SD Liberty Caucus legislator evaluation = more of the same….

I know what you are thinking. We already have enough rigged, amateur candidate evaluation forms coming out from “conservative groups…” But that didn’t stop Gordon Howie and his supporters from creating another one.

In case you were wondering, in district 9 Lora Hubbel scores an 85.7% conservative rating while Peters only scores 16.6%. What are the chances the issues wouldn’t favor Peters? In District 4 Belkgaka vs Rausch 87.5% and 12.5%. Who would have thought.

I couldn’t help but notice that Steve Sibson recieved a perfect 100% rating against Mike Vehle who recieved a 0% (not saying anything but it does look like the teacher might have scaled the test to favor his favorite pupil.)

 These are the issues candidates are being graded on:  As soon as I see anything in these evaluations that indicates any of our Republican legislators support Obamacare, I disregard the survey immediately and lose respect for those pushing this agenda. This indicates to me that it is a survey designed purely to mislead the public. None of the people in this survey support Obamacare.

And Gordon Howie conlcludes with this statement:

When Ronald Reagan said those words, I’m sure he wasn’t thinking Gordon Howie would be the person choosing the issues that dictate whether someone lived up to his statement or not. When we’re evaluating legislators, we should look at their entire record, consider the possibility that all bills are not equally well crafted, and avoid advocates who cherry pick issues unless they clearly identify those issues.

56 Replies to “SD Liberty Caucus legislator evaluation = more of the same….”

  1. Anonymous

    I have always believed that more information is a positive. Now, if Equality South Dakota (which I believe is the anti-thesis of Life and Liberty) were to put out a 100 percent rating of Deb Peters and a zero for Lora Hubble, I would defend their right to do that. However, they will lurk in the shadows of the Warner PAC and try and not disclose who supports their cause for obvious reasons.

    I wish Dakota War College would embrace these efforts to educate like minded voters of the voting records. I just wish we had hundreds of groups trying to educate their folks about the voting records, as I believe PACs have truly destorted what the Founders intended and have, in some cases, made it very difficult to discover whose rhetoric matches their votes.

      1. Stace Nelson

        Sorry wasn’t me, I was hauling away campaign contributions and working outside all day:!/RepStaceNelson/status/198169675148963840

        If it don’t have the same name link as this post, it isn’t me.

        I always get a kick out of all the outrage these things generate because of concerned folk’s efforts to increase the flow of information and educate the electorate (SDGOP plank #5.13), or heresy as some call it. You don’t see me whining when the “pro-choice” folks call and leave nasty messages at my house because of their “subjective” reports on me being pro-life 😀

        Protesting these Republicans’ 1st Amendment rights to express their concerns about the way Republicans are voting, is about as un-Republican as a dishonest politician arrogantly bragging to the press that you are forbidding a sitting legislator from representing his district on the House floor.

        What are we going to do next? Fix the GOP convention so they cannot speak or have any input on the party platform? Outsource all that to the new super committee created by the “Lust for Power” 1133 bill? 😀

        1. Anonymous

          They’ll rig it so only those they want to talk can speak on an issue just like they do with the General Appropriations Bill at the end of the Legislative Session.

    1. Anonymous

      You cite “voting records” as the basis for the evaluation, yet Howie scores CANDIDATES who have not been lobbied, educated, or taken a single vote in Pierre. It’s easy to say you support something when filling out a questionnaire with your wingnut buddy. It’s completely different when you’ve actually had to take a vote and be held accountable by voters in your district. Disseminating scorecards based on “voting records” should actually require those being scored to have taken some tough votes. Saying Candidate X votes 100% with Conservative Values is 100% disingenious.

      It’s akin to me saying I am 100% right all of the time without knowing what the question is.

      1. Jack Siebold

        As I’ve said before, political surveys are just mine fields to tiptoe through. They are boiled down to one syllable answers. Gordon Howie’s Life and Liberty group is a prime example. I didn’t score well (no kidding) partly due to the fact I believe answers need to be clarified. Anyone who has a question about how I answered that survey can call me; e-mail me or post on facebook.

        1. Anonymous

          Jack: I think you positions are pretty clear. Who recruited you? Lust, Gosh, or Rausch?

          1. Jack Siebold

            The last time I was recruited was in early 1973 when I enlisted in the Air Force. Gordon Howie is the one “recruiting” candidates, isn’t he?

