I think I’ve got my list of top ten political stories for 2016 set.
But I’m also faced with the conundrum of the ones I’m leaving off. There were just so darned many good stories this past political year.
The Argus upheaval & Lalley firing? Nope. Not on the list. The facepalm heard around the state? Meh. Dump Trump? Close, but you’ve got to draw the line somewhere. I was also looking strongly at the ever dysfunctional Pennington County Commission with Deb Hadcock’s secret pay increases and George Ferebee’s battles.
But there are just too many political issues that had a big impact in 2016, and will set the stage for continued activity in 2017.
1. Annette Bosworth
2. Petition Madness
3. Blue Ribbon Task Force/Education funding
4. John Thune preparing to cruise to another unopposed victory.
5. The long downhill slide of the SDDP
6. Kristi Noem in Washington
7. Medicaid Expansion
8. Presidential politics
9. Legislative departures
10. The Westerhuis Murder investigation.
At this point in 2016, we’re almost ready to thankfully start saying “Annette who?” Almost. In 2016, her case was in appeals, and her husband quickly and quietly copped a plea, thankfully leaving us mostly to our own devices. Legislative departures continue to happen, but with a much lower profile than those of 2015, where the Senate Majority Leader, and assistant Majority Leaders went on to greener pastures.
Presidential politics are always bug, but not so much in South Dakota. As noted, the Dump Trump movement of South Dakota Leaders was arguably the biggest story, but narrowly missed being in the top ten.
As for the rest of 2015? Wait for this years’ list. You may see some of these continuing on in one form or another.