I had the opportunity today to listen to Attorney General Marty Jackley as he spoke to a group of about 40 people in Brookings today on a number of topics, and opened himself up for a wide range of questions from the audience. You don’t often get a lot of opportunities to ask our statewide elected officials open ended questions, so it was a rare opportunity from the mixed audience of local businessmen and women, as well as some of the Republican faithful.
Introduced by State Representative Scott Munsterman, Scott enthusiastically told the group that several months ago he told Marty he was all in on Marty’s candidacy to become the next Governor of South Dakota.
Marty spoke at length about IM22, and despite yesterday’s coverage from the Argus, as I’d suspected, his thoughts on an ethics panel weren’t far from my own. He indicated that in his travels, people weren’t worried about campaign finance. And they certainly aren’t worried about paying for campaigns. But they do want to see some form of ethics panel – and his thoughts along those lines mirrored mine yesterday; where it could take the form of a panel to hear many of these issues that are too small to prosecute, but should be looked into nonetheless.
He quickly shifted from initiated measures, and laid out his rudimentary campaign plan of five areas he would focus on as Governor;
- Economic development, including such components as workforce development, housing, and engaging businessmen who understand development.
- Improving Education and working further with tech schools our university system
- In Health Care – He noted that there could be a delay in repealing Obamacare, and Medicaid expansion could still be on the table. He noted that Health care reform from the federal government could come in the form of block grants, and the next governor may need to know what to do with them.
- Public safety was one of his five planks, and addressing concerns in law enforcement with regards to addressing meth use, other drugs, drug treatment, drug courts, and veteran courts was important.
- Quality of life – Why does he want to be gov? He cited that we have a great state & opportunities, and he wants that for his children.
Marty was very pointed in comments criticizing Congress and talking about the work that the Attorney Generals had been doing in challenging Obamacare, the Waters of the US (WOTUS), etcetera, noting that while the Attorney Generals were doing the heavy lifting, all Congress did “was send a press release” – a theme he repeated a couple of times, as he noted that the Federal Government continuously fails in it’s oversight and it’s left to the AG’s to clean up the mess, specifically citing that “AG’s have stepped in and accomplished solutions” and “Congress passes resolutions and little else.”
The Jackley challenge and criticism against Congress as a whole seems to be a sharpening of rhetoric, as he develops his line of attack against his likely opponent, Congresswoman Kristi Noem. It’s expected that Noem would probably be challenging Pierre as an outsider candidate to State Government.
As he continued, Marty did shift back to some of the ethics and oversight legislation he’s planning on bringing this next session, and specifically addressed that he’d like to see a three pronged approach in new conflict of interest laws –
- You can’t have oversight your own contract.
- Whistleblower protections; you won’t lose your job if you report double dealing.
- And that financial crimes, such as EB5, are on the same footing as regular crimes, noting if you steal $1000 from your public employer, it should be the same crime if you steal $1000 from someone else. It should not be a misdemeanor.
That’s the lion’s share of the takeaway from today’s luncheon wth the Attorney General – A platform, lots of content, and maybe a couple of potential barbs that might be used in the upcoming Gubernatorial campaign.