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Senate Suspends Frye-Mueller, Keeps Reason Secret, Cites No Legal Basis for Punishment

In a move possibly as historic as its conviction and removal from office last June of killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, the South Dakota Senate has again overturned the will of the voters and removed, albeit temporarily, Senator Julie Frye-Mueller (R-30/Rapid City). On a 27-6 vote, the Senate suspended Senator Frye-Mueller and convene a Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion to investigate as yet unspecified indecorous behavior imputed to the now powerless Rapid City Senator.

Frye-Mueller’s trouble began yesterday when Senate President Pro-Tempore Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Watertown) removed Frye-Mueller from the Local Government and Health & Human Services committees. No one has yet said on the record what exactly Frye-Mueller is accused of doing that provoked Senator Schoenbeck to yank her from her two committees, but Frye-Mueller confirmed today that the fuss has something to do with a conversation she had earlier this week with a Legislative Research Council staffer. Bob Mercer reports the conversation was allegedly about vaccines; Frye-Mueller tells Austin Goss the conversation was not about the covid vaccine but was about Governor Noem’s favorite word: “It’s a sad day in America when advancing freedom becomes a crime.”

At the opening of today’s Senate meeting, the Senate secretary announced that Senator Schoenbeck had appointed Senator Jessica Castleberry (R-35/Rapid City) to the Local Government vacancy and Senator Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen) to the HHS vacancy.

Then, after reports and messages, the first motion of the day, a motion to suspend the rules from Senator Herman Otten (R-6/Tea) and Senator Mike Rohl (R-1/Aberdeen), delivered a one-two punch. The first part was expected, calling for the committee to investigate Frye-Mueller and consider discipline. The second part was an unprecedented bombshell: “and to immediately suspend Senator Julie Frye-Mueller from exercising any rights or privileges as a senator pending the outcome of the investigation.

If Frye-Mueller’s fellow Freedom Caucus mugwumps were any good at Senatoring, they’d have parly-pro’d the heck out of this motion. Otten and Rohl were pretty clearly logrolling two very different motions. Convening a Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion does not require suspending the rules; the process is laid out clearly in the Senate Rules, Chapter 8, Section 1:

Any two Senators may by written motion first delivered to the president pro tempore move for the establishment of a Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion to investigate the conduct of any other Senator. Upon being seconded, the motion is debatable, and passage of the motion requires a majority vote of the members-elect [South Dakota Senate, Senate Rules, Chapter 8, Section 1, excerpt, retrieved 2023.01.26].

Suspending a Senator is a whole nother matter. Suspending a Senator most definitely does not appear any where in the Senate or Joint rules for this Session, so it requires at least a motion to suspend the rules and take this drastic and unprescribed action. Suspending the rules requires a two-thirds vote. You can’t meld two motions that require different size votes into a single motion. At the very least, Otten and Rohl needed to divide their motion: call for the investigatory committee, which can pass with 18 votes, then call for the suspension which requires at least 24 votes.

But the question of whether the Senate has the power to suspend a member goes beyond the question of suspending the rules. The South Dakota Constitution, Article 3 Section 9, empowers the Senate and the House to judge the “qualifications” of their own members. However, Article 3 Section 3 defines the “qualifications” each chamber can judge as the age, residency, citizenship, and voting eligibility of each member. The Constitution says nothing about being able to temporarily forbid a Senator from participating in committees, speaking on the floor, and casting votes, even pending an investigation into wrongdoing.

Article 16 on impeachment doesn’t help. Article 16 Section 3 does not include legislators among the officials subject to impeachment. Article 16 Section 4 does provide for removal of officers not subject to impeachment “for misconduct or malfeasance or crime or misdemeanor in office, or for drunkenness or gross incompetency, in such manner as may be provided by law,” but that’s removal, not suspension. Elected Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was subject to impeachment, and Article 16 Section 5 says impeached officials are suspended while awaiting their Senate trial. No comparable clause for suspending Senators under investigation exists in the Constitution or in law (Title 2, on the Legislature, specifically). I would argue that suspending an elected official—annulling the will of the people, even temporarily—needs to flow from an explicit authorization in the Constitution that provides for the election of that official, not merely a statute and definitely not merely a suspension of the rules by one chamber of the Legislature.

