Ummm... Err..... OK. He's got me on that one. Napoli extends an offer of cooperation to the Dems.

I have to admit, I'm still trying to digest this story (along with my Taco Johns Lunch). State Senator Bill Napoli is reaching out to the Democratic candidate for Governor, Jack Billion, for support on a plan of his to put drunk drivers in a different facility than more hardened criminals.

Today the Rapid City Journal is all over Bill Napoli's overtures to the Democratic Candidate for Governor, Jack Billion :
State Sen. Bill Napoli proposed a new type of prison facility Thursday for nonviolent criminals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. And in an unusual move for a conservative Republican who has criticized GOP moderates for blurring political philosophy, he sought Democratic support for his plan.

"If I have to go to the Democrats to get this done, I will," the Rapid City incumbent from District 35 said during a news conference attended by both Democratic and Republican political candidates.

Napoli said South Dakota has a "terrible" incarceration rate, in part because of "Republican get-tough-on-crime" programs that he has opposed in the state Legislature.


Napoli spoke about the idea recently with Jack Billion, the Democratic candidate for governor, and invited Billion's running mate, Eric Abrahamson of Rapid City, and other candidates from both major parties to the news conference Thursday.


Napoli said he left a phone message about the issue weeks ago for Gov. Mike Rounds but never heard back from the governor. He left messages Wednesday in Rounds campaign offices in Rapid City and Pierre and did not hear back.

and the response...

"I haven't talked to him, nor have I had a request from him for a phone call," Rounds said late Thursday afternoon. "I've checked our phone logs. The last time I had a phone call from Bill Napoli was March of this year."

and finally..

On Thursday, Napoli said there is no hypocrisy in his outreach to Democrats a month after he blasted Adelstein for his Democratic connections. There should be a hard line between the parties on political philosophy, but it can be crossed on key issues, he said.

"When it comes to issues, the lines have to disappear," he said.
I will give him this - Despite the newspaper painting this as unusual, I would note that it isn't the first time that Bill has gone to the other side of the aisle for support on issues he cares about. I think I've mentioned before that he's currently working with Senator Jim Hundstad on Amendment D.

I think the key thing to consider is that his past criticisms of a certain State Senator who lost the primary are based on the fact that this person was bashing the GOP and it's candidates saying they needed to be removed from office. Here, Bill is just saying the Republicans and Democrats need to work together on this issue.

That being said, personally, I'm not sure why he would have gone to Billion with this, other than to highlight the issue for discussion. Coming in the middle of the battle for Governor, it seems that it could be a bit... incindiary for his relationship with Governor Mike Rounds.

And Bill wouldn't do anything incindiary now, would he?


Anonymous said…
Come on, PP. You know of Napoli's personal feelings towards Rounds and how much he must love telling the paper that Rounds will not return his calls (staffers, dropping the ball-you should just have someone call him once a week or so to see if he's doing ok, like an addict during recovery.).

I can't wait for session this year. It will be the Bill and Jerry show and there will be an awful lot of DOA matters coming out of and being pushed by the governors office.
Anonymous said…
Rounds does not return calls. That is a fact. The problem is that Bill is barking up the wrong tree on this one. Prison time is a great way of treating drug and alcohol addicts. Normally, there is not enough evidence to charge someone with the burglary, theft or even violent crime the addicted committed, but they get caught drunk driving or with meth in their system. That is their ticket to prison. Normally, that brings irrefutable evidence. What is lacking in many of the violence and thefts committed by the addicts against their relatives and others.

Coddling criminals does not work. Just because the Peoples Republic of Minnesota has a revolving door installed to its jails, doesn't mean it is good for the citizens of our society.

Rehab is fine, but the state of south dakota probably pays out millions of dollars in rehab every year for habitual criminals. That investment is surely helping some, but the reality of the situation is that jail forces sobriety and the pennitentiary does have drug and alcohol programs for the inmates.

Bill simply does not know what he's talking about. Conspiring with the liberals to release criminals from jail, who were most recently caught for a non-violent drug or alcohol offense, will just lead to more crime and less productivity of our society.

Bill, please don't buy into the liberal diatribe!
Anonymous said…
Yes, the conservative diatribe is so much more appealing...
Anonymous said…
Amen, Anonymous 2:03. I, too, am tired of coddling. What disappoints me is that Senator Napoli, whom I support, is jumping on this bandwagon. Please, Bill, say it isn't so!!!
Anonymous said…
Just goes to show you just how insane Napoli really is. Thank God for term limits.
Anonymous said…
Anon 12:45, you mean the same "Bill and Jerry" show that has brought us a record number of state employees. The same "Bill and Jerry" show that has participated in approving the largest state budget in history? Ya, I can hardly wait until next session. The question is, can you?
Anonymous said…
Anon 2:03:

You are spot on with two comments. The first is that the Rounds Administration is lacking a legislative liason and fails to communicate with folks who are worthy of having their phone calls returned.

