Plan to attend the Dan Kaiser for House block party on Sunday in Aberdeen

South Dakota District 3 Representative Dan Kaiser

South Dakota District 3 Representative Dan Kaiser

This Sunday, July 27, there will be a block party and fundraiser for District 3 Representative Dan Kaiser. The event will be held from 6pm-9pm at  1415 Nicklaus Drive. The Facebook event for the block party can be found here.

The District 3 house race is going to be very competitive this year. Anyone worried about government transparency and accountability should be looking to keep Kaiser in office. As we get closer to the election I will do a full post on Dan (and other Dist 3 candidates), but for now here are some quick bullet points as to why I feel Kaiser is a good candidate to support:

  • Kaiser believes in transparency at all levels of government. Even as an elected official he believes in true transparency. Each day when the legislative session ends Dan goes on to his Facebook page and posts the results of his voting for the day. He is not afraid to let people know how he voted and why he voted that way.
  • Kaiser believes in the free market; and more importantly Kaiser believes the State Government should stay out of choosing winners and losers in the market.
  • Kaiser is committed to funding public education as set out in the South Dakota Constitution. He has not made this issue about parties, rather he has made it an issue of following the framework that legislatures are supposed to follow.
  • Kaiser actually reads the bills he is going to vote on. He is the only legislature that took the time to find out what TPP was all about when a resolution came to the floor.

I think even people that aren’t Republican can find commonality with Kaiser. I would urge everyone in the Aberdeen area stop by to show support for and/or speak with Dan on Sunday. If nothing else stop by to ask him some questions or let him know what you think.

Independent Gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers not allowed to change running-mate

Mike Myers and Lora Hubbel at Presser in Sioux Falls. Photo from Mike Myers for Governor Facebook Page

Mike Myers and Lora Hubbel at Presser in Sioux Falls. Photo from Mike Myers for Governor Facebook Page

Over at Madville Times it has been reported by Cory Heidelberger that SD Secretary of State Jason Gant is not allowing Myers to change his running-mate on the ballot. This was a poor decision on Gants part. Originally Myers had Caitlin Collier chosen as his running-mate. But due to family issues Collier had to pull out of the race and Myers then chose Hubbel as her replacement. The letter to Hubbel from Gant can be read on Cory’s post. Basically it says because SD codified law does not allow for independent candidates to replace a Lieutenant Governor; therefore Collier has to stay on the ballot.

This was the wrong decision by Gant. Cory sums up my thoughts pretty good in his post:

I recognize the need for the secretary of state to be a stickler for rules, and Secretary Gant has demonstrated that he can be a stickler when he wants to be. But in this case, Secretary Gant is needlessly punishing Hubbel (a known bête noire among Gant’s Republican friends), Myers, and the voters. No votes have been cast. No ballots have been printed. No dispute exists over the practical facts of Collier’s withdrawal or Myers’s selection of Hubbel. No fraud has been committed by anyone in seeking to place Hubbel’s name on the ballot next to Myers’s, and no harm will be done to anyone by the stroke of the pen that would align the November ballot with reality.

According to SDCL §12-8-6, a party committee can fill vacancies that have occurred for a position that was previously nominated. The vacancy must be filled by the second Tuesday in August. There is no similar law for Independent candidates. As Gant interprets the situation Collier must stay on the ballot.

Here are the two steps I believe SOS Gant should have taken:

  1. Allowed the change of running-mate to happen. The reasoning would be for equal access to the ballot based upon 1st Amendment protections. Specifically “the right of the people…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. This portion of the Bill of Rights has been used in the past force election bodies into creating equal ballot access laws for all. It is also the path Gant should have chosen.
  2. Gant should then have proposed legislation for the 2015 session that would create a permanent fix in codified law. Even though Gant is gone at the end of this year, he still has some work to do. Actually he has a lot of work to do. During any downtime Gant should be reviewing the current election laws and guidelines to ensure equal access is given to the ballot by all candidates; whether or not they are part of a party.

Since Gant didn’t take the path it will now cost the state and Myers a lot of unnecessary money going to court. This from the Myers campaign on Facebook:

We’re going to take the state of South Dakota to court! We’re being treated unfairly in light of Caitlin’s personal matter. I’m not allowed to replace my running-mate, although the Democrat and Republican candidates would be able to if they were in the same situation. This is unfair and we’re going to challenge the constitutionality of Secretary Gant’s decision.

