RCJ: Rapid City Republicans battling each other. All is normal.

So… what else is new?

The Rapid City Journal is reporting tonight that Rapid City Republicans are squabbling with each other at the moment. Conservative Rapid City Republicans are at odds with Ultra-Conservative Rapid City Republicans over many things, including some of the name-calling that has gone on in the past.

One of the event’s organizers was Rep. David Johnson, R-Rapid City. He acknowledged a split among local Republicans and said it is has been caused by those who lay claim to an exclusive right to label themselves as conservative.

“They’ve branded themselves as conservatives and anybody who is not in their clique as something other than conservative, and it’s offensive and it’s ridiculous,” Johnson said.


Johnson said the seven legislators who organized the event wanted to hear nonpartisan ideas from local leaders about community and economic development. Johnson said the organizing legislators also wanted to set aside — for one evening — heated arguments about controversial social issues including transgender bathroom use and gun rights, which have been frequent topics of debate in recent legislative sessions.

Johnson said there are many other opportunities for the discussion of such issues, including cracker barrels (the annual wintertime public forums in legislative districts statewide) and local Republican Party meetings.

“That’s where those issues can be discussed, and they have been discussed,” Johnson said. “The point is that we didn’t want those controversial social issues to override the economic and community development issues that we wanted to talk about at this event.”


The controversy over the Friday event is the latest of several conflicts between local Republicans who consider themselves true conservatives and other Republicans who are accused of being insufficiently conservative. The animosity was particularly apparent during last year’s local and area primary election campaigns, when some Republicans accused fellow Republicans of taxing and spending wildly, dodging decades-old military drafts, and even enabling rapes by being insufficiently committed to gun rights.

Read it here.

If you’re at all familiar with Rapid City Republican politics, you’re quite aware that this kind of thing has been going on for years, which has been the home of slash & burn politics pitting Republican against fellow Republican.

And over the years as the Liberal Republicans have been pushed out, those who consider themselves as more conservative are still working to push out those they deem less conservative. (Reagan’s 80% rule be damned.)

As it is, and ever shall be.

Rapid City Republicans battling each other? All is normal.

26 Replies to “RCJ: Rapid City Republicans battling each other. All is normal.”

  1. Thomas

    One either IS Conservative or is NOT. There is NO middle ground. Many Republicrats “claim” to be Conservative, but are just blowing smoke to get elected or re-elected. Voting for higher taxes, open borders, Common Core, anything akin to osamacare, more welfare, more Medicaid, curtailing Constitutional rights or bigger government are definite signs of NOT being Conservative.

    1. Anonymous

      Funny thing, David Johnson had a higher rating on the American Conservative Unions rating than any legislator in the group saying he is to liberal.
      There has got to be a lesson in this somewhere.

      1. Steve Sibson

        ACU is about liberal corporatism, and so is Johnson. Reagan’s version of economic development was tax cuts. SDGOP leadership’s version is more government.

        1. ME

          funny how when something contradicts the designed narrative, that now its the publications fault for rating Johnson that high…any other excuses?

          1. Steve Sibson

            It is the liberal corporatists that are changing the narrative for America’s Constitutional Republic…Less individualistic and more collective. Even though the Democrats claim to be for the oppressed little guy, they too mislead their base. Both parties are controlled by the Deep State.

    2. Anonymous

      Thomas while I am a conservative through and through I now many people who are conservative on some issues and liberal on others. So I disagree with your premise.

  2. Anonny

    Unfortunately if you have an event to discuss economic policy the “true conservatives”
    show up and can’t stop complaining about the LGBTQs.

    This is annoying to those of us who grasp the fact that LGBTQs are working and paying bills and taxes just like everybody else.

    I completely understand why the “true conservatives” might not be invited to these things. They should have meetings of their own, preferably in public restrooms where they can check IDs at the door.

  3. KM

    It’s my presumption that when you declare the Republican/Conservative title, there’s a set of core principles one ascribes to and demands attention: pro-life, less govt involvement, low taxes, pro-2nd Amend, freedom of religion. If a Republican has a liberal record, why not say Independent with a right or left leaning?

