Senator Stace Nelson (predictably) does not like fact that Republican Leadership is not going to fund those running under different caucus banner

Predictably, South Dakota State Senator Stace Nelson, who helped to run primary candidates against incumbent legislators, and set up a caucus to oppose the Republican House and Senate Caucuses, is grousing that he will be cut off from the Republican Caucus if he continues to attack it, after the letter asking candidates if they intend to be a member of the Republican Caucus:

On Jul 16, 2018, at 8:51 PM, Stace Nelson <[email protected]> wrote:

Angry Stace NelsonMyself, other legislators, as well as candidates, in both the House & Senate, reportedly received a version of this “memorandum” demanding fealty, forced total confidentiality in violation of SD Constitution Article 3 Section 15, and to be a “sole (sic) member of the Senate..” caucus or face summary disciplinary actions to include exclusion or loss of official Legislature Committee Chair & Vice Chair positions.

This edict contains provisions that effectively offers a quid pro quo bribe or illegal disciplinary action extortion if current/future perspective legislators do or do not comply. The edict specifically indicates it seeks to influence official actions of legislators. Legislators who agree to these terms may very well be in violation of their SD Constitutional Oath of Office in Article 3 section 8 and subject to disqualification and removal

The edict violates the 1st Amendment rights of Republican legislators rights to peacefully assemble, as well as It seeks to illegally punish and restrict legislators engaged in religious activities in the Wednesday Catacomb Caucuses, and the Catholic Caucus.

Senator Greenfield has indicated this was NOT sent with his approval, my understanding is Senator Maher indicates the same. Senator Curd has not responded to my inquiry.

In that this letter could be rightfully viewed as a violation of SDCL 22-12A-4, I am reporting it so as not to be considered an active participant in what could be construed as a conspiracy to commit a felonious violation of SD law.

Stace Nelson, Senator District 19 (Hanson, McCook, Douglas, Hutchinson, Bon Homme Counties)
Vice Chair Senate Commerce & Energy Committee
Senate Judiciary Committee
Senate Local Government Committee

I’m thinking he might have to get used to not being a vice-chair of Commerce and Energy if he continues to attack the Republican Caucus.

Considering he set up his little club “TO STAND APART FROM CORRUPTION AND LIBERAL DIRECTION WITHIN GOP RANKS,” as he termed it in capital letters, I’m not sure why he’s crying about being told he’s welcome to do whatever he wants to set up a competing caucus, but not to expect any support, or the ability to choose who caucus GOP Leadership is.

If he didn’t want to attack GOP Leadership so he could lay in his bed of thorns, I’m not sure why he created it in the first place.


State Representative & GOP House majority leader Lee Qualm noted to KELO radio the fallacy of red herring arguments such as the one Nelson is making:

“There are a few Republican legislators who have publicly stated they have organized their own caucus,”  Qualm wrote in an email to News.


The majority leader also said that the July 11 memo does not bar legislators from participating in other caucuses that are not political in nature.

Qualm named some of the other “caucuses” and how they would not be impacted by the new requirement.

“Catacombs Caucus and Catholic Caucus are a weekly time where people of faith gather together to have devotions, pray together and worship God,” Qualm said. “The Cowboy Caucus is a group of folks who get together occasionally and have fun eating and fellowshipping.  These are all open to Republicans, Democrats, Lobbyists, Constitutional Officers, Employees at the Capitol, family members, and friends plus more.”

Read it all here.

33 thoughts on “Senator Stace Nelson (predictably) does not like fact that Republican Leadership is not going to fund those running under different caucus banner”

  1. Mr. Nelson’s Insaner Clown Caucus would be meeting at the Capitol to discuss legislative matters. It would be subject, grudznick rules, to being banned from committee leadership.

    The Cowboy Caucus meets elsewhere to drink beer. grudznick rules they may continue, and are not subject to this memo.

  2. I’m wondering how Stace’s membership in the Prairie Patriots Militia affects his American Legion and Federal pension status. He has probably already been promoted to Colonel by now.

    1. Stace has to make up some how for his inability to get promoted when he was in the real military. He spent a lot time in service with very few promotions, that says a lot about someone.

  3. I’m so confused.

    Anyone is free to form a group. Nobody is entitled to be a member of a group and nobody is forced to be a member of a group. Its in the Constitution under the freedom to associate clause.

    The majority of Republicans in each house formed a group and elected leadership.

    The minority of Republicans in each house formed an alternative group that precludes most of the Republicans from joining.

    The majority said to the minority: “You can’t be in our group since you exclude most of us us from being in your group.”

    Is Stace saying some can’t come to his treehouse because he doesn’t like them but he expects to be admitted to their treehouse? What am I missing?

    1. As you might have heard over the last two or three decades it is in fact illegal to refuse membership into groups with very limited exceptions. The most recent group to cave to that modern reality is the Boy scouts of America which is no longer an exclusively boy group. In the case of the republican caucus the membership bylaws make the only requirement that the members be elected to the state legislature and members of the state republican party. So any suggestion that the republican caucus can deny membership to it’s caucus is both stupid and illegal! It is stupid because the limited number of elected officials vote to decide who the leadership in the house and senate will be specifically ( the SPEAKER AND MAJORITY LEADER) Further, the freedom caucus membership should in and of it’s self have no bearing on the members also being members of the republican caucus. Having said that the caucus bylaw may look poorly upon certain activities undertaken by it’s members as part of their membership in other caucuses. If this kind of infighting continues in the republican membership in the state legislature SOUTH DAKOTA may make the national news one day when the majority party republicans find themselves lead by a DEMOCRAT SPEAKER.

