Conservative leadership by anyone else's standards

This past legislative session has been an interesting one to say the least. There is a striking rift between certain members of the legislature and different “conservative” factions across the state. The troubling thing is, it seems we are dividing our party while splitting hairs.

Speaker Val Rausch and Majority Leader David Lust have been lambasted by some members of the legislature. Now I know the rap on David Lust is that he is a “moderate,” but it’s strange that a moderate would cut the state budget across the board by 10% while also standing up to many of the leaders in the South Dakota public school system in order to deliver a substantial budget cut.

I find it more than strange that in a time of large spending cuts with large majorities in the senate and the house, we must continue to bicker over the smallest issues that in the end will only divide us.

So if the rap on David Lust is that he’s a moderate, then take note that his tenure in leadership would undoubtedly place him to the right of House leaders between ’08 and ’10.

In 2011, Senate and House leaders pushed for balancing the state budget without using reserves or getting millions of dollars in stimulus money to bridge the gap. They made the cuts. We weren’t side tracked with smoking bans or waiting to see how much federal stimulus money we were going to recieve.

I would suggest you couldn’t find many budgets as fiscally responsible as those passed during Rausch and Lust’s tenure in the state house.

They’re not always right, but no one is. It’s time to stop attacking them personally and start appreciating the leadership they’ve shown on many important issues.

65 Replies to “Conservative leadership by anyone else's standards”

  1. Anonymous

    Yeah I’ve heard how Lust is this “evil moderate” for many years. Odd thing is he’s even voted against a texting ban and I would have voted for one.

    Lust is obviously more liberty and conservative minded than the tea party fringe and a few others want to admit.

    Thanks DL! Now if you would just change your mind on HB: 1234???????????????

    1. joan

      The rap against Lust and Rausch isn’t that they’re “moderate”.
      It’s that they are CROOKS.
      SB38 and SB43 were passed last year based on lies.
      Legislators this session wanted an opportunity to
      correct that mistake. Lust and Rausch, at the direction of the governor’s office, wouldn’t even let HB1165 and HB1167 go to the full house for an honest debate. That is crooked.

      1. Rational

        Crooks, really? Try to be rational, Joan. These men leave their families, sacrifice their time and lose money to do this work. Accusing people of being crooks is really out of bounds and unnecessary.

          1. Troy Jones

            LOL. What is the substantive argument?

            They are moderate?

            They are liars?

            SB 38 & 43 are mistakes?

            They stopped the bills from getting out of committee?

            They acted from Governor direction?

            So much accusation and so little substance. Now that to me is dishonest. Hmmmm. Crooked? LOL

  2. 73*

    10% budget cuts make someone fiscally responsible and conservative in most circles. In SD it apparently makes Lust and Rausch a RINO. This must be a strange world we are living in!

  3. Anonymous

    Of course those “moderates” Governor Daugaard, Russ Olson, Corey Brown, Dean Wink, and many others deserve equal credit. Daugaard set the goal, and the entire team of leadership and appropriators – including all the R’s who stood with them – deserve credit for practical, responsible, conservative, common sense governing.

    Meanwhile those who call them moderates continue to demonstrate why they are not – and will not – be in leadership.

    I agree that others also deserve equal credit, but we don’t hear Daugaard, Olson or Brown’s leadership questioned to the extent of those in the house. Bill

  4. Your joking right?

    Rausch is a former life long Democrat who changed parties only to get elected and Lust has shown he can deliver the water for both the governor and UJS.

    Add in the good Republican bills they helped kill, the redistricting of Republicans (Hubbel, etc), the apparent lies about the Nelson “threat,” the herding of Republicans to the left, and it is obvious that Bill Napoli is dead on with his assesment of these two.

    1. Arrowhead

      I don’t doubt that there are some rifts between GOP officials. I just think legitimate issues worth discussing have been kicked to the way side on a personal vendetta.

      The point seems to be that the fight is more personal than ideological.

      Far be it from me to say who’s right.

        1. anon

          Thanks for the reminder. That link is to the “definitive conservative scorecard” that proves that Angie Buhl is just as conservative as Larry Rhoden, Dan Lederman, Todd Schlekeway, and many more.

          Hard to beat credibility like that!! Give up Howie!

          1. Smelly Red Herring

            Buhl had 4 excused absense that clearly skewed her %.

            What is not in dispute is the voting records highlighted in the little report.

            Run from your records RINOs, maybe South Dakotans will believe your claims.

