SD High Risk For Corruption?

The State Integrity Investigation, sponsored by The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.   Has graded the South Dakota state government next to last in their ratings, only Georgia is lower.

(I noticed in the link, SII, put ‘Wyoming’ not ‘South Dakota’)

To go along with that nice report card there is a story by Denise Ross, who cite some of South Dakota’s short comings

South Dakota has neither comprehensive state ethics laws nor an ethics commission to oversee state officials and bureaucrats. And it comes up short in requiring public officials to disclose financial details.

however Dusty Johnson fires back

Dusty Johnson, chief of staff to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, says he believes state government operates in an ethical fashion and has sufficient oversight.
“In order to have an ethical government, states need a triumvirate of ethics institutions:  ethics policies (South Dakota has them), people to enforce those policies (South Dakota has them), and a free and robust press able to uncover ethics violations that those policies and people wouldn?t otherwise uncover (South Dakota has that),” Johnson wrote in an email. “Before altering our existing triumvirate, I?d want some confidence that our existing system isn?t working, and that a new system would do a better job.”

The article goes in to more detail about what is wrong and right with our state government

Mrs. Ross does point out some of our good points:

The LRC?s website is perhaps the brightest spot when it comes to accessibility and transparency in South Dakota government.

The site, provides real-time streaming audio of all committee hearings and floor sessions. All agendas are posted in advance of committee and floor action, and the site allows users to track legislation as well as topics. Anyone interested in the business of the South Dakota Legislature can use the Internet to follow the action almost as closely as someone who never leaves the Capitol.

This year SD public Televison had C-Span style coverage the legislature.

Yes, we have our problems.  None of them compare to some of the other states issues.  In most cases if there is a problem, we fix it. While we could be doing better, I am not too sure if we need a major over haul of reforms just to please some outside group.

127 Replies to “SD High Risk For Corruption?”

  1. Anonymous

    Sounds about right. There should be another category: “whitewashes”. We’d get an F-.

  2. caheidelberger

    “please an outside group”? The data was gathered by one of our own, Denise Ross. The idea of being able to look at our state’s performance from an independent, outside perspective is part of the idea here, part of what helps check in-bred corruption.

    1. MC Post author

      Mrs. Ross may have reported on issue, she did not set the standard that we were graded on.

  3. mhs

    If you preface each category with “ease with which minimum-wage, inexperienced news organization employees can find information on . . . ”
    you’ve pretty much summed up the entire effort.

    1. Job Creator

      Same old GOP tactic – attack the messenger. However, you display an astounding amount of ignorance with your post. Denise Ross has a great deal of experience covering the Good Old Boy network. She is well educated and really has provided a good, objective view of South Dakota politics as usual for many years. You need to bring yourself up to speed.

      1. mhs

        Actually, Denise is a friend of mine. I refer to the entire “sunshine” effort the MSM has been fostering for years. ALL the information is out there and readily available. They just want it instantly available for their own purposes. Since they don’t employ experienced reporters anymore, they’ve resorted to looking stuff up and calling it “news” Denise being the exception to the above rule.

        As to my ignorance, bite me. Learn to read what’s written as opposed to putting your personal spin on another’s comments.

      2. Anonymous

        You mean like the sunshine coming out of Washington dc? Fast and Furious comes to mine, pass it to see whats in in Obama Care does to. Your full of sh-t. Balls and strikes, just balls and strikes.

  4. Lee Schoenbeck

    These kinds of studies are based on the theory that laws define results – a couple of examples.
    First, based on laws we have, including funding, when our education system is compared nationwide we are always near the bottom. But, our children read, graduate, and find employment at the highest rates —- message: laws, not results matter to these evaluators. Character doesn’t count.

    Second, based on laws we have and programs in place, our health care system is rated as one of the worst. But, our people live longer and are healthier than most in the nation — message: programs, not results matter to these evaluators. Character doesn’t count.

    Now to this study — they only measured states by laws in place and assumed character doesn’t count. New Jersey and Illinois fared well under this measurement. If they had added a category where corrupt elected officials – only those with convictions so there was no question – meant an automatic F (because that’s a pretty good indication of the integrity of your public officials) much of their standings would have been reversed. But, in their system, character doesn’t count.

    In Minnesota, they get credit because it is a crime to buy a cup of coffee for a legislator (seriously). I used to kid Minnesota legislators that our people never thought our character so shallow or our votes so meaningless, that that had to worry that we would sell them for a cup of coffee.

    In South Dakota, unlike that study, character counts.

    1. Anon

      Only a former politician and lawyer could have defended the disgraceful conduct shown in the House this last year, attack those who dared report the corruption, and then come out and post this.

    2. skybluesky

      There is a huge difference between a cup of coffee and what happens every evening during the legislative session. Top shelf scotch, $100 bottles of wine and steak dinners from the hand of lobbyists is a common occurrence that does influence our elected officials. Laws should be in place to change the way business is done in Pierre. The most effective way to do that is to eliminate the “cup of coffee”.

  5. Name

    You will notice that they gave an “F” to SD and to ND, while ranking New Jersey #1 and putting Illinois in the top 10. This study is not ranking CORRUPTION, it is ranking ANTI-CORRUPTION INSTITUTIONS.

    In most cases, the states that have more rigorous anti-corruption institutions have done so BECAUSE THEY ARE MORE CORRUPT.

    So it is completely backwards to say that SD is more corrupt because it lacks some of these institutions. That is like saying the weather in Hawaii is cold because no one there has a winter coat.

