As they tumble nearly 20% in polls, Life Defense Fund reports consultant costs of 51%, with Legislator & Co-Chair Jon Hansen one of them

As the financials for South Dakota Right to Life (SDRTL) and its affiliated Political Action Committee have come under fire for spending thousands to attack legislators the group had rated as supporting SDRTL’s positions 100% over the last two legislative sessions, more focus is coming on Jon Hansen, a central figure in the anti-abortion movement in South Dakota. Hansen serves as vice president of the board of South Dakota Right to Life and is co-chair of the Life Defense Fund.

With all the money flowing into the Life Defense fund to fight Constitutional Amendment “G” to force the most liberal abortion laws in the nation of abortion onto South Dakota, why are they crashing in the polls before the fight has even begun?

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I …have not accepted, nor will I accept or receive directly or indirectly, any money, pass, or any other valuable thing, from any corporation, company or person, for any vote or influence I may give or withhold on any bill or resolution, or appropriation, or for any other official act.”

Article III, Section 8, South Dakota Constitution
South Dakota Legislative Oath of Office.

LEGISLATOR LEADING EFFORT AGAINST MEASURE IN LEGISLATURE ALSO PAID CONSULTANT

In January, the leader of the Life Defense Fund State Representative Jon Hansen introduced and led House Bill 1244 in an attempt to stymie the petition circulators of a pro-choice measure who wished to enshrine abortion in the South Dakota State Constitution. Hansen claimed and testified as to circulation irregularities:

The bill was the brainchild of Rep. Jon Hansen, who is leading the effort to block a proposed amendment to the constitution that would substantially expand access to abortion in South Dakota.

An emergency clause in the legislation would make it so that it would apply to that effort – spearheaded by Dakotans for Health.

Read that here.

What no one had noticed at the time is that Representative Hansen was not just leading the Life Defense Fund, but the prime sponsor of House Bill 1244 had apparently been receiving income from the group:

In January of 2023, as part of his “Conflict of Interest/Statement of Financial Interest” as an elected official, Hansen disclosed that he was not just co-chair of the Life Defense Fund but disclosed he befitting financially as co-chair/consultant for the organization. He also reiterated that he was receiving funds from the group again in 2024 as part of his “Conflict of Interest” candidate statement.

On both documents, officeholders and candidates are required to disclose “any source of funds” that “contribute more than 10% or more than $2000 to their family’s gross income in the preceding calendar year.”

How much is Hansen receiving as an advocate for the Life Defense Fund? It’s hard to cite a specific amount. Unfortunately, with South Dakota’s fairly lackadaisical campaign finance reporting laws, we’re only allowed a glimpse of the broad category of consulting, as opposed to knowing the specific amount that Hansen is pocketing for his Co-Chairmanship & Consultancy.

In their last 2 campaign finance reports, the group reports expenditures of $209,294.36 in their year-end report, and $69,201.16 in their pre-primary report.  Of those expenditures, across both reports the Life Defense fund notes consulting expenses totaling $142,430.44 of the $278,495.52 they’ve spent in the last 18 months. Or, 51.14%.

Life Defense Fund Year End … by Pat Powers

Over fifty cents of every dollar reported in those reports as being spent by the Life Defense Fund is going out for consulting, as Jon Hansen self-disclosed himself as a consultant receiving renumeration from the organization.

“..any interpretation of Article 3, Section 12 should err on the side of taxpayer protection against legislative conflicts and not on the side of monetary gain for members of the legislature.”

– Representative Jon Hansen
Supreme Court Brief, filed 12/15/2023

PAST CONFLICTS OF INTEREST HAVE RAISED SOUTH DAKOTAN’S IRE

As Hansen’s paid advocacy appears to have more than a passing relation to his efforts in priming and passing House Bill 1244, we have to pause and reflect back on how past conflicts have been viewed.

Some of us can go back and remember one of the incidents that helped propel now Governor Kristi Noem into the greater statewide public view, raising her profile before her bid for Congress in 2010:

During the committee’s discussion about the bill, Noem said Heidepriem’s law firm is representing “someone looking for expansion of gaming in the state.”

“I would believe there are other motivating factors here. There are ties that haven’t come to light yet,” she said.

And..

He further wrote that he was “disappointed” that Noem suggested he was trying to advance the interest of a client.