    I do agree with Thomas, constituents are lied to…often. I get having to compromise and work together (taxes raised for teacher pay), but for goodness sake stop manipulating us and changing what Republicans represent. Voting records prove several Republicans say one thing, but vote on a completely different platform. And, many are out-of-touch with whom they represent.

    I hope these so-called Republican/Conservatives continue to get called out for their lies.

  4. Kelly Liieberg

    The New Republican Party
    February 6, 1977
    4th Annual CPAC Convention

    A speech given by Ronald Reagan sorts this out nicely.

  5. MC

    Representatives and Senator were elected to represent the citizens of their respective districts.

    They should not represent any party, special interest or any other subset group.
    If the majority of their constituents support and believe in the Common Core system, the representatives are bond to support Common Core. This is regardless of their personal believes or whatever the party mandates.

    For one legislator a group of legislators to go around demanding other legislators be more conservative or even call them names (RINOs) is very much disrespectful to both the legislators and the people they were elected to represent.

    I didn’t fully understand all of this until I ran for office, and it was even more reinforced once elected and sworn into office. It is the people who rule under God.

    1. Anon

      It is also fairly disrespectful of a group of legislators to purposefully not include legislators in a meeting with community leaders. And their list was arbitrary based on who might be a “distraction” because of their conservative views. And undoubtedly some of the community attendees are constituents of some of the legislators who were excluded.

      Rep. Clark, how would you feel if Sen. Peters and Rep. Steinhauer held a meeting with leaders in Hartford and didn’t invite you because they think you’ll talk about subjects they don’t want to?

      1. Lancer

        My guess is that it would only bother him if he was insecure…If you read the facebook and other social media rants by the uninvited group you can easily tell that they are a group of insecure people. Bottom line, they don’t know how to have an adult conversation about substantive legislation. So why would you invite them?

      2. MC

        How I feel is irrelevant. It how we best represent the interests of entire district that matters. Senator Peters, Representative Steinhauer, and myself work together with Minnehaha County Commission, The Mayors and City Councils of Crooks, Hartford, Humboldt, Sioux Falls and the Tri-Valley, West Central and Sioux Falls School Boards as well as all the town ship boards to address the concerns of all the citizens.

        This isn’t us versus them. This is us working with them as a team.

        However, to answer your question, It wouldn’t bother me at all. I have enough faith in them, that they will let me know what I need to know.

    2. Steve Sibson

      A majority of constituents don’t know what Common Core really is, and that is by design. For the most part, South Dakota Legislators represent those special interests who fund campaigns and can send lobbyists to Pierre. In District 20, the constituents get executive talking points from their so-called representatives.

      1. MC

        Steve, I used Common Core as an example only.

        The issue of non-meandered waters was a bit different, while the people was pretty much divided on the underlying issue, the general consensus was: the Legislature needs to fix it and fix it now.

        The Legislature is about process; we followed the process, got a bill drafted, passed and signed. It wasn’t perfect, however it did get the lakes open up. We are going to revisit the issue this upcoming session. It is sure to be showdown between landowners and sportsmen.

        1. grudznick

          I don’t really understand what this Common Core is. I don’t think Mr. Sibby does either. Mr. MC, can you please enlighten us all so we can quit hiding in the closet from the Common Core Boogieman. I am even unsure if Mr. Nelson is the CCB. I don’t even know if there is a CCB. I think this whole CCB thing is intended to scare old men like me by liars and fakes like Messrs. Nelson and Sibby.

          1. Steve Sibson

            You are obviously suffering from psychological projection. Common Core is the continuation of the globalists taking control of education so they can implement their mass mind manipulation. You are proof that it is working.

    3. Anonymous

      curious how Representative Clark figures out his direct Democracy direction from his constituents? If he wants direct democracy, then why be a representative?

      1. MC

        Since I have returned I have dealt with a little of everything

        I have one constituent who brought up the issue of correction officers abusing prisoners. While this wasn’t on anyone’s radar as an hot issue, it was for this one constituent. Yes, I looked into the matter to see if any laws needed to be updated. I found the issue was already being addressed at appropriate level, and no legislative action was needed. I will still follow up and make sure everything is squared away.

