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House Republicans Reject Hansen Wackadoodles, Pick Schoenbeck Moderates for Leadership

Senate boss Lee Schoenbeck may not have been able to protect lazy legislators from the burden of a pretty basic workplace appropriate-use IT policy, but he was able to protect his power in Pierre from wackadoodles in House leadership positions.

Photo of newly elected House Republican leaders for 2023 Session. Front: Assistant Majority Leader Taylor (14/Sioux Falls), Majority Leader Will Moretensen (24/Ft. Pierre), Speaker Hugh Bartels (5/Watertown), Speaker Pro Tempore Mike Stevens (18/Yankton); middle: Whip Becky Drury (32/Rapid City), Whip Kirk Chaffee (29/Whitewood), Whip Rocky Blare (21-Winner); back: Whip Gary Cammack (29/union Center), Whip JD Wangsness (23/Miller). Photo from Taylor Rehfeldt, Twitter, 2022.11.19.
Photo of newly elected House Republican leaders for 2023 Session. Front: Assistant Majority Leader Taylor (14/Sioux Falls), Majority Leader Will Moretensen (24/Ft. Pierre), Speaker Hugh Bartels (5/Watertown), Speaker Pro Tempore Mike Stevens (18/Yankton); middle: Whip Becky Drury (32/Rapid City), Whip Kirk Chaffee (29/Whitewood), Whip Rocky Blare (21-Winner); back: Whip Gary Cammack (29/Union Center), Whip JD Wangsness (23/Miller). Photo from Taylor Rehfeldt, Twitter, 2022.11.19.

Yesterday the House Republican caucus held its leadership elections. Breaking with usual practice, they rejected current Speaker Pro Tempore and culture-war bombthrower Jon Hansen (25/Dell Rapids) and nominated Schoenbeck’s boring District 5 Watertown neighbor Hugh Bartels to be the next Speaker of the House. Austin Goss reports moderates beat right-wing extremists (known as wackadoodles in Schoenbeckian parlance) for two other top spots:

The races for Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Leader also saw more moderate Republicans defeat hardline conservatives. Rep. Will Mortenson (R-Pierre) managed to defeat Scott Odenbach (R-Spearfish) and Rebecca Reimer (R-Oacoma) for that position. Taylor Rehfeldt (R-Sioux Falls) bested Randy Gross (R-Dell Rapids) for the Assistant Majority Leader position [Austin Goss, “Moderate Republicans Dominate South Dakota House Leadership Elections,” KOTA-TV, 2022.11.19].

The House GOP made longtime Yankton legislator Mike Stevens the Speaker Pro Tempore. The Republicans picked two big-city moderates, Taylor Rehfeldt (14/Sioux Falls) and Becky Drury (32/Rapid City) as whips, along with three fellers from yahoo country—Kirk Chaffee (29/Underwood), Gary Cammack (29/Union Center), and JD Wangsness (23/Miller). Chaffee is the only whip repeating from last term, when the other four whips were Reimer, Tim Goodwin (30/Sheridan Lake), Kevin Jensen (16/Canton), and Marli Wiese (8/Madison), wackadoodles all.

The top four leaders—Bartels, Stevens, Mortenson, and Rehfeldt—voted against the insurgent effort led by Hansen, and supported by Odenbach, Gross, and Reimer to hoghouse Schoenbeck’s 2022 Senate Bill 117 last February into a repeal of the sales tax on food. Knocking Hansen out of line for Speaker with Schoenbeck’s Session-commute-buddy and surrounding him with moderate leaders sends a pretty clear signal that (1) you don’t mess with Schoenbeck’s bills and (2) the Governor is going to have a hard time keeping her campaign promise to pass the Democratic proposal to repeal the food tax.

34 Comments

  1. Dougy 2022-11-20 09:17

    No more
    Taffy
    Steve
    Gosch
    Odenbach
    Hansen
    I heard the look on Odenbach’s face was epic when he lost. Hansen was more stoic.

  2. Bob Newland 2022-11-20 09:39

    This is about as exciting to me as hearing the Bath football team beat the Groton football team.

  3. grudznick 2022-11-20 09:41

    This morning’s Conservatives with Common Sense breakfasting will have a short Opening Rant, followed by the debates on why those insaner than most will be relegated to the bottom bin during the sessions, The CwCS will pick up the coffee and gravy tater bill this morning for all active members.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-11-20 09:50

    It’s impossible to imagine a more contemptible assemblage of lawgivers than my home state’s Republican politburo.

  5. 96Tears 2022-11-20 09:56

    Congratulations to PrezProTemp Schoenbeck! And thank you for grabbing the big broom to clean up the caucuses.

  6. grudznick 2022-11-20 10:11

    The caucuses will not be entirely spiffy, Mr. 96Tears. There will still be those who pee in the corner and poop in the closet, but they just need to have their noses rubbed in it.

  7. jkl 2022-11-20 10:40

    Why do they need Whips? Laughable.

  8. Kurt Evans 2022-11-20 16:19

    “Dougy” writes:

    I heard the look on Odenbach’s face was epic when he lost [to Will Mortenson for majority leader].

