Sparks fly between Reps. Nelson and Lust


This audio is a great example of how heated the legislative enviornment is becoming in Pierre between select individuals.

Tensions were high in the hearing of HB 1142.  Reps. David Lust and Stace Nelson essentially call each other liars in this testimony. I hate to see a legislative session come to this and Nelson said it all when he started his testimony off by saying “Well, if you liked the first two you’re gonna really love this one.”

Testimony then begins to rehash his complaints from a few months ago regarding the Legislative Research Council and House Leadership.

For quick reference of speakers, below is a list of when different individuals speak in the audio.

Nelson’s opening, -14:00 testimony by Robert Bender (Hanson County resident), –10:26Rep. Abdallah interupts to say “This has all been hashed over.”, –7:42 Rep. Hoffman comments on testimony, -6:30Rep. Hunhoff makes motion to move HB 1142 to the 41st day. 2ndby Turbiville., –4:45 Rep. Gibson, –2:25 Majority Leader Lust closes

During Lust’s closing statement Nelson can be heard accusing Lust of spreading lies to the media about him, and the accusations reach a boiling point.

What will it take to resolve this issue?

67 Replies to “Sparks fly between Reps. Nelson and Lust”

  1. Anonymous

    Bravo! I want to thank all of the actors for participating in this years legislative radio theatre.

    I was impressed by how interesting they all were.

    Nelson had better cool off. He’s crossing the line of allienating everyone and I’m not a big David Lust guy.

    I doubt Lust was ever out to get Nelson. Maybe he was looking over his shoulder but there is a big difference.

  2. Go Charlie Hoffman!

    Hoffman really gets ginned up on this. Probably the funnest guy in Pierre. He’s so cowboy he makes Jarrod Johnson look like city folk.

  3. 73*

    Were Nelson and his friend accusing Lucas Lentsch of lieing to them in this audio? Lucas is a great guy and certainly doesn’t need to be dragged through the mud.

  4. grudznick

    This morning at the Conservatives with Common Sense big breakfast meeting we began the selection process of the bills we will be using in our scorecard scoring. I hope some of those bills get smokehoused out because I’d like to use at least one of them as a litmus test of sanity.

  5. Reality Check?

    So… let me get this straight…

    1. This Bender guy, Nelson, Russell, and old granny Olson claim that the LRC guy told them Lust and Rausch were messing with bills?

    2. Turdivile jumps on it in December after 8 months of behind the scenes discussion, only after these guys ask for info and it is leaked to the press?

    3. In the three-ring nonsworn circus, Cutler cites an undocumented verbal opinion from our AG Jackley claiming that if the LRC guy reported the violations of confidentiality the LRC guys was in fact violating the law because he violated these guys rights to confidentiality to violating others confidentiality?

    4. During the three-ring circus the LRC guy admits to having these discussions with them all but claims they misunderstood him?

    5. After 8 months of behind the scenes doing the soft shoe, Lust and Rausch now claim they didn’t violate their authority away from the public eye in the tampering complaionts but now throw Nelson and Russell out of the caucus on their orders and tell the press they punished Nelson for a threat that Moser said never happened?

    6. On a side not, I got an email of Rausch’s comments to the Daily Repulic in Nov claiming he never removed Nelson from the Agricuture Committee because of Nelson’s opposition to the megadairy and another link to KSFY where he recently said it had everything to do with it.

    Can anybody tell me where Bender, Nelson, Russell, and Olson have motivation to create lies about Lust and Rausch? Especially when Rausch is caught in his own lies?

    1. Reality Check?

      Rausch says taking Nelson off of Agriculture Committee was innocent and did not know about complaints of his own misconduct

      180 degree turn here, and for any of us that listened to the recording of the three-ring circus they called an investigation, Rausch admitted to knowing about the complaints of their misconduct for months.

      Somebody better shut this Nelson guy up before the locked down Republican caucus gets a clue about Rausch and Lust.

  6. anon

    I think the revelation that Mr. Nelson’s good friend, Bender, finishes his emails to legislators with the words “may you rot in hell” gives us a pretty good insight into what the House leadership is dealing with, and who the most credible players in all this are.

    1. Reality Check?

      My point exactly! Liars are cowards that avoid details in their stories, keep it vague, and claim misunderstandings when caught.

      Remember the story about Lust getting confronted about this in public by Nelson on camera at Gordon Howie’s event in RC? Lust made lawyer statements that it hadn’t been proven and then ran for the door.

      Honest people get angry when the bad guys put the fix in to cover up or obstruct justice. Bender has every reason to keep his nose out of this. His rightious anger shows he is an honest man. The fact they refused to call him during the hearing shows again that it was a scam.

