House Bill 1008, An act to restrict access to certain restrooms and locker rooms in public schools was heard on the House floor yesterday, with a largely block voting cast by either party. Tona Rozum defected on the Republican side, and Ray Ring defected on the Democrat side. But otherwise, it was R and D straight down the line. The bill passed as amended on a lopsided 58-10 vote.
And among that block of ten people voting no, was Democrat Congressional Candidate Paula Hawks. Hawks voted along with the rest of the Democrats on their party line, in favor of boys and girls showering together in schools. It was a vote popular with the Liberals and ACLU crowd, but as noted, they lost, and lost badly.
So, this person leading the Democrat party and carrying the blue banner as the sole statewide candidate for the party voted against it.
But, curiously, she didn’t stand up, and raise her voice on the measure. She made no note of it on social media as she did today declaring that “a resolution for equal pay passed!” She hasn’t brought it up on Facebook or as one of the extremely rare Twitter posts she makes. She didn’t talk to the media about it.
Voting in favor of boys and girls showering together will probably prove not popular with the church going folk across South Dakota. But she made the vote. And there has been silence. It’s as if she just decided to hit the mute button, and hopes the issue passes her by before anyone notices.
Last year, she took a similar stance on HB 1195, which required a Student’s Gender Identity to be Determined by a Birth Certificate. She voted no on that one as well. Not a shock. She’s a pretty liberal Democrat.
But the difference this year is that she’s carrying the Democrat party on her shoulders. She’s got their flag. But, she’s not waving it too proudly. It’s as if she’s folded it up, and put it in her desk.
This standard bearer seems to have done little more than hunker down, and hope people aren’t noticing. I wouldn’t want to be noticed either, considering how utterly liberal her voting record is. But if she’s the Democrat standard bearer, isn’t she supposed to believe in this stuff?
After her daughter’s December surgery, Hawks promised her supporters that “she anticipates putting all of her attention back into campaigning in January.” Yet… I can’t help but have the sense that she hasn’t. Over the course of the last month, she’s had ample opportunity to step up to the plate and take her place at the head of the table. Yet, supporting a non-binding resolution for equal pay, and agreeing with the Republican Governor noting ” I agree with Governor Dennis Daugaard, this is the year to get South Dakota out of last place” is all she’s been able to muster.
It’s as if Hawks is doing everything she can to avoid leading the liberal charge. She had more fire last summer when she was first mentioned for the candidacy. Even before session, she was proclaiming her support for Bernie Sanders proposal for debt-free college.
Ever since? Crickets. It’s as if she’s moved back into her special stealth/invisibility mode, and is content with it.
In the first few weeks of session, Hawks is acting like a lot less than someone who voters can consider a legitimate choice for a higher office, and more like a drone in the Democrats’ liberal rank and file; pushing the red or green button as she’s instructed by party bosses, and just waiting for the congressional campaign to be over with.
Given what’s constituting “putting all of her attention back into campaigning,” I wouldn’t be surprised to see Democrats to start asking for someone else to run.
Because it’s tough to get behind someone who is invisible.