Last night was one of the wildest rides I can remember in a while. As a Republican, I felt good about going into election night… and I felt even better this morning when I saw that the GOP actually picked up seats. I’ve always operated under the assumption that political balance is a pendulum, and it would swing back to fewer Republicans, so it’s important to work to create a bulwark against that.
Except, one factor I have forgotten to take into account is the South Dakota Democrat Party giving up any illusion of running candidates for office. And so the new normal is 10-15 House members, and 5-10 Senators. The question for the GOP is whether they’re able to keep Democrat numbers down, and hold the caucus together.
What was more in doubt last night were the ballot issues, and we ended up with some surprising results.
AMENDMENT R – The Tech School change fared more poorly than a measure with no true opposition should, although it still won at 50.6% to 49.4%
AMENDMENT S, or Marsy’s Law won handily on a 60-40% basis. Call it the Kelsey Grammer effect. It was a good ad.
AMENDMENT T for redistricting, which I had pegged as winning, lost 57-43%. It had only token opposition, but maybe that’s all it needed.
AMENDMENT U, placing statutory interest rates for Loans into the constitution fared poorly, losing 63-37%
AMENDMENT V which hid party label on the ballot went down 55-45%.
INITIATED MEASURE 21 was a blowout at 76%-24%, placing maximum finance charges on certain licensed money lenders. This was a bit surprising to me, as South Dakotans aren’t apt to ban entire industries, but apparently, they are.
An even bigger surprise is INITIATED MEASURE 22, which creates a publicly funded campaign finance program, won 52-48%. Of the three measures coming from Rick Weiland, this and Amendment V had the fiercest and most direct opposition, and most of us thought T would be the one to pass, not IM22.
Before it’s implemented, I suspect IM22’s public campaign component will face opposition and removal. It’s kind of hard to even think of programs such as Medicaid expansion when $12-50 million is stripped from the budget for politician’s political campaigns…. But, we’ll see.
INITIATED MEASURE 23 to allow Unions to force membership fees went down hard. 80-20%.
And no one cared about the other two on the ballot by this point, so expectedly Referred Law 19 & Referred Law 20 both lost.
What are your thoughts on these ballot issues?