A strategic move by Sutton. Good for him, bad for Dems.

Embattled and accused State Senator Dan Sutton has resigned. Except it's just for this current legislative term, according to KELO news:
In a letter dated today, Democratic state Senator Dan Sutton of Flandreau
says he is resigning from his current term, but not from the new term that
starts in January.

Sutton was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote last week, and his
lawyers say the issue should be handled by the next Senate and not by the
current lame-duck Senate.
Read it all here.

Well, if I were him, I'd rather be judged by a 20-15 split Senate than a 25-10 split. But will his new caucus mates? No way. This puts his fellow Democrats in a tough position.

Right now, the flame on the oven isn't turned up. But come this next session, it will be.

If the evidence and testimony are damning enough along with explicit and descriptive testimony on the alleged groping, his pals in the Democratic Caucus may be very, very quick to abandon him. As opposed to this happening at the end of Schoenbeck's and Moore's watch, it's now going to take place at the forefront of Heidepreim's.

And somehow, I don't think Scott wants the tone of the first legislative session marking his re-entry into the South Dakota political scene to be all about the manner of how a member of his caucus allegedly touched a young male employee of the Senate, and whether or not he's going to personally vote for censure, expulsion or letting him off of the hook.

Further complicating all this - time.

In a special session, legislators would be fully devoted to the subject, and it would be over and done. Now it's going to co-exist with all of the other legislative duties, taking far, far longer. In stead of one day, maybe two - now it might drag on for a week or more.

Will the session start out with the Democrat's Common Ground platform? Who cares. In January, the lurid allegations will suck the oxygen out of that story like it did in October.

As long as it remains unresolved, during session it will remain above the fold as far as the media's concerned. Each and every single day it will be at the top of the news on all news programs. A lot more media will be around as well as many, many uninvolved legislators and politicos who will be more than happy to comment.

Was this a move by Sutton to better his jockeying position? Absolutely. Except it has taken place at the expense of his caucus.

Comments

Anonymous said…
who says the legislature can't still hold the special session? Sutton was a 'member' when the incident happened. so why does their jurisdiction disappear because he resigns?
DakotaDemocrat said…
For the right, this should get far more attention in the Senate than...

health care
education
wages
roads

That what you guys think about - what's going on in peoples' bedrooms and doctor's office. The rest...eh, let the market play it out.

Instead of the elephant, the GOP's mascot should be a Peeping Tom.
nonnie said…
On the previous post, someone claimed that Sutton did this to save the taxpayers money. Ha!!

I don't buy his saving the taxpayers money bit. I think he had this planned all along. He kept mute on the issue, kept running knowing that he would probably win, then he could resign this year (which in itself is ridiculous since he does nothing until the next session anyhoo), and then the next session can deal with it if it chooses to (a new crop of legislators and elapsed time being on his side).

I think it is arrogant, in your face, and a slimy move at best. I was willing to give Sutton the benefit of the doubt before until all the facts come out, but not anymore. It's the same as admitting that "I did it, he he, but catch me if you can."

I just hope the 2007 legislature DOES deal with it.

Actually, Sutton will probably keep his seat and, just like Clinton, any scandal will just slip away and he will continue on his merry way to bigger and better things.

This is the more disgusting than all the state politics of this last election cycle.

And I have the same question as anon 12:40 does.
Anonymous said…
LOOKS LIKE HEIDEPRIEM HAS A BIG STINKY TURD WAITING FOR HIM WHEN HE GETS TO PIERRE. He's going to miss the GOP and soon learn what freaks are in the Democratic Party. Good luck, snotty
Anonymous said…
dakotademocrat, were you this magnanimous when it came to Foleygate? Or any of the ohter scandals that came out during the last election that involved Reps? I highly doubt it!
Anonymous said…
BTW, dakota democrat should remember that it was a fellow democrat, Dennis Weise, who initiated this. So much for the claim that GOP's are peeping toms.
Anonymous said…
The Senate can fire Jim McMahon and hire Lee Schonebeck, private citizen lawyer to investigate.
Anonymous said…
i guess we'll find out if Hiedepriem is against his fellow Democratic Senators screwing the pages or not if the Senate turns up the evidence
Anonymous said…
If they still hold a special session, the Senate can't expel him, obviously, but it can still publicly censure him, can't it?

