Matt Michels going to part time

Daugaard couldn’t have made a better selection to be his running mate in 2010, and I really did like the idea of a full time Lt. Governor. Michels brought many talents to the position. But I guess we will have to start adjusting back to the idea of a part time Lt. Governor.

Matt Michels, South Dakota?s second-ever full-time lieutenant governor, is cutting back on his time spent in the car and in the office.

The 52-year-old Yankton resident said Tuesday that his back hurts and he wants more time with his family. So, as of this week, the No. 2 job in state government is back to a half-time position.

Michels said he developed muscular pain in his back last year while leading the state?s efforts to combat flooding on the Missouri River…

Going forward, he?ll work mostly from Yankton, communicating with the governor and staff by email.

He still plans to be in Pierre at least one week each month and he will continue to run the Senate when the Legislature is in session.

Michels also will continue to be in charge of the South Dakota National Guard, supervise the Tribal Relations secretary and serve as interim secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I have never heard a bad word spoken about Lt. Governor Matt Michels. He is one of the smartest, funniest and friendliest people you will ever meet. Good luck getting your back healed up Matt!

19 Replies to “Matt Michels going to part time”

  1. Anonymous

    Michels is a genuine person. I’ve always said that the best thing Rounds ever did as Governor was choose Daugaard and Daugaard has followed suit and done the same type of thing by picking Michels.

    Rounds, Daugaard and Michels really get what South Dakota needs. I’m thoroughly impressed.

  2. Anonymous

    On the bright side, in Yankton he will be closer to the source of that nummy lean finely ground beef. Maybe it can be purchased directly from the plant and it won’t even have to be mixed with less lean, less finely ground beef. He can just eat it pure and straight.

    1. Jay BK Slater

      @Anonymous April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm…Based on your vast knowledge what is the cost of tea in China these days? Aside from revealing your ignorance with your detrimental slur regarding a long standing respectable industry you offer nothing on topic. Simply maligning as a pain elsewhere. Lt Governor Michels has done an outstanding job. In this day and age of telecommuting he is more than capable of maintaining his high standard of service to our state. Keep up the great work Lt Governor Michels!

  3. sinkiller

    Awww?Did the poor widdle El Tee Gov hurt its back sitting in all those nasty meetings fighting off that mean ol? flood? Maybe mommy can kiss it and make it better?

    C?mon, man. If the guy has a bad back, I feel for him. I know from personal experience how awful that can be. But why try to gin up this heroic portrait of a wounded-in-action warrior? It?s insulting to those of us who really did spend endless days breaking our backs filling, hefting, moving, and placing countless sandbags and then spent at least three seemingly-endless months wrecking our knees scrambling, every d**n day, over those sandbag barriers to fight off the encroaching water and save what we could of our possessions and our homes.

    Don?t get me wrong: I appreciate the energy that went into all of those back-stage efforts to get *someone* to do *something* to ease the crisis. But to claim a Medal of Honor for it? That?s just not right.

    But hey, it?s good to know that ?half-time? work translates into one week a month in the office. That must mean that ?full-time? is now two weeks per month. I look forward to starting my new schedule!

    1. name

      Daugaard was paid $17,000 as a part time. It’s not like Michels is getting rich part time (or full time).

      1. katzy

        If Michels gets half his salary for half-time, he will be making considerably more than Daugaard did as half-time though.

  4. Troy Jones


    He isn’t ginning up sympathy. C’mon. Every change is read for larger implications (see Cory’s post speculating it takes him out of succeeding Dauguard), personal issues is read he had an affair or is dying of cancer, etc. I think he just chose to end the speculation and admit he can’t drive back and forth to Pierre.

    As you said, you had back problems (I had back surgery). You should know a five hour car ride would set you back (pun intended) all week.

  5. Jay BK Slater


    Don’t suppose you happened to be working sandbag barriers next to a bunch of people wearing uniforms that normally work part-time 2 days a month but volunteered to help you and communities save property? Lt Gov Michels was Gov Daugaard’s right hand man in that coordinated effort. Hope you were one of the many that were able to save property through his efforts. I know a lot of people that telecommute so maybe you can just hold off and see if he continues to do his job.

  6. sinkiller

    Troy: I understand completely about back problems, and the pain that comes with long car trips. If the explanation had stopped there, I wouldn’t have had as much of a problem with it. (I may have still questioned Michels’ commitment to the job, and wondered aloud why he hadn’t just moved to Pierre like most of us have had to do, but I wouldn’t have called foul on the back issue alone.) But someone ? and it seems to be Michels himself, based on the news story quoted above ? found it necessary to throw in the canard about Michels ?developing muscular pain in his back last year while leading the state?s efforts to combat flooding on the Missouri River.? If that’s not a bald-faced grab for undue glory, I’m not sure what is.