But the Freedom Caucus lacks the legal acumen to come up with such arguments on the spot. Instead of immediately challenging the motion, Frye-Mueller and her allies sat evidently dumbfounded while Senate President and Lieutenant Governor Larry Rhoden opened the floor for discussion of this double motion.

Go to 59:10 in SDPB’s video of today’s Senate action to see what happened:

Senate Majority Leader Casey Crabtree (R-8/Madison) rose first (with a Ravnsborgianly askew necktie to stammer that the motion arose from a lot of serious thought” from Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. That was all the Majority Leader had to say to justify this extraordinary action.

Those 60 seconds were not enough for any of Frye-Mueller’s Freedom Caucus to compose a coherent objection. Into this vacuum, President Rhoden injected his concern with a question to Senator Crabtree:

I understand the motion before us is to suspend the rules. Suspending the rules does not suspend us from the obligation to follow state law or common sense. Can you cite to me in law or by what authority it’s proper for this chamber to strip the voting rights from a duly elected member of this body? [Senate President Larry Rhoden, question from the chair, South Dakota Senate, 2023.01.26]

Senator Crabtree redirected the question to lawyer Senator Schoenbeck. Senator Schoenbeck had this ready response:

I don’t have a statute in front of you. I don’t need one. The rules, as LRC has explained to me, is that we have the ability to protect the decorum of the body, and this motion is appropriate. It provides for a due process opportunity. It does not remove the Senator from office. It’s what any employer would do similarly situated if addressing these issues. It’s a suspension [Senator Lee Schoenbeck, response to the chair, South Dakota Senate, 2023.01.26].

I would much rather agree with Lee Schoenbeck than with Larry Rhoden. I’m pretty sure Schoenbeck is smarter by three-quarters than Rhoden. But President Rhoden is absolutely right to ask what law or authority supports this impeachment-like action, and Schoenbeck is wrong in almost every way in his response. To suggest he doesn’t need a law to undo the will of the people is false and, surprisingly for Schoenbeck, Trumpistly arrogant. The motion does not provide a due process opportunity for the suspension—Frye-Mueller is out of the Senate, unable to speak for her constituents, right now, without any of us knowing why. And neither Schoenbeck nor the Senate as a whole is Frye-Mueller’s employer; the people of District 30 and South Dakota are—which is all the more reason Schoenbeck, Crabtree, and everyone else should stop pussyfooting around and tell the voters what Frye-Mueller did, so the voters may decide whether they need to demand Frye-Mueller’s resignation and whether Schoenbeck’s suspension of their will is justified.

The one nail on which Schoenbeck may hang his headhunting hat is the “protecting decorum” claim. “Decorum” sounds thin (poorly tied neckties weren’t grounds for removing Ravnsborg, and they aren’t grounds for removing the cravatorily challenged Crabtree), but there it is, not explicitly cited by Schoenbeck but written in the Joint Rules, Chapter 1A on Decorum, Section 10: “The presiding officer may have any member temporarily removed in order to preserve order and decorum.

But Schoenbeck reads Joint Rule 1A-10 wrong. This rule does not empower the Senate as a body to vote to suspend a member. This rule does not state that two members may move to suspend a fellow member for breaching decorum. This rule instead authorizes the presiding officer of the Senate to eject any unruly Senator by his own edict. And Joint Rule 1A-10, with its reference to the “presiding” officer and read in context with the entire chapter on decorum (see for best example Joint Rule 1A-1, empowering the presiding officer to clear the galleries or lobbies to preserve order and decorum) refers specifically to decorum while there is a meeting of the Senate over which an officer may preside.

