Done in by rumors, and rumors alone. Bob Sahr announces he's done with elective politics.

According to the associated press this morning, Bob Sahr announcs that he's done with elective politics and doesn't expect to run again:

The chairman of the state Public Utilities Commission, Bob Sahr, says he likely will not run again for public office after serving with the agency since 2001.

He plans to leave the PUC sometime before the end of the year to become general counsel for East River Electric Power Cooperative in Madison.

Sahr decided at the last minute not to run for another six-year term this year - a decision he based on what he calls untrue rumors being spread about him.

Read it all here, and have a personal moment of silence for knowledge of truth being a requirement before accusations are thrown. "Truth," alas. We hardly knew ye.

The thing is, I have no idea of the truth or untruth of the rumors being bandied about. Personally, I have a lot of doubts given the manner in which they were made, but in either case - pro or con - I lack evidence.

Most reporters I talked to called it an issue of "ripeness." Until proof was offered, I was told there was simply no story yet.

So, in the political theatre that is South Dakota, apparently that little requirement is no longer necessary. *Whew!* That's a burden off of my shoulders. I had been operating under the assumption that achieve a threshhold of credibility, a person had to document factual information and reliable sources. Apparently not.

I guess all anyone ever needs now is a mailing list (with the Argus Leader on the list), a blank piece of paper and a copy machine to destroy your opponent's careers.

The thing is, at any given time there are rumors running around on candidates - some accusations even rising to the level of criminal activity. But it had been a pretty standard practice in the past to wait until any sort of proof arose before the accusations were made.

No more. It's simply not required at the present. And that's a shame.

On another topic, did you hear the one about the Democratic Senator who kicks puppies? Dear Argus Leader....

Comments

Anonymous said…
Yep, who's next PP. The current power in the GOP (and I most certainly don't mean Rounds) watched, pushed and caused this to happen. It worked. Who's next. My guess, someone from S.F. who's a little left of Lee S.
Anonymous said…
Watch out, Dave Knudson!
Anonymous said…
Who gives up on politics because of a rumor that no one is talking about?

And if no one is talking about it, is it even a rumor?

(If a tree falls in the woods...)
Anonymous said…
I agree - if it's *just* a rumor, why is he running away? If it's just a rumor, stand up and call those spreading it out. Maybe it's okay - if he doesn't have the instestinal fortitude to handle it, he ought not be a statewide office holder. Of course there's always that nagging possibility that the rumor is true and he wants to get out of town...
Anonymous said…
The problem with the "rumors" is that it is a personnel issue and remains to be seen whether it will be made public or not. Safe to say the jerk off (Bob Sahr) got exactly what he deserves. I'd love to see the audit on his spending account. Safe to say he had more than one angle coming at him and that's why he chose not to run (in only my opinion).
Bob Newland said…
"I had been operating under the assumption that achieve a threshhold of credibility, a person had to document factual information and reliable sources. Apparently not." -- PP

Apparently not, indeed. The whole system supporting the prohibition of (some) psychoactive substances has almost NEVER documented factual information and reliable sources (remove the "almost" if we're talking about cannabis only).

Even PP, in his opposition to Initiated Measure 4 (safe access to therapeutic cannabis), offers only a statement that current SD law makes cannabis possession illegal (yes, true, and that's what initiatives are about, PP). Note that PP has not offered a single relevant fact (or even a rumor) to support his opposition to allowing sick, disabled and dying people safe access to medicine that works for them.
PP said…
Bob, as I'm sure you can quote sources against the criminalization of marijuana, I'm equally sure I can find credible sources that show it's use as a gateway drug to harder drugs, as well as it affecting the learning ability of youth.

My point here is that there remains no public and credible information on who was investigated and for what. And based on no information, judgement has been passed.

We've all heard the rumors. All I'm asking for are some documented facts.
Douglas said…
"We've all heard the rumors. All I'm asking for are some documented facts."

Darn, I missed the rumors. What were they anyway?

More seriously, dirty politics is dirty politics whether it is in the Democratic Party, The Republican Party, or some religion, or even a local PTA.

Of course, I remember hearing a Mitchell,SD highschool teacher telling her government class that she "knew George McGovern was a communist" and an ad in the Rapid City Journal had George McGovern's head in the crosshairs of a rifle scope.

The question with any relevance might be, "Can we control political speech and if so, How do we do it?"
Anonymous said…
WE haven't heard all the rumors. In fact, some of us haven't heard any of them, but the situation looks suspect nonetheless. People seldom, if ever, quit because of rumors unless some of those rumors are based on facts.
Anonymous said…
I think you are right, anon 9:12. It's called being the nominee for governor by attrition.

10:43, spending account? What the heck are you talking about, and unless you are someone who likes to get dirty, sometimes leaving the playground, staying out of the mud, and moving on is best for all including your family. You can take the average political job w/its limited pay and high degree of crap if you ask me.

Anon.
Anonymous said…
I've never heard the story douglas told about the teacher from Mitchell stating with certainty that McGovern was a communist.

History has certainly upheld her assertion.
Anonymous said…
Anon 1:34 - You need to get a dictionary and read the definition of communism. It is not synonymous with socialism.
Vote No on all but 4 said…
PP,

Why do you think the prohibition on drugs is any better than the prohibition on alcohol?

Huge foreign drug cartels and organized crime in the United States have been empowered, people are turning to smaller amounts of more powerful drugs to avoid being apprehended, quality of drugs is uncertain as it is impossible to press charges of negligence or fraud, and a certain sexiness is added to doing drugs.

Ending the prohibition on drugs would drastically reduce violent crimes associated with drugs. The same violence existed with black market alcohol sales. Now, it does not. What do you think helped to establish the mafia?

Education, not prohibition, is the answer to stopping drug use and abuse. Check out the arguments against booze from early last century. They are the same as yours (and are equally illogical).

And we all know drugs are bad for you, the question is whether or not prohibition is having a positive or negative effect. Can you cite any studies saying the prohibition on drugs is cost-effective much less a net benefit to Americans?
Bob Newland said…
"I'm equally sure I can find credible sources that show [cannabis'] use as a gateway drug to harder drugs, as well as it affecting the learning ability of youth." -- PP

I'm equally sure you can not find credible sources pointing to the "gateway" theory. My theory is that wearing blue jeans leads to drug use. After all, don't nearly all drug users have a history of blue jeans use?

And what does "affecting the learning ability of youth" have to do with cannabis' use in therapy?
PP said…
anon 6:21, I don't disagree with you, but the language...
Anonymous said…
Anon 10:43, I think it's safe to say that you're an ignorant piece of [place any of Chad Schulte's favorite words here].
sdbwm said…
The Rand Corp. just released an interesting study that suggests that Cannabis is a gateway drug only because it can lead some young people to believe that if they can get away with using it -- both from a physical and legal standpoint -- than they can get away with using harsher drugs. I've changed my mind about all this and now favor the legalization of many drugs. Implementing a distribution system will be interesting, but the drug war has failed miserably and it's time we spent the $150 million on education rather than filling our prisons up with people who have committed one crime -- being stupid enough to get caught holding an ounce or two of pot. Many federal judges agree with me and Smoke and Mirrors, by Dan Baum, provides an illuminating accunt of what's wrong with drug policy in the U.S.

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