The Michell Daily Republic publish a story about Representative Stace Nelson (R-Dist. 25) and his efforts to get the LRC web site changed to show every vote that legislators make
The South Dakota Legislature has spent 85 years recording its legislators? voting records. A freshman representative is now working to make sure the public has better online access to every vote cast.
A little better then half into the story we get this:
?The problem is, he?s not following proper procedure,? (Representative) Turbiville (R-Deadwood) said. ?Being a former military individual, I?m surprised he?s not following the chain of command.?
Turbiville said every other legislator who wants to change the legislative process goes through the Legislative Procedure Committee, which Nelson never approached and to which Turbiville referred Nelson several times, Turbiville said.
What Chain of Command? Representative Nelson answers directly to the voters of district 25. There is no one between us and him. There may be a process or a procedure to getting things done, but no Chain of Command. The party may have a hierarchy, but there is no Command and Control function. If Representative Nelson wants to issue a press release on every vote he casts, he is welcome to do so. Representative Nelson works for the people of district 25, and no one else, not Representative Turbiville or Senator Rave, or even the Governor.
A few paragraphs down…
Nelson said he had a hard time getting research for his proposal to enhance the website. So, when he was invited to present his idea to the Legislative Procedures Committee, he did not have the proper information he needed.
?I asked the LRC for information and Turbiville said not to provide it,? Nelson said. ?If they don?t give me the material to present, I can?t present.?
I thought the LRC was suppose to serve every legislator equally, regardless of their station. So how is it that Representative Turbiville can block Representative Nelson’s access to research information that was requested without the LRC violating their confidentiality oaths?
From Representative Turbiville:
?The website, as it currently exists, does everything that we want it to,? he said. ?The website allows an individual to pull up any bill and determine where it is in the process, and it also indicates how each individual votes.?,
Who is this ‘we’ Representative Turbiville is referring to; The Executive Committee, the legislators, the LRC? When I have to pull up the house or senate journal and scroll through several pages just to find one little vote, then the web site maybe working, but not the way we, the public wants. I know the current site is issue/bill driven, when the legislature is session, that is what we care about, however, come election time, we will be looking at the voting record of our representatives. I suppose this might be a way to hide the true voting records, and make it public at the same time.