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Goodwin Joins Rising Cry for Ravnsborg to Resign, Signals Impeachment Could Happen

Representative Tim Goodwin (R-30/Rapid City) is one of the legislators on in House State Affairs who will hear testimony this morning on House Bill 1232, a proposal to raise the pay of our Attorney General and other constitutional officers.

If three misdemeanor charges for killing a man don’t inhibit Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg from showing up to testify in favor of a fatter paycheck (and hey, this is the guy who [a] claimed he could be an effective attorney general without having ever prosecuted a criminal case in front of a jury, and [b] drove distracted, struck and killed a man on the highway shoulder, lied in his 911 call, and has since told the press he didn’t commit any crime, so such a shameless pitch would not be out of character), perhaps Representative Goodwin will seize the opportunity to ask Ravnsborg to resign before the pay raise would take effect. In his latest email to constituents, Goodwin is recommending Ravnsborg step down. And in the cautious language required of members of the one-party monolith, Goodwin prefaces his recommendation with a neutral mention of the I-word:

In the Legislature, we could, in the House of Representatives, adopt articles of impeachment just like a criminal charge and then in this case the Senate would hold a trial and could convict. Articles of impeachment need a simple majority vote in the House (36 votes) and conviction would need a 2/3rds vote of 24 votes in the Senate.

So, what’s best for the citizens of South Dakota? My recommendation is that our Attorney General needs to do the honorable thing and resign his post. He needs to do it immediately so we as a state can move forward. Once Jason Ravnsborg has resigned his position, our Governor can appoint a new Attorney General [Rep. Tim Goodwin, message to constituents, submitted to DFP, 2021.02.21].

The GOP leadership confirms to that Sioux Falls paper that Goodwin is not alone in breaching the topic of impeaching Ravnsborg, although Speaker Spencer Gosch told KELO-TV last night that “no conversations have been had.” If legislators can work up the courage to hold Ravnsborg accountable, they would be carrying out the first impeachment of a South Dakota official.

Under Article 16 Section 3 of the South Dakota Constitution, grounds for impeachment include “drunkenness, crimes, corrupt conduct, or malfeasance or misdemeanor in office.” As with federal impeachment, South Dakota’s impeachment process removes an official from office and disqualifies that individual from holding any public office again. Impeachment would have no effect on Ravnsborg’s criminal and civil liability.

6 Comments

  1. RST Tribal Member at 57572 2021-02-22 07:10

    Let’s see. A person walking on a state highway was killed in September 2020 by the Republican AG. The legislation session started in January 2021. Bills were introduced including giving the Republican AG a pay raise in total disregard of a South Dakota resident now having a grave and marker instead of a house and bed. His family was and still is seeking answers to his being killed on a public highway by a Republican elected official. And now, it seems the closure his family sought to their suffering has been minimized by the 1 party machinery in the state: Misdemeanor killing charges were filed in February 2021. The Republican legislators will probably reward the misdemeanor killer with a pay raise by end of March 2021. Pretty much sums up the 1 party control in Pierre; stone faces in unemphatic places. The Republican AG should hope the Washington Republican bunch would sit in judgment as they don’t mind letting killers off the judicial hook. November 2022 could be the time for changes in PIerre and Washington.

  2. Bob Newland 2021-02-22 13:07

    So Tim Goodwin might actually have a smidgeon of a brain and a gonad?

  3. Hooterhauler 2021-02-22 16:09

    Doubtful Bob. Rep. Goodwin is only looking for his few minutes in the spotlight. I would bet that he has been handed a script with very simple words.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-22 17:21

    I see mention on KVRR that impeachment articles would have to be filed by 5 p.m. tomorrow. I’m not sure where that deadline comes from. I doubt impeachment is subject to the restrictions of the regular Session calendar… and if it is, a motion to suspend the rules is only a two-thirds vote away.

  5. grudznick 2021-02-22 19:23

    Perhaps, Mr. H, this KVRR of which I have never heard is confusing the ability to impeach at any time during the year with some other deadline in the legislatures. I believe that 5pm tomorrow in the central time is the deadline for some of those goofy resolution things. The KVVR may have figured out that Mr. Goodwin, he of the district numbered 30, is becoming less insaner than most and has cooked up a resolution he wants to pop out there to jab at Mr. Ravnsborg. Perhaps this is the deadline of which they speak.

  6. Nick Nemec 2021-02-23 11:41

    Unless a motion to adjourn, which is undebatable, has been made, a motion to suspend the rules for the sole purpose of considering “X” is always in order. The legislature can also adjourn sine die and immediately convene in a seperate special session for the purpose of considering some important matter.

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