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SD Republicans Still Willing to Stand on Stage with Killer Ravnsborg

In the unmitigated gall department, South Dakota Republican candidates for statewide office are still willing to appear on flyers and on fundraising stages with killer Jason Ravnsborg:

Austin Goss, tweet of Fall River GOP fundraiser flyer, 2021.09.19.
Austin Goss, tweet of Fall River GOP fundraiser flyer, 2021.09.19.

Never mind Jason’s arrogance in thinking he still has any business on Republicans flyers and stages. He has demonstrated that he is committed to the total arrogance of SDGOP unaccountability, to the idea that he can recklessly break the law, kill a man on the shoulder of (or, as Jason contends, in the middle of) Highway 14, and still win an election because he eats every rubber chicken or stringy rib offered and keeps an R in front of his name. Jason is a special and incorrigible case, an incompetent clinging to power by sheer cronyism and disregard for decency. Not every South Dakota Republican can be that vile and/or clueless… can they?

What self-respecting candidates would allow their names and faces to appear anywhere near an Attorney General who killed a man by driving distracted, who has lost the confidence of the Governor and of most fellow prosecutors, who has nothing to offer but shame and incompetence? What self-respecting candidate would say that the attention and donations of a few dozen diners in Oelrichs is worth dignifying Ravnsborg with any favorable public or partisan attention?

Mark Mowry and Bruce Whalen are outsider radicals who have nothing to lose. But Representative Taffy Howard (R-33/Rapid City), you may well be casting a vote in the impeachment of Ravnsborg in November. Senator Brock Greenfield (R-2/Clark), you may hear Ravnsborg’s trial and vote on his removal from office before the New Year. Taffy, Brock, even if you can’t recognize the bad optics of associating with the Republican with the worst reputation in South Dakota,  can you not recognize the conflict of interest in attending social events with an elected official whom you may be called to try and convict in South Dakota’s first ever impeachment?

Campaigns are an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their good judgment. Hanging out with killer Jason Ravnsborg demonstrates the opposite of good judgment. Perhaps the candidates were not told when they were invited that they’d be appearing with Ravnsborg; if that is the case, they may show their good judgment now by calling the organizers and their supporters in Fall River County, thanking them for the opportunity, but making clear that if Ravnsborg remains on the program, they will not attend.


  1. Eve Fisher 2021-09-20

    I just read the article about Mark Mowry in the Argus Leader – he’s way past “outsider radical” and well down the Great Lie rabbit-hole. So for him to stand tall with Ravnsborg makes perfect sense.

  2. larry kurtz 2021-09-20

    If Mr. Mowry was serious about making a political statement he’d petition to get on the 2022 general election ballot where he could do some good. Same with Mr. Ravnsborg, if he really believes the SDGOP will nominate him at their convention he’s as delusional as we already know he is; but if he ran as an unaffiliated candidate in the general election he might get his revenge for being rejected by the less nuts wing of his party.

  3. ArloBlundt 2021-09-20

    Well…of course it is outrageous, but so what??? The entire Party is outrageous. Let it happen. Reality might finally dawn on the voters in South Dakota. Ravensborg is the “Liberal” in this group. Let him run…he’s even money to win the nomination.

  4. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-20

    Dear Gawd have mercy. I know I’m focusing (sp?) on the least important thing here, but how many of us have had the misfortune of spending any time in o-RICKS? (Well, me.) This is in Fall River County, where morons are STILL buying flags, signs, and bumper stickers that proclaim TRUMP 2020. I am so ashamed of living here.

  5. Donald Pay 2021-09-20

    Well, if you stand with Ravnesborg, you stand with a killer. That’s bad, but if you stand with Noem, you stand with a mass murderer. Noem has killed farm far more people in South Dakota with her lack of leadership on covid, and she’s continuing to murder people every day.. The Republican Party is a death cult.

  6. LCJ 2021-09-20

    Sorry, but none of these people who do have a right to seek public office, and I do applaud that right, none of these will will be on the ballot next election in 22 or further.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-20

    LCJ, do you really think Jordan Youngberg can beat out veteran Senator Brock Greenfield for the GOP nomination for Secretary of School and Public Lands?

    Of course, if Greenfield cozies up to Ravnsborg while Youngberg has the good sense to join Team Jackley, Youngberg just might have a shot.