Or it can at least start the investigation, and then finish it in January, and then censure/expel/exonerate the guy?

Where do Senate rules say that once you get re-elected, you have a free pass to get back in w/o consequences?? That doesn't make any sense. Once a member, always a member, regardless of how crafty Butler can be.
VGR said…
This is entirely a strategic move by Sutton to buy time until the 5 new liberals join the Senate and can bail him out. Heidepriem to the rescue of Sutton! I LOVE IT.
Anonymous said…
You have to hand it to Sutton's lawyers, Pat Duffy and Mike Butler, they are sneaky ones. Now they want another sneaky lawyer, Scott Heidepriem, to save their client. Slick Danny in near future (while wagging finger at camera): "I did not have gay sex with that high school page, not ever."
Anonymous said…
I agree with Anon 12:55. I think the special should still take place. Get this thing started...investigate...etc. This happend under the watch of the '06 Legislature. NOT '07. Sutton is torturing newly elected Dems with this. I'm just guessing - but I don't think he'll gain many new Senate friends after this stunt.
Melanie said…
Sutton is trying to be way too clever here...this will backfire
Anonymous said…
You can't really count on new Dem's in January to vote with Sutton. This thing is way too public. Sutton's true jury is the media. They will place the testimony in everyone's living room. Popular opinion will decide if he's guilty or not. It will be nearly impossible to buck that opinion when it's time to vote.
Anonymous said…
This now becomes an issue for the R Leadership races does it not? Who has the brass to prosecute this? McNenny? Dempster? Olson?
Anonymous said…
This is all crazy and stupid. The criminal investigation should continue and determine if any crime was committed. The Legislature has no role to play other than to try and host via Schoenbeck a kangaroo court. With all of the other important issues that need attention, I cannot imagine any sane senator wanting to waste even a second on any of this. Why can't the legislature wait to see the outcome of the criminal investigation and/or criminal trial? No, Schoenbeck would rather try and steal the spot light one last time.
anneme said…
It seems that most of you are assuming that Sutton is guilty and has to be proven innocent rather than what should be. He should be innocent until proven guilty. If he is guilty then I believe he should be punished in some way. To me after closely following both sides of the story I truly do not know what to think. Parts of the Wiese side of the story seem to be somewhat fishy. And I have talked to people who personally know both parties involved in this scandal and even they question if it really happened. I hope that if it did the poor kid is brought some sort of justice, and I hope that if it is not true that Dennis Wiese learns to not have his children fight his battles.
ddr said…
anon 1:16 - because it's a violation of Senate rules against touching an employee inappropriately.
Anonymous said…
It's my understanding this page is 18, so unless Sutton forced himself on this page -- there is no criminal act. And didn't the AG already decide that? Couldn't there still be some kind of sexual harassment type ethics violation that the legislative body should investigate, even if the acts were consensual??
Anonymous said…
The AG has not decided anything yet. I know for a fact that the DCI is still investigating. This is a very complex situation that may be linked to past situtations.
Anonymous said…
Assume for the moment that the Senate allows Sutton to be seated next year. What’s he gonna do? Continue to organize the pages’ pizza parties? Doubt it. What sort of legislation will he introduce? Will any members co-sponsor his bills? Would any bill associated with him receive the light of day? He could find himself to be the sole member of the Senate Committee on Deep Sea Research. He’ll sit at his desk and become a non-entity. He may as well change his name now to Senator Mud. Dan just marginalized himself so much that the Gentleman from Scotland will no longer be the butt of jokes. I’d love to know the number of page applications for next session. Bet they’re way down. How many parents will allow their teenage son or daughter to go to Pierre?
Anonymous said…
Anon 1:36, thanks for answering. I thought the media had said at one point the AG declined criminal charges. Guess one shouldn't rely too much on the media. To say the least, it will be interesting to see what transpires.
Anonymous said…
eThe simple fact of the matter is this, Dan Sutton misled his district, he misled the people who voted for him again, and he has damaged his party and the new Dems coming into the Senate. For all of you "Michael Jackson-esque" believers out there, what do you think of your boy now?
Anonymous said…
For those of you that say the criminal investigations should still go on, are f-ing retarded, what you are all to ignorant to realize is that the pretty boy in this picture Dennis Wiese and his son, have had criminal invetigations going on since a week after these allegations came out way back when. I can personally attest to being talked to about this 6 months ago. There was a quite lengthy investigation that went on behind closed doors. Long was working on this when nobody but the acussed and the alleged victim knew.