      I hope they do have a hearing on Nelson, what are they going to do muzzle him? These RINOs are doing to him what the RINOs did to Mayor Kookier. How did that work out?

      1. Rapid City

        Well Kooiker lied and bankrupt families who were forced to sell their business and spend their savings on lawyers to defend themselves against his lies. But hey Kooiker ended up as Mayor so it’s a win win.

  7. Anonymous

    I think the post title is the most romantic post title in SDWC history. Soon to be a movie starring Matthew McConaghey and Dylan McDermott.

    Tag line: “I can quit the caucus, but I can’t quit you!”

  8. george w

    Thanks to Reality Check for excellent posts on the facts and history of this. Yes, Lust and Rausch both dodged questions before the 3-ring circus hearing in Jan, not knowing how it would turn out. Now they and others claim to be vindicated by the lap dogs on the e-board (all but 2 of which wanted nothing at all to do with any of this). Now they can be cocky and call anyone who dares question them a “liar”. I wonder what Lust wrote to Bender that made him so mad? Ponder that.

  9. Job Creator

    It’s so funny to see the dirty laundry hung out there for all to see. This kind of stuff used to be kept quiet back in the day when leaders had power – and the huevos to use it!

    1. nobody

      If it had been brought by one of the members of the committee,it would have passed on “consent’. It simply puts into law what “they” say is the unwritten rule about confidentiality. Of course it’s a rule for everyone except majority party leadership,since they control the Speaker, Pres-pro-tem, and E-board.

      1. Troy Jones

        Four comments:

        1) No Democrat supported it.
        2) It puts the onus on staff people.
        3) In 100 plus years, there has been one complaint, certainly not a matter so dire it requires a law.
        4) It opens up questions of a subjective nature exposing staff to legal prosecution, regardless of the substance of the “abuse.”

        This bill had no chance of passing because it belies a total misunderstanding of how the Legislature works.

        There is a reality if you can’t get along, then nobody will play with you. Being effective legislator begins with having the skills to make your vote two votes, then four votes, and ultimately 51% of the body.

        A second reality is legislators are people (like everyone else) who react to people who turn disagreement into a question of those on the other side into a matter of integrity in one very predictable way.

        1. sky is not blue..

          So it was supposed to be a hard and fast policy so dishonest politicians did not abuse the process, but it is a bad idea to be a law now that it was proven it is not a hard and fast policy?

          Nelson should come out and say it was a bad bill so Mr Establishment would flip and scream the actual good sense the bill represented.

          Sad that Mr E supports the petty politics that is Pierre and DC by justifying such nonsense. We the voters know that it is supposed to be ONLY about the MERITS of the issues.

          Disgusted in the Dakotas..

        2. BF

          I agree, Troy. If Nelson et al were right about this, there would have been at least some support for bringing the issue to the floor for debate and a vote.

          There would also be sufficient support for a “smokeout” which I assume there is not. It’s one thing to go to Pierre and raise a little hell, and quite another to try to tear down the walls.

          Maybe it’s time for Stace & Company to revisit their country music history.

          1. anon

            This actually all started with the House leadership trying to do the right thing. Reps Lust, Cronin, and Rausch met with the LRC to urge them to be of better counsel to their caucus, especially to the newer members, on legislation they were bringing.

            Many issues have been tried, retried, and retried again in year’s past, but the new legislators weren’t around to understand what fate they were obviously going to encounter, especially with bills that had no meaning other than to make a political statement. In short…leadership was trying to help legislators avoid making fools of themselves.

            A certain long-time LRC staffer took offense to the suggestion that he wasn’t being helpful enough, and was blowing off steam just as Nelson and his buddy showed up in his office.

            The staffer made some comments that were less than accurate in Nelson’s presense. Remember, this is NOT heresay, this is testimony from the LRC staffer and Rep Lust in last month’s hearings.

            The rest is history, and Nelson still refuses to admit he’s wrong. He claims the hearing that cleared House leadership of any wrongdoing was improper. I’m certain he’d claim any hearing up to and including a supreme court decision that ruled against him was wrong too.

            Nelson has now had a verdict against him by two juries of his peers. The State Affairs Committee last week, and previously his own caucus which voted to kick him out.

            His so-called friends should advise him to drop the issue and move on. It may be too late for him to regain any credibility within the legislature, but he certainly can’t sink any lower than he is right now.

            1. Troy Jones

              Actually, I think they would accept Stace back if he:

              1) Kept making every disagreement a matter of corruption and questioning the sincerity/integrity of his colleagues.