  5. Anonymous

    Bill’s article has a good point about the fiscally conservative budget that was passed in the House last year.

    I think this is more of a personality conflict with those who don’t like Lust and Rausch than it is a substantive policy difference.

  6. Bob Ellis

    Conservatives don’t promote government health care systems.

    Conservatives support self defense for law abiding citizens and don’t curtail efforts to make self defense more accessible.

    Conservatives don’t enable illegal immigration and kill efforts to curtail illegal immigration.

    Conservatives support state’s rights and federalism, and don’t kill efforts to promote the same.

    Conservatives don’t enable illegal drug use and irresponsible behavior, and kill efforts to curtail such activity.

    Conservatives don’t try to force the taxpayers to subsidize illegal and irresponsible behavior, and kill efforts to stop such policies.

    Conservatives aren’t afraid of their voting records, and attempt to hide them from the public.

    Finally, conservatives don’t try to take liberal votes and liberal positions and deceive people by putting lipstick on them and redefining them as “conservative;” only liberals do that.

    1. Bill Fleming

      Conservatives don’t let conservatives clap on beats 1 and 3.
      Conservatives don’t let conservatives drink and blog.
      Conservatives don’t pretend government is too big, then try to expand its powers into the bedrooms and classrooms of other conservatives.

      1. insomniac


        Some of those proposed bills were just bad. NO ONE in SD supports Obamacare and when you and your crazy fringe go around telling your supporters that Daugaardcare is on it’s way you look foolish and only hurt the conservative movement.

        Lust, Rausch, Daugaard, Olson, Brown etc do not want Obamacare or Daugaardcare. Where do you dream this stuff up?

        1. Bob Ellis

          I “dream this stuff up” because these “conservative” “Republicans” pass bills that implement the ObamaCare that these “conservative” “Republicans” want us to believe they oppose, and these “conservative” “Republicans” oppose at every single turn every single attempt to stop, curtail, slow down, block or oppose the ObamaCare these “conservative” “Republicans” claim to oppose.

          That’s where I “dream this stuff up.” If your actions facilitate something and block efforts to stop it, the only sane conclusion is that you’re for it. What hurts the conservative movement is when liberals behave like liberals and try to pass themselves off as conservatives.

          I know that according to liberals and RINOs (forgive the redundancy) I’m supposed to believe them and not my own eyes, but I’m sorry, I just can’t force myself to be that stupid.

          1. Bill Fleming

            You don’t have to try to be stupid, Bob. It seems to come naturally for you, brother. Maybe if you tried to get smart?

        2. Rational

          Well said. These “conservatives” would complain no matter what others voted on. They are not “conservatives” they are discontents who complain about everything, all the time.

      2. Bob Ellis

        Conservatives DON’T expand government into people’s bedrooms; they just try to keep liberal sexual anarchists from shoving their bedroom activities into everyone’s faces and demanding approval of said activities.

          1. Bill Fleming

            Ellis, yours is a radical, right-wing, statist agenda having more to do with the way totalitarian fanatics of both religious and athiest persuasions run government than the way liberal democracies do. I’m noticing that the real patriots in your party are getting fed up with it. Good for them.

  7. Anonymous

    If Daugaard had not proposed a ten percent cut, Rausch and Lust would have passed another Rounds (deficit) type budget. Remember, Rausch and Lust presided over the overturning of Governor Daugaard’s veto of the multi-million dollar vehicle registration increases.

    Ellis is right on. These folks are not conservatives and have lashed out at the conservatives who dare question their methods.

    1. insomniac

      Some of you guys are insane.

      You live in a world of tinfoil hats and your homes probably have a bomb shelter.

      Lust is doing a good job as leader.

        1. Let it go Stace

          Stace, instead of dropping these cheap, bitter and snitty comments here hoping to keep your dying smear campaign alive, why don’t you quit worrying about others for once and attend to your own self. Plenty of room for improvement there.

          1. must been Stace in RC

            That called Gosch and Lust on the carpet at least weeks cracker barrel? Not unless he turned into a couple little old ladies.

            Smear campaigns? You mean like Nelson being kicked out of caucus and punished in the press for a threat that has been confirmed never happened?

      1. Rational

        insomniac and I are on the same page, these folks complain all the time, they are just unhappy people who get satisfaction from pointing fingers and judging people.

  8. Les

    SD’s budget may look like a dream compared to other states, but my children never got away with well I’m not as bad as Johnnie type mentalities.

