When 2 Reps go to war…. Schoenbeck v Gosch

State Representative Lee Schoenbeck apparently brought all his shotguns to the cracker barrell today, where he leveled all his verbal weaponry at House Majority Leader Brian Gosch over his handling of the Ed funding bill this week.

According to the Watertown Public Opinion:

Rep. Lee Schoenbeck was particularly critical of House Majority Leader Brian Gosch of Rapid City and his actions surrounding House Bill 1182, Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to raise the sales tax a half-penny to fund teacher salaries and property tax relief.


Adding punctuation to his explanation of the changes affecting the technical schools, Schoenbeck said thanks should go to Gosch and “a group of clowns” whose obstinance opened the door to the change. He then added he probably shouldn’t have called them “clowns.”

Schoenbeck cited one particular instance involving his fellow District 5 Rep. Roger Solum and Gosch. He said Gosch delivered the body’s code of ethics to Solum and highlighted provisions of the bill Gosch said should preclude Solum from voting (dealing with the technical institutes, as Solum is employed by LATI).

“It’s the most disgusting, political act I have ever seen a coward do in a setting, to behave the way Brian Gosch did,” Schoenbeck said.

He said real leaders don’t handle issues like Gosch did.

“But, if you’re pond scum, you’d try and intimidate someone who’s not voting for you.”

Read it all here.

And there’s more. Click on the link.

(This next week might be a little tense in that time between lunch and session where people caucus.)

48 Replies to “When 2 Reps go to war…. Schoenbeck v Gosch”

    1. Anonymous

      Because he would lose. Tech schools are part of the school district. You can work for a school district and be in the legislature. Ask Jim Holbeck or Paula Hawks, among others.

  1. Anonymous

    Rep Schoenbeck needs to learn a little respect….Lies…group of clowns….pond scum

    I don’t care what side of an issue you are on…that is hardly professional conduct.

      1. Say It Ain't So...

        If you were describing Dusty Johnson I would have said you were dead on.

        Lee is too likable.

        1. Anonymous

          Dusty Johnson is neither an egomaniac or a borderline psychopath. He’s a very good father and a gentleman. It’s always a pleasure when I visit relatives in Mitchell and I see him in church with his family. If you don’t have proof of the mud you flung at Mr. Johnson, your comment is certainly actionable. If you attend church, say a prayer for yourself that he doesn’t hold you accountable. Meanwhile, I will pray he does.

      1. Anonymous

        Schoenbeck is awesome with his words of wisdom! I’d vote for him any day and for just about any office!

        Go Bearcats!

  2. Say It Ain't So...

    I actually like it when we have skirmishes among fellow party members regardless of the party. it shows and independence. I don’t want to see raging psychopathic behavior like Stace Nelson showed but I can handle name calling and people despising each other as long as they are smart about it and always plotting against each other with genius level wit.

    Again as long as this doesn’t turn into stupid bull in the china shop Stace Nelson garbage then I’m ok with it. It better be a real thinking mans game if they are going to go to war.

    Gosch didn’t want to pass the tax so he pulled out every move he could come up with. Schoenbeck wanted the tax and he probably did the same thing. Good they made enemies of each other. Sooner or later they can make up.

    This will be a great political war story in 25 years.

  3. Lee Schoenbeck

    To be clear, Rep Gosch threat to Rep Sollum as the debate commenced on the education funding bill, was his decision that we would be using Marcus of Queensberry rules in this battle. There is one thing we don’t know about all of this, but we’ll find out on Monday. Who else knew he was going to threaten a member of his caucus on the house floor, no warning and with a threat that was not true – to try and force Rep Sollum off of the house floor so he couldn’t vote. We don’t know yet how many of his cohorts were in on the threat. We do know, that from that point on we werent operating under the normal rules. If we were, I think the sergeant would have had to escort representative Gosch , and anybody else in on the threat, off of the house floor.

    1. Anne Beal

      Ok Lee, if HB 1182 is REALLY about funding education,

      PROVE IT!

