Post #450 - On behalf of the GOP, Thank you Representative Gassman.

One of my favorite newspaper supplments has now arrived. The 2006 Capitol Journal Legislative Edition supplement.

For some reason, every year some legislator makes a comment that just blasts through the ether of survey blandness and stands out. They stand out either through being brutally honest, or they were just having an off day when they filled out the survey and end up saying something they didn't intend to.

So far, this year's great comment belongs to Representative David Gassman.

In response to the question "What have you done as a legislator that has directly improved the lives of your constituents and the other residents of South Dakota?" He had a great response:
"After three years, to be honest, I don't believe I have greatly improved the lives of my constituents..."
That, and that his solution to South Dakota's ills would be an income tax. Ouch. Those are going to come back on you.

Okay, I understand that several of the commentors and I are miles apart on the income tax thing. But guys you must also realize it's been voted down time and again. Gerry Lange wasn't exactly wowed with the level of support for his constitutional measure.

We can assume this means most South Dakotans are against it. So, in the big scheme of things, I would not view pushing it as the end-all-be-all as a positive in a re-election effort.

But getting back to the first statement. "I don't believe I have greatly improved the lives of my constituents." It might be the most candid statement of the year, but I don't think it's what your voters want to hear. They want to hear things like Dan Sutton said....

(And as I go to look, I see the CJ left him out.) But anyway, voters want to hear the positive. Brutally honest might just turn them off. If he would have just said "I believe I have represented them in a fair and bi-partisan matter" That would have been good.

But starting off and basically saying that he hasn't improved anything? I'd label that bad.


Anonymous said…
Well, being a constituent in the district served by all three that you mentioned (Gassman, Lange, Sutton), I have to agree that the former two haven't accomplished anything for us. Gassman has truly done nothing. Lange at least tries but his unpopular ideas make him ineffective. This district needs better representation, so why do the majority of my fellow constituents keep sending those two back??? Cuz they're nice guys, but that doesn't cut it in the legislature. I am hoping that you are right and Gassman's statements, as well as Lange's that we deserved what we got on 9/11, come back to haunt them next election.
Eddie said…
Rep. Lange, who introduced a medical marijuana bill last session, is only legislator to vote in favor it.

Being a maverick means taking 'unpopular' (ie liberal) issues sometimes in Pierre.

By the way, Rhode Island recently enacted medical marijuana legislation by overwhelmingly voting to override the Republican governor's veto.

The revolution is coming. To bad South Dakota is likely be far, far behind...
David Newquist said…
In South Dakota, being honest is a horrendous liability. Many legislators, if they were honest, would say they haven't done much to improve the lives of their constituents, but that is because they are the minority. Those irrelevants like Gassman and Lange who do not grovel before Big Brother's henchmen probably don't do much to improve our lives, but they keep the ideas that can improve lives alive.
PP said…
Anonymous - When and where did Lange actually say "we deserved what we got on 9/11."

That's a new one on me. I hadn't heard that. If he really did say it, that's horrendous.
PP said…
(And if you have the citation for that coment,I'd like to see it.)
Anonymous said…
After 9/11 Lange said that he felt we brought it on ourselves by our country's actions in the world. I realized after I submitted the post that I didn't phrase it right, but it is pretty much the same meaning. Greg Belfrage on KELO radio would remember all the info on it. If I remember right, it was when the state drafted a resolution to support the war in Iraq that this came up.
Anonymous said…
I will admit that although I am 100% against illegal and mind-altering drug use, I do favor somehow making marijuana legal only as a medicine. I think the problem is how to do that while at the same time keeping it out of the hands of pot smokers themselves. But there are plenty of narcotics that are illegal to use unless by RX. If it has beneficial qualities in glaucoma, cancer, etc, someone needs to figure out how to make it available ONLY to docs for use in legal prescriptions. Figure that out, show how it will work, and then I think there would be some support for this.

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