  6. Anonymous

    The corruption in South Dakota is easily covered up–that is why you never hear about our corrupt officials.

    1. Arrowhead

      I don’t think there is very much corruption in SD if there is any.

      I know most of the lawmakers and while I don’t always agree with them I have seldom seen one profit (excluding Heidepriem trying with the indian casinos) from there actions.

  7. Anonymous

    South Dakota institutions are hostile to public information disclosure, secretive and hostile/aggressive toward whistleblowers.

      1. Anonymous

        Well, it isn’t Sibby. South Dakota should pass laws to have a fair venue for whistleblowers to initiate complaints at all levels of government that provide strong, transparent remedies for the taxpayers. South Dakota should change its motto to: “Go along to get along.” That would fit the inbred culture of government in this state much better than the current motto that the others in this state live by.

        1. anon

          It’s called Stace Nelson. Tell him just like the LRC did and he will see that someone takes care of the problem. Or it at least gets the publicity it deserves.

  8. My opinion...

    The legislature has become much less shady since Heidepriem went back to practicing law… instead of advocating for casinos.

  9. J

    Simple fact of the matter is that this report is a product of State Integrity Investigation(iWatch-The Center for Public Integrity) in cooperation with The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International. All parties heavily integrated with Charles Lewis and George Soros so take it for what it is?a media blitz against limited government bodies. The main premise here is that South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming are states with ?F? needing more government or independent commissions/agencies to provide oversight and regulation through policy. Sad state of affairs, no pun intended, when you flunk an evaluation because your neighbor knows what you are doing and doesn?t need a commission to tell them something.

  10. Job Creator

    Most of the people who visit this blot will cavalierly dismiss the findings. Doing anything else would be a clear admission that something is awry in the perpetual ruling class. Well, corruption has been a problem for a long time. So long, in fact, that our leaders don’t even recognize it any longer. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. I know it’s hard to stomach, but you need to take an objective look and come to a non-corrupt conclusion. Don’t attack the messenger this time. Read the report (not a pundit’s analysis of it) and reason it out for once.

    1. duggersd

      Surely you have some examples of corruption in state government? Perhaps you have experience? I do not doubt you will find some level of corruption in any government or bureaucracy for that matter, but over all, I suspect SD is fairly clean when compared to other locations. Where would you rather do business on an ethical level, SD or IL? SD or NY? SD or CA? SD or NJ? I am willing to bet the same people who graded SD so poorly would also grade SD poorly on our gun laws and grade Washington, DC at number one on their gun laws. Yet which place leads the nation in killing by handguns?

      1. Job Creator

        Dugger I do, otherwise I would not have commented. I have seen things happen in and around state government that would make the milk curdle in your stomach. But first let me give you my definition – which is the Merriam Webster definition: an impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle. It does not necessarily have to include bribery.

        As to your questions about where I would rather do ethical business – it’s not like South Dakota has a “better” or “nicer” form of corruption. Ours is no better than the corruption that exists in the other states.

        I’m not positive that these groups would criticize other components of our way of life here, but will grant you that many of these studies would. You can find people critical of our educational system, even though our students have not shown as much educational degredation as students from other states. You can find groups who criticize our minimalized spending approach and our balanced budget, even though the states where they are based are bankrupt. We can talk about that in another thread. My entire point above was to encourage all of my friends in here to give an objective read to the entire report, rather than taking someone else’s word for it.

        You made some good, valid points there.

        1. duggersd

          JC, I guess my point is if you are looking for a lily white government, or anything else for that matter, it is not going to happen. While I do not like to see corruption in government, I believe there is less here than in many other locations. I have learned it is better to pick your battles.

          1. Jammer

            Dugger, I believe you are correct in your position as was Lee Schoenbeck above in his. However, what I think you both miss is the fact there are indeed some problem areas. And I believe in the old saying that you can?t fix a problem unless you recognize that you have a problem. Therefore, to rationalize the situation away with the logic that you present only perpetuates the problem.

            I was extremely disappointed in the comment attributed to Dusty Johnson. I think he is one of the finest young public servants that we have. However, he needs to resist getting pulled into the ?politics as usual? game. I would have felt much better if he had acknowledged that the report did not fairly represent the political landscape in South Dakota but they would use it to identify problem areas and address them.

            People that are afraid to ?look in the mirror? when it comes time to address problem areas never improve themselves. Unfortunately, it sounds like there are many in Pierre that refuse to do just that.

            1. duggersd

              Jammer, if you are thinking I do not believe there is corruption in our state government, then you are mistaken. I just believe trying to root out all of the corruption in any place is not worth the effort. By all means, if you have a law that has been broken, enforce it. But trying to right all of the wrongs seems like an impossible dream (sorry, we just watched Man of La Mancha the other night).

              1. Jammer

                Dugger, my point is simply the following; when you are confronted with an issue like this type of report, there are several paths that you can choose to follow.

                First, you can choose door number 1 like you and Lee have described where you can dismiss the report because it is from a biased source, rationalize that the report is based on a flawed process or model or even rationalize that there are liberal cesspool states around the country that are much worse that we are. You have basically chosen to ignore any possible problems because there is substantial evidence on your side to say that things are not nearly as bad as the report indicated. Regardless of the angle that is utilized, it is simply a defensive position.

                Or you can choose door number 2 where you use the report regardless of how biased or flawed it might be to identify areas where there are problems or weaknesses. There are always areas where you can improve. You never improve if you merely become ?defensive? whenever an issue is raised. That never solves or improves anything; it merely perpetuates any problems that exist.

