Today we set the bar a little lower.

From today's journals.
CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE

Sen. Heidepriem moved that the report of the Senate Select Committee Relative to Discipline and Expulsion as found on page 290 of the Senate Journal be adopted.

Sen. Knudson moved as a substitute motion that the substitute report of the Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion, as printed below, be adopted.

SUBSTITUTE REPORT OF THE
SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON DISCIPLINE AND EXPULSION


MR. PRESIDENT:

Your Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion respectfully reports that it has completed its investigation of the conduct of Senator Dan Sutton; and, after due deliberation, recommends that the Senate do now endorse the finding of the Select Committee that Senator Dan Sutton should, and by the approval of a two-thirds vote of the Senate shall be, expelled for conduct by a senator highly unbecoming the Senate. Specifically, the Select Committee finds, and requests the Senate to concur in its finding, that Senator Dan Sutton invited and permitted a serving Senate page to share his motel room and bed, and that Senator Dan Sutton then initiated unwanted sexual contact with the page. Further, the Select Committee finds that the aforesaid actions and omissions of Senator Sutton, taken in their totality, have served to bring Senator Dan Sutton into public disrepute. The Select Committee further finds, and requests the Senate to concur in its finding, that the continuing presence of Senator Dan Sutton in the Senate is incompatible with the honor of the Senate and the best interests of the people of South Dakota.

Respectfully Submitted,
Dave Knudson, Chair
Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion

The question being on Sen. Knudson's motion that the substitute report of the Senate Select Committee on Discipline and Expulsion be adopted.

And the roll being called:
Yeas 14, Nays 20, Excused 1, Absent 0
Yeas:
Albers; Apa; Duenwald; Gant; Gray; Greenfield; Hauge; Knudson; Lintz; McCracken; McNenny; Napoli; Schmidt (Dennis); Smidt (Orville)

Nays:
Abdallah; Bartling; Dempster; Garnos; Hansen (Tom); Hanson (Gary); Heidepriem; Hoerth; Hundstad; Hunhoff; Jerstad; Katus; Kloucek; Koetzle; Maher; Nesselhuf; Olson (Ed); Peterson (Jim); Turbak; Two Bulls

Excused:
Sutton

So the motion not having received an affirmative vote of a three-fifths majority of the members-elect, the President declared the motion lost.

The question now being on Sen. Heidepriem's motion that the report of the Senate Select Committee Relative to Discipline and Expulsion be adopted.

And the roll being called:

Yeas 32, Nays 2, Excused 1, Absent 0

Yeas:
Abdallah; Albers; Bartling; Dempster; Duenwald; Gant; Garnos; Gray; Greenfield; Hansen (Tom); Hanson (Gary); Hauge; Heidepriem; Hoerth; Hundstad; Hunhoff; Jerstad; Katus; Kloucek; Knudson; Koetzle; Lintz; Maher; McCracken; McNenny; Nesselhuf; Olson (Ed); Peterson (Jim); Schmidt (Dennis); Smidt (Orville); Turbak; Two Bulls

Nays:
Apa; Napoli

Excused:
Sutton

So the motion having received an affirmative vote of a three-fifths majority of the members-elect, the President declared the motion carried and the report was adopted.
Read it all here.

The lack of a criminal prosecution notwithstanding, while the rest of South Dakota would normally act more harshly towards a teacher or coach who slept in the same bed with a high school student, the Senate says that all it's worth is a verbal acknowledgment that it was poor judgment.

Ignore the allegations that were not agreed to. Ignore everything else except what all parties concur happened. That "Senator Dan Sutton invited and permitted a serving Senate page to share his motel room and bed."

Is a verbal acknowledgment of this extraordinarily poor judgment punishment enough? Is it sufficient?

What we would normally fire a teacher for, we've now made an offense punishable by an acknowledgment. By imposing a slap on the wrist, has the Senate set itself apart from the rest of South Dakota?

I'll leave it to you to decide.

Comments

been there said…
Congrats to the 14 who had the brains and courage to vote to expel, especially Apa and Napoli who even stood together against a mere censure. It truly is a sad day for SD justice, apparently it is open season on pages. Find an easy one and the worst you get is reprimanded.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Give me a break. They didn't expel because there was no proof. There should at least be proof if the Senate is going to overturn the will of the people. Remember, Senator Sutton's constituents re-elected him into office after hearing the allegations. I wonder why? Perhaps because they did not believe the accuser and there was NO EVIDENCE.
Anonymous said…
Sutton's actions are reprehisible, if true.

Shame on the AG office for not going after more forcefully and the DCI for mucking up the recording.

The Senate may now have to investigate infidelity, drunkedness and other lewd behaivor.

The open season could be on legislators.
Anonymous said…
Yep, the legislature has long been dominated by one party, the party that pretends to cloak itself in values. The same party that routinely brought booze into the state capitol, a governmental building, for legislative parties, etc., that were infamous. No wonder until now the hypocrits did not want an ethics code to cloud their behavior.
Anonymous said…
There aren't any more victims because there isn't even one victim. Brandon Carr hasn't even spoken publicly because he knows that there are a number of people that will discredit his story. And, a "story" is all that any of this is. Austin made up a story and somehow convinced Brandon Carr to do the same. Except now, Brandon wont even stick to his story. Why do you think that McMhanon did not call Brandon as a witness? He knew that there were a number of people to discredit his testimony and knew that Brandon's testimony would only hurt his already shaky case.
Anonymous said…
9:23

Were you in the room? Because that's the only way you could be so certain that nothing happened.
Anonymous said…
This isn't over, by a long shot. The proverbial fat lady hasn't even started warming up...
Anonymous said…
Well at least Senator Sutton can get back to work while Denny figures out his next move, which will most likely be to harass AG Larry Long until he goes crazy!