        Another person had the idea of adding solar panels to the roof of government buildings. On its face this seemed like a good idea. The City of Colton became completely energy neutral. Using a combination of solar panels and wind turbines. However, after doing some research, I found that we would need a way to store the surplus electricity, and right now battery storage is extremely in efficient. Until there significant advances in batteries or other means to store electricity, I am putting this idea on the back burner.

        Of course, I get input about Social Security, immigration, the neighbor’s chickens, condition of highways, the number of golf carts at the State Fair, and so on. Most of what I do is redirect to the correct department.

    4. KM

      MC – I agree, Under God the people rule.


      How do you know what the majority of your constituents support if you don’t know them? We’ve lived in District 14 for over 5yrs and not once has our Senate Rep come to the neighborhood and knocked on doors. I can tell you that talking with people at our block parties, school events, sporting events, church, and just being outside with neighbors, we are not being represented well.

      Now, our House Reps have come by twice and once I had Holmes here for at least an hour. And, when I email or call them they have always replied. Not to mention the events we see them at. Last year we saw Zikmund in the 4th of July parade, such a small gesture leaves a lasting impact. Coming to our home and discussing priorities and principles with us, speaks volumes.

      Tell me, is it that some genuinely care about who they represent and for others they’re playing a different game? Also, done in a professional, respectful way we have no problem with calling out people who are lying.

      1. MC

        We are part time legislators. Most of us have full time jobs to support our legislative gig. On top of that we have family and household obligations. Sometimes finding time to get out is tough. I make an effort to get to City Council and County Commission meetings.

        Tara is giving me grief about not going to the GOAC meeting. Believe or not, even with all the squabbling, they will get the job done. The committee systems works. yes I will listen to the recordings. However I have people here I need to meet.

        1. KM

          MC – We appreciate your insight, not many legislators will make statements here. Some have even blocked SDWC from helping to keep readers informed, which doesn’t help their campaigns. That being said…

          Twice you state how important it is to represent all the people of a district, but now I read how difficult it is to do just that? If reps aren’t getting out to hear the people in their district, one might think special interests and their own agenda is what drives them. If there isn’t enough time or other commitments take away from representing us thoroughly…they should quit.

          Many legislators are seriously out-of-touch with their constituents and much like Thomas stated, they lie to get elected or re-elected.

  6. ADG

    Liieberg is correct, Regan summed it up quite nicely. Much debate is needed, but there needs to be some unity amongst various conservative beliefs or we are in serious trouble. Excerpt from 1977 Regan CPAC speech:

    “Now I am willing to accept this view of two major kinds of conservatism — or, better still, two different conservative constituencies. But at the same time let me say that the old lines that once clearly divided these two kinds of conservatism are disappearing.

    In fact, the time has come to see if it is possible to present a program of action based on political principle that can attract those interested in the so-called “social” issues and those interested in “economic” issues. In short, isn’t it possible to combine the two major segments of contemporary American conservatism into one politically effective whole?

    I believe the answer is: Yes, it is possible to create a political entity that will reflect the views of the great, hitherto [unacknowledged], conservative majority. We went a long way toward doing it in California. We can do it in America. This is not a dream, a wistful hope. It is and has been a reality. I have seen the conservative future and it works.

    Let me say again what I said to our conservative friends from the academic world: What I envision is not simply a melding together of the two branches of American conservatism into a temporary uneasy alliance, but the creation of a new, lasting majority.

    This will mean compromise. But not a compromise of basic principle. What will emerge will be something new: something open and vital and dynamic, something the great conservative majority will recognize as its own, because at the heart of this undertaking is principled politics.”

  7. Anne Beal

    Ever been to an event dedicated to conservative economic policy and the “true conservatives” in the crowd can’t stop complaining about who is using which bathroom and who is getting married to whom?

    You can see the eyes rolling around the room.
    First-time attendees who think they were going to learn more about tax & regulatory reform start heading for the exits.


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