At the time Otten and Rohl’s unjustified motion to suspend the rules and Frye-Mueller was read and opened for debate, no breach of decorum was taking place. Frye-Mueller was seated her desk on the Senate floor, causing no disruption. Even had she done so, even had she started bawling and throwing pocket Constitutions at Schoenbeck as he gave his incorrect response, no motion was in order; the only proper response prescribed by the rules would have been for President Rhoden to direct the Sergeant at Arms to escort the unruly Senator from the chamber until she recomposed herself.

But Frye-Mueller was not violating the decorum of this afternoon’s meeting. The presiding officer had no grounds upon which to remove he from this afternoon’s meeting.

After a pregnant pause, Presiding Officer Rhoden recognized Senator Tom Pischke (R-25/Dell Rapids) for further remarks. Pischke rose from his seat, right next to Frye-Mueller, and made none of the above procedural points. Instead, he  complained that the motion to suspend the rules would allow the investigative committee to proceed according to its own special rules instead of the rules approved unanimously by the Senate at the beginning of Session. He let slip that Frye-Mueller’s troublesome conversation was with a female LRC staffer—”At this moment, we have a she-said-she-said situation.” He said the Senate needed to take more time to gather facts and information… which seems to miss the point that no matter how much time the Senate might take or how many facts it might gather, the Senate has no authority to suspend a member for an alleged, unspecified, and as-yet uninvestigated breach of decorum. Pischke did get to the point that the Senators “are going down the road of taking away the voting rights of all the people of District 30.” “We’re talking about lawsuits here,” warned Pischke.

Senator Frye-Mueller then rose and said she had not been presented with any information to explain what provoked the motion to suspend her, “and yet I understand all of you saw it in caucus.” She said, “I know there’s an agenda behind all this,” and at the end of her speech she said it seemed the Senate was putting its rules aside “for a purpose,” but Frye-Mueller left that agenda and that purpose unsaid. Amidst some empty sputtering, she asked members to vote their conscience. “I have always gotten along with the people in the LRC and tried to get along with all of you.” Not exactly a stirring defense, and definitely not the technical parliamentary protest that this moment required.

Hearing no further remarks, President Rhoden had finally gathered enough thoughts to say the rules were written to keep the Senate within the boundaries of the law and the Constitution. He said this motion denied the accused due process. He said suspending a Senator before any investigation or hearing puts “the cart before the horse”. He thus ruled, after allowing the motion to be debated, that the motion was out of order.

Frye-Mueller’s Freedom Caucusers weren’t wielding parliamentary procedure, but Senator Schoenbeck was. Seemingly anticipated by Rhoden, Schoenbeck appealed to ruling of the chair. A majority stood to support Schoenbeck’s challenge (notably not standing in the SDPB screen cap: Senators Wink, Wheeler, Novstrup, Schoenfish, and Stalzer, along with Frye-Mueller and Pischke), and Rhoden called for a vote.

Suspending the rules requires 24 votes. This motion got 27:

  • Yeas: Bolin, Bordeaux, Breitling, Castleberry, Crabtree, Davis, Deibert, Diedrich, Duhamel, Hunhoff, David Johnson, Klumb, Jack Kolbeck, Steve Kolbeck, Larson, Maher, Mehlhaff, Nesiba, Novstrup, Herman Otten, Reed, Rohl, Schoenbeck, Schoenfish, Stalzer, Tobin, and Wheeler
  • Nays: Beal, Frye-Mueller, Brent “B.R.” Hoffman, Pischke, Wink, and Zikmund
  • Excused: Foster and Wiik