Long and his cronnies have come to Moody County and interviewed onver 100 people and nobody could say that they could prove or even hypothesis that Sutton was guilty.

Now what many of you still don't realize is that all this was when it started was Wiese getting jockying position on Sutton in the 2010 govenor primaries and Wiese knew that there was no way he could beat Sutton. This was a political ploy that has involved into a 3 ring circus.

Because now we have Schonebeck leaving before this starts, Janklow watching out for Wiese, more Dems entering the Senate, and now we all know that this new session will be next year, rather than this year. So let's by some popping corn, sell some tickets, make some money and most importantly see Senator Sutton get cleared of the irreputal damage that has been done to him.
Anonymous said…
Hey 2:14... I hope you're billing Sutton for your time on the blog.

There is simply ONE question that needs to be asked and answered.. that is... Senator Sutton, did you or did you not share your bed with an 18 year old male page?

Any allegations of groping are ultimately a he said/he said situation. Thus, there are no criminal charges as that would be very tough to prove.

But back to the ONE simple question... did Sutton share his bed? If this is true, he should be out of the Senate permanently. We would not tolerate this from a coach, teacher, or professor at any of our high schools or colleges. We should certainly not tolerate it from a Senator of our state.
Anonymous said…
What does Dakota War College, Led Schoenbeck and Ed Olson have in common? They're so interested to find out what's going on in Dan Sutton's underpants they are willing to spend thousands of our taxes on a special session. But now that Dan's outfoxed the Republican lynch mob until January, who are still groping in vain for evidence, the charade will continue. Too bad that will take all of the air out of Rounds' State of the State Address.
Anonymous said…
Correct me if I'm wrong, but each chamber of the legislature is the final arbiter of who can be expelled as a member. I remember that the US House of Representatives refused to seat a returning Congress member, Adam Clayton Powell, back in the 1960's. However the House voted to "exclude" rather than "expel" him. That eventually led to a US Supreme Court case, Powell v. McCormack. Following that decision, I think that Sutton should be seated as a new member of the Senate, and then proceedings should immediately begin to expel him. And that action should be the Senate's first order of business when it convenes in January.
Anonymous said…
2:14:

You left out what DCI found out from some very important and credible sources regarding Dan's Sutton's character which is circumstantial but goes towards character. At a criminal trial character evidence is generally inadmissible with three exceptions. Not applicable here. However, this is not a criminal trial, it is a legislative tribunal.

These officials are credible and come from important intitutions in the community who cannot be marginalized in the media without huge consequences for Sutton or the Dems.

If those facts would come, which are well known in Flandreau, it is going to hurt Sutton.

Now, if Scotty H is going to look like stand up guy and avoid the trial lawyer tricky-Dick imprimatur he will have to be looking out for kids and employees. After all this is a guy who has made a living "protecting the little guy" and standing up to big insurance bilking them for millions.

So in short if Scotty H wants to run for governor he will have to be serious about Sutton and go along with an investigation or he will have to derail this thing before it starts. That's not going to happen...because fair or not this thing has legs and its going places because Big Republican is serious about protecting young kids from falling victim to this type of sexual harrassment. The question here: "is Scotty H serious about sexual harrassment or not?"
Anonymous said…
You guys can feel free to say that Sutton is hurting his party and he may be, but when this alleged situation happened the page was 18, so no criminal charges should be filed, secondly the AG had plethora of time to get information and talk to people, because they still haven't been able (other than Wiese) to say that this story isn't fishy and that he is definetly guilty.

What I ask you all to try to consider and do is put your self in Sutton's shoes, and have to try and prove your self innocent, because the court of public oppinion says he is already guilty. All I can say is there are 35 people who need to look deep within themselves and figure out what they would do.

