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Powerful SDGOP Legislator Pretends to Be Voice Against Powerful, Endorses Increasing Dependence on “Biden Bucks”

SDGOP spin blogger Pat Powers reads the competing blog/newsletter, Dakota Conservative, that Representative Jon Hansen (R-25/Dell Rapids) has started and rightfully notes the irony of a well-connected member of the Republican establishment pretending to challenge the powers that be:

The website bills itself as a newsletter that will be “holding the powerful accountable,” and “demanding conservative governance from politicians,” as well as a restatement that they will “speak the truth and hold the powerful accountable for their actions..”

…I hate to point out the obvious, but Jon is the #2 person in the State House of Representatives, as well as being Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

If the Speaker Pro Tempore isn’t considered a powerful politician in the whole scheme of things in the state, who exactly is he looking to hold accountable? Because there’s only a Legislator or two above him, and then you’re on to to the statewide officials.

As we start to wind into session, I’m sure we’ll hear more about the alleged misdeeds of the powerful according to.. the also powerful [Pat Powers, “New South Dakota Conservative Website Dedicates Itself to Holding the Powerful Accountable… Who Exactly Are the Powerful They’re Referring To?Dakota War College, 2021.12.21].

Rep. Hansen shows his inability to fully resist the powerful in South Dakota with the second essay on his website, a critique of Governor Kristi Noem’s kid-in-a-candy-store budget that fails to mention Kristi Noem. Lacking the courage of his new District 25 neighbor and gubernatorial candidate Representative Steven Haugaard, Hansen talks all about how the big money states have comes from President Joe Biden but refers only obliquely, without names or examples, to his party leader’s complicity in liberal spending:

Republican elected officials at the state level have been handed billions of dollars from the feds and now have discretion over how it is to be spent. If we Republicans denounce the left’s big deficit, special interest spending, but then take part in that spending ourselves, we are just as fiscally irresponsible as those in Washington DC.

If Republicans are unwilling to refuse the Biden bucks, they shouldn’t just go along with Biden’s big government agenda and spend the federal money on massive special interest projects.  Republicans need to do better than merely become agents of Joe Biden’s out-of-control spending [Rep. Jon Hansen, “How State-Level Republican Officials Should Respond to Biden’s Reckless Spending,” Dakota Conservative, 2021.12.21].

But just like Governor Noem, Representative Hansen still wants to spend Biden’s money. Hansen doesn’t reject Noem’s rationalization that we have to spend that big bad federal money because if we don’t, other states will; he just proposes spending “the Biden bucks” on his own priorities:

Instead, Republicans should reject leftist economic thought and embrace the principles that made their party—and their country—great. Limit government intrusion in the free market–don’t pick winners and losers via massive capital injection based upon centralized decision making. Make families the focus of our budgeting. Lower tax burdens on families so they can spend more of their own hard earned money.  Provide educational choice so that families have the freedom to select the education option that works best for their own children.  And support policies that embrace parents in their role as the primary nurturers, moral teachers, educators, and caretakers of their children.  This should be the Republican way [Hansen, 2021.12.21].

If Hansen uses “the Biden bucks” to fund tax breaks, he’ll only increase South Dakota’s dependence on federal government handouts. Is that the Republican way?

Representative Hansen isn’t speaking truth to power or offering any new analysis or concrete policy recommendations. But in his sniveling pretense, sloganeering, and hypocrisy, Hansen’s new blog does make clear what South Dakota Republicans are really about. Carry on, Jon: we all hope you can continue to provide this clarifying content on the sorry state of Republican “thinking” in South Dakota.


  1. Nick Nemec 2021-12-23 08:22

    It is harder to blame everything on the other party when your party has been in power for generations.

  2. larry kurtz 2021-12-23 08:27

    Republican leadership is an oxymoron.

    South Dakota sez: eff you, Mr. President; but, thanks for the dough.

    According to the Environmental Working Group the Department of Defense has not fully briefed farmers about the potential pollution of surface and groundwater near some 36 of 126 military bases with the highest parts per trillion of PFAS contamination. Officials at Ellsworth Air Force Base say nine private drinking water wells in Box Elder tested above the US Environmental Protection Agency health advisory level for two chemicals, PFOS and PFOA, compounds in a foam used to fight petroleum-based fires at a site where pit fires are common. The Cheyenne River is already a toxic waste dump.

  3. jerry 2021-12-23 10:10

    Chilling the similarities between South Dakota Nazi party “The website bills itself as a newsletter that will be “holding the powerful accountable,” and “demanding conservative governance from politicians,” as well as a restatement that they will “speak the truth and hold the powerful accountable for their actions..”

    and Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister ““What we demand is NEW, CLEAR-CUT and RADICAL, therefore in the long run REVOLUTIONARY. The upheaval we want is to be achieved first of all IN THE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE. We know no IFS OR BUTS, we know only EITHER…OR.”

  4. O 2021-12-23 10:36

    As I look at the bumperstickers of GOP principles, I cannot come up with any concrete examples when those principles were applied to the success of OUR (not “their”) country. Implementation of those ideals has lead to the erosion of the greatness of this nation.

    Again, campaigning — not governance — is the rallying cry of the GOP/Right/MAGA.

  5. Richard Schriever 2021-12-23 10:49

    Of course, “…..spend more of their own hard earned (sic) money…..” = allow the state to collect more taxes in SD.

