Any conservatives thinking they can help Colin Pauslen beat Lee Schoenbeck in the Republican District 5 Senate primary need to (a) improve their proofreading and (b) broadcast this clip from last week’s candidate forum as evidence that Schoenbeck is a big-government liberal who won’t protect property rights:
Paulsen thinks that landowners should have a greater say over what private companies can do with eminent domain.
“I believe in individual and landowner rights, and it’s important to protect those rights. Having the landowners feel confident and comfortable in their position to have the first voice when those companies are coming to them” is important, he said.
Schoenbeck noted on how critical eminent domain is to the quality of life for South Dakotans.
“If you like to flip the light switch and the light comes on, that’s because of the eminent domain. The electricity to that switch? That’s not magic,” he said [Kerry Kulkarni, “From Detention Center to Pipelines, Republican Candidates Share Views at Forum,” Watertown Public Opinion via Yahoo News, 2022.05.05].
I say “big-government liberal” not because it’s accurate—allowing private companies to use eminent domain for their private profit is better described as crony capitalism or Russian-style corporate oligarchy (again, Schoenbeck is Putin), but conservative voters haven’t been trained by Limbaugh, Hannity, and Carlson to respond to those terms as viscerally as they will respond to “Big-Government Liberal!”
More discerning voters (although there won’t be many discerning voters casting ballots in this District 5 race, since Schoenbeck didn’t draw a Democratic challenger, so the seat will be decided by the iddish Republican base who show up on June 7) may want to investigate Schoenbeck’s claim about eminent domain and electricity and the fallacy it exposes. Eminent domain has been used most recently for the Keystone I pipeline that leaks across East River. Eminent domain may be used now to build carbon dioxide pipelines across East River. The Keystone I pipeline does not and the Summit Carbon Solutions and and Navigator CO2 pipelines would not bring any electricity or other energy to any homes or businesses in South Dakota. The CO2 pipelines in particular provide no vital service to any South Dakota voter; they only turn an ethanol-plant waste product into a profit line for a few favored private businesses. When it comes to justifying an infringement on basic rights, there’s a big difference between infringing property rights to directly deliver electric light and heat to all of our neighbors and infringing property rights to directly profit a handful of big businesses.
And Schoenbeck’s support for eminent domain may not extend to his backyard. Remember that Schoenbeck was the one who threatened to legislatively torpedo the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline if they dared try eminent domaining some of his favorite constituents.
But Republican primary voters don’t want all that inquiry and analysis; they want ideological Viagra! Pop a sound bite and vote hard-Right! Candidates were asked how they feel about taking away people’s property: conservative Colin Paulsen spoke for individual rights, while liberal Lee Schoenbeck spoke for the collective good. You know what to do, true conservatives! Stifle Schoenbeck’s stinking socialism—vote for true conservative Colin Paulsen!