    It was probably a shock on several levels for Scott Odenbach, as a personal friend of Jason Ravnsborg, to lose that election to the smug 34-year-old who filed the articles of impeachment.

    Jason didn’t commit the crime of illegal lane change because Joe Boever’s impact with the extreme right side of the car is what angled it onto the shoulder. That means Will Mortenson’s first article of impeachment was false.

    Jason didn’t make a direct misrepresentation to the 911 dispatch officer because the path of a vehicle near the middle of its lane is commonly called the middle of the road. That means Will Mortenson’s second article of impeachment was false.

    The minimum number of state representatives necessary voted to impeach, and even with Scott Odenbach abstaining, house Republicans voted against impeachment by a 31-28 margin. Marty Jackley’s hand puppet Mark Vargo used an avalanche of reckless, bombastic falsehoods during the senate trial to compensate for a lack of real evidence, mislead the senate, and drive Jason out of office.

    No prominent South Dakota journalist has had the integrity to publicly ask why the amputation of Joe Boever’s leg left all of its blood on the bottom right side of the car, with none of it on the top of the car, or why the collision on the extreme right side of the car, which was allegedly traveling over 60 miles per hour roughly a foot from the edge of the pavement, didn’t angle it into the ditch.

    No prominent South Dakota journalist has publicly asked whether Mark Vargo is investigating the anonymous billboard attacking Jason Ravnsborg’s supporters in the legislature or any other abuse of executive power to influence Will Mortenson or interfere with the legislature’s impeachment process.

    Governor Noem illegally misused the state plane to raise her national political profile at public expense, then lied about it and scapegoated the duly elected attorney general for investigating it. This weekend’s election results further reduce the likelihood that she, Marty Jackley, or DPS secretary Craig Price will ever be held accountable.

  9. Bob Newland 2022-11-20 17:28

    I feel your pain, Kurt.

  10. Bob Newland 2022-11-20 17:30

    Nice hair, Stevens.

  11. Nick Nemec 2022-11-20 17:53

    Kurt Evans continues pushing his without basis theory of the killing of Joe Boever by an inattentive motorist. Mr Evans unhealthy never ending obsession with this case is evidence of some sort of mental health issues. His theory has been heard and rejected, it is time for him to move on and focus his attention on more productive pursuits.

  12. grudznick 2022-11-20 18:14

    My good friend Bob has great observations about barbering. I’m just sayin…

  13. grudznick 2022-11-20 18:24

    Mr. Nemec is righter than right about Mr. Evans’ unhealthy brain and squirrelly thinking. Mr. Evans needs to go and spend 3 days at a local cafe in Highmore and spout his insanerisms.

    Mr. Ravnsborg, the worst AG in the history of South Dakota, has been mooted. Mr. Hansen, who facilitated the back-door dealings with Mr. Ravnsborg to try and avoid his spanking, has just begun to see his mooting. Mr. Odenbach, among the insaner fellows, is going to get a few uppances here real soon. Mark down grudznick’s words, and use a blue marker. Mr. Odenbach, who offices down town there in Spearfish, doesn’t even eat meat at the Steerfish eatery. It is known he eats only vegetables.

  14. Bob Newland 2022-11-20 18:34

    It is well known that the coward grudznutz eats only canine feces.

  15. grudznick 2022-11-20 18:38

    It is known, indeed, that my good friend Bob’s suspects his pal grudznick eats only canine feces and gravy taters, and fancy deserts plated in an appealing manner. Bob knows.

  16. Bob Newland 2022-11-20 18:50

    Grudznutz thinks that the agate fields of Fall River are “fancy deserts,” akin to the Sonoran and Saharan.

  17. larry kurtz 2022-11-20 19:08

    Mr. Mortenson is an NDN like Scott Odenbach is a Norwegian.

  18. grudznick 2022-11-20 19:12

    I do enjoy a good Vanilla Crème Brûlée whilst looking for striped rocks with drunk hillbillies. Especially in the desert of the County of Fall River, where they have bunkers in which one can hunker if you are of the tin-foil hat ilk. I know fellows of that ilk. I have seen their bunkers. And I have had Crème Brûlée in those bunkers.

  19. grudznick 2022-11-20 19:14

    My close personal friend Lar is insinuating that the tribal membership procedures of the CRST are flawed.
    Lar is observant.

  20. larry kurtz 2022-11-20 19:38

    My close personal goat, grudznick, has fantasies about Dan Lederman ala Deliverance.

  21. grudznick 2022-11-20 19:41

    Indeed

  22. Mark Anderson 2022-11-20 20:02

    Been there done that gruz, it wouldn’t take three days at a restaurant in Highmore. Maybe at breakfast, but an evening meal with drink, just one meal.

  23. Mark Anderson 2022-11-20 20:04

    I left out your d grudz, sorry, I didn’t give you an f anyways.

  24. grudznick 2022-11-20 20:54

    You do seem to, Mr. Anderson. You do seem to.

