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Four Senators: Killing Not Impeachable, But Speaking Rudely to LRC Staff Is?

When the Senate voted last June to convict lying killer Jason Ravnsborg and remove him from the Attorney General’s office, only a handful of Senators cast dissenting votes. Among the dissenters were Senators Joshua Klumb, Jack Kolbeck, Ryan Maher, and Al Novstrup. Klumb, Kolbeck, Maher, and Novstrup voted nay on the first article of impeachment, saying that killing a man while doodling with one’s phone and driving is not grounds for removing an elected official from office. Novstrup voted nay on the second article of impeachment, saying that lying about that killing and abusing one’s office to avoid accountability for that killing are not grounds for removing an elected official from office.

Yet on Thursday, Klumb, Kolbeck, Maher, and Novstrup all voted to suspend their fellow Senator Julie Frye-Mueller from the Senate and convene an investigation that could lead to her permanent removal from office.

We don’t know what Julie Frye-Mueller did. All we’ve been told by the Senate Majority Leader is that a conversation with a Legislative Research Council employee allegedly turned into “unprofessional behavior“. The Senate Majority Leader further contends that Frye-Mueller has made “inconsistent” statements about that conversation.

Frye-Mueller did not kill anyone. No one has presented evidence that Frye-Mueller caused any harm, physical or emotional. Frye-Mueller may be lying—she has already changed her story from saying on Thursday that the conversation was not about covid vaccines to acknowledging Saturday that the conversation included discussion of vaccines. But Frye-Mueller has not been charged with, let alone pled guilty to or been convicted of, any crime. There is a report from the offended LRC staffer on the interaction in question, and Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck says that report will be considered this week at an open hearing of the Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion, but none of the information from that report is public yet.

When the Senate tried Jason Ravnsborg, it had hundreds of pages of publicly available evidence, including damning video of Ravnsborg’s questioning by police, plus crime scene photos too gruesome to share with the public, along with sworn testimony that Ravnsborg had abused his office during the investigation of his killing of Joseph Boever. This body of evidence and testimony was gathered over the 21 months that elapsed between Ravnsborg’s fatal crash with Boever on Highway 14 on September 12, 2020, and the Senate trial on June 21, 2022.

This enormous body of evidence of deadly offense did not persuade Senators Klumb, Kolbeck, Maher, and Novstrup that Jason Ravnsborg deserved removal from his elected office. The accompanying evidence of Ravnsborg’s subsequent misconduct swayed Klumb, Kolbeck, and Maher to convict and remove Ravnsborg, but Novstrup remained unswayed and voted to let Ravnsborg remain in elected office.

Yet all four of these men, acting on far less evidence of a far less serious offense, are willing to kick a woman out of the Senate.

Maybe instead of getting into an offensive conversation with the as-yet unnamed LRC staffer, Frye-Mueller should have just run her over with her car after work on Highway 14. She might have won a few more Senators’ support in Thursday’s vote.


  1. grudznick 2023-01-29 16:32

    Do not trifle with the man and his female minions who really run the show from the shadows. Do not. There is no fellow in the legislatures, not even Mr. Shoenbeck, who is immune from having to answer to the Counsel of Researching for the Legislatures.

    No fellow at all, or lady either. They will exact precisely the pound and ounces of flesh from Ms. Frye-Mueller that they, and they alone, decide. You do not monkey with the ringmaster when you are but an ape. Most are smart enough to know this, but some, usually from the District Numbered 30, are not.

  2. grudznick 2023-01-29 16:36

    Let grudznick be more clear here. Ms. Frye-Mueller has plenty of flesh to have extracted, the number of exact ounces does not matter. It is the public humiliation that the LRC is out to inflict here, not the specific poundage. The public humiliation is what they are after.