Because if you were in Sutton's shoes, what would you do. Also for those of you who don't know Sutton on a personal level, cannot say that he did't care about the taxpayers, because he does. It may not of been his main goal, but it did help ease the desicion he made.
Anonymous said…
It has NEVER BEEN ALLEGED that he has had sex with the page...you obvisoly can not read even ONE of the hundreds of articles across the nation or internet correctly the ALLEGATION and I stress ALLEGATION is he groped the page! If you can't even post correct information why don't you PLEASE not post at all!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
Same question to the Republicans.

There are plenty of skeletons in the closets of Pierre.

Can O Worms.
Anonymous said…
2:35 you are spot on.

Even though a student in high school is 18 it does not mean that a teacher, a coach, a librarian or even the janitor can have an innapropriate relationship with that person. Concensual or not.

So, if we expect that of our educational establishment we should expect that of our elected leaders in Pierre.

The whole he was 18 argument is a loser, the concensual sex argument is a loser, so what next Scotty?
Anonymous said…
Can o. womrms:

you didn't asnwer the question.

BTW I say investigate every violation of senate rules. too easy.
Anonymous said…
pp - some of these comments cross the line (2:51) and should be deleated immediatly.
Anonymous said…
I agree with 3:06 -- we are talking about REAL PEOPLE with REAL LIVES here this is not fairy tale land for those of you that are not mature enough to be on here..these are serious issues on both sides of this story.
Douglas said…
This has dragged on since the session this spring. Now Sutton accepted an offer from the Republican and Democratic leaders to withdraw from this session.

This says nothing about his innocence or guilt or much of anything. As far as I can tell nothing is going to change in the way of evidence between now and when the next session starts.

Sutton has saved the state a pot of money, but has denied the media a circus prior to the start of the session.

Wiese gave permission for his son to stay with Sutton. Did Sutton violate rules by agreeing to do that?

I don't know. I don't know anything about Sutton and not much about Wiese, but I don't see any harm whatsoever to the State of South Dakota, voters, or citizens to the star chamber inquisition being delayed until the regular session or whenever the new legislature is sworn in.

Lots of smoke and mirrors and raw speculation until then unless somebody wants to swear and affirm that they know something they want to disclose prior to the session and make public to the world.

Mostly waste of time and pixels now.
Anonymous said…
One question... did he share his bed?
Anonymous said…
It was a one bed hotel room...yes...a bed was shared.
Anonymous said…
The act for which Sutton is accused, occured during the current legislative term. Sutton was told that he could resign and the issue(for the legislature) would be over. He did. Now he will be sworn in for the 2007-2008 session and the Senate will be powerless to do anything. What act did Sutton commit as a member of the new term? Nuttin Honey! Sutton will be seated as a state senator and the issue for his fellow senators will be over.
Anonymous said…
This is such a mess. Someone will end up getting away with something...and we will be left clueless about anything execpt for the media's guessing.

To much of a mess for me. I'm moving to Minnesota. They're sooo much better over there! ;)
Anonymous said…
3:59. If Sutton did the crime, he violated Senate rules. Not 2006 senate, or 2007 senate, or 2050 senate. Just flat out old senate rules. Should be no time limitation on that. Rules are rules, regardless of the term of the senate.
Anonymous said…
WHAT???? You really think the public and the senate is going to just forget about this and MOVE on!!! I really doubt it. If Dan has nothing to hide then why not go on with the hearing and just get it over with? This way he is screwing all his follow senators over and the people who voted for him....haha you voted for me and now I am going to resign!

Most people only see what the media see and I KNOW for a matter of fact that this happened and is true....so all you non-believers out there just picture yourself in the 18 year old's shoes....what if this did happen to you...wouldn't you want some justice and a guy like Dan out of the senate and any other political office. The people need to know about this and what type of guy Dan really is!!!
Anonymous said…
Douglas: You said, "Sutton has saved the state a pot of money, but has denied the media a circus prior to the start of the session."

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It just delayed the media circus. Wouldn't it have been better to get it over before the legislature is supposed to get down to other business?
Anonymous said…
Nuttin Honey,

You are too eager to believe the Mike Butler spin that Sutton can make this all go away by resigning.