I agree with that statement completely. The Myers campaign was not asking for special treatment. They were asking for the same equal treatment that other candidates receive in the race. There isn’t much time for Myers to actually challenge Gant’s decision in court. Hopefully this situation will be used as the catalyst to actually fix many of South Dakota’s restrictive ballot access laws.

None of the Above looking like a good option for SD Libertarian AG

vote_no_iconThe South Dakota Libertarian Party is holding its state convention in Sioux Falls on August 9th. One of the agenda items for this convention is filling the Attorney General slot so current AG Marty Jackley does not run unopposed this fall. Whoever the Libertarian Party runs has to be true opposition, and not someone doing so for political opportunism or a publicity stunt. I have heard there are a couple of lawyers who are entertaining the idea of entering the race. That would be welcome. Unfortunately there are other options that make me cringe.

First there is Chad Haber; husband of former Republican US Senate candidate Annette Bosworth. Right now he appears to be a bad candidate. I won’t go into all of allegations against him. Anyone can do a Google search for ‘Chad Haber scam’ and come up with a variety of potential scandals involving Haber if he were to become a candidate. If these allegations are all false and Haber is the victim of political targeting then he needs to work on clearing that mess up first. But as of right now he is a candidate that brings more harm to the Libertarian Party banner than any potential good he would bring. Because I do try to be fair I will speak with and listen to Haber at the Convention. Maybe he has some piece of information I am missing that will make me change my mind. I doubt it, but it is possible.

A second option comes from the flagship liberal blog in South Dakota known as Madville Times. Blogger Cory Heidelberger throws his name into the hat for Libertarian AG. I think he is doing this a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I’ll address his potential candidacy anyway. I agree with Cory in that he has been doing a great job with posts highlighting why Jackley is a bad AG. And I also think he has done some great political investigative blogging over the last few years in which I have followed his blog. But nothing leads me to believe he would be a good choice to be an AG. Especially an AG representing a party he only half agrees with. Cory doesn’t bring the baggage that Haber does; but ‘lack of baggage’ and ‘good blogger’ do not add to being a good candidate for the top legal office in the State. Personally I wish he would have run in the State Auditor position against Barnett for the Democrats, but that is a different post…

Luckily today Bob Newland pointed out on Facebook that  “NOTA” (None of the Above) is an option in during the convention. Here is the relevant section from Article V of the SDLP By-Laws:

Section 5. Majority Rule. In any Party or ExCom election, the members always have the right to vote for “NONE OF THE ABOVE.” If “NONE OF THE ABOVE” wins a majority of the voters cast, nominations will be reopened. The office may be filled by reopening nominations and holding another vote.

Before knowing about this option I had thought about putting my name out there; basically to ensure Haber doesn’t make the ballot. This is a much better option. NOTA can actually prevent a candidate from being nominated. If nobody is found to run against Haber I could see voting for NOTA. An unopposed Jackley actually sounds much better than ‘Libertarian candidate Chad Haber’. Now if Cory runs that might get some people to vote for him. I wouldn’t, but I will admit Heidelberger being a Libertarian Party candidate would be much less damaging to the SDLP than Haber would be.

It is going to be an interesting convention to be sure…

Pressler’s independent honesty and proposed legislation

Looking back at the last week I see Independent US Senate candidate Larry Pressler has two items which are worth mentioning in a blog. First he released a statement proposing legislation for an International Native American Holocaust Memorial Museum in Wounded Knee. Then he released a two-minute video highlighting himself as the ‘Independent Honesty’ candidate.

I find it odd that Pressler’s first order of business in DC would be to propose legislation for an International Native American Holocaust Memorial Museum. Actually I think the idea is a good one. As noted in the press release Wounded Knee is the “site of perhaps the worst cold-blooded massacre in American history”. Such a Museum would hopefully serve as a reminder from the past of a dark period in our history and also pay respect to the Native Americans that senselessly lost their lives. This museum/memorial sounds like a great idea!

But should that idea be the first order of business for someone in the US Senate? Is this really his first priority? Sadly it looks like Pressler is doing this as a publicity stunt to gain Native American votes. Too bad. Part of the idea is good and could be a boost to the state. Here is a paragraph from his release that highlights the good and bad of his museum priority:

Pressler said such a holocaust center would need initial startup funding from the federal and state government. It might occupy about 40 acres and have a large private hotel and other facilities so tourists could use it as a base for touring the Black Hills.

