Tag Archives: Stace Nelson

The GOAC meeting on Tues, April 25, is one to keep an eye on!

Non-meandered lakes will be THE topic to keep an eye on!

On Tuesday, April 25, the legislative Government Operations & Audit Committee (GOAC) will meet in Pierre for its second meeting of the year. This is a meeting worth keeping an eye on for many reasons; I’ll go into some of those reasons as I list the agenda items below. Due to this meeting have so many big-ticket topic I plan to be in Pierre on Tuesday in order to record a video of the proceedings. Hopefully that will allow more people to see what GOAC does or doesn’t do.

The previous GOAC meeting was held on March 28 in Pierre. The minutes from that meeting can be read here.

The agenda for the upcoming April 25 meeting can be viewed here.  For this post I will briefly list each agenda items. Additionally I will add some notes pertaining to each agenda item.

Item 1 – Department of Legislative Audit to review the Single Audit Report for the State of South Dakota for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016

This agenda item has the two following documents posted online:

I haven’t had a chance to actually browse through either file yet.

Item 2 – Brand Board to review the 2016 annual report

The two documents available for this agenda item are:

Over the last few years I’ve learned the branding board is VERY important to ranchers. Cattle stealing still happens and the Brand Board is one tool used to keep rustling under control.

Item 3 – Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services to discuss Federal Communication Commission Direct Video Calling

For this agenda item the Department of Human Services (DHS) will give a presentation on Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS). The documents available for this meeting are:

Item 4 – Department of Game, Fish and Parks to discuss the discontinued access to non-meandering waters in South Dakota

Now we are up to what I think will be one of the, if not the, biggest item of the 2018 legislative session: non-meandered waters! This is a top that pits sportsmen against landowners against GFP. It is a topic I will spend more time blogging about this summer, so I will keep this particular blurb short. But I will say this is a topic everyone should be paying attention to. GFP’s move to close access to certain non-meandered lakes after a recent SD Supreme Court decision is getting a lot of attention. My next blog about this topic will be going over some of terminology and history around the topic.

Item 5 – Auditor General to provide an update on the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Special Review Report and the fiscal year 2015 Single Audit – final report to be reviewed at a future GOAC meeting

This is an ongoing issue and will continue to be HUGE. A lot of pressure is being placed on GOAC to find out everything about the GEAR-UP scandals, especially with MCEC. Recently Sen Stace Nelson (R, Dist 19) called out Rep Kyle Schoenfish (R, Dist 19)  for his firms part in auditing certain entities involved in these scandals. That will likely come up during the meeting as well. Unfortunately the Auditor General has not posted a copy of the audit update. People are demanding answers and hopefully this meeting will start to provide some of them.

Item 6 – Bureau of Human Resources to discuss:
• The length of time needed between the employment application and
the job offer
• Performance management indicators

I haven’t really looked into this agenda item….

Item 7 – Future meeting topics:

Finally, here is a list of what GOAC hopes to accomplish later in the year:

  • Juvenile Corrections Reports
  • Review the Mid Central Educational Cooperative Special Review Report
  • Department of Revenue review of performance indicators
  • Bureau of Information and Telecommunications review of performance indicators
  • University Centers financial review
  • Board of Regents application and acceptance process
  • Annual report from the Obligation Recovery Center
  • Annual reports from agencies receiving funds from the Building South Dakota Fund
  • Report from Bureau of Human Resources on compiled authorizations to derive a direct benefit from a contract
  • Report from the Auditor General on compiled authorizations to derive a direct benefit from a contract
  • Annual report from the South Dakota 911 Coordination Board
  • Review the annual work plan and report of the State Board of Internal Control
  • Annual report from the South Dakota High School Activities Association

Many of those topics will likely be blog-worthy. And all of the topics are worth keeping an eye on!

Looking at the SD State Senate general election results

As I continue to look at results from the 2016 South Dakota general election it is time to look at the State Senate races. I’ve updated the page I used to track the legislative general election races. I’ve also updated the SD State Legislators tab above to reflect the new office holders; yes, technically it is just under two months early, but I am gearing up for the 2017 legislative session already. The big story on the state Senate side is that Republicans picked up two seats and seemed to shift further to the right. There is also one race which has a possible recount.

Below is a brief recap of who won each general election State Senate seat, and maybe some comments if a race warrants it. This list does not include any State Senate races where there was not a general election opponent, those races were already recapped back in July. These results are all unofficial until the state canvassing board certifies them next week.

District 3 State Senate

Up first is the race between Republican Rep Al Novstrup and Democrat Cory Heidelberger. They were going after the seat being vacated by Republican Sen David Novstrup.

District 3 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 3 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This is a race that many expected to be much closer. Getting almost 40% of the vote as a newcomer is actually pretty good. But I do think this race was winnable for Heidelberger, or at least could have come much closer. I know both candidates, and have respect for both of them. Each of them has their good and bad policy standpoints in my opinion.

Looking a back I think Heidelberger was doing everything he could to get votes. Heidelberger was speaking to local groups about his candidacy and the ballot questions. He spent massive amounts of time going door to door. For a state legislative race he actually raised some pretty good funds. If Heidelberger had stuck to just these activities I believe this race would have been the tight race many expected. That may or may not have been enough to win, but it would have been close in my opinion.

Some will say the negative attack ads sent out by the SD GOP against Heidelberger tipped the balance towards Novstrup. Personally I don’t think the postcards did much, if anything. I believe what kept this from being a tight race is the same thing that caused Hillary Clinton to lose some support: social justice warriors. Heidelberger is a social justice warrior and is not afraid to use political correctness as a tool while blogging or speaking to groups. I believe this cost him a lot of votes. I’ve actually spoken with a handful of long-time Democrats in Aberdeen who were turned away from Heidelberger for often throwing out words such as bigoted, racists, misogynist, sexists, etc… Using those terms to label opponents does a great job of getting his base supporters excited, but it pushes people away who might have otherwise listened to his message. I think if the 2016 election proves anything it is that people on the whole are sick of political correctness being used to shut down discussions.

