Lederman withdraws from state legislature, recommends Bolin as his replacement.

State Senator Dan Lederman surprised his colleagues today, and decided that it’s his time to spend more time on the homefront, and – while not withdrawing from public life – he’s taking a knee, and for now, withdrawing from the legislature:

Dan Lederman File Photo 2012I’m announcing my retirement from the South Dakota State Senate, effective immediately.

I’m proud to have served in the State Legislature for 7 years, accomplishing much for the people who sent me to represent them in both the House and the Senate.  I cherish the friendships I made, the opportunities for learning, and the good we were able to do.

But, I also have to balance that against the many nights and months my family was left at home, and my wife was forced to do double duty as a parent.  It’s balanced against every dance recital I missed for my young daughters.  Every parent/teacher conference.  Every opportunity to go fishing with my son.  The campaigns could be fun, family affairs, but when it results in me, their father and husband, living apart in a hotel for weeks on end, that isn’t a reward.

One of the major pieces of legislation I championed during my time in the legislaturefamphoto was the “Shared Parenting Act,” which allowed for more balance in determining parental custody rights in cases of divorce.  If I can stand in the legislature and ask for more time and balance in families broken by divorce, it’s incumbent upon me to be part of a complete and balanced family all the time, not just during certain months the legislature isn’t in session.

At the end of our lives, if we’re truly blessed, we will be surrounded by family and loved ones as we slip from the bonds of this existence.

As nice as they can be, if we’re only surrounded by lobbyists bearing donuts and fruit baskets, then there might be a problem!

Read it all here.

In his farewell message, Lederman also recommended that the Governor appoint State Rep Jim Bolin as his replacement when the Governor decides to appoint.

Congratulations and thanks to Dan for his many years of service to South Dakota.

65 thoughts on “Lederman withdraws from state legislature, recommends Bolin as his replacement.”

  1. What’s the real story here? South Dakota legislators work full time for perhaps two months each year. The family time cliche doesn’t ring true.

    1. Yes, the family “cliche” is true. I’ve found the campaigns to be longer and harder than the session. Then there’s the time organizing to go to Pierre, and unpacking when you get back (I still have boxes of stuff in my trunk from last year). The drive to Pierre and back each week for those of us on the Eastern edge is 4 hours or more one way. Many school activities are during the 2+ months you’re in Pierre. Then there’s all the extra mail and phones calls all year (I’m still getting them). Plus there are other meeting and events you’re expected to attend outside of session. My family suffered and so did I. Dan is absolutely right.
      I like the idea of Bolin going to the Senate, he’s an excellent legislator. And for Bolin’s replacement, I’d highly recommend Kevin Jensen, who lost to Bolin and Dave Anderson (another Gov’s appointment) for the House seats.

      1. No, something smells fishy. Dan was just reelected in November. You’re telling me that four months later he had a sudden epiphany? Someone’s either trying to avoid a scandal or is scamming the electorate by forcing an appointment and avoiding an open seat.

        1. I agree. Didn’t Lederaman recruit Bosworth and Ravsnborg to run for US Senate? It’s a tangled web of associations. There is more going on here than meets the eye.

            1. Yep everyone runs for office to be away from their families for months, then gets elected and serves for months to stay away too–REALLY PEOPLE??

              I agree with Pat’s comment that is STUPID!!

              All of these people deserve our gratitude and praise for running and/or serving us all.

              Otherwise get your nomination petition next time around and see how it is… I have circulated petitions and helped people out for years… no easy task. push yourself away from the computer and reading conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory and go get some fresh air!

        2. He’s caught up in the Federal EB-5 scandal!

          Quick – Get a Democrat PAC to send millions in to campaign against him.

      2. No, not Kevin Jensen. He talks a good game, but when all is said and done, I don’that believe a thing that comes out of his mouth, because I have seen how he stretches the facts to fit his needs. He would be a bad choice.

    2. Got the nads to post an accusation mr partisan or do you make insunations and innuendos?

  2. I will miss Dan at the Capitol. He was a good legislator and a positive outlook, always seeking to find what could be done. I can understand his views on family completely and wish him well. I hope he comes back someday.

  3. The ‘real story,’ is just as offered.

    I spent time with Dan when I was in Pierre a few weeks back, and he was missing yet another kid event while he was in the legislature, right about the time a family member passed away.

    Same thing derailed Lee Schoenbeck’s run for Governor a few years back. Ultimately, all the political BS isn’t as important as your family. And when you have young kids at home, you really don’t get that time back.

    It’s nice to see it when people have their priorities straight.

    1. Dan is a class act. I understand the primacy of family in his life and hope we haven’t heard the last of him!

    2. So Lee Schoenbeck you running this time for Governor? The kids are grown aren’t they?

  4. So if the Governor selects Rep. Jim Bolin wouldn’t that give him the opportunity to select a new house member also?

    Thank you for your service Mr. Lederman.

    1. This is very unfortunate after being elected. It’s too bad he didn’t bow out of the race and either let the party find a replacement or let the Democratic challenger win.


