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Gosch, Smith Letting Politics Cloud Judgment on Impeachment

Speaker Spencer Gosch is really looking hard for an excuse not to impeach killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. Gosch tells SDPB that the Governor’s continued effort to persuade legislators to impeach Ravnsborg could constitute a mistrial:

“Why they continue to try to interject information into this investigation, try to put undo influence on a potential jury, is beyond me,” Gosch says. “It’s disgusting and it’s just a poor way to try to let the process run out.”

Gosch says the committee now has to discuss whether there’s cause for a mistrial.

The state constitution says the House is in charge of whether to impeach. If the House votes to impeach, the Senate holds a trial and decides whether to remove the impeached official from office [Lee Strubinger, “Letter from Noem Cabinet Official Rankles Members of Impeachment Committee,” SDPB, 2022.03.09].

Unfortunately, Democratic House Minority Leader Jamie Smith is giving Gosch cover for this potential dodge:

Democrat Jamie Smith sits on the impeachment committee. He says the timing of the letter is unfortunate.

“Because it muddies the water,” Smith says. “It’s been done several times throughout this process where this could have been a cleaner process without people trying to meddle, I believe, in what’s going on” [Strubginer, 2022.03.09].

The water still looks plenty clear to me, Representative Smith. Jason Ravnsborg broke the law and killed a man. He lied to cover his sorry backside. He has lost the confidence of law enforcement statewide. We can ignore the statements made by Governor Kristi Noem and her Secretary of Public Safety Craig Price entirely and still easily conclude that Jason Ravnsborg is unfit for office and should be impeached, convicted, and removed from office immediately.

Speaker Gosch, don’t let your feud with Governor Noem spill over into the solemn business of impeachment. You may want to say orange! every time Kristi Noem says blue, but that doesn’t mean that you should choose not to hold a terrible Attorney General accountable just because Noem says we should. Representative Smith, I know your impulse is to try to get along with your colleagues and act with excruciating caution in legal and legislative matters, but your caution is unwarranted here. Ravnsborg is guilty. Ravnsborg does not deserve his elected position and he can no longer effectively serve the people of South Dakota.

Forget the politics: do your duty. Impeach Jason Ravnsborg now.

19 Comments

  1. Nick Nemec 2022-03-10 07:28

    A mistrial in an impeachment? Is that even a thing? Does Speaker Gosch know what he is talking about? Who would have the authority to declare a mistrial? The SD Constitution is pretty clear that the SD House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment. “The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. The concurrence of a majority of all members elected shall be necessary to an impeachment.” Article XVI, Section 1. It says nothing about mistrial nor does it grant authority to declare mistrial to anyone.

  2. larry kurtz 2022-03-10 07:41

    If the House impeaches incel and altar boy, Ravnsborg what are the chances the Senate remove him? What prevents him from running in the general election as an unaffiliated candidate?

  3. Nick Nemec 2022-03-10 07:48

    Larry Kurtz when is the deadline for an independent candidate to file to run for a constitutional office? Do they have to submit petitions with some number of signatures?

  4. Dana P 2022-03-10 07:49

    I looked at the criteria for impeachment in this state, and it mentions nothing of a ‘muddied water’ loophole that the committee can cite for a reason to call off their solemn duty here.

    Do your jobs, folks. The facts are the facts. If you are allowing the Noem/Price games (and whoever else is playing games) to get in the way of doing your job? Yikes! No wonder corruption is rampant here, especially in Pierre.

    The facts of the case and Ravnsborg’s , criminal, corrupt, and unprofessional behavior at the time that he killed Mr Boever and after as it relates to this case, makes him horribly unfit for office. Each day that goes by that Ravnsborg collects a tax payer paycheck, is another day these lawmakers are giving tacit approval to his horrific conduct.

    Do your job, legislators. Enough is enough.

  5. larry kurtz 2022-03-10 07:59

    Good morning, Mr. Nemec. Cory knows when the deadline is but Ravnsborg could even run as a Libertarian and be nominated at their convention.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-03-10 08:16

    Independent candidates for any office other than President and VP must submit their nominating petitions by the last Tuesday in April, which this year is the 26th. (See SDCL 12-7-1.) Where an alternative candidate could walk into the Libertarian convention and convince ten guys to nominate him by August 9, an independent has to collect 3,393 signatures more than three months before that deadline.

    However, if Ravnsborg is impeached and convicted, SD Const. Article 16 Section 3 says his punishment includes removal from office and “disqualification to hold any office of trust or profit under the state.” An impeached and convicted official can never again hold office in South Dakota.

    I would think an Independent campaigning now to ensure that Jason Ravnsborg does not remain as our A.G. could collect a lot of signatures.