That is enough about this race. Time to move on.

District 4 State Senate

Republican Rep John Wiik and Democrat Kathy Tyler were up next for this election. The were going after the seat being left by Democrat Sen Jim Peterson.

District 4 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 4 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This was another race I thought would be much closer. Both candidates have name recognition in the district and both candidates were out working hard. I’m not sure if the negative ads against Tyler gave Wiik the advantage, or if the voters of District 4 could relate to Wiik’s conservative message. Either way this was a big loss for the Democrats as this seat in the State Senate was flipped to the Republicans.

District 6 State Senate

Up next is Republican Sen Ernie Otten defending his seat against Democrat challenger Kyle Boese.

District 6 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 6 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 7 State Senate

In District 7 Republican Sen Larry Tidemann defended his seat against Democrat Mary Perpich.

District 7 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 7 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 8 State Senate

District 8 has Democrat Sen Scott Parsley defending his seat against Republican challenger Jordan Youngberg.

District 8 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 8 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This was an exciting race to watch on Tuesday night. The two candidates were going back and forth for first place as the precincts came in. And it ended within recount range. I haven’t heard yet if Parsley has asked for a recount. 94 votes is very close, but I’m not sure it is close enough for a recount to change the results. This is a hard loss for the Democrats in the State Senate. Going into this I thought Youngberg would get close, but didn’t really think he had a chance of unseating Parsley. This race does show incumbents can be defeated in South Dakota.

District 9 State Senate

District 9 had incumbent Republican Sen Deb Peters defending her seat against Democrat John Koch.

District 9 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 9 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 10 State Senate

District 10 had Republican incumbent Sen Jenna Haggar defending her seat against Democrat Jim Powers.

District 10 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 10 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 11 State Senate

Republican Rep Jim Stalzer and Democrat Tom Cool faced each other for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen David Omdahl.

District 11 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 11 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 12 State Senate

In District 12 incumbent Republican Sen Blake Curd defended his seat against Democrat Jim Sanden.

District 12 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 12 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 13 State Senate

In District 13 Republican Jack Kolbeck and Democrat Denny Pierson faced off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen Phyllis Heineman.

District 13 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 13 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

I actually thought this race would be closer, with Kolbeck barely winning over Pierson. But I guess that is why I write about politics, instead of trying to predict politics…

District 14 State Senate

District 14 had Republican Sen Deb Soholt defending her seat against Independent Tyler Swanger.

District 14 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 14 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This is another race I thought would be closer. I thought Soholt would win, but with Swanger within 10 points.

District 16 State Senate

Republican Rep Jim Bolin and Democrat Chad Skiles faced off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen William Shorma.

District 16 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 16 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 17 State Senate

District 17 had incumbent Republican Sen Arthur Rusch defending his seat against Democrat Shane Merrill.

District 17 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 17 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

This is a race I didn’t think would be close. But wow, this was a fun race to watch on Tuesday night. At times it looked as if Rusch could lose his seat. In then end Rusch gained back a good lead. But it was a pretty tough race for an incumbent. This might be a district to keep an eye on in the 2018 election.

District 19 State Senate

District 19 had Republican Stace Nelson and Democrat Russell Graeff facing off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen Bill Van Gerpen.

District 19 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 19 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

As is his way, Nelson completely dominated this race.

District 20 State Senate

In District 20 Republican Rep Joshua Klumb and Democrat Quinten Burg were trying for the seat of term-limited Republican Sen Mike Vehle.

District 20 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 20 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 22 State Senate

District 22 had Republican incumbent Sen Jim White defending his seat from Democrat challenger Eric Bliss.

District 22 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 22 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 25 State Senate

District 25 had Republican Rep Kris Langer and Democrat Jeff Barth facing off for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen Scott Fiegen.

District 25 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 25 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

Before the election I had given Barth good odds of making this a competitive race. Another one I was wrong on…

District 29 State Senate

District 29 Senate had Republican incumbent Sen Gary Cammack defending his seat against Independent LeRoy Kindler.

District 29 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 29 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 30 State Senate

District 30 had Republican Rep Lance Russell, who beat out incumbent Republican Sen Bruce Rampelberg in the primary election, face off against Democrat Karla LaRive.

District 30 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 30 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 32 State Senate

District 32 had Republican incumbent Sen Alan Solano  defend his seat from Democrat David Hubbard.

District 32 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 32 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 33 State Senate

District 33 had Republican incumbent Sen Phil Jensen defend his seat against Democrat challenger Haven Stuck.

District 33 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 33 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

District 34 State Senate

District 34 had Republican Rep Jeff Partridge and Democrat Jay Shultz facing off for the seat being vacated by term-limited Republican Sen Craig Tieszen.

District 34 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.
District 34 unofficial State Senate results for the 2016 general election. Screenshot form SD SOS website.

SD Dist 19 State Senate Gen Election: Nelson and Graeff

SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.
SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.

South Dakota legislative District 19 has  a general election for State Senate. District 19 is in SE South Dakota. Towns in this district include Alexandria, Armour, Bridgewater, Canistota, Corsica, Delmont, Dimock, Emery, Farmer, Freeman, Fulton, Menno, Montrose, Olivet, Parkston, Salem, Scotland, Spencer, Tabor, Tripp, and Tyndall.

The Republican incumbent Sen Bill Van Gerpen is not seeking reelection. Republicans did have a primary election for this seat, where Stace Nelson defeated Caleb Finck. Democrat Russell Graeff is taking on Nelson for the District 19 State Senate seat.

Here is a brief look at both candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the general election ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate. For candidates with a legislative history I look at a few pieces of legislation prime sponsored. For candidates with no legislative history I look at the issues I find for them online.

*** It should be noted this is NOT a scorecard. This post only looks at some of the legislative priorities of these candidates. These legislative priorities may or may not have any bearing on how the candidates actually vote on legislation.