  6. Jake 2021-12-23 11:44

    BUMPER-‘SNICKERS’ abound when it comes to the SD GOP…. (No, not candybars either.)
    Do we not see the results of their incompetence when we look at their reign of 40 plus years of governance in SD? For instance:
    Vido Lottery-proposed and championed by GOP to pay for education in SD (but SD is still
    lowest in teacher pay
    Gas taxes among highest in nation to fix roads which still are bad (6th worse in country)
    Bridges falling apart (wheel tax imposed on countys to impose on residents in order to get $$$ from
    the state bridge funding.
    Reservation (Native American) interests (10% of population) not welcome in SD governance,
    merely acknowledged and ‘put up with’ and down-graded largely. Tokenism. Outright obstinate
    obstruction at times by our currrent governor.
    Education of history by our teachers under fire (see CRT-SD) due to be sanitized by our
    governor’s minions to reflect “Pride in what WE believe history should be!) (MAGA!!!) Book-
    burning Texas-style, soon to follow!
    Voter suppression efforts to be attempted/furthered in up-coming legislative session
    Continued abhorrence of taxing income-the basis of our capitalistic efforts=$$$, but don’t let
    government rely on a tax on what people can afford to pay, insist instead on taxes that everyone
    HAS to pay to LIVE, like food, medicine, diapers, gas etc
    The above only a few of the downside of GOP reule in SD. Reading the DakotaFreePress and South Dakota Standard, Northern Valley Beacon and others will give much more insight into SD issues than the main street press, imbedded with and indebted to advertising interests.

  7. Porter Lansing 2021-12-23 12:20

    It’s PAT POWERS modus operandi
    ~ A method of operating or functioning
    If you don’t buy his campaign materials, he’s your worst enemy, in an election.
    Having run low on Liberals to degrade, he’s turned his gunsights on any Republican that realizes his goods are highly overpriced.
    And, how’s your warehouse supply, Patrick?
    You don’t have one, do you buddy?
    You have the manufacturer ship directly to the customer and you mark it waaaaaaay up, huh?

  8. grudznick 2021-12-23 13:08

    Mr. Powers was twice ousted, yet he remains loyal and unwavering. One must respect him for that. And he makes a fine post card. Should Mr. H decide to run for the legislatures again, or perhaps for Governor, he could do far worse than having Mr. PP’s vast years of experience counseling him. And like our good friend Bill knows, enough money erases all party lines.

  9. Donald Pay 2021-12-23 13:25

    Hansen’s priorities aren’t very well drawn out. The “school choice” one would likely be the most expensive. He didn’t disclose how much money he wanted to siphon away from public schools, but, after the Biden Bucks are spent in about a year, taxpayers get the honor of opening their wallets up for Hansen’s not-very well-thought-out fantasy give away. If you are going to spend money to satisfy every families’ grand desires regarding their children’s education, be prepared to fund several to up to a dozen separate school systems. The South Dakota Constitution prevents that, and the taxpayers would rebel. They can’t even seem to afford the present public school system, what with the miserly state aid.

    I had a back-and-forth with Janklow on this back in 2000 or so. I wanted a more bottom-up approach to state aid, using individualized education plan for students to set costs. It was sort of a compromise between Hansen’s choice plan, except run through the public schools, and the miserly state approach, which treated students like widgets. Janklow didn’t want to spend more than his miserly state aid formula allowed on education. My plan would have required the state pick up at least two-thirds of the education costs. That would have required a new funding source, probably an income tax. Needless to say, Janklow scoffed at the idea of individualizing education. Hansen’s approach would cost triple or more of what is now being spent. Where’s that money come from after the Biden Bucks are spent?

  10. Mark Anderson 2021-12-23 13:41

    You know Donald Pay, when we moved to Sarasota, the next year my wife rented a house from Ms. Abourezk. I was away that summer at the Kohler Arts program in Wisconsin. I did hear some amazing stories she had about Janklow. I can’t repeat them however.

  11. Porter Lansing 2021-12-23 14:48

    grudznick – Powers doesn’t make those postcards. He’s not that intelligent. They come from Danny Three Balls.

  12. larry kurtz 2021-12-23 16:19

    Watching the SDGOP eat itself from the inside out brings all the joys of the season to a big white pimply head!

  13. grudznick 2021-12-23 17:27

    The Donald is righter than right. Janklow scoffed. And here we are.

    Yet the teachers whine, and they would whine no matter what.

  14. O 2021-12-23 17:45

    grudznick, teachers “whine” when their schools and students are hurt by foolhardy, rightie policies — which around here does feel like “no matter what.”

  15. grudznick 2021-12-23 18:40

    Mr. H, this fellow, the young Mr. Hansen, may not be as powerful as you may think. Or that he thinks. Have you noticed how ineffective he has been recently?

  16. Arlo Blundt 2021-12-23 20:01

    Well…there is plenty of room on the far right to stake out weird positions and to identify “enemies” lurking in the legislative shrubbery. Hanson just needs to type randomly on his blog hoping something sticks and he becomes locally famous. Policy and law making have nothing to do with it. Its a perpetual campaign.

  17. grudznick 2021-12-23 20:11

    Mr. Blundt, you are righter than right. Righter than you have been in years, probably. Even righter than grudznick.

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