  7. Loren 2022-03-10 08:27

    Why don’t they just come right out and use the tried and true John Thune mantra of, “Delay and let the people decide?” You know that’s the goal, delay until it’s too late to do anything, then just wash their hands and walk away. So very RepubliQan!

  8. SuFuMatt 2022-03-10 08:31

    I am with Smith on this one (as I so often am). This could’ve been a letter tot he committee but it was a press release. I wish I wasn’t so jaded and could say that there was a single atom in my body that thought the press release was done with good intent and not to deliberately muddy the waters to force inaction and then use it against Smith later. But, I also think there was a shot from the grassy knoll, so…

  9. larry kurtz 2022-03-10 08:33

    It seems incomprehensible that Emperor Schoenbeck would allow Mr. Ravnsborg on a ballot that would let a Democrat win the race for attorney general.

  10. Nick Nemec 2022-03-10 08:48

    Loren, that is exactly where this is going, walk away mouthing the high minded ideal “under God the people rule”, using the state motto as an excuse to do nothing.

    Cory, given the filing deadline I’ll go out on a limb and predict that Ravnsborg will not file as an independent. He will head to the Republican convention as tone deaf as ever and will get his hat handed to him by the assembled GOP mucky mucks when they nominate Marty Jackley. If he pitches a fit and shows up at the Libertarian convention and is nominated by the Libertarian faithful he will divide the GOP vote and the Democratic candidate, if that person runs an agressive campaign, will stand a good chance of pulling out a win. If impeached Ravnsborg will be a footnote in history and sane Republicans around the state will breath a sigh of relief.

  11. Ryan 2022-03-10 09:40

    sufumatt – you ever been to the grassy knoll? it’s incredible. i walked the grass somberly, and looked up into the windows… and then i went upstairs and looked out “the” window. i will say i love a good conspiracy theory, and when i went to dallas i was sure that there was more to the story than what we know… but after my visit, even though the details of his motives or accomplices are not so clear in my head, i became sure that it was oswald alone who pulled the trigger. if you want to talk about the moon landing, though… that’s a whole different story

  12. Richard Schriever 2022-03-10 09:43

    Impeachment is not a trial. It an investigation and determination as to whether or not to bring charges against an individual to be TRIED by the Senate. No trial is being conducted by the investigating House committee. They are deciding whether or not to PROSECUTE the individual. Period. So, as a prosecutor, do you decide not to bring charges against someone because someone else makes a comment that they believe you ought to, or not, or is the decision based solely on the evidence? Amateurs – just what Trumpians love as the “leaders” of the country/state/etc. Leave it all up to the ill-prepared and ignorant inexperienced amateurs.

  13. Richard Schriever 2022-03-10 09:46

    Ryan – try to hitch a ride on a Blue Origin rocket, then come back with a report as to the Moon shot(s).

  14. Ryan 2022-03-10 10:17

    Richard, i’m working on it. Need to raise some capital first. I considered just sneaking on as a stowaway, but the risk is too high according to my favorite short story, “the cold equations” by tom godwin. maybe i’ll start a gofundme

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-03-10 13:52

    Nick, yes, if Ravnsborg is not impeached, he has a much better chance of stacking the SDGOP convention delegate rolls with a couple hundred Trumpy insurrectionists to claim the R label. Take that label away from him, and he doesn’t stand a chance in November, no matter what other party would take a chance on him.

  16. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-03-10 13:54

    SuFuMatt, what impact does public debate have on the impeachment process? How does public debate make it impossible for members of the House and Senate to judge the merits of impeachment? If the House considers impeaching an elected official, are we all obliged to stay silent about the matter until the House and Senate see the process out? Is that how Congress, other elected officials, and the press handled the impeachments of Johnson, Clinton, and Trump?

  17. mike from iowa 2022-03-10 13:59

    Somerne remind me of which scandals in the last 10-15 years has any bigwig gone to prison in South Duhkota?

  18. Arlo Blundt 2022-03-10 14:41

    As I posted yesterday, the Republican leadership led by Gosch and Noem is much too inept to construct and manage an impeachment process. Jamie Smith is just supporting hanging them with their own petard. Ravensborgh is coming off as a much more capable politician than the bunch of them. The fact that he’s a lying felon only seems to enhance his limited political skills. Such is the state of the Republican Party. I do not find any fault with Smith for taking advantage of the situation. “Never give a sucker an even break”.

  19. Mark Anderson 2022-03-10 16:26

    Just continue to refer to this slime as killer. Where ever he goes, address him as killer. Where ever you see him, anywhere any time. That head is easy to spot. Its killer, killer, killer.

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