“In the future, if you have concerns about my ethics, you might consider inquiring of me privately, to avoid suggesting unfounded allegations against a fellow legislator in public, and to spare yourself any appearance of inappropriate partisanship,” Heidepriem’s letter concluded.

Read that story here.

Scott Heidepreim came under then State Rep. Kristi Noem’s fire back in 2009 for introducing legislation which appeared might possibly benefit one of his law firm’s clients. And it received plenty of press back in the day.

15 years later when State Representative Jon Hansen is very openly and actively trying to block an opponent on a ballot measure, no one seems to have has raised any concern over the conflict between his position as the public leader of a ballot measure committee and his work as a legislator.

And now we find that part of his leadership was defined and disclosed as paid work during the time he was introducing legislation to benefit their effort.

WHAT HAS THE LIFE DEFENSE FUND ACCOMPLISHED? PR FAILURES AND AMENDMENT G SURGING IN THE POLLS.

Despite having Hansen, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, leading and passing a bill to give the ability to directly attack the signature collection process (in theory), in practice the implementation ended up resulting in a PR disaster. In one instance, the calls triggered Secretary of State Monae Johnson to refer to calls coming from the group labeling them as “a scam,” as detailed in a story from SD Searchlight:

The callers were contacting people who had signed a petition to place an abortion-rights measure on the ballot in the Nov. 5 election. The phone operation was part of a coordinated attempt to gather information for a legal challenge to the petition, and to inform people that they could withdraw their signatures.

Johnson’s news release said callers were “impersonating” her staff and “trying to pressure voters into asking that their name be removed” from the petitions.

Read the entire story here.

Hansen vehemently denied the label of it being a scam and attacked the Secretary of State, declaring that “by labeling our lawful activity as a scam, Secretary of State Johnson has done significant and irreversible damage to the pro-life movement in South Dakota.”

The Attorney General investigated and determined that he did not believe that any misunderstanding of the calls had been intentional, but conceded that in practice, it could have been a communication issue for Hansen’s group. But it also gave opponents fodder:

“Could they have been reading the script too fast?” Jackley said. “Possibly.”

and..

Dakotans for Health Chairman Rick Weiland described the phone campaign as unethical.

“We knew all this would happen once that signature removal bill passed,” Weiland said. “They did and continue to misrepresent the ballot measure.”

Read that here.

How have South Dakotans viewed the proposed abortion measure Amendment G as all of this has been taking place?

In November of 2023, a joint poll of 500 residents conducted by SD News Watch and the Chiesman Center for Democracy at USD asked people whether they would support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would allow for abortions during the first trimester. The results indicated that 45.6% supported the amendment, 43.6% opposed it, and 10.8% were undecided.

Fast forward to May of 2024. An identical survey was conducted. The results? 53.4% now are said to support Amendment G. 35.4% oppose it. And a higher number – 11.2% – are undecided.

As reported, a nearly 20-point margin shift in 4 months has taken place in favor of Amendment G, while during the same period of time the ballot measure committee opposing it – the Life Defense Fund – has done nothing but flail in their attempts to attack the petitioning process.

And that poll was taken about a week before the flurry of negative press.

WHERE DO AMENDMENT “G” OPPONENTS GO NOW?

Recent news reports indicate that the Life Defense Fund intends to attempt a legal challenge against the validity of the petitions over the manner in which signatures were gathered, claiming that signatories were deceived, re-running the same allegations in court that they were unable to gain any headway with after they received passage of House Bill 1244, their signature challenge bill.

Well, good luck with that.

In South Dakota, the Supreme Court has traditionally taken the position to let the people decide, as opposed to overturning ballot measures in progress, especially given the short timeframe between the time petitions are filed and validated and the fall election, leaving almost no time for a deep examination of allegations that the people attempting to block such petitions make.

With the hostility that some in the pro-life movement have exhibited against a number of elected officials who had stood with them on the life issue – as recently chronicled by long-time legislator Lee Schoenbeck –  and others calling for “a trustworthy new option” for pro-life minded supporters, the anti-abortion movement finds itself going into the fall election completely fractured. A number of high-profile pro-life advocates want to oppose the effort, but given the players leading the game, they’re taking their ball and looking for a new field to play in.

As illustrated by the surging poll numbers in favor of the amendment, if trends continue and are unable to be arrested by what to date has been Jon Hansen’s ham-handed campaign that can’t shoot straight, it does not bode well for South Dakota’s pro-life movement.

