From my mailbox:
From: “Wilcox, James C”
Date: November 18, 2016 at 9:11:14 AM PST
Subject: SD Electric Utility Company annual dinner slated for Dec 8 at the Holiday Inn is cancelled.
The South Dakota Electric Utility Companies has traditionally held an annual Christmas legislative social in December at the Sioux Falls Holiday Inn. We have been holding this event every December since before World War 2. It has been well attended and I believe folks really look forward to the gathering.
I regret to write to inform you that because of the uncertainty that Initiated Measure 22, recently passed by a vote of the people, has caused, we have decided to cancel this year’s event.
I was told by my mentor Angus C. Anson many years ago that if you think you are going to buy a vote with a meal both you and the legislator involved are in the wrong business. I believe that the folks who devote their lives to public service in South Dakota are of the highest character and in a state like South Dakota where we don’t have enough public funds to support staff for legislators that events like this provide a service to the state as we seek to communicate issues of importance to legislators. In the past the lack of statutory limits on these kinds of events has given lobbyists the knowledge that we have a special obligation to never lie and as importantly never speculate as if you speculate and are wrong it may appear as if you are lying. A lobbyist will get to tell one lie to a legislator and that will be it.
As I do not have email addresses for the newly elected legislators, you will likely also receive a paper letter from me with this same message.
So, we are cancelling this year’s event. I hope to see you again somewhere. My best to you and your family for the holidays. Thank you so much for your service to South Dakota and best wishes for a productive legislative session in 2017.
Jim Wilcox, Principal Manager
Xcel Energy, South Dakota
Here’s one more you can blame Weiland and Frankenfeld for.