  3. Arlo Blundt 2023-01-29 17:01

    Back in the day, the LRC was highly professional and put up with a lot of nonsense emanating from the Legislative seats.They may have reached their limits given the current general outrage generated by the “Freedom Caucus”. There is no rational reason to verbally abuse the lawyers of the LRC. Ms. Frye-Mueller’s claim that she was just trying to counsel and help a young mother needs to be substantiated through due process.

  4. 96Tears 2023-01-29 17:29

    I fail to see how this rises to the level of censure and expulsion. Compare it to the sickly, mild and secret rebuke of the lunatic Noem for covering up the firing of and hush money for Sherry Noem plus her collusion with her whelp to cheat on a professional certification exam (after four failures), Ms. Frye-Mueller’s Wal-Mart Karen-style remarks are less than a nothingburger. Frye-Mueller didn’t violate a state law, but Noem sure did with the reckless abuse of the state airplane. And Frye-Mueller hasn’t ripped off hundreds of thousands in state taxes to bankroll a political agenda seeking higher office, but Noem continues to refuse to publicly disclose how much she’s ripped off her constituents.

    I think this is a power play that otherwise the competent Lee Schoenbeck will come to regret. He and Noem couldn’t defeat Frye-Mueller in their Purge of the Whackadoos last fall. This is looking more and more like small bore revenge. It also smells of something personal involving the LRC attorney.

    It’s probably time for this soap opera to just go away. The Protected Class in Pierre have disgraced Senator Frye-Mueller, but, perhaps, not as much as Frye-Mueller has disgraced herself. Let’s just get over it and move along.

  5. 96Tears 2023-01-29 17:31

    Sorry. Not “Sherry Noem.” Sherry Bren.

  6. grudznick 2023-01-29 18:13

    Clearly, Mr. 96tears, you are confused on the various unrelated issues.

  7. grudznick 2023-01-29 18:26

    Back in my day, Mr. Blundt, there was less radiating insanerism in the legislatures, and the Council would just whack a few moles on the head, here and there, to keep them in line. These days, the prolific expansion of whackadoodles has required the Council itsownself to start steering the ship. There is a heavy hand on the wheel, and grudznick knows the shadow pilots who operate behind the shadow pilots are really driving the boat. The Deep State is strong, and these days it is probably required, and we should all be glad for it.

  8. larry kurtz 2023-01-29 18:51

    A pregnant staffer wearing a mask being spat upon by a legislator after a profanity-laced christianic dressing down seems ugly.

  9. Mark Anderson 2023-01-29 18:56

    Oh grudz, your fat isn’t on the line but I’d bet it’s plenty. Just listen to Killing Floor by Howling Wolf. No innuendo there.

  10. larry kurtz 2023-01-29 18:59

    TFM will resign and the staffer bought off. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  11. grudznick 2023-01-29 19:03

    Some think grudznick is fatter than most, and stumpy, Mr. Anderson, and others think he is scrawnier than some, tall and gaunt, but with a prolific and proliferous digestive tract. I will mark you down as one of the former.

  12. Nick Nemec 2023-01-29 19:26

    Fat and stumpy or tall and gaunt the one thing I would bet money on is grudznick has a well greased colon.

  13. grudznick 2023-01-29 19:29


  14. Mark Anderson 2023-01-29 19:41

    It’s really OK grudz, I really like it when Republicans are feasting on each other, especially when they reveal their distaste for women. It’s only a matter of time.

  15. grudznick 2023-01-29 19:57

    It is interesting, even for us Libertarians, to watch.

  16. grudznick 2023-01-29 20:57

    Let this all be a cautionary tale to the ignorant voters in the District Numbered 30, and those who failed to show up for the primary elections.

    Do not send those who are the insanest among us to Pierre.
    Stop doing that.

  17. Donald Pay 2023-01-29 22:01

    There is lots of science showing that the various versions of the Covid vaccine impart a level of immunity to infants through breast milk.

