Stan Adelstein's last gasp for attention as a legislator

The Argus Leader was reporting on it's website last night that Stan Adelstein is attempting to use the Sutton allegations to gain attention.... for himself. Imagine that. Just like the abortion issue, the gubernatorial race, his primary loss, etcetera and so on...
If there’s nothing new from a criminal investigation, Sen. Stan Adelstein says he will make a motion to adjourn as soon as the Senate convenes a special session next month.

and...

“I would make such a motion if there has been no prosecution from the state’s attorney or the attorney general,” he said.

The Rapid City Republican believes the special session shouldn’t have been called until and unless criminal charges are filed.

He blames Senate President Lee Schoenbeck – a longtime political sparring partner – for jumping the gun. Schoenbeck was one of the four senators who asked Rounds to call the special session.
Read it all here. Apparently Stan has never read the Legislature's Joint Rules. Because there's nothing in there that requires a criminal charge. There's also rules against cell phone use in the chamber and gallery. Is Stan going to require an arrest there first too?

Actually, the rule that I've heard is going to be examined in this instance is Joint rule 1A-4 regarding sexual harrasment. If Stan can tell me where that's in the codified laws as a criminal offense, I'd like to see it.

Of course it isn't there. It's a matter only cited (and very sparingly so) in professional conduct rules as well as matters of civil litigation. So, technically, there's no law being broken. However, the legislature has rightfully instituted it as a standard of conduct for it's own members:
1A-4. Sexual harassment prohibited.

All members are responsible for ensuring that the workplace is free from sexual harassment. All members shall avoid any action or conduct which could be viewed as sexual harassment. A member shall report any sexual harassment complaint to the presiding officer of the house to which the member belongs. If the situation is not resolved, the member shall forward the complaint to the Executive Board of the Legislative Research Council.
So, should we assume that Stan thinks sexual harassment in the legislature is OK unless criminal charges are brought? Is he saying that negative sanctions for a game of slap and tickle between high school kids and legislators requires an arrest first? I'm going to assume not. But the problem in this instance is that the contact, per se, has no law against it if the high school kid is 18 or over.

So if the facts are in dispute as it seems in this matter, it's going to be nearly impossible to bring criminal action (hence why it's been investigated for so long). Does that rule out civil action? No. But there is still an allegation that something occurred with a young employee of the Senate. And there is a RULE (not a law, a legislative RULE) against such conduct. So unless they are prepared to let such allegations hang out there, they have to do something.

So, unless Stan is prepared to look the other way when allegations of this nature come to light, he needs to quit flapping his gums and know what is laid down in writing for the conduct expected of legislators.

Whether he likes it or not, as unpleasant as a thing it's going to be, Schoenbeck and the three other legislators (1 GOP , 2 Dem) did the right thing in requesting the special session.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I know you don't like him, but Stan is right on this time.
Anonymous said…
What is stan right on about?

Show me where criminal sanctions have to be filed by the executive branch before the legislative branch can take action against its own members.

Of course you can't show me because there is no rule that prevents them from doing this. In fact the only rules we have are those that actually allow the legislature to do this.

There is no law that your employer or a private person has to wait for the police or the states attorney to file criminal charges before going to court and suing you for sexual harrassment.

Why should a legislator recieve extra special protection that is not afforded to regular citizens?

Stan: take your ball and go home. Maybe he will get huffy and walk out of this session like he did the abortion study group!
Anonymous said…
PP,
You are showing your hate for Stan again.

While I don't agree with Stan on this, you went overboard in your criticism.

You act like Stan is the only legislator at seeks media attention.

Hello, the three amigos do and say whatever it takes to get their name and face in the media.

For those who may be new to state politics, the three amigos are Napoli, Schoenbeck, and Apa.

If you are going to point a finger at Stan for wanting attention, you need to include the three amigos with him.
Anonymous said…
Bonnie,
Is there anybody you don't hate?
Anonymous said…
I don't have a problem with Adelstein trying to get media attention -- that's nothing new. This is about his feud with Schoenbeck. I have a question for you, Mr. Adelstein: Were the other three people who asked for the session also "mean"? I for one am glad that the legislature's chief whiner and publicity hound will no longer have an elected forum.
Anonymous said…
HEADLINES FOR SALE, BOYS! COM'N'GET'EM!!!

I think it can be confirmed if one spent a few hours with Google, you'd find that for every one headline grabbed by your pal Stan, you'd find three grabbed by your other pal Schoenbeck. You'd also find very quickly that Stan had nothing to do with setting up the Kangaroo Court proceedings scheduled by the Idiot Governor at the end of November. That was entirely engineerd by Schoenbeck as his last gasp for attention as a legislator. And once again, the Idiot Governor can't say no. Spineless.

Good riddance to both Stan and Lee. Sadly, we'll have to put up with Lee's selective righteous indignation and grandstanding for yet another stretch after this election.

And Stan is right this time. Where is the proof? Where are the charges from a legal source? Has there been an arrest? Are they even close to filing charges?

Everyone seems to be aware that an investigation started in February by the Attorney General with nothing actionable on the table. So, what's the real purpose of the lynch mob? What are you big boys gonna get done that isn't a leap to an unverified conclusion?

Don't know?

Then what the hell are they going to achieve on Nov. 27 except grabbing a lot of headlines for self-righteous pie-hole flapping? Our alleged news corps is only too happy to ablige since it beats working on anything meaningful. There will be plenty of headlines to go around.

