Democrat controlled House believes.

  2. Buckobear 2019-10-21 16:32

    Great “loaded”questions.
    The Judiciary hearings on Nixon were originally closed. Same reason Grand Jury hearings are closed — you don’t want the witnesses comparing “notes.”
    Secondly, the current closed hearings do not offer the opportunity for grandstanding and playing to the electorate. Republic party members get to cross-examine and question the witnesses being deposed.
    As far as question#1 goes, there hasn’t been a vote to impeach; and only the full House can do that, The committee will forward a recommendation ( as the Senate does with cabinet nominees) and then the full House will vote on the individual recommended articles.
    The rampant ignorance is truly amazing.

  3. Donald Pay 2019-10-21 16:59

    You have to give these people credit for not reading their own propaganda. Here’s what they say they will do:

    We will defend our state and federal constitutions.
    We will clearly and passionately communicate principals of limited government to the citizens of our state.
    We will hold our elected officials accountable to principals of limited government.

    None of these things are Citizens for Liberty doing by supporting the Russian asset and deficit spender in the White House.

  4. kj trailer trash 2019-10-21 17:03

    Question number 3, especially, is about as partial and intensely stupid a question as something like: “Do you think my grandma’s chocolate cake is the best ever made, or do want the Nazis to win, you @#$%&%$?” Except that the cake question is whimsy, and worth a little smile anyway, whereas this questionaire is just more right-wing hokum to shake our heads at.

  5. Debbo 2019-10-21 18:03

    kj trailer trash, I love your “cake” question! 🤣🤣🤣

    I just finished reading a fairly long, technical and detailed article in Wired. It’s about how the best experts in the world figured out who cyber sabotaged the Seoul Olympics in 2018 and the DNC that same year.

    I’m not tech savvy, but I found it understandable and fascinating. Although the trail did finally lead directly to the Kremlin and the attacks were stopped, in two ways Pootie was successful. First, he got his boy, Pootie’s Puppet, elected. Second, the target of the US public was successfully compromised. The last was not in total, but in a big enough part to get what Pootie wanted.

    “But false flags work here in the US, too, argues John Hultquist, the director of intelligence analysis at FireEye and Matonis’ former boss before Matonis left the firm in July. Look no further, Hultquist says, than the half of Americans—or 73 percent of registered Republicans—who refuse to accept that Russia hacked the DNC or the Clinton campaign.”

    There you go. They’re Pootie’s kids, whether they recognize that or not. (Not half, more like 20-25%.)

    It’s a really good article that I highly recommend, even if you only want to know how they figure out whodunit in cybercrimes. No paywall.

  6. Porter Lansing 2019-10-21 18:52

    Well, that explains it.
    Mr. Trump complained today that congressional Republicans were not united enough in defending him. But he still has the support of his base: The Public Religion Research Institute found that 99 percent of white evangelicals and 98 percent of Republicans who rely on Fox News as their primary news source, do not believe he should be impeached.
    #5 – One of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” the Constitution framers deemed as sufficient for removing a president was giving in to “the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils.”

  7. Debbo 2019-10-21 20:19

    I’d say #5 in Porter’s comment very well describes what Pootie’s Puppet has been doing.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-21 21:33

    This third of the South Dakota Legislature would censure Schiff for “lying” (i.e., giving the country his paraphrasing of the White House’s paraphrasing of Trump’s impeachable squeeze play on Ukraine’s president) but would not punish Donald Trump for lying, with no mock quotes, daily, thousands of times, on the record, demonstrably, to the detriment of our nation’s honor and alliances around the world.

    Such people deserve no admittance to political or moral debate.

  9. jerry 2019-10-21 22:10

    On the backs of the farmers who support Chubby, Chubby has made China Great Again!
    I’m sure that the bunch of dingle berries in Pierre probably believe that China is paying for those pesky tariffs, not.

    “The number of wealthy Chinese people has overtaken the number of rich Americans for the first time, according to a report by Credit Suisse.

    The bank’s annual wealth survey found there were 100 million Chinese people among the world’s top 10% of richest people, compared with 99 million in the US.”

    So farmers, you might want to contact your republican legislator and tell them to pull their heads out of their lower region. They are breaking you to make the Chinese richer, what a concept.

  10. Roger Cornelius 2019-10-21 22:36

    In a 70 minute televised press conference from the Oval Office today Trump went on a 20 minute angry rant mostly telling more lies and being angry at republicans for not showing more support for him.
    In the course of Trump’s angry rant he told another 20 documented lies, the lies were still being counted at press time.
    I wonder how Trump supporters continually support him knowing that literally everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie.

