Sponsors and supporters of anti-vaccination measure House Bill 1235 face primaries this June.

This past legislative session, a first-in-the-nation measure regarding people’s health was introduced in the State House of Representatives.

No, it didn’t have anything to do with abortion. Or being trans-gendered. And it had nothing to do with people’s reproductive health.  But ultimately, it may prove far more controversial, and may have more effect on our state’s elections this year than anything else that was discussed over the course of the past few months.

If passed, House Bill 1235 would have been the first bill of its kind in the country to remove immunization requirements for school children and others. While states have personal, religious and medical exemptions, all 50 states require vaccination to go to public schools.

This bill would not just have removed the vaccination requirement, it would have actually made having a requirement a crime.  House Bill 1235 outrageously included language that would make it a class one misdemeanor for any educational institution, medical provider or person to compel someone to receive immunizations.

Testimony in favor of the measure included proponent testimony such as this:

For the sponsor of the bill Rep. Lee Qualm (R-Platte), the president of South Dakotans for Informed Consent Mya Olson and other proponents of the bill, this bill is about medical freedom.

“Give us back our freedom,” Olson said. “It’s a God-given right. Our constitution is supposed to protect it.

Qualm said he is worried about consent that parents receive and his assertion of a link between autism and vaccinations, although it’s unclear where that research has come from.

Read it here.

It’s scary that a legislator actually used the completely and utterly debunked autism-vaccination claim, but, you get the point.

Lead sponsor State Representative Lee Qualm also brought a number of other legislators along for the ride on this bill, including fellow House sponsors Brunner, Goodwin, Lana Greenfield, Hammock, Latterell, Sue Peterson, Pischke, Randolph, Saba, Steele, and Weis and Senators Brock Greenfield and Phil Jensen.

The bill was heard in House Health and Human Services, where it was deferred to the 41st legislative day.  The only votes dissenting from killing the measure were those of Representative Tamara St. John, and Representative Julie Frye Mueller.

That was on the 25th of February.

So, what’s taken place since then? Nothing much other than the coronavirus pandemic causing the largest global recession in history, with more than a third of the global population being in lockdown and sheltering in place.

While it was an obnoxious measure before the pandemic, taking coronavirus into account has made House Bill 1235 even more outrageous, and places a very large target on those legislator’s backs.

In fact, many of them find themselves in primary elections, and trying to make required vaccination a crime for school children and healthcare workers could be a major issue.   How do the primary challenges break down for House Bill 1235 sponsors?

*Tom Brunner running for District 29 House finds himself running in a primary against former House Speaker Dean Wink who is returning to run, Rep. Kirk Chaffee, and Lincoln Shuck.  This could be challenging for Brunner.

*Controversial Senator Phil Jensen is trying to move over to District 33 House where he will be running against Melanie Torno and Taffy Howard.  Jensen might have name ID, but it’s not as if he’s not already controversial without adding anti-vaxxer to his resume.

*Tim Goodwin in District 30 House is in a 4-way primary for one of the two house seats against Keystone Mayor Kwinn Neff, and Trish Ladner of Hot Springs.  Did I say 4? Sorry, Florence Thompson is running as well. She out there far enough that she scares people.

*Dayle Hammock of District 31 House may find himself fighting for his political life in a 5-way primary against Scott Odenbach, Mary Fitzgerald, Brandon Flanagan, and Julie Olson. In addition to sponsoring the anti-vaccination measure, Hammock is said to have some issues with gaming as well. Not necessarily a good position for someone representing Deadwood.

*House member Isaac Latterell finds himself running against Herman Otten in a competitive District 6 Senate Primary.  Coming out against vaccination of school children is not something that works in his favor.

*Julie Frye-Mueller, who jumped into the D30 Senate race when Lance Russell dropped out, is in a contest against Hot Springs Mayor George Kotti. Frye-Mueller has name ID, but so does Kotti, and he doesn’t have the distinction of being one of two votes to end the vaccination of school children.

