Mr. Nelson is moved to front of the class

It looks like Representative Stace Nelson is in trouble with the house leadership again.

From the Mitchell Daily Republic

House Speaker Val Rausch said Thursday he reassigned Rep. Stace Nelson, R Fulton, to a new seat in the House as punishment, because Nelson verbally abused another House member in the chamber Tuesday afternoon.
Rausch, R-Big Stone City, said he took the action after receiving confirmation from witnesses who saw the altercation.

Representative Nelson acknowledges there was indeed an incident.  Reassigning seats is a elementary school punishment.  This is not for the legislature of the State of South Dakota.  What’s next, copy pages from the dictionary?

As a result of this altercation, there was a rumor started that Representative Nelson might consider resigning.  This is false.  Representative Nelson stated that no less that seven legislators approached him and requested he not resign.

The gentlemen from Fulton stated House rules does not give the speaker the authority to punish anyone.  There is a process for handling misconduct.

The tension was obvious Thursday afternoon in the House chamber. There was little small talk, and several state Highway Patrol officers were highly visible in the halls around the House chamber.
Rausch also had a security shadow.
?Quite frankly, he?s scaring everybody,? Rausch said about Nelson.

What should be the next step?

Should Mr. Nelson resign?

Should the House leadership resign?

Should the House start an disciplinary procedures? Against Mr. Nelson? Against the House leadership?

The next few weeks in Pierre will be interesting to say the least.  What ever the problem here is, it needs to be taken care of, it is starting to get in the way of the people’s business.

81 Replies to “Mr. Nelson is moved to front of the class”

  1. troy jones

    The Statue of Liberty is no longer saying, ‘Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses.’ She’s got a baseball bat and yelling, ‘You want a piece of me?’ (Robin Williams)

    Time to move on. Nobody wants to play baseball with Stace anymore.

  2. Anonymous

    People are overreacting to Stace. What I’m waiting to see is how many of his fellow legislators follow him and Lance out of Caucus. 4? 6?

    How many conservative Republicans will stand up against the tyranny of the rich man Lust and little rascally Rausch?

  3. Anonymous

    The only over reacting in this case is from leadership. You are right MC, this is what elementary teachers do to punish students who haven’t been paying attention to what they were being taught. Both Raush and Lust were out of line in their actions against Nelson and Russell. Nelson and Russell were elected to serve the people who elected them, not to kowtow to leadership. This was nothing more than retaliation against the two for questioning the actions of leadership last year. I certainly wish the House leadership would grow up!

  4. A-nono-mouse

    Where is Mr. Russell in all of this? Two big boys getting censured by leadership and kicked out of caucus? What gives here? WHO is to blame? NCIS and SD ATTY confused or just delinquint? ?? . (4-21-11) Supreme Court Disciplines Hot Springs Lawmaker for violating the rules of professional conduct for lawyers. Russell violated rules handling an investigation of a contractor and then-mayor of Hot Springs Carl Oberlitner regarding construction of an addition to the city’s golf course. Russell also released a news release critical of the judge in the case.
    Russell failed to use his independent judgment investigating the golf course in 2007 and used the state’s attorney’s office to enhance his political career, according to court documents.

    (1-10-11) State Court Considers Discipline: In a hearing Monday, a lawyer for the Disciplinary Board said the panel recommended the public scolding because Russell appeared to use a grand jury for political purposes rather than for law enforcement. The board lawyer also said Russell improperly issued a press release criticizing a circuit judge. ((Rapid city Journal press release.))

    Rausch, Lust, Gosch, and Cronin must be wrong along with judges, boards of higher legal authority, and the house members who to date have said nothing publicly.

  5. A-nono-mouse

    Copied from War College;

    “Troy Jones
    2012.01.27 at 16:10

    Jim Abdnor once said something to the effect:

    ?My most important job is not to vote. It is to change other votes to mine.?

    The point he was making is the people of South Dakota want results and not a guy sitting in his chair casting votes.

    For Senator Abdnor effectiveness was really forming coalitions and relationships quietly overtime.

    While there are other means of changing votes (e.g. speeches), in the end, effective legislating is to make your vote into two, three, ten, twenty votes.

    It appears Representatives Nelson & Russell are comfortable being a couple of votes in a body of 70. Otherwise, rather than trying to prove themselves ?right? today, they?d have assumed the following Pooh quote and tried to rebuild a relationship.

