Pierre’s House of Lords Chief Knothead, Mark Mickelson

By now, you have probably heard of Mark’s brilliant idea to either get rid of constitutional amendments through the initiative process, or to give the House of Lords (State Legislature) veto power over citizen’s initiatives on constitutional amendments. Here are some thoughts on it, from Drinking Liberally;

In South Dakota: Last week while researching G. Mark Mickelson, the current Republican Speaker of the South Dakota House of Representatives, I discovered Mr. Mickelson’s interview with Rapid City Journal reporter Seth Tupper in which Mr. Mickelson expresses his impatience with democracy and disdain for those who disagree with him. He was especially disdainful toward those of us who are not “lawyers”.

Now, ignoring our proud 120-year history as the first state in the Country to adopt the initiative and referendum process and allow ordinary citizens to participate directly in the legislative process, Mr. Mickelson has launched a two-prong attack on South Dakota’s Initiative and Referendum process. First, he has led a drive to raise the threshold for initiated Amendments to our Constitution and to restrict the funding of Initiative and Referendum efforts. Cynically, he is