  4. Why would any party want to make their voting pool smaller. This states that if a republican wants to join an American Indian, African American, women etc. caucus that you can’t be a republican. Are Republicans that scared of people holding up their platform. As long as any caucus supports the platform agreed to at the convention than shouldn’t they be included with Republicans. I think the Republicans are being very discriminatory and maybe it’s time for republicans and democrats to become one party on their own platform. There is enough conservatives in this state that would do well as a party. Conservatism platform would be pro life pro gun less government less taxes. This is the platform of the freedomcaucus and if the Republican Party is no longer going to represent these than we do need a Conservative party.

    1. There is nothing to prevent Stupid Stacey and Looney Litzy from forming their own caucus. They are neither conservatives nor republicans.

  5. So Brock Greenfield and Ryan Maher didn’t give the majority leader permission to use their names?

    We either have major back peddling or we have a rogue majority leader. Either way I don’t see this policy having any serious follow through. The big reason is they are talking about removing more people than just Stace. It would have serious impact on leadership races.

    Haugaard needs the conservatives for Speaker. Greenfield needs the conservatives for Pro Temp.

    Unless this is more about trying to get rid of them as leaders in the caucus?

  6. I wondered about Brock discriminating against people and groups this bad. He has never shown that to me before even in our things we disagree on. Why would this not be voted on at the convention is my question? Seems that would be the perfect solution to all this.

    1. Stace needs to get strategic instead of being a brute and fighting with everyone. Russell has never lead him into a battle he has won.

      His opposition is adapting. He needs to do the same.

      Or else he will be a forgotten man.

      He is fighting the last war.

      His fight with Rhoden and Noem was foolish.

  7. If Stace were actually serious that these people are violating the law he would fill out an affidavit and file it with the Attorney General, but SURPRISE, he’ll never do that because his accusations would never hold up in court. Ohh wow he’s so serious that he’s “reporting” it… better think about turning it over to proper authorities or if you actually believe what you’re saying or maybe you’ll be guilty of misprision of a felony. He doesn’t actually believe it. His citations to these statutory and constitutional provisions are laughable.

  8. Wonder why Stace didn’t use his official title as Leader of the Crazy Lunatic Or Wing Nut (C.L.O.W.N.) Caucus when he signed the letter?

  9. “ALCON”: Is it the former Marine’s intent to say “All Concerned” or “Alert Condition”?

    “reportedly received”: Reportedly? Did they or didn’t they? Isn’t this guy a former investigator? Does he doubt the word of his fellow Alt-Caucus members?

    “demanding fealty, forced total confidentiality in violation of SD Constitution Article 3 Section 15”: How is this different than the demand to submit to the “bull(crap) elephants” demand to his interpretation of conservatism? Anyone bring him up on Article 3 charges?

    “This edict”: since Mr. Nelson is a Sesquipedalian, wouldn’t his calling this document an edict be an admission the Leadership has the authority to make these rules?

    “quid pro quo bribe. . . illegal disciplinary action extortion. . . influence official actions of legislators. . .violation of their SD Constitutional Oath of Office”: OMG!!!! Let’s just skip the Article 3 thingy and just bring the guy up on a section 8 because this is some crazy dung. When you build a treehouse, call most in the neighborhood names, and tell them they can’t come to your treehouse, it is insane to be surprised when the sentiment is returned.

    1. Nailed it. He purposely uses words like ‘reportedly’ so maybe he’s not lying 100% but he sends out to all news outlets hoping they’ll bite. Or maybe he doesn’t know. And the whole investigator thing? Any skills he acquired either never existed or were lost.

      I like the treehouse analogy. Spot on. I tend to call it reverse racism (since he’s the only SD Republican who is conservative, not racist and upholding the constitution. He blames his lack of leadership on being the bull. Add a ‘y’ maybe and then add inability to get along with anyone who doesn’t worship him. There is no elite. There’s just crazy and not crazy.

      Astonishing… or in this case, maybe not.

  10. Will the Republican caucus make good on their threat to kick him out? It should have been done yesterday. They let him get by with way too much.

  11. I figure the Republican leadership is just making a stand, sort of like for monogamy.
    I’ve heard Stace’s record for that hasn’t been that good, either.

  12. Dick,

    If Nelson wants to go to court to make a case where he can form a group that bars membership to the majority of the Republicans in the Legislature and it is illegal for those he excludes to return the favor, I will bring the popcorn.

    And, if Nelson and his band want to join with the Democrats to organize the Senate and House, it is their choice and we will see how their constituents respond in two years.

    1. So if you are a conservative you need to leave the Republican Party and become a Democrat?

      1. Steve,

        I have no idea where you get I said that. Dick made an inference Stace and his band of Rinos might join the Democrats to organize the House and Senate. That was my response.

  13. The one thing I remember from Dr. Rost’s psychology class at NSC (NSU today) was that most people who become mentally unstable know their mental state is changing but cannot figure out how to change course into a healthy mental state without professional help.

    And we all know someone who should admit addiction and get into Busweiser University (Worthmore) but pushing the issue usually makes things worse until they hit rock bottom.

    Interesting to me knowing the broken down marine knows he is broken down and admits it.

    1. ” I was elected to the Senate with 78.2% of the vote with the highest winning percentage of a contested race in a record turnout year of 2016.”

        1. Stacie got demolished, it was a true referendum rejecting Stacie and his craziness.

            1. Steve did you join the Constitution Party? It would be a better fit for you and Stace.

            2. Conservatives DONT vote in favor of using taxpayer dollars to fund their political campaigns, Steve.

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