This has been a hallmark of Rounds and shows that the administration up there is being run by the junior varsity. Rounds needs to get out there more. South Dakotans have been partly conditioned by their history and partially by Bill Janklow into liking hands on leadership. Rounds has had some victories, like Homestake and the like but he's never on the scene of anything.

Secondly, and I concur, a rise in alcohol related crimes means that more people are committing those crimes. Liberals in this state think that everytime we have too many people going to jail we should reduce the penalties so we don't have to spend more on jails. I though libs were in favor of spending more money. Oh that's right they are just in favor of spending money with their special interests groups.

We need to stick to our guns on the crime issue. Also, imprisonment does force sobriety. What it doesn't do is force responsiblity after being let out.

We need to bring Chuck Colson and the Prison Fellowship ministries into the prison to teach that stuff.
Anonymous said…
So who is going to write a letter to Gov Rounds demanding that Napoli be asked to resign from the Republican Party for going to the Dems for help.

Napoli can't have it both ways, but we are talking about Bill Napoli, and I'm not sure if he is smart enough to know it.
Anonymous said…
I love the War College. I am disappointed in one thing. I always thought the War College Bloggers intellect was a step above the rest of the world. I was wrong!
There are bloggers on the War College who are just as stupid as they claim I am.
The story was factual, the heading was not. Not that it makes a hill of beans difference to you bloggers who are unable to understand how issues work. I called Rounds in March, I was told he would call me back about this issue, and there was no response.
I took the time to call the Republican Headquarters and get the campaign phone numbers for Round's office in Pierre and Rapid City. I had to leave a message at the Pierre office, and I talked to one of Round's guys here in Rapid, who said, someone would be there.
That news conference was open to everyone. Both Republicans and Democrats showed up, including Abrahamson. No one from the Rounds camp bothered to show.
It was typical of the Rounds administration.
I will work with anyone on issues.
I'm tired of sending people to prison that don't belong there and wasting millions of your tax dollars.
We are spending over $27,000 per inmate per year. If you are OK with that, fine.
I just believe there has to be a better way. Frankly I am just sick of you anonymous bloggers who bitch and moan about every issue, and don't have the courage, guts, or ambition to get your fat butts away from your computer and come help us save the taxpayers some money and work out these issues.
Anonymous said…
About 75% of the prison population is Christian. About 75% of the nation is Christian.

About 10% of the nation is Atheist/Agnostic. About .2% of the prison population is Atheist/Agnostic.

And we need more Christianity in prisons?
Anonymous said…
What I really want to know is what Apa thinks? In my humble opinion he is the mastermind behind all things screwed up in this conservo-christian republican party. God bless those agnostic liberals!
Anonymous said…
Bill.... I like your idea. It makes perfect sense to me. Alcoholics should not be in prison with rapists and murderers. An alcoholic has a disease and needs the proper treatment for recovery. Many alcoholics are very talented, intelligent people who find themselves in this horrible trap and need help. Prison is NOT the right place for them.
Anonymous said…
Yes, for once Napoli has something moderately intelligent to say.

Wonders never cease.
Anonymous said…
Anon 6:01:

It's not that we need more Christianity in our prisons. Nobody is saying we do. Lest of all me. What I am saying is that we need more responsibility coming out of the prisons. Prison Fellowship Ministries can help our state acheive that. In fact they are one of the few private organizations that is helping prisoners in South Dakota.

It's the one private religous organization that has successfully helped tens of thousands of prisoners. Are you against helping prisoners become responsible people again. Because what is sounds like is you can't past the fact that Christianity helps people. Imagine that...a private religious organization led by a conservative that helps prisoners escape the chains of addiction and teaches them responsiblity.

Whoda thunk it?
Anonymous said…
Bill: If you really don't want people in prison, legislate chain gangs and forced work programs on the drunks and druggers. Tear a page out of the Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff's book and quit playing footsie with McGovern and his ilk. The only thing these folks hate worse than prison is work. That will cut down on the inmate population dramaticly.