  18. DaveFN 2023-01-29 22:38

    Decorum, civility, collegiality —nothing but veneer covering a host of sins, often used oppressive by those in power. Since when has Frye-Mueller been the model of any of these virtues? While on the other hand the aggrieved staffer may be nothing but thin-skinned. We need much more information about the circumstances and those involved to make any determination whatsoever.

  19. tara volesky 2023-01-29 22:40

    Where’s the ACLU on this?….freedom of speech and due process. It look like the establishment elite wants to take her out because she isn’t in lock-step with the Governor.

  20. M 2023-01-30 06:46

    I am sickened by the overt sexism and fat remarks by some of you men. Did JFM sling her gun around at this other person? Did she pull her hair out and get in a bitch fight? Out like that for what? Because she’s a woman.

    I bet I could find lots of arguments with congressmen at the bar or on their exotic trips to Hawaii etc.

    So far, this is very petty and on national news again.

  21. ABC 2023-01-30 09:38

    Head Taliban woman Noem gets private undisclosed punishment for her infraction.

    District 30 lady, no infractions alleged. She will be out as knee jerk pro Taliban Christians lynch her in public.

    You all should take up my free suggestion. Start your own Legislature. Private Legislature. I’ll find the link to my previous post.

    Basically, name your Legislature. Kadoka Leg or Kadoka L. No elections. Can be 1 or several person Leg. No laws passed no taxes levied. Just donations given to great causes and projects created. Your Legislature can run on $20 or millions depends on how you look at it and what your attitude is like.

    Try it!

    Will send links to previous post.

    Bypass this every 2 years in November nonsense.

  22. ABC 2023-01-30 09:51

    A woman expressing her breast milk convictions gets suspended and removed? Thin skinned Taliban leaders of our state.

    It’s time to create a Breast Milk Party!

    2024 elections. South Dakotans tired of 2 party’s. Latest election results—

    Breast Milk Party 75 seats
    Taliban Republicans 20 seats
    Me too Democrats 10 seats

    Republicans have only 30 seats in Legislature then, as opposed to 105 now.

    Removing Breast Milk talkers from political discourse is a sure sign of Taliban inflammation of Our Democracy.

    Typo was zdemocracy.. sounds like a great idea! Zdemocracy, born January 30, 2023.

  23. Donald Pay 2023-01-30 10:15

    A lot of commenters are seeing this as a political power play. I see it as a question of the proper deportment of public servants with staff and public.

  24. All Mammal 2023-01-30 12:45

    In my book, they’re guilty of misogyny, incompetence, and politically kissing Noem’s boot by canning the person most vocally her critic. Why? Because they haven’t one iota of proof to convince me otherwise. If a staffer was harassed, gee, sorta like any of the women working for our new Secretary of Social Services or the non-profit director SD NewswatchSearchlight wrote about who lost a federal sexual harassment lawsuit, Ms. Frye-Mueller would still have her job and be promoted!

    This fiasco is a pretense for them to get kudo points from their governor and another lame excuse to not have to do any substantial work like the people hired them to do because they swore they would in their campaigns. Our politics in SD are worse than a springtime ball of snakes after hibernation. Stank.

  25. Mark Anderson 2023-01-30 18:12

    Grudz, a Libertarian is a Republican who smokes dope. I gather you are not that.

  26. grudznick 2023-01-30 18:29

    I have heard that old wives tale joke, Mr. Anderson. Mr. Oakes, a young fellow of exactly that bent, has explained about Libertarians a few times in the past and he does a swell job. My close personal friends Bob and Lar, of course, are the poster curmudgeons for the theory you subscribe, but not all Libertarians fry their brains with the juices of the Demon Weed. I, myownself, was nearly placed on the Libertarian ballot as the Lt. Governor candidate. Alas, I just barely missed the final cut.

    Dope means Demon Weed, right? Not the old heroin use of dope or those dope balls some fellows used to dole out.

  27. larry kurtz 2023-01-30 19:16

    Woohoo! The circular firing squad is queuing up as the SDGOP begins the purge in earnest!

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