*House Bill 1235’s prime sponsor Representative Lee Qualm might find himself in one of the biggest quandaries of all.  In what was a safe Senate seat when held by Senator Rocky Blare, Blare and Qualm made a political swap of offices to allow Qualm to continue in the legislature on an uninterrupted basis.

But, not so fast.. That swap is looking less and less automatic, as Qualm finds himself facing Republican Erin Tobin of Winner for the seat he talked a Senator out of.

Tobin, a Certified Nurse Practitioner, has launched her campaign aggressively and is finding early support while she’s on the front-lines of treating patients at a time when medical professionals are in a heightened position of trust and appreciation.

With these legislators’ actions to make required vaccination a crime under House Bill 1235, we could see a number of these legislators called on the carpet moreso than if we were not all sheltering in place.

Stay tuned.  And stay healthy.

71 thoughts on “Sponsors and supporters of anti-vaccination measure House Bill 1235 face primaries this June.”

  1. com•pel kəm-pĕl′►
    transitive verb To force (a person) to do something; drive or constrain: synonym: force.
    transitive verb To necessitate or require, as by force of circumstance; demand.
    transitive verb To exert a strong, irresistible force on; sway.

    You don’t think it is a crime to force a medical procedure on another person that has risk associated to it? Where there is risk there must be choice!

    Please provide your proof of the “debunked autism-vaccination claim”. I would wait but I know you don’t have one. How do I know? Because the CDC couldn’t provide one study to disprove it when they were sued. Next time you should research what you are writing about prior to writing your opinion piece.

    1. If you want to your child having a chance of getting or even dying of measles, polio, or whooping cough by all means don’t get them vaccinated. Getting them vaccinated doesn’t cause autism. I have also never heard of anyone dying from just by having autism. Children with autism can have a normal childhood and lead normal lives. How do I know this? I am a mother with a child that has Autism. My son was tested to see if the vaccine he was given could have caused the autism and it didn’t. I have been doing research about this since he was diagnosed. I wish I still lived where I grew up in Colome, SD because I would be voting for Erin Tobin for sure!!!

      1. Penny, have you come across the Informed Consent Action Network’s (ICAN) research, FOIA requests and lawsuits? They provide info which may be helpful to your research. Here’s one example of their work, “AUTISM & ALUMINUM ADJUVANTS IN VACCINES – How Aluminum Adjuvants in Vaccines Can Cause Autism”

        ICAN recently put in a FOIA request for “All studies relied upon by the CDC to claim that the DTaP vaccine does not cause autism.” – there are six total requests in this FOIA. The CDC was hesitant to provide the requested information, so ICAN took them to federal court and won. The CDC provided 20 studies; is this a “mountain” of studies to prove there is not a link b/w vaccines and autism? Oh, and of these 20 studies several are only reviews.

        Have you come across any study that compares unvaccinated groups to vaccinated groups? In the 20 studies provided by the CDC, not one includes an unvaccinated group, and there are people who have not received any vaccines.

        …”dying of measles, polio, or whooping cough by all means don’t get them vaccinated”… In your research, did you come across the number of people who contracted these diseases and were vaccinated prior to getting them? Vaccines are not necessarily going to protect you.

        1. And another fake study is repudiated.


          Scientists Rip Latest Study Trying to Link Vaccines and Autism

          The research is being retracted by the scientific journal that published it and several of the scientists involved have left the university where they worked.

          A new study linking aluminum in vaccines to autism is at the center of a controversy.

          Scientists have harshly criticized the research’s methodology and say they even found fake data.

          The research, originally published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, has now retracted.

          Two of the study authors, Christopher Shaw, PhD, and Lucija Tomljenovic, PhD, previously had another paper on vaccine-related illnesses retracted in major scientific journals.

          In the paper, the scientists from the University of British Columbia said that aluminum adjuvantsTrusted Source (additives in a vaccine that help to produce a stronger immunological response) injected into mice could provoke the development of autism, changing the brain’s immune response.

          1. Here’s the problem, Pat: they will reject this as part of a “deep state” conspiracy and claim conspiracy. Do you see how damaging this can be?