P.S. $27,000 per year is probably a bargain when you consider all of the restitution and welfare that won't have to be paid in addition to all of the potential child support the taxpayers will get stuck with for releasing these folks early under the "Napoli Plan".
Anonymous said…
He's not saying to release them.....he's saying to put them into a separate facility so that they can get rehabilitated.

You people are ruthless.

It's a great idea Bill!
Anonymous said…
Everyone makes mistakes. Bill just needs to admit it and move on. He would look more willing to listen if he did and he would be making sense again. This misstep won't hurt Bill in the long run, but it could help him if he demonstrates that he can see the error in his ways from time to time. This was simply ill-conceived and he did not look at all of the societal costs of releasing criminals from jail, even though the crime they are currently in prison for is non-violent.

This issue is philosophical. It isn't some isolated matter which can be parced. Liberals want to make excuses for people. That is all Bill is doing, period.
Anonymous said…
So Bill, have you contributed to the Rounds for Governor campaign? Do you have signs up at your shop? Got to love it. And yet, Rounds turned his back and let Randy F. run Adelstein out. Things make no sense in Pierre.
Anonymous said…
Rounds is a political animal. He stuck his finger into the wind and could see that the voters were going to ditch Adelstein. Since Mike didn't want to go down with Stan, he stood by and let it happen.

Napoli could care less which way the wind is blowing. What you hear from Bill's mouth is what he's thinking, not what he thinks will get him the most votes or win the most friends.

Have you heard the saying "breath of fresh air"? I've found I don't agree with Napoli about half the time, but I have come to greatly respect the man.
Anonymous said…
Who cares if Bill has contributed to Rounds. Many republicans are disgusted with Rounds' lack of everything but big government. Why would anyone contribute to Rounds? What has he done for the state?

Bill's idea is pathetic, though. The liberals would love to seperate the druggers and drunk drivers from the other criminals. It just helps them classify some more criminals as victims in our society who just need help. That is the first step on the slippery slope to decriminalization.

Bill needs to wake up. He is acting like a pawn for the democrats.
Anonymous said…
Craptastic. Thats the best way to describe Bill's presentation. A really bad idea that is presented very well. Just like his property tax amendment, this is self serving politics.

In his property tax amendment the best served tax payer is Bill. In this reach across the aisle, the best served person is Bill. Everyone knows that you can't coddle addicts and alcoholics. The drinking drivers only end up in prison when they have committed the offense 3 or 4 times. They are dangerous to themselves and others and deserve to serve time along side any other felon. People who use marijuana get short jail stints, the felons are the people arrested for controlled substances like meth and cocaine. Meth addicted felons deserve to do time along side any other felon. Let's not blur the issue. First time offenders and marijuana users are not clogging up our prisons. Meth dealers and 5 time DUI felons are filling up the prisons. Maybe instead of dreaming up some utopian rehab prison, let's increase the penalties on 1st and 2nd DUI convictions and possession of marijuana. Then maybe the idiots won't continue to endanger the lives of the innocent.

As far as the property tax amendment, c'mon Bill, we all know it doesn't work. And why roll the valuation back to 2003? Isn't that when your property taxes went up?

One other thing. This is a blog and it is meant for us to sit on our "fat butts" and make anonymous statements. So go put on a dog and pony show elswhere. Leave the rambling and gossip to us.
Anonymous said…
Anon 8:36:

You are right about how many offenses it takes for drunks and druggers to actually go to jail. I don't think Bill had this information prior to his press conference.

But you are wrong about the property tax issue. Something needs to be done and the governor and other republicans in the legislature have their head stuck in the sand. Bill is providing leadership where there isn't any. He has a novel idea and I commend him for his actions. He's got a point about others not doing something to solve the problem. I understand his frustration.
Anonymous said…
Isn't this the same Bill Napoli that was infamous for being a car-jacker?

I think you could find more than a few that know the truth about Napoli's younger days.

We'll see.
Anonymous said…
First offense DUI will get you a night in jail after your arrest, but rarely will it result in more jail time (usually suspended unless there's some sort of reason to add more). (Of course there's also the possibility of pleading down to a reckless driving charge.) Second offense DUI will usually get you a few nights in jail. Third offense DUI is a felony and will get you prison (not jail). Endangering people a third time ought to get your ass thrown in prison, not jail. I'm talking big boy prison. These people (3x offenders) have already had their chances at treatment - most do that after the 1st, and almost all do it after the 2nd. If you don't learn from that, you need to spend a little time in Sioux Falls thinking about it.

