Concerning public discourse

The Rapid City Journal has an interesting article asking 12 legislators a few questions. Here is one of the questions and a response.

Q. What do your constituents want from you during this session that may be different than in previous years?

Rep. Kristen Conzet: I have heard from people throughout the state that are frustrated and disappointed with the manner in which a handful of statewide groups and elected/formerly elected officials have conducted themselves prior, during and after campaigns. There now is an unseemly and unaccountable fashion of doing business by making threats and stating flat-out
lies, while embracing the ideal of “guilty until you prove your innocence.” Words are being published and blogged that have absolutely no factual evidence behind them. Corruption, uninformed, nondisclosure, liar, lack of honesty are a few of the accusations, not to mention the verbiage from public figures and
groups on the blogs that are verbally abusive. And in the end when the crowds have cleared and the shouting has ceased the accusers are not held accountable for their false statements.

Conzet makes a good point. There has been a flurry of unsubstantiated personal attacks. When making accusations, it is important for them to be backed up with specifics and facts. Character assassination should not be a substitute for public discussion. There is a range of opinion on many topics within the Republican party, and purging everyone who disagrees with “me” would leave a party of one.

19 Replies to “Concerning public discourse”

  1. 73*

    I thought she made a great point. Maybe some of the legislators are running a “Chicago Style” ring in Pierre. Maybe they aren’t. Show me some facts.

    Maybe she was just talking about Gordon Howie and Barb Lindbergh though???

    These are crazy times. Ron Paul might win the Iowa caucuses and that would be crazy!!!!!!

  2. BF

    Shocking isn’t it? Not one mention of Stace’s smokeout debacle? Not one legislator expressing concerns about the LRC helping them write their bills. Every single legislator telling us what the most important thing on their legislative plate is this year?

    Don’t they know the RINOS and the Democrats might be reading that stuff?

    Don’t they know the State house is on fire out east river because the whole SD Legislative process has gone to hell in a hand basket?

    Don’t they read this blog?

    For heavens sake Stace, MC, et al, what are they thinking out here?!

    When they get to Pierre, you better straighten them out, buddy.

  3. Ed Randazzo

    Whoa there, Mrs. Conzet. How would you know if “Words are being published and blogged that have absolutely no factual evidence behind them?” Do you have factual evidence to prove the charges false? If you do, bring it forward and we shall know the truth.

    I am a blogger and I have published posts regarding these allegations and I have been scrupulous in stating that in my writings. See http://www.rightsidesd.com/?p=7233. Also see http://www.rightsidesd.com/?p=7312 where Representative Nelson testifies.

    As stated in my article, this matter cries out for investigation and the facts exposed for all to see. The integrity of the LRC and legislators involved is at stake here. But the investigation must not be conducted by those involved. I would hope that you would support the discovery of truth. Then either the accusers or the abusers can be “held accountable.”

    You, I and “the people throughout the state” deserve to know the truth. If the allegations are true, I will applaud those who have brought these allegations to the public and not concealed them from us. If they are not true, they should be exposed as liars.

    Your statement appears to have already made a judgment on the merits of these allegations; or are you just trying to avoid what may be a gross abuse of power by leadership.

    1. Anonymous

      “Do you have factual evidence to prove the charges false? If you do, bring it forward and we shall know the truth.”

      Ok Ed it looks like you made her point. guilty until proven innocent.

      1. Ed Randazzo

        You really should work on your reading comprehension. What part of the wanting to know the truth before judgment is offensive?
        It’s always inspiring to hear from someone who hides behind a screen name.

        1. Anonymous

          Most likely the big adult children can not stand to hear the truth. Those involve could stand up before GOD and the citizens of SD saying what really happened. How about truth in politics?????????? Secrecy is a looser!

  4. anonny

    I don’t know why any legislator, leadership or not, should be compelled to answer to any accusations that are based solely on suspicion and paranoia, with no hard facts to back them up.

    Guilty until proven innocent rings true…. but this is way beyond that. Most charges are backed by hard facts.

    It’s a non-story fabricated by a freshman legislator that has no clue what he’s talking about. I’m glad the mainstream media for the most part recognizes and respects that.

    1. Huh?

      Non-story fabricated by a freshman legislator?

      So they are lying about the research staff making complaints about leadership tampering with and/or obstructing bills?

      If there was no truth to these complaints, these people wouldn’t have ran for cover with a “no comment.”

      If it was lies about the misconduct, they would be running to bring charges against the freshman instead of running from the charges.

  5. PlanningStudent

    If the War College feels strongly about this, then perhaps they shouldn’t publish anonymous blog posts that launch personal attacks.

    I honestly believe that if you had to give your full name when personally attacking someone there would be less unsubstantiated posts.

    Allowing anonymous personal attacks does nothing to add to the discourse of this website, nothing…

    Obviously I feel different about anonymous posts discussing policy issues…

    1. Anonymous

      There is a big difference discussing policy on a blog and discussing how moral an elected official is or isn’t. Especially if another sitting legislator is accusing the speaker of the house of corruption. Big difference PS.

    2. PlanningStudent

      I’m not really speaking about this current situation. There are a lot of negative things on the War College about people who aren’t elected officials..

  6. Anonymous

    Is it wrong to say l want all involved to stand up and say before GOD, and the citizens of SD that this is exact to what happened. The attitude of those that were not present is a joke. That is a personal agenda. THE TRUTH PLEASE…

  7. MC Post author

    ?Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely?
    Corruption know no bounds, and can take many forms.

    This one reason we have system of checks and balances. To ensure no one man, or group has complete control over another.

    Then there is Regan’s 11th Commandment: ?Never speak bad of another Republican.?

    There are some out there who believe because someone is a Republican, they are immune to corruption, for they are as pure as the wind driven snow. Nothing can be further from the truth. Republicans are just as substitutable to corruption as anyone else.

    When there is corruption, it should be exposed with evidence and facts. It should not make any difference who they are presented by or how the facts are uncovered. If there is corruption, and evidence and facts are withheld, that is just as bad as the original act.

    Be careful, to falsely accuse someone of corruption is a form of corruption within itself. Before you shine the light of truth in to dark places, take a look in the mirror.
    Matthew 7:3
    ?And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye??