The danger of crying wolf

One can only wonder how many legislative voting report cards “conservative” groups will bless us with this year, but at the rate they are going it appears we can inevitably expect a few more. First we had The South Dakota Freedom Index, then the SD GOP’ers and most recently The Life and Liberty Group. Now, I don’t have anything against any individual or group that has a different political view than I do. I admire people who have the courage to stand up to the establishment when they believe there has been wrong doing.

However, if conservative groups continue to cry wolf when there isn’t a wolf few like-minded constituents will be there to listen when they actually have a legitimate concern.

Our party is large, and our party is diverse. We’re going to disagree occasionally. That’s life. Our state legislature isn’t perfect, and we should fight for the issues that matter to us. But we live in a state where Governor Daugaard writes:

“We are determined not to fall into the same trap that has ensnared our federal counterparts. We will not spend unless we have the money. We will not spend reserves until they are gone and then borrow money to cover ongoing expenses. Doing so would lead down a path from which it is hard to return.”

Governor Daugaard followed through with the strong backing of our legislature, causing me to wonder why are we so focused on finding the little issues that divide us rather than being proud of our accomplishments that unite us?

Let us not forget that “the person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally ? not a 20 percent traitor.” (quote by Ronald Reagan)


30 Replies to “The danger of crying wolf”

  1. Anonymous

    I tend to think Stace is right on many issues but his friends with these screwy report cards are hurting his cause and making him look really fringe.

    Why don’t they call up Chris Hupke and ask him how the family policy council puts together a REAL voter guide.

    These other clowns are just attention seekers.

  2. I love this quote.

    Over at Voices Carry, I laughed when I read this:

    …as another State Rep reminded me this morning, it feels a bit hypocritical as the former SD State Senator behind this latest scorecard was the prime sponsor of a 2009 2% sales tax hike bill which was quickly struck down by some of these same legislators he’s now calling RINO’s? folks, that would have been the largest tax hike in state history – 4% to 6%.

    Gordon Howie tried to introduce the biggest tax increase in SD history. And now he’s trying to call others out on their lack of Republican principles.

    1. little red riding hood

      Gordon Howie is an ego maniac.

      Can’t say I always support Hickey either.

      It’s going to be an interesting session. Maybe we will get some fireworks?

    2. caheidelberger

      Far be it from me to defend Gordon Howie. However, Howie’s 2009 SB 169 would have dedicated every dollar of additional revenue raised from the sales increase to property tax reduction. SB 169 enjoyed to co-sponsorship of certain favorites of this blog, including Senator Jason Gant and Representative Dan Lederman.

      Of course, I think Gordon just wanted to reduce his already delinquent property tax bill.

        1. Nancy

          It was a tax swap only for property owners. Regardless, none of this context gets explained on a reportcard. Using their own medicine, this would get tallied as a tax increase bill and could easily be skewed to be the same suits-me style policy making Nancy Pelosi uses to line her own pockets.

  3. Bob Ellis

    >>>Let us not forget that ?the person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally ? not a 20 percent traitor.? (quote by Ronald Reagan)

    Wouldn’t it be nice if many “Republican” legislators could live up to that 80%?

    1. Ouch!

      So if these “Republicans” are voting with Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D) 50-83% of the time, does that simply make them our friends on the waaaaaay other side of our tent, or Democrats registered as Republicans?

      It is a fool’s errand to encourage dismissal of these report cards. Conservative is what the majority of South Dakotans call themselves and they are the most active element of the SD GOP.

      If our SD GOP leadership has any clue, they would best serve the SD Republican party by making a visible effort to counter their left leaning and tack to the right this next session.

      1. anonny

        Most South Dakotan’s consider themselves conservatives, yes….radical, no. Howie is a radical that is more interested in making some money off of these report cards than anything else.

        The first report card that he and Stace published listed Angie Buhl as being more conservative than Larry Rhoden!!!


    2. Anonymous

      Once again you show how crazy you are Ellis. When are you going to put out a report card ranking Thune, Noem and Johnson?

