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Schoenbeck Complains About Republican Gerrymandering; Colleagues Brand Schoenbeck DC-Style Politician

South Dakota Democrats won’t have much say in how our Legislative maps will look for the coming decade. Thanks goodness South Dakota Republicans are arguing with each other and generating Mirror-Universe headlines:

Senate Pro Temp Lee Schoenbeck — one of the most influential Republican lawmakers — accused House members of maintaining “gerrymandered” boundaries in order to preserve current districts that are favorable to their plans for reelection.

“It looks like someone accidentally spilled something on the map,” he said of one district proposed by the House. “They are making a concerted effort to create or protect districts for people.”

Republican Rep. Drew Dennert, who proposed the House’s map, acknowledged that his proposal kept boundaries close to their current version — but contended that is a good thing. He was confident that the public meetings would show support for his map, which he said “best represented” the communities of the state.

He charged that Schoenbeck was “a very intelligent political operative,” who had taken to attacking the House proposal because he was losing support.

House Speaker Speaker Spencer Gosch, a Republican, also accused Schoenbeck of employing “DC political tactics.”

“Baseless and hypocritical accusations are only meant to divide,” he said in a statement. “The rest of the Legislature will continue to work in a fair and open manner to ensure that all South Dakotans are represented” [Stephen Groves, “South Dakota Redistricting Hits the Road Amid GOP Infighting,” AP, 2021.10.11].

Senator Schoenbeck complains about gerrymandering, and Representative Dennert and Speaker Gosch slam him as a DC-style “political operative”. Notice how the default South Dakota Republican response to any criticism is to portray their critics as out-of-staters… even when the criticism comes from a South Dakota Senator. The South Dakota Republican Party is so insular that it cannot imagine that legitimate criticism and differences of opinion might come from anywhere within South Dakota, and certainly not from within its own ranks.


  1. Nick Nemec 2021-10-12 09:05

    Are these competing maps available anywhere online? How are we simple plebes supposed to know what is proposed if we can’t see the proposals?

  2. 96Tears 2021-10-12 12:19

    “DC political tactics” must be SDGOP knuckle draggers’ code for “fair and reasonable.”

  3. grudznick 2021-10-12 14:56

    My granddaughter’s boyfriend pointed me to your blogging with comment that Mr. Schoenbeck should have an “evil Spock beard”. I am unsure exactly what that means but it does make grudznick want an evil Spock beard too.

  4. ArloBlundt 2021-10-12 17:09

    Well…I’m no fan of the Senator’s politics but he has a political philosophy which he advocates in comparison to the nimrods in the House who are fonts of self interest and very small ideas. The lack of any cognizant vision by the Republican dominated House is holding back any progress in South Dakota.

  5. Nick Nemec 2021-10-13 10:29

    Cory, I must be doing something wrong. I went to the LRC link you provided and clicked on all the various items on the list and all gave me a gray screen with an inoperable “Blocked plug-in” button.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-13 10:34

    Oh! Ugh! I get that too, Nick. Darned PDFs. Are you using the Safari browser? Try this: right-click on the links to the maps, then select Download Linked File. Then open your Download folder (in Safari, look for the little circled down-arrow button toward the upper right of your browser window and click on it). Click on the top file listed (LRC just gives these files incomprehensible numerical filenames), see if it opens.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-13 10:36

    Schoenbeck only has an evil Spock beard in the Mirror Universe, where he is actually leading a Democratic insurrection in Pierre.

  8. Nick Nemec 2021-10-13 11:40

    Thanks for the tech help Cory, I can see them now. I agree they need regular file names rather than numerical names.

  9. Jake 2021-10-14 11:23

    Cory and Nick-we must remember facts: the SD GOP love obscurity in their dealings with the voters-for instance Sen. Cammack’s obtaining a court order to hide his DUI charges from view, and now his son’s getting a million $$$ Covid (federal of course) funds for a South Dakota business that conveniently is located in Texas and has been for some time.
    Were it not for this blog, we would be wallowing in the dark without a flashlight in SD politics.

  10. jakc 2021-10-14 11:30

    Spock with the beard served an empire he knew to be evil and doomed. So, for anyone who wants to grow an evil Spock beard, that’s what it signifies

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