The crazy thrive on craziness and chaos.
Anonymous said…
You have a fat lady?

Does she at least watch her cholesterol? Does she realize that being fat really places her at a significant health risk?

Perhaps she will have a heart attack and die before she can sing. What would happen then? Would her ghost sing? Just wondering.
Anonymous said…
I for one am glad that Senator Sutton was not expelled.

No Evidence + Shaky Story = Censorship.

Bummer for the Wiese camp, but to me it doesn not appear to be a bad decision for our legislators. How are they really supposed to kick out someone with no evidence?
Anonymous said…
I have been watching this for quite some time and I really hope that if there isn't any more evidence, that Denny quits already. I for one am sick of hearing about an "allegation" with no proof and no charges after almost an entire year.
Anonymous said…
yippe skippe, the senate decided my vote does count and didnt take it away from me and replace it with some darn republican.
Anonymous said…
This whole thing reminds me of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

Neal: Del... Why did you kiss my ear?

Del: Why are you holding my hand?

Neal: Where's your other hand?

Del: Between two pillows...

Neal: Those aren't pillows!
Anonymous said…
multiple victims...can you just make crap up?

If so, I can play that game.
Anonymous said…
Perhaps you should look at your own camp for conflicting stories...because the Wiese witness conflicted one another quite a bit.
Anonymous said…
10:02

...and we in Moody County are thrilled...
Anonymous said…
And, people outside of Moody County are thrilled as well. Lake County is also thrilled to have Senator Sutton representing us!
Anonymous said…
Sutton and Frank Kloucek make good friends now. I saw them on KELO tonight and for two people that hated each other, they seemed to have made up.

Birds of a feather....
Anonymous said…
Sadly, the Senate Democrats valued one more vote over the image and credibility of the legislature. Honestly, Dan Sutton has no credibility any longer as it is. He has become a eunuch Senator...hmmm, seems to fit.
Anonymous said…
I wonder if Uncle Dan is taking us to the Democrat convenciun in Denvr next year.

I hope his Democrat Senator friends are with us. They know how to cut through the truth to get to their own answers.

I get to sleep in the single bed!
Frankenstein said…
Kloucek and Sutton are close. Very close. These claims that they were not friendly, very friendly, with each other were false. They are liberal, very liberal, together. Very, very friendly. Very, very liberal.
Anonymous said…
Dave Knudson now becomes the keeper of the moral values.

Where did all the pro life Dems go. Not even Julie Bartling voted for her friend Weess and his boy.
Anonymous said…
And, the peoples vote stands. Senator Sutton see's another day. Thank God! I am glad that he can continue to represent the people of District 8.
Anonymous said…
I believe Senator Sutton because I do not believe that he would have gone through all of this if he was guilty. Didnt he have the option of quietly resigning. Now, if that's the case...why would a guilty man go through this. The only explanation:

DAN SUTTON IS NOT GUILTY OF GROPING AUSTIN WIESE!!!!!
Anonymous said…
Kloucek passed a bill today, Sutton passed his first hurdle today, and BJ passed a stone today.

Tomorrow the investigation continues.
GOP Come Home said…
So what happens when the next High School track coach gets caught attempting to initiate sexual contact with a high school girl?

Under the logic of Hiedeprim and Turbak schools should issue a reprimand to adults that attempt to engage in sexual relations with students.

Do you want a guy like that as Governor or even as state senator?
Frankenstein said…
Me thinks ye protest too much. And Danno too.
Anonymous said…
For the record, Sutton resigned for his offense and Scotty said he wasn't going to go after him any more.

He moved to protect Sutton while not mentioning the Senate or House pages program or its participants.

Today was about the Senators not protecting our youth.
Anonymous said…
Thank goodness Denny isnt Governor, or there would have to be a hearing to expel him over the whole Ridgefield deal. Poor little guy. At least for now, he can walkie, walkie, walkie...free. Perhaps not for long.
PP said…
Guys, this is your final warning.

Please don't speculate as to sexual preference, or state something else as fact that you don't have the evidence to back up.

All you're doing is making me hit the delete key over and over, and forcing me towards requiring registration for commenters.

I'd really prefer not to have to do that, and I'm sure you'd like to keep it a little more open as well.

thanks for your understanding.
Anonymous said…
PP- you have to say, my responses to the deleted post were kinda funny and were not out of line at all.
Anonymous said…
Sutton didn't even have the courage of his convictions to vote on the motions.
Anonymous said…
10:32-

I am blaming you if we have to register. PP already gave you a warning, but you just couldnt resist and refused to comply with the rules.
Anonymous said…
I see it's Sutton camp v. Wiese camp tonight.

I'm sick of this punching bag style that will continue to go on for months and months.

How bout both sides shuts their yappers and moves onto things that actually matter in the legislature?

Did something happen that was worth expulsion...maybe. Was censure a good vote to cast...maybe.

I'm not a state senator, and most of you are not one either, so lets get off this dead horse and move to the next issue at hand.
Anonymous said…
PP-

10:35 is completely out of line as is 10:32. Looks like the Wiese's are going to have to register.
PP said…
guys, I'm really not kidding about registering...
Anonymous said…
PP =

How bout we delete this entire thread? Nothing good is coming out of any of these posts.

Just a thought.

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