Rhoden’s declaration of the passage of the motion was not accompanied by any order to the Sergeant at Arms to remove the suspended Frye-Mueller, who appears to have walked out under her own power. The Senate went straight to debating feckless SCR 602, in which the Senate voted 30–3 to celebrate the Alito Court’s stripping women of their reproductive rights. Had the only member of the Freedom Caucus remaining on the Senate floor, Senator Pischke, been quicker on the uptake, he might have noted the irony of that vote coming right after the Senate’s own vote to strip a woman of her Legislative rights. But we got no such treat. Only sponsor Jim Bolin (R-16/Canton) and opponent Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls) spoke to the resolution, and after the SCR 602 vote (for which Frye-Mueller is rather incorrectly listed as “excused”) , the Senate sped through housekeeping and adjourned at 2:30 p.m. Central for its three-day weekend.

Senators Schoenbeck and David Wheeler (R-22/Huron) will spend their three-day weekend writing rules for the upcoming hearing, which Schoenbeck intends to conclude by the end of next week:

Republican Sen. Lee Schoenbeck told KELOLAND News that he and Republican Sen. David Wheeler will work this weekend on rules that he hopes can be presented to the Senate on Monday when legislators return to the Capitol.

Schoenbeck serves as Senate president pro tem and is the chamber’s highest-ranking member. He said he also intends on Monday for a select committee to be appointed that will quickly hold a hearing where Frye-Mueller can present a defense.

He wants the committee to finish within 48 hours and deliver recommendations to the full Senate, with the matter wrapped up no later than Thursday or Friday. The committee could recommend that she be expelled, censured, disciplined or exonerated. Should she resign, the committee would be dismissed [Bob Mercer, “SD Senate Disciplinary Action May Start Monday,” KELO-TV, 2023.01.26].

Schoenbeck and Wheeler worked together crafting rules for Ravnsborg’s impeachment trial last spring. They shouldn’t need to craft rules for the Frye-Mueller discipline/expulsion committee: the Senate Rules already spell out how that committee should proceed. How many of those rules the committee investigating Frye-Mueller will follow will be seen shortly. Perhaps the most important rule to retain lies in Senate Rule S8-2: “All meetings of the Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion are open meetings in like manner to any other Senate committee meeting. All meetings shall be webcast and archived in like manner to any other Senate committee hearing.” The Senate earned public confidence in its conviction and removal from office of Jason Ravnsborg by ensuring that the public saw all the evidence necessary to demonstrate that Ravnsborg had forfeited the public trust. If the Senate is going to establish a precedent for suspending one of its own members prior to any due process, it had better tell the public, exactly and fully, what extraordinarily bad behavior by the accused Senator justifies this extraordinary punishment that sent Julie Frye-Mueller home this afternoon without the voting power District 30 voters gave her.


  1. Curt 2023-01-26 21:48

    Outstanding insight and analysis … a prime example of why this is the most reliable source of information in SD.

  2. Mark Anderson 2023-01-26 22:50

    This was fun to read and Tsitsipas just won the first set. What did FM do? I hope it’s worth the wait.

  3. grudznick 2023-01-26 23:04

    As a fellow from the District numbered 30 you might think ol’ grudznick would be goat-chapped about my voice in the legislatures being muzzled, like a stuffed lambchop. You might, but then you would not understand that Ms. Frye-Mueller is amongst the insanest of them all. Ms. Taffy cannot help you now. This is a self-bringing Ms. Frye-Mueller pulled down upon herownself.

    Let us hope the appointments to replace her are swift, and that the other insaner fellows take heed. I suppose Mr. Pischke will be lonelier than some for a short bit, sitting there ignominiously with his libbie friends.
    I do hope Ms. Ladner and Mr. Krull are paying very close attention.

  4. sx123 2023-01-26 23:30

    I assume whatever she said or did is bonkers. Pretty harsh punishment otherwise.

    I’m sure it’ll come out shortly…

  5. leslie 2023-01-26 23:49


    AFTER “Senator Frye-Mueller … rose and said she had not been presented with any information to explain what provoked the motion to suspend her…” she then VOTED for herself! (SHE CAN’T DO THAT, CAN SHE?) Yet she did.