  8. grudznick 2021-09-20

    When young Mr. Brock is the sanest and most ept of the cluster of candidates on the stage you know you have a collection of some of the insanest and most inept. Ms. Taffy and Mr. Ravnsborg are completely ineffective and the other two fellows are just part of the lunatic fringe.

  9. LCJ 2021-09-20

    good point

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-20

    [Bonnie: “focusing (sp?)”—You are correct: focus does not add an s when adding a verbal suffix. When you add -ing or -ed to a two-syllable word that ends in one vowel plus one consonant, the ending consonant stays single if the stress is on the first syllable; it doubles if the stress is on the second syllable.


    1. stress first syllable: focusing, budgeting, opened;
    2. stress second syllable: beginning, admitting, occurred.]
  11. grudznick 2021-09-20

    Ms. Fairbank is righter than right, and grudznick missed an important point she brings forth. I did not catch that this shindig is in Oelrichs, and seems to be hosted by Mr. Nelson’s mini-me, Mr. Russell. Mr. Russell is of the insanest ilk, and as a lawyer chastised and slapped down by the SDSC, and as a lawyer fired by the City of Edgemont, and as a lawyer failed in many endeavors not only the golf course fiascos, and being completely ineffective in the legislatures, he is perfect to host this parade of horribles, this specter of the macabres, this circus of horrors. If any of you fellows can attend and video-tape it so it can be put on the youtube later that would be really neat.

  12. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-20

    Donald, yes, objectively, Kristi Noem has done far more harm to far more people than Jason Ravnsborg. Jason killed a man due to his failure to be a responsible person and law-abiding driver. His crime demonstrates an arrogant disregard for the law and the safety of others that make him unfit for his office, but the grave harm he caused did not result from any official actions. Jason’s incompetence as an elected official has actually been good for South Dakotans in that it has made it easier for justice-minded parties to beat the state in court and overturn unjust laws.

    Kristi has caused the deaths of hundreds of South Dakotans through deliberate policy positions and statements made in her official capacity. Her selfishness translates into bad governance that puts the lives of South Dakotans and the stability of our state in danger. Kristi Noem is a far greater menace to our well-being than Jason Ravnsborg.

    However, it will be far easier for Republicans to stand against Jason than against Kristi. Dropping Jason is an easy tactical choice: he committed a crime, refused to take responsibility, and thus disgraced himself. Republicans can condemn that bad behavior without inherently indicting any Republican platform position. Even if a somewhat attentive voter says, “But wait a minute: you Republicans nominated this jerk; doesn’t that reflect poorly on your judgment as a party?” Those of us across the aisle can certainly press that argument, but Republicans can say, “Hey, when we nominated him, his record was clean, but this crime and his behavior since are beyond the pale. His bad action makes us sorry we voted for him, and we’re proud now to replace him with a proven, responsible party leader in the form of Marty Jackley.”

    Republicans can’t condemn Kristi’s crime, because her resistance to masks, her denial of science, her refusal to push vaccines, and constant cries of freedom affirm the core beliefs of the Republican cult. She is everything the Republicans want to be, everything they have defined themselves as. She embodies the fantasy they choose over reality.

    Plus, Kristi has power and campaign cash to offer. Jason has nothing to offer; he won the nomination in 2018 because he assiduously sought favor, not because he was ever really in a position to give favors.

    I can understand why Republicans would still stand without a hint of shame next to Kristi. I cannot understand why any Republican would pose for a selfie with Jason, why anyone would defend him, why anyone would let him on any party event stage, let alone dirty one’s PR materials with his name and face.

  13. Black Hills Hermit 2021-09-20

    Cory: Nobody is going for the obvious while fo-CUSSing at this insanity?

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-20

    Hermit, Dakota Free Press tries to be a family restaurant. This ain’t no place fo’ cussin’.

    However, if I were running for office and someone stuck Jason Ravnsborg’s face next to mine on a flyer, I might do some cussin’ at the organizers.

  15. grudznick 2021-09-20

    Young Mr. Brock has some mighty big mitts, and maybe he’ll be trying to lay them on the Mssrs. Russell over this mess.

