It’s not just the local grouchy, unorganized radical right-wingers who would destroy the Republic and the Republican Party, in that order, who are lobbing futile bombs at Senate President Pro-Tempore Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska). The Senate King has incurred the wrath of some out-of-state whack-a-doodles who want to rewrite the United States Constitution:
The card is mostly factual, if riddled with understatement and error. Schoenbeck didn’t just vote to increase the state sales tax in 2016; he single-handedly saved the compromise that allowed Governor Dennis Daugaard’s tax hike for teacher pay to advance from the House. But the whack-a-doodles demonstrate their infacility with numbers: raising the state sales tax from 4.0% to 4.5% was a 12.5% increase, not 11.1%.
Then this year, Schoenbeck didn’t just vote against eliminating the 4.5% tax on food; he led the Senate in killing the proposal from his own fellow tax-cutting Republicans in the more crowded chamber. But the bill in question was Senate Bill 117; any South Dakota pol proofreading that card would have spotted “South Dakota HB 117” and said, “Hey, boss! Something’s wrong here—House bills have four digits!”
Last week Wednesday, the Convention of States Political Fund has reported funding mailers against Schoenbeck and his fellow mainstream Senate Republicans David Johnson (R-33/Hisega) and Mary Duvall (R-24/Pierre). Schoenbeck’s postcards were the cheapest to mail at $4,402. Bombing Duvall’s voters cost $4,529; BLanketing Johnson’s district cost $4,669.
On Friday, they filed independent communication expenditure reports indicating they are hitting the radio airwaves against those three plus Tim Reid, by whom I assume they mean not Venus Fly Trap but the very mainstream GOP Representative Tim Reed (R-7/Brookings), who is running for Senate. Each of the four radio ads cost $806.25 to produce. Putting them on air cost only $4,320 in Schonbeck’s Watertown market and $5,400 in Johnson’s Rapid City market. COSPF either bought more time or faced higher rates in Pierre and Brookings: they spent $15,048 to badmouth Duvall on the radio and $16,080 against Reed (where spelling doesn’t count, so rock on). COS’s final bill for attacking these four Republican incumbents: $57,673.
Reed, Duvall, Johnson, and Schoenbeck all face GOP primary challengers and no other-party opponents.
The website cited in the attack-card disclaimer leads to an entirely uninformative billboard page that offers no names, contact information, or even a Donate button for the political action committee.
Convention of States Action tried ousting David Johnson from the Legislature in 2018, to no avail. They evidently want to replace Johnson, Schoenbeck, Duvall, and Reed with less experienced, less conscientious dupes who don’t realize what havoc they’d wreak if they called for an Article V convention.
Conservative Action for America is harder to pin down. According to the Federal Election Commission, Joyce and Weikeen Loh of Ormond Beach, Florida formed a PAC named Conservative Action for America in 2017, but they never filed any reports, and the FEC terminated that PAC in August 2018.