It sounds reasonable at first - poor people afflicted with addictions are not violent criminals and shouldn't be treated as such. But by the time prison is an issue, the offender has been through some program at least once and has gone back out on the road drunk. They put lives at risk with a dangerous weapon, and they need to atone for that, just as other criminals do.
Anonymous said…
Anon 11:21 - You hit the target on this one. And darn it, if they can't keep from drinking, they should at least stay off the road so they aren't risking everyone else's safety. If they can't figure that out after two DUI's, they need to do some serious time.
Anonymous said…
Maybe people should be talking about Attorney General Larry Long's great program to make people with DUI's to come in and be checked 2 times daily to make sure they are staying away from the poison that they drink. Alcoholism is a terrible and universal problem. These people need some help right after their first offense. If it takes a little coddling and some big brother watching them maybe we could save these people before they kill themselves or others.
I remember a good doctor friend of mine who just served a shift in Arizona and left home at 3 am when his shift ended. He was hit by a drunk driver 3rd offense and brought to the ER where he had just worked. His friends had to pronounce him dead. Maybe this program if universal ( and cheap to do- as it uses the staff we have) can save lives of the alcoholics, their families, and future victims. Just a thought.
Anonymous said…
A lot of you people are freakin' morons. You talk about the people who do evil deeds under the influence of alcohol and want to throw away the key. Why not treat the alcoholism? You should see them number of individuals who travel through the Trusty Unit multiple times, because they can't handle alcohol and haven't been adequately treated. You also have the people who become "institutionalized" and are unable to cope on the outside. Punishment over treatment has never been the answer, but treatment can also stand as punishment, because you are sending them away for a period of time. Let's think outside the usual sideboards of Prairie Punishment and do this right. Go get 'em Bill.
Anonymous said…
Anon 9:46 - I agree that alcoholism is a disease, but you answered your own question when you said some people have to be treated multiple times. Treatment doesn't work for them.
I've known people who could afford the best treatment around, but they didn't stay sober very long. Some of them, however, did have enough sense to arrange transportation with a friend so that they wouldn't drive drunk.
When people's licenses have been taken away and they still opt to drive themselves to a bar, they make a choice that puts everyone else at risk.
The law doesn't come down hard on them until they've had their third DUI. Then the well-being of other drivers and their passengers must be the primary concern.
I know of too many instances where a car of people were killed when a drunk driver slammed into them. They didn't even get a second chance.
Longtime alcoholics who refuse to stop driving need to be taken off the road and locked up - for a very long time.
Anonymous said…
The fact of the matter is that even a true third offense in a lifetime and in ten years will probably net you a local jail sentence. Depending on the Judge, you could walk out the door without any time at all. Less than the standard second offense sentence handed down in magistrate court.

The bottom line is the same people who drive drunk are normally using drugs, stealing, commiting violence against their loved ones and not paying any child support. It is a personality disorder--they are sociopaths, they do not care about anyone but themselves. For these individuals, prison is an excellent option. A second offense drunk driver cannot get a work permit until they have completed treatment. Frankly, treatment is usally a joke.

Prison keeps our communities safe! Quit making excuses for the irresponsible criminals in our soceity. Their mothers already coddled them too much when they were children.
Anonymous said…
The taxpayers spent milloins of $$$ on the Plankinton jail/ bootcamp facility that sits mothballed. Napoli's not the first to propose a drug/alcohol prison, which many other states are doing. Let's give it a shot in a facility we have already paid for and aren't using.
Anonymous said…
Very good point!
Anonymous said…
Anon 4:30 - That sounds good, but I would like to see something that would compare the cost of hiring staff and professionals to run the Plankinton facility compared with incarcerating the same people at another location. How many times would the state run the same people through there?
People have to want to quit their addictions, and I'm not convinced that most of them want to quit.
Maybe the program could be successful, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Anonymous said…
Did Napoli and Bob Newland brainstorm this plan?
Anonymous said…
I see nothing wrong with Sen. Napoli looking for a solution to the drunk driver problems we have in this state. If Rounds isn't interested, it is only understandable that Sen. Napoli would look elsewhere for ideas. This is not a Republican issue or Democrat issue. It is something everyone is concerned about. Napoli is right with a new idea.
Anonymous said…
"The bottom line is the same people who drive drunk are normally using drugs, stealing, commiting violence against their loved ones and not paying any child support."

Dude, you forgot to include the allegation that they engage in bestiality and are card-carrying members of NAMBLA.

I think maybe you're being a little too dramatic. Where I come from, drinking & driving is a recreational activity, but nothing else that you've stated applies.

Easy, Turbo.

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