Convention of States funding in South Dakota’s primary battles featured in recent Associated Press article

An Associated Press article is up on the Argus Leader’s website from a few days ago, pointing out how the Convention of States dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into state legislative contests, and managed to narrowly eke out one race in South Dakota, which isn’t really attributable to their efforts:

The fliers piled up in mailboxes in central South Dakota like snow during a high-plains blizzard: “Transgender Sex Education in Schools?” one asked. “Vote Against Sex Ed Radical Mary Duvall for State Senate.”

The mailers were part of a $58,000 campaign against the five-term Republican lawmaker, an enormous sum of money in a place where the cost of running for a statehouse seat is typically in the low five figures. Despite the subject of the attack ads, Duvall was targeted not for her stance on sex education but for her opposition to a longshot bid by some conservatives to force a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.


The track record of the convention group’s spending is spotty. In South Dakota, where the group and its affiliates spent more than $200,000 targeting four state Senate seats, Duvall was the only one of its targets to lose. And the challenger who beat her, Jim Mehlhaff, said in an interview that he thinks the group’s intervention hurt him.

“I didn’t appreciate the negative tone of their mailers. It probably cost me some votes,” said Mehlhaff, a former member of Pierre’s city commission who had his own base of support in the district before the intervention of Convention of States. “This is South Dakota. People don’t like negative campaigns.”

Mehlhaff was baffled at the notion that a possible constitutional convention factored so heavily in his race: “Convention of states is not my issue at all,” he said.

Read the entire story here.

As I noted in a previous article on the topic, Convention of States didn’t get the results they were looking for in the primary election. And in fact, their scorched earth campaign is going to have a negative effect for their issue.

Watch for calls for more disclosure in campaign finance for out-of-state groups pouring money into the state, as a result of this group trying to buy their way to the legislature they wanted.  And as a result of their tactics Convention of States legislation will be utterly and completely DOA in South Dakota for the forseeable future. As one legislator quipped to me, they almost feel sorry for whoever is unfortunate enough to be hired to lobby for them.

9 thoughts on “Convention of States funding in South Dakota’s primary battles featured in recent Associated Press article”

  1. If the COS option is scorn’d, you have to present an alternative path that isn’t status quo.

    COS is the answer right now.

    A singular intersectional religion is NOT the answer in my opinion.

  2. I was very respectful to the COS group and their people, then when I explained why I could not support a COS in tgis political climate under the current make up of Congress, and u even provided an alternative plan to discuss possible amendments by petitioning the state legislature to establish a state convention, they ATTACKED me even more…that to me shown me their actions were not in the best interest of S.D citizens.

    1. I am NOT afraid of a Constitutional State Convention. I actually support such event. I do NOT support a National Convention of States at this point in time, and when I asked, I provided my reason. I believe in ‘true grassroots movement where the “People of South Dakota” call forth the Legislature to promulgate rules of engagement to establish a State Convention here in South Dakota to discuss matters of public interest regarding the U.S Constitution. Once this process begins, then the people may at that time nominate and elect “Delegates” to represent the people at that convention with the sole purpose of discussing concept plans, possible amendments to the U.S Constitution as they relate to South Dakotans, allowing the proposals to be discussed publically. If and when they are voted on by the State Convention, then at that point, the People are ‘directing’ the S.D Legislature to codify the amendments, publish them, while instructing a delegation to go out and lobby other “State Legislatures” to support our movement. When “WE” are able to get 2/3 of the State Legislature’s in support of, the States themselves then petition the U.S Congress to promulgate rules of engagement to Establish the “Convention of States”.

      That is the process I Support, and the only process I will support as a American Citizen of South Dakota.

      I do NOT trust some outside Foreign Lobby Group called CONVENTION OF STATES, or FIRST AMENDMENT, or whatever title they go by today. Most likely they are bought and paid for by someone like George Soros or Bill Gates, or some big Global Organization hoping to steal our rights.

  3. The connection could be made that those that benefited from winner the seat are now indebted to COS. Thus leading them to run the COS agenda. We as South Dakotans need to see through the out of state money the will be flooding our state.

  4. I agree that things MUST be ‘corrected’ with regards to a balanced budget and the serious need for term limits…Maxine Waters, Don Rogers, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy for examples as to why.
    I’ve listened to all the procedures for a CoS and I disagree that any CoS can be limited to specific topics of discussion. In my opinion, back when this valuable document was written, those delegates to any possible CoS were more trustworthy and would have participated and followed the rules due to their concerns for our country.
    Look at today’s caliber of elected official on any level…IF they all followed the Constitution to begin with, there would be no need for a CoS.
    Mr. Zitterich mentioned above how he was attacked after he disagreed with them “in this current political environment”…and I agree wholeheartedly.
    I witnessed this first hand last year at an event where Mark Meckler was the speaker on the topic in Rapid City. Two ladies respectfully challenged his position by offering their views. He was dismissive and talked down to them for their beliefs and arguments. It is his job to be convincing to sell his product since between he, his wife and son, they are raking in almost $500,000 in salaries from CoS donations.
    The biggest reason I distrust a CoS and the “promises” to stick to the planned agenda is something called bribery. There are no ‘teeth’ to penalize a delegate for not fulfilling the wishes of those who send him or her to the convention. They can be dismissed…they can be dishonored…they can be embarrassed…but if there’s no ‘penalty with teeth’, why should they care. They CAN BE BRIBED and who would have the unlimited resources to ‘buy a new Constitution’ other than those who hate our country and what we stand for? To people like George $oros, Mark $uckerberg, the Roth$childs, Karl $chwab and all other so-called “Deep $tate” deep pockets who can pool their resources to bribe every delegate with, let’s say $10M each to vote how they want. If anyone scoffs at this opinion, then I consider them to be fools.
    The minimum penalty must be MANDATORY federal prison time with no possibility of an early release for the offender, traitor in my opinion. All family member’s bank accounts should also be monitored so they cannot receive such payments.
    The CoS movement continues to be stopped in South Dakota and future legislators should keep fighting continued attempts until there are guarantees in place that our Constitution cannot be changed and that the original Bill of Rights and successive amendments cannot be repealed.

  5. The problem is people like Mary Duvall did not like their liberal voting record exposed so they yelled its out of state while never defending her votes.

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