    ??If the person you are talking to doesn?t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.? (Winnie the Pooh)

    Instead, Representative Nelson appears to have decided to continue the fight: ?If I?m gonna go down I?m gonna do it with style. You won?t hear me surrender, you won?t hear me confess cause you?ve left me with nothing but I have worked with less.? (Ani DiFranco)”

  6. William

    The Highway Patrol in the hallways, if nothing else, DO appear to be “over the top”…

    I’ve had cordial relationships with all parties concerned, thus far anyway, and I hope to continue those relationships.

    That said, whatever it is that’s going on, is not being handled well.

    That’s not good for anyone, nor is it good for the state.

  7. Anonymous

    State patrol was absolutely justified as this guy is an unstable temper tantrum throwing time bomb. Physical threats by people fully capable of going postal should be taken seriously. He is not capable of self control.

    1. Anonymous

      I agree with William. Rep. Nelson is not a threat to anyone in the legislature, including leadership. In fact, legislators are safer with Nelson there to help protect them! This whole incident has been blown out of proportion and has been mishandled on a grand scale. I’m saddened and disappointed in leadership.

      1. Anonymous

        Ask yourself why no one in the house is defending him. Stace tell us is rumor true you informed the entire caucus you’d use a BAT on caucus members if that’s what it took!?!

        My God, this guy needs meds! If this was school he’d be expelled. House leaders were more than patient.

        1. Les

          If we can’t beat him, eat him? Fear mongers from DC to SD? The new GOP? I’ve met Stace and on his worst day he wouldn’t scare me.

          The boys have already proven their ability to defend down at the bar.

          The extra patrol on duty is there to create two impressions: 1. This is what will happen if you fight city hall. 2. See how dangerous Stace Nelson is!

          If he’s a problem, our leadership should get some legs under them and censure him so we can finally hear some sworn testimony.

      2. Anonymous

        Your comments are a libel suit waiting to happen. I look forward to Rep Nelson pursuing a case against you. The discovery process alone is going to exciting to find out who you are.

  8. Anonymous

    I have observed and been a participant in the legislative process for over thirty years and I have never seen a more unstable individual serve than Rep. Nelson. I share the belief of the House leadership that he is capable of violence against his fellow legislators.The presence Thursday of additional Highway Patrol Officers was justified and in my judgement necessary.
    His behavior is such that the voters of his district have become disenfranchised, a result for which he bears full responsibility. Rep. Nelson is doing more damage to the conservative cause than any left wing extremist could dream of doing.

      1. Anon

        Those in the Capitol have a different opinion, but we are elitist anti-American nazis (according to the 75 blog posts of Stace I’ve read in the last 6 months).

    1. Anonymous

      I look forward to Rep Nelson pursuing a libel case against you for this post. Just the discovery process alone to find out who you are is going to be exciting.

      1. Anonymous

        Before you get too excited, I recommend that you learn about libel and public officials. Of particular interest is the US Supreme Court case The New York Times vs. Sullivan. Google it and learn.

    2. Tamera Weis

      I don’t think that those kind of comments should be made under an anonymous banner–if you want to make comments like that– be an adult and SIGN YOU NAME TO THEM!

  9. William

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but knowing the parties involved I find it difficult to believe that anyone with Stace’s training and background would issue such a threat.

    Indeed, IF evidence of a threat was credible, the prudent thing to do would be to have a restraining order placed against him preventing him from being in close proximity to those he threatened. Having the HP in the halls would certainly offer no protection to anyone, but would only serve to break up a fight and place the instigator under arrest AFTER the incident. That makes no sense. For what it’s worth, IF Stace were to literally attack someone, I suspect a coroner would be more appropriate under those circumstance than the Highway Patrol…

    He’s BIG, he’s LOUD, he’s passionate and noisy but I’ve never considered him a threat and I find it difficult to do so now.

    HP manning the halls of the Capitol smacks of “security theater” and drama, not true security.

    Whatever the case, this situation must be addressed and resolved ASAP and the details made public.

    It appears that our House is dysfunctional and unable to conduct its business in a manner that serves the best interests of the public.

    Thus far, we’re feeding on conflicting rumors and that serves the interests of no one. We need to clean the House and do so in a manner that allows all parties to present their case to the public, sooner rather than later.

    1. Anon

      Jim Fry testified he was fearful of Stace and discussed with lrc staff, was his subjective fear misplaced because the big guy is a teddybear? Others will tell you they are scared too of this nut which slips the subjective to the objective and reality. His way is not the way of reasonable social discourse and he should either go away or being relegated to where he belongs, the sidelines.