Stace Nelson

Stace Nelson speaking with voters at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema 8/16/13.
Stace Nelson speaking with voters at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema 8/16/13.

Stace Nelson (R)
Website – FacebookTwitter – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2014 2013 2012 2011
SDPB Video: 2012

Since Stace Nelson was in a primary election earlier this summer I will simply copy/paste what I wrote about him at that time.

Nelson was a State Representative for District 19 until vacating his seat to run for US Senate in 2014. During that campaign I got to know Nelson pretty well. I would sum him up as a true small government advocate that cares about protecting the rights of his constituents. There are more moderate portions of the Republican party that don’t like him for various reasons; mostly because he calls out any behavior he doesn’t feel is conservative. It would be interesting to see Nelson in the SD Senate chamber.

Nelson has an issues page on his website. But since he has a legislative history I will pick out three bills from 2014 that are worth looking at to get an idea of the type of legislation he brings forth.

First up is 2014’s HB 1172 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1172 was an Act to “require certain legislative meetings to be open to the public.” The bill didn’t make it past House State Affairs, but is worth looking at for anyone who cares about open government. The bill was simple and had only one sentence:

Any gathering of a simple majority of either the South Dakota House of Representatives or the South Dakota Senate, meeting to discuss introduced legislation, shall be open to the public.

What this would have done is open up the Republican caucus meetings in Pierre to the public. Currently the Republicans enjoy a super-majority in both houses of the legislature. That means any discussion done about legislation during caucus meetings is done outside of the public eye, even though there is technically a quorum present. The Democrats have caucus meetings open to the public, there is no reason the Republicans shouldn’t be able to do the same for the sake of open government. Opening the caucus meetings to the public would go a long way to get rid the impression (or reality) that things are always done behind closed doors in Pierre.

Another bill from 2014 worth a glance is HB 1176 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1176 was an Act to “prohibit state participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.” Unfortunately this is another bill that didn’t pass through the legislature. Due to the many scandals surrounding the EB-5 program it might have been a good idea for the legislature to make a statement and opt out of the program.

Finally I think HCR 1023 (SoDakLiberty Posts) is worth a glance, especially in an election year. HCR 1023 was a concurrent resolution that would have rejected the Common Core State Standards plan. Over the last few years more and more people are beginning to understand that the states involvement in Common Core is not good for the education of our youth. Nelson can definitely be counted on as an advocate for empowering teachers and getting bureaucrats out of the classroom.

I’ll end my look at Nelson here but it should be noted that Nelson brought forth a lot of legislation during his four years in Pierre. This was a just a small sampling from 2014.

Russell Graeff

Russell Graeff. Picture from Graeff's campaign website.
Russell Graeff. Picture from Graeff’s campaign website.

Russell Graeff (D)
Website – BallotpediaVoteSmart – SoDakLiberty

Russell Graeff actually has a pretty complete campaign website. Graeff’s issues page is more of a list of links to Dakota Free Press blog posts about the Ballot Questions. But Graeff does have his legislative priorities listed in other parts of his website; so I’ll focus on those other areas of his website in this post.

Graeff lists the four following priorities on the front page of his campaign website:

Responsible rates and taxes

Graeff says this about taxes:

Let’s be reasonable about heavy tax burdens, but also give importance to education, healthcare, infrastructure management and growth for all of our futures.

Municipal level elections

I don’t think this is really a legislative priority, but it is good advice so I’ll pass on what Graeff says:

Please pay attention to your local politics … no matter how simple this seems, it is important to select the very best Aldermen and other officials. This is up to all of us to do by being involved and voting.

Improved traffic management

Infrastructure appears to be a priority for Graeff:

Infrastructure is of great importance. Lets keep our roads, rails, bridges and transportation systems safe and strong.

Green services

Graeff has this to say about the environment:

Keeping the land, environment, our water, our world safe. Lets use conserving and preserving for all of our futures sake.

Small Buisness Owner

Graeff is a small business owner. In the Meet Graeff portion of his website I find this to be of particular interest:

It is with this I concluded that small businesses are controlled by HUGE interests, that government controls way too much of the private sector and that the needs of those in need / unfortunate are not being met … since it would not be of benefit or interest to large corporations or those of “the big” money interests, nor “budget” of those currently in charge . Change is needed!

Balance

Graeff concludes his vision section with this:

So why is it that we were LAST in the national polls regarding teacher pay? And then what about “TRANSPARANCY”? Wow. And that’s just 2 of many. Think someting’s going on that might need addressing?

Let’s come together and make all things balanced again!

District 19 State House Republican Primary: Osborn, Peterson, and Schoenfish

SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.
SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.

South Dakota legislative District 19 has  a Republican Primary for State House. There is also a primary for State Senate in District 19, but that is covered in a different post. District 19 is in SE South Dakota. Towns in this district include Alexandria, Armour, Bridgewater, Canistota, Corsica, Delmont, Dimock, Emery, Farmer, Freeman, Fulton, Menno, Montrose, Olivet, Parkston, Salem, Scotland, Spencer, Tabor, Tripp, and Tyndall.

The current State Representatives, Rep Kent Peterson and Rep Kyle Schoenfish, are seeking reelection. Republican ReGina L. Osborn is hoping to take one of the two spots from the incumbents.  The two winners of this primary election will face Ardon Wek (D) in the general election.

Here is a brief look at all three candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

ReGina L. Osborn

ReGina Osborn (R)
Facebook  – BallotpediaVoteSmartSoDakLiberty

ReGina Osborn picture from her Facebook campaign page.
ReGina Osborn picture from her Facebook campaign page.

Osborn is hoping to take one of the House positions from the incumbents. Her campaign Facebook page does not list any specific issues or platform. However for the last couple of months she has been very active on that page and it has become quite clear that she is running to the right of both Peterson and Schoenfish. Osborn calls herself a conservative, and if the posts she does on Facebook is any indication I would say that label seems more than appropriate.