At this rate, when the November election rolls around, South Dakota may find itself as host to the strongest pro-choice laws in the nation enshrined in our State Constitution.

74 thoughts on “As they tumble nearly 20% in polls, Life Defense Fund reports consultant costs of 51%, with Legislator & Co-Chair Jon Hansen one of them”

  1. Heck yes, best news I’ve read in a long time. “Don’t tread on me” applies to health and wellness too.

  2. I believe Hansen was one of the ones who attacked Lederman for being a paid consultant while Lederman was serving as Party Chair. Now we find out that Hansen was a paid consultant while serving as a legislator? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

          1. I predict completely different leadership in both chambers.

            A concensus group will emerge. We will put the divisiveness of us vs them behind us.

  3. Imagine that, a holy roller grandstanding and railing for attention while at the same time stuffing their pockets from the suckers they’ve conned. Shocking, just shocking I say!

  4. Campaign finance disclosures should be required to be more specific on the expense side; same as the contribution side. Did he get the $22k consulting fees and the $5k legal fees? How do we know?

  5. Hansen has done more for the cause of abortion rights in South Dakota than the Dems ever could with his shady tactics.

    1. Hansen is as much of a lawyer as Deutsch and Unruh are doctors. I chose the wrong line of work, plenty of scam jobs out there like these folks have where you can make killer money, all while living the delusion of “working for Jesus”.

  6. Wow this hit piece is just unbelievable. A new low. Did NARAL pro choice America write it for you? Did you copy it from Rolling Stone? Apparently some of you people (you know who you are) butt-hurt over the primary, are willing – at the most critical moment – to blow up the pro-life movement in SD over it, instead of find ways to help. Tell me Monday morning quarterbacks, who’s done more than Jon Hansen and Leslee Unruh consistently for the cause? Have you ever thought about just calling up Jon and Leslee to offer constructive criticism and solutions to help? To share ideas for a campaign? Isn’t that what you do for a living Pat? You have time on your hands now Lee, and plenty of money, so let’s see the plan. Or is the plan just to blow up the people fighting the good fight while blogging in your basement?

    “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

    —Theodore Roosevelt
    Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

    1. Imagine being more upset at the revelation of Hansen being exposed as a grifter and fraud than at his actual acts. If he didn’t want to be revealed as a double-dipping charlatan then he shouldn’t have given in to the temptation.

      FAFO, as the kids say.

    2. Should we dig into your double-dipping too there Scott?

      Or are you just butthurt Joe Sneve’s other sugar daddy is getting more press than you?

    3. A solid republican family that I know, they were so excited to have a baby but on first ultrasound found out they had an encephalic child. The infant had no brain. Never will be viable outside of the womb. They had to travel to Minnesota to have a palliative abortion. But it’s sick how Scott Odenbach can only think about his friend Jon Hansen and how “great” of a person he is and how Jon is being drug through the mud on his double dipping escapade. So sad for Jon. And sorry Scott, become a real Christian with real empathy for human beings. Until then, we don’t care about your sob story.

      1. anonymous at 6:46 the real tragedy is that anencephalic babies can be carried to term and their organs can be donated, to a baby with tetralogy of fallot. I know two families who lost babies to that disorder. If heart & lung donors could have been found, they might have been saved.

        1. I see what you are saying. However, that is an extremely personal and individual decision. Maybe Jon will bring a bill to require women to donate their deceased infants organs too………

          1. my experience in recruiting organ donors has been positive, especially when approaching women about it. Asking family members to donate organs, I have never had a woman refuse, while a few men have.

            1. Good for you. What the heck does this have to do with anything? A woman who doesn’t want to carry an infant to term, and would rather take a palliative option – should have that choice. Your sick.

              1. was she offered the option of donating the baby’s organs?
                Families who have donated organs find that act to be palliative! it helps them make sense of their loss

    4. Mr. Odenbach, you are a swell fellow by most accounts, a Leprechaun by others. Stop with the cobbling and insaner practical jokes, or your town will oust you.

    5. LOL SCOTT ODENBACH TALKING ABOUT HIT PIECES AND FUNDING HIT PIECES .!!!! Funniest thing I have read all day… IRONY is real.