  16. happy camper 2021-09-20

    Well, I see the Ravnsborg Situation very differently. Most of you first hate him because he is a Republican. You have to put that aside, if you can’t, then you’re not going to give him a fair shake. We can’t ever be willing to put somebody in the meat grinder without a fair trial. His due process was damaged intentionally by Noem who thought she could get him to resign because it might hamper her on the national stage. No, no, you don’t get to take away anyone’s right to a fair trial, and it is just as important for what you might call privileged people, yet he was being sabotaged by Noem. We always have to protect the system and the fairness we demand from it. If you think you know better than the system and circumvent, it just keeps deteriorating the level of confidence. If we don’t all share a rough faith we are all going to get a fair trial and then our own governor releases evidence before a trial. Selective evidence. Her behavior was criminal. She was willing to take away his civil rights, his right to due process, simply to advance her career. Her behavior in this was the more important part of the story. Governor tries to take down AG by the unlawful release of evidence before a trial. Sorry, don’t they say we get the government we deserve, well, we deserve better.

  17. grudznick 2021-09-20

    That’s an interesting take, Mr. camper. I respect your take.
    But Mr. Ravnsborg is still a goof and incompetent AG even before his running down of Mr. Boever. And Mr. Ravnsborg should resign on that fact alone.

  18. Donald Pay 2021-09-20

    I view Killer Ravnesborg and Killer Noem as killers. I don’t think it matters whether you kill someone by distracted driving or by distracted governing. She’s completely distracted by gallivanting around the country campaigning when she should be paying attention to her constituency in a time of pandemic. I don’t think that is what Republicans want, actually. The kind of Republican leadership needed would have been the kind that Bill Janklow or George Mickelson would have provided. Say what you want about either of them, they weren’t AWOL when their state was undergoing a trying time. They would have spent 24/7 in the state, listening to the health experts and insisting on using the government powers at their disposal to SAVE LIVES, rather than KILLING people.

    Ravnesborg and Noem are two peas in a pod of killers. They weasel out of responsibility. In Ravnesborg’s case, it cost one man his life. In Noem’s case hundreds, thousands died because of irresponsible governing. Let’s don’t give Noem a pass because “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” Hearts have stopped and people are grieving because Noem failed. Guilty as charged.

  19. ArloBlundt 2021-09-20

    Well, of course I agree with Mr. Camper….the obvious neglect and active persecution of Attorney General Ravensborg by Governor Noem is just another outrage and is consistent with her very flawed understanding of how government works. Ravensborg is all he is accused of but he is also an elected official and he has civil rights which must be observed…the way the entire case was handled by the attorneys prosecuting him and the court was outrageous as well, less than a slap on the wrists. The entire affair ended with a couple traffic violations, petty misdemeanors with no acknowledgement that a man had been killed. Justice has not been served and removing him from office in a star chamber special session of the legislature just exacerbates the outrage.You can’t sweep Ravensborg and his conduct under the rug.

  20. grudznick 2021-09-20

    It’s a situation, indeed, where one wishes the old tar and feather business was still in order and a fellow could be run out of town on a rail like back in the day.

  21. jerry 2021-09-20

    Anyone ever consider that NOem was in on the fix from the get go? NOem blatantly sandbagged this from the start. Maybe to keep Marty from deciding to take a run at her. I always wonder why the sheriff has never ever been seen as an accomplice to this. Whatever the case may be, Ravansborg got away with murder with lots of help. Kinda reminds me of the Benda killing, so many bodies but no real charges.

    Baseball pools will be getting started soon. Maybe a pool to see who and how many of the players in the legislature will vote to oust this corrupt AG.

  22. bearcreekbat 2021-09-21

    Happy’s is right on the money with the comment that “you don’t get to take away anyone’s right to a fair trial,” yet in Ravnsborg’s case the comment seems irrelevant. Indeed, it is quite obvious that Ravnsborg did not want to go on trial for manslaughter or any similar crime, and due to the unusual exercise of prosecutorial discretion by his former classmate Ravnsborg completely dodged the criminal homicide trial bullet. So while Noem’s behavior might have had the potential to interfer with a “fair trial” had Ravnsborg been charged and indicted for manslaughter, in reality Noem did not take away that right because of the prosecutor’s gift to Ravnsborg, which kept any “probable cause” determination away from a grand jury and any judge.