  2. Bob Ellis

    What laughable hypocrisy that a RINO would put quotations around “conservative groups” to describe a group that is clearly conservative…unlike what passes for a “Republican” Party in South Dakota.

    If “Republicans” like blocking conservative legislation and advancing liberal legislation so much, why don’t they join the liberal party of record: the Democrat Party?

    Oh, I remember now. South Dakota is a conservative state, and they know they wouldn’t stand much of a chance to get elected. So they join the Republican Party, then undermine and corrupt its very clearly stated values, principles and agenda.

    They just want to control the distribution of the spoils, and it doesn’t matter what letter after their name furthers that aim.

    But I agree with Reagan, not only on the 80% standard (that most “Republicans” in Pierre can’t even come close to), but also on this:

    “We don’t intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the party over to the so-called moderates wouldn’t make any sense at all.”

  3. who is the SDGOP?

    Is it the everyday conservative republicans in South Dakota or the “former” democrats like Rausch that get elected claiming they are conservative? Does the party platform have any more importance? Republicans control the legislature but yet the enacted big parts of Obamacare, how does that mean they oppose it? Is that like Steve Hickey’s “least favorite bill of the session” that he voted twice for?

    Please spoon feed us poor amateurs and tell us how we need to support these fake republicans you establishment fellas think we should get behind. How about some actual republican principles for a change?

    1. Steve Hickey

      Does a legislator have to like every bill they vote for? If you think so you have no clue what it’s like to be a legislator. Sometimes we vote and have to hold our nose at the same time.

      My issue with these scorecards is they are subjective interpretations and rankings of a few bills that are very debatable as to whether or not they relate to party platitudes. They are then totaled in percentages that set forth a false representation.The result is a disservice to legislators and misleading to voters. I’ve voted 2000 times, or so. Scoring me 60% or 80% based on less than ten cherry picked votes tells voters very little. Additionally, the scorecards offer no context– like your comment here – WHY did I say HB1234 was my “least favorite bill of the session?” Do you know? Does it matter? Does it matter that my main issue with the bill was fixed by the second vote?

      To clarify, I don’t care about making my votes public via report cards or whatever – send out a card that shows how I voted on bills – that’s fine. Where I take issue is when someone drops in a percentage to say those ten bills determine republican orthodoxy. Baloney. Who appointed these folks the Arbiters and Keepers of All Things Orthodox?

      FYI – Howie and Sibby have both commented to me personally that their scorecards are flawed.

        1. Anonymous

          rino speak for good job keeping up wit the herd

          curious what loopy report card gave dis guy 80%

        2. Anon2

          the “reasonable right” is code for the liberals/moderates who simply changed their party registration from D to R

      1. Stace Nelson

        At the risk of being called a heretic, I’ll bite. (Anyone) Please feel free to post the SDGOP planks that you feel show that the SD Liberty Caucus were wrong in their understanding of the grading of these bills above in regards to the SDGOP Platform. At a glance, all of them appear to be clear GOP issues that have clear GOP planks to support their professed grading understandings.

        In regards to Bill Clay’s comments about their “amateur” efforts. I would remind folks that Mr. Howie is former Republican Senator Howie & former Republican SD Gubernatorial candidate Howie. When our host author refuses to show his/her bona fides, it is bad show to mock the established qualifications of someone who has proven theirs.

        The thing I love the most about these report cards? Educates folks on the conservative SDGOP platform! I assume it is also one of the reasons others hate them?

        1. grudznick

          Mr. Howie let the Conservatives with Common Sense down, Mr. Nelson. And he also didn’t pay his taxes. That’s bad. Bad. I pay mine, and I expect my elected leaders to pay theirs.

        2. Steve Hickey

          Stace, here’s an example of where the Liberty Caucus is wrong on a bill relating the platform orthodoxy:

          HB1192 – raising vehicle registration fees.

          In light of how roads are funded in our state, in light of the fact that construction costs have been going up every year but fees haven’t gone up in years – there were no options to fix roads but raise fees. And a good case can be made that user fees are not taxes. Here’s an extensive statement from me on that vote – .

          I make a case in that article that it SAVES taxpayer money to fix roads now. It’ll cost taxpayers more if we wait. So, what is the “republican” thing to do?

