MAINstream Coalition shows signs of life, comes out on ballot issues
The MAINstream coalition, which has been surprisingly quiet over the course of the past few months, came out recently with a number of position statements on various issues. As written on by Russ Keen in today's Aberdeen American News, They oppose Amendment E, as well as several other issues:
Abortion measure: The coalition is against the near-total ban on abortions because it doesn't make exceptions for incest and rape, Olson said.
While the measure approved by the Legislature allows women who are raped to take the so-called morning after pill, Olson said that's not adequate because most cases of rape and incest aren't reported. The law has been referred to a statewide public vote.
Amendment D: The so-called STOP (Stabilize Taxing Our Property) constitutional amendment should not be approved, Olson said.
Amendment D would change the way property is assessed, basing it strictly on sale value. Under it, a property that sold for, say, $100,000 would be valued at $100,000. The current system, known as equalization, uses comparable sales of property to determine values.
The change would lock people into property because moving would mean they have to pay higher taxes, Olson said. And, he said, it would make it difficult for young South Dakotans to buy homes or for farmers to buy more property because it would shift more of the tax burden to them.
Amendment E: Known as the JAIL amendment, if approved it would allow judges, county commissioners, city council members, school board members and others to be given jail terms or fines because of their decisions. Coalition members think it should be defeated.
Olson also said the Mainstream Coalition has issued three opinion papers. One says that school should not start until after Aug. 31. Another opposes a gay marriage amendment to the Constitution, and the third favors South Dakota legislative Article 3 that, simply put, makes it unnecessary to pass a law that can be handled by common law.
The article also briefly mentioned that several of the group's founders took it in the shorts this past primary election:
The three Mainstream Coalition incumbents who were challenged in Republican primary races on June 6 lost. In Aberdeen, Isaac Latterell beat Sen. Duane Sutton. And in Rapid City Eli Schwiesow defeated Rep. Stan Adelstein, and Dennis Schmidt downed Rep. J.D. Duniphan.I'd disagree with Ed on a couple of points here. Aside from the "far right" crack simply being the so called MAINstreamers adopting the terms of the Democrats, the losses weren't a matter of some organized effort of the "so-called right." The incumbents lost because their opponents ran better campaigns. That's how it works.
Olson said low voter turnout had a lot to do with the results. He also said the far right does a good job of staying on point on issues such as abortion and is good at activating its base. Now, Olson said, middle-of-the-road politicians need to do the same with their supporters. If that doesn't happen, he said, "extremists" will continue to control the party.
In Aberdeen, Duane Sutton focused primarily on advertising, while Isaac focused on his yard signs and a strong door to door effort.
In Rapid City, Stan Adelstein used a shotgun approach to his advertising, while Elli focused on holding her base, and moving those that might have stayed home in the previous matchup. Stan's pre-race publicity as Planned Parenthood's legislator didn't help him in this district as much as he thought it would.
Also in Rapid, Schmidt's race was highlighted by his going after parts of Duniphan's voting record which were not in tune with her district.
In the end, the stronger campaign won. Isn't that what primary elections are about?
Regardless, even though I disagree with the MAINstream thing because I don't see where holding hands with the Democrats makes the GOP stronger, The article does note that Ed is leaving the ED position of the coalition.
I wish him the best, as even though I might disagree with him on this, I will always consider him a thoughtful legislator and a gentleman. Ed, good luck in your endeavors.