From the South Dakota Municipal League 1-17-19 weekly legislative update, it sounds like a battle is brewing:
From: Yvonne Taylor [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2019 3:55 PM
Subject: 1-17-19 Update
Attached and pasted below, the update this week. Sidewalk draft is also attached. – Y
Something very disturbing has happened this week. On Monday, I was called into the office of the Speaker of the House, Representative Steven Haugaard (R), Sioux Falls, asked to close the door, and a conversation ensued about a column I wrote for our magazine, SD Municipalities, in May, 2018. The Speaker told me that I had made the Legislature look like “a bunch of buffoons” and that I was allowed to think the thoughts expressed in the column, but that I could not publish them. He then asked me to not be on the House Floor during the times it was open to the public until further notice.
Yesterday, after consulting with multiple attorneys, I had a letter delivered to the Speaker saying I disagreed with the premise of his action, and stated that I wanted to have a written justification of his authority to ban me from the floor by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16. I received no response.
This morning at 9 a.m., I approached the Sergeant at Arms and asked if I could come onto the floor. I was told he had been instructed not to let me on the floor. I asked who had given that order, and he replied “The Speaker.” He further handed me a section of Mason’s Rules that refer to Contempt and maintaining order.
I am unable to adequately represent you without being able to speak to members on the Floor of the House when it is open to the public. I am seeking legal counsel on this situation, but if you would like to communicate with your legislators on this issue, I would appreciate your support.
I’m thinking this isn’t the last we’re going to hear of this. in fact, this might be the opening salvo in a battle between the legislature and the lobbyist corps.
However, Yvonne’s article that triggered the action from the Speaker wasn’t exactly what you’d expect from someone who is supposed to convince legislators to vote their way:
I’m sure Legislators didn’t appreciate a blanket statement being called “Wackies” in the State’s Municipal League newsletter.
What are your thoughts?