Representative Randy Gross (R-8/Elkton) has evidently taken his redistricting out of District 8 and into contentious District 25 in stride. With his Elkton home in Moody County chopped away from Lake County and attached to rural northern Minnehaha for representative purposes in the 2022 election, Representative Gross has already filed his petition to run for House in District 25 and is writing off his Madison constituents as hopeless economic losers.
During yesterday’s floor debate on Senate Bill 130, Representative Drew Dennert (R-3/Aberdeen) asked why this bill would direct $50 million at building a Dakota State University facility in Sioux Falls instead of near the home campus in Madison. Representative Gross responded, essentially, because Madison sucks:
Representative Drew Dennert, R-Aberdeen, wondered why this would be in Sioux Falls, rather than on Dakota State’s campus in Madison. Representative Randy Gross, R-Elkton, said there would be free land in Sioux Falls and that South Dakota’s largest city, with a population of more than 200,000, is a transportation center.
“I can’t imagine what it would take to get (businesses) to come to Madison,” Gross said about that city’s population of some 7,500. Dennert said he supported the Sioux Falls center but his “only heartburn” was that a smaller community should be considered for a future project [Bob Mercer, “House OKs Sioux Falls Cyber Center for DSU,” KELO-TV, 2022.03.07].
Terry Schultz and Brooke Rollag at the Lake Area Improvement Corporation can imagine lots of ways to get businesses to come to Madison. But I guess when Randy Gross no longer has to win votes in Madison to keep his cushy seat in Pierre, he feels no compunction about dissing the town that helped him win two terms in the House.
SB 130 almost places the new DSU cyber security campus in Gross’s new district, but not quite. Based on the legal description of the land to be acquired by SB 130 (northwest quarter of Section 6, Township 101 North, Range 49 West of the 5th Principal Meridian), the new DSU campus will be just south of the Sanford Pentagon, a mile south of the southern edge of Gross’s new District 25, in the newly northerly expanded District 15. Hey, would you look at that: Gross and most of his fellow Republicans just voted to place a 50-million-dollar pork-barrel project in one of South Dakota’s few strong Democratic districts. Thanks, Randy!
The economy that supports the future of the state is all in blue territory. The red part of the state is stuck, at best, in today’s world, but substantially in the past. Anything – technology – ideas – financing – a market – that does come their way to advance their reluctant march forward has its source in the blue world.
Lake County will suffer a water crisis soon enough as wells fail and demand on the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System exceeds supply, so there is that.
There is a baffling, even screwball column in the Pierre Capital Journal that maybe somebody with a less jaundiced eye could unravel.