  25. Kurt Evans 2022-11-20 21:16

    I’d replied to “Dougy”:

    It was probably a shock on several levels for Scott Odenbach, as a personal friend of Jason Ravnsborg, to lose that [majority leader] election to the smug 34-year-old who filed the articles of impeachment…

    Governor Noem illegally misused the state plane to raise her national political profile at public expense, then lied about it and scapegoated the duly elected attorney general for investigating it. This weekend’s election results further reduce the likelihood that she, Marty Jackley, or DPS secretary Craig Price will ever be held accountable.

    Nick Nemec writes:

    Kurt Evans continues pushing his without basis theory of the killing of Joe Boever by an inattentive motorist.

    Joe Boever took nearly a month’s worth of the psychotropic drug lorazepam in less than 36 hours, disabled his truck by smashing it into a bale beside the highway hard enough to force the grille guard back into the grille, left town on foot after dark, didn’t ask anyone for a ride, declined a ride offered by a passing motorist, and never told anyone why he was out there.

    As I’d asked you several months ago, Nick, why would you say Joe was out there?

    Jason Ravnsborg looked down at the speedometer as he was transitioning between speed zones, and Joe entered the driving lane to commit suicide. Joe’s impact with the extreme right side of the car angled it suddenly onto the shoulder, and Jason reflexively swerved back to the left before he could even process what was happening.

    The collision ten feet outside the white line happened when Joe’s body came off the hood. That’s why all of the blood from that collision was on the bottom right side of the car, with none of it on the top of the car. It didn’t angle the car into the ditch because Joe’s body already had westward momentum and because Jason was already swerving back to the left.

    Governor Noem’s DPS secretary and rabid Marty Jackley supporter Craig Price says Jason just happened to drive all four wheels across the rumble strip without noticing, ten feet outside the white line, at the precise location of a late-night pedestrian who, among several other very unusual actions, had taken nearly a month’s worth of lorazepam in less than 36 hours. As Marty Jackley is presumably capable of figuring out, that would have been a mind-bending freak coincidence if it had really happened.

    Noem and Jackley conspired to promote Price’s fictitious and preposterous “reconstruction” of the crash. In a flagrant abuse of power, Price also released information taken out of context from Jason’s personal text messages, unrelated to any investigation, to smear him in the media and prejudice public opinion against him. Someone somehow knew to add Scott Odenbach to the anonymous billboard attacking Jason’s supporters in the legislature before Odenbach’s involvement became public. Joe Desilets left Noem’s staff for an unknown reason.

    Governor Noem eventually appointed Marty Jackley’s hand puppet Mark Vargo to replace Jason as attorney general, then raised the pay of Price’s subordinates without direct legislative approval:
    https://dakotafreepress.com/2022/09/02/noem-raising-highway-patrol-pay-without-direct-legislative-approval/

    Jason has continued to assert that Noem illegally misused the state plane to raise her national political profile at public expense. A panel of widely respected former judges on the Government Accountability Board seemed to agree by referring the matter to Vargo for criminal investigation. Vargo’s hand-picked special prosecutor says no charges are warranted.

    I’m not “without basis” for my reconstruction of the crash that killed Joe Boever, or for my assertion that this weekend’s election results further reduce the likelihood of Governor Noem, Marty Jackley, or Secretary Price ever being held accountable.

  26. grudznick 2022-11-20 21:25

    Mr. Evans said:

    blah blah blah

    grudznick then pointed out, quite factually, that young Mr. Mortenson is now driving this bus, and Mr. Evans isn’t even allowed in the very back to tag along. I’m just sayin…

  27. Bob Newland 2022-11-20 21:27

    Your pain is tangible, Kurt. It afflicts me all the way to grudznutz.

  28. DaveFN 2022-11-20 22:10

    larry kurtz

    Majority Leader Will Moretensen’s paternal 2nd great grandmother was Mary Sarah Wanblisunmani “Eagle Feather Walks” or Umaniwe “Walks Forward” or “Walks on It” (1836-1906) spouse of William Hodgkiss.

    That is 1/16th of his ancestry. Enough for NDN or not?

  29. Kurt Evans 2022-11-20 22:10

    Bob Newland writes:

    Your pain is tangible, Kurt.

    I’d tried to do everything I could to pave the way for Kristi Noem to be a successful governor, only to have her undermining liberty, attacking the reputations of honorable men like Spencer Gosch and Scott Odenbach, and empowering satanic bastards like Craig Price and Corey Lewandowski. As a traditional Bible Protestant, I find her behavior embarrassing.

    I hope she resigns in January and devotes herself to becoming a better grandmother.

  30. DaveFN 2022-11-20 22:12

    “Majority Leader Will Moretensen” [sic as per the above photo]: Mortensen (Danish)

  31. DaveFN 2022-11-20 22:43

    Sorry, Kurt. Maybe it was never up to you in the first place to make Noem successful.

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2022-11-21 06:31

    It is interesting that in a state where Republicans win by default, without any accountability for poor performance, the ultra-Trumpist Republicans still can’t get over the hump and oust the mainstream Chamber of Commerce Republicans from power. Those cranky House Republicans tried flexing their muscle a bit in the 2022 Session, but Schoenbeck has crushed them. How can those right-wing Republicans not capitalize on the Trumpist sentiment and drive Schoenbeck and boring Republicans like Bartels into retreat?

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