    Our budget is far from perfect and those who keep touting this balanced budget in SD are part of the problem.

    I’d really like someone to show me how retirement health care funds are current in payments and funded 100% as they should be. Three years ago there should have been 67mil in the fund and we had zero. That same year we should have contributed 7mil to retire/health due but contributed 40% of the actuaries request growing our health care deficit.

    Do you believe this has gotten better in the last three sessions? This shows me why our conservatives went along with Obama care rather than biting the bullet on our own health care needs.

    That same year our pension funds were at 92% with 100% of contributions for that year, I’m guessing those fund keepers haven’t found any Obama pension acts we can suck from.

  9. Ekais

    This one South Dakotan who supports Obamacare. I doubt I’m the only one.

    Bob Ellis,

    I don’t think liberals are ‘shoving sex’ in anyone’s faces. What I do see is is conservatives practically demanding women wear chasity belts, that gays should be thrown under a bus and run over repeatedly for simply asking for equal rights and insisting that everyone ( no matter of what faith or no faith) should submit themselves to a Christian Dictatorship.

    1. Bob Ellis

      I KNOW liberals are shoving their sexual activity into everyone’s faces, since they demand that society applaud and reward them for their sexual behavior. Homosexuals already have the same rights everyone else does, but that isn’t good enough; they demand the “right” to counterfeit a unique relationship for which they have deliberately made themselves unqualified, and insist that everyone pretend that their immoral, unnatural and dangerous behavior is moral, natural and healthy. Sorry, I can’t force myself to be stupid enough to buy that one, either. Oh, and for you RINOs who can’t figure it out, supporting the homosexual agenda is NOT a conservative or Republican value.

        1. duggersd

          You may not shove your sexual behavior on anybody, but the government certainly is when it forces everyone else to pay for certain peoples’ behavior.

          1. anon

            We are already paying for other people’s behavior. I pay welfare to people who CHOOSE to sit at home rather than get a job. Last I knew, homosexuals don’t CHOOSE to be that way – it’s the way God made them.

            1. duggersd

              I agree. I believe unemployment should have a time limit. I never said gay people claim they should get anything from the government. You care comparing apples to oranges.

    2. duggersd

      Liberals, and anybody else for that matter can have sex with any adult they want. I really do not care. The problem is coming from things such as a “healthcare” law that requires insurance companies to pay for things such as birth control and abortifacients. Here we have everybody else being forced to pay for other peoples’ risky behavior.
      Gay people do not have unequal rights. Not being allowed to marry someone of the same sex is not trampling anybody’s “rights”. I do not have a problem with a civil union and participants of that civil union having all of the advantages of a married couple. But this does not seem to satisfy liberals. Liberals and apparently gays seem to like the word “married”. What is it about that word that you need it?
      Conservatives do not expect women to wear chastity belts. However, most conservatives I know believe women (and men) are responsible for their own behavior and should be responsible for the costs of preventing unwanted things from happening. That is not trampling any right.

  10. MC Post author

    Let’s take a look back at how this got started.

    Back in July of 2011, I posted ?How did you Legislator vote??

    The Smoke-out attempt and the voting record was supposed to posted to the on-line status, but there was an error and the voting results didn?t get posted.
    This caught the attention of Representative Stace Nelson (Dist.-25)  Who promptly, according to his Facebook post, contacted James Fry, Director of the SDLRC and the correction was made.

    On Feb 16th I notified Mr. Jim Fry, the Director of LRC of this omission.  On Feb 17th I received his response that it was a programming error and that they were reviewing the policy.  I was subsequently notified in person by Mr. Fry that the results were properly posted on the site as appropriate, he reiterated that it was a programming error, and that the details of this major action to the bill were officially posted.  I confirmed that the motion and results were properly annotated on the status page, at which time I forwarded the link to several constituents and concerned voter groups.

    Okay, so where are the results of the full house smoke out vote?  Representative Nelson asked this same question and got this:

    When LRC developed the policies surrounding the Bill Status Page and what it would display, the SOP was that nothing after final disposition would be added to the Status.  In the case of HB 1198, final disposition was its deferral to a nonexistent legislative day.  Apparently, a smoke-out was attempted but it failed.  Therefore, nothing changed in regard to the Bill?s final disposition.
    In this, as in all other cases, nothing is being hidden because the Bill Status reflects the actual status of the Bill which is that it died in committee.