The Mitchell Daily Republic did a small story about Osborn’s candidacy that included this:

… She is focused on reining in the tax, spend, create more government, and corruption we are all witnessing in Pierre.

I don’t think there are many conservatives that would disagree with Osborn on the above statement. In just the last two years the legislature has passed the two biggest tax increases in recent South Dakota History; those of course being the infrastructure tax increase of 2015 via SB 1 (SoDakLiberty Posts) and the teacher-pay/property-tax-reduction sales tax increase of 2016 via HB 1182 (SoDakLiberty Posts). Osborn’s opponents voted Yea to both bills. That could be an issue for her to run on.

She is dedicated to protecting family values, defending gun rights, supporting private property rights, and bringing back accessibility of our district representation to people within the community, which has been conspicuously absent the last two years.

I wish Osborn had provided a list of issues so constituents could learn more about how she would protect family values, gun rights, and private property rights. These are issues the right-wing of the Republican Party cares about and could be winning topics for her if she can reach the conservative base.

I have spoken with a few Republicans in District 19 who know Osborn. They say she is as conservative as her campaign Facebook makes her seem. It will be interesting to see if the primary voters in District 19 agree a more conservative voice is needed in Pierre.

Kent S. Peterson

Rep Kent Peterson (R, Dist 19) – Incumbent
Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015
SDPB Video: 2014

Rep Kent Peterson on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/21/15.
Rep Kent Peterson on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 1/21/15.

Peterson has completed his first term as State Representative. He easily walked into the position without opposition in 2014 to fill the seat vacated by Stace Nelson. It will be interesting to see if he can win reelection.

Since Peterson has a legislative history (and a non-existent online presence) I will take some time to look at the bills he has prime-sponsored. He really hasn’t sponsored many bills, but even a couple of bills can show something about him as a legislator. [a lack of bills prime sponsored is not a bad thing in my opinion]

The first bill to highlight from Peterson is HB 1219 (SoDakLiberty Posts) during the 2015 legislative session. HB 1219 is and Act to “permit entities to voluntarily disclose ownership on filings with the Office of the Secretary of State and to establish a fee therefor.” The bill basically added the ability to submit the statement of voluntary disclosure of beneficial interests with the SOS office and added a $25 fee to amended annual reports. Peterson’s opponent may use this to show he is willing support a fee increase piece of legislation.

In 2016 Peterson was not the prime sponsor of any House bills, but he was the House Prime sponsor of SB 74 (SoDakLiberty Posts). SB 74 was an Act to “authorize members of certain governing bodies who are displaced by a natural disaster to continue their term of office.” Basically this bill would not force certain elected officials to resign if their house is destroyed by a natural disaster and are temporarily living outside of their district. This happened in Delmont. There were no problems there with the elected officials, but could have been. This legislation passed into law will give elected officials one less thing to worry about in emergency situations.

The two bills Peterson prime sponsored could show a pattern of wanting to ensure government works efficiently. HB 1219 might be used against him as a fee increase.

Kyle Schoenfish

Rep Kyle Schoenfish (R, Dist 19) – Incubment
Facebook – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2016 2015 2014 2013
SDPB Video: 2012

Rep Kyle Schoenfish on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/11/15.
Rep Kyle Schoenfish on the SD House floor. Photo by Ken Santema 2/11/15.

Schoenfish is currently on his second term as State Representative for District 19. Just like Peterson, Schoenfish’s online presence is virtually non-existent; making it very difficult for constituents to learn about him. He has only one post from 2016 on his campaign website, and it is basically someone on his campaign staff asking everyone to vote for Schoenfish and Peterson. It also asks people to vote for Caleb Finck on the Senate side.

Just like with Peterson above, I will now take a moment to look at a couple pieces of legislation prime sponsored by Schoenfish in 2016.

First in 2016 Schoenfish was the prime sponsor of HB 1230 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1230 was an Act to “require lights on certain animal-drawn vehicles while operating on a highway.” This bill basically came about because of an Amish community in District 19. Looking back it seems odd a law had to be passed in order to deal with one specific circumstance in one community; especially since one would think the Amish in question would want to stay alive and let others know they are on the road at night. But, on the other hand this is legislation that shows Shoenfish is paying attention to issues in his district.

The other bill prime sponsored by Shoenfish in 2016 was HB 1089 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1089 was an Act to “revise provisions for accumulation of funds for certain municipal enterprises.” Here is what I said about the bill after it was signed into law:

This would change the accumulation of funds from exceeding “an amount equivalent to ten dollars per thousand dollars of taxable valuation of all property within the municipality” and change it to “The governing body shall establish a maximum amount allowed to be accumulated in the fund.” In committee the proponent testimony noted the current limit was arbitrary. This change would make it more transparent for taxpayers and easier for cities to use their money in the ways the city finds necessary.

Since the LRC website lists Schoenfish as an accountant it makes sense this type of legislation would be prime sponsored by him. He does seem to prime sponsor legislation aimed at fixing specific problems.

District 19 State Senate Republican Primary: Nelson and Finck

SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.
SD Legislative District 19. Screenshot from LRC website 5/20/16.

Updated 5/27/16. Website link for Caleb Finck added.

South Dakota legislative District 19 has  a Republican Primary for State Senate. District 19 is in SE South Dakota. Towns in this district include Alexandria, Armour, Bridgewater, Canistota, Corsica, Delmont, Dimock, Emery, Farmer, Freeman, Fulton, Menno, Montrose, Olivet, Parkston, Salem, Scotland, Spencer, Tabor, Tripp, and Tyndall.

The current State Senator, Sen Bill Van Gerpen (R, Dist 19) , is not seeking reelection. The two Republicans in this Senate race are Stace Nelson and Caleb Finck.  The winner of this primary election will face Russell Graeff (D) in the general election.

Here is a brief look at both candidates.  The candidates below are listed in the order they will appear on the primary ballot. I’ve also included the links I could find to help voters learn more about each candidate.

