I just caught this interesting post on facebook this morning from State Senator Josh Klumb:
n the article, Kelsea is serving as the lawyer for Dakota Rural Action, a radical liberal group that the Capitol Journal might describe as “emphasizing food and environmental safety,” but according to one website, they have a darker backstory of liberal activism as paid for by out-of state big-money groups:
In the black hills of South Dakota, Dakota Rural Action (DRA) has the reputation for being the most aggressive and politically driven of regional activist groups. Backed by loads of out-of-state foundation money and a claim to prairie populism, DRA has earned that title with a variety of anti-consumer campaigns designed to inflate food prices and put leftist politics squarely on your plate.
Dakota Rural Action’s claim to fame was the 1998 passage of South Dakota’s “Amendment E,” a change to the state’s Constitution that “bans corporate farming” — except, of course for the “corporate” farms that the activist culture likes. Through a relentless campaign of disinformation, DRA was able to convince South Dakotans to back their proposed constitutional amendment and strike a blow against “big, out-of-state corporations.”
What supporters of Amendment E didn’t divulge to South Dakota voters is that DRA is itself a corporation, and that it is part of a collective of groups called the Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC). WORC’s board of directors is the very epitome of an interlocking structure, allowing only WORC subsidiary groups to have a say in its message development and activism.
In 1998, when Dakota Rural Action was telling South Dakota voters of the evils of interlocking boards, DRA director Shirley Effling was also on the WORC board. Today, both she and DRA’s Shane Kolb sit as WORC directors. WORC is effectively Dakota Rural Action’s own “big, out-of-state” parent corporation. Dakota Rural Action also didn’t disclose that it relies on another set of enormous, wealthy corporations (called foundations) for the vast majority of its money — and almost all of it comes from out of state, the same grave sin that earns larger farming corporations so much of DRA’s wrath.
DRA isn’t willing to put its name on all its partnerships, however. A Nebraska activist organization oddly named “Friends of the Constitution” (FOC) has operated one of the nation’s longest-running anti-hog farm campaigns. Nebraska’s version of Amendment E is called “Initiative 300,” and it dates all the way back to 1982. FOC’s mission is to keep corporate hog farmers out of Nebraska by any means necessary, and it has earned a reputation among the region’s farmers for being unusually aggressive in keeping potential out-of-state competitors from getting into the game at all.
In recent years, however, Friends of the Constitution has branched out into the Dakotas, in a reckless attempt to kick large-scale hog farms out of as much prairie land as possible. Any time a corporate citizen wants to build a hog lot, FOC can be counted on to show up in force — even when the potential builder has a spotless environmental record. FOC’s brand of activism is transparent and predictable. What’s hard to comprehend is where it gets the money required to traipse all across the Midwest, yanking out potential competitors by the roots.
Dakota Rural Action as represented by Kelsea Sutton, taking on South Dakota Pork Producers and Cattlemen. Not exactly the kind of image you’d think the Democrat ticket would want to promote.
And not exactly the kind of group you’d want to have a toehold in the Governor’s office.
Update – basically what they were saying..