    2. Parents are free to make decisions about the care of their children. Period. End of story. We elect those persons who uphold those values, not those who parrot unsubstantiated pharmaceutical claims

      1. 1. The efficacy of vaccines has been proven.
        2. You can elect to not vaccinate your kids, but in doing so you threaten herd immunity and put the immuno-compromised at risk.

        Sorry to threaten your precious martyr complex, but your family is not the only one on earth.

    3. I used the term “ debunked autism-vaccination claim” because I was being cordial, instead of saying the equally accurate “batshit crazy claim.” And as the parent of a child with Autism, I can assure you that it IS a batshit crazy, and fairly offensive claim.

  2. Of course this article completely ignores out the fact that it was about protecting ALL South Dakotans from ALL compelled medical procedures. But, in order to sensationalize this article you would have to leave out the complete truth. It protected expectant mothers from compelled procedures during birth, it protect people from dentists that wanted to compel procedures that someone may not want, it protected the people from doctors that didn’t want them to get a second opinion, it was about the freedom to choose what is right for that specific person without retaliation from those in any part of the medical field, and yes that did include vaccinations because it is a medical procedure that is not right for everyone.
    The medical community didn’t seem to understand the definition of compel, which should frighten every single person in South Dakota. To think any medical person has an authority over your body is dangerous and insinuates you are not a free person with free will. There are many stories of threatening situations right here in South Dakota, patients were ignored and that led to injury, they were threatened if they did not comply with a doctors opinion. That is happening right here, maybe you should report those instances instead ignoring the abusive behavior.

    1. Sarah, you’re kind of missing the point that the bill It wanted to make South Dakota the only state where vaccinations for school children were not required.

      It actually wanted to make it a crime – an actual crime – for places such as hospitals and long term care facilities to make sure that their employees, such as janitors or food service workers are vaccinated against diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, etc.

      If you prefer this kind of lifestyle, while you can’t travel back through time to the early 1900’s, I would suggest you can find a nice undeveloped country in which to live.

      The rest of us would like to live in the world of science. Not essential oils and colloidal silver for medical treatment.

      1. Pat – Your argument is bullsh!t! My only choice is to move to another country if I don’t want something. Come on dude, you sound like Erishman and his blog.

        If someone chooses not to get a vaccine and vaccines work, why are you concerned, mind your own business. The argument of “those that are healthy need to get it protect those that can’t have it” is also a bunk argument. It’s not MY job to protect YOU if I feel it endangers my health, goes against my Religous beliefs, etc. People with compromised immune systems need to take THEIR own necessary precautions. This is the same logic we are using now with this Corona Virus shut down. The people screaming YOU need to shut down your business and self quarantine have a very powerful tool at their disposal. It’s a tricky one and requires a lot of thought and planning/sarc.


        It’s amazing how many people want to force things on people. I should be free to make a choice and if the vaccine works YOU are good. YOUR concerns are eliminated. I will NOT make a choice that is wrong for ME to protect YOU. If I a make that choice I should not have to move to another country or not go anywhere like school etc. We spend too much time in this country trying to worry about every outlier. We have banned Peanut Butter from school because some kid has a Peanut allergy. When I was a kid (not that long ago) the kid with the peanut allergy knew not ot eat peanuts and had an EpiPen if he had an issue. The whole class knew it!!! We didn’t force EVERYONE to stop bringing their favorite sandwich to school because Timmy can’t eat it. Freaking Nanny State, and you call yourself a Conservative, pffffff. Thanks but, No Thanks Comrade Powers

        1. Hey look, it’s another goon who doesn’t understand the concept of herd immunity!

          1. I understand it completely in the fact that if everyone is immune the folks who can’t have a vaccine have a harder time getting it because everyone else does not have it, etc.