The Senate can do what it damn well pleases. Whether it should is another question, but you ain't gonna beat this one on a technicality. Go ask Mike what his take is on that.
Anonymous said…
4:12 You have no idea what you are talking about...he DID NOT resign from the 2007 Senate, which his constituents voted him in for...and Dan is a GREAT GUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know how to use the exclamation button too...he he
Anonymous said…
Anonymous 4:12 -

If you "KNOW for a fact this happened", why don't you swear an affidavit to the offices investigating the allegations so we can move on from this whole ridiculous ordeal.
Anonymous said…
Is the South Dakota Senate serious about investigating innapropriate behavior or not?

At the end of the day South Dakotan's will either see Dan Sutton investigated by the Seante or they won't.

That will tell us whether the members both R's and D's want to get down to protecting pages and the relationships they have with legislators or not.
Anonymous said…
4:12 I highly doubt you KNOW what happened better than all of the people that have investigated this for over 8 months now..come on.. If there was a crime commited they would have taken care of that by now unless you happen to be the alleged victim...and if you are I suggest you not be on these blogs...just a bit of advice for your own good..or even if you are a wiese family member you do not KNOW what happened in the room you have also only been TOLD what "ALLEGEDLY" went on in that room so you're in the same boat as the rest of us I guess.
Anonymous said…
There are so many things that many of you don't know about. No one knows except the page and Dan what happened in that room.

But what you will all find out when the AG's investigation is finished, may make you believe the page a little more. I'm not going to say 'shocking' - but more of 'I figured that a long time ago.'

Just a thought. Great conversation in this thread.
Anonymous said…
Now I KNOW Wiese family members are on line...aint that great...that or our senators (that's even worse)...no one else has had access to those files I suggest you quit putting stuff that could come back to haunt you on this blog little girl...
Anonymous said…
Anon 4:52 -

"little girl"? wow. A new low. Congrats to you!

How bout the large number of people being questioned by the AG? There are over a dozen throughout the state. I don't have to be in the family or a senator to know what's going on. I've just opened my eyes.

If you can't play nice - then don't play at all.
Anonymous said…
Believe me I am not stupid enough to believe that the AG's office went around telling anyone who wanted to listen what was in that report..so for you to make such statements..you obvisoly have SEEN the AG's report or you're just plain lying..which is it??...As someone stated above,why don't you just sign an affidavit then beings you appear to be in the know on everything.
Anonymous said…
5:04 -

You calling me a liar? Another new low. But that's ok - it makes for good conversation.

I never mentioned once that i've seen a 'report' regarding the investigation. Please re-read what I wrote - since you haven't.

"No one knows except the page and Dan what happened in that room."

That means I don't know what happened. BUT - there are many things that have lead up to this event that I do know about. Once again - re-read and you'll see that.

You can continue to speculate - which I know WE ALL are doing. Everyone is picking sides, waiting for the fight that will take place.

It's part of nature - we like to see confrontation. It's just unfortunate that it has to happen this way - and under these conditions.
PP said…
2:51 - sorry. That has to go.

Keep in mind that these are still allegations.
PP said…
and 2:48.
VJ said…
I think some of you should really be careful about some of the comments you are making!

I don't care if you post as "anonymous", certain people can find out who you are.

I'm not smart enough to explain how, but I was told by several "computer geeks" that it's possible.

So be careful what you post, you may end up having a lot of explaining to do!
Anonymous said…
I know PP can tell who we are. But I'm trusting him that he will keep us anonymous unless something warrants that he'd need to disclose our names/locations.

Thanks.
VJ said…
I was told that all it takes is a court order, and then no one is anonymous.

Some of the comments have been questionable. I don't care if they make them. I just hope they understand that they can’t hide behind anonymous if trouble starts.
Mimi said…
Is this the GOP or "The Young and the Restless??" Let's get this over with during session (most efficient way of handling it if you ask me.) Then, get on with the business of running the state.
Anonymous said…
Mimi,
come on...I think it is more like Days of Our Lives.
Anonymous said…
vj-

I think everyone knows that, and if they don’t, then they should and I thank you for making sure it’s noted. Notice how things have slowed down since your post?