                I am disappointed in the door that appears to be the one being chosen by our elected officials and condoned by way too many people.

                1. J

                  Like any intelligence report you first consider the source to determine validity and intent. I am questioning the veracity of F on SD Govt corruption along with other mid-west states. Point being we do not need media hype promoting special interest groups such as an “Ethics Commission”. What we do need is open government which is the direction we are headed. So encourage current efforts in that regard and don’t jump on the bandwagon of big government.

            2. Job Creator

              Jammer, you are seeing the classic bastardization of a top-flight public servant like Dusty. His job is now to deflect any and all criticism from the rulers. Can you imagine what his stance would have been when he headed up the PUC? There would have been some positive changes. And now. I remember Mike Rounds back when he was a freshman legislator. There was a lot more grit and vinegar and openness in Mike back then when he did not have the responsibility for (i) protecting the standard bearers and eventually (ii) actually being the standard bearer. It’s sad to see how the system chews up these promising young people and turns them into something that they probably would have despised in their younger days.

              1. 83 MPH headed East

                Job Creator, it makes it even more important for us to support such honest outspoken public servants as Rep Venner, Rep Russell, and Rep Nelson.

                I don’t always agree with their stance on an issue; however, everyone of us that haunts the galleries know them to be straight shooters. Makes it hard to lobby to flip them; however, you know what you are getting with them is on what they see as the merits, not blind compliance to a ring pulling their noses..

  11. Anon2

    No corruption in SD?

    Has everyone forgot the perjury complaint about the Sec of Ag??

    Legislators being removed from their committees so they couldn’t take action on it???

    Legisaltive leadership being caught compromising and obstructing other legislator’s confidential research????

    Legislative leadership retaliating against the whistleblowers who reported on them (Nelson and Russell being thrown out of caucus and lies that Nelson threatened to kill Moser)?????

    Legislative leadership killing bills that would prevent misconduct on other legislator’s bills at LRC?????

    Legislative leadership killing bills that would require all recorded votes, and their total voting records, be placed online for voters to see??????

    Passage of the new “Lust for Power” super committee HB 1133 that keeps select legislators in power even if they are voted out of office???????

    Reports of vote trading on recent legislative bills????????

    Nope! No corruption problems in SD!

    1. J

      perjury – got a law for that already

      Legisaltive leadership being caught compromising and obstructing other legislator?s confidential research???? – guess it wasn’t confidential then but if we have “open government” as defined by organizations generating this report nothing would be…so mote point.

      Legislative leadership retaliating against the whistleblowers who reported on them (Nelson and Russell being thrown out of caucus and lies that Nelson threatened to kill Moser)?????- sounds like a law already

      Legislative leadership killing bills that would require all recorded votes, and their total voting records, be placed online for voters to see?????? – already there – check out SD Legislature website

      Reports of vote trading on recent legislative bills???????? – report to SEC there is a law already

      Nope! No corruption problems in SD! – no the sky is not falling

      1. No, "F!"

        2 + 2 does not equal 4

        Where there is smoke, there is no fire

        When someone says you have a bugger on your face, tell them it is an accent mark

    2. anon

      The big difference here is allegations vs. truths… Stace throws around allegations every day, but never has facts to back them up. It’s easy to scream corruption when you make it up as you go.

      1. What r u smoking?

        The big ugly sob is the only one who has provided facts. How about the lie about nelson threatening to kill moser? Moser has even confirmed that it didnt happen.

        1. Anonymous

          You are the first person I have heard say Nelson tried to kill Moser.

          I think they only falsely stated that Nelson threatened Moser.

          This is how rumors get started…

          1. Anonymous

            Now I’m doing it…

            Nelson did not TRY to kill Moser – as you said he THREATENED to kill Moser. Which by all acounts was a fabrication by someone who didn’t like Nelson and felt the spineless Moser needed some loving…

            Do you see how things get twisted and I didn’t even do it on purpose. Imagine how the LRC feels after Nelson took their bone and ran with it…

            1. Anonymous

              Sometimes people get pissed and vent. It’s life. We need to know when someone is venting and when someone really wants to go public with information about corruption. There wasn’t any corruption in what Lust did in the LRC – at worst it was a misunderstanding.

              1. Anonymous

                Being provided draft bills of Steele, Wick and Hubbel was corrupt. Turbiville accessing Nelson’s state e-mail communications was corruption. Turbiville appointing the committee to investigate himself, including his senator, was corruption. Refusing testimony and threatening staff was corruption.

              2. Huh?

                So the guy complained about it to three legislators (one in front of a voter), over several months, and it was just “venting?”

                Dude must have some serious anger management problems.

                Wait! if it didn’t happen to begin with, what was the guy mad about and how did all four of the people he told have the same story? But the four people he told were the liars, according to Lust?

                I am confused!

  12. Anonymous

    We are going back to the same old story of who is right and who is wrong.



  13. Troy Jones

    I knew this thread would cause someone to rehash an old fight.

    The definition of predictable: expected, especially on the basis of previous or known behavior.

    In the words of Chet Atkins: “Once you become predictable, no one’s interested anymore.”

    Or, this by Carly Fiorina

    ?In bullfighting there is a term called querencia. The querencia is the spot in the ring to which the bull returns. Each bull has a different querencia, but as the bullfight continues, and the animal becomes more threatened, it returns more and more often to his spot.