  23. Black Hills Hermit 2021-09-21

    O.K. Let’s go with “faux-cussing” instead? Or to quote Coach Stig from SDSU: “Nutmeg!”

  24. M 2021-09-21

    Happy Camper, Jason did not receive a fair trial. In fact, he got special treatment from the time he killed a man until now. It makes me disgusted and sick. He got away with this ONLY because he’s a Republican in this corrupt state.

  25. M 2021-09-21

    And, how many people do you know that don’t have to even show up to court?

  26. happy camper 2021-09-21

    The difference in how we see this BCB is that I will always seek to protect the process. The process is really what is sacred. If we don’t believe in the process anymore, if we don’t have confidence that our elections are secure and fair, things fall apart. If we feel our institutions fail us, like the media, just keep saying Fake News long enough nobody believes anything anymore. Then those people will believe you, or whatever they want. Most of the institutions that hold our country together are under threat. The Judicial is not supposed to be subject to politics. We have to work toward and believe in those shared ideals. If we see Donald Trump and Kristi Noem doing whatever they want, stomping on The Constitution, and here she is emulating him, there will be dire consequences. She does not represent South Dakota values. If you don’t believe every word that comes out of her insecure mouth you’re gone, you’re out of your role in state government. She does not accept dissent of any kind is what I’ve heard. Most of us would say we benefit from robust debate, but she and Donald are both way too insecure and therefore dictatorial to have their ideas questioned. Talk about somebody with a dangerous sense of entitlement, it’s Big Sister Kristi.

  27. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    The rule of law is damaged when gubmint officials shield gubmint officials from the arms of justice. How many high profile cases in Northern Mississippi get the royal treatment for corrupt officials?

    As for Ravnsborg’s kid glove treatment, Joe Boever’s rights were violated before and after the crimes. Did he receive a fair trial? Ravnsborg is not the victim here, Happy.

  28. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    No Reba McEntire?

  29. M 2021-09-21

    HC, I hope you are as concerned for those who are not white, male, and privileged. I know some who have rotted away years in SF prison for less than an ounce of pot and this guy kills someone and is rotting this state. It stinks worse than pig manure.

  30. bearcreekbat 2021-09-21

    Unfortunately, Happy’s description of the nature and effect of Noem’s behavior seems quite accurate. And while Happy and I often take different positions on a wide variety of issues, the difference in protecting the fair trial process in criminal cases is not one of those issues. Noem’s reported public actions in Ravnsborg’s case, as in way too many other areas such as her failure to even attempt protective responses to a deadly pandemic, are unbecoming of a public official, let alone anyone that believes in the concept of a fair trial.

    My comments here were not intended to justify Noem’s obnoxious and pernicious behavior, rather, my comments were meant to address whether a prosecutor’s failure to charge Ravnsborg with criminal homicide was a fair deviation from the treatment of so many other unfortunate people in a similar situation. I have yet to see another case in SD where someone’s alleged criminal conduct (here driving distracted and leaving the required lane of travel) was a factor resulting in the death of a pedestrian, yet a prosecutor decided against even presenting the driver’s conduct to a grand jury or judge to determine whether that alleged criminal conduct provided probable cause for an alleged criminal homicide charge.

  31. Spike 2021-09-21

    The old saying Bearcreek… can indict a ham sandwich if it goes to a grand jury. Then let the courtroom decide.

    Apparently this doesn’t apply to the SD Attorney General. And from what I saw it looked like the criminal investigators let up on the gas in his interviews. Either believing they had enough to get an indictment or grand jury hearing. And perhaps giving the SD AG a break out of respect for the position. His lack of admission of guilt in a fatality would have put any other common people on the hot seat with the states attorney.
    Pretty nauseating all in all.

  32. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-21

    I b’leeve I’ll stay off SD Highway 79 and U.S. 385 on October 2.

  33. Mark Anderson 2021-09-21

    You know he’s driving from Pierre. He’ll have to kill a few on the way.

  34. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-23

    ZOMG! I’m a humanitarian AND a genius. Roundboy is (presumably) leaving Pierre to travel to Oelrichs and then back again. Pierre has a regional airport, and Hot Springs has a municipal airport roughly 20 – 25 miles from Oelrichs. Lord, think of the lives saved. You’re welcome.

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