In Aberdeen, there’s a big fight taking place in the newspaper between Democratic City Councilman Mark Remily and Republican State Legislator Dan Kaiser that all started when Remily sent a letter to the editor to the Aberdeen American News which said in part:
In the American News on June 15 (“Legislature split over protection orders for same sex abuses”), columnist Bob Mercer refers to Senate Bill 147, which defines family members covered by domestic abuse protection orders. Its original Senate version was fair. Then it went to the House. There, Kaiser offered his amendment to change the wording to cover only those in domestic abuse be of the opposite sex.
I cannot find the words to describe how angry I am at this hateful position by a person supposedly representing the people of District 3. Kaiser is saying that if you’re gay or lesbian you have no right to be protected by law enforcement. And this despicable legislator is an Aberdeen Police officer. How hypocritical is that?
In my opinion, Dan Kaiser as an elected official is a crime. Someone in District 3 needs to step up and run against this discriminating individual and get him gone from South Dakota politics forever.
Aberdeen City Council
The problem with Remily’s statements? In a doltish manner, about the only thing he got right was the spelling of Kaiser’s name:
On Friday, June 21, in this newspaper, Mark Remily, Aberdeen City Council, as identified in the paper, made some untrue accusations about me.
We must all understand how domestic violence arrests may affect you and your family. The law is currently written that if you have ever lived with someone — college roommate, basic training roommate — it is a domestic relationship. For example, if you lived with someone 10 years ago and today you get into an argument and you push your former roommate, law enforcement must arrest you. You will go to jail, career may be over, you lose your gun rights, etc.
After reading the letter, I’m disappointed in Mr. Remily’s mistaken idea of how the legislative process works. First of all, Mr. Remily states Senate Bill 147’s “original Senate version was fair.” However, Mr. Remily never cited I was a co-sponsor of the bill! I sponsored this bill because in its original fair state it removed the wording “people who have lived together” and replaced it with “people in an intimate relationship.” When the bill went to the Senate, they removed the new wording of the bill and put in the old wording, which would again require law enforcement to arrest former roommates.
When the bill came to the House, I tried to pass an amendment to restore the bill to its original fair state. My amendment failed. I knew if I did pass an amendment, the bill would have to go to conference committee and be voted on again, so in order to protect roommates from arrest, I added the amendment to change the wording to opposite sex. It passed.
I testified in conference committee about how the opposite sex bill was unfair and based on my testimony the amendment was taken out. I attempted one last time to amend the bill to its original “fair” state. It did not pass, and because the committee could not come to an agreement, the bill died.
Rep. Dan Kaiser, District 3, lives in Aberdeen.
Despite the fact Kaiser was a sponsor of the measure, Remily conveniently ignored facts in his attempt to characterize Kaiser to possibly set himself up for a run against him next year.
Even more concerning, as a City Councilman, how does that work when publicly commenting against City Employee policeman Dan Kaiser? Wouldn’t Remily have some responsibility – speaking as one of Kaiser’s bosses – to be accurate and not create a hostile work environment? Especially considering he got much of it wrong?
To date, Remily has yet to publicly admit his error, or at the very least, to apologize for mischaracterizing things so badly.
But then again, being a Democrat means never having to say you’re sorry.