    As he returns to his querencia, he becomes more predictable. And so, in the end, the matador is able to kill the bull because instead of trying something new, the bull returns to what is familiar. His comfort zone.?

    Some people just need to move on.

    1. Les

      We have moved on in some areas Troy. I have long since forgotten a muted SD treasure’s claims of unclaimed funds and counter checks moving through a former secretary of treasuries books.

      Wasn’t true? It sure brought about a closure of open government in SD for it not to be true.

        1. Les

          You’d have to ask a former gov why he closed the books on the unclaimed funds when this came up.

          Prob didn’t close the public eyes on acct of the counter checks, it had more to do with the millions our foreign bankers in Sioux Falls were moving interstate causing books to not balance somewhere in this process. I tend to believe the man speaking, all he wanted was unclaimed funds to go to their rightful decedents or whomever they belonged to. If that owner couldn’t be found, it becomes state property. Hmmm, not bank property? Remarkable.

  14. TruthSpeaks

    Anyone who spends a few days at the Capitol knows how inherent the corruption is in this state. It’s really sad that nobody cares enough to speak up about it.

  15. TruthSpeaks

    I would also like to thank Rep. Nelson for getting the ball rolling on this major issue facing our state.

    1. "That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet"

      sure seems like some people are defining “corruption” as “the (current) process” in Pierre. There is no difference.

      Definition of CORRUPTION
      1a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity

      b : decay, decomposition

      c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)

      d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct

      1. Anonymous

        Schoenbeck is totally right on this. Someone give me a specific example of corruption in SD politics.

        Any takers????

          1. Troy Jones

            So predictable. Always found in the querencia.

            “If you learn from your loss, you have not lost” Austin O’Malley

            “You know what makes a good loser? Practice.” Hemingway

            ????, Anon 2 et. al.: You sure are getting good practice.

            1. Job Creator

              I’m not sure that being predictable on these issues equates to them not being corruption. Also not sure that coming up with specific examples of corruption equates to them being losers? Troy, do you think those specific examples would rate as corruption? (even though they are predictable?)

        1. Anonymous

          How about putting your own family on the state’s payroll? Is that an example you are or aren’t looking for?

        2. Anonymous

          The many actions or lack of action that go on in secrecy. Yes SECRECY………………….

          The secret word of politicians is SECRECY>>>>>

  16. Anonymous

    Find it in humor in a republican dominant state.Checks and balances,did any say ethical laughing my you know what off.

  17. Charlie Hoffman

    This post brings back to my mind an old bumper sticker (snicker) from the mid-seventies which read; “Reality is for those who can’t handle drugs!” or was it is “Drugs are for those who can’t handle reality!” Freudian slip?

    TODAY the bumper snicker would read; “Government is here for those who can’t handle LIFE!” And the obvious problem in South Dakota is that we just don’t have enough government because the people living here can do most of life on their own.

    Getting an “F” means we are not part of the New World Order; and that is a damn good thing too!!! Say it SIBBY!

    1. Eagle Eye

      Representative, while you may talk like a republican, you do not vote like one. You have voted for every spending bill, every expansion of government bill, and appear to have jumped everytime the governor or the rino leadership snapped their fingers.

      The word about you is spreading to republicans across the state, we are not fooled. Sadly, it appears republicans in your district have not recruited some real republicans to run against you and Representative Cronin.

    2. Job Creator

      Charlie, you are one of the reasons on opening day during the joint session I looked down on the House floor and muttered to myself, “Heaven help us.”

      1. I can’t see the great Paul Harvey saying that in the context we are talking about here. In fact, Mr. Harvey might have said it is a great thing that in America, we have the freedoms to dig in and find out that some our elected (and appointed) officials are corrupt.

      2. The mention in the actual report (which I am absolutely sure you did not read – a bad habit of yours) was that some of these states like South Dakota have a propsensity for more corruption because of the structure of the laws, regs and fiat. That is the “Old World Order” that you are so fond of. I can see that you are longing for the good old days and hoping that we can take our country back.

      Charlie. Heaven help us.

  18. Charlie Hoffman

    Hey Mr. Job Creater Liberal Democrat Man!

    So what you are telling all of us who are to be shamed by your cerebral righteousness is that every Republican Governor controls 2/3’s of the legislature finding corruptible men and women to do his bidding? (We have not had a female governor to date so stating the obvious is not sexist.)

    You are a true blue blooded liberal whom I would love to have a face to face with. Look me up!!??!! My home phone number is 605-577-6530, cell phone is 605-216-0027, home address is 34328 106th St. , Eureka, SD 57437,(12 E, 6 N, and 2 1/2 E from Eureka, SD), and my email address is Government account is

    Game On? Or are you going to hide behind your silly objectionist name plate?

    1. Anonymous

      Please don’t post while drunk/high/manic/depressive Rep. Hoffman. Though perhaps you can inject a bit of Americanism into the debate and simply challenge Job Creator to a duel.
      Though perhaps this is what you mean by a “face to face”. Maybe you can bring Ms. Hoffman along; hopefully she can help with any “immunity challenges” that are difficult.

    2. Job Creator

      Charlie, read my post.

      1. Paul Harvey would celebrate the ability in America to investigate and point out corruption.

      2. I ask you to actually read the report.

      Instead, you want to degrade this into a school yard scuffle by calling me the worst possible thing you can think of – “liberal” or “Democrat?”

      Heaven help us…

    1. Job Creator

      More pure reasoning from the wacko right. Good one, Ivan. I bet you took the same types of jabs in sixth grade when you were trying to find relevance on the playground.

