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Press Files Second Lawsuit to Get Names of Legislators Who Called for Special Session on Impeachment

At the end of October, the South Dakota Supreme Court said Speaker Spencer Gosch didn’t have to make public the names of the Representatives who called for the Special Session that started a formal impeachment investigation of killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. The press is now taking another judicial swing at getting those names:

“Argus Leader Media and South Dakota Newspaper Association have authorized me to start an open records lawsuit under SDCL 1-27-38,” wrote lawyer Jon Arneson to South Dakota LRC Executive Director Reed Holwegner.

Arneson explains that the South Dakota Supreme Court’s original rejection was not based on “the merits of our case, but only on the procedure.”

The letter from Arneson goes on to explain that in filing the lawsuit with a circuit court, he would also intend to ask the court to impose a civil penalty in accordance with SDCL 1-27-40.2. That law states that “if the court determines that the public entity acted unreasonably and in bad faith the court may award costs, disbursements, and a civil penalty not to exceed fifty dollars for each day that the record or records were delayed through the fault of the public entity” [Austin Goss, “South Dakota Speaker, LRC to Face 2nd AG Impeachment Petition Lawsuit,” KSFY, 2021.11.20].

Speaker Gosch is making noise on Twitter to make it sound like the press are the bad guys for trying to get information that the real bad guy, Speaker Gosch, is trying to keep secret. But reporter Joe Sneve notes that the LRC’s Holwegner is apparently trying to keep other Legislative documents secret:

Joe Sneve, tweet, 2021.11.20.
Joe Sneve, tweet, 2021.11.20.

On the merits, the circuit court should find there is no reason to conceal the names of legislators calling for a Special Session that overrides the public’s interest in knowing that the Legislature has been convened properly, by a special call of two thirds of its members, and not by the fiat of one overreaching Speaker.


  1. Mark Anderson 2021-11-21 16:26

    Gosh, Gosch is demeaning the press. Its been a standard play by the pubs especially since used to be king, twitter trump. The real problem is the response of their rank and file who are rank and vile followers who do not look elsewhere for truth.. Stupidity reins in the twitterverse of the pubs.

  2. ArloBlundt 2021-11-21 16:38

    Well…I’m with Mark. The press in South Dakota has woken up to the fact that all those lumps in the carpet are great news stories. We need a vigorous press that is enterprising and resourceful. there are plenty of great stories out there.

  3. grudznick 2021-11-21 16:49

    The media should be demeaned. They are, at least in South Dakota, demeania. They are useless, a dying practice, just rooting through dirty laundry and inventing stories by twisting reality using devious words to pad their own meager wallets.

    Somebody should print bumper stickers: “Demean the Media!”

    Sell them right alongside the “I support The Borehole” and “#4Science” bumper stickers that Dr. McT and grudznick are making a bundle on.

  4. larry kurtz 2021-11-21 17:56

    Who you boinking these days, grud?

  5. Mark Anderson 2021-11-21 18:27

    Who needs truth, just follow the breakfasts that grudz goes to. It’s all you need to know. A little burp is all you need to worry about as long as you avoid their bacon.

  6. larry kurtz 2021-11-21 19:37

    So are Jason Ravnsborg and Brock Greenfield. Bear with me, this is coming into my inbox in fragments.

  7. grudznick 2021-11-21 20:44

    Long ago, there was a day when many of grudnzick’s friends, including Lar, were rebels from the waist down.

  8. happy camper 2021-11-21 22:59

    Well I was just wondering Cory if you are considered Press. I thought the decision from up above was that you are not Press. The responsibility to present unbiasedly as possible should go along with Press Privileges, but without number one no number two.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-11-22 05:49

    Well, Speaker Gosch has successfully taken this commentariat’s eyes off the ball, with Grudz’s help.

    The point here is that Speaker Gosch is unnecessarily keeping important information secret from the public. The press is trying to do its job of documenting governmental actions and informing the public.

  10. V 2021-11-22 06:30

    Gosch needs to be accountable for making a decision, not based on law or transparency, but on snubbing the law and secrecy. He and all his minions are doing what they want and making a mockery of our whole system. People in the Walworth County area are cheering him on like he’s scored a 3 pointer to win the state basketball tournament. In reality, he doesn’t know a damn thing about the law, politics, or making people’s lives better.

    I hope to see this list of names, maybe there’s a reason to keep it hidden. And, I hope Gosch gets fined but have a feeling about tax payer monies being used AGAIN to help finance this fraudulent political party.

    And like I said before, the Democrats and journalists are the true defenders of democracy. Sorry Grudz, I thought there was a wee bit of hope for you however your blubber about this article shows your true nature.

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