SDPB discusses anti-vaxxer legislators taking fire in the Republican primary election

The anti-vaxxer measure House Bill 1235 generated a lot of controversy this past election season – and as noted via public radio this evening, it generated not just controversy but pro-active action by several people against those who brought the measure to not just do away with mandatory vaccinations for school attendance, but to make it class one misdemeanor for employers to require vaccinations for employees:

“To put our state back in a little different direction,” Schoenbeck says. “The legislature needs more credibility. To get there it needs good people. There are a lot of good people there, but there have been these aberrations. We need to get past that.”

Schoenbeck says he backed primary candidates running against members of an alternative Republican caucus—sometimes self-described as ‘ultra conservative.’

Schoenbeck disputes it’s a moderate versus conservative distinction.

“There’s a difference between conservative and crazy,” Schoenbeck says. “Some people are just crazy.”

Another person who’s out to reshape the legislature is former Republican State Senator Deb Peters. She left the legislature in December of 2018. She’s the founder of a political action committee called Pac’n Heat.

Peters targeted six primary races. Her goal – to defeat candidates who sponsored or voted for an anti-vaccination bill last session.

The vaccine issue is one that Deb Peters takes seriously.

“The anti-vaxxers are talking about it being personal choice, but the problem is there are so many people out in the community who are auto-immune,” Peters says. “Their systems can’t fight off the simple things and can’t take a vaccine. So, where’s their personal choice?”

Read the entire story here.

As I’ve noted on this website before, House Bill 1235 can’t be categorized as anything but an anti-vaxxer measure, and many voters agreed, pressing the issue hard against many legislators who supported it in the primary election.

SDGOP Chair Dan Lederman notes, Republicans encompass a wide variety of views on the issues. And I would agree wholeheartedly.

But on the vaccination issue?  Well… you know when you’re out there with wild views akin to claiming the earth is flat and trying to legislate it… well… that’s a viewpoint that’s somewhat extreme. And you might find that there’s going to be an equal and opposite pushback.

There’s likely more to come on this topic, as Senator Schoenbeck notes:

“I think the fall will be interesting, stay tuned.”

I’m sure it will be..

47 thoughts on “SDPB discusses anti-vaxxer legislators taking fire in the Republican primary election”

  1. Pat, do you think government should forcibly inject psychotropic drugs into people whose mental health it declares a risk to others?

    1. We need more witch-doctors and faith-healers, not more science and medicine. That’s what I read you writing. Are you Mrs. Volesky? You know grudznick has a crush on her.

      1. No, I’m not Ms. Volesky, and I’d seriously like to know Pat’s answer. My impression is that he’d support a bill to round up every South Dakotan who believes vaccinations should be voluntary and have us forcibly hospitalized for “mental health” treatments. Hopefully he’ll correct that impression if it’s false, then explain how he’d say the government-forced injection of a vaccine is fundamentally different.

  2. “There’s another motive behind Senator Shoenbeck’s [sic] mission to reshape the state legislature. He will go after the Senate President Pro Tempore [sic] position. That person makes committee assignments in the Senate and selects the bills that get hearings.”

    Does the GOP really want a state legislator, let alone a senate president pro tempore, who dismisses those with whom he disagrees as “just crazy”?

    1. SDPB had one major flaw in their story in saying the Pro-Tem selects bills for hearings. That only happens in the dinosauric rules of Congress. In South Dakota by law and under Statute every bill dropped back in to the clerk with at least one legislators signature must be heard in a committee. The Pro-Tem in the Senate andSpeaker in the House only determine which committee hear the bill and when.

    2. Not if he calls leadership “pond scum” and quits in the middle of a session.

    3. Maybe Shoenbeck had better remember back to 2016: he was thrown out of caucus, called legislators names (“pond scum, chicken s—ts”, and currently “low life morons” and “crazies”,) yelling at legislators in public places, leaving session with threats of quitting….takes crazy to know crazy!

  3. “Anti-vaxxer” is a deceitful epithet, similar to “pro-violence” in reference to someone who opposes gun control. It’s entirely possible, and entirely consistent, to support a given vaccine and still oppose government-forced injections with that vaccine.

  4. I sense the legislature will look for new blood and a woman to lead the agenda going forward.

    It’s a big class with a huge potential for the future.

    1. I suspect the votes will come down to a battle between the young ladies Ms. Howard of Team Insanest vs. Ms. Frye-Mueller of Team Stupid And Insanest. Usually, based on recent history, Team Stupid And Insanest wins, but on any given Saturday…

  5. Bravo! I support this within the South Dakota Republican Party! It is overdue! Thank you to all and let’s build on it!