  11. Porter Lansing 2019-10-21 22:43

    Citizens for Liberty? That’s the Stace Nelson crowd, isn’t it? It made sense when persona non grata (Pat POW-eurse) flipped out that Cory got the results of the poll before he did. If the Democrat Party issued guidelines of secrecy and Powers uses one of his fake Facebook and Twitter profiles to get access to information he’s been told to stay away from, that would be a crime, wouldn’t it? Stalking and harassment come to mind. It’s about time he got shut off from information. Can’t keep his fat mouth shut, that boy!

  12. o 2019-10-22 08:29

    How about a follow-up question (to #1 on precedence): The Senate has said that it will not allow President to fill any open Supreme Court vacancy in the last year of his term; do you find that a proper limit to the President’s power to appoint justices?

    How about instead of a leading premise in #3, the question is: In what specific way/s is due process being denied the President and his administration in the impeachment inquiries of the House?

    Number 5: Do you support a Democrat President of the United States asking foreign governments to interfere in US elections?

  13. happy camper 2019-10-22 09:58

    We elect these people as our representatives. If they are a mirror image that doesn’t say much about us. None of them have independent thought? Boggles the mind. Regarding #3 Devin Nunes is saying on Fox News it’s unprecedented that no transcripts are being provided. Is that true or is he just saying what Fox listeners want to hear so they can hunker in their bunker? An overseas friend told me they think Americans have gone nuts and we have greatly reduced standing in the world. That said I know some Trump supporters who have significantly altered their views on him, but why do these SD legislators completely fall in line? Obviously they feel they must, but statistically not all of them could sincerely like Trump. Would they be ostracized and ineffective if they actually spoke their mind? It took over a year for Republicans to finally turn on Nixon so maybe this is nothing new. I’m thinking humans simply have a tribal mentality embedded deep within their DNA always subconsciously pulling at them to conform and support their group which is a stronger drive than their capacity for logical thinking. The Deb disclaimer applies “Not all” but what else can explain all the other crazy things humans do, such as football and other team sports. Observe a group of them some time they’re just a bunch of apes. The same applies to political fools: Pack Mentality.

  14. bearcreekbat 2019-10-22 10:40

    Upon reflection it is truely amazing what Republican or conservative marketing experts (whoever they might be) have accomplished in the last decade or so. They have shifted the values of a significant portion (a strong majority in SD) of our voting population to the point where actual crimes by favored political representatives have become either acceptable or the evidence of such crimes summarily dismissed, so long as the crime is committed by a Republican or conservative.

    In sharp contrast, however, this same segment of the population seems to have been convinced to eagerly and summarily convict, with little or no evidence, the marketed “other,” whether immigrants, non-Christians, indigents, Democrats or “liberals” of any crime, including conspiracy type crimes, on the drop of an accusation by objectively discredited sources such as Inforwars and Breitbart. Victimless misdemeanors like crossing the border at an undesignated location, noncompliance with noncriminal administrative Visa renewal rules, conspiracy theories with little or no evidentiary support, and the like, are marketed as “major crimes” with no need for trials, leading to mob like chants of “lock her up,” caging children, labeling targeted disfavored people with dehumanizing names, and the false defensive projection of behavior internally recognized as immoral and wrong.

    While there are theories galore to explain this phenomena, the objective reality is that it has affected our State and nation in profound ways. Whether these changes are viewed as positive or negative seems connected at the hip with the marketers’ success in inducing their prospects to abandon the old values of honesty, compassion and empathy for others. Personally I find it quite distressing but have hope that new generations can recognize what is happening to their elders and reject such a marketing scheme.

  15. Debbo 2019-10-22 13:53

    Very good comment BCB. Thanks for expressing so well my feelings and probably those of many others.

    “Personally I find it quite distressing but have hope that new generations can recognize what is happening to their elders and reject such a marketing scheme.”

    I have hope for this because my experiences watching the generations succeeding my Boomer cohort have been largely positive. I find younger people to be smart, determined, hard working and overall, kind.

    Kids like the brat who snickered in the face of the Indian elder with the drum in DC are outliers who get a disproportionate amount of attention.

    In sum, I have a great deal of hope based on people younger than me and on people like Cory and the good commenters here on DFP.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-24 06:02

    (No crime there, Porter: Everyone, including Powers, is welcome to read anything that I post in public. Dakota Free Press has no paywall, no password, no access control for readers.)

  17. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-24 06:04

    O offers intelligent and useful follow-up questions. Such questions would have to come from an intelligent and useful activist group, who would probably get an even lower response rate from our legislators, who largely have not marked themselves as a body of intelligent and useful representatives and policymakers.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-24 06:05

    Hap, if legislators reflect the public, in South Dakota, they represent the fact that party identification overrides intelligent policy-making, moral conscience, and recognition. Put an R in front of Donald Trump’s name, and he suddenly is transformed into a good Christian family man who stands for rural America.

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