            You missed the point totally in forcing people to do things they dont want. Let’s be completely real and honest about this conversation. 99.3% of the Population is going to VOLUNTARILY vaccinat per current stats now, and if these things WORK like you say they do, then the “HERD” will have immunity, correct? There is a very small percentage of the population that cannot get a vaccine nor want one. This is about FORCING people to comply and that is not right. ANY MEDICAL procedure no matter how benign you think it is has a risk. If you think people who don’t want a Vaccine are Tinfoil hat wearers that is ok too, your entitled to your opinion and I respect it, I truly do. I just don’t think you should be in the business of deciding what is best for me

            My question direct questions to you
            – Should we FORCE these people to get a vaccine if they dont want it.
            -If they refuse what are the consequences.
            -If YOU are personally vaccinated are YOU concerned to be around someone who is not and if so why?

            This is a Liberty discussion for me and I would not force anything on anyone against their wishes. That is just plain wrong. If we are into this, where does it end.

      2. Ooo oooo I love science! Especially the science proving that things like colloidal silver and essential oils are effective forms of treatment for specific ailments.

  3. I hope they’re all voted out of office – every single idiot that backed this measure with a primary. Where do I send money?

  4. Let’s be clear. You’d have to be a low moron to support criminalizing vaccinations. The nutbag folks can say all the stupid things they want, and make all their made up arguments for wanting to risk the lives of our kids and grandkids – and at the end of the day they are crazy. Voters get that, which is a good thing

    1. The bill wouldn’t have criminalized vaccinations. Just forced ones. It was an extreme measure to not require them for schools, but that’s because of a larger, more complex picture. It was an effort to go the opposite way of many bills being passed in liberal states taking away exemptions.

      Also, they’re not nutbags or crazy or morons. They’re thoughtful people who were willing to ask questions and do research. I suggest you do the same. And maybe be nicer.

  5. Legislators without races tend to use more colorful words like “low moron.” Others just get drunk.

    I like legislaotrs who are so passionate about an issue they risk not getting re-elected. Mr. Schoenbeck, when was the last time you were so passionate about a controversial issue that you risked it all?

    1. “Mr. Qualm” is in his position to represent and service his “district”. This issue goes against, I’m guessing, about 90% or more of his constituents. That is a FACT. His personal beliefs do not outweigh and should NEVER be held above the beliefs of his constituents. Political suicide at its best.

    2. classifying the defense of vaccine-caused autism conspiracy theory as a stand worth risking everything on, instead of calling it the badly-informed red-meat- politics-for-your-political-base that it is, is breathtaking rhetorical in-the-moment sappiness. once the bill started making the rounds in the light of day, people couldn’t get away from it fast enough. there’s your stand. but to be fair, having said that, this bill won’t hurt anyone, or change any districts or outcomes whatsoever, much as it might be hoped for.

  6. Filing deadline isn’t until end of month. Jump in. I would love to run a race on whether sane people support vaccinations? I’ll help you with your petition. Give me a call

    1. Mr. Schoenbeck, I’m just saying it’s easy to be critical of others when you’re a non-passionate legislator. Safe legislators get re-elected, but risk little for the common-good. When’s the last time you brought a really tough bill?

      1. Yes Lee Schoenbeck. When was the last time you presented a bill that brought death and disease to the community?

        1. I’m comfortable running on the anti-polio platform. Apparently some disagree. Who would have guessed that would be controversial

          1. So Lee, are you going to mandate that everyone must get a flu shot and be chipped to make certain they all get old, and new vaccines that will be rolling out one by one?

          2. You are familiar with the polio vaccine that causes polio?

            “In a report late last week, the World Health Organization and partners noted nine new polio cases caused by the vaccine in Nigeria, Congo, Central African Republic and Angola. Seven countries elsewhere in Africa have similar outbreaks and cases have been reported in Asia. Of the two countries where polio remains endemic, Afghanistan and Pakistan, vaccine-linked cases have been identified in Pakistan.” – MedicalXpress 11/25/2019

                  1. You aren’t a libertarian, just an political opportunist who will hop on whatever train is available to push your conspiracy theories to a larger audience.

  7. Lee Qualm and his wife also think they can bring people back from the dead, think about that for a minute!!!

  8. Erin Tobin has publicly stated that she will be “the first in line” to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available. I wonder if she knows how involved Bill Gates and company is in this. Is she (and are YOU) ok with micro-chipping to allow the global tracking of every person globally via this vaccine? I wonder if she’s researched ID2020? Have YOU?