  6. Let’s be honest. This bill wasn’t about the government forcing anything.

    It made it illegal for a employer who worked around mammals which might get infected with rabies to require employees to get the rabies vaccine. Or one where one could get tetanus to require the tetanus shot. If one wanted to work at hospital or around people with infections or the elderly, the employer could require the employee to be vaccinated. If one didn’t want get the vaccine, they could get a job someplace else. Nobody was forced to do anything.

    If a parent didn’t want their child to be vaccinated, they were free to home school their child or start their own school of anti-vaxxing. They were forced to do nothing.*

    And, any legislator who didn’t support the freedom of employers to protect their employees on the job or their customers/clients/patients IS plain crazy. It’s the same mindset which says we should destroy historical statues and reminders of the past or responding to an injustice like murder by a person sworn to uphold justic by unjustly destroying the property of others or somehow think the solution to improving crime ridden neighborhoods is the elimination of the police. It is all crazy and I’m not going to pretend its not crazy or protect your snowflake ness and not say so.

    *. Anticipating an “argument,” I have certain expectations of a holistic comprehensive education not available in public schools. So, my children and grandchildren attend Catholic schools. So don’t say “paying property taxes” entitles you to determine the policies of public schools. I’m not buying it. If you don’t like it, pay your property taxes and start your own school. If you get accredited, we can join forces to fight for a voucher system established.

    1. “Let’s be honest.” Yes, let’s. The massive and ever-increasing costs of public education rapidly filter through the entire economy, and government is forcing all of us to bear that burden. It’s also government that forces us to school our kids in the first place, so if parents don’t submit to its financial coercion to send them to the government schools, government forces them to make additional massive expenditures of time and money.

      “Anti-vaxxing.” “Crazy.” “Snowflake.” Almost anyone can hurl epithets at those with whom they disagree. Some of your points are valid. Most of them aren’t. And your claim that government has forced parents to do “nothing” is totally ridiculous.

  7. The last decade has seen a decline in overall talent in the legislature along with hardening politics. There has been no room for dissent and too many controversial bills have become purity tests. Politics has also become uglier and has driven too many good people away from wanting to serve. I have not been one to support open primaries but Im starting to wondering if we shouldn’t consider it. Too many races are left with either voting for a hard right extremist or a democrat.

    1. To be fair, the “hard right extremists” are not really ideologically conservative or right-wing. They just call themselves that. Any in depth discussion of ideology with them will find a vacuum under not-really-conservative talking points.

      “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson,

      Its like that. “Conservatives” who keep calling themselves conservative are just trying to convince you that they are something they are not.

    2. I agree on the Purity test issue. I disagree with Forced Vaccinations to attend Public School and this notion to “home school” is not always financially feasible for many lower middle class or the poor. The govt forces our kids to attend school period, so Troys response above that there is no forcing of things is not accurate.
      I would be in favor of mandatory vaccines in school if you could get a Tax break on Property taxes to pay to help homeschool your kids. This one size fits all approach is absurd as American is a very diverse country. If I agree with you on 70-80% of most issues thats pretty good and we should be able to work together and be part of the same party. The problem the Republican Party has is we have TOO many Non Conservatives and it’s more like Democrat-lite. There is nothing Conservative about how many so called Republicans vote on Liberty Issues and Fiscal spending, ESPECIALLY Sioux Falls city council. There is not a true Conservative on it!

  8. Too Many:

    I’m sure you heard the Winston Churchill story of him asking a woman if she’d sleep with him for $1mm dollars and she said she would. He asked if she would for $10 and she said no. He then said, “Now that we’ve established you are a whore, we are just dickering on price.”

    Your willingness to support mandatory vaccines in exchange for a tax break to homeschool is analogous to that story so your lecture on fidelity to liberty and spending (which a tax break is a form of) falls on deaf ears.

    That out of the way, politic/government policy is the eternal tension and conflict between individual liberty and the common good. The social contract is a recognition where there is compelling common interest, there may be legitimate authority to limit individual liberty. And the arbiter of what takes precedence in each situation is usually the majority will (unless an action is prohibited by the Constitution.

    It is a general consensus education of children and public health are both legitimate common interest of the body politic. It appears we might both agree children need to be educated. The disagreement we have is about vaccination.

    I’m pro-vaccination of children (with certain exceptions) as a matter of public health and am willing to get vaccination as a condition of public education.

    That said, vaccinated or not, I’m not willing to sacrifice children’s future by not being educated so I support the option of parents to choose accredited home schooling or accredited private schooling, which exists. I’m also willing to support your efforts for a voucher for both home schooling and private schooling but not as a condition for the requirement for being vaccinated as a condition of public schooling.

