Showing posts from February 11, 2007

At what price are we saving ourselves?

I had left this as a comment under a prior post, the one on the stupid car seat bill coming back, but I think it's worthy of throwing out there for discussion as a top level post.

Someone had said in response to my question why we have these stupid laws out there trying to modify our behavior to someone's ideal:
The point at which we are allowed to be responsible for ourselves is that at which the taxpayer isn’t stuck for the social costs when people make stupid decisions.

And perhaps, that point moves even further once we’re convinced that a certain percentage of the population won’t do what’s best for their own welfare without a law that tells them to, and that in spite of that unsavory personality quirk, WE care about what happens to them... Or maybe we don’t care, but since they’re costing us money, we’ll reluctantly make another stupid law.So, laws like this are introduced because "we care about what happens to them." Holy crap. There's nothing worse in this wo…

It's like one of those zombie movies. The damned things keeps coming back.

You know, I think the legislature is infested with Zombies this year.

First they kill the tan ban. Then it's resurrected by the liberals on the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Tonight, I was just informed of another one that refuses to stay dead.

And it would be so bad, but it's more legislation trying to take South Dakota from a red-state to a nanny-state.

Democratic Representative Ahlers had brought HB 1134 which required that kids be in car booster seats until they're eight. Thankfully, the people in House Transportation had some sense, and killed that one.

But just like one of those late night movies, we're again being revisited by "the bad legislation which wouldn't die" and this stupid nanny-state measure is back in another form. This time, it's not HB 1134 - it's HB 1189 as introduced by Mark Willadsen who must be trying to show how he embraces government looking over everyone's shoulder.

And what's with the other Republican…

What did Herseth sign on to do to our troops?

From the Politico:
Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options.

Led by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and supported by several well-funded anti-war groups, the coalition's goal is to limit or sharply reduce the number of U.S. troops available for the Iraq conflict, rather than to openly cut off funding for the war itself.

The legislative strategy will be supplemented by a multimillion-dollar TV ad campaign designed to pressure vulnerable GOP incumbents into breaking with President Bush and forcing the administration to admit that the war is politically unsustainable.

As described by participants, the goal is crafted to circumvent the biggest political vulnerability of the anti-war movement -- the accusation that it is willing to abandon troops in the field. That fear is…

Abortion bill passes the House, and is on it's way to the Senate

The Argus Leader is reporting tonight that the Abortion Ban, HB 1293, passed the South Dakota House of Representatives, and is now on it's way to the South Dakota Senate on a 45-25 vote.

What are you not hearing in the MSM? A little bird is telling me that there's existing case law out there saying it just might be ok to refer it. (I just didn't go back far enough.)

Stay tuned for more on it as it makes it's way through the senate.

KELO netcasting the abortion debate live at 2 noted the upcoming abotion debate on HB 1293 is happening today, and they're netcasting it live:
The South Dakota House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the latest version of a bill that would ban most abortions in South Dakota today.

We’ll have live coverage of the House debate on Netcast starting at 2:00 PM.

Exemptions would be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, a woman's health and to save a woman's life. Those who perform illegal abortions would face up to ten years in prison.Read it here. And watch the debate at

New SD Blog

I'm adding a new South Dakota Blog to the Blogfeeds, Dakotawomen, which is providing their take on womens issues in South Dakota:
http://dakotawomen.blogspot.comIf there are any other new SD blogs out there talking about political issues, drop me a note. I'd love to add them.


It must be a sign of the impending apocalypse. C.H.A.D. is in agreement with me on the stupid tan ban.

Coat Hangers at Dawn, a blog which sometimes takes a view opposite to mine is in complete agreement with the absolute stupidity of Senate Bill 208 - the Tan Ban which is going to find it's way to the Senate floor after a vote of the committee for which they should be embarrassed:
Yes there are some risks to tanning bed use. There are also health risks to drinking too much soda. The nanny state madness really really has to stop already.

If people are really up in arms about these things there are better ways to handle them rather than making more and more confusing and unenforceable laws.

If you want teens to know the dangers of tanning beds, make people sign a waiver informing them of the risks. Make stores post a sign in the lobby. Done, solved. Even adults may not be aware of the potential risks of tanning bed use. You don't need to make laws restricting teens use and potentially making store owners criminals.
Read it here at C.H.A.D.

While I'm on the topic, as I mentioned, a…

Dave Kranz: Pumping up the profile of a nearly dead organization

Dave Kranz's column in the Argus Leader this morning has him tooting the horn of the Mainstream coalition. An organization relevant only to... Well, no one anymore. I thought it might have already shut down...
From those differences came formation of the Mainstream Coalition. That group organized several months ago - made up largely of moderate Republican senators who were branded by some as unholy renegades that didn't always agree with conservatives on issues like abortion and other social issues.Those differences resulted in primary challenges leading to the ouster of veteran Republicans like Stan Adelstein, J.P. Duniphan and Duane Sutton. It carried over to the general election, when voters did some retaliating, ushering out Republican incumbents like Dick Kelly and Bill Earley. Voters also trumped some decisions made in the primary, turning down those who defeated Adelstein and Sutton.

and...Former Sen. J.P. Duniphan of Rapid City realized personally the impact of the conse…

And I thought it had the makings of a slow news day.