      Take the property tax relief out of it. Completely. If this tax is for the kids, then it’s 100% for the kids. Every penny. No tax cuts for the rich.

      Put the money where your mouth is. All of it. In the schools.
      Or sit down and shut up.

    2. Anonymous

      If this vote passes, I heard a lawsuit is being contemplated.
      If Carol Pits was forced to resign from the legislature because her salary was from a contract to a business she worked for and was funded by state dollars I don’t see how this is any different. Maybe not illegal but certainly unethical.
      I’m sure the k12 folks will be happy to hear this as they see the tech schools already butting in on their funds.

  4. Anonymous

    All Lee wants is property tax relief, because his backyard looks like a five-star miniature golf course. In Dubai. His property taxes must be astronomical. It’s his problem, he’s just taking it out on other people.

  5. Oldguy

    I lost respect for Lee for talking like this. You can disagree with people without the name calling. I really thought he was above that but sure looks like I am wrong.

  6. William Beal

    Frankly, is any piece of legislation that generates this level of controversy and vitriol worth passing?

    Will passing THIS specific bill settle this debate once and for all, or will it serve to make a more amenable resolution of the issues more difficult to reach in the future?

    Better to take more time and work together to reach a more satisfactory solution, than pass something so flawed that the means to its end are so distasteful.

    I’d hesitate to burn any bridges I may need to cross in the future.

    1. Anonymous

      I am assuming you would like that same rule applied to the transgender bill? Otherwise you would be…oh what’s the word I’m looking for? It’s either disingenuous or hypocritical. I can’t decide which.

      1. William Beal

        I can’t honestly say I’ve followed that issue, as we already have male/female and “unisex” facilities in most public buildings.

        Pick one…

  7. Cliff Hadley

    Mr. Beal is right on this. And it’s only the beginning…

    Imagine what’s in store as schools have tens of millions of free dollars fall into their laps. Human nature takes over at that point. Then as Robert Palmer put it so well, “No one knows where the money went.”

    Lawmakers, teachers and the union will be amazed how little of the $70 million raised each year actually goes to salaries. And predictably, they’ll wail, “Why!?” Meanwhile, other public employees and school staff not in on the pot o’ gold will join in with, “Unfair!”

    And the public? We’ll get blamed for not caring enough about the children. As usual.

    1. Daugaard's Dupe

      It’s worse than that. Two years from now when the ed lobby (and private “golf course” owners like Schoenbeck) come back to demand more of our money, the stakes will be even higher. The larger $$ amounts will give them more incentive to fight and more power to fight with. South Dakota will be that much more like the war zone in Wisconsin, where the public education system has degenerated into a bastion of authoritarian socialism and mob rule.

      Beyond an eighth-grade mastery of reading, writing and arithmetic, the taxpayer-financed education system was never worth what it cost, and today it’s producing less, and costing more, than ever before.

      It’s shocking that Dennis Daugaard would seem to support conservative policy for his entire career, win his last election by the widest margin in state history, and then abuse his power to do the exact opposite of what we elected him to do. How is representative government supposed to work under these conditions?

      I muted my criticism of last year’s massive highway bill because, although I disagreed, I could see how an honest conservative might have reached the wrong conclusion. In the case of Daugaard’s decisions this year, I can’t see that at all.

  8. Liberty Dick

    If citing the code of ethics is intimidating then Gosch is probably right…
    This name calling is getting very obnoxious and isn’t making any allies Lee.

  9. Anne Beal

    Why don’t they take out the property tax relief, and use the 40% of the sales tax revenue to boost the wages of law enforcement officers, who work more than 50 weeks a year, 50-60 hours a week, nights, weekends, holidays, outdoors in blizzards and heat waves, and make only about half what the teachers make. Plus, sometimes they get shot at.
    You don’t see them throwing tantrums at crackerbarrels. They deserve raises more than the teachers do.