Stace Nelson

Stace Nelson (R)
Website – FacebookTwitter – Ballotpedia – VoteSmart – OpenStates – SoDakLiberty
LRC: House 2014 2013 2012 2011
SDPB Video: 2012

Stace Nelson speaking with voters at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema 8/16/13.
Stace Nelson speaking with voters at the Brown County Fair. Photo by Ken Santema 8/16/13.

Nelson was a State Representative for District 19 until vacating his seat to run for US Senate in 2014. During that campaign I got to know Nelson pretty well. I would sum him up as a true small government advocate that cares about protecting the rights of his constituents. There are more moderate portions of the Republican party that don’t like him for various reasons; mostly because he calls out any behavior he doesn’t feel is conservative. It would be interesting to see Nelson in the SD Senate chamber.

Nelson has an issues page on his website. But since he has a legislative history I will pick out three bills from 2014 that are worth looking at to get an idea of the type of legislation he brings forth.

First up is 2014’s HB 1172 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1172 was an Act to “require certain legislative meetings to be open to the public.” The bill didn’t make it past House State Affairs, but is worth looking at for anyone who cares about open government. The bill was simple and had only one sentence:

Any gathering of a simple majority of either the South Dakota House of Representatives or the South Dakota Senate, meeting to discuss introduced legislation, shall be open to the public.

What this would have done is open up the Republican caucus meetings in Pierre to the public. Currently the Republicans enjoy a super-majority in both houses of the legislature. That means any discussion done about legislation during caucus meetings is done outside of the public eye, even though there is technically a quorum present. The Democrats have caucus meetings open to the public, there is no reason the Republicans shouldn’t be able to do the same for the sake of open government. Opening the caucus meetings to the public would go a long way to get rid the impression (or reality) that things are always done behind closed doors in Pierre.

Another bill from 2014 worth a glance is HB 1176 (SoDakLiberty Posts). HB 1176 was an Act to “prohibit state participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.” Unfortunately this is another bill that didn’t pass through the legislature. Due to the many scandals surrounding the EB-5 program it might have been a good idea for the legislature to make a statement and opt out of the program.

Finally I think HCR 1023 (SoDakLiberty Posts) is worth a glance, especially in an election year. HCR 1023 was a concurrent resolution that would have rejected the Common Core State Standards plan. Over the last few years more and more people are beginning to understand that the states involvement in Common Core is not good for the education of our youth. Nelson can definitely be counted on as an advocate for empowering teachers and getting bureaucrats out of the classroom.

I’ll end my look at Nelson here but it should be noted that Nelson brought forth a lot of legislation during his four years in Pierre. This was a just a small sampling from 2014.

Caleb Finck

Caleb Finck (R)
Website – Facebook – Twitter  – BallotpediaVoteSmartSoDakLiberty

Caleb Finck picture from his campaign Facebook page.
Caleb Finck picture from his campaign Facebook page.

Finck is a recent SDSU graduate and was the Student’s Association president for a couple of years. His Facebook doesn’t offer any issues he is campaigning on, so I’ll have to rely upon what I find in other media sources in my search for information on him.

First there is this press release over at Dakota War College. Here is a part of that press release:

“I am a strong supporter of new technology and precision in farming, and I want to be a solid voice for agriculture in South Dakota,” he said. During his campaign, Finck will emphasize the pivotal role that education plays in the state’s economic development.

Finck’s rural roots guided him to select community development as his area of graduate study, and intends to put the knowledge acquired in that program to use by promoting economic growth in rural South Dakota.

From the above it would seem economic development and education are going to be Finck’s two biggest issues.

To learn more about Finck there is this article from the Mitchell Daily Republic. When talking about education Finck has this example of what rural schools have to look towards:

When he returns to Tripp in the spring, Finck intends to begin an online master’s degree program through SDSU in community development. Finck, who will be taught by educators throughout the country in the comfort of his rural Tripp residence, thinks the state’s K-12 students could benefit from similar distance education methods.

Part of the teach pay increase this year was an accompanying bill, SB 133 (SoDakLiberty Posts), that included an expansion of e-learning. It would seem this is the direction Finck would advocate in getting more education available for rural learners. SB 133 passed both chambers with overall support and any future legislation to expand upon e-learning is likely to get support.

The one issue I wish Finck would expand upon is economic development. It would be good for constituents to know what kind of programs (other than education) he would consider legislatively to promote economic development.

Finck has an uphill road in this election. He is facing a former legislator that is well-liked in Hanson county. There is likely to be some establishment money from the moderate Republicans going Finck’s way to use against Nelson. But it is hard to imagine that money will be enough to take Nelson on. This might be an interesting race to watch.

Harry Truman, Stace Nelson, and Concurrent Resolutions

President Truman
President Truman

I was looking at the bills on the House floor for today and noticed the first House Concurrent Resolution came through. It is a resolution recognizing Harry Truman (HCR 1001). Technically I don’t care about the resolution, and don’t think Truman was that great of a President. But, I think this resolution is important because it will show if a rule interpretation used to stop Stace Nelson’s concurrent resolution recognizing Ron Paul in 2014 will stand.

This goes back to HCR 1027 during the 2014 session. In its original form sponsored by Rep Stace Nelson it was a concurrent resolution “Commending, honoring, and thanking former Congressman Dr. Ron Paul.” Simple enough. The resolution was then hoghoused (perhaps hijacked is a better word) on the House floor by Rep Rounds, whose brother happened to be in a US Senate Primary race against Stace Nelson. The new version of the concurrent resolution “Commending, honoring, and thanking each of the current and former Congressmen and Congresswomen who have served South Dakota.” The hoghoused bill passed the House. That was all political games, normal stuff.

In Senate State Affairs HCR 1027 was killed because of a rule interpretation that basically said concurrent resolutions could not be used to recognize achievements. Reading the Joint Rules, I agree with that interpretation; even if it was only done for political gamesmanship.