I was thinking it was going to be a humdrum news day, and I'd spend some time coming up with a logo for the nanny-staters or something to that effect. And then the Capital Journal drops this story in our laps:

(Click to enlarge)

Go pick up the dead tree edition of the Cap Journal, or wait until it's on-line here about 9 or 10 this morning. The SD State Government saying that a federal game warden is officially shunned is not something you see every day. Neither is noting that it's time to take the matter to the congressional delegation.

This might be the sleeper issue of the day.

It must be something in the water. Senate Health and Human Services votes to bring back tan ban.

I couldn't freaking believe it when I read it today.

Bob Mercer was reporting in the Mitchell newspaper (sorry, Mercer stories aren't available on-line) that the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted to bring back the undeniably stupidest piece of legislation that has been introduced to date.

Senate Bill 208 - the Tan Ban.

Instead of a flat ban on people under the age of eighteen from using the devices, the measure's author has is now offering an amendment. If the measure passes with this change, kids under the age of eighteen will be permitted to use the equipment only under the most strict of strict regulations: A note from their mommy.

In this instance, I've got to praise Senator Gant profusely. Because he's the only one on this committee who realizes how absolutely stupid the State of South Dakota thinks the rest of the committee looks at this moment.

How could three Senators who voted to reconsider this crap call themselves Republican (Tom Dempster, Ed …

Herseth to say no to more troops, Thune supports the surge

The Argus Leader is reporting tonight that Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth is planning to vote to denounce the president's decision to send in more troops to stabilize Iraq, after she had earlier voted in favor.
Eight months after she voted to support President Bush’s policies on Iraq, Rep. Stephanie Herseth expects to cast a symbolic vote this week denouncing the president’s decision to send in 21,500 more troops.


Instead, she said, the president should embrace the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which include negotiating with Iraq’s neighbors to bring peace and stability to the area.

The House Democratic leaders plan to put it to a vote late Thursday or Friday. They have said they will give all 435 members five minutes to speak to the issue on the House floor.

South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune, meanwhile, supports the troop surge into Iraq. Last week he joined nearly all the Republicans in blocking a Senate nonbinding resolution opposing the troop inc…

I hadn't thought about that one - part II

In the previous post, I had opined that in the last decade, we haven't faced an issue where approval or disapproval of a statute had been directly referred to the people by a vote of the legislature. Hence, when the Governor says there may be a constitutional problem with doing so.... it's entirely possible.

As I got home tonight, I pulled up the constitutional section (under the legislative article, III, section 1):
Legislative power--Initiative and referendum. The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a Legislature which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives. However, the people expressly reserve to themselves the right to propose measures, which shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state, and also the right to require that any laws which the Legislature may have enacted shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state before going into effect, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the pub…

I hadn't thought about that one -
KELOland: Governor questions whether measure can go straight to the ballot.

KELOland is reporting today that Governor Rounds brought up the question whether the legislature can send a statutory (as in non-constitutional) change of law directly to the ballot themselves without making a prior decision on it:
A legislative committee gave first-round approval to a bill that would ban abortions except in cases of rape, incest and to preserve the life and health of a pregnant woman. An amendment would send it to a public vote if passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.

Rounds says he hasn't seen the bill, but says there might be a constitutional question about sending it to the ballot without the usual petition referral process.Read it all here.

Now, some might try to blow off some smoke and snidely say it's a way to kill the measure, but think again. It's pretty settled that Constitutional measures go straight to the voters. Initiated measures and laws that were passed and go through a referral process via petition. But when was the last ti…

To answer your question, no.

A reader sent along a question last night that's worth answering just for clarification.

Specifically: Am I "receiving financial support from Americans for Prosperity" because I've printed a few of their press releases. My response? "I wish. But, no." Yes, I agree with them on some issues, and on others, I don't. Same as any other group.

Just the other day under comments, I was called "an anti-abortion crazy." That came a couple weeks after I just got pounded by some of the same people I'm being derogatorily lumped with because I think the government offering the HPV vaccine was a good thing, and that the abstinence argument was invalid in this case. (I think AFP might have been against that as well).

I notice no one ever asks about my financial motives when I put one of Frank Kloucek's press releases in as I did the other day.

For those of you who haven't been reading for long, the only money I get off of this website which is turn…

State Senate passes Minumum Wage Increase

KELOland news is reporting tonight on today's action in the State Senate, which included the Senate passing Governor Rounds' bill to increase South Dakota's minimum wage:
The state's minimum wage could be going up this summer. Governor Mike Rounds' bill to raise the minimum wage to more than seven dollars an hour by 2009 has passed the Senate.


If passed, Senate Bill 207 would increase the minimum wage to $5.85 an hour this July. It would then go up to $6.55 in 2008 and to $7.25 in 2009.

Republican Senator Dave Knudson from Sioux Falls says, "You look at the time that has passed since the last time we adjusted this and I hope you will agree with the Governor and myself that the time has come to step forward and increase our state minimum wage."