    In the end, that appears to be our single disagreement. If you think the public consensus is as you desire, I encourage you to take the issue to the people and see what happens. You might want to start though by disclosing your name as it might help your cause. But, do as you will. Just som free advice.

    1. Troy – My point was simple, if your going to force a choice on me to vaccinate or you can’t attend public school YET you require me to pay taxes to support said school which my kids cannot attend is unacceptable. I was simply leaving room for an alternative. Too often in this country we say, it’s either this option or nothing at all and we have to be flexible to allow other thoughts. I think it’s wrong to force people to undergo a medical procedure that does have risks or tell them you cannot participate in society at all. Your mindset is one of an ultimatum you dont seem to acknowledge your not always correct nor, seem to be open to an alternative where it can be a win win. Too many think in absolutes and that is where the person above talked about the so called Purity test for Republicans. I would argue if we had anything close to a Purity Test for what real Republican Conservatives believe, half of the States legislative body would need to slap a D on their chest and the whole SF city council. This is why politics have become so polarizing. I will use I believe are is an example: Gay Marriage
      – Half the country feels its wrong
      – Half the country feels its right

      My question is simple – Why is the government in the business of an institution that has always been a private or religious matter. It’s really unnecessary and is a wedge issue and frankly none of anyone’s business. Its my understanding this device was created to stop interracial marriages back in the day.

      I am just saying there has be ways to keep peoples liberty intact without putting undue burden on them with the, its this or else, thats just wrong

  9. Too Many:

    1) All property owners pay property taxes without regard to whether they use the public school system. Since moving to Sioux Falls in 1993, I’ve paid property taxes to the Brandon and Harrisburg school districts while my children and now grandchildren are educated elsewhere.

    2) A very broad public consensus (far above 50-50) believes mass vaccinations (there are exceptions to the requirement) are a critical public health tool. We have primaries for a reason- selection of who the people think will best represent the party in the fall and the district in the Legislature. These candidates who lost thought the majority doesn’t want students vaccinated as a matter of public health and safety. They were all counseled this is contrary to a very deep public consensus on the efficacy and value of vaccines. Well, they found out they were on the wrong side of the voters and the consequences is losing elections.

    3) Their bill made it illegal for veterinarians to require their employees to get a rabies shot. Made it illegal for employers who worked outside to get a tetanus shot. Made it illegal for hospitals and nursing homes to require employees to take many vaccines for the protection of residents/patients. It is absurd (or crazy) to criminalize employers having requirements which protect their employees, customers/patients/clients and financial interests (less absenteeism from being sick, health insurance costs, and presenting their business as a safe place to patronize). If those employees didn’t want to take such vaccines, they are free to find other employment.

    4) The irony is most if not all of the people who opposed vaccinations support employment and welfare drug testing.

    1. Troy continues to suggest that opposition to government-forced drug injections is the same as blanket opposition to voluntary vaccinations. There’s a huge difference.

      1. By what reason(s) have you construed Troy’s statements to suggest what you say they have? I ask, because I don’t perceive any logic supporting your statement.

      2. By what reason(s) have you construed Troy’s statements to suggest opposition to government-forced drug injections is the same as blanket opposition to voluntary vaccinations? I ask, because I perceive no logic supporting that notion.

        1. “These candidates who lost thought the majority doesn’t want students vaccinated as a matter of public health and safety. They were all counseled this is contrary to a very deep public consensus on the efficacy and value of vaccines. Well, they found out they were on the wrong side of the voters and the consequences is losing elections.”

          Those statements and others by Troy suggest that anyone who believes vaccinations should be voluntary “doesn’t want students vaccinated” and denies the “efficacy and value” of all vaccines.

  10. Troy – I agree on point 1 to an extent – Your stating my kids cannot go to public school without a mandatory vaccination yet I still have to pay taxes to NOT go but, the govt forces me to send me kids to school. If one cannot afford to home school? I am just trying to offer an alternative to the box the government has placed these folks into a no win situation

    Points 2 and 3 are not really what I am talking about. Of course the majority voted against it and that is factual. Point 4 really is of no concern as I am against Welfare period and Drug testing at work is a decision a company is making and does not require you to undergo a medical procedure but, pee in a cup to prove you are not getting high. Really not germane to the topic nor have I ever seen any data that shows the same folks believe point 4 but, its ok

    I am stating that we really dont have to have an all or nothing position on everything. Folks who get elected really should try to find ways to help everyone the best they can. I think Liberty should be maintained to the fullest extent and do our best not to trample on people’s freedom as we are losing more and more every day. Its just getting harder these days to dissent because no one wants to give an inch or even try to understand another’s point of view. We can all argue points we feel are for the common good of society and you could have a good majority side with you. At points in our history Super Majorities on opinions of what they felt was good for the country ended up being wrong even though it may have impacted a small group

    – At one point many thought Slavery for the good of society and I am sure a large percentage of the country felt that way
    – At one point many thought not allowing women to vote was good thing

    I Know these are very flippant examples but, we should strive for Liberty over everything when we can. Vaccines have and will continue to injure people, while the risk is small, it happens and the FACT that Pharmaceutical companies are indemnified from them speaks to this fact. People need choices sir thats all I am saying

    1. Great comment.

      The risk associated with one vaccine may be low, and the risk associated with another vaccine may be very high, but the highest risk is in the idea that anyone who wants to slow down and have a rational discussion should be smeared as an “anti-vaxxer” and driven out of the public square.

