State Rep. Drew Dennert brings home a serving of sour grapes with new legislative map

State Representative Drew Dennert who is credited (blamed) with being the architect of the State House of Representative’s redistricting plans, which culminated in the unsuccessful “Grouse” maps took to Facebook yesterday to throw rocks at the negotiated legislative redistricting map worked out between the House and the Senate, referred to as the “Sparrow” Map.

This process was about gamesmanship as much as it was anything. The Senate strategy was to hold strong, willing to negotiate, but more than willing to let it go to the Supreme Court, because they believed their map was that much better than what the House had.

The House never in the process acted with that level of conviction, and seemed somewhat divided, possibly coming as a result of poor communication of their goals and map.  Literally, I had House members call me and ask if I’d seen a map, because it hadn’t been shared with them until much later.

Moving into the finish line, the Senate hung strong. On the final day a group of House members led by State Representative and Congressional Candidate Taffy Howard proposed that the sparrow map painfully negotiated by House and Senate Leaders be thrown out, and they could just start all over. She said they could even go home, and come back if they had to.

Start Over? Come back? Not the thing to say after three days of 2 painful special sessions, as well as services for a former Governor, and the majority leader has to be taken out on a stretcher. It was a ridiculous proposal, and only the most intractable in the House went for it.

Thankfully, there were those in the House whose better angels recognized that change is inevitable, and as much as they want to keep it the same, there’s a reason we do this process every decade.

If this kind of rock throwing after the fact from Representative Dennert is the fruit of Dennert’s labors this week, it seems to be a lot of sour grapes. Dennert’s whining over the measure should ring hollow, as had the group of House members not dug in their heels, there would not have had to be concessions in the successful proposals to get House Democrats to sign off.  Literally, they put the GOP Caucus in a weaker negotiating position.

And it’s even more disingenuous, because he was the primary architect for the House effort. Dennert was given the golden opportunity to chart the course for the next decade. And what he offered wasn’t progress. It was an attempt to stand still as the best as he could justify.

As the House’s champion of redistricting, in this heroic epic, he had the chance to come out of it looking like Luke Skywalker. Instead, he’s JarJar Binks.

13 thoughts on “State Rep. Drew Dennert brings home a serving of sour grapes with new legislative map”

  1. Drew isn’t alone

    that’s not a sigh of relief you’re hearing from Moody County
    that’s vomit

  2. Gamesmanship
    the art of winning games by using various ploys and tactics to gain a psychological advantage.
    “the negotiations were primarily exercises in propaganda and gamesmanship”

    Very accurate use of the language. Unfortunately this was a serious political function of the legislature where the state needed statesmanship.

      1. You mean like when Drew tried to have Independents pick Republican party candidates? He’s a RINO.

  3. Representative Drew Dennert is the youngest ever legislator in SD Legislative history.
    He is hard working and is dedicated to his constituents. Representative Taffy Howard is a
    legislator that will go against the tide when she has an issue. Assistant Majority Leader
    Representative Chris Johnson is a fine legislator.

    My purpose is to let all know these House Members are awesome.

    1. He rode in on the coat tails of his grandfather who was a Democrat from when the party was different. Drew was purposely deceptive in how he campaigned misleading voters into believing something he was not and the district has paid the price for that. He was coddled growing up and has had very limited life experiences and has showed by his productivity in Pierre since day one. His record shows.

  4. Is it true he just wanted to be able to live on his farm and that’s why he fought for his district changes? And Chris Johnson was fired up because he lost his church with his district changing?

  5. The SDDP which comprises only 10.47679 percent of the legislature is happy with the final redistricting, so doesn’t that alone suggest some serious gerrymandering?

    The moderate Republicans led by Schoenbeck got their redistricting bill passed with the help of seven Democrats in the House. Yet, this Republican blog site criticizes a Republican, Dennert, for sour grapes and not being Republican enough?

    Dennert’s plan would have given Sioux Falls seven urban districts, while the Schoenbeck/Crabtree/Blackbird/Duval/Sparrow plan only gave Sioux Falls six urban districts.
    Dennert’s plan involved only two additional districts into Sioux Falls with an urban/rural mixture, while the SCBDS plan involves an additional four districts into Sioux Falls with an urban/rural mixture. So the final map which was approved, the SCBDS plan, is inherently advantageous to Democrats by compacting Sioux Falls further, yet some of you Republicans want to call Dennert a RINO? Really?

  6. Mr. Johnson, the bald, is lucky all he lost was his bible thumping church. He made his nest. Now let him face his caucuses with a straight face, and see how much he looses in the legislatures during the sessions.

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