  19. Lee Schoenbeck

    Charlie — as you can see, it is wrong to be normal, interested, involved, and believe that the system isn’t run by black helicopters or corporate goons. You need to quit caring, stay home at Long lake, stop thinking, don’t read or analyze and be boring — then they would be happy with you.

    In the meantime, because you are none of those — you are effective, a solid South Dakotan, and we like you. Lee

  20. Quack!

    If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, and votes like a duck.. It sure aint an elephant no matter how many rinos chime in.

  21. Charlie Hoffman

    I just came in from a good eight hour half day of disking old hay ground into beautiful black soil where later this summer there will be six foot tall corn, four foot milo, and a gazillion young pheasants. (The invite is for opening day Lee and Troy; and they will be thick this year.) From 11AM on though this farmer learned what Rush has been trying to teach the thick skulled liberal media and green heads who bow down to President BH Obama. Our US President and liberal media have been lying to us. Yes; I know , I could hardly believe my ears. President Obama in Cushing, OK, yesterday told Reuters, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, etc., that HE is is spearheading the fast-track for the Southern end of the KEYSTONE pipeline; ((the Greenies still control the Northern important end)) here it is so you can study up on what pimping American Presidential style, has become. Obama can’t change gas prices he also said, but Bush and Cheney sure could. Time for a Republican President!!! Remember $1.83 gas Jo Blow Creator?,0,2650248.story

    Last week BH Obama told us ; awe heck , who really cares what he says anyway………… the fact of the matter is the Federal Government, BH Obama, or the Canadian Government has ZERO control over what Oklahoma wants to send Texas. That pesky little act called the Interstate Commerce Clause, the dems wanted to use it to force Obamacare. Watch for an executive order coming from his highness; BH Obama, blocking all energy trans-state shipments without his approval.

    I’ll copy the interesting snip from the LA Times here,
    ” The builder is ?moving forward with a southern portion of [the pipeline] that doesn?t require Mr. Obama?s signature,? said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner. ?So cue the political opportunism.?”

    And that Madam Job Creator is your free lesson today from your most admirable foe!!

    1. Anonymous

      Gul’ Darn Muslim President! He’s trying to ruin us!!! Liberal!??!? !?!? Democrat!!!! Not one of us!!!! He can’t grow half the mustache I can!!!???!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  22. Job Creator

    Charlie, I feel your pain. There is a sense of helplessness out here in the real world. I imagine you wake up at night in cold sweats knowing that you will probably have to endure Obama for another term. That must really be incredibly painful for you. By the way, I do remember $4 dollar gas before that $1.83 gas, too. Some other (non-Rush) education for you.

    Dow Jones Industrial Average
    January 18, 2008 12,099
    January 16, 2009 8,281
    March 22, 2012 Close: 13,046

    January 18, 2008 Crude price: $90.57
    Crude close March 16, 2012: $107.06
    18.2% Increase
    Source: NYSE.TV

    January 2008 Avg. $4.49
    Close March 22, 2012: $6.445
    43.5% Increase

    January Avg. $11.5225
    Close March 22, 2012: $13.495
    17.1% Increase

    Sources: (2012) (2008)

  23. D.E. Bishop

    Are you serious, CH? Limbaugh is your guy?

    “…learned what Rush has been trying to teach…”

    I’m probably just a naive SD farm girl, but I don’t remember the legislators of not-long-ago being much more kind, thoughtful, and respectful. I’m shocked at the way you address your fellow SDans. I expect more of you than I do of them. You represent SDans. I wish you would do it better.

    1. Charlie Hoffman

      DE Bishop I was going to drop this thread and wait for something new to crash but your comment caught my eye. You said that I; somehow by combatting leftist anti-conservative view points am being disrespectful to South Dakotan’s. Give me some points and verbage which I used in doing so.

      Trust me if I wished to throw a number of people I have met in the last four years under the bus I could; but that would be disrespectful and personally not my style. If you knew anything about me you would know that being a mean and nasty guy is not in my genes. I am running again hoping to win of the two seats in my district and if the people trust that I will always vote for what I believe is good for SD and District 23 and kill any legislation which I think could harm either SD or District 23, I shall serve at least one more term. My litmus test on any piece of legislation first takes into account being morally sound, to me, then it needs to be positive movement in the structure of laws for all of SD. You certainly do not have to like me nor appreciate anything I have done in life including my conservative rino viewpoints. It seems to be pretty easy for those too weak to use their real names to truly be disrespectul. And yes I did use CaveMan until this huge guy from Fulton called me out in a fit of rage, and had a ton of fun with it. But this is just a blog. How many South Dakotan’s take the time to read it who are not personally involved in politics? I have no idea.

      I do not know who you or Job Creator are and both of you could be ficticious South Dakotan’s actually living in another country. The people who consistanly slam every member of the legislature who do not agree with their viewpoints do not understand the system of working together and swallowing small pieces of imperfect pieces in legislation in order to bring a much bigger slice of change to SD. The sexting bill Senator Vehle asked me to co-sponsor in the House was a much needed bill to combat that abuse. It was amended in the House Judiciary and he wanted me to amend it back to the original form on the House Floor. Had I done that and had the ensuing arguments on the house floor it may well have failed. Rep. Tornow was the only nay vote ( I went over the amendment with him and let him know they could fix it with Sen. Vehle’s approval if we pass the bill.) In committee they put it partways back to the original bill finding middle ground and passing a much needed measure hopefully letting teenagers that sending pictures of naked teenagers around is wrong and illegal. Was it perfect? Of course not, nothing is.

