Never thought I'd see this alliance.
Tourism Interests and the Farmers Union

I was up early this AM letting my woofing dog out, and checked the Rapid City Journal's website while I'm still in Brookings. And what do I spy but the announcement of this little alliance:

Farmers Union collects signatures

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Organizers of a petition drive to put a later school start on the November 2006 general election ballot said that the South Dakota Farmers Union will help collect signatures.
Read the short little article here.

The very business oriented tourism interests have now allied themselves with the agrarian oriented Farmers Union. If this is the case, we can assume that the petition effort has been floundering and they need an existing organization to put signatures on paper.

Why is it floundering? Well, why wouldn't it be? In effect, they are bucking the trend of South Dakota Schools and the State Board of Education to require MORE education. And this measure wants to limit the amount of time they have to do it in.

I predict it's going to fail at the ballot box if it makes the petition deadline.

But if I'm wrong and it somehow passes? Well, then watch for the school year to go well into June. If you can't get the time on the front end, school boards will get it on the tail.

And SPEAKING OF INITIATED MEASURES.. Here's the petition text for two of the latest, and less than greatest measures as posted on the Secretary of State's Website:

The "Don't like the state laws on gambling? Change them" measure which will allow Texas hold 'em tournaments, and legalize cash prizes for chess contests and fishing tournaments (like they needed it) has its language available for viewing here. (pdf file)

Even worse, Democratic Activist Reynold Nesiba's petition to limit the scope of use for state vehicles can be found here. (.pdf alert). Not just satisfied with using it as a political poke against the Governor, he's going after all state employees.

Why do I think that, you might ask?

It limits the scope of any state vehicle use to state business, or with permission, between home and work, or if you're on the road, with permission you can use it to go eat. A violation is a $1000 civil penalty in addition to it being a class 2 misdemeanor.

My response? Are you kidding me?

I've worked for the state on and off during my professional career, and it's required me to take state vehicles to places overnight. According to this, solely with permission, outside of job duties, state employees are supposed to use the car solely go to the hotel or eat - and according to law, THAT'S IT.

Because it's a $1000 fine if you go to Walmart to get the toothbrush and socks you forgot to pack. If you're stuck in a town for 2 weeks, and find you want a book to read - forget it. Because it's a crime if you drive to the bookstore.

Heck, according to this poorly worded ballot initiative, if I shut my finger in the car door, and need to go to the emergency room, I'd better add the $1000 civil penalty to the bill - because it's not included as permissable in the law.

My thoughts? Will it even make it on the ballot? I wouldn't want to be Ron Volesky trying to woo regular State or Public University employees with this being pushed by members of my party.


Douglas said…
First big surprise for 2006...Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Faremers Union has had tourist buses. Not sure if that didn't turn into a big money sink, but with that background, a link between them and tourism isn't too surprising.

Farmers Union is interested in making the Huron State fair viable..FU is headquaretered in Huron and fair is related to ag. Tourism industry would like a few more days of tourist season and a few more days of cheap help.

Not too surprising to see these changes.

What would be surprising would be changes that made some sense and be related to the school year. Such as having classes on Saturday when the weather is good in the spring or fall so that no lots need to be cleared of snow and minimal extra heating or cooling would be required.
Anonymous said…
I thought the Farmer's Union was for local control. They want referendums on zoning but don't want local school boards to set the school calendar
Reynold said…
Hey folks,

It's easy to misunderstand this stuff. Even the lawyers had to take two shots at this to get it right so that the LRC would approve the language.

The only parts of the petition that are new are the underlined parts. I'm not advocating that state employees should only use state vehicles for state business; that's already the law. (That's what the ∫5-25.1.1 refers.)

The main thing being changed is to eliminate the exception that has been granted on airplanes. The petition simply changes the law so that no state employee (regardless of party!) can use the state aircraft for anything except state business. The initiative adds a maximum penalty simply so there is a financial incentive to obey the law.

I'm certain you'd all agree that a Governor Volesky shouldn't be using OUR plane to fly to a partisan political event or to a private party. And you know what? I'd agree with you 100%. This is about good government.

I assure you, it will be on the ballot. Many of my conservative friends say that SD should be like the 43 other states that already limit state aircraft use to state business.

In many ways this is the CONSERVATIVE position. I haven't been the one advocating million dollar Govrnor mansions and free rein of the state airplane for whatever the governor pleases. That would be the liberal position and I'm opposed to that. Do you actually believe state employees should be able to use our state airplane whenever they feel like it? If so, what's conservative about that position? Feel free to response to me at

Reynold Nesiba

Popular posts from this blog

Why should we be surprised?

That didn't take long