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Schoenbeck Blasts Jensen, Randolph, Frye-Mueller, Howard—So Vote Democratic, Right, Lee?

In a letter to the Rapid City Journal, Senator Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska) accuses fellow Republican legislators of voter fraud:

Scorecards that fairly report elected officials’ voting records are valuable tools to help voters hold their elected officials accountable. But, some groups have created these tools for the sole purpose of deceiving voters – a form of voter fraud. In a recent column Representative Phil Jensen highlights the “scorecard” of Citizens for Liberty (CFL), one such example of a fraudulent report on the voting records of your legislators [Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, letter to the editor, Rapid City Journal, 2022.07.30].

Oh, now, Lee, if “deceiving voters” were the standard for voter fraud, then we’d be locking up your whole caucus, including your Governor.

More accurate and important is Senator Schoenbeck’s argument that Representative Jensen is one of four Rapid City legislators who are failing to meet the needs of their constituents:

It is no surprise that Rep Jensen would write an article foisting a fake scorecard that made him look good, when the reality is that he’s not one of the people doing the hard work to look out for the families in Rapid City and the region.

For example, Rapid City has a workforce housing shortage. Senate Bill 53 and 65 were bills to get the infrastructure in the ground, so the private sector could build more affordable homes for the workers in your community. SB 53 passed with the support of 2/3 of the legislature in both houses. Phil Jensen, Tony Randolph and Taffy Howard earned their failed ratings by opposing this important Rapid City initiative [Schoenbeck, 2022.07.30].

Senator Schoenbeck cites a scorecard favorable to his own argument, the pro-business Elevate South Dakota scorecard, to show Reps. Jensen, Randolph, and Howard as well as Senator Julie Frye-Mueller voting against Rapid City economic interests. But to what end does the Senate President Pro-Tempore make this complaint? Senator Frye-Mueller already knocked off Schoenbeck’s little buddy Tim Goodwin in the primary (which has freed Goodwin up to make stuff up in his campaign against Medicaid expansion), and she faces no general election opponent. Howard is out of the Legislature, too, after choosing to run a zero-impact primary campaign against Congressman Dusty Johnson.

Jensen and Randolph are the only Schoenbeck targets on the November ballot. In District 33, Jensen, Republican Curt Massie, and Democrat Vince Vidal are contending for two seats. In District 35, Randolph and fellow Republican Tina Mullaly (who also scores worse than all of Schoenbeck’s Rapid City favorites on the Elevate Rapid City scorecard) face two Democratic challengers, experienced candidates Pat Cromwell and David Hubbard. If Jensen, Randolph, and Mullaly are so bad for Rapid City, then it logically follows that Schoenbeck would like Rapid City voters to send new Representatives to Pierre, and those new Representatives have to include some Democrats.

Schoenbeck can’t bring himself to offer Rapid City voters that kind of pragmatic advice, but hey—if you take Schoenbeck’s critique of Jensen, Randolph, and other do-nothing culture warriors seriously (and you should, because, frankly, the 21st-century economy has no time for Jensen and Randolph’s 19th-century thinking), your only practical course of action is to vote Jensen and Randolph out and replace them with the better candidates you have on your ballot.


  1. All Mammal 2022-07-31

    Pat Cromwell has my endorsement 100%. She has it goin on.

  2. 96Tears 2022-07-31

    You’re right about Pat Cromwell, AM. You couldn’t find a better, more qualified candidate to speak up for working families than Pat. It’s time Rapid City sent someone to Pierre who’s in tune with regular, everyday people. In fact, a lot of communities would be better served with people like Pat than sending another goofy Trump whack-a-doodle to take up valuable space in the Legislature.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-31

    “One thing about the tenets of the National Socialist Party, Dude. They comprise an ethos.” Walter Sapek (John Goodman) to the Dude (Jeff Bridges) in “The Big Lebowski”.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-07-31

    GOP on GOP violence is the best kind.

    State Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, told Forum News Service that many of his constituents in Brown County have expressed skepticism about the project. He said the issue of eminent domain was another area the Legislature could address. But the issue could form a rift in the Republican party, with those concerned about property rights and precedent on one side and those concerned about agriculture on the other.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-31

    Yep, Larry…the center cannot hold…the GOP is going to be blown apart everywhere if Trump runs again.

  6. larry kurtz 2022-07-31

    Like Libertarians are Republicans who like to smoke dope Republicans are libertarians who like cornhole.

  7. larry kurtz 2022-07-31

    Mr. Schoenbeck is the Mike Pompeo of the Noem nut farm shouting that the crazies have overrun the coliseum.

  8. larry kurtz 2022-07-31

    $20 says Kristi Noem is the queen du jour because banks and trusts in my home state hoard north of $4 trillion for her donors and Senator Schoenbeck knows where all the bodies are buried.

  9. DaveFN 2022-07-31

    If my birth state of red Kentucky can elect a Democrat for governor—Andy Bashear—South Dakota would do well to use a similar strategy.

  10. grudznick 2022-07-31

    Vote for grudznick. I am your way forward, you libbies.

  11. Arlo Blundt 2022-07-31

    That’s absurd Grudz. You’re too old, your clothes are all stained with greasy gravy and you smell like goats. What political party would want you on their ballot?

  12. buckobear 2022-08-01

    Small fact check : Goodwin was “knocked off” by Trish Lander in the recent republic primary.

  13. Bonnie B Fairbank 2022-08-01

    Grudz has doubled up (again) on his Deeply Delusional pills.
    I’m proud and ecstatic to be called a libbie rather than a conservative; that means I’ve finally grown up and know not everything revolves around ME ME ME or my belongings.
    Most people I know in Fall River County are too stupid to understand the difference between a Conservative or an effen Commie, Socialist, or Librul (the latter three I’ve been called because I have Biden/Harris bumperstickers). How could they? They were poorly educated, their parents were abysmally educated, their grandparents were indoctrinated by McCarthyism, and their great-grandparents were marrying their first cousins and half-siblings in Scandahoovia.

  14. Curt 2022-08-01

    Fact check is in error. Cory’s report is accurate. Rep Goodwin unsuccessfully challenged incumbent Sen Frye-Mueller in Dist 30 June primary … Goodwin lost a close race decided after a recount.

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