    “Nays: Beal, Frye-Mueller, Brent “B.R.” Hoffman, Pischke, Wink, and Zikmund” she voted to oppose the very motion to suspend rules or investigate her actions or suspend her Senatorial power, or whatever was stated as a motion.

    She’ll show up next with a Frankenstein or Ravnsborg-like lawyer, or file a legal action. Surely there is money behind her. Grudz or Sanborn or Frankenfeld? And on the national Republican scene we see such abuse of power, norms and protocol–ALL THE TIME!

    For example, reported just today…

    “Taciturn and media-averse, the goateed Mr. Durham had spent more than three decades as a prosecutor before Mr. Trump appointed him the U.S. attorney for Connecticut….investigat[ing] potential official wrongdoing, like allegations of corrupt ties between mafia informants and F.B.I. agents, and the C.I.A.’s torture of terrorism detainees and destruction of evidence.

    By contrast, the vocal and domineering Mr. Barr has never prosecuted a case and is known for using his law enforcement platform to opine on culture-war issues and politics. He had effectively auditioned to be Mr. Trump’s attorney general by asserting to a New York Times reporter that there was more basis to investigate Mrs. Clinton than Mr. Trump’s “so-called ‘collusion’” with Russia, and by writing a memo suggesting a way to shield Mr. Trump from scrutiny for obstruction of justice.

    But the two shared a worldview: They are both Catholic conservatives and Republicans, born two months apart in 1950. As a career federal prosecutor, Mr. Durham already revered the office of the attorney general, people who know him say. And as he was drawn into Mr. Barr’s personal orbit, Mr. Durham came to embrace that particular attorney general’s intense feelings about the Russia investigation.

    ‘The Thinnest of Suspicions’

    At the time Mr. Barr was confirmed, he told aides that he already suspected that intelligence abuses played a role in igniting the Russia investigation — and that unearthing any wrongdoing would be a priority.

    In May 2019, soon after giving Mr. Durham his assignment, Mr. Barr summoned the head of the National Security Agency, Paul M. Nakasone, to his office. In front of several aides, Mr. Barr demanded that the N.S.A. cooperate with the Durham inquiry.

    Referring to the C.I.A. and British spies, Mr. Barr also said he suspected that the N.S.A.’s “friends” had helped instigate the Russia investigation by targeting the Trump campaign, aides briefed on the meeting said. And repeating a sexual vulgarity, he warned that if the N.S.A. wronged him by not doing all it could to help Mr. Durham, Mr. Barr would do the same to the agency.

    Mr. Barr’s insistence about what he had surmised bewildered intelligence officials. But Mr. Durham spent his first months looking for any evidence that the origin of the Russia investigation involved an intelligence operation targeting the Trump campaign.

    Mr. Durham’s team spent long hours combing the C.I.A.’s files but found no way to support the allegation. Mr. Barr and Mr. Durham traveled abroad together to press British and Italian officials to reveal everything their agencies had gleaned about the Trump campaign and relayed to the United States, but both allied governments denied they had done any such thing. Top British intelligence officials expressed indignation to their U.S. counterparts about the accusation, three former U.S. officials said.” NY Times

  6. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 06:11

    I’d pay to watch the circular firing squad consisting of Pat Powers, Tim Goodwin, Mrs. Frye-Mueller, Lee Schoenbeck and Jason Ravnsborg.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-27 06:11

    SX, I’m very curious to hear how whatever Frye-Mueller did exceeds the bad behavior of past legislators. Dan Sutton and Mathew Wollmann had to shag Legislative employees to get the boot, and even then, they weren’t suspended prior to their investigations.

  8. grudznick 2023-01-27 07:22

    To be fair, Mr. H, Mr. Sutton allegedly groped a young boy against his will whilst he slept, and Mr. Wollmann did nothing more than any other red-blooded youth would do being out on the town with a young woman his own age.

