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SJR 504: Brent Hoffman Seeks Term Limits to Boot Novstrup, Schoenbeck from Senate

Rookie Senator Brent Hoffman (R-9/Sioux Falls) wants to clear out some dead wood from the Legislature. His Senate Joint Resolution 504 would put before voters an amendment to limit legislators to eight years of service in each chamber.

Currently, Article 3 Section 6 of the South Dakota Constitution allows legislators to serve up to four consecutive two-year terms in either the House or the Senate. After four full terms, legislators are free to run for seats in the other chamber. Thus, legislators could serve in the Capitol for life, as long as they switch chambers every now and then.

Hoffman wants to put an end to such extended service. SJR 504 says legislators get eight years in the Senate and eight years in the House, not counting partial terms to which they might be appointed. Once a legislator has been elected to four terms in one chamber, that legislator could never run for a seat in that chamber again.

Term limits remain big-government interference in the rights of voters to choose their representatives. If the people of Aberdeen really want part-time resident and full-time go-karteer Al Novstrup to pursue his self-interest over two decades in the Legislature, then the people of Aberdeen should be free to make that bad decision without government telling them they can’t. In that regard, limited-government Republicans like Hoffman should view Al Novstrup the same way they view communicable diseases: sure, they’re bad for us, but we can’t have government telling us what to do to prevent them.

SJR 504 awaits the attention of Senate State Affairs, where it will face the review of Senator Lee Schoenbeck (R-5/Lake Kampeska), who has served two years in the House and is now in his eleventh year in the Senate.


  1. Bob Newland 2023-02-06 07:43

    Novstrup is more like colon cancer than the flu.

  2. Richard Schriever 2023-02-06 08:22

    The MAGATS tend to favor amateurism in general (See the election of one DJT) in government. I suppose when you have a government full of amateurs it is more easily conned, duped, swindled, manipulated, cheated and so on.

  3. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 09:12

    GOP on GOP violence is the best kind.

  4. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 09:21

    What Republicans do in the South Dakota Legislature is not service; it’s hindrance.

  5. ABC 2023-02-06 10:00

    Republicans in Legislature are pigs feeding at the trough.

    16 years max? Too much!

    4 or 8 years total should be the max.

  6. Donald Pay 2023-02-06 10:29

    I disagree with both Cory and Richard. The longer the cream sits, the worse it smells. With a few exceptions, like Frank Kloucek, the longer they sit on Third Floor the more corrupt they get.

    If you go back to the days before term limits, you’ll find the people most likely to be conned and led by the special interests were those who Venhuizen in his blog* called “the old bulls.” A few of them were “cows.” That’s not to say all of the old time hangers on were bad. Lars Herseth and Roger McKellips were excellent, and some of the Republicans were OK at times, but I’m sorry, I would not want to go back to those days, where the terminally dumb and corrupt ruled over the Legislature.

    As to SJR 504, I could support it. John Timmer’s movement to enact term limits in SD assumed 8 years in one house and 8 years in the other house and out for a maximum of 16 years. That’s SIXTEEN effing years!!! In my mind that’s too long, but it was a compromise. Still, it wasn’t written tight enough. I think Timmer assumed politicians would be honest, and understand the intent, but NO. You gotta write it all down so the dumbies can understand it. This seems to fix the problem of people shucking and jiving their way to another house to escape term limits.

    *Just for historical reference:

  7. P. Aitch 2023-02-06 10:36

    Let The People Decide …

  8. e platypus onion 2023-02-06 10:41

    I think Timmer assumed politicians would be honest, and understand the intent, but, only as it can be used against the opposition party.

  9. Donald Pay 2023-02-06 12:05

    Timmer had a coalition of Republicans and Democrats behind him.

  10. algebra 2023-02-06 12:11

    if we term limit these positions, the more difficult it will be to find people to fill them. The SDDP is having a lot of trouble fielding candidates as it is. The SDGOP is having trouble finding candidates who aren’t insaner than most.

  11. O 2023-02-06 12:23

    Although it’s great fun to complain about the fixtures of the legislature, new blood never seems any better; in fact, I’d say increasing the churn only increases the crazy. Trading out all institutional knowledge doesn’t really put quality law making ahead — especially when it comes to writing budgets at crunch time. Term limits also increase the power of lobbyists as they become the institutional knowledge of the chambers.

    Voters can already throw out any candidate any election they please.

  12. Donald Pay 2023-02-06 12:56

    O: “increasing the churn only increases the crazy.” Well, I guess you define “crazy” differently. What’s worse than new crazy? “Fixtures” that are crazy. There’s not just one type of crazy. There are a lot of legislators who are there to do the lobbyists business, not the business of the people. The lobbyists grab hold of people about midway in their second term. Or the crazy comes from the bill mills, which take a couple terms to corrupt legislators.

    O: “Trading out all institutional knowledge doesn’t really put quality law making ahead….” Nor does it put it behind. It takes one year of one term to learn the system well enough to legislate. It takes about three years to begin to corrupt a legislator. Some are incorruptable, but many get pulled into the lobbyist/bill mill way of “legislating.”

    O: “term limits also increase the power of lobbyists….” The top lobbyists tend to gravitate to veteran legislators and leadership to carry their bills.