      1. William

        If Jim Fry is concerned for his personal safety, then let him make the charge and have leadership take appropriate action.

        Any charge made without effective action is baseless. IF there’s a charge, then MAKE IT.

        There are options provided UNDER LAW that will ensure the safety of the legislators. If these options are not use, we’re reduced to hearsay and rumor mongering.

        It’s time for some “put up, or shut up”, to get this behind us.

        Where is the “adult in charge” in all of this? Someone needs to deal with this, get over it and move on.

        Again, I have too few FACTS to really have a firm opinion. My criticism is that what should have been an intra-party dispute has turned out to be a public relations disaster.

        That this entire incident should have been handled “better” is an understatement.

        1. anon

          The adults in charge ARE dealing with it. The leadership of the caucus is doing what they have been forced to do.

          Stace is unwilling to even discuss the matter with the Speaker. So, what’s he supposed to do? Call Stace’s mother?

          I’m certain further disruptions will create further sanctions. Hopefully censure then expulsion.

          1. MC Post author

            I am going to agree with William here.

            If there is a charge here to make, make the charge.

            If the speaker has the 2/3 votes of the elected members needed to expel him. Do it.

            Unless of course they are afraid of what might come out during the hearings.

            1. Point of order

              Herr Speaker und Herr Majority Leader have already investigated, tried, & convicted Nelson via their newly usurped powers.

              There is a reason why the legislature has a fair due process to handle such issues explicitly written within their rules.

              There is also a reason why Rausch and Lust have conducted their smear campaign outside of that process.

              1. BF

                I really don’t know anything about this, but when has that ever stopped me?

                Is it possible that GOP leadership is trying to avoid actually giving Stace the boot even though the votes are there to do it?

                Could it be that the disciplinary action is being taken in lieu of something more harsh and embarassing for him?

                Is Nelson looking a gift horse in the mouth here? Does he really want to push this thing to the next level?

                Is he being given just enough rope to… well, you know?

                Just askin’.

                1. BF

                  (…psst. Stace, maybe change your party affiliation to Dem or Indy. That way they’ll HAVE to let you… oh… wait… on second thought… scratch that “Dem” idea. Maybe just go Indy ;^)

              2. Tamera Weis

                I, too, am concerned that the Speaker and Majority Leader have a process that they should be following. Instead are doing some political “thing” changing desks, calling the HP, and a security duty for Rauch–how completely childish.

                Where are the adults that aren’t busy assigning blame and playing political games–but are busy resolving the issues and finding ways to get along??

                I am seeing a situation where anyone who doesn’t “toe the line” needs to be taught a lesson–that is political bullying at its very worst.

      2. Mr. Obvious

        The mockery of a hearing they conducted is the exact reason why the legislature has specific rules on how complaints of misconduct are addressed.

        The main LRC witness was threatened that if he in fact disclosed that Lust and others asked about other legislator’s bills, the LRC employee was in violation of the law!

        Fry was chewed out by Nelson over the phone after Fry admitted that he was refusing to provide support to Nelson as instructed by Turbivile.

        If I remember correctly, other House Republicans admitted they agreed Fry had to go at their Oct secret caucus in the Hills? Fry rightfully fearful of losing his job? Or is Nelson so powerful as to incite fear over a 200 mile long telephone line by simply complaining loudly?

        1. LFoss

          And you have specific proof that this occurred?? You don’t…exactly what I thought. This is alot of he said, he said and it seeems that Stace is always in the middle of the drama. I think that my earlier assessment of him was dead on…he is like a middle school girl that didn’t get invited to the sleepover, so he is going to stomp his feet, puff his chest and when that doesn’t work he’ll start rumors and make accusations against those that didn’t invite him. Does he really think that all this has occurred because he disagreed with leadership once…Nope it’s because he can’t act like an adult, so he is being treated like a child…Why not meet with the Speaker to see what he has to say? Oh really your too busy?? Come on Stace you didn’t want to meet with the Speaker, because you are not willing to take any accountability for any of your own actions. You threatened another legislator, you threatened members of your “own” caucus…grow up and act like an adult. If some one disagrees with you or doesn’t give a position of control or power your recourse is not to act like a child but address it like an adult…there are times that you should just agree to disagree. Stace keeps saying that he has all this support from other legislators?? Who? Why are they not speaking out in your defense? Oh it’s because they too recognize that your behavior is childish and you like to play the role of the martyr, but the reality you are no martyr, you are a loose cannon and childish.