          No one likes to raise fees but as I note in that link, A SCHOOL BUS FULL OF KIDS nearly tipped over into an icy river in Beatle County a couple years ago because we have 40 poor condition and failing bridges in every county in our state. Read the link above and you’ll see pictures. As I said at the time, I’d rather answer to a few cranky ideologues (people with principles but no solutions) about why I voted to raise fees than answer the media the morning after we lost some kids in a river about why we didn’t fix essential roads.

          The party platform talks about seeking to review and reduce taxes. It talks about limiting or reduce government spending when possible. Raising vehicle fees once in twenty years does not make someone a RINO.

          You get the point. One of these score cards has the midwife bill as a republican orthodoxy bill. That’s nuts.

          And really, #3 reminds me of Reid and Pelosi politics. No I won’t sign a pledge to vote for a bill I’ve not read or one that hasn’t even been written yet. It may be ill-conceived, hastily drafted, strategically unwise or even detrimental to the cause. But, Randazzo wants us to sign on the dotted line pledging to vote for a bill we haven’t seen. No way. And to then broadcast that people who didn’t sign are FOR Obamacare,,,, well, it’s false representation – and I note recent sneers (“ungodly”/”heresy”) at me equating these scorecards with a breach of a Commandment but these are professed “Christian Conservatives.”

          1. grudznick

            Rev. Hickey, I begin to fear you cannot argue with crazy people, and Mr. Howie has assembled a froot loop bunch. And he owes me my money back.

          2. Stace Nelson

            Imagine if folks mitigated the commandments and salvation in such a fashion? or twisted those divine scriptures for their own political purposes?

            How many of the spending bills did you support this last session? The $1 Million bill to build a state building on leased land? The $10 Million that was snuck into the ’12 budget for the WINS program to send money out of state to recruit employees for private businesses (THAT THE STATE IS NOW BEING SUED OVER), the highway shop near the capital that they wanted but didn’t need, etc., etc., all that money would fix a lot of highways without needing to raise fees or taxes.

            That whole tax and spend thing goes hand in hand. If you spend all the taxpayers money on such things, and then you don’t have enough money to fix the highways, it doesn’t justify raising their taxes/fees then to do with their money what was supposed to happen to begin with.

            In regards to your protestations about a pledge, it hits home as to what is the problem in the SDGOP. The SDGOP Party platform is supposed to be what a Republican candidate “pledges” to accomplish for the voters who make up the party. Someone who runs with the (R) behind their name says they ride for that brand, the brand is the party platform. Republicans across the nation “pledged” to get rid of Obamacare. Signing an actual pledge, vice mouthing the words, is a documented commitment of what you have already purportedly professed.

            Bottomline, just like the “pro-choice” folks have a right to rail about me being “anti-choice,” these folks have a right to question when Republicans don’t vote the way they believe their party platform would indicate they should.

            1. Steve Hickey

              Stace explain what this means as it doesn’t make sense to me: “Imagine if folks mitigated the commandments and salvation in such a fashion? or twisted those divine scriptures for their own political purposes?”

              My point has been if people profess boldly they are the CHRISTIAN Conservative Party then they will be held to that high standard. Misrepresenting people compromises that integrity.

              1. Stace Nelson

                I agree, as a Christian that type of conduct does not make sense to me either.

                Your repeated claims of being maligned are without merit. As far as you yourself have admitted, nobody reported your voting record in error. The fact that you got grades, on their scale of bills important to them, that you don’t like does not mean they have misrepresented you.

                Since we are on interesting topics, I read with interest one of your blog posts this last session in which you cited you were excited about participating in a smoke-out action on the HB 1015 gun bill that was killed by Gosch in committee; however, the year before you had such an extensive discussion here and on facebook about how you were so against the smoke-out procedure when it came to the illegal immigration bill HB-1198 which received the same treatment as HB -1015.

                1. Steve Hickey

                  In my view, the immigration bill had a fair hearing. The gun bill didn’t. I don’t like smoke outs and think they should be few and far between. I stood for two or three this year.

                  1. Stace Nelson

                    but you were at neither hearings so how could you gauge such and is it Un-Christian to say that the committee on one was fair or unfair? Is that not misrepresenting? Your previous comments were pretty strong that you were against the smoke-out procedure.

                    1. Steve Hickey

                      My “unChristian” comments have had nothing to do with smoke outs. They were about the false picture Christians were painting with these scorecards.