    1. PlanningStudent

      I’d second that. I hear a lot of concerns professionally and personally regarding law enforcement pay, especially county sheriff deputies who of course rely on property tax entirely. I’ve tried to talk to county commissioners about legislation allowing cities and counties to work together for a new revenue source solely for the sheriff and states attorney. But counties always want to go it alone.

  10. Lee Schoenbeck

    To break a long standing rule of mine about commenting on comments about me, a few thoughts.

    I agree with much of what is said above, except the part about calling my pasture a golf course. No doubt when he attacked Roger, he inspired a pile of rage in me, and I’d prefer to be better than that – apparently I am not.

    Finally, I’m not running for any office (and hundreds have been aware of that for months) – so this has nothing to do with seeking any accolades, votes or whatever — I just think we owe it to our kids to do better (I’m just that simple). The policy bills, when we see them, will be as spirited – just different alliances

    1. Cliff Hadley

      Teacher pay doesn’t correlate with kids doing better in the classroom. So I’ll keep coming back to my main question: When a 20 percent raise for teachers happens, and nothing changes on shortages in STEM classes and with retention, what then? Doubtful we’ll even hear an “Oops! So sorry! Guess we were wrong.”

  11. When RINOs attack their fellow RINOs

    Schoenbeck is an embarrassment and is showing a severe case of little man syndrome.

    Establishment RINOs pushing ANOTHER tax and fee increase while claiming SD doesn’t have enough $$ in a $4+ BILLION budget for the core infrastructure needs people pay their taxes for?!

    We wonder why the US is being crushed by debt. The same faux Republicans who vote for increased govt and spending voting with the Democrats.

    Somebody get the little man a bar of soap for his potty mouth and a fresh diaper..

  12. anon1

    I hope that someone in the House republican caucus requests a vote to oust Gosch from his leadership post. I’m pretty sure it would pass!

    1. anon1

      This kind of uproar is what happens when a legislator, who has been put in a position of leadership, puts his personal gain before that of his caucus.

      However, I think it’s going to backfire…. The “Gosch for Attorney General” plan never had much of a chance, but this episode pretty much guarantees it will fail.

      1. Anonymous

        So what is Rep Gosch going to do? or maybe his is done so he doesn’t care.

        Primary for the state senate?

        I agree any statewide races for him with this and don’t forget the whole notary incident which leaves him with a couple black marks.

    2. Anonymous

      Based on what? The fact he pointed out that an employee of the tech schools maybe shouldn’t vote on his own salary increase? Particularly after Lee gave him all those props about being such a great idea. Bolin made a great point, they hadn’t even approved the funds yet and already they are being siphoned away from k12.
      As majority leader you still get to advocate your beliefs and this clearly isn’t a caucus position. This state voted down a tax increase for education in 2012 big time remember?
      Also, our schools have the second highest reserves in the country
      Second, we rank 37th in per kid spending.
      3rd, the legislature doesn’t set educator salaries.
      Doesn’t warrant a tax increase yet in my book.

      1. Anonymous

        You clearly have zero comprehension of how school reserves work. Using those funds for teacher pay would deplete them nearly instantaneously and irrevocably harm any school district that did so. The teacher funding issue is a structural problem that requires a long-term, ongoing fix from a consistent funding source. Once depleted, school reserves will be of zero help and we’d be right back where we are today in just a year or so.

  13. grudznick

    Mr. Schoenbeck has always seemed rather egotistical and smug.

    Doesn’t mean he’s wrong on this one.

  14. Rep. Mike Verchio

    Gosch is the only conservative leader we’ve had in my 8 yrs. in the House . He is driving the moderates & RINOS crazy . HE IS A KEEPER !

  15. Demoslocke

    LOL. You guys all totally know each other don’t you? I bet, out of the 47 comments before mine, that there are about twelve different people (who all know each other) just taking shots through aliases. 😉 Hell I bet all of those anonymous comments were from elected officials. God I love the Internet.