    Do you realize that Bill Gates is at the center of pushing vaccines worldwide? He has stated many times that the world needs to REDUCE it’s population via population control. So….why is he so hellbent on injecting all of us with *supposedly* “life-saving” vaccines? Does anyone else see the irony there? In case you’re wondering, he has also publicly stated that we can help achieve population control via vaccinations. Does that make you stop and think at all?

    I challenge every single person reading this to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvMn6NlzkYQ&feature=youtu.be

    Do you, as a supposed conservative, think that it’s ok for the government to track all of us via microchip? Do you think it’s ok for any healthcare worker to force any medical procedure on a person or a person’s child? Do you think it’s ok to use aborted fetal cells in vaccine research and ultimately in the vaccines themselves?

    As a conservative, where do you draw the line? When is it ever ok to take people’s freedoms away? How many here have either lost a ton, if not everything, because of the ongoing so-called “pandemic” themselves, or know someone who has? Since the numbers aren’t even remotely close to what was projected, has it been worth it?

    When does an issue go from “public safety” to gross governmental overreach in your book? Do you even know where your line is?

    To call those of us who don’t think like sheep and blindly follow the gods in mainstream healthcare and Bill Gates names, or to minimize our intelligence shows your ineptness to even comment on this issue. I’m speaking to the author, any person who has commented here, and any candidate opposing health freedom.

    I am praying fervently that these freedom fighters remain in our state legislature. I am sickened and appalled that you feel differently. When did we enter a Nazi Germany-type regime where force and coercion became acceptable and even applauded?

    1. Jesus wept. Have you spent too much time isolated with nothing to read but crazy people on social media?

      5g does not cause coronavirus, and Bill Gates is not going to inject us with microchips.

      1. Pat, don’t put anything past Gates:

        “Without having to go back to a doctor, women would be able to switch birth control hormones on and off at the touch of a button.

        That’s a big idea and it’s no wonder it’s attracted the attention of Bill Gates, who is backing the microchip contraceptive through the family planning unit of his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates sees the contraceptive chip as not something really intended for the Western world — where, no doubt, plenty of single women might line up to use the device – but for the developing world, where it is more than just a lifestyle choice, it is a form of reproductive justice. ”


  9. What i dislike from this list is how many people just jump from one chamber to the other. Term Limits needs to have a break between chambers also or a lifetime total.

    I’d like some new people, new ideas; not just the same people that we can’t live without (sarcastic if you couldn’t tell at the end)

  10. 2 observations: It saddens me when I read or hear people, especially elected officials, make demeaning remarks about others. IMHO, weakens your argument because it makes me lose respect for that person. Secondly, I know this is a hot button topic for many. In my day, we would get a measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine and at some point, a tetanus shot. Things have changed. Now over 70 shots are given to kids by the time they are 18. I’m all for doing what we can for the health of our children and maybe the bill needed some work, but that doesn’t mean the topic of what vaccines are given and who should determine which ones are required isn’t worthy of reasonable thorough debate.

  11. In any case, thank god Qualm is out of his “leadership” position. The House has been a disaster with him and Hauguard (however you spell it).

  12. It’s quite disgusting Lee, how you speak about the people you represent. I will be sure to bring my 11 year old in front of you and let her explain her vaccine injury to you and how it has ruined her childhood and will continue to affect her for the rest of her life. You can’t call people “crazy” for being the product of an industry that admits there is injury and death. I guess my girl got to be the “sacrifice for the greater good” right? Her life isn’t valuable? Absolutely disgusting. We are not crazy, we have been used and lives ruined so you can feel safe and secure in your bubble of “herd immunity.” You sir, need to stop speaking and take some time to really understand where these “crazy” peoole are coming from. Most of us, at one point, were just like you. We believe in vaccines until purselves or our children were hurt! Have some compassion and respect! If you can’t even make a point without downgrading someone, it shows a lot more about your character than anything! I hope you can live with your words when one of these “crazies” is in your face.. you will have to face your words. In the meantime screenshots are forever and I can’t wait to share this with every South Dakotan I know.