  9. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 07:34

    I am beyond disgusted with my home state of South Dakota. Pat Powers and the voices in his head at Dakota Wart College bullied Melissa Mentele into rethinking her run for the South Dakota statehouse. Sexual predators in Pierre have been a feature of South Dakota for its entire history but to Sioux Falls-area legislator, Deb Peters it’s no big deal. As Rapid City’s former mayor and legislator Ed McLaughlin reaches the end of his life it’s time to reveal his late wife was sexually assaulted by a Republican member of the South Dakota Legislature.

  10. grudznick 2023-01-27 07:40

    Who expects the Cusfallpen GOP powers to appoint Ms. Frye-Mueller’s even insaner twin to finish the next 2 years of Goodwin’s term?

  11. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 07:45

    Unless your Social Security pays your property taxes like it does for Mike Sanborn you’re just another greasy, grimy grudznick groveling in the gore and grinding out every greenback you can grab. Yet, the Republican Party is gleefully and forcefully driving talent away to replace the workforce with a hateful dumbed down murder of Trumpian crows.

  12. Ann 2023-01-27 08:37

    That last comment was way too long.

  13. Peter Kilian 2023-01-27 08:53

    I am a reasonably well informed citizen. This mess clearly shows that Senate rules and statutes are written to be ignored, and that the leadership feels no obligation to follow anything but their own agendas for power and profit. My Dad described how in the late 1950s and early 60s, the beautiful brass water fountains in the Capital building were used as ash trays. A perfect metaphor for this legislature, which sees nothing wrong with trashy conduct and stinky legislation.

  14. Daniel Buresh 2023-01-27 08:58

    A real analysis of the situation. Even though I find Frye-Mueller to be despicable, I can’t help but think she was hosed on this one. You aren’t going to get that kind of analysis from Pat Powers and his press release blog. I invite you all to go over there and comment anything about Saudi Dan or how they punished Brock Greenfield for being drunk while at work. Pat will remove it if it isn’t permanently blocked by the system. Pat Powers is a clown.

  15. Sheldon 2023-01-27 10:18

    Larry Kurtz. Wishing death on others should never be tolerated. No matter how much one disagrees with their actions you should never take joy in their death.

    CAH I expected more from this page than to allow comments wishing death upon others.

  16. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 10:40

    Cram it, Sheldon. If kneeling to bullies is what you enjoy you’re in the wrong forum.

  17. Sheldon 2023-01-27 11:00

    Wishing death unto others is far different than kneeling to bullies. Believing that is the avenue is accepting defeat in all other options. You should really grow up and stop taking things to the extreme.

  18. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 11:15

    This is hardly the first time Earth haters in the South Dakota Legislature have targeted Democratic lawmakers and staffers.

    I’m often called a liberal by Trumpettes but liberals want to convert GOPers or convince them to be kinder and gentler. Me? As a progressive I’m actually working to destroy the Republican Party and erase it from the collective cultural memory.

  19. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 11:19

    Go over to SDWC or to any South Dakota Republican’s Faceberg page and tell them to STFU, k?

  20. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 12:32

    Mrs. Frye-Mueller called the staffer an effing c*nt according to a journalist source. It’s set for publication.

  21. Donald Pay 2023-01-27 13:28

    If larry is correct in what Frye-Mueller called the staffer, it would be a serious issue in most settings. In most office situations it would lead to, if not firing, a suspension and a requirement to engage in an anger management program before being allowed back. I think folks deserve second chances after appropriate counselling, but we don’t know if Frye-Mueller has a history of dealing out verbal abuse to legislative staff. If this is part of a pattern, the best thing would be to find an appropriate mechanism to terminated her from her legislative position. If that’s impeachment, so be it.