          1. Yoda

            Scary me thinks your anger towards the giant one is.

            The dark side is strong in you, it is.

            Troubled are the days for our republic, when such men are attacked from the shadows, it is..

  10. Anonymous

    Ugly Truth, yes I’m sure Facebook is the ultimate arbiter for Nelson’s stability. I assume you are privy to the events of the last week by personal obsevation and if so I can’t for the life of me understand how you reach your conclusions.

    1. Ugly truth

      Nelson is the only one who has came out and given exact details of what was said and done. Rausch and Lust? More of the same of what they did when they caught tampering and obstructing legislator’s bills.

      King Rausch has sole authority to punish all legislators and deny them “privileges” of representing the people that elected them?

      Hello?? As that sinks in, better get a reality check and realize we are seeing who the real bullies are…

  11. Anonymous

    Ugly Truth, I take it from your response you have no personal knowledge of the events that have occurred over the last week. Your conclusions can now be understood. You really don’t know what you are talking about.

  12. MC Post author

    Here is another little tid bit; KDLT News is reporting

    House Speaker Val Rausch of Big Stone City says he is not letting Representative Stace Nelson of Fulton speak during debate because Nelson has refused to meet with him. Rausch wants to discuss allegations that Nelson verbally abused or threatened another House member.

    The information I have is Representative Nelson requested the information be sent in a memo, as he was somewhat short on time. It wasn’t he refused to meet with the speaker, just not right at that time.

    1. Anonymous

      Check rule 1-4 in the red book and tell me where Rausch gets his authority to not allow Nelson to speak? Am I reading it wrong, or is Rausch violating the rules?

      1. The Watcher

        If Rauch is doing what he publicly said that he was doing–then he is in violation of the rules.

        He also made a public statement that he did not remove Rep. Nelsen from the Ag committee because of his opposition to the foreign dairy operation and dispute with the Ag Secretary.

        Then later he told KSFY that he DID remove Rep Nelson from the Ag committee because of his dispute with the Ag Secretary.

        That doesn’t leave our Speaker standing in exceptionally good light does it?

  13. William

    I’m not privy to the internal workings in the House, but from where I sit and with what limited information I do have, I’m concerned that the Speaker has lost his authority in the House.

    What should have been an internal matter, dealt with quickly and satisfactorily to all parties concerned, has spun out of control, into the public eye and is an embarrassment to all involved.

    I’ll state again, I have no “dog in this fight”, I’ve had very good relationships with all involved in this matter, thus far.

    I AM extremely upset that what should have been handled “in house” has now become dirty laundry, exposed to all to the detriment of all concerned.

    Do we have serious issues to deal with? If not, then call the session over and go home. If so, then settle this squabble and move on.

    Is there a designated adult in this issue?

    If not, then we need to find one, ASAP!

    1. anon

      So, what would you suggest the Speaker should have done? Tell Stace to behave?? Oh, that would work.

      This whole situation is a result of Nelson being unwilling to listen to any reasoning from leadership. He only wants the public attention, not a resolution to the issue.

      By the way, the Speaker and the Leader have stronger support than ever in their caucus. It’s Nelson and Russell that have lost all support and respect of their peers.

      1. anonymous

        I do not agree. They do not have support. They are weak people who hide behind their titles. If they were so strong then they should be professiional enough not to air all of this. They are shameful and disgraceful. Not recognizing Nelson on the floor was very, very childish…hey, and what about another House member calling someone else a pice of shit…he got away with that totall swept under the carpet if Mr. Ellis’s report is true. Yet that guy is allowed to speak on the floor ALL of the time. Yup, favorites are being played because that man does not cross leadership..he plays their game!

        1. anon

          Professional enough to not air all this???

          Work backwards on all of Stace’s problems in the legislature, and you’ll find that it was he who always wanted to make sure the media was involved.

          Leadership has nothing to hide, or no reason to want this circus. I hope they do as MC suggested above, take the vote and get him expelled. There’s absolutely no question that the votes are there.

          1. power

            SECRECY IS POWER!!!!!!!!!

            WHERE HAVE WE GONE AS A PARTY!!!!!!!!



    2. power

      Why is the public not privy to what is going on? Is not the party a party of the people not a party of power? Where oh where have we gone……………….

      Looks like we shot ourselves and the pain has not reached the brain yet it has reached the brain of the people.

  14. Anonymous

    Jim abnor was horrible but if you like getting nothing done in D.Cthen James abnor was effective something like the three we have in D.C. now.