      The HB 1234 was the hardest bill I had to vote on this year. I could easily have voted either way but in the end knowing that Merit Pay had never diminished any entity using it and putting $15 M into teachers salaries promotes at least the idea that we do care. Actually I believe that parents make the greatest educational promoters for children. But we are mandated to run public schools and management is as imperfect as parenting.

      Rep. Lusts bill was in my mind the finest hour for all of us who understand that legislators are in session 33, 35 or 40 days and the rest of Government is there for 265. One of the challenges we have in SD is the horribly low teacher pay. Rep. Lusts bill and the subsequent long term study committee can address those needs in funding education finding other sources of revenue for public education and work with the Governor and his staff in planning options. In no way can anyone intellectually charge a power grab or corruption involved in HB 1133.

      So DE what I know for sure is that none of us know how much time we have on this earth but what I do know is all that really matters are our relationships with other people. I take special care in never burning bridges, even with those I do not personally like nor understand.

      My question remains. How have I disrespected South Dakotan’s?

      1. Stace Nelson

        Rep. Hoffman,

        HB 1133 is one of the worst bills ever brought in the legislature and I will be working hard to educate people as to this rotten piece of legislation if they are successful in referring it.

        The bill has been dubbed the “Lust for power bill” or the “Lust for power super commitee bill” with good reasons.

        Republicans derided President Obama for doing something like this with the super committee and rightfully condemned it as a perversion of the legitimate legislative process. This bill was worse!

        The bill allows a select group of legislators to appoint other legislators to this legislative committee with term limits to the committee that can extend past a legislator’s actual term! This committee will have the ability to exert pressure to prioritize attention, resources, and action to bills this committee recommends. Simply, it concentrates power yet again into the hands of a select group of hand picked people. It is the antithisis of what our legislature is supposed to be! The legislature was designed specifically to have such widely dispersed powers over many representatives so that it cannot be co-opted by the judiciary & executive branch! To be a checks and balances to those branches.

        Don’t even get me started on the things witnessed this last session of legislators carrying buckets for those other two branches of our government, esp when many of them were those very same people advocating this perversion of our legislature.

        When did the Republican party become the party of more government is good party? HB 1234, HB 1133, etc., etc. Heavan forbid though that we pass a couple bills requiring all recorded votes be displayed on bills or our cumalative voting records be put online for folks to see.

        1. Charlie Hoffman

          REP. NELSON!!

          I hear you loud and clear. May we disagree without torment?

          I find you fixated upon non-realistic spooks hiding everywhere.

          I trust people way more than you do maybe? My BAD! Everyone except me should be KING!!! It is called conscious observation. An old dope smoking psychology professor taught me that back in 1978 at Northern College. Been there awhile………………….

          Keep on keeping on brother……………..

          1. Stace Nelson

            Rep. Hoffman,
            We can always disagree, and we normally do on many bills. The torment is the pontification and proclamation, albeit in a lovely baritone voice, that claims that such wayward actions are dutifully conservative or Republican in nature.

            …and I find you ever willing to turn a blind eye to matters which should incite dutiful condemnation and public correction simply for the sake of going along to get along. Someday, when your aspirations to the GFP Commission are realized, I hope you can look back and tell yourself that such contortions of principle were worth it.

            I find your last comment extremely insincere. You have made many loud statements on the blogs about President Obama, his birth certificate, etc., in which you have made it clear you do not trust certain people. I was not sent to Pierre to “trust” people or to rubber stamp someone because they have an (R) behind their name. We were sent there to be a guard dog of the people’s rights, and as Republicans, to reduce the burden of government on the backs of South Dakotans.

            Abdicating any powers or authority of the legislature (The People’s Branch of Government) over to a select few people, selected by a few people, as HB 1133 does, is wrong! Frankly, It was our job to prevent that.

            After the ugly dishonesty I saw and was subject to by Lust, Gosch, & Rausch? Trust them? Are you fricking kidding me? I wouldn’t trust those scoundrels with an empty beer can, let alone give them the power to appoint legislators past their terms to a SD Super Committee!

      2. MC Post author

        Representative Hoffman;

        I am going to respond to a few points here.

        It seems to be pretty easy for those too weak to use their real names to truly be disrespectul. And yes I did use CaveMan until this huge guy from Fulton called me out in a fit of rage, and had a ton of fun with it. But this is just a blog. How many South Dakotan?s take the time to read it who are not personally involved in politics? I have no idea.

        I have been extremely liberal about who posts what under what name. While I may not always agree, I do respect different opinions. I also understand several people may use an alias for a number of reasons. I have chosen to follow Pat Powers example of using of PP, by using my own MC. Cory from the Madville times demanded that I identify myself, and I did. I do not demand anyone identify themselves, nor do I go to the trouble of tracking IP addresses, I have much better things to do with my time. Your name by itself means very little to me, It is your opinions that we are interested in, thank you for sharing.

        I am always pleased when a sitting legislator, from either party, take the time to post an opinion, or comment then signs their name. Too often I hear from the non-political junkies that the legislature will do what ever it wants to do. I am glad the opinions posted here, do indeed matter.

        1. Charlie Hoffman

          MC, Needless to say you picked out the only part of my reply to DE which could hurt your blogging self appointedness.

          You missed the entire message though, few will actually ever get it.

          Many of my friends have told me to stay off of those blogs. Your reply to me after personally replying to DE and checking Rep. Nelson certainly lends support for my friends suggestions.