  22. All Mammal 2023-01-27 13:59

    Tell me men in Pierre don’t spout that word here and there. Somehow, it is more unbecoming for women to use. The more you say it, the more you are called it. I don’t know the situation. I do know every person aiming that word in so much as my vicinity has gotten touched. However there may be ‘see you next Tuesdays’ in the legislatures:/ The whole thing is sadly typical Pierre scandal because anything that gets them out of serving for the people is their version of a snow day. I wonder how many of them needed a little hair of the dog to perform the scant duties they performed yesterday…

  23. larry kurtz 2023-01-27 15:07

    Pierre’s a toxic environment by design so expect it to escalate.

  24. David Newquist 2023-01-27 15:23

    Entering this conversation and anything to do with the state senate is to walk through a pissing duel. But I see by the press accounts that Mr. Schoenbeck and his posse (aka lynch mob) are justifying their action by saying they are acting as would a private employer in dealing with personnel issues. And so, in observance of privacy rights, they are keeping silent on the substance of the issue. Once again the confidentiality of employee records is used to cover up the fraud, incompetence, or malicious acts of the legislators.

    The hitch in all this is that the employer for everyone involved is the taxpayers of South Dakota, who’s employees are out on the front lawn diddling the dog, but calling it legislative business. And duh! Most South Dakotans are happy with that. On this Holocaust remembrance day I think of all the good Germans watching all the Jews, Romi, et al, marching down the road and loaded on trains, and preferred to think they were all headed to a Sunday school picnic.

  25. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-27 15:41

    Well..during my days in Pierre I saw more than a few confrontations that included harsh language and a calling down of the wrath of Jahovah. The most entertaining was a confrontation between Speaker Joe Barnett and Governor Janklow wherein the Good Speaker, a Christian Gentleman, told the Governor he would throw his ass out the door if he ever set foot again on the floor of the House while it was in session. The exchange was stunning in it’s volume and threatened violence. On both sides. There were no ramifications as we’ve seen with Ms. Frye-Mueller. She’s being tossed down the memory hole by Republican leaders. Good luck with that. I believe she will rise again, Biblically, to continue her crusade.

  26. buckobear 2023-01-27 16:06

    Please tell us that we won’t get Goodwin back.

  27. Donald Pay 2023-01-27 16:42

    Arlo, There is a difference between legislators getting hot under the collar with other legislators or the Governor and a legislator bullying staff. Sitting outside caucus you can sometimes hear heated disagreements, but I never heard that language directed at staff.

  28. Richard Schriever 2023-01-27 17:15

    Just to be clear, they are suspending the actual rules because someone broke an unwritten rule.

  29. Curt 2023-01-27 19:50

    Well, violating “decorum” is a rule. It is well established that Schoenbeck (and others) prefer to have someone else in the Dist 30 Senate seat. Any breach of decorum by Sen Frey-Mueller was bound to trigger action by leader Schoenbeck, et. al. But their reach may exceed their grasp.

  30. leslie 2023-01-28 10:46

    fake outrage sheldon:


    ‘Circular firing squad’ derails GOP in new Congress
    Senate Republicans see chaos across the Capitol as an ominous sign as the party tries to regroup for 2024.

    Jan 04/23


    Perhaps Republicans should stop obstructing out public education:

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks ” is a line from the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. It is spoken by Queen Gertrude in response to the insincere overacting of a character in the play within a play created by Prince Hamlet to prove his uncle’s guilt in the murder of his father, the King of Denmark.” wiki

    You are welcome. (Product of RCASD and out of state undergraduate liberal arts education.)

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-28 11:06

    Buckobear, you’ll totally get Goodwin back. Goodwin was on Team Schoenbeck. Frye-Mueller, backed by Scott Odenbach’s cash, beat Goodwin, backed by Schoenbeck’s cash, in a very close primary battle. Schoenbeck wouldn’t play this game if he didn’t have a replacement in mind who would punctuate this power play with an exclamation point.