                      I don’t have to sit through a committee to make a decision about whether it got a fair hearing. Those who were present presented their case that it did or did not get a fair hearing. My conclusion was the one got a fair hearing and the other didn’t.

                      Yes I still have strong feelings about smokeouts. More and more they are just political games. People rushing around to take pictures of who is standing and who is not. I want nothing to do with those tactics.

          3. Les

            “Sometimes we vote and have to hold our nose at the same time. ” Don’t run my biz that way, not sure the state should either.

            Tell me why you are so adamant about raising fees to build and maintain our transportation system when a simple fuel tax would have gotten interstate traffic to help pay the bill. Now YOU’VE shoved it down gramma’s throat, lock stock and barrel while interstate traffic bears no cost increase.

            1. Les

              Interstate meaning transiting our state Steve, I also see you were opposed to a fuel tax increase. For what reason?

              Your comparisons on border state fees. Montana for example has no state sales tax. Would you be saying you are looking to legislate a state income tax as many of our border states have now as well?

              1. Les

                Cmon Steve, wouldn’t a simple nickel, dime or?? have been the solution that wouldn’t have forced your constituents to foot the whole bill on infrastructure?

                They’re gonna vote you out and cut their tithe with that new income tax you are going to hold your nose on while voting to approve.

                1. Anonymous

                  I like Hickey but that guy is as big of a spender as it gets in the GOP. NANNY STATER all the way.

                  I don’t care for Santorum Republicans.

              2. Steve Hickey

                Gas is already too expensive Les. (Although I paid nearly $10 a gallon last week in Europe and found myself thankful for the prices we do have). The registration fee increases were reasonable, considering.

                When will this GOP purity conversation shift to discussing the Libertarians in our midst? They are RINO’s too. Ron Paul is the biggest RINO in America and he is running Republican because he has no shot running as a Libertarian. Back to SD, the Libertarians are in the GOP big tent and label GOP politicians “nanny staters” because we don’t have a view that any and all govt is bad. The GOP position is limited govt, not no govt.

                1. Stace Nelson

         let me get this straight, it is Un-Christian when someone dares question your adherence to the SDGOP platform; however, it is sanctified for you to question someone else’s adherence to the SDGOP platform planks on limiting government?

                  1. Steve Hickey

                    No Stace. What is unChristian is for Christians to misrepresent the views of others.

                    1. Stace Nelson

                      How about supporting dishonest people pushing to have a sitting honest legislator kicked out of caucus on lies or kicked out of the legislature on known lies?

                      I just relooked at the report card that rankles you the most, there is nothing in there in which those folks misrepresented anything.

                      What is Un-Christian was your denouncing these people’s 1st Amendment rights because your ego was hurt. If you had any humility, you would apologize to them and the Good Lord.

                    2. Steve Hickey

                      Stace, I had a front row seat to your struggles this past session and if I felt your accusations and actions were justified you would have sensed my support. I have expressed to you my views on how this could have all been handled differently. To be lectured here on humility from you humors me. Let’s stop this chat here as we’ve had it elsewhere before and it got us nowhere.

                    3. Stace Nelson

                      No struggles on my part, truth is not hard for some of us to recite or defend and it is not something to be justified or bartered to self-promoting politicians.

                      Actually, from what I have seen, it is not right or wrong that moves you so much as what is or is not politicially advantageous which moves you.

                      In retrospect, it appears that my friend was wrong and I was right in our previous email exchanges.

                  2. unSteve

                    how dare you question the Steve?! It is very unSteve of you! banished to hel (the real God can afford two “L’s”)

      2. Bozo Jr

        people actually go to this guy for Christian understanding? am I to understand right that the Reverend Hickey has been lecturing people they are unChristian for daring to report out how he voted on the report cards but he was involved in trying to throw Nelson out of the legislature based off of lies!?!? this clown’s arrogance is even more than I thought. what? you worried Nelson was going to get in the way of your triumphant run for Congress, again?

        “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:15-20)

        You will find him at the gate to?

  4. Anonymous

    Bob, I am beginning to understand why your blog was classified as a hate group. You sure know how to.

