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Freedom Caucus Latches onto GOAC Accountability Power; House State Affairs Kills HB 1001

The first bill killed in the 2023 Session is House Bill 1001, which sought to restore the Government Operations and Audit Committee’s ability to subpoena witnesses and documents without getting permission from the Legislative Executive Board. House State Affairs held its first substantive meeting Friday and killed this accountability bill on a 9–3 vote.

Representative Randy Gross (R-25/Elkton) noted that HB 1001 had the unanimous endorsement of GOAC members. He reminded House State Affairs that the restriction of GOAC’s subpoena powers was a response to personal conflicts, specifically that party leadership perceived that one member (Stace Nelson, who was not named but who surely looms large in Republican memories) was abusing the subpoena power, and that instead of removing the abusive member from GOAC, the Legislature chose to require oversight of subpoena requests by the E-Board. Gross said the need for that restriction has passed, and the restriction creates inefficiency that prevents GOAC from striking while situations are hot.

But then Gross and other HB 1001 boosters made the error of letting Jordan Mason, lobbying for the DC-based State Freedom Caucus Network, testify in favor of the bill. Mason didn’t say much, just that HB 1001 provides an “adequate measure of government accountability.” But the Freedom Caucus in Pierre is a bunch of right-wing radicals who, like Stace Nelson, sought to upset the SDGOP mainstream’s iron grip on power. That brief reminder of the troublemaking contingent of the Republican caucus scared the mainstreamers more than any opponent testimony (of which State Affairs heard none on Friday), and loyal party water carriers Bartels, Blare, Cammack, Chase, Drury, Mortenson, Rehfeldt, Reimer, and Wangsness voted to send HB 1001 to the 41st day, the Pierre euphemism for death. Futilely voting to save HB 1001 and restore GOAC’s independent investigative power were frustrated radical Freedom Caucuser Jon Hansen, Republican Chaffee, and the lone present Democrat, Erin Healy.

The only reason to subject a committee charged with investigating trouble in government to the authority of another committee is to reduce the ability of that committee to investigate trouble. The Republican leadership has thus succeeded in ensuring that even people within its own ranks who might get a whiff of trouble and want to investigate are checked by the party bosses.


  1. Richard Schriever 2023-01-17 07:44

    The State of SD operates like nothing so much as the old one-party state of the USSR, or contemporary China and Russia. It reminds of how my HS history teacher in the 1960’s cold-war era, Irl Oaks once described the state of SD as “The Siberia of North America”.

  2. Bonnie B Fairbank 2023-01-17 08:25

    Why you harshin’ on Siberia, bruh?

  3. e platypus onion 2023-01-17 09:27

    Why are embarrassingly red state magats so afraid of the people?

  4. e platypus onion 2023-01-17 09:53

    My humble apologies, my above comment was meant for HJR 5001: Prohibit Immediate Retries of Failed Initiated Amendments, not this one.

  5. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-18 21:00

    Mr. Onion–the same caveat applies to this effort to blunt the people’s right to know…the Republicans don’t want to know, in the present instance the workings of the Governor’s travel reimbursement policies, or anything else that might clog the wheels of the current Legislative session. I don’t sympathize with the so called “Freedom Caucus” but once in a while, like a blind squirrel finding an acorn, they happen upon an issue requiring further inquiry.

  6. leslie 2023-01-19 18:13

    Thune wants high infection rates of covid’s newest variants to spread in toddlers.

    Cory writes, equally true for congressional senators:

    “The Republican leadership has thus succeeded in ensuring that even people within its own ranks who might get a whiff of trouble and want to investigate are checked by the party bosses.”

    Party second/boss John Thune; “I’ve been sounding the alarm on this for months. History won’t look kindly on the bureaucrats who forced American toddlers to wear masks that caused irreparable harm to their early development & education.” thune twitter 1/2023

    Irreparable harm?

    In December 2021, Thune introduced the Preventing Mandates on Toddlers Act, bicameral legislation that would nullify HHS’s Head Start mask mandate.

