Mickelson pressing forward on Ballot Measures

From Keloland News:

South Dakota’s House speaker plans to pursue ballot measures to raise tobacco taxes for technical schools and ban out-of-state political contributions to ballot question campaigns.


The Sioux Falls Republican this week formed a ballot question committee for the out-of-state donation ban and says he hopes to start gathering signatures for both measures in August.

Read it here.

Last election Mark Mickelson enjoyed popular support on his Tech School measure, earning deference from many Republicans who otherwise opposed almost all other ballot measures. But, supporting tech schools was a far different proposal than what’s proposed for ’18.

This election the playing field may be different for the Speaker, with a tax increase on tobacco proposed, as well as an out of state ban on ballot contributions the LRC has cautioned may not survive a constitutional challenge

Neither proposal may dissuade some groups from promoting an anti-ballot measure message that some major groups & players demurred on in ’16.

37 Replies to “Mickelson pressing forward on Ballot Measures”

  1. Thomas

    Typical progressive RINO…tax and spend. I’ve never been a smoker, but taxing a select group of people to supposedly help another group is wrong and a classic Democrap strategy.

  2. Anon

    “A similar contribution cap bill failed in the Legislature this year, and Mickelson says the Republican-held chambers are unlikely to support a tobacco tax increase. The 51-year-old businessman says that he concluded that the ideas would attract public support even if he couldn’t get fellow lawmakers to pass them.”

    So the Speaker of the House is flat-out admitting that he can’t get the Legislature to support his ideas and he needs to circumvent them.

  3. Gadfly

    These Mickelson initiatives are amazingly bad ideas. I’m not sure which is worse… proposing a tax increase or advocating a blatantly unconstitutional attack on free speech. Glad he decided not to run for Governor.

  4. Anon

    This article addresses 2 of his proposals (tax increase and out-of-state money ban). Is his still going through with the 3rd- violating constitutional rights and forcing groups to disclose donors?

  5. Anonymous

    Isn’t it odd for a sitting legislator who belongs to a huge majority (and occupies a leadership position no less) to be proposing ballot measures? If you have a good idea, no one is better suited to advance that idea because YOU’RE AN ACTUAL LEGISLATOR.

    Problem is, the legislature as a whole doesn’t represent the majority of South Dakotans. That’s why we have all these ballot measures in the first place. Mickelson’s actions make it pretty hard to deny.

  6. Anonymous

    Mark Mickelson claims to be a conservative, but at best, he has always been a moderate. His recent actions, however, make me think that he has moved to the Left. I would love for the conservatives in the legislature to unseat him from leadership.

    1. Thomas

      Anon, unfortunately, there aren’t enough true consrtvatives left to get the job done. SD has been trendng left because the voters have become apathetic and generally vote for the candidate with the “R” by their name without looking at how they actually vote. The entire nation has slowly embraced progressivism and all the deviance and Socialist tendencies that come with them.

      1. Anonymous

        Thomas King

        The entire nation has slowly embraced progressivism and all the deviance and Socialist tendencies that come with them. Deviance? Can you explain?

        1. Thomas

          People “identifying” as something they aren’t and for which there is no medical or scientific evidence. Deviants. Mental defects. Pick.

          1. Anonymous

            you are always mentioning that as if were a fixation. Are you sure you are not the one trying to deal with something that you describe as Deviant? It is not that uncommon you know. There are professionals that will help you work thru whatever it is.

            1. Thomas

              Typical leftist…no facts, no cogent argument, just deflection. Less than 2% of the total population claims to be a different sex. A statistically insignificant figure. Why must the other 98% abandon OUR beliefs to be bullied into their dysfunctional lives? My issue is being bullied and denigrated because I refuse to accept their deviant lifestyle.

      2. Anonymous

        As the original anonymous author of the post to which you, Thomas, responded, I must point out that I think that you largely correct. One of the unfortunate side effects of the dominance of the Republican Party in South Dakota is that everyone who wants to get elected, except the most hardcore of Leftists, registers and runs as a Republican. We need more hard-fought primaries in which it becomes clear who the conservatives truly are. While many people in our country have moved Leftward, the conservatives are still the largest group.

  7. Anonymous

    So, I want to raise cigarette taxes and at the same time I’d like to limit the companies who manufacture the product from exercising their right to speak by opposing the tax increase.

    Makes sense to me.

  8. Anon

    I don’t get the connection between tobacco and technical schools.
    Why make the smokers pay more? Why not charge the students more?

    1. anon1

      There is no connection between the Tech Schools and tobacco…and the students in the SD Tech Schools are already paying substantially more than they are in surrounding states. In fact, our two-year colleges have the third highest tuition and fees in the nation.

      That’s where the two intersect. While I’m not crazy about the Speaker’s plan, what he’s trying to accomplish is to find a new revenue stream that would allow the schools to lower their tuition and become more competitive with other states in the region.

      Workforce development is vital, not only for the growth of South Dakota’s economy, but also for us to even maintain. Students are much more likely to stay in the state that they attend college in. South Dakota can’t continue to lose its’ young people to surrounding states.

      1. Thomas

        While I agree with the tenor of your post, where does the taxation end? Do we seek out niche groups upon which to impose taxes “for the good of X group” at the expense of another “Y group”? Mickelson is a progressive with an “R” by his name. Beware these politicians because they lie and deceive to remain in office while doing the opposite of what they claim. At least the Demoncrats are up front about their progressive/Socialist agenda.

        1. Wow

          We thought we had such a good idea to ban smoking in establishments, which ended up wreaking havoc with our video lottery. Now we want people to buy more/pay more for cigarettes to help fund tech schools. Makes no sense.

  9. Anon

    the only reason for raising taxes on smokers is because they are socially unacceptable and nobody likes them,

    So one could suggest an alternative, some other group everybody hates: news reporters. Raise taxes on newspapers.

    If you don’t believe this, suggest raising taxes on people that most of the public likes: pet owners. Propose a big tax increase on pet food. See what happens

    1. Anon

      This could be fine-tuned as a tax only on dog food but not cat food. Or vice versa.
      We could have lots of debate about the relative merits of both species and why one should be taxed but not the other.
      Think of the press coverage.

  10. Steve Sibson

    I think a ballot measure that would tax registered Democrats in order to fund healthcare would be interesting.

  11. Troy Jones

    Three things are certain:

    Death, taxes and a majority of people who have no problem taxing other people.

  12. Anon

    Taxes should be levied on people who aren’t paying attention and won’t realize what’s happening. When the price of the product they consume inexplicably goes up, they will blame greedy CEOs for charging too much.

    Smokers aren’t in that category of people. They are on to Taxation. They see it first hand when they cross state lines or go to the reservations to buy cigarettes. They are going to complain.

    So some other group of unaware people will have to be targeted. Like new parents. They are too busy and don’t get enough sleep to pay any attention to how much they are taxed. You can levy a big tax on every package of disposable diapers, claim you’re doing it to save the planet from garbage, and the left will love it because they think babies are a problem anyway. And the people paying the tax will have no idea why diapers cost more.

  13. William Beal

    I suspect a $1 increase in the tax would not only fail to raise the projected revenue, but would more likely reduce the revenue currently collected at the current rate.

    It’s reasonable to assume that many smokers already purchase their tobacco in surrounding states with substantially lower tobacco taxes.

    State cigarette tax rates as of April 1, 2017.
    1.53 South Dakota
    0.44 North Dakota
    0.60 Wyoming
    0.64 Nebraska


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