Now we fast forward to the 2016 legislative session with HCR 1001, a concurrent resolution recognizing Harry Truman. Looking at the 2016 Joint Rules I see the same rule used to stop Nelson’s resolution is still in effect. Namely Joint Rule 6A-1(2):

6A-1. Legislative documents. Only bills and the following may be introduced in the Legislature:

(2) A concurrent resolution expresses the opinion or a principle of the Legislature not having the force of law. A concurrent resolution shall only be used to authorize interim studies, joint rules, sessions or committees, to instruct a department of state government, or to petition federal agencies;

Just as with Nelson’s resolution in 2014, this resolution recognizing Harry Truman does not meet the qualifications of a Joint Resolution. It does include the following action in the resolution:

and that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri

But that is not technically an instruction to a department of state government or a petition to a federal agency as the Joint Rule requires. Rather it is a request that a library receive a copy of the resolution. It would be a stretch to call that an instruction to state government or a petition to the federal government.

Technically just as in 2014 this should have been a legislative commemoration. Here is how Joint Rule 6A-1(5) defines a legislative commemoration:

(5) A legislative commemoration expresses recognition of service or achievements of national or statewide importance or expresses sorrow over death or loss.

Again, I really don’t care about HCR 1001, or President Truman. But it will be interesting to see if the resolution is allowed to move forward two years after it was determined this type of bill could not be used to recognize national figures.

Afterthoughts from the South Dakota PB Republican Primary US Senate Debate

Classic Milquetoast Cartoon found on Wikimedia Commons – Or as we found out in this debate: A Mike Rounds Cartoon

The South Dakota Republican Primary US Senate debate just finished airing on SDPB. I don’t believe anyone could call this an overwhelming victory. I believe Stace Nelson won the debate, but even he wasn’t able to shine because the questions were not ones aimed at the target audience. Presumably the target audience for a GOP debate would be Republican voters. Yet somehow most of the questions definitely seemed to come from left-leaning sources. I think the questions would have been OK in a Democrat Primary, or even in a general election debate; but I didn’t think they fit well in a Republican debate.

But having said that I still believe Stace did the best in this debate. Here are some thoughts on each of the candidate in this debate. This is ordered from who I believe lost the debate down to who I think won. These are short because I don’t feel this debate gave the kind of content a Republican Primary is looking for.

Annette Bosworth – She was a train-wreck in this debate. I also find her behavior in the last few months to be morally unsound (and potentially legally unsound). For those reasons I won’t say more about her.

Larry Rhoden – Rhoden actually had some pretty OK answers. The problem is he is so monotone that he is unable to connect with the audience. He did mention free market principles a few times and pointed out Obamacare is an overreach of the federal government. He also rightly mentioned the steps he has taken as a SD legislator to fight against EPA overreach. If there are any more debates I would avoid using Rounds talking points (such as Common Sense); it makes him look like a mini-Rounds. If he could find some fire somewhere he could be a contender. But without fire he appears to be an uninspiring Rounds clone.

Jason Ravnsborg – Actually Jason did pretty good at answering questions. He brought up specific solutions such as the Penny Plan and Save the VA. He also went on the attack more than all of the other candidates combined. His reference to Rounds as Milquetoast is going to be well-used in the blogosphere and twitterverse. But at the same time his inexperience with such events was very clear. There were times I wondered if Jason was going to be able to speak, or remember what he was talking about. Such a forum is nerve-wracking; and it got the better of him. With a better performance I would have moved him up to at least second place.

Mike Rounds – It should be no surprise to any reader of this blog that I don’t like Mike as a candidate. He did have  a couple of good answers. I think his best answer was invoking the REINS Act, which if passed by Congress would require Congress to approve major regulations enacted by the executive branch. But the problem I had with him in this debate was his complete insistence that he had nothing to do with the implementation of Obamacare in SD and has never worked with Daschle on healthcare.  The thing is all of the 50 states had to enact legislation to align state laws with ACA, even South Dakota. It was the Rounds administration that pre-filed the bills for the legislature to enact these Obamacare changes. Instead of lying about this I think Rounds should have owned and it said “Yes, I had to because the federal government strong-armed South Dakota into doing it”. But no, he chooses to pretend it didn’t happen. And maybe Rounds was opposing Daschle on the Health Project they both were on. But by saying he wasn’t on a Health Project with Daschle he is either saying the Bipartisan Policy Center is lying, or he is lying. I guess we can let the voters decide on that one….

Stace Nelson – I thought Stace did pretty good in this debate. The only minor criticism I have is that at times he went into too much biographical data when answering a question. But on the good side he consistently talked about cutting pork. He mentioned it with the farm bill and with military spending. Maybe it’s because of his service, but I felt Stace was the only one on the stage that was not a war hawk. I think by showing he is willing to cut pork in all areas of government, including the Defense Budget, Stace is showing fiscally conservative voters that he will actually work to the reduce the deficit and national debt.

In closing I can only make one prediction from seeing this debate: this debate will not have likely shifted the opinions of any Republican primary voters. Any already supporting a candidate before the debate will likely support that person afterwards. Along that thought-line, undecided voters didn’t have the type of questions that Republican primary voters care about. Really all this debate did was give bloggers something to talk about.

New Stand With Stace commercial released

This week the Stace Nelson US Senate campaign officially released its first television commercial. There are two things to take note of in this ad. First, it uses actual South Dakota residents showing Stace’s grassroots support; unlike the Rounds ad that used stock photos from all over the world. Second, it highlights some of the issues Stace finds important. These issues include gun rights, abortion, and balancing the budget. The commercial also highlights that Stace is not a “bought and paid for… career politician”. That is why I think the voters of SD should stand with Stace this election, he is NOT a status quo politician.

