Senator Adelstein attacks Senator Greenfield, but Napoli does a run-out to the ring.

If you’ve never watched or experienced professional wrestling before, let me explain a bit of what goes on, and some terminology. I’ve watched this stuff for years, and is a guilty pleasure of mine. Just like politics.

When two combatants go at it, they’re in the wrestling ring (sometimes known as the square circle). And from time to time, when one wrestler, say Wrestler "A" starts beating on Wrestler B improperly, say using brass knuckles or another foreign object, Wrestler B may have a buddy (Wrestler C) in the back who comes to his defense. When this occurs, Wrestler C is doing a run-out.

How is this applicable to politics? Well it’s pretty close to what happened in the Rapid City Journal on Friday, March 3rd. Check out these snippets from the article on the cuts in public broadcasting which got the battle started by Senator Brock Greenfield's proposed cuts which were approved by the legislature:
Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, brought the funding cut to the Appropriation Committee on Tuesday night. Greenfield argued that the state has plenty of television and radio outlets and that the public-broadcasting system was set to have a budget cushion of about $970,000. Then, he proposed the cut, which the committee approved on a 12-6 vote.
But then, Senator Stan “The Brain” Adelstein pulled out a foreign object to clunk Brock “the Giant” Greenfield on the head with a strongly worded attack:
Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, one of the most outspoken opponents, called the cut “yet another example of extremism gone too far in the Legislature.”

Adelstein was upset both by the cut and by the fact that it came so late in the budget process that there was no public comment or involvement by supporters of public broadcasting. A former Appropriations Committee member, he labeled Greenfield as “an ultra-conservative extremist” who helped organize the “last-minute ambush of public radio by extremists.”

“It is a breach of trust and an abuse of power,” Adelstein said.
Seeing that his compatriot from the Appropriations Committee was being unfairly targeted, it was at that point which Senator Bill “Blackjack” Napoli did a run-out from the back and started swinging at Adelstein:
Napoli was angered by those comments, which he said showed Adelstein didn’t understand the amendment or the public-broadcasting budget.

“I’m upset beyond belief that this little gray-haired senator would call me an extremist for doing my job, and that’s exactly what we did,” Napoli said. “If that guy would get his ass out of bed and come to the committee meetings, he would have realized that South Dakota Public Broadcasting has almost a million dollars left over.”

That devastating swing from Napoli left Adelstein stunned on the canvas and scrambling to get up. With his tone softened, and the crowd catcalling, the rhetoric continued:

Adelstein said the cut should have been presented to lawmakers earlier. He said it was aimed more at a perceived liberal slant by public broadcasting than it was at the budget.

“The cut was presented by people who didn’t like the tone of public broadcasting,” Adelstein said. “I don’t think the editorial pen should be exercised with the hatchet of cutting off necessary operational funds.”
Heh. Napoli telling Adelstein to "get his ass out of bed and come to the committee meetings" was about the verbal equivalent of the wrestling move known as "the steel chair." After Napoli hit Stan, Greenfield got up and put proceeded to Adelstein in a full-nelson with a return retort:
Greenfield said Thursday that even with the cut, public broadcasting would end the year almost $500,000 in the black next year. He doubts the cut will hurt programming.

Greenfield, the executive director of South Dakota Right to Life, said Adelstein’s comments about him were inaccurate and unfair.

“I guess that’s his prerogative. Sen. Adelstein has chosen to engage in personal attacks,” he said. “I guess I’m not cut from the same mold.”
And I'm sure we haven't heard the end of all of this. Please don't forget to read it all here at the Rapid City Journal.

The biggest thing to note in all of this is that the measure was passed by the legislature, so it's not just one person swinging blows at SDPB. It's a majority of the legislature deeming the proposal as a proper one. So, when Senator Adelstein calls the cuts a "last-minute ambush of public radio by extremists" that would mean he's referring to the majority.

And if the majority of legislators hold that view.... Wouldn't that place them in the mainstream of legislative thought, leaving Stan as the extremist? Just a thought to ponder.

Back to the topic at hand, the big question remaining in the battle royale over SDPB's budget surplus; as the bell prepares to ring on the sparring match, who will be declared the victor by the referee on the 35th legislative day?

Stay Tuned.


Ben Nesselhuf said…
“I guess that’s his prerogative. Sen. Adelstein has chosen to engage in personal attacks,” he said. “I guess I’m not cut from the same mold.”

I usually don’t get involved when republicans are beating each other up but I’ve heard Brock call Stan much worse things then “an ultra-conservative extremist”.
PP said…
BJ -

You probably have, and I'm sure Stan has likely referred to Brock in an even more derogatory manner.

The difference would be the difference between private conversations and public statements to the media.

Besides, this is a fun one. How often do Legislators tell the press that someone needs to get off their ass?
ben nesselhuf said…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying this little spat. It’s just hard to swallow when someone claims publicly to be so above personal attacks but makes them privately.

Your right about Bill’s comment. I don’t always agree with him but he gets points for bluntness.
Anonymous said…
We think Senator Napoli wins with a knockout in this round.
Anonymous said…
It will make the legislature appear out of the mainstream if Gov Rounds vetoes this cut. I bet he does it just to stick it to 'em.
Bob Newland said…
I don't like Adelstein and he doesn't like me (if you can imagine that). Same with JP Duniphan. But bot came down on the correct side of 1215.

Napoli, Greenfield, and a whole bunch of other folks were wrong, for a variety of reasons.

And now Rounds has just given a Democrat, who would have been unarmed because Rounds has been so inconsequential as to be unassailable, a sword with which to end Rounds' political career.

It was like an unnecessary all-in move in poker.
Anonymous said…
If this move by Senators Greenfield and Napoli was such a good idea, why did they do it in the dead of night with no one else around? They never asked anyone what the effects of the cut would be...imagine that, would ya? What a novel idea...allowing we the people input on decisions regarding OUR money. People on Senate Appropriations are unable to support or defend their ideas so they just do it when no one is around and with no chance to fight back...
Anonymous said…
Stan is a buffoon and an idiot, and an embarrassment to have in the legislature. Bill and Brock have both been in appropriations for several years, they know what the effects of the cuts would be.They didn't do it "in the middle of the night with no one around". The committee was there, and the majority supported the cut in an open-door meeting.
Anonymous said…
Oh come on. You obviously don't know much about the Legislature. It's pro wrestling at its finest. Everything is orchestrated. Those guys on appropriations waited until the figurative "dark of night" to make their final cuts and this is one of them. "The committee was there." Give me a break.
Anonymous said…
Brock The Giant and Blackjack Bill should give em the full body slam and cut the whole $970,000. If I want to watch highschool basket ball, I'll tune in one of the other local stations.
Anonymous said…
I'm just glad something is getting cut. The seventh university will have an insatiable desire for cash in the future. Let's hope that one-hundred years of infrastructure is not sacrificed at Vermillion, Madison and Brookings for this seventh university. Cuts are needed since these election year gimmicks will need substantial funding in the future.
Anonymous said…
To " anonymous 8:58 am", I was in the legislature for four years. Have you been? What do you mean "give me a break"? If the committee wasn't there to vote on it, it wouldn't have passed. Duh.
Anonymous said…
Well you didn't learn much in your four years then, did you?

Those cuts were all orchestrated and no one affected got any chance to give any input. If you can't see that as a problem then you must be part of the problem.
Anonymous said…
This issue has come up several times over the years. It's obvious who isn't going to like it- PBS and the libs. You must be one or the other or both.
Anonymous said…
Yea. I bet the Governor tries to restore funding for PBS. He does hate the conservatives. They probably attempt to cut his election year give-aways once in a great while.

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