    6. Well said. Thank you Scott and thank you Leslee and Jon and all the LDF volunteers who are giving of their all to support the unborn. You are heroes on earth and in heaven.

      1. They truly are for exposing the corruption and fraud that has been perpetrated on those who donated to these organizations in good faith.

  7. BullRoar, Mr. Oldenbach. Anyone paying any attention knows these Right to Life Organizations are organized to put cash in the pockets of their officers. That this leadership, Hanson and others, are enriching themselves and “creating Issues” to curry fund raising has been obvious for the last twenty years.

  8. Pat, Looks like you and Lee have been busy. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. It would be nice if you both had time to highlight the “great healthcare benefits” Amendment G will bring to South Dakota. But no, you would rather cause division in Republican party at the expense of G, so when it fails, then you, Schoenbeck and the ilk’s can blame Hanson and others who you hate, despite the absolute horrors G will bring to the state. It would be much better to get rid of those you hate than work to stop G. Small price to pay…it’s already Tee’d up.

    1. SDRTL and Hansen have only themselves to blame. They shouldn’t have attacked faithful fellows in the legislature, many of which had a 100% approval rating from SDRTL. They stonewalled any legislative attempts to clarify what our current Abortion Restrictions entail and how they impact healthcare providers. They saw what has happened in other states with doctors fleeing due to restrictive and gauge laws, they saw Indiana try and force an 11 year old give birth and did NOTHING to stymie the argument that Amendment G was needed.

      You want us to trust these duplicitous backstabbers? They made their bed, let them lie in it. Let the passing of Amendment G rot in their consciences, if they have one.

  9. Hunter Biden appears to have used the position and influence of Joe Biden to support his personal need for money and power.

    Jon Hansen appears to have used the position and influence of SDRTL to support his personnel need for money and power.

    Same same.

    From this day forward, Jon Hansen shall be known as Hunter Hansen.

    1. 💥Ed from the top rope 💥💥💥

      Ps-leave funny to people that are. Sycophancy, that’s your vibe

  10. When you buy something in the grocery store, it has a label telling you the ingredients and nutritional breakdown so you know exactly what you’re buying BEFORE you buy. When you make a donation to Life Defense Fund, maybe there should be a warning label-style pop up letting you know that over 50% of your donation will go to “consultant fees.” Then people can make an informed decision about where to spend their money. Of course, Life Defense Fund would never get a donation, which is why Jon doesn’t tell people. He has to hide that fact in order to keep the donations rolling in.

  11. That money could have been spent changing hearts and minds about abortion, and what the law and the proposed constitutional amendment will do.
    Instead of advertising, they are blowing it challenging the petitions, which isn’t working, and “consulting.”
    what a waste.

  12. I find it really odd that SDRTL, the Life Defense Fund and Protecting SD Kids all engaged in some skeptical financial dealings at the same time…the same time that the abortion issue and marihuana legalization are critical issues before the public. I just hope that the electorate can remain focused on the danger these two initiatives pose and not be distracted by this side circus.

  13. It seems to me that Rep. Hansen essentially acted as a lobbyist — he clearly was trying to influence legislation and he clearly got paid. Therefore, he arguably violated the law requiring all lobbyists to register with the SOS and he violated the law that prohibits legislators from being paid to lobby while serving in the legislature.

    I wonder if Jackley is considering bringing charges….?

    1. Jackley bring charges?!?!
      [snort, chuckle]
      The standard retort Marty used to cover for the corruption during the Rounds years should suffice,
      “Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.”

  14. Scott Odenbach writes: “Tell me Monday morning quarterbacks, who’s done more than Jon Hansen and Leslee Unruh consistently for the cause?”

    You tell me, Scott… who led us to defeat in the last two abortion votes in South Dakota? You don’t win over conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans – on this issue – with those folks. If they actually knew what they were doing, they wouldn’t have to be told to step aside.

    1. elk, many years ago I realized that repetitive legal challenges to abortion were not doing anything but giving Planned Parenthood fund-raising fodder. Every time a legal challenge was mounted, Planned Parenthood or some other baby-killers would use it in a fund-raising campaign appeal and make more money off it.
      In terms of public relations, these legalistic efforts were seen as evidence that the pro-life movement wasn’t actually concerned about women and children, it was just men trying to oppress women.

      It doesn’t help that some of SDRTL’s highest-ranked legislators are also opposed to court-ordered child support.