              2) He would begin to assume his colleagues are as honest and properly motivated as he thinks of himself (give another the respect you want).

              3) He would focus on spending his time on things that will pass. Tilting at windmills never does one any good.

              1. Anonymous

                So Stace should only focus on bills that will pass?

                So he shouldn’t be allowed to bring up legislation that citizens in his district want but won’t pass? What kind of logic is that?

                He has every right to be disgusted with this process. The sham investigation that was conducted into the LRC/Leadership actions was objectively unfair.

                Witnesses that had probative evidence on the matter at hand were not called. Why?

                1. anon

                  There should have never been a hearing in the first place.

                  Stace grabbed onto heresay and created such a fuss in the media that they were forced to do something.

                  He got his hearing, he lost, he needs to “put his big boy pants on” accept the outcome and move on.

  10. Troy Jones

    For a “conservative” to demand a law when there is one accusation of abuse, doesn’t sound very conservative to me.

    Furthermore, if you listened to the debate it was unanamous that the merits of the bill were nil. Just because one legislator wants something, doesn’t make it meritorious.

  11. Les

    For all that has been said to justify or crucify either side, I will not believe this hasn’t been good for our state. Open government is not just giving us what you think we need as some legislator’s have said. It is hard to break tradition whether it is right or wrong.

    As to Stace Nelson and his Hansen County electorate, if they don’t want the dairy, I don’t care what the outsiders say about economic development in SD, it shouldn’t be forced on them.

  12. Just the facts...

    Conservatives use facts, liberals use repackaging of the truth to hide the facts.

    Nelson was never voted out of the Republican Caucus, Lust & Rausch waited till Nelson wasn’t in caucus, meeting with voters on some bills, to tell the caucus they made the decision that Nelson was no longer welcome because he had threatened another legislator (Moser). They wouldn’t provide details and made allegations that Nelson suffers from PTSD, is mentally unstable, and all the legislators are afraid of him. They told the same story to the press and that they punished Nelson for the matter.

    The truth? Plenty of people confirming that Moser has told many of the legislators, when confronted, that Nelson never threatened him nor were Nelson’s actions threatening.

    Rausch claimed Nelson was removed from his Agriculture position as a simple move, now admits it was because of Nelson’s opposition to the Hansen county dairy & Sec Ag Bones’ support of it.

    Notice the Jones and anon’s don’t point out is that there must have been a reason why they went out of their way to keep this Bender guy from telling what he knew. In light of how much has been shown to be not true of what they said, I think it is obvious to those of us not wearing establishment blinders.

    1. LFoss

      You say that you are …Just the Facts? Well that is laughable as your facts are not true. Rep. Moser in fact has told several people and other legislators that he was in fact threaten by Rep. Nelson, that is a fact. Ask Rep. Moser yourself he will tell you the story. Your boy Rep. Nelson does a great job of twisting the information and telling EVERYONE he knows (and even some that he doesn’t) so he looks like the victim and matyr. He didn’t get his way a long time ago and to retaliate he is twisting, turning and stomping all over anyone that he feels “wronged” him. He needs to grow up and take care of business in Pierre, I am sure that the voters in his district would rather he spends time working for them instead of carrying this torch of fire for those that did not invite him to the sleep over.

      1. Anonymous

        Moser told KSFY he was not threatened. He said it himself…how much more do you need.

        Is Moser lying to KSFY or to the other legislators?

        Feckless liberals love to have it both ways…conservatives…I expect a different standard.

        What say you?

  13. Troy Jones

    Or how about it wasn’t the forum to discuss what the Sec. might or might not have done/said since he wasn’t there to defend himself. There is a forum for that.

    I have no blinders. Just plenty of reason not to take Stace Nelson at his word.

    1. Rapid City

      I take Stace Nelson at his word. But I also take some of the other members at theirs (not Moser).

      How about we choose to get along.

        1. anon

          Moser told KSFY all Nelson did was say he would bury Moser alive during the floor debates. Nelson said “eat him alive” if Moser personally attacked him again during the debates. LFOSS are you saying Moser beleived that Nelson was actually going to dig a hole during the debate and place him in it? or start chewing on him?

          please tell us great defenders of the establishment (moderates-liberals) Republicans, what was this farmer’s motivation to go to Pierre twice to “lie” about your establishment Republicans? People he doesn’t know other than from what he was told by the lrc member?

          Sorry, this Bender fella acted just like an honest PO’d voter would act if he saw wrongdoing in his govt.

