Sounds like we’re going further down the rabbit hole, according to the Argus Leader’s version of the Citizens for Liberty story:
South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, a Rapid City conservative advocacy group, named the lawmakers Monday as part of a legislative scorecard report. An official said the party switches raise questions about lawmakers’ commitment to conservative ideology.
“If a person changes their party affiliation and doesn’t change their philosophy, I think that’s something their constituents deserve to know,” said Tonchi Weaver, a lobbyist for the group.
“I’ve never registered as a Democrat. I’ve always been a Republican,” said Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, who was named in the report. “I’ve never even heard of that group.”
Weaver said Soholt should be excluded from caucusing with Republicans in Pierre, but Soholt was quick to defend herself on Facebook. Soholt wrote that the move away from the Republican Party came as an accident when she went to register for a new driver’s license and missed the box used to record party affiliation.
“I’ve been a lifelong Republican. I was raised as a Republican and I’ve always run as a Republican,” said Sen. Jim White, R-Huron. “I think that my voting record speaks for itself and I have no idea what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Meanwhile, the GOP had this to say about the whole thing:
Republican Party Chairman Dan Lederman said that he “didn’t view the party change of former Democrats becoming Republicans as something to be ashamed of, but rather a badge of honor.”
“The South Dakota Republican Party has always been the party who has welcomed people with open arms, including Democrat legislators as former Senator Eldon Nygaard who became a Republican State Senator after being elected as a Democrat, as well as Senator Ryan Maher, who changed parties to Republican after being elected as a Democrat a number of years ago.”
Lederman continued, “If any more Democrats, especially legislators, want to switch from the party of obstructionists and join the political party of do-ers, I’m ready to sign them up today, and to welcome them in joining Republicans to get things accomplished for South Dakota.”