    Jay: Thank you for making my point. There were plenty of people who really did backbreaking work to combat the flood, and they all deserve our gratitude. Their efforts are cheapened and disrespected when someone cries, shades of Fred Sanford, ?Oh, my back!? and implies that the pain is the result of work that others actually did.

    Michels may be a nice guy, but he sure seems to be turning his back (two can play at that pun game, Troy) on the commitment he made to the people of South Dakota just over one short year ago.

  7. name

    Daugaard and Michels have cut the budget after two years and helped our state to meet the budget shortfall. Rounds did a great job as Governor but Obama is ruining this country.

    1. Troy Jones

      Cory, it could be simple. Michels might wish he could continue to do what the Governor asked but just can’t do the commute anymore. I suppose the Governor could have agreed to do a Panetta and fly the plane to pick him up every week and take him home. 🙂

      As one who ended up having back surgery after putting up with sporadic pain that became virtually chronic as it got worse, I can tell you somedays the drive to the office was too much. Before I had the surgery, I had a podium built for my desk, when I went to movies we got a back row seat on the aisle for my wife to sit so I could stand against the back wall, when I was at meetings I had to kneel at the desk or conference table. And, maybe this is tmi, but going to the bathroom in a public bathroom was humiliating. After sitting, you discover you can’t get up without kneeling, making moans with every little move while people wait anxiously to take your place. When you came out, the person looked at you quite funny.

      Driving in the car was deceptive. The discomfort was minimal while you sat but the prolonged pressure on the disc was such that when you tried to get out of the car, tears came to your eyes. I even kept a rag under the seat because to get out of the car, I would have to kind of roll out down onto my knees, take five minutes to slowly straighten and then stand up. And once you got on your feet, you couldn’t sit down again. Period.

  8. Troy Jones

    At the end of the day, sometimes people should be taken at there word. Only scumbags whose word means nothing are incapable of taking people at their word.

    If we argue about this, the idea we can dialogue is impossible.

  9. sinkiller

    “Troy”: Huh?!? Sorry, but your last response (is that really you?) was rather incoherent.

    It was, apparently, Michels’ own words that tried to blame his back issues on his ?leading the state’s efforts to combat flooding on the Missouri River.? You seem to be unwilling to acknowledge this, so that makes you the one who is ?incapable of taking people at their word.? So are you the scumbag you’re talking about?

    Your definition of dialogue also has me scratching my head. In SD Republican circles, does ?dialogue? include slavish, full-blinders-on devotion to the powers-that-be? If so, that’s not the Republican Party I’ve called home for more than 40 years.

    “name”: Daugaard started out strong last year. Although he got a bit wobbly in places, he implemented overall budget cuts, and achieved some semblance of fiscal order. This year? Not so much. For example: millions and millions of new dollars (upwards of $25 million, as I recall) thrown at a failing education system, packaged as some kind of bogus ?reform.?

    Also, Daugaard may have only made $17,000 as a part-time LTG, but the State’s press release is inappropriately vague on what Michels will be collecting, saying only that his ?salary as lieutenant governor will be cut to correspond with the change.? That sounds to me like it is going from full-time (at close to $120,000 I believe) to ?half-time? (at $60,000?). If so, that’s not bad for one week a month in the office.

    When are we going to hold politicians accountable to the commitments they make to us? (And this includes our own, Republicans!)

  10. Stace Nelson

    Sad to hear LtGov Michels is having problems with his back.

    LtGov Michels previously served in the US Navy overseas in areas known to be dangerous to US Personnel for extended periods of time. I extremely doubt that the mention of the circumstances in how he injured himself was an attempt to grab false glories. From my understanding, the statement is factually correct.

    From my experience dealing with him, he is a humble God fearing man.

    I may disagree with some of the legislation that he and the administration have supported in the past; however, I still have respect for him. My prayers for his health and quick recovery, if possible.

  11. Les

    If the Lt Gov was needed full time and cannot handle that time, he should resign and allow a full time replacement. My opinion.

  12. sinkiller

    Sorry to disagree with you, Rep. Nelson, but past performance doesn’t excuse current misfeasance. The motto, after all, is SEMPER Fidelis*: ALWAYS Faithful, not “Faithful until it’s convenient to not be faithful, and then we’ll excuse you because you were faithful once.”

    We should expect better from our elected leaders, especially the #2 man in the state.

    (*Though perhaps that doesn’t apply to a Blue Jacket?)


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