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Youngberg Quits Senate for Treasury Patronage; Crabtree Likely Replacement

Casey Crabtree
Boring already….

Looks like Casey Crabtree will get an early appointment to the Legislature. Not only did Democrats not run anyone against him for the District 8 Senate seat, but now his fellow Republican, Senator Jordan Youngberg (R-8/Madison), is resigning his seat to become a closer part of the GOP establishment, going to work in the Treasurer’s office for GOP mover, shaker, and smooth-scalp-rocker Secretary Josh Haeder.

Governor Kristi Noem isn’t obliged to pick Crabtree, who is starting his politicking from the same place former Senator Russell Olson did as economic development dude at Heartland Consumers Power District. But since he faces no opposition in November (unless the Libertarians surprise us with a nomination, which they could… and would, if they were smart!), why would the Governor trouble some poor District 8 resident with a measly interim appointment that wouldn’t last through the election?

Likely appointee Crabtree will be the eighth person Noem gets to elevate by fiat to the Legislature following the departure of a Republican member.


  1. Kari 2020-06-18 09:34

    I’m from this district, actual I’m the dem district 8 chair (happy to talk more about our struggles finding candidates). I REALLY wanted to run for an office, badly… However, the state’s constitution does not allow faculty at SDBOR universities (which I am) to run for house or senate positions. I either had to quit my job, lose my healthcare, and benefits or not run. There are so many good faculty/staff at the universities who would bring excellent ideas to the legislature, but we have to give up our work to do it. I don’t like it.

  2. mike from iowa 2020-06-18 09:47

    One party rulers make one party rules to favor one party.Move to iowa and you could probably make a difference. No offense meant.

  3. Donald Pay 2020-06-18 10:46

    Kari’s predicament is one that many folks have. I have always supported those restrictions because self-dealing is a huge problem with part-time legislators. The problem is huge because everyone’s livelihood is dependent on the state, whether it’s directly or indirectly. But we single out only some folks for exclusion from office. That is not fair.

    The solution is, I think, to knock down restrictions on running, and make structural changes in the legislative process. Legislators need to declare their conflicts of interest and be required not to vote on certain matters where the legislator has a conflict. The appropriations process needs to be changed to allow separate votes on various department budgets, allowing people who work for, for example, the BOR institutions to declare a conflict of interest and not vote on that part of the budget.

    I think this might require a constitutional amendment, and so it might be a heavy lift, but it’s worth discussing.

  4. grudznick 2020-06-18 11:31

    Have you ever seen a farmer take a walk during an Ag Bill, Mr. Pay?

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-06-18 12:35

    Legally, Kari, you wouldn’t have to quit your job to run. You’d only have to quit your job if you win, serve, and vote on the budget in the 2021 Session… and even then you wouldn’t have to quit until June 30, 2021, before the FY2022 budget you voted on would kick in.

  6. Donald Pay 2020-06-18 13:33

    Grudz, No. I don’t think Jim Dunn took a walk on mining legislation, either. The current system depends on part-time legislators who have interests they represent outside of the interests of their constituents. Some of those interests involved their own wallets, and often those interests are not the same as their constituents’ interests. I realize that it’s good to have a mix of legislators with expertise in various areas of life. I don’t think full-time legislators, as we have in Wisconsin, is the best way to go, but why exclude a department secretary from serving just because she gets a paycheck from the Regents?

    You know, Grudz, I was a lab flunky, but I went to my supervisor and said, “How about combining some lab positions across agencies? Down time for us is opposite seasons from down time for them. We can save the state a couple FTEs.” He didn’t go for it, because he would lose control of some FTEs, even though we were really slow for a few months per year. State employees know where the waste is and where efficiencies can be made.

  7. Debbo 2020-06-18 20:34

    Don, I made a $ saving suggestion that would have resulted in fewer chaplains at the VA in Fort Mead earlier this century. Almost got thrown out on my ear! My immediate supervisor did try real hard to run me out because I dared suggest we had more chaplains than we needed. He was a little, um, unbalanced. I spoke but $$ screamed real loud!! 😆😆

  8. grudznick 2020-06-18 21:00

    Mr. Pay, the heinous State Employee Union would never go for such consolidations any more than the baseball money grubbers would go for eliminating the hitter, designated to be a hitter only. Now, if there were a little anonymous suggestion box employees could whisper to The Man through, The Man might cut a few of these people and these FETs, but nothing can be done without the union agreeing.

  9. grudznick 2020-06-18 21:12

    Senator Dunn did not take a walk on mining law bills. He did not spend 30 years in the legislatures to not use the power he acquired to squander it; he put his boot down when he needed to. But we cannot have young Mr. Youngberg working for the Treasurer, who is not a Secretary, Mr. H, and also being in the legislatures. That would be unconstitutional, or everybody in the legislatures would want to work for the Treasurer and the next thing you know the Treasurer is running the world, and nobody wants that, I am sure.

  10. Donald Pay 2020-06-18 21:28

    Grudz, You know as well as I do that is quatsch. The employee union has very little to say about such things, or, perhaps a better way to phrase it is they might have something to say, but what they say and what actually happens are two different things. Department heads, the Governor and the Legislature make those decisions, and they could do it at any time. The issue was that in my time a factor in pay was the number of people you supervised. Fewer people, less money for the big shots.

  11. Donald Pay 2020-06-18 21:39

    See, Grudz, the underlings could do a much better job running the show than the incompetents that generally get picked to head departments, and actually, they’d be better legislators, too. I wouldn’t want to see more than three or four state employees in the legislature, but I think they deserve to be able to serve.

    Regarding Senator Dunn, who was the lobbyist for Homestake while pretending to be a legislator, I think “Whitewood Creek Superfund Site” about sums it up.

  12. Kari 2020-06-18 21:46

    Thanks for the insights to the respondents from my post. I am listening.

  13. Kari 2020-06-18 21:48

    Cory – thank you for the legal details I didn’t know that.

  14. grudznick 2020-06-18 21:55

    Mr. Pay, I gather you never attended any of the meetings up at Mr. Dunn’s house, high on the hill in Lead, way back in the day. Note that Mr. Dunn was wise enough to build high on the hill, not down by any creek. That young fellow working for Dewey Burdock could learn some lessons by studying Mr. Dunn’s successes.

  15. grudznick 2020-06-20 08:55

    It is the Fiat of the Executive to pick whoever she wants, Mr. H. I bet you her Fiat is a 124 Spider.

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