      The icing on the cake is their opposition to ANYTHING the Governor wants, and their efforts to sabotage her by sending garbage to her desk (like the first women’s sports bill, which banned caffeine use for student athletes,) and then criticize her for refusing to sign it. Their refusal to work with her has caused some of us to come to the conclusion they just can’t stand the fact the Governor is a female.

      They all need to go away.

  15. You should look into Leslee Unruh, bet she helps grease some wheels for Hansen’s little plan to create his pathway to the AG’s position. Not only does she owe him favors, but, like Hansen, she makes 200k a year for 20 hours of work while all her subordinates are volunteers. Wouldn’t surprise me to see the two helping each other keep money rolling through their respective orgs and pacs. Malignant grifters and con artists gotta work together to create the make-up of South Dakota’s congress they want. That’s how SD is going full wackadoodle. Imagine… experienced incumbant’s being replaced by inexperienced Useful Idiots who will be easily manipulated by certain senior members.

    Oh, South Dakota, what a mess we’ve made.

    PS: Pat, whenever you’re ready to write the update on your 2022 article about me, holler at your favorite Dirtbag.

    1. This is where Mr. Odenbach comes in. His Liberty Tree PAC giving money to the lowest IQ candidates isn’t an accident. He actually had the gall to refer to them as quality candidates. But most of us know he isn’t that dumb. He wants people that he believes he will be able to control. He’s been a snake in the grass for a long time. The SD people will be the ones to ultimately suffer. Him, and others, have ignored the ballot initiatives and measures in favor of remaking the gop party into the radical party of their revolutionary fantasy.

  16. How one person appointed himself Lord and Savior of the pro-life movement in SD is beyond comprehension. I hope this is a wake up call to all the stakeholders who care about the unborn and the current state of affairs.

    As the saying goes, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  17. Lunatic Right: All these people are corrupt! Drain the swamp!

    Establishment: hey, it seems you all are doing some sketch stuff with money

    Lunatic Right: WHY ARE YOU ATTACKING ME!?!?! Solidarity, brother!

  18. This makes sense… Jon was doing magic tricks for birthday parties, then became a lawyer and BOOM now he lives in a mansion on the edge of Dell Rapids. Some would call this tactic he has used to get wealth a SCAM artist. I remember Chuck Brennen being labeled a Crook for doing payday loans. At least his business was upfront and honest. Jon is playing dirty politics to make his money on the backs of good people who care about babies. # SCUM Follow this closely I am guessing Dale Bartscher is apart of the consulting too, and that is why the SDRTL ” board” gave money against rated pro life candidates like Tobin. This whole thing stinks like shit.

  19. It does look like Leslee Unruh gets paid pretty well to run her organization. (Over $170,000) That is a LOT of money over the years. And yes, it does appear that the rest of the staff is all volunteer. So… does she receive consulting fees for these campaigns too?

    They obviously can raise money and they do have a following but if Allen and Leslee Unruh can’t even win 2024 precinct elections in a very conservative primary… just imagine how moderate voters view them.

  20. Lot’s of males thinking this is an issue only affecting women. They are coming for men too, try get a vasectomy at Avera, it is blasphemy and you have to go to another hospital to have the procedure done. It won’t be long before they continue to outlaw birth control. I saw one of Jon Hansen’s billboards trying to justify the ban of abortion for rape victims.

    How can you support the desire for less abortions, and at the same time have a viewpoint that claims all forms of birth control are abortion too? Your religious interpretations shouldn’t control anyone else’s lives.

    #Freedom Lives Here ?

  21. How is it that Sen. Castleberry was so promptly thrown under the Jackley-Noem bus and Hansen somehow escaped?

    1. One was state funds. the other was not. I would assume that is the clear difference. Hansen also disclosed the money on his report which is more than many others do. He was 100% transparent.

      1. 100% transparent? We don’t know how much donor money he paid himself, and the question has been asked.

  22. The current GOP leadership failed on the issue, now they are butt hurt they lost the primary. This story is nothing more than a deflection and finger pointing. The current leadership spent the whole session being wined and dined by summit and their lobbyists instead of focusing on right to life and listening to the people of this state.

    1. Nice attempt at gaslighting, but you’re wrong. SDRTL fought against almost every bill that was brought forth to clarify our abortion laws, or create exceptions for rape and incest. The wackadoodles they supported also tried to or were successful in scuttling most bills that pertained to assisting childcare and medical access for the poor.