I agree with the large private hotel and other facilities for tourists. Such a place would likely become a world-renown tourist destination if done right. But at the same time he wants the federal and state government to fund what will eventually become a private business. If he had just stuck with promoting the idea I think it would have been a winner. Instead he wants to use taxpayer dollars for economic development. That is the exact type of corporate welfare that people looking for alternatives to Rounds are trying to avoid. To me it seems like Pressler is trying to take corporate welfare to a whole new level and make Rounds look like a mini-crony.

Hopefully some group in the future will be able to use this idea and run with it. It would be good for Native Americans and the State of South Dakota. But I also hope whatever group goes with this idea will keep government dollars out of it. If not this will become just another opportunity for government officials to line their buddies pockets with taxpayer dollars. I don’t think cronyism really fits well with the whole concept of this museum.

In other news.. Pressler released his “Independent Honesty’ video a few days ago:

The mini-bio really focuses on him working with people from all parties. He connects himself with Reagan, dictators, Bill Clinton, and George McGovern. From a liberty standpoint that doesn’t leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling. It reinforces the belief that Pressler wants to bring back the days when both parties of Congress got to spend as much taxpayer dollars as they wish on pork-barrel projects.

One final thought. If Pressler really wants to become a US Senator from South Dakota again, shouldn’t he be holding public meetings of some sort? Shouldn’t’ he be hitting the road like Weiland is? Personally I don’t think Pressler even wants to win. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was Presslers way of showing certain people he is still alive; in hopes of getting an ambassador appointment.

Weiland Town Hall in Aberdeen this afternoon

Today Democrat US Senate candidate Rick Weiland is hosting a Town Hall event in Aberdeen. The Town Hall will take place at 4pm in the Eagles Club. Here are the details of the event sent out by his campaign:

weilandTH

Weiland has been an interesting one to watch over the last year. On the good side, Weiland has traveled to every town in South Dakota to meet with people. Personally I wish more candidates would take such an approach in their campaigns. In his travels Weiland has met with voters in over 450 towns (I didn’t realize SD had that many towns). Also, according to an email from his campaign staff, Weiland has held over 200 public meetings. I don’t think Rounds, Howie, or Pressler will come close to that number of public meetings. For that reason Weiland definitely has my respect about his willingness to get out and interact with voters.

Now for some bad stuff. It was about 11 months ago when Weiland held a Town Hall in Aberdeen where he reinforced his position against collective rights. He has done nothing but reinforce that stance over the last year. At a joint presser with Nelson earlier this year Weiland was still talking about dirty money and would not address the fact he actually raises a higher percentage of his money out of state than Rounds does. Weiland has made restricting free speech the cornerstone of his campaign.

Just yesterday Weiland attacked the group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) in a presser after it was announced the AFP was coming to South Dakota. Weiland apparently fears AFP will buy a Senate seat and asked the other candidates to sign a letter asking the AFP to stay out of this race. There are two obvious problems with Weiland’s stance:

  1. Rounds already has enough money to buy this election. AFP helping Rounds would likely have little or no impact upon the race at this time.
  2. AFP is not likely going to help Rounds. AFP that uses local residents to promote the free market and sticks to economic issues. Rounds does not have a stellar record of fiscal conservatism. If anything I could see AFP campaigning against Rounds if situations were different. But since there are no good fiscal conservative alternatives to Rounds I expect AFP will stay out of the US Senate Race.

I really don’t care about the AFP entering into South Dakota. But I do find it odd that a US Senate candidate would come out and attack a group made up of constituents he would theoretically be serving if elected to office. Yes, he likely disagrees with the free market principles promoted by the group. But is disagreeing with a viewpoint enough reason for a politician to completely ignore part of a constituency?  This odd stance is reinforced by his new campaign theme song:

Notice how he says in the song he will not listen to the 1%. I understand he is campaigning against big money. But I really have problems with a candidate saying they won’t listen to all constituents. There is a big difference between ‘I won’t be bought’ and ‘I won’t listen’. Unfortunately Weiland doesn’t see that difference. I guess I do have one question about ignoring rich people. If Weiland isn’t going to listen to the uber-rich, will he then ignore current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid if he wins this election?

Maybe at the Town Hall in Aberdeen Weiland will address such a question. I doubt it though. Politicians that use class warfare to win elections rarely think their own rhetoric should apply to their class….