    I would be alright with that for now,  if that is the current policy, then it is what it is, until the policy gets changed.
    Except for these nagging little details:
    Again from Representative Nelson Facebook post:

    He(Mr. Fry) followed up his response on Feb 28th (see above) with verbal statements that the House record reflects the action to the bill and therefore they do not need to be reflected online.  He also immediately claimed that he did not change the record at the request of legislators who did not want their voting records known, even though no comments were made that would have elicited such a comment and his original assessment of posting the results on Feb 17th included staff consultation.

    (my emphasis added)

    Stop! This is where this should have ended. The party leaders or the executive board should have track down Mr. Nelson, pulled him aside and tried to come up came up with a with a reasonable compromise. Instead, they let the situation spiral out of control. Representative Nelson isn’t completely off the hook. He is just as responsible. If this was dealt right there and then, we wouldn’t be were we are at now. I suspect everyone would have a much better opinion of the legislature as a whole. What I saw here was a lack of leadership.

    Now we have all kinds of ‘Report Cards’ showing some are more Republican than others. We have a bunch of people name calling, and acting like grade schoolers. That is a not a good way to help build the party. It is great way to make enemies.

    No one in the House or Senate represents the Republican party. They might have a ‘R’ after their name, they might even be the leader of the GOP, however they do not representative the party; they represent their districts. They take how to vote from the people they represent, or at least they should.

    Who is more conservative? It really doesn’t matter! What matter is how well these 105 legislators represent their districts.

    1. anon

      How do you know that leadership didn’t try to pull Nelson aside and find a solution for this?

      Have you ever observed the way Nelson operates. When he’s on a mission, common sense goes out the window. Martyr without a cause.

      Recall the recent event where the Speaker requested a meeting with Nelson, only to be refused. Don’t kid yourself, Nelson doesn’t want this to go away…he loves the attention.

      He still can’t figure out why he can’t throw his own teammates under the bus daily, then expect their support on his issues???

      1. MC Post author

        If the leadership did indeed try, they didn’t try hard enough. But don’t get me wrong here, Repersentative Nelson owns a good part of all this.

      2. devil in da details

        You mean like the meeting mercer claimed nelson had, that never happened between nelson and rausch? Were mercer claimed on good source that nelson yelled at rausch?

        Everytime these details of these claims come out, they are shown to be lies, that is why they make all these wild claims with no specifics so their lies won’t be caught until to late.

    2. grudznick

      We are half the way done with the Conservatives with Common Sense score card based on this years bills. We are rating 20 bills that will vet out the true conservatives, the poseursers, and the flaming east river libbies.

      This is going to be the definative score card. There are still a couple of our bills in play and I am waiting for my emails that I automatically get about them.

      1. Wrinkley Old Guy

        When is the scorecard coming out for the recomendations on how how much each female legislator should weigh GRUD? You were certainly vocal about that a few days ago.

        Gruds political views = NO FATTIES!!!!

        1. grudznick

          If they vote the “right” way, then who cares? Right?

          And who am I to criticize a goofy haircut? Huh?

          Those are only two questions. Not four.

  11. truth

    ?A good government implies two things,? wrote James Madison in 1788. The first is ?fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people.? The second is ?a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained.?

  12. insomniac

    Here’s where I fall. I am not a true believer in Lust or Rausch but Stace is not selling me on himself. I like them all and I just hope they kill HB 1234 so Lust and Rausch’s time isn’t a big mistake. And the bill is a big mistake.

    1. truth

      Has it reached a end??????????
      Are not the people of South Dakota entitled to a answer??

      What the devil went wrong and who messed up?

      The truth will never come to the surface………

      Secrecy is for losers.

      Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity…………..

      What has happen to us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. MC Post author

        Truth, I doubt this has reached an end, more like a cease fire until this session is over.

        The only way we will get an answer is if the public & the media demand it on during the campaigns.

  13. Anonymous

    Lust and Rausch are to the right of Kristi Noem by about $100 Million dollars in non stimulus spending.

    Kristi and Rounds talked and postponed the budget vote until they had federal aid.

    Daugaard, Lust and Rausch made the tough decisions Rounds and Noem couldn’t do.

    There is 0 difference between Rounds and Noem. Lust and Rausch are the real conservatives in SD.

  14. Doug Wiken

    Ellis is like Hummty Dummty, words mean whatever he wants them to mean..depending on situation or argument. His words are like particles with polarity. They can be plus or minus randomly.


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