      After the last session I’m pretty sure there aren’t any RINO’s in SD and if there are they aren’t in the legislature because we cut 100 million from that budget. Sounds conservative to me.

  4. troy jones

    And, we are supposed to think a “report card” that puts Steve Hickey, Hal Wick and Roger Hunt at 60% or below is legitimate. LOL

    1. Ouch!

      When you get three different report cards, using mostly different bills as criteria, that reflect pretty much the same indications, it makes it harder to say that all these groups are skewing their data to produce a desired grade…

      Curious what each legislator’s average grade from all these report cards would be.

      1. Ouch!

        Here are the three report card grade averages of some of leadership and others discussed here often:

        Wick 59%
        Hunt 50%
        Hoffman 37%
        Cronin 42%
        Lust 50%
        Rausch 39%
        Gosch 59%
        Hickey 60%

        Olson 56%
        Brown 68%
        Begalka 61%
        Cutler 33%

  5. 73*

    I have never seen such foolishness on behalf of Ellis, Howie, and the other great conservatives in this state. Obviously the Tea Party and the desire for power has gone straight to their heads.

    I can tell you one thing. In ’10 I took them seriously as a legitimate group but today I laugh at them for making controversy up.

    It doesn’t make me any less conservative but it does make me skeptical of them and what their motives are.

  6. Anonymous

    First off we don’t know what these report cards are all about.

    What is the agenda? FPC has a clear agenda on social issues.

    All of these report cards are only going to dillute the ones that actually are important to the conservative base.

    1. Anon

      you were thinking you should try and kick them out and find someone who’s as far right as yourself…problem is, you’ll kick out the 80%ers and end up with a democrat instead….duh!

      1. Bob Ellis

        I was thinking it might be nice to have a little truth in advertising, a little allegiance to the team one has joined…you know, Republicans acting like they believe in their party’s values and platform. By the way, if the 80% would end up Democrats, then they already are and they’re just masquerading as Republicans. An opponent clearly on the opposing team is much easier to defeat than one who is sabotaging your team’s plays from within your own team. It’s pretty simple: if you oppose conservative Republican values and embrace Democrat values, join the Democrat Party; if you oppose Democrat values and embrace Republican values, join the Republican Party; if you can’t manage to be ideologically consistent, then stay home and don’t bother other people with your double-mindedness. Duh!

    1. Bob Ellis

      Sticking with Republican values and platform would be good. Someone quoted Ronald Reagan earlier and a percentage of 80% agreement. That seems very reasonable to me, allowing for more than a little honest difference of perspective here and there. Unfortunately there are way too many “Republicans” for whom 80% is way out of reach, making their differences with Republican values and the Republican game plan (i.e. platform) more than just a little honest difference of perspective.

  7. anooner

    Ellis, being self-righteous doesn’t make you the final arbitor of what is “right” (conservative) or righteous. Here is part of my report card on a couple of your favorite legislators:

    Hubbel and Stace:

    Wackiness – B+

    Ability to get along with others – D

    Teacher’s comments: Lora and Stace could be even wackier if they tried harder and applied themselves. Also, it appears they don’t seem to play well with others. Mr. Ellis, please address these areas of concern during dinner time in Sibby’s bunker.



    1. **Politician Alert**

      So which tall horned RINO are you? Did the mean voters hurt your precious ego with their report cards? How dare they!

      The more you RINOs attack the Conservatives, the stronger you make them. Ask Mayor Kooiker.

      1. Anonymous

        Is the definition of RINO not agreeing with Stace and Hubbel? Are those two hurting or helping the cause at this point?

          1. peel the sticker off...

            Rausch was a life long Democrat and changed parties in 2000 to try and get elected as a Republican… a look at the way he voted shows he simply changed his voter registration:


            Birds of a feather flock together. If they vote with Bernie Hunhoff (D) on all the issues South Dakota republicans are worried about, are they different from him because of their magical (R)?

            Rep. Bernie Hunhoff (D) the true majority leader of the House of Representatives…

      2. anooner

        I know you think there is a RINO lurking behind every bush or comment, but I don’t live in Pierre, I don’t hold any sort of elected office, and I’m a registered Indy.


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