    And Schoenbeck (and Noem, who will appoint the replacement) can make the perfectly logical argument that in all of District 30, Goodwin is the most experienced and ready choice to jump in and pick up the important work of Senatoring in the middle of Session.

    If Schoenbeck can secure the votes to remove Frye-Mueller, Goodwin is totally in.

  32. Jenny 2023-01-28 11:45

    What were Rhoden and Phil Jensen hollerin’ at each other for? Did Jensen walk in on another Pub Club whiskey brawl at the Capital? Was there really a drag show going on? That’s what I had heard.

  33. ABC 2023-01-28 14:46

    Larry, amen to the 100% abolition of the Republican Party!

    Republicans did not exist in 1776. They were absent from the US until the 1850s. 70 years they had zero votes.

    They demanded Obama’s birth certificate !

    A party that was vapor in 1776 is now the most anti democracy faction in the US.

    Our Legislature should not be a Salem with hunt with closed sessions and no charges.

    Under Republicans the Intolerant rule.

    Under Progressives the people will rule. We will have over 1000 legislators, Pierre will no longer be the State Capitol, the trust fund industry will have to disclose and be taxed at a heftier rate, Governors term limits will be 4 years maximum, legislators will have 4 years max (no rotating chambers), Elections can be in June, Legislature will run January to November every year with better salary, no sales tax on food in stores and restaurants, graduated incomevtax of 2% on incomes above 200000, 1 % above 90000, 0% on 89,999 and below, the Legislature will have an app where any citizen can send a bill proposal to all legislators, all elections will be each 2 years, there will be no 4 year terms, and the state can require all pharma companies to register and post prices at or below what the state requires on say 400 basic medicines, no register, no sell.

    Pierre can be the museum of the defunct R Party. Plenty of good cities can be the site of the new Capitol.

    We can do this.

  34. Bob Newland 2023-01-28 19:22

    Oh well. Tim Goodwin is every bit the intellectual equal of Julie.

  35. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-28 20:33

    Have not seen any verification of Mr. Kurtz’s information. Right now, it appears, for all its numeric superiority, the Republican Party is very brittle. It could shatter into pieces at both the state and national level.

  36. Matthew k 2023-01-29 04:46

    Goodwin is a sheep he will follow what lee and Noem tell him. Noems after Julie because she stood against them on property rights ( shooting range) . District 30 wants Julie and the state needs more who look out for the people.

  37. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-29 07:23

    Analogies to other office situations just don’t work. Sure, in South Dakota, the boss can fire an employee for darn near any reason, and for reasons far less grave than Frye-Mueller’s alleged bad mouth, Brock Greenfield and Kris Langer’s drunkenness on the job, and Dan Sutton and Mathew Wollmann’s gropiness. But in the Senate, the employer is not Lee Schoenbeck or the Senate as a whole. The employer is the people. The only people who can fire Frye-Mueller for any reason are We the People, or in this case, the people of District 30. If Schoenbeck thinks a Senator should be fired for being verbally abusive, he should railroad to the Governor’s desk a bill with an emergency clause allowing recall of legislators and say to District 30, “Here’s the evidence. If you think that’s a fireable offense, recall Frye-Mueller.”

  38. larry kurtz 2023-01-29 07:31

    Republicans will stall the resolution of this latest episode, threaten Mrs. Frye-Mueller with the release of the details of the conservation until she resigns or pay her to just go away. That’s how the SDGOP operates in Pierre.

  39. Phil 2023-01-29 08:32

    The c word is uttered out loud regularly in many countries that are not as uptight as the US. Still, watching snakes eat their tails is pretty entertaining.

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-01-29 09:00

    (Some anonymous wiseguy trying to comment under two different names contends that there is no Senate Freedom Caucus. I have added a link above to show that Frye-Mueller associates with the Freedom Caucus. So does Pischke. Granted the Freedom Caucus has only those two explicit friends in the Senate, but the association is clear and documented.)

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