5:13-

Now I'm intrigued…if you’ve got an “in” and are “in the know”, why not share? Your statement “there are many things that have lead up to this event that I do know about” implies that you have “inside” information that tips the scale of justice towards Dan being guilty. So, since public opinion is the real judge in this whole ordeal, why not share and just put it all out there. You can’t keep throwing bits of information out there that make us salivate and then take the plate of food away. That’s not nice :( If you can go as far as insinuating Dan’s guilt than why not put it out there for the whole world to see. Otherwise, I don’t get what the point was.

From what I hear it doesn’t appear that anyone can dig up any “bad” information on Dan, so if you have some….please share. From what I’ve heard they’ve dug and dug and dug and can’t find squat. From a lot of the things I’ve read, Dan sound like a stellar guy. I just wonder how many other people in the world could have their lives looked into so deeply and have nothing bad come out? If it’s true that their have been hundreds of interviews, why can’t anyone find someone who will say something bad about this guy. You would think that the AG’s office could find one at least one person, disgruntled or not, to say something bad about Dan, but there hasn’t been anyone besides the accuser. What that says I don’t know, but what I do know is if you can hurt Dan’s character, then throw it out there….because it doesn’t seem like anyone else can.
RDM3 said…
Unlike others that have posted, I don't know what happened because I wasn't there. Further, I know nothing of other incidents. Any talk of "having knowledge" is bull, unless you are either Sen. Sutton or the victim.

My problem is that some of the rules are unclear. Clearly, there is a rule that says you shouldn't grope a page. Also, there is allegedly a rule that says a page can't stay with a legislator. I assume there is an exception to this if the page and the legislator are related. However, until yesterday, there wasw no rule or rules regarding how this matter was going to be handled and enforced. Doesn't this sound like a due process violation?

It is very difficult for Sen. Sutton to respond to this matter if he doesn't know what the charges are and what the consequences are. Further, while there is a criminal investigation on-going, is it even wise for him to saying anything? While this is a very serious issue, Schoenbeck and others put the cart ahead of the horse.

One other thought, if the voters of the district sent Sen. Sutton back to the Senate AFTER gropegate was brought to light, is it really the Senate's place to undo the election?
Anonymous said…
So, if the Senate can do what it wants, as some say, can't they still have the session now? If he's found guilty, can't they discipline him or kick him out for next session, or forever? It seems like Senate leaders were doing him a favor by waiting until after the election, now he shoots them in the back , saying he doesn't want to face them, he'll face the next bunch.
Anonymous said…
Since you all are asking this question especially Anon. 4:12, do any of you know the rules for what this session would have been. Exactly, because NO ONE KNOWS. Since it is in the legislature, Schonebeck and his Republican buddies, can change the rules as they feel with a simple majority. Now you all can say I am wrong and I hope you do, but this is according to a source that is extremly close to Sutton, this source told me this and I got the feeling that no one knows Sutton better than this source, so just remember that this kangaroo court could tell Sutton one thing and then and go to do another.

What they really wanted to accomplish was to get Sutton there and throw him a major curveball so they could make him look like the idiot and not our leadership who was willing to waste the taxpayers money to hold this session. For those of us that personally know Sutton, we know that all this would have been is a blood bath, their only goal would be to make Sutton look bad.

Also why does Sutton have to prove himslef innocent, isn't he is innocent until proven guilty? Their are a lot of questions that may go unanswered, but if you feel that these answeres are that important, go find your Senator and tell them that in January we need to have these hearings, which would probably, end up being the main focus of that session. And if you are like me, this is not what we want to be the focus of our next legislature. The only other thing I have to say is that Sutton will be proven innocent andin the end you guys will either like it, accept it, our sit around like a fart blow in the wind and complain about it. It is your choice.

P.S. If this is held in January, all I know is that it is going to be the most splendiferous (good, great, and fantastic) circus ever.
Anonymous said…
So what if 4:12 is a Wiese family member? You could be a Sutton family member, I could be a Sutton family memer, anyone could be a Sutton or Wiese family member. Does that make them any less welcome on this site? Does this site discriminate who can post their opinions? I don't think so...everyone's opinion has a right to be heard - whether they are a Sutton, Wiese, or whoever

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