        Dan made the right call. Maybe he had enough after this session, he completed it. Much better than letting ann tornburg in there.

  5. It is easy to sit back and think about running for the legislature and even easier to play quarterback from a keyboard, but for those who have served we all know how it instantly becomes a 24/7 job. Kudos in a big way go out to Senator Lederman for making an obvious tough decision in making his family come first. Honestly I don’t know how legislators with young kids at home do it.

  6. I’m with Sen. Begalka. I’ll bet if you polled legislators (exclude the singles and retired members who spouse comes to Pierre) asking them to pick the worst thing about being a legislator, I will bet over 80% will say time away from their family.

    Not being called names or having integrity questions.

    Not campaigning or raising money.

    Not the long hours both in Pierre and in their community.

    TIME AWAY FROM FAMILY. The rest aren’t even close seconds, thirds, etc. Its why legislators from Gettysburg, Presho, and even sometimes farther away drive back and forth (occasionally bunking up with someone if they have to).

    Senator Lederman, thank you for your service. You voted your conscience and fought for your priorities. Nothing more could have been asked of you. You’ve done good.

    1. Our military folks do it day in and day out. You pampered politicos make me sick.

  7. I see Snidely Duwrong over at Madville Flea Press whines about Lederman “suggesting” a replacement:

    “Sure, Dan, we’ll take that under advisement.”

    If I recall accurately (and I do), Corey claimed to have helped select his replacement at Spearfish high school after he resigned before had a contract to resign from (why was that anyway???).

    What a nut!

    I doubt Corey even remembers what he writes or cares to be held accountable under his own standards.

  8. Anti-partisan,

    Yes, our troops in the military make great sacrifices for their country. And, so do traveling salespersons. But, that isn’t the point.

    A Christian (I know Lederman is Jewish but I suspect Jewish values are the same) orders his life first to God, then family, and finally country. Whether they be in the military, politics, or because of their job, any person whose commitment to military, politics or job supersedes the interest of family or God should take the first available opportunity to re-order their life to family and God.

    If Lederman has decided his service in the Legislature is sufficiently adversely impacting his family needs (nobody knows what is happening in his family and none of us have a right to know), I believe his honorable response is to take action and resigning right after the Legislature seems to be appropriate and just timing.

    It is not about pampering. Its about having right priorities.

    P.S. It is also refreshing that nobody thinks their Legislative service is so irreplaceable they have to unduly sacrifice their family.

  9. So who is in that district. Rep. Jim Bolin?; Rep. David Anderson? (didn’t the gov appoint him to the house?); Kevin Jensen was mentioned?, How about former Rep. Patty Miller? any other ideas?

    1. Patty Miller resigned two years ago due to her husband’s failing health, and was replaced by Anderson. I doubt if she’d be available. My impression of Jensen is that he’s a rock-solid and honest conservative.

      1. How about a special election so the people of the district actually have a say in their representation? Right now this seems to be boiling down to jockeying for position amongst the politically connected. Dan Lederman’s actions are depriving the people of his district their voice.

  10. Please tell me there aren’t SD pol’s who bring their spouse to Pierre during session. Back in the day this would have been referenced as ‘bringing a peanut sandwich to a smorgasbord’.

  11. I am just a voter who does not reside in Senator Lederman’s district and never had the opportunity to cast a vote for him. That said, I admired him a great deal for his elan’, his intelligence, vision and courage. He saw the issues clearly and he offered solutions.

    Most importantly to me, Sen. Lederman saw the dangers of federal encroachment on South Dakota’s state sovereignty. He was the first to raise the alarm a few years back when the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) propose to seize authority over more than 90,000 acres of prime South Dakota farm and ranch land adjoining not only the Missouri River but all the streams that feed it. The FWS’ plan to seize control of the land– by hook or crook– and place it under what amounts to a federal protectorate, was a thinly veiled segue to the onslaught of the EPA in its bid to regulate all water courses in the country, including the drainage ditch that borders my own farm. In other words, the FWS battle was really the first fight in a larger EPA bid to extend its jurisdiction to water courses on private property that is now being played out in DC with Senator Thune leading the battle of the drainage ditches. Should EPA succeed, you won’t be able to spit in a ditch without violating federal law. It is not just federal overreach, it is the worst kind of liberal nanny state dictatorship.

    Senator Lederman recognized the implications of this insidious Team Obama scheme from the get-go, three years ago. He had the talent not only to stay focused on local legislative efforts but also to keep a wary eye on the nonsense being cooked up in DC. And the courage to raise the alarm.

    — If South Dakota had a Hall of Fame for Trail Blazers then I would happily nominate him for honored membership.

    WHO will rise to take Dan Lederman’s place? I am very sad to hear of his resignation, but I wish him the very best in his home and professional life down the road.