  13. All Mammal 2023-02-06 13:57

    Right on, P. Aitch. I second that. Crazy and stupid want crazy stupid representation. Let them. Being represented by JFM is definitely a motivator to castigate my neighbors. Just joshin. It makes me look around with contempt more, yeah. But it also makes me more politically vocal and adamant to change the culture around me. I have a movement in the works… don’t laugh. Memetic magic… we are in dire need of a marketing campaign.

    First, strike fear into the hearts of white gun bunners. The fears I plan to tap are not very PC, because it entails POC, but that’s what proves to work. We need to end the gun-bun-fun, son.

    Next, inundate the interwaves with imagery mocking fools who vote for mentally incapacitated inbreds, making them change their ways by showing their heroes as laughing stock. It’s a bit of a psy-ops.

    Then, promote imagery of real American men and women who stand strong against discrimination and pollution and greed. Strength is standing up to hate and corruption and ignorance. It has proven to work so well in the past, I believe there are books written with instructions. There should be, anyways. I will employ P.’s suggestions, as well as all the wise ideas I glean from this body on DFP. Sí, se puede

  14. Edwin Arndt 2023-02-06 16:23

    All Mammal, to a certain extent I sympathize with you, but you simply will not
    win friends and influence people by mocking them and telling them how
    stupid they are. There is a book with instructions on how keep power for
    one’s own benefit. The Prince– by Niccolo Machiavelli. I have not read it.

  15. Mark Anderson 2023-02-06 16:34

    We have used many plumbers over the years, and the best ones were lifers. I’d really not care to use amateurs anywhere. Crooks will usually get thrown out. With Repubs it’s hard to tell, the Santos look is about as bad as you can get. Boebert very nearly got thrown out and I believe she will receive a much harder primary challenge next time. Herding cats is herding cats.

  16. Richard Schriever 2023-02-06 17:15

    Edwin Arndt – not everyone is – or has to be – your friend. You need 50% +1 to govern.

  17. grudznick 2023-02-06 17:53

    Mr. Pay typed:

    The top lobbyists tend to gravitate to veteran legislators and leadership to carry their bills.

    and when he typed it he was righter-than-right. The lobbists and the veterans in the legislatures often have developed relationships over years, that’s why those lobbists are at the top, and those fellows in the legislatures get some of their power from those in the lobbies and back couches and restaurants that serve whiskey and steak.

  18. Mark Anderson 2023-02-06 17:59

    Edwin, conservatives talk about owning the libs. However, Sam Smith more than owned the cons at the Grammys with his song Unholy. All of them are being consumed in his fires of hell. Just read Teddie Cruz or Marjorie Taylor Greene on this one. It’s hilarious.

  19. Arlo Blundt 2023-02-06 18:22

    Well, I agree in part with Donald and even Grudznick’s input on this but we are suffering from rampant amateurism in the Legislator. Literally too much citizen input, citizens who are ill-informed, wacked out from internet exposure, and generally paranoid from exposure to conspiracy theories, homebaked and national. Frankly, we need more Lawyers in the Legislature. People interested in and with demonstrated expertise in crafting legislation that becomes workable law.

  20. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 18:37

    Well, Mr. Hoffman’s quixotica has a brave face but constituents in South Dakota really have nothing to lose by never voting for an incumbent again, boosting per diem, gelding the lobbyists and keeping the legislature a truly democratic body.

  21. grudznick 2023-02-06 19:11

    Lawyers, Mr. Blundt, who have been around the block and are not afraid to take a tough vote and go home and tell the people:

    You know what? I understand your feelings on this, but the real outcome of your whackie idea is a bad outcome, so learn more and come back with an adjustment to your idea next time.

    Or, if the constituent is just insaner than most, tell them to bugger off.

  22. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 20:12

    Representative democracy is such a bother. That circular firing squad in Pierre gathers merit with every minute it’s in session season.

  23. Arlo Blundt 2023-02-06 20:13

    Grudznick…yes, a correct assessment of effective legislators…Lawyers also have to go to Bar Association meetings and defend their legislation to their peers…sometimes peer pressure is important in modifying legislation…of course there are nutty lawyers too…Mr. Haugaard being a prime example.

  24. grudznick 2023-02-06 20:20

    Indeed, Mr. Blundt. You are indeed correct regarding Mr. Haugaard.

  25. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 20:27

    Character assassination by troll: priceless.

  26. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 20:31

    Speaking of neutered, you can come out now, Miranda.

  27. larry kurtz 2023-02-06 20:35

    Weed is bad; it is very bad.

  28. P. Aitch 2023-02-06 22:56

    All Mammal has great ideas and wants to do something about the problem. Full support from me.
    Edwin recommends Machiavelli but hasn’t read any of his life lessons. I’ve read everything he wrote and most of the contemporary authors who stole his ideas. Your Governor is a Machiavellian. So is Kurt Evans.

  29. justthefacts 2023-02-07 16:47

    In 20 years of military service, I was moved 9 times. my bosses and their bosses and all the soldiers did the same. seems institutional knowledge isn’t lost at all as the units I was in functioned extremely well, despite the “turbulence” caused by the moving around. I am sick of hearing this lame excuse! I assume the staff’s are staying for extended periods despite having a “new” boss or at least their is a period for handing off the reins to the next one. * total years should be the very longest amount of time these people are allowed to stay and their retirements should be pro-rated for the shortened periods too!

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