Legislator claims redistricting plan “shady politics,” primarily based on proposals for his district.

South Dakota’s decennial redistricting process seems to have been proceeding in an orderly and cordial manner to this point. Mostly.

“Shady politics?” Did I say it was cordial?

District 16 State Representative Kevin Jensen has been on facebook in recent weeks loudly protesting legislative redistricting, and going so far to attack others and refer to the process as shady politics. Why? Because of how it affects his legislative district, for one.

If you read into the comment section of Jensen’s public Facebook post, Jensen characterizes it as some evil plan to do away with conservative incumbents…


…and according to him, his district – District 16 – is ‘perfect’ the way it is. And all this shady political redistricting talk is being driven by some of those in Senate Leadership.

The problem with Jensen’s demands to preserve his existing District, is that there is more to South Dakota than his district. And his argument that it pits “4 conservative incumbent representatives and at least one new candidate who has announced, and 2 incumbent senators against each other in the primary” is beyond ridiculous.

I was floored when I read him saying we’re now supposed to worry about “at least one new candidate who has announced.” We supposedly have to base the state’s legislative map for the next decade in part on someone who has yet to collect 1 signature?

Never mind the fact that we also somehow can’t have candidates who might have to run against each other in the primary?

I’m sure many legislators would like to keep things exactly the way they are, as well as set them up for their friends who just announced for office, but that part is not in the state constitution which dictates “Legislative districts shall consist of compact, contiguous territory and shall have population as nearly equal as is practicable, based on the last preceding federal census.”

There will be candidates who plan on running who have to shift gears because things change, and there will be existing officeholders who have to run against each other. Try not to be shocked, but legislators who are currently in office will run against other legislators who are currently in office. It’s a called a primary election. And from what I hear, we have a few of those.

Some of this may come to a head tonight at the Sioux Falls legislative redistricting meeting tonight at 6 o’clock at the HUB Building at Southeast Technical College (HUB303, 2001 N. Career Avenue) in Sioux Falls, and you never know, it could end up being a little heated.  You can find the agenda here.

Stay tuned, because there is more definitely coming on this.

4 thoughts on “Legislator claims redistricting plan “shady politics,” primarily based on proposals for his district.”

  1. When almost the entire Legislature consists of Republicans, I’m shocked there aren’t more than 6 incumbent Republicans being forced into primaries.

    Like I say to the whiners in golf who want more or less strokes or want to be able to fluff up their lies in the rough, buck up baby and let’s tee it up.

    These legislators need to buck it up.

  2. My assumption is this starts with the one proposed map that has Hartford and Dell Rapids in the same district, potentially putting Hansen, Pischke, Soye, and Milstead together. I’m sure there are some that find that to be a great idea and some that find that to be offensive, but that really shouldn’t be part of the conversation. How do we slice up districts that have the same population in a way that make sense? And does it make sense for Dell Rapids to be in the same district as folks in SF? I’m not so sure. Hartford and Dells probably have more in common than Dells and SF.

  3. Yet another RINO who despises jobs, prosperity and growth. He’d obviously prefer South Lincoln county becoming a Red rural slum so he can stay in office. Running the Democrat game plan: keep ’em poor and voting for you.

  4. We attended the forum, and ended up feeling sorry for the people who have to serve on the committee.

    It seems the location of Beadle County isn’t the only thing causing confusion in the redistricting matter.
    It would be very helpful if maps were displayed showing current, past, and proposed district lines as it became apparent some people don’t know where they are at present.
    Two people in the group testified that District 25 already goes “all the way up to Flandreau.” They were corrected by Representative Pischke who pointed out District 25 has never included Moody County and he doesn’t think it should start now
    (as proposed by Senator Schoenbeck.)
    Lora Hubbel made an appearance to complain about gerrymandering, but offered no specifics about any of the current proposals. It was clear nobody understood what she was talking about.

    Other people in attendance repeated the oft-heard complaint that residents in rural counties never get to meet their representatives. Those of us who have organized and publicized legislative cracker barrels, Meet & greets, and Coffee & Conversations know what attendance is like at these events and find the whining about “never meeting representatives” to be quite tiresome.
    Given that the population of Minnehaha County is now nearly 200,000, and a quick look around the room showed about 60 people in attendance (and not everybody there came from Minnehaha County,) you would think the people complaining about “never meeting representatives” would have figured out what the problem is.

    It doesn’t matter what the redistricting committee decides, there will be complaints.

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