      Maybe if the wackadoodles spent as much time talking with OBGYNs, midwives, and daycare providers as they did with Holy Rollers and Bible-Black Tyrants, Amendment G would have a lot less wind behind its sails.

  23. Why are we not hearing from Dale Bartscher or John Hansen? If they feel they have done nothing wrong, why not respond to the accusations? Crickets?

    What they did was unethical at best. Using donor money to pad their pockets and/or support candidates they personally selected with no regards of their Right to Life Views/voting records is deplorable. Ask Becky Drury or Dave Johnson (former president of RC RTL how they feel knowing they were thrown under the bus by these groups. We need to hear from both organizations on their unethical practices. This includes Protecting South Dakota Kids who spent $40k on primary campaigns to include support for July Frye Mueller. Seriously? $40K could have gone a long way in educating voters to avoid passage on legal marijuana in the fall.

    If any of these amendments pass in November, there isn’t much legislators can do, except maybe tax the services. What a waste of money from all these groups so far.

    I will not be supporting any of these groups moving forward, and will be looking for grassroot efforts who are transparent with how they are using donor funds to focus on fighting these issues. There is too much at stake to allow the folks running groups like SDRTL, Life Defense Fund and Protecting South Dakota Kids to waste valuable resources at a time when we need every dollar spent of educating voters.

    1. I completely agree.

      I don’t see how anyone can ever sit there are meetings and Lincoln Day Dinners and listen to RTL or Jon Hansen talk about how much they care about the babies. If they care so much, why are they syphoning donor funds away from fighting to protect babies? I have heard Marty Jackley has represented RTL as a VOLUNTEER on multiple occasions. Wonder how he feels about all this!

  24. I have asked for an explanation of why Jon Hanson takes consulting fees, why those fees are 51 % of the budget and why Blanc, Baxter and Howard deserved donations more than Walsh, Johnson, Drury or Duhamel and I’ve not received a response. Until I do I will oppose donating any additional funds to LDF or SDRTL.

    1. John let’s get South Dakotans to defeat recreational Marijuana so Mathew Schweich can move back to the East Coast. The pro THC commercializers will try to divide and distract for the win. South Dakota cannot afford this mess!

      Lead cannabis proponent says he won’t bring back ballot initiative in 2026
      Matthew Schweich says he won’t be behind fourth effort should voters reject recreational marijuana in 2024 https://www.thedakotascout.com/p/lead-cannabis-proponent-says-he-wont

      1. Correct. They’ll wait for 2028….. this is an every 4 year train ride until freedom is actually observed or the federal government finally steps in with nationwide legalization, buckle up. Red states all over the nation have embraced cannabis as a personal choice…. And they are still red.

      2. Well, how do you propose we do that? Voters need to be educated which is costly and time consuming. Protecting South Dakota Kids decided to spend their money helping candidates manipulate voters about SB201. Across the board those candidates almost refused to talk about anything else. So here we are. An aggressive pro abortion amendment to our constitution and legalization of recreational pot looming on our doorstep, with no real concerted effort to present a unified front against either. With the turnout looking to be high for the general election, and both democrats and moderate republicans showing up to vote, I think both issues will win handily. The 2020 election should provide the example. Protecting SD Kids, LDF and SDRTL should bear the brunt of the blame. The decided to play kingmakers with candidates rather than do their job. This election will set South Dakota back decades and the repurcussions will be felt forever. Why? Because groups like these and newcomers to the state forgot what made our state so appealing in the first place. We were a conservative haven because we (generally) chose to elect rational, reasonable, conservative legislators who knew what it meant to work together for the benefit of our values for the long term, rather than electing unyielding, radical, extremist nutjobs.

        1. Protecting SD Kids is pretty much inactive and non responsive in efforts to defeat rec after emails were sent over the course of months.

          The local legislators put all their eggs in SB201 riding the wave and expect them to all to push for school vouchers and further move our state to a Christian version of an Iran/Saudi Arabian Theocracy. They are over confident Recreational MJ will fail which sets us up for what happened in 2020.

          Outside of their extremist self serving agenda they are totally ineffective legislators outside their fanatical bubble. Meanwhile the district languishes with several major employer losses and other needs not addressed.

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