    1. Bob Ellis

      So you are happy and pleased to see corrosive ideology erode the foundations of your party, your state, your country and your very liberty? You get warm fuzzies to see people claim to be one thing while behaving as another? You get a peaceful, easy feeling when people deceive others? You must be a very strange person indeed…or are simply another deceiver yourself. My money’s on the latter, since liberal deceivers pretty consistently whine that having their dark deeds exposed is “hate.”

  5. Stace Nelson

    Billy!? All but the last two of the bills listed, are mainstream Republican issues. You cannot turn on a presidential debate, listen to Senator Thune or Congresswoman Noem, and not hear the GOP is fighting Obamacare. Pro-Life has been a GOP issue going even back before President Reagan, as well as lowering the government burden on the taxpayers’ wallets.

    A glance at the SDGOP platform will also convince most that the last two bills are opposed in spirit, if not by direct plank, to those issues.

    Attacking the historic conservative base of the Republican Party is okay; however, questioning those that don’t appear to support the SDGOP Platform is ridicule worthy?

    1. Anonymous

      I noticed that once again you received a 100% rating Stace.

      I wonder if there is a reason for that?

  6. caheidelberger

    Anon 2:47 is onto the key issue: what data does Howie use to prove that folks like Tim Johns (District 31) and Herman Otten (District 6) are 100% opposed to every one of the scorecard issues? Johns and Otten have never served in the Legislature. They have no public record of votes to demonstrate their positions on those issues. In District 10, they say Don Haggar, Jenna Haggar’s dad, opposes the 72-hour waiting period for abortions. Really?! Someone show me the press release, the words from the horse’s mouth. Until I hear Don Haggar disown his own daughter’s abortion agenda, I deem all of Howie’s legislative scorecards unbelievable.

    1. GOPher

      Don Haggar has to be in favor of banning abortions.

      Howie might have to send out his first public apology!!!!!!!

    2. Anonymous

      Haggar should have answered the survey. What position is he trying to hide?

      1. Bill Fleming

        If someone refuses to take a survey, a responsible pollster wouldn’t score them one way or the other. No one is obliged to participate in such things.

        A candidate doesn’t surrender his/her constitutional rights just by runing for office. In fact, that’s exactly what surveys like this appear to disregard.

        When an elected official takes the oath of office, they swear to uphold the Constitution and to discharge the duties of their office. Period. There is no other (partisan or religious) oath that can, or should trump it.

        1. Anonymous

          ….and this is the way liberals are able to get people into office in a conservative state. run as a chameleon, mouth the words that conservatives use, change your party registration to “R,” then make sure you don’t put anything written on record of how you stand so the voters cannot catch you, THEN scream unfair or “unChristian” if they dare report on your voting record

            1. Bill Fleming

              Huh? …oh… yes. This is the truth about running for office and the obligation of every public official. No one is expected to surrender their conscience. Not even Republicans.

              1. Anonymous

                I love it how Bill and the rest of the left are so offended that the liberals in the GOP are being outed! Wonderful stuff.

                1. Bill Fleming

                  I’m not offended. I don’t know anyone who is. I know some people who think it’s pretty funny. Like a circular firing squad.

                  1. Anonymous

                    Please stop grousing then with your inane comments and whining about the methodology that identifies what conservatives care about. Make your own scorecard–I dare you! It will help Gordon’s cause!

  7. Les

    Let’s look at the the equation Steve gives on fees versus fuel tax.

    If you take $10 from me in extra fees, it doesn’t hurt me as badly as if you take an extra $2.50 from me in fuel tax because I’m a grandmother on a fixed income and don’t drive much?

    Gee I like that Steve, because, really I’m not a granny and I drive the wheels off my vehicles and I don’t have to pay for the roads I ruin with my overloads and frequent miles.

    My cousins from out of state like it to because they don’t get hit with the higher fees either and think our state is a real bargain to transit.

  8. Bozo?

    Hickey is a tax & spender but wonders why he gets bad report grades from republicans? Then he claims anyone who dares to report how he voted is unChristian? Look how he voted on all the major issues, heck if that is not an indicator what is? He proved that the report card is off though, what clown gave him a 60%? 80%? Bozo must have been sniffing glue on that one for sure. This is my least favorite post of the year though. I might have to repost it a couple more times though.

  9. proud anon

    disgraceful that anyone would go after a group of voters for trying to educate the public that our representatives are not walking the walk they talk. calling them unchristian is just bizzare and an ugly attempt to divert attention from the terrible voting records. arrogant and evil.