      1. Truth be told I am on the fence on vaccines. I have had so many being in the military and got them OVER AND OVER I am kind of scared what I got floating inside of me 🙂 I had a global job later which required me to travel to 3rd world countries and I remember I had to get either a Typhoid or Yellow Fever Vaccine to go to Panama, went to Sandford Infectious disease center to get them since we don’t give these in the US regularly. The doctor had to explain to me that this vaccine can cause many severe injuries including death and I had to sign a Waiver just to take it at Sandford. Now this is a common vaccine in Latin America but, the fact I had to sign a waiver to get a supposed safe vaccine that I was required in order to enter the country was alarming at the minimum. So while I have had my fair share, in hindsight I would have said, nope I am good and re-evaluated my job but, I was younger, more oblivious and naive, with complete trust in the White Coats and Pharmaceutical industry. Folks just need choices and what pisses me off is my so called Republican allies seem to be so against choices sometimes and its really Anti-Conservative in my opinion. I am just not getting it.

  11. Pat,
    I think you struck a nerve here! I for one agree that if you don’t want to have your child vaccinated then home school them and keep them out of any group setting, such as a day care or youth group or club. This is for everyone’s safety.

    Secondly, Lee is absolutely spot on correct, its time for the SD Legislature to clean up its act and become the respectable institution it once was. The antics from the “virtual” session as well as the insane asylum produced legislation from the far right wackos does not help. I am so tired of these folks “injecting” (like the pun?) their home-spun morality on to the rest of us South Dakotans. I remember hearing from Uncle Bill Janklow along with many other conservatives that State Government is there for only three or four basic reasons: to help those who can’t help themselves, to ensure that we have an infrastructure (i.e. roads, bridges, sewers, etc.), to ensure public safety (law enforcement, health policy, etc.), and to provide an education for our K-12 population. That’s it. That’s all. So why bring these other non-starter bills that get no traction and waste so much of our Legislature’s time? Can you say pandering to their base of fellow insane asylum members? (Look at the wacko bills introduced and then see if any of these actually made it out of committee.)

    Maybe we do need to change the way we process bills with the SD Legislature. Does every bill that gets dropped into the hopper really need to be heard? Do we need to listen to testimony as to why we shouldn’t have Drag Queen Story Time at public libraries? (Maybe hearing why we SHOULD have the story time would be more interesting.)

    Bottom line, the SD Legislature needs to focus its attention on the pressing needs and issues of our state and stop wasting time on foolish bills like anti-vaccines and drag queen story time and the like. Geez.

    1. Do you think government should forcibly inject psychotropic drugs into people whose mental health it declares a risk to others? My impression is that you and Pat would support a bill to round up every South Dakotan who believes vaccinations should be voluntary and have us forcibly hospitalized for “mental health” treatments. Hopefully you’ll correct that impression if it’s false, then explain how you’d say the government-forced injection of a vaccine is fundamentally different.

      1. I don’t even know what tin hat thing you are reading or talking about. So, I don’t know what impression you can form.

        1. I’m not reading or talking about any “tin hat thing,” and the impression I can form is that at least two people here would support a bill to round up every South Dakotan who believes vaccinations should be voluntary and have us forcibly hospitalized for “mental health” treatments.

      2. Were you implying government is forcibly injecting psychotropic drugs into people whose mental health it declares a risk to others? Or were you just equating that scenario with the vaccine issue?

        1. Neither. I was asking the previous commenter if he favors that scenario. Whether government is already doing it is beside the point.

          He hasn’t answered.

      3. Anonymous at 4:26 pm, now that you mention it, I have pounced on a few patients and forcibly injected them with Haldol. So the answer to your question is “yes.”

  12. Black Hills Bob: Good Post

    What happened to the good, ole West River Conservative Don’t Tread on Me types? Now they are the most interventionist, statist, coersion SOP Republicans in the state?

    You were the home of Carl and Don Ham, Jim Hood, Lyndell Peterson, Gordon Peterson, Bill Grams et. al. who were conservatives you wanted to copy.

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