  13. I’m all for freedom.

    Any parent who doesn’t want to vaccinate their child is currently not required to vaccinate their child.

    However, for the protection of your child and children/teachers/others who are unable to be vaccinated, we require you to keep your child out of our schools and strongly urge you to quarantine your child from society.

    You are 100% to make your choice.

    1. So just so I understand. You are telling 1 group that are free to not vaccinate but, cannot come to school due to kids who cannot, correct? Why can’t the kid who can’t be vaccinated be kept at home? The logic can be flipped both ways. No matter how you slice this up, your logic requires one of these small groups to stay home. I guess I am not sure how someones inability to get a vaccine requires another to have a procedure forced on them to attend school.

      1. If there is a licit medical or religious reason to not be vaccinated, I’m good with such and exception so they can come to school.

        Otherwise, I advocate no force. If you choose to not vaccinate your child, I will support your choice. And I will honor your choice for your child to be a risk in society and not allow them to be in school

  14. And that’s what it boils down to. Anyone can chose to not vaccinate. But you may have to sign a form, switch schools, or home school. That’s a choice. Kids with cancer, Cystic fibrosis, congenital heart problems…..will no longer be able to attend school if kids are allowed to attend with measles, mumps, etc. They have no choice. And forget about sports gatherings- won’t happen anymore because it will always be one thing or the other spreading through the community.

    1. And to add on to the above post- have a little compassion for others- goes both ways.

  15. My child can’t get vaccines, she goes to school unvaccinated. How is she any different than a child that comes from a family that chooses not to get vaccinated for whatever reason. I am not worried about my immunocompromised child getting something from these unvaccinated kids. They have every right to go to school as any other child. Our health doesn’t depend on others. We are responsible for our own health and what we allow around our children. Recently vaccinated kids and adults pose more of a risk to my immunocompromised child, than a healthy unvaccinated child does. We are surrounded by disease, infection, bacteria and viruses every day. I’m hardly concerned about the few things vaccinated for. They are mild compared to other things. My immunocompromised child has been directly exposed to multiple things vaccinated for, chicken pox, pertusis, influenza and measles. She has never gotten them. Meanwhile, my vaccinated child has had measles and influenza. Crazy huh? Stop worrying about what other people are doing in the doctors office and with their health. It’s none of your business. Stop taking away other people’s freedoms, so you can feel “safer.” Above all, for the love of God, check your facts! I am educated on all sides of this issue and have been on both. I mind my own business and don’t suppress others rights to live how they want, where to send their kids and what medical treatments their children get. I also suggest you all go back and reread HB1235, it was about much more than vaccines and fyi, it’s already a crime in SD to compel medical treatments. This bill mearly changed a few words like required to recommended and made the crime harsher.

    1. Our health absolutely does depend, at least in part, on others. What a stupid blanket statement to make.

    2. “Julia,” how come you have the same IP address as “Kayla?” Are you all living in the same cabin out in the middle of the woods, or are you just intentionally sock-puppeting to make it look like more people support your position than actually do?

      1. Oh Pat, has it ever crossed your mind that two people can comment separately and use the same device or internet! Lets get real, I don’t need anyone to support my position, I am confident in my choices.

      2. IP addresses mean nothing in the world of IT when it comes to trying to determine if some sort of fraud exists. Many people use shared internet whether it is at work or home.

  16. Anti-vaxxers are willing to not ride on an elevator because it is only 99.99999999% safe. They instead scale down the outside of the building like Superman.

    1. Troy that is an excellent explanation of just where we as a society are today. Kudos!

    2. The under 50 crowd has never had a friend who walked with a limp because they contracted Polio as a child. I have and also a father of one of my classmates who was worried always of falling down not being able to get back up.
      My hunting buddy “Lee” walked with a limp because he got Polio as a kid and was 10 years older than me. Don’t ever say the infection rate of a virus is less severe than the actual infection until you have had said infection and lived through it.

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