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Newspapers Sue Speaker Gosch to Release Names of House Members Calling for Special Session to Consider Impeachment

Senate President Pro-Tempore Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown) made public the names of the 27 Senators who signed the letter calling for the November 9 Special Session to consider impeaching killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. House Speaker Spencer Gosch (R-23/Glenham) continues to keep secret the names of the House members who supposedly called for that Special Session, thus leaving the public unable to confirm that Speaker Gosch received the written request of two thirds of his members that Article 3 Section 31 of the South Dakota Constitution requires to call a Special Session.

The South Dakota Newspaper Association and that Sioux Falls paper are taking Speaker Gosch to court—the South Dakota Supreme Court!—to rectify that error:

“It’s inexcusable for Speaker Gosch to continue hiding this information from the public,” Argus Leader News Director Cory Myers said, noting attempts to work with Gosch and his private attorney to resolve the matter were unsuccessful. “There’s a constitutional requirement to record legislative votes, and at the very least, an obligation of elected servants to be transparent about their processes.

“This is basic accountability, and that’s something we will always fight for,” he added.

…Following the filing of the lawsuit, SDNA executive director David Bordewyk said it’s imperative that basic government information be open for public inspection, including official votes that trigger Legislative action.

“That especially includes the action take by legislators to consider this special session,” he said. “These are unique circumstances — legislators considering impeachment proceedings. All the more reason why any and all official actions related to this must be public.”

The lawsuit being brought against Gosch requests the Supreme Court not only compel the release of the House vote on the impeachment special session, but also to halt the special session from going forward until the litigation is resolved [Joe Sneve, “South Dakota House Speaker Sued for Keeping Attorney General Special Session Vote Secret,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2021.10.13].

As Bordewyk says, the Legislature is convening to consider removing an elected official from office. Such a negation of the will of the people (yes, we really did elect that schmuck Ravnsborg) requires absolute transparency from the Legislature. The written requests that legislators signed to petition for a Special Session are not mere correspondence or behind-the-scenes chit-chat that Speaker Gosch can keep secret under South Dakota’s already overloaded exceptions to open records laws; they are vital public documents authorizing Legislative action. Such documents must be available to the public to prove the Legislature is acting constitutionally.


  1. Porter Lansing 2021-10-14

    Stubborn German, that Gosch is.

    And I don’t mean that in a good way.

  2. V 2021-10-14

    People in this area think Gosch is doing the right thing just because he’s from around here. Yikes

  3. Disgusted Dakotan 2021-10-14

    This is even more stupid and more corrupt looking then when Steve Haigaard banned a lobbyist from the house floor. Who told this schmuck to double down on stupid.

  4. larry kurtz 2021-10-14

    What’s most shocking is that people are surprised this is happening because most of us know opacity in the SDGOP is a constant, a given. That Dan Lederman is still Chair after losing control of the renegades is what’s mystifying.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-10-14

    V, people in this area are wrong. There’s no good reason to keep these names secret.

  6. Jake 2021-10-15

    When legislators don’t acknowledge ‘how’ they vote, how can we (they) say that they ‘represent’ their constituents?
    Banana republic anyone?!!!

  7. ds 2021-10-17

    I drive a 2013 Chevy Cruze and the digital clock gains about 4 minutes per year. Jason was driving an older 2011 Ford Taurus. Besides the question of accuracy; many drivers set their digital clock several minutes faster to avoid being ‘late’ for meetings…The SD DCI statement:
    ” Investigators say forensics on Ravnsborg’s cellphone indicated the impact with Boever occurred at 10:23:37 p.m:
    i not aware that there is a deceleration sensor or impact sensor in a cellphone. If instead they used the vehicle’s clock as a time stamp to record an accident occurrence from vehicle sensors detecting deceleration or impact sensor signal, what reliability is there in the conclusion that Jason was not on his cellphone when the crash occurred?

  8. grudznick 2021-10-17

    Mr. ds, all apple phones have a three-axis accelerometer which is accurate to the length of the shortest appendage any individual has. So if grudznick is aware of this, I just bet the agents of the North Dakota investigative agency are too.

    I am not shocked you are not aware of this, but I do really like your taste in cars. It suits you.

  9. ds 2021-10-19

    Well grudz the Cruze has a 6-speed manual transmission and a turbo engine that can produce neck snapping torque at mid and upper RPM yet can achieve near 50 MPG with conservative driving habits… and hauls a half dozen 8′ 2 X 4 if need be. And thanks for the info on cell phones…just another reason i don’t own one.

  10. grudznick 2021-10-19

    That is really neat-o, Mr. ds. I am not much of a head-gear or classic car aficionado, but that does sound like a swell ride you have. Neck-snapping torque is the sort of thing that can injure an old fellow like grudznick.

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