There are three versions of the commercial released. Here is the extended 50 second version of the commercial:

Here are the 30 second commercials:

I think these commercials do a good job of doing three things:

  1. Voters learn a little about who Stace Nelson is.
  2. As I mention above voters learn about some of his stances. Actually Stace has had his stances out in open for everyone to see with his Contract with South Dakota.
  3. The commercial shows voters they have an alternative to status quo politicians such as Mike Rounds.

I’ve been quite open about my support of Stace Nelson in this election and would urge anyone that wants to know more about him or to show him support to visit his website at StaceNelson.com

We finally had a US Senate debate in SD with all 5 candidates present

podiumYesterday the South Dakota Newspaper Association hosted a debate for the five Republicans seeking to win the primary in the US Senate race. The replay can be watched on the Argus Leader website. This is actually the first time all five candidates have been together in a debate forum. There were good and bad parts to this debate. Because of some shortcomings in the debate I believe Republican primary voters deserve more of these debates before making their decision on June 3. In this post I will look at how the debate was ran by the SDNA, and then some thoughts on what each candidate said.

How well was the debate run?

First I would like to focus on how the debate was moderated. The SDNA did a great job setting the ground rules and keeping the questions flowing. I hope future debate moderators will look at how this event was run and take notes accordingly. Maybe each question could be allowed a little more time, but not too much more.

The only real problem I had with the debates proceedings were some of the questions. The three asking questions were reporters from within the State of South Dakota. There were a few questions I felt were out-of-place for a Republican primary. In particular one question was staged as a statement disputing the typical Republican response to climate change. If a reporter wants to preach about their favorite political stance of the left they can do that for their newspaper. The audience for the debate was presumably Republican primary voters; who were not tuning in to get a lecture from a high-and-mighty reporter (remember when mainstream media reporters at least pretended to be non-partisan?). Even without that question, I felt there were very few substantive topics being discussed. Hopefully those running future debates will take that into account as well…

Now, on to the candidates! I will go in the order they drew to speak.

Mike Rounds

Many are treating Mike Rounds as the presumed winner of the Senate race this fall; and I believe mistakenly so. Watching him in the debate it is quite obvious why he avoided earlier debates (his supporters claimed the earlier debates were ‘too soon’, this trying to defend a candidate that entered the race 2 years before the election). On the first question he actually said he wouldn’t answer it and spoke on something else. Most of the debate he spent saying his current campaign catchphrase “South Dakota common sense”. He is using the old campaign trick used by politicians to get all statements to fall within that catchphrase; which sounds really good, but says nothing! His campaign staff is probably proud of his performance, but voters should be disappointed in the lack of substance from such a high-profile candidate.

When talking about Obamacare I was disappointed to hear him say that he has always fought against Obamacare. I would have preferred for him to be more honest and admit the legislation he helped implement to align South Dakota law with ACA. He actually could have used that as a point to show how the Federal government is strong-arming states into complying with over-reaching federal laws. Instead he pretended it didn’t happen. Unfortunately all fifty states had to make legislative changes to align with ACA, including SD. Pretending that didn’t happen makes it look like Rounds secretly supports ACA. I don’t really think Rounds supports Obamacare, but he didn’t fight against it or even try to bring attention to what our state was forced to change in our laws to comply with ACA.

EB-5 of course came up. He still fully supports EB-5 as a jobs creator. He also says no South Dakota money was lost in the use of EB-5 funding. That point is debatable.  Rounds continued support of the EB-5 program is disheartening from a fiscal conservative standpoint. I would much rather see Rounds say “Hey, I thought it would work out, it didn’t”. Instead of continuing to support EB-5, Rounds should be fighting to remove the government from choosing winners and losers in the market. Maybe the primary process will bring out some unseen fiscal conservativeness before June 3…

On the good side I was happy to see Rounds mention the War on Coal being waged by the Obama administration. If he does make it to DC I hope he will remember his words and actively fight to protect jobs from over-reaching federal regulations that are killing our economy. He also mentioned the coal we don’t use here simply gets shipped to China and used there; and China does not have the technology in place to burn coal as cleanly as the United States does. If Rounds can stick to talking points like this he might actually sound like a limited-government Republican.

I also hopes he remembers saying the federal Department of Education needs to go away. Perhaps like most people he didn’t understand what Common Core was about when he was Governor and his administration began our state down the path of centralized education. A lack of knowledge of what actually happened while he was Governor is a recurring theme though…….

Stace Nelson

I don’t think it would be a surprise for any reader of this blog to know I support Nelson in this race. His answers were in stark contrast to those of Rounds. EB-5 in particular is an example of how the two are different. Nelson would push for the EB-5 program to be eliminated completely. Nelson listed many ways the EB-5 program is crony capitalistic and a likely place for corruption. This to me is the key as to why I support Nelson in this race: I believe South Dakota would be best served with a US Senator that will fight to remove federal influence from the free market. Currently there are very few portions of our economy that actually has any semblance of free market. We need representation in DC that will actually try to bring some free market principles forth as solutions.

When speaking of Obamacare Nelson mentioned how the Rounds administration, and the legislature at that time, helped to enact laws in South Dakota so the state would align with ACA’s requirements. This is something Nelson has been bringing up this whole campaign. Somehow mentioning these actions is categorized as an ‘attack’ that breaks Reagan’s 11th Commandment. I disagree (I’ve posted on this before). When Nelson says he would fight to repeal Obamcare and implement free market principles in its place I believe him.

To me the area Nelson did best in was when talking about the Ryan budget. Nelson says the Ryan budget is a good start, but doesn’t go far enough. He says his experience working within the military gives him insight into parts of the National Defense budget that could, and should, be cut. This is an area all Republicans should be looking to when balancing the budget. That doesn’t even mean reducing the power of our military. I means finding portions of the military spending that are no longer needed, and are only around so politicians can continue to get special interest money.

The only problem I had with Nelson in this debate is that I thought he went off topic a few more times than he needed to. I agree with him that special interest money’s are bad. But making a variation of the same message each round can make the viewers forget some of the other specifics they viewed during the debate. It might be a good way to get a message out, but its a bad method to use if he wants people to remember more than one takeaway point.