          Most of the elite conservatives who I consider cerebral have jumped over to Madville. Honestly I know now why. No hard feelings, but if you need to incessantly protect your product; it might not be worth buying.

          1. MC Post author

            Of course there are no hard feelings.

            I did get your message, and I disagree with some of it. I am willing to leave at that.

  24. Stace Nelson

    Good article MC!

    Not sure why some have decided to take personal insult to this report.

    There are clearly areas we can improve on and we should be proactive in preventing corruption as susceptibilty for such is identified.

    Without going specifically into the bitter lessons learned this last year, one of the weakest areas in our government is that we do not even protect citizens from reporting problems to their own legislature. Such an idea was shot down by agencies and willing legislative accomplices Yet within weeks of the 2011 session we heard of retaliation against the Huron Chief of Police for his having testified to the senate on illegal immigration problems. On his day off!

    This grade should be a wake-up call to South Dakotans, especially in light of the billowing smoke that was witnessed by many this last year.

    1. Job Creator

      Stace, as Albert Einstein said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Add that dynamic to the political fiat that has evolved/existed for generations and expect an uphill battle. I am sure that you and other strong leaders who stand for honesty will fight the good fight and I am hoping that others will join in. We simply can’t cavalierly dismiss the problems anymore.

  25. Troy Jones

    So true, job creator. These less than mediocre minds I’ve been debating is getting repetitive. They can’t help themselves. Always go back to there querencia.

    1. Job Creator

      I seem to remember one pretty famous guy saying, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    2. irony

      mr jones you and mr schoenbeck’s violent opposition towards mr nelson and those that reported the corruption of republican leadership this last year are all over this blog. your dissmissive comments in the face of this disgraceful report for us here are more of the same. at least you too are friends in your querencia.

      1. Troy Jones

        LOL. Violent really? More hyperbole which goes to why I discount the accusations.

        Look, the political arena is fraught with opportunities for misunderstanding, disagreement, and a host of other vehicles for division as well as finding common ground, agreement, etc.

        At the end of the day, we can have a legislature with 105 majorities of one, where each thinks they are omniscient, and nothing gets done. Or we can have people working to find majorities to do the people’s business.

        This requires compromise and working to understand the other side I don’t think I am omniscient so I listen to those with other ideas. I only know one Person who is.

        Thus, if I don’t see the effort at understanding, I don’t accept the allegations at face value.

        1. Jammer

          Conservatives must never compromise either their principles or their values. This entire issue of compromise is overrated. Compromise often turns out to be the proverbial ?horse as designed by a committee?. And then we end up wondering why things never work correctly.

          It is certainly good to work together to find solutions to problems. However, conservative principles WORK and simply must never be compromised.

            1. Jammer

              I have no idea what you are trying to communicate with some liberal trash blog post that says nothing. I’m tired of all the biased one sided liberal attempts to play on people’s emotions. If you don’t have anything of value to offer, just go and watch MSNBC and maybe you and Chris Matthews will both get a warm feeling running down your leg.

        2. Stace Nelson

          Huh, that is funny. There is only two such yahoos I know of that think they are onomniscient, as well as omnipotent, when it comes to the legislature. Wanna bet we aren’t talking of the same people? The ones I am talking about think they know the facts without ever having been involved, while getting their information from 2nd or 3rd hand sources, and while deriding those who have the courage to speak with honest authority. 😀

          But what do I know, I am “ineffective” and “without influence.” Definition of INFLUENCE:
          3 b : corrupt interference with authority for personal gain

          😀 😀 😀 😀

        3. irony

          you forget your childish temper tantrum and violent statements here:

          TROY JONES: “We will see how the wittle weeny does in his next election. He and Angie should get to sit together (if they were in the same chamber).

          And if by chance he gets elected, he will set a record for the most ineffective, most disliked as a human being legislator in history. He is totally untrustworthy.

          Scum Nelson. This is the last statement I will make with regard to him. He isn?t worth kicking in the balls cause I doubt he has any. He is a coward too.”

            1. Troy Jones

              Yep. And after reading your words today and your willingness to take cheap shots against your colleagues, I would say them again. I think you are a coward and bully. If you want the full context, go back read the thread (I was urging both you and leadership to just “reboot” but you don’t have the guts to do it. Be happy to find it if you can’t.

              1. Anonymous

                Men of principle cannot just reboot when confronted with corruption and deceit. Deceit so inate that it began with switching parties for political gain. Troy, your defense of these RHINOS is not based on GOP principles.

                1. Jammer

                  Well stated with one possible exception. I perhaps would have used the terminology “conservative” principles rather than GOP principles.

                  The South Dakota GOP is being overrun with RINO’S just like the national GOP. As a result, I am not sure that one can say that GOP principles are the same as conservative principles anymore.

              2. Stace Nelson

                Mr. Jones,
                I am embarrassed for you.

                I have a long day of fencing and cleaning up downed trees, so I will not waste much time on your latent little hissy fit.

                My extensive public record before retiring, and the one in the legislature, reflect that I am an honest public servant who is not unafraid to do the right thing regardless of the personal costs. I do not expect someone like you, or the politicians previously cited, to understand nor respect ideas so alien to your way of life.

                You will have to excuse me, it is not the habit of my previous profession to “reboot” after misconduct was clearly identified.