      1. Anonymous

        Thune hasn’t ever done anything in his time in DC but I guess it’s better than Daschle doing all the wrong things.

        Thune could be replaced by Nick Moser and the country wouldn’t even notice. I’m not saying Thune is bad i’m just saying he doesn’t ever lead on anything.

  15. power

    “Are we a bit like the drunk looking for our keys under the lamppost because that is the only place where there is light.” Critical information may be in places the leadership is not looking.

  16. Clay Bill

    Stace needs to learn to behave. Time and energy are valuable during the legislative session, and he’s wasting both.

    1. Les

      All it would have taken to shut Stace Nelson up would have been three or four sworn testimonies. How could it have been any simpler?

      1. Anonymous

        It couldn’t be any simpler because those sworn testimonies would have probably been false…or not quite true…or overblown…

      1. Anonymous

        Rausch’s short stubby arms probably give him the advantage of wipping the weapon up faster from the holster than the long armed Nelson.

  17. actually

    A dictator need not come down from his throne to deal with a rebellious upstart. He can simply banish this representative of the people with a waive of his bejeweled little hand and edict that Nelson is crazy and shall be shunned… Rausch has stolen power from the legislature, and has used his position as a bully pulpit to abuse Nelson.

    First they went after Kloucek, and none protested.

    Then they went after all the Democrats, and none protested..

    Then they went after Hubbel, and none protested…

    Then they went after Nelson, and none protested….

    Who is next?

  18. Anonymous

    At the end of the day, leadership lost control of this…so then they had to revert to sullying the reputation of a United States Marine and NCIS agent. What has David Lust done for America lately…but that’s beside the point.

    Seriously, the Highway Patrol? I’m sure that may also be the doing of another legislator that could be exhibiting some behavioral issues of his or her own.

    All parties involved have behaved badly…all parties involved.

    1. anon

      Giving someone a title does not make them a leader. The information that has came out over the last year, is a demonstration of the vacuum of leadership in the Republican Party. We have self-serving politicians wielding power abusively, against the best interests of the voters, the GOP, with no one stopping the insanity.

      Raush arbitrarily punishing a legislator by obstructing the legislator from attending to his duties as a representative to speak in debate? What?!?! Who will he punish next? I bet he throws SD Gun Owners out of the Capital next?

      Then the other Conservative Republicans…

      1. anon

        I think before you start throwing accusations around, you should actually talk to others in the republican caucus besides Stace. You’re obviously only hearing his hazy description of what’s really going on.

        With a little investigation amongst the caucus members, you’d learn that about 90% of them agree and support what the leadership has done. I actually think they hope it goes to the next step so they get a chance to vote on expelling Stace permanently.

        1. Anonymous

          so then let’s have the vote. Up or down…Nelson…in or out…

          Leadership won’t even address the issue in the media anymore, because Nelson is killing them politically.

          And his floor speeches are crucifying the lack of intellectual heft behind the legislation emanating from leadership.

          Raush had to be threatened with a federal law suit to get him to back down on not allow Nelson to speak on the floor…

          Also, if Nelson is violating the rules, what about the speaker not following the rules?

        2. anon

          You mean Rausch does not have the authority to punish Nelson as he bragged to the RCJ? Why would they need to now try and go through the actual process to do so if they in fact had the authority to do so as they claimed?

          So if 45.9 (90% of 51) “Republican” caucus members want to censure Nelson, why do 10-13 of them attend the alternate caucus with him and Russell?

          Someone compared this attack of the RINOs to that in what happend to Sam Kookier awhile back. How did that work out for the RINOs?

  19. Anonymous

    To the wanna be lawyer threatening a libel suit, where did you get your law degree, on the back of a match book cover? Does the public figure doctrine ring a bell? How about rule 11? Any of this sinking into your head yet?

    1. Anonymous

      The public figure doctrine does not give immunity to the speaker…

      here’s what it generally does require, “the statement must have been made, knowing it to be false or with reckless disregard to its truth.”

      I think it’s quite possible that could be proven here.

    2. Anonymous

      where did you get your law degree…on a piece of toilet paper?

      The public figure doctrine does not protect one from libel…it just requires more evidence to prove another element of the law that is not provided for when speaking out against a non-public figure.

      And as for your Rule 11 claim…sophmorish attempt at best to claim that Rule 11 prevents someone from posting on a blog site or attempting to offer services for a potential libel suit.


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