Mike Rounds & Stace Nelson

Before going on I’ll mention Rounds did actually bare his teeth and go on the offensive against Nelson. I was surprised to see him do it. He mentioned Nelson getting kicked out of the Republican Caucus while serving in Pierre. Nelson said that was done by moderates. Stace has been working hard to ensure limited-government concepts are present in Pierre. That at times has had him at odds with leadership in Pierre. I think the fact he was willing to stand up to leadership based upon conservative principles shows Nelson is the type of representative needed in DC!

Rounds also mentioned the press conference that Nelson had held with liberal Senate candidate Rick Weiland. Anyone that actually watched the press conference with Nelson and Weiland could not come away seeing the two as ‘allies’. In fact other than hating special interest money I didn’t hear anything in that news conference that the two agreed upon.

Some will say it was time for Rounds to start attacking back because of the constant attacks from Nelson. The difference though is that Nelson is attacking Rounds record as a SD legislator and executive actions as a SD Governor. Rounds attacks on Nelson had nothing do with actual legislative records or executive actions. But that is how I see it, primary voters may see it differently… It was interesting to see Rounds drop his Mr Nice Guy face though…

Annette Bosworth

Due to the inconsistencies in her nominating petition (which is likely to be fraudulent) and other questionable activities from her campaign, I have previously said I wouldn’t give her campaign much attention. That remains to be true. I think she did horrible and had no substance in this debate anyhow…

Jason Ravnsborg

Jason did a lot better than I thought an inexperienced politician would do. This is his first time running for office, and its a big race at that. Of all the candidates in the attendance he had the most ‘answers’. I disagreed with some of his answers, but I definitely respect that he is offering forth solutions.

When talking about Obamacare Ravnsborg promoted the Patient CARE Act as a replacement to ACA. This is an act brought forth by Sens. Burr, Coburn & Hatch. It includes many of the parts of ACA that people like, without the hundreds of pages of unrealistic regulation. Personally I don’t like the Patient CARE Act, but think it is good for candidates to discuss such alternatives. A big point Ravnsborg was trying to make is that the Republican Party as a whole has been poor at providing alternatives and has become known as the “Party of NO”. I do feel if he is elected Senator he would fight to change that “Party of NO” reputation.

Other areas Ravnsborg had some answers for were the budget by supporting the “penny plan” and supporting Senator Grassley to repeal EB-5. Most of his answers seem to be latching on to solutions already provided by Senators in DC and promoting them. I think that is a fair way for a candidate to proceed. No single person can have the answer to everything and Ravnsborg seems to understand that.

The main negative I have with Ravnsborg is his lack of experience. I think that can be good. But his lack of even a little state legislative experience means there is no record to run on. Maybe if he keeps offering answers to everything like he did in this debate, he can use that as a replacement to an actual record.

Larry Rhoden

Rhoden was typical for him. He made some nice conservative talking points, but he had no fire in him. I actually think many voters that prefer a more moderate conservative would choose Rhoden over Rounds if they could connect with him. Rhoden has to find a way to actually connect with his audience, until that happens a race as the US Senate is out of his reach. Also he wouldn’t answer the EB-5 question because he didn’t have enough facts… That makes him seem somewhat disconnected from issues.

On the good side I really wish he had more time to expand on the strengthening of HSA’s. Part of Obamacare actually reduced the effectiveness of HSA’s, and Rhoden understands that. Here was a taxation part of the medical insurance industry that was actually helping families, and Obamacare has essentially killed it. Other candidates need to latch on to specific parts of ACA like this and show how it is hurting Americans.

Other good areas from Rhoden include using the Indian Reservations as an example of failed federal entitlement systems, opposing the ‘fact’ that climate change as described in the question is correct, and his personal experience as a legislator fighting against the EPA. If he could stick to topics such as these and show some emotion then maybe he can connect with more voters.

So who won?

I don’t think any ‘winner’ can be called for this debate. While I think the format was great, that wasn’t enough to provide an environment for there to be a clear winner. Too many of the questions were setup in a way that made them bad topics for a Republican primary. Personally I think my candidate of choice, Stace Nelson, did quite well. I would also say that Ravnsborg showed a lot more promise than he has in the past. Other than that it wasn’t really a debate anyone could say “X won this debate hands down!”. Maybe in a future debate we can get better questions..

Don’t miss the Brown County Republicans Reagan lunch tomorrow featuring US Senate candidate Stace Nelson

Tomorrow, April 9, will be the monthly Reagan Lunch hosted by the Brown County Republicans in Aberdeen. The event is from noon-1pm at Mavericks. If you are in the Aberdeen area this is a great opportunity to meet Stace Nelson in person.

For those that have yet to hear about Stace Nelson, here is a snippet about him from StaceNelson.com:

staceheadshotStace Nelson is a proud 4th generation South Dakotan, Marine, State Representative and Christian family man. He was raised in Salem, Sioux Falls, and Mitchell area and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1985. Even before graduating, he followed a family tradition of enlisting in the service and served the country as a Marine and federal cop for over 23 years.

In 2010, he was elected to be a State Representative serving District 19 and holds a proud conservative voting record unmatched in the state.
References:
• 2011 Session Republican Platform Voting Score Card
• 2011 South Dakota Freedom Index Report

He and his wife Aiza have six children and two grandchildren.

“I am who I am today because of my relationship with God. He has blessed, guided, and carried me through my whole life. With your support, and His hand on my shoulder, I will serve your interests and protect your rights in the United States Senate.”

-Stace Nelson

In other Brown County Republican news, The Lincoln Day Dinner is set for Tuesday, April 22nd, at the Ramkota in Aberdeen. Governor Dennis Daugaard is the keynote speaker. Get your tickets by calling Char Cornelius, Bud Morris or Wayne Bierman. We will deliver the tickets to you.

I hope to see a good attendance at both events!