Susan campaign headquarters Grand Opening in Sioux Falls next week

Susan announcement from the Susan Wismer for SD Facebook Page

Susan announcement from the Susan Wismer for SD Facebook Page

I just noticed the following Facebook event created by the Susan Wismer for South Dakota Facebook page:

You’re invited! Come celebrate the opening of our brand new Susan for South Dakota Campaign Headquarters in Sioux Falls! Visit with fellow supporters, find out ways to get involved with our grassroots effort, and hear from both Susan Wismer and Susy Blake about their mission to take South Dakota back from the corruption and special interests of the current administration!

(RSVP and details here: http://on.fb.me/Wfsl7O)

It is nice to see the Democrats are going to have a campaign headquarters for the Governors Race. The last time I seen Wismer speak was at a meet/greet fundraiser in Aberdeen. She was much more fired up at that event than I had seen her in the past.  Maybe the Democrats are going to kick up their campaign efforts from the mild whisper it has been thus far. That would be great. Daugaard needs some good competition. And so far only Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers is doing anything worthy of blog attention.

For Sioux Falls area Democrats this may be a good chance to get together and help your candidate get votes this fall. I wonder if she will open a Rapid City office as well. Opening a west river office on reservation land may be an interesting move. Susan should talk with Rick about doing something like that together.

Before they move too fast though… I would create a logo that includes the name Wismer on it. It can cause brand confusion if the Lt Gov candidate is the only one that gets her last name on the logo used (The Displaced Plainsman also has some thoughts on this).  Yes, the Susan for SD is clever because both candidates are a Susan. But she still needs people to at least know what her last name is. Here is the logo used by the campaign that doesn’t have Susan Blake’s name on it:

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No mention of Wismer at all…

Gordon Howie releases his first US Senate commercial

Today Independent US Senate candidate Gordon Howie released a commercial for his US Senate bid in South Dakota. I was hoping for something.. well.. different for his first commercial. Here is the commercial released today:

I was hoping Howie wouldn’t go down the path he chose with this commercial. As an Independent candidate I was hoping Howie would look at the many issues that exist within the federal government he is willing to tackle. With his tea party roots I really thought he could find a way to speak about getting government out of peoples lives. No. Instead he went the opposite direction.

Howie is asking for religion and politics to become more intertwined. He actually says “Politicians need to put God back in politics”. He then goes on to say pastors should endorse candidates from the pulpit. Gordon is headed down the path I feared he would in this race.

Before going on I’ll clear up my stance on religion and politics. To me the two do not inter-mingle well at all. It is OK and appropriate for people to live their lives by religion, and even serve as a politician using their religious convictions. But living life through religious convictions is much different from legislating through religion. I fear that is where Howie would go if elected into office.

Howie mentions in the video that he believes there is a an attack on religious values and God during the last few years. I would say that is somewhat exaggerated. But there is some truth to what he says. Yet it is not the fault of any anti-religion group. Rather it is the fault of politicians that have legislated religious beliefs over the years.

A good example of this is the reversal of DOMA’s ban on gay marriages. Many conservatives hailed this as an attack upon religion. Well, looking at their point of view I can agree it may appear that way. But I prefer looking at the bigger picture. DOMA only existed because the social conservatives allowed the government to get involved with and regulate marriages. If conservatives were truly worried about religious freedom they would have kept government out of marriage altogether. That is not what happened.

The DOMA reversal shows why politicians should avoid creating or voting for legislation that reinforces their religious beliefs. It may make them feel good and make them popular at the moment with their constituency. Yet in the future when popular opinion has changed on a subject it will allow that legislation to be changed in a way that would be undesirable to those same constituents. At that point those constituents cannot rightly claim their religious beliefs are being attacked. By passing the original religiously intrusive legislation, that group had asked for government to be involved with an issue that is better left to religious leaders.

If enough Gordon Howies are elected in DC I feel liberty would go down as religious legislation goes up. Too bad Howie isn’t focusing more on the Taxed Enough Already part of his Tea Party roots. Instead Howie is pushing for breaking down any barriers between government and religion. That is a situation I just don’t see being good for liberty.

PS. Since I’ve done a couple of posts that are negative towards Howie’s positions I’ve had a some people ask if I’ve turning into an anti-Howie blog. Nope. I think its great he is in the race to give another option to voters. But supporting him being in the race is NOT the same thing as supporting him as a candidate. I plan to do posts on any Independent or third-party candidates whenever I can.  To me the biggest injustice that happens to independent and third-party candidates is the lack of attention they get from most mainstream media outlets.

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