          Jones, what kind of witnesses would you have him bring? Liars? Self-serving ones that game the system against SD? Bills for the SD State Bar? Special interests?

  14. Anonymous

    Moser stated to his whip group that Stace did NOT threaten him nor did he feel threatened. The entire whip group heard him say that and would testify to that in court.

    1. Chicago Politics anyone?

      What?! This cannot be! Rausch and Lust told the GOP house caucus and the press that Nelson was not welcome in caucus AND he was being “punished” for threatening Moser!

      I think King Bill Napoli has it right in his letter.

      SD deserves better then these liberal hoodlams who have stolen our party.

    2. LFoss

      Thats weird when in fact he told reporters and several members of the house that in fact Nelson had threatened him. Stace maybe you should quit posting on here if you are not willing to put your own name on your posts, or better yet go do the work of the people and stop whinning on the political blogs, your credibility could stand a good boost.

      If you say the whip group is willing to state such and will testify then where are they???

      1. Anonymous

        Nelson is not in Moser’s whip group but ask any member who is and they will tell you exactly what Moser said and it is NOT what you stated.

        1. LFoss

          I have and they have told me a different story…so not sure who you are talking to. Why are they not defending Nelson then if what you say is so? Moser said that Rep. Nelson said “I will bury you alive if you ever try anything like that again”…now that is not a threat? Good luck selling your story. The reality here is that Nelson will try and spin it and lie so he looks like the victim or matyr…but too many people see through him and know his game. He has created stories to try and win the “emotional” vote, but truly wouldn’t you rather that he just go to work for the people of his district and this state? I guess I would. Very tired of the middle school playground antics…

          1. Anonymous

            I don’t know who you talked to but they lied to you if that’s what they said. Or did you just make up your story?

              1. facts

                are that people and the press were lied to. It is common knowledge at the Capitol that Nelson did not threaten Moser in anyway.

                Moser told his whole whip group, they in turn told other legislators, who in turn told lobbyists and other Capitol insiders.

                Yes, that means the press, the GOP caucus, and Capitol security were lied to.

            1. LFoss

              If I was lied to so were you…see how this game goes? Rep. Nelson has you convinced of what he says and I have taken stake in what I have been told by other Representatives…the difference here is I have numbers, you have 1.

              1. Facts

                First off, what is your relation to any of these people that you are such a willing cheerleader of lies and smears?

                You press information of smoke as fact, all the while the logic of the matter shows your assertions to be false on their face.

                The following people are personally known to me as having confirmed that Nelson did NOT threaten anyone: Rep. Stace Nelson, Rep. Nick Moser, & Joshua Klumb (witnessed the disagreement).

                Persons who confirm that Rep. Moser confirmed that Nelson did NOT threaten Moser in any fashion: Representatives Liss, Olson, Russell, Kopp, Verchio, Tornow, Hansen, Venner, Jensen, Steele, Kloucek, Greenfield, Miller, Hubbel, etc., and a handful of interns.

                I encourage everyone to write these people to confirm this.

                Innocent until proven guilty does not apply to Conservatives, especially when RINOs attack.

  15. Troy Jones

    “Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable.” (Jean de La Fontaine)

    ?Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.? (Ben Franklin)

    ?The worst reconciliation is better than the best divorce? (Cervantes)

    Neither side is going to agree about what did or didn’t occur last session or this session. A good law enforcement officer knows that emotion or “lens” clouds what witnesses see or think they saw.

    The question is simple: Does everyone want to keep fighting an old battle or do they want to move on?

    1. Les

      I heard a rumor Flem is considering running as a conservative in the GOP state legis primary this spring.

      Any hard facts on this exciting news?

      BTW, why no coverage of Napoli’s letter to the legis?

    1. Troy Jones

      “Anon2, ”

      If you are talking to me, read my quotes carefully. They apply to everyone in this matter.

      “No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. ” (Doug Horton)

    1. Anonymous

      Lust, Nelson and Rausch should have a group hug and let this whole fiasco go. This is doing nothing to help any one of them and it is hurting both the party and the process.

        1. Troy Jones

          is the one where Angie Buhl scores as a Republican?

          Thought so. That isn’t worth the binary digits it takes up on the web.

  16. Reality check

    she got a 50% with 4 excused absences. How would you prefer that red herring served back to you?

    I bet you would dicker on the quantity of the smoke coming from a burning house on whether the fire is raging or just short of raging..

    Don’t look now, but their are plenty signs that Republicans are tired of establishment RINOs high jacking SD conservativism:

    Whatcha gonna do? Attack every Republican that speaks out against you RINOs?


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