Opponents also think employers should determine how much workers are paid...not the government.

Republican Senator Brock Greenfield from Clark says, "When we go home from session we hear people attacking u…

Press Release: Americans For Prosperity SD supporting HB 1273

In a press release issued this morning, the "Americans for Prosperity" group noted that it's going to be supporting Hal Wick's bill HB 1273 up for a vote in House Ed.

In a nutshell, the measure mandates that $.65 of every dollar be spent in the classroom:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 12, 2006
Contact: Craig Dewey (605) 261-3842

Americans for Prosperity Supports Legislation to Help Solve Education Funding Problem
HB1273 would direct an additional $59 million for students and teachers without raising taxes

SIOUX FALLS – Last Friday the House Education Committee of the South Dakota Legislature held hearings regarding HB 1273 which would increase funding for in the classroom expenditures in South Dakota schools that will directly impact students and teachers. Action will be taken tomorrow in committee. Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is pleased to help lead discussion on is…

Abortion bill passes it's first hurdle
On it's way to a public vote.

The abortion measure was heard in House State Affairs this AM, coming out in a different form than it entered. The originally bill, headed for a vote of the legislature, found itself re-written by the Attorney General to be more defensible in court.

After all of the testimony had been heard, Representative Diedrich amended it further. Instead of a measure which would have submitted the ban to debate and final approval by the legislature, the bill was changed to directly propose a vote of the issue to the people at the next general election.

This came after questioning of the AG who noted that if the measure went to court, it stood a better chance if the measure was decided by the people, as opposed to it being simply voted in by the legislature.

Representative Dykstra moved (and it was passed) that the measure be re-named to that of being a prevention act for the use of abortion as birth control (or something like that) on the rationale' that the new measure held the same name as t…

Check out the video - Frank Kloucek on video talking about Ridgefield

My friend Todd Epp has Frank Kloucek on Video over at SD Watch talking about his pursuit of the SDFU on the Ridgefield matter.

What's happening up at session?

Newspapers around the state are reporting that debate on the new abortion measure, HB 1293, begins today in House State Affairs. You can listen to that here starting at 10am.

Trouble with my RSS Feed? Sorry about that.

A fellow blogger was point out tonight that he was having trouble with my RSS Feed ever since the conversion over to the new version of blogger. I hadn't noticed myself, but it may have knocked one of the feeds down.

If you read posts via an RSS Newsreader, please update your links to for the South Dakota War College. I'd hate for you to miss anything.

Chicago Sun Times: Hildebrand on Obama's Payroll for the campaign

Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times blog is reporting that Steve Hildebrand is on deck with Barack Obama as had been speculated earlier:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) used campaign donations generated by PACs and lobbyists to bankroll the birth of his White House bid -- though he's banning that money for his presidential 2008 race. Obama's conversion to a laudable higher standard does not negate that money from sources he now disdains helped paved the way for his kickoff in Springfield on Saturday.Obama has been raising campaign cash for two political pots -- Obama 2010 Inc., his Senate re-election committee, and the Hopefund, another war chest. Obama, until his recent conversion on the eve of his presidential run, took more than $1 million from political action committees.An examination of disbursements from the two funds reveals how Obama was able to use legal loopholes commonly used by other presidential contenders to pay for White House testing-of-the-water expenses:• • $3,214.95 on D…

Bloggers on the campaign trail. Are we going to see any of this in South Dakota?

I've been watching some of the commentary in the National Blogosphere on John Edwards with regards to his hiring two bloggers for his campaign who had interesting comments, to say the least, with regards to Catholicism.

The question I'm seeing? Whether or not being a blogger instantly pegs one as a pariah on the campaign trail?

Check out this commentary from Lori Byrd over at ABC
In the world of politics, bloggers are the new kids on the block. In a relatively short time they have made a significant impact on politics as we know it. The new relationship between bloggers and politicians sometimes makes for an interesting and exciting dynamic, as was the case this week when high drama surrounded the hiring, and almost firing, of two bloggers by John Edwards' presidential campaign. The controversy reveals much about the growing role blogs are playing in political campaigns, and even more about the Edwards campaign in particular.


When a campaign hires anyone, it r…

Kloucek v. SDFU Round III (updated 2/12/07)

If you recall, I've been monitoring the sordid tale of back and forth between Senator Frank Kloucek and the South Dakota Farmer's Union which started with Frank's inadvertent personal e-mail that ended up being sent out to the world. In it, he had some less than kind words about the SDFU's involvement with Ridgefield.

In response, the SDFU booted Frank from their board.

Now, the latest (according to a press release from Frank) is that Frank is pushing for the Attorney General to investigate the Ridgefield matter:
Senator Frank Kloucek announced today that he and a Ridgefield investor met with Attorney General Larry Long on Feb 7th and presented documentation to help convince Long to do a complete and thorough investigation into the Ridgefield Farms fiasco. “Information and valuable contact information were presented to the attorney general that should convince him that there is a need for a full and transparent investigation of Ridgefield Farms.” said Kloucek.

So far the s…