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More Secrecy on Ravnsborg Impeachment: Speaker Gosch Won’t Say Which Legislators Call for Special Session

Faced with the momentous prospect of conducting the first impeachment in South Dakota history, our Republican leaders default to their usual secrecy, treating the removal of an elected official not as a matter of public concern but a private discussion among the good old boys’ club.

The primary elitist secret-keeper is House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-23/Glenham), who refuses to release the investigation file that would form the basis of any impeachment proceedings against manslaughtering Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Now heightening the secrecy, Speaker Gosch tells that Sioux Falls paper that he will not tell us which legislators sign the petition to call for a Special Session to impeach killer Attorney general Jason Ravnsborg. Speaker Gosch tells us that knowing which legislators call for a Special Session is not “relevant.”

Uh, Spencer? Any time you legislators spend our money—and a Special Session will cost money—the names of the legislators calling for that spending is keenly relevant to every voter and taxpayer in this state. And if you are going to spend our money on a Special Session that could result in the reversal of the voters’ will as expressed in the 2018 election for Attorney General, then the names of the legislators who open the door for such reversal is acutely relevant to anyone interested in the integrity of elections.

The American public deserved to know exactly which members of Congress supported launching an impeachment inquiry against the previous occupant of the White House; the South Dakota public deserves to know exactly which members of its Legislature support convening to impeach the current South Dakota Attorney General.


  1. ArloBlundt 2021-09-21

    Well…this is prime evidence that Speaker Gosch intends to preside over a “Star Chamber” proceeding with a pre-determined outcome. Over the years we have had legislators serving with multiple DWI’s, domestic abuse convictions, multiple speeding and other traffic violations, various and sundry public intoxication and running amok charges. Some were asked to resign by their party , most were exonerated for various reasons. None were impeached. We are in uncharted territory here and Speaker Gosch has decided to conduct a secret, scripted proceeding. He has a giant broom, but he’s trying to sweep Ravensborg under a very small rug.

  2. Scott 2021-09-21

    these people are our elected leaders. we have the right to know how they are representing us.

  3. Porter Lansing 2021-09-21

    Speaker Gosch is hiding the fact that he doesn’t know what to do and is embarrassed to show that to the citizens.

    Governor Noem didn’t know what to do about the biggest killer in USA medical history; did nothing and labeled it “supporting small government.”

  4. Nick+Nemec 2021-09-21

    Open government demands openness, lack of openness fosters distrust in government. Other members of the family and I are calling for the release of all investigation documents, the family deserves it, and the citizens of the State of South Dakota deserve it and Jason Ravnsborg deserves it if he is expected to mount a defense.

  5. tara volesky 2021-09-21

    What a bunch of wussies. To scared of transparency. What are you afraid of? Maybe you shouldn’t be serving the people of SD, if you are fearful of your party and Governor.

  6. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    That a Republican governor with bigger political aspirations beyond her current post is powerless to put down a rabid dog within her own party is a simple poker tell.

  7. ABC 2021-09-21

    When Rippies are not ever impeached, corruption, fraud and bad behavior run rampant.

    Serfs elect the Republicans.

    Secrecy? To protect the guilty.

    A man can kill a man with his car, and still hold office?

    The Democrats have dropped the ball for 43 years in a row. We need another 2 or 3 Parties, like in Europe.

    Would you like to go to an ice cream store and see only 2 flavors, and elections every 2 years.

    The rules can be changed. By us.

  8. Disgusted Dakotan 2021-09-22

    Wait! What?! So we are supposed to take his word for it if he claims there are enough representatives (or not) to call a special session? 🤦🏻‍♀️

    Is he aware that the Legislature isn’t their special little secret club?

    The public has a right to know which of these
    🤡 don’t cowboy up to do their duty.

    Somebody tell these clowns that the SD Constitution requires the Legislature’s activities to be open to the public.

  9. M 2021-09-22

    I suspect Porter is correct in that Gosch doesn’t know what to do. He’s like a rookie. So, he had to catch the pigskin called Jason because someone secretly called for a Special Session. He can score a TOUCHDOWN by running Jason out of here or he can fumble and let Jason roll loose around the field for a little more play. Of course with Gosch so inexperienced and his team so secretive, they’ll just keep calling time outs until the next election.

  10. Loren 2021-09-22

    Well, there is “transparency” and then there is GQP “alternative transparency.” Nothing to see here, folks. Move along…

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-09-22

    DD is right: we need proof that a sufficient number of legislators have called for a Special Session. Absent that proof, we could challenge any action taken during that Special Session, including impeachment, as illegitimate.

    The Special Session petition signed by two-thirds of the members of each chamber is a written document required by South Dakota Constitution Article 3 Section 31. It is an official communication that must be made public so we know the Legislature is convening in accordance with the Constitution and not by the whim of Legislative leaders.

  12. grudznick 2021-09-22

    Why must we know who in the legislatures signed this petition? Is it not enough to know that enough signed to force the legislatures into action? We let the list of who in our town voted for Mr. Biden remain secret.

  13. ArloBlundt 2021-09-22

    Grudz…I’m ashamed of you…you know enough about government to know the difference between a citizen exercising their voting franchise and an elected official, who answers to the people, voting on an important legislative procedural matter. Of course the citizens vote is confidential…it is still a secret ballot (sometimes referred to as an Australian ballot). It is private because the citizen represents only himself (or herself). The elected officials vote in the legislative matter is public record because the elected official represents all the people in his district and they have an important intrinsic right to know how he or she voted. It is noi enough accountability to just know the vote total. We must know how our elected officials represented us with this important vote. It is not a proceeding in a 15th century Star Chamber, predetermined and scripted by the legislative leaders. Each ;egislator must be accountable for their vote by the citizens of their district.

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