    1. You forgot to mention that Mr. Lederman has been a rock solid true Conservative and a life long Republican.

    2. Dan you writing your own post trying paint yourself in a good light before your coming scandal? We all know why you are resigning not retiring Dan and the naughty things you have been up to. 😉

      1. That’s a great point. This isn’t a retirement at the end of a career. This is a resignation less than 5 months after having been reelected. Something’s wrong with this picture.

        1. Dusty resigned after being elected and didn’t serve one day in the PUC for his second term. It happens. It’s not the end of the world. Better things come along and elected officials move on…

            1. I’d feel the same way if Dusty left for a big payday or something, but he made the decision to still work for the voters. Feels more acceptable to me.

  12. I get the whole missing family thing, but there’s nothing that that Dan does that isn’t politically motivated, and his ambition for higher office has been on full display for years. Maybe his recent gig in Sioux City is a clue that he sees an easier path to congress through the corn state.

      1. Why wait to see if she doesn’t run? Lederman would make an excellent primary challenger against Kristi Amnesty.

    1. Hardly a reason to resign from anything. Having fun besmirching a good man’s reputation?

      1. I read the linked article. It seems the point being made is that Dan resigned from office in preparation of taking a lead role in a multi-state funding raising operation for a republican presidential candidate. That would effectively put the lie to his claim that he’s resigning to spend more time with his family.

    2. The Bob Mercer story says Rep. Gosch is a board member on the Rushmore PAC, the plot thickens… and a Minnesota Dental association??

      1. let me know when you all find the links to the trilateralists, lyndon larouche and the queen of england

  13. Dan Lederman is a good person, and his decision does not surprise me. For starters, I’m not an original member of the Dan Fan Club – he comes off a little too in your face when you first meet him. But as you get to know him, the guy is sincere and the smile is for real. He’s a good person

    Public service and politics can be intoxicating for those drawn to it. it competes for part of all of your time, and Dan surely saw that. When you have a young family, you work hard to rationalize why being on the phone at home at night working on this or that political issue is so important that you can’t go for a bike right right now with the child pulling on your leg…….We politicos are slow, but we get there.

    There comes a point where – and maybe it’s a smiting from the hand of God – you feel a good whack along the side of the head walking you up, and opening your eyes to the family that’s growing up around and without you. You finally shake off that false justification of “it’s quality, not quantity time” and realize you have a higher calling to tend to.

    Dan, you’re da Man today – you’ll have no regrets.

  14. Lee you write well and true. Let’s skip back to the Freshman House class orientation held in Pierre around the middle of November, 2008. After the Capitol tour we had to go to AmericInn for a get together and this guy from Dakota Dunes asked me if I needed a ride. I didn’t but I took this guy up on his offer anyway. We get into his Mercedes and my first impression was he must be a big time player. Turned out he was just an extremely kind compassionate socially well put together dude who really cared about people and we became good friends. I for one will truly miss having Dan in the legislature.

    Then I met Putter & Faehn and life will never be the same again.

  15. Thank you to Charlie, Lee, Tim and all my friends supporting me during this time. It’s not easy to make big decisions like this and your friendship means a lot.

  16. Sen. Lederman:

    Life is a paradox.

    Any politician who walks away for family reasons gets additional respect from me. Right priorities are right priorities always.

    That said, any politician willing to walk away from politics for family reasons has the values I want in my legislators.

    As Senator Lederman departs from public service at least for now, I want to mention something I’ve always wanted to say to him.

    Leder means leather which means his name translates to “Leather Man.” In other words, his ancestor was likely the person who tanned hides and made industrial leather goods like buggy whips in the community. So, when we got into a disagreement on a policy, was the “whipping” you tried to give me a primeval subconscious reaction because of your family ancestry? Just so you know, my German ancestral name was Beringer which means “warrior fighting with a spear” so my response also had primeval roots. 🙂 My best to you Senator Lederman.

  17. Anti-partisan,

    I’ve never met Lederman. Have you? You sure like to demean a man’s integrity and do so with impunity?

    That said, are you for real? You don’t see the difference between being in Pierre for two months living in a hotel away from one’s family and being active in your community yet making every family event and sleeping with your wife every night?

  18. Thanks Troy,

    I know we have had our differences of opinion on policy but I usually agree with you on principal. I apologize for any harsh words I’ve said in the past. I have been know to be a little blunt in my arguments.

    As far as the family name, Leder does mean leather and my roots are from Ukraine. My great grandparents were from a poor social-economic class that made belts and shoes before the pogroms forced my grandfather to come to the US for religious and economic freedom.

    Thank you for the kind words and support.

    1. A little blunt? I am grateful I’m never accused of being blunt or using harsh words. Unlike you, I’m known as Mr. Calm, Cool and Collected. That is my Jewish roots coming out as their last name was just Mann as in “the man.” 🙂

      By the way, you are still wrong on that policy.

  19. It has been a pleasure serving with Dan. He know what he believe in and is willing to fight for those values. Dan is a quality legislator and he will be missed. Dan always showed up with a smile and a hearty welcome. He has the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. Best wishes, friend.

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