                In regards to your obsessions with me, my male genatilia, your unmanly comments about “kicking me in the balls,” and your over the top reactions to matters you barely have a passing understanding of the actual details, it clearly is NOT “normal.” I would be disingenious if I suggested getting some help; however, what I can offer you is the sage life saving advice to never attempt your unmanly assault on my person.

                Lastly, you called ME a “coward and a bully?” 😀 😀 😀

                1. Jammer

                  I picked up one key phrase in Representative Nelson?s comment that I thought was very profound and will probably be lost in the many other thoughts conveyed. He stated; ?who is not afraid to do the right thing regardless of the personal costs?.

                  I think that simple statement says a lot. In today?s world, especially in the political arena most people have become obsessed with ?doing things the right way? rather than ?doing the right things?. The constant cries for compromise and the urge ?to go along to get along? have depleted the ranks of true patriots who will stand up for what is right and will defend their principles at all cost. I for one admire and respect the person who will stand for ?doing the RIGHT THING?.

  26. Les

    A problem with any legislator coming onto a blog is, seldom if ever will all agree with them and the resulting comments will hurt, driving any who dared to come here, to leave the unnecessary energy expense behind.

    The anonymous hate calls and letters have probably diminished due to caller ID and the blog thing allowing anonymity. I would rather Eagle Eye and Job Creator would have been specific on bills or whatever they didn’t like.

    I know pretty well what Rep Hoffman’s votes are. I don’t agree with some and I do agree with many. I see nowhere does it appear Charlie gets payback for giving up votes as I can easily find with others I consider faux GOP. I also don’t find him playing with his vote when the outcome is obviously known beforehand.

    BTW Deb, I can remember some of those same older legislators, this nave farm boy might have gotten a lesson he wouldn’t soon forget had he challenged their authority.

    1. Job Creator

      Les, I have never really had a problem with any particular bill – they at least need to stand the light of day. I do remember several, however, that ended up being hoghouse bills that were done on the last two veto days. Never had a proper public hearing. Just got worked during recess by several powerful lobbyists and legislative leaders and became law. Inside deals.

      The problem I have always had – as it pertains to this thread before it ended up going in twelve different directions – is the cozy relationship that some lobbyists and business interests have with legislators, regulators and governors. Now, please understand that I know these cozy relationships exist everywhere. They are part of politics. But as we began dozens of posts ago with the focus on corruption, my concerns fit perfectly.

      As I posted earlier, I have seen a few things that would make the milk curdle in your stomach. For the sake of good taste I won’t share those with you on this public forum.

      As far as those old legislators go, I will never forget the well-respected George Mortimer’s base position. “I’ll eat your steaks and drink your drinks and vote any *explitive deleted* way I want.” I loved Mort for that. And when he talked about how long he had been married, “We’ve been married a long time. We’ve started on our second bottle of Tobasco sauce.”

      1. Les

        Mort had many great sayings and I’m usually smiling with those thoughts. He represented the people well.

        I agree on the base issue of this thread Job, there should be a book written while those with the knowledge are still willing and able to talk. It is not just government, but in my own business my purchasing people would get wooed with drinks and steaks and I’d end up paying the bill with inventory overload.

        I support any person of any party who works for open and honest government in SD and I’m sure it is hard for a part time legis to get behind the facts when there are issues. I can tell many stories from my limited experience and am very thankful I’m not there.

  27. Charlie Hoffman

    I am going to run out to your country on my Harley this summer.

    You know much more than the average Joe.

    Send me another email please,


  28. Les

    Not sure if my mouth realizes this Charlie, but, I realize, the older I get the less I know. At times I’m smart enough to remember, “our knowledge is always incomplete”. Not very often though.

    1. Anonymous

      Corruption in South Dakota is not only tolerated, it is accepted. All institutions/branches of government in South Dakota are hostile toward whistleblowers, laws to protect whistleblowers and prosecutions of the wrong-doers. Anyone who attempts to hold the powers that be accountable are summarily targeted by all levers and institutions of state government. There should be a law!

  29. Bill Fleming

    “I am an honest public servant … who is not unafraid to do the right thing.”

    Excuse me Mr. Nelson, but it is my duty to inform you as an Officer of English Language Use and Grammar, that you have committed an egregious violation known as a “double negative.”

    The net effect of this infraction is that you have branded yourself a coward, a situation I suspect you will want to correct forthwith.

    This is a warning ticket. No further action is required on your part, but as per above, you will no doubt wish to make some marginal attempt to clarify, if for no other reason than to clarify your communicative intent.

    1. Bill Fleming

      p.s. Mr. Nelson, please excuse the redundancy of my last sentence as well as my affected verbosity overall. It represents my not-so-humble attempt to imitate your stilted style in a manner which you might find at once entertaining and perhaps even subsequently enlightening. Good day sir.

      1. Bill Fleming

        p.p.s also note that I used the word “correct” as opposed to “rectify.” This was so as to avoid any possibility that my comment could be anatomically or analytically misconstrued. ;^)

    2. Jammer

      It was probably just a typo and only a dweeb would make an issue of it. If the grammar police were ever to correct your poor grammar, there would not be room for any other comments on here.

      1. Bill Fleming

        Mind your own business, Jammer. If I want anything out of you, I’ll open your head and dip it out. LOL.

        1. Bill Fleming

          (I’ve heard that Jammer walked around doing a handstand all day one day and nobody could tell the difference ;^)

  30. Stace Nelson

    Alas, my coniving fat fingers betrayed me yet again. Surely it was their own conflicted Freudian slip?

    Thanks for NOT pointing out the irony of my retreating hairline and my advancing waistline.