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Kevin Jensen Sees No Reason to Give Shifting Populations Fair Representation

Speaking of dumb things out of legislators’ mouths, Representative Kevin Jensen (R-16/ Canton) shows his willful failure to understand redistricting with this criticism of proposed new legislative boundaries in Minnehaha and Brown counties:

Since 2011, northern Minnehaha County has been broken into two separate districts: 25 and 9. But the Blackbird map calls for combining the bulk of rural Minnehaha County into one legislative district that would include the communities of both Dell Rapids, Hartford and Moody County

And that would have as many as seven different Republican lawmakers — some with adversarial relationships with Senate leadership — vying for three legislative seats.

Meanwhile, in Aberdeen, the Blackbird proposal would split the state’s northeast population center into two separate districts while absorbing southern Brown County into a legislative district that would extend west all the way to the Missouri River. District 2, which currently covers southern Brown County, would be relocated to give the Brandon area in southeast South Dakota its own district.

And some House members wonder if that’s all a recipe to rid the Legislature of a few social conservatives while protecting moderates.

“I’m just trying to make sense of why we would split these counties up for no apparent reason,” said Rep. Kevin Jensen, R-Canton. “It’s really hard to understand the motive” [Joe Sneve, “Redistricting Has Drawn Line Between Conservative and Moderate Republicans in Pierre,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2021.10.25].

The reason for these boundaries is entirely apparent and easy to understand: Minnehaha and Brown counties have too many people for one legislative district and thus must be divided into multiple districts. Aberdeen itself has to be split into two districts, and the surrounding counties are so sparse that including somewhat more populous rural Brown in their districts helps reduce the sprawl of those rural districts.  Down in Minnehaha, combining the rural areas outside of Sioux Falls creates a logical district with shared interests while allowing for the Sioux Falls–Brandon metroplex to maintain more integral urban districts with common interests.

When Jensen cries no apparent reason! about the proposed changes, he’s really saying that there are darn good reasons for changing the maps, reasons that serve the public interest, and the only reasons he has to oppose those changes are selfish reasons that wouldn’t pass muster with a majority of voters. Demonstrating contemporary Republican “thinking”, Jensen can’t rationally rebut the proposed redistricting, so he has to pretend there is nothing to rebut.

Redistricting should be absolutely blind to the personal interests of Jensen, his fellow radical right-wingers, and incumbents and candidates of any political stripe. We draw these maps for the people to have fair and accessible representation, not for certain politicians to keep their part-time jobs in Pierre. If people move, the maps must move with them, not stay in the same place like Jensen and his selfish friends.

11 Comments

  1. Nix 2021-10-25

    Kevin Jensen and Jim Bolin.
    There is a case to be made that Canton
    needs to filter its Sioux River water a little bit better.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-10-25

    Magats have never shown any respect for the will of the voters, especially on social issues and South Duhkota extends further North and further West of Sioux Falls? Why?

  3. Richard Schriever 2021-10-25

    Kevin is the male equivalent to a Karen.

  4. Donald Pay 2021-10-25

    This is why people move out of South Dakota: stupidity. You can only stomach it for so long.

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-10-25

    Well whoever set district 10 last time really the loved the Willow Run Golf course. Jerrymandering at it’s finest.

  6. larry kurtz 2021-10-25

    If gerrymandering every district means no Democrats at all in the legislature you can bet your Aunt Betty’s bippy Republicans are going to find a way to do that.

  7. grudznick 2021-10-25

    Wouldn’t that be hilarious, Lar? What on earth would they do with the fancy offices set aside for all of the Democrats in the legislatures? They already each probably have an entire suite. Perhaps the lobbists could start using those to lounge about in.

  8. larry kurtz 2021-10-25

    The time where pistol duels between Republicans on the floor of the South Dakota capitol is an idea that is long overdue, for sure.

  9. ArloBlundt 2021-10-25

    Well…note with interest in my local paper that State Senator Casey John Crabtree has picked up another speeding ticket courtesy of the Highway Patrol. The Senator’s district, which stretches from the western border of Jerauld county to the Minnesota border is currently proposed to be divided and redistricted in each of the redistricting proposals.

  10. Mark Anderson 2021-10-25

    You know Larry, when you have one party rule, it can change quickly. There are many rinos in Sarasota and South Dakota. Trump and his trumpies will ruin the pubs for several years so that’s a given. The Democrats just need to keep putting out ideas and govern. Republicans can’t even come up with a platform with Trump and his offspring, DeSantis, Abbott, and of course, the Noem. What are their ideas do they have any? Its really getting silly at a basic level, can they keep their minions angry seems to be their only direction.

  11. ArloBlundt 2021-10-25

    grudz…it has happened…in ’45, ’47, and ’53 the Republicans had 100% of the State Senate (and all but a couple of House seats).It doesn’t necessarily bode well as by ’59 the Republicans had lost their majority in the Senate and Democrat Ralph Herseth was Governor.

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