Sutton's guilt or innocence is not the issue here. My fear is that if indeed he is a sexual predator (and if so, he wouldn't be the first by a long shot in the legislature), the impotent Senate leadership will not be able to conclude anything, thus emboldening him for future conquests.

And don't think Mike Butler won't capitalize on the mass stupidity between the Governor's office and the legislative leadership.

It is the absolute amateurish, self-serving process here for which there isn't much law to support that makes me so disappointed. Maybe all involved needs to set this one on the back burner and wait until after the holiday season to get back to the usual foolishness that passes for the legislative process in South Dakota.
Anonymous said…
Stan's own misconduct dates back decades--including:
The purchase of Jim Shaw and City Hall
Selling out the citizens of Rapid City and the state in the Cement Plant mess
misusing the state seal in his campaign mailings
Anonymous said…
Anon 11:54 & Bonnie, are the two of you sharing a pipe?
Anonymous said…
Lets stay on topic here. The John Ellis article in the Argus says he will make a motion to adjourn, if no prosecution from the state's attorney or the attorney general....Stan doesn't even need that to make the motion to adjourn. (I presume a non- debatable motion). The rest of the Senate body would have to vote immediately on adjournment, let Stan then have his tirade and walk out pouting as usual. With notification to the Governor by the leadership in the Senate of both parties and requesting a special session, Stan has no say so! This is what gets his goatee and perhaps twirls his toupee.........poor Stan is left powerless, impotent, and groping for that which he has lost. If he is worried about the "session could make it easier for Senate leaders to expel other senators who take unpopular stands" he is wrong! The voters of his Senate District did that last June. Goodbye Stan.
Anonymous said…
And good riddance.
PP said…
Aaaannnndd....

Bonnie goes away once again.
Anonymous said…
Yet another motion Stan will make that may not even get a second. Stan is a bit like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. He'll find a way to make a bunch of silly speeches, try to stick it to Schoenbeck a time or two, and ultimately look like the sore loser he is.

Stan... get over it...
Anonymous said…
Pat,

Most of your analysis of this issue has been on target. There really are to two aspects to the Sutton situation, a legal one and a political one. The legal aspect is handled by the Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Criminal Investigation. It’ll be up to them to make any criminal charges. The political investigation has to be handled by the Senate.

A special session of the Senate will, in effect, be a political trial. Due to the separation of governmental powers, judicial principles such as “beyond a reasonable doubt” may not necessarily be the standard that the Senate opts to base its decisions upon. I expect that Mr. Sutton will be given an opportunity to explain himself. It will then be up to the rest of the Senate to decide if his actions were unbecoming a senator. In which case he could be either censured or expelled.

Sen. Adelstein’s reasoning is illogical if applied to other issues facing the Senate and the House. For instance, school funding is currently being litigated. Should the Legislature wait until the Supreme Court has ruled on the matter? That could be 3-4 years from now. Adelstein’s argument flies in the face of an independent legislature.

Ultimately only the Senate (including Sen. Stan) can enforce its rules, thus maintaining and protecting the integrity of the Senate.

The one question that I have is by what voting majority (simple or 2/3) would it take to either reprimand or expel a member? If the Constitution and statute is silent, would it be a simple majority?
Anonymous said…
Stan is afraid his behavior will be examined next! There could be others who are a bit squirmish as well!
Anonymous said…
If this is going to be a "he said".. "he said" Senate hearing, why not call in a few "she said's" like the liberal, pro-abortion, lady?, acquaintance?, friend?, roomate?, of lonely Stan's......aaaaand her name isn't Bonnie!!!
Anonymous said…
Anyone who is angry with Schoenbeck or Rounds needs to remember that Democratic leadership also called for the special session.
Anonymous said…
Why don't you identify yourself Nancy, instead of hide behind the anon heading? The whole world knows you're totally out to get Schoenbeck, cause he's running a campaign in Watertown that's going to defeat you.

There's not many people in the world who could write poisonous, sharp-tounged critizism of another human quite like you, so it's easy to tell who you are.

This trying to be nicey-nice in the campaign is starting to boil over. Your true colors are starting to show up on this blog. Better be careful, or the Watertown voters will see you for who you really are.
Anonymous said…
The one thing that this matter has cemented is the fact that Lee Schoenbeck is dead in a state wide race. He might not think so, and he is the smartest of them all so I could be wrong, but having your name associated with stinker after stinker leaves too much stink on you.
Anonymous said…
I see at least two problems with the special session. First, with an on going criminal investigation (that is likely to go nowhere), Sutton will not testify. He will take the 5th. Second, the policy is poorly written. The rule says that Sutton "shall report sexual harassment complaint to the presiding officer of the house to which the member belongs." I think Butler can and should argue that the incident was reported as a criminal matter and not as sexual harrassment. Also, it did not take place at work. Further, if you didn't do anything, why do you have to report it?
This is at best a snafu and at worst a political ploy but those in power to destroy a person's life.
Anonymous said…
Those not recognizing Schoenbeck's a complete idiot are also guilty of wasting tax dollars.

The beginning.
http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2006/bills/HB1180p.pdf

The end.
http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2006/bills/HB1180enr.pdf

Hate to say this, but I learned this by following the links on www.AmendmentE.com

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