    His boss Mitch joined in Thune disinformation at the same time. Otherwise they both have been very quiet: “The American people do not have to choose between safer schools and the Constitution, and the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act proves it,” McConnell said. “This bill increases school safety, helps troubled kids and protects Kentucky’s teachers and students.” (Jan 5, 3023)

    Neither these two partner-Republican Senators revealed the act was highlighting key mental health funding for 2023 through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the GUN SAFETY BILL that passed into law last year.

    Both ignore and thereby exacerbate the continued current forward-looking climb of covid infections statistics.

    (Sept 2022)

    “Why wear masks at daycare, preschool or school? —well-fitting face masks worn by everyone 2 years old and older and adults, including child care teachers, protects them as well as others.”

  7. Stace Nelson 2023-01-19 19:43

    “Abusing the subpoena process!?” How is a legislator assigned to the GOAC that is specifically codified to look into such problems as GEAR UP (remember the dead family and that $110 Million corruption that Republicans and Democrats gobbled up all those monies that were supposed to be used to educate Native American kids in college and they couldn’t identify even one kid that graduated from college as a result of 11 years of their corruption?) abusing the process by trying to use such tools as they were meant to be used, “abusing subpoena power!?”

    Lucky they were able to stop the legal and rightful issuance of subpoenas and keep people from testifying under oath though so we won’t ever know what really happened and no one was held accountable.. Just an entire dead family and over $110 Million gobbled up at the center of that mess, but that big mean retired federal agent was prevented from abusing the subpoena process 🤦🏻‍♂️

    Cannot put into polite words how little I miss this.

  8. P. Aitch 2023-01-19 19:50

    Welcome back, “Yosemite Sam” Nelson. Hope your back is not giving you as much pain as it was.

  9. larry kurtz 2023-01-19 19:55

    Not only is he commenting from tomorrow as he’s a half a world away but it’s important to remember Stace Nelson tortured people after he hired on to the deep state.

  10. grudznick 2023-01-19 20:14

    Mr. Nelson, you will be pleased to hear that the “Nelson Memorial Stall” is still used by the lobbists for the intended purpose.

  11. P. Aitch 2023-01-19 20:54

    What? Stace moved to the Philippines?

  12. Stace Nelson 2023-01-19 22:43

    @P. Aitch reminds me everyday how thankful I am that God spared me from death that fateful day. Happy in Thailand with the most beautiful fiancé in the world 😎

    @Grudz or is it GRIDS? Don? You confuse your cowardly closet hiding and project that on an old disabled vet who was suffering from wonderful digestive problems associated with his service connected injuries. But feel free to test out how much the old Marine would hide if you ever had the balls to come out of your closet and poke him in the chest and repeat your cowardice. Now skip along little fella, your log cabin caucus is waiting.

    @Kurtz only one torturing anyone is you with you such asinine stupidity.

  13. M 2023-01-20 05:34

    Good for you Stace. I’m headed to Scotland after they build the 6-county jail in my small hometown. I’ll finally be able to sell the house to the jailors they’ll have to import from Mississippi and Missouri. Seems the newcomers to S.D. I’ve met are from the south. They love shooting their guns here and running their dogs beside their manly trucks.

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-20 06:25

    (Thailand. Thailand?! Holy cow, Stace! Send us a guest column on life in Thailand!)

  15. larry kurtz 2023-01-20 07:42

    How a gorgeous woman a fraction of his age can love an aging, overweight Marine with digestive issues remains a mystery.

  16. e platypus onion 2023-01-20 08:20

    One with serious anger management problems. I hear people in Thailand eat pet dogs.

  17. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-20 15:43

    Mr. Onion-people all over the world eat dogs, and horses too for that matter. In most places, life is a constant struggle to obtain enough protein.

  18. e platypus onion 2023-01-20 16:19

    Mr Blundt, remember how magats accused Obama of being a Muslim and eating dog meat when he was being raised in Indonesia as a child?
    It has nothing to so with anything.

  19. P. Aitch 2023-01-20 17:39

    Larry – Men are looking for a nurturer and women are looking for a provider. That explains your mystery.

  20. larry kurtz 2023-01-20 18:08

    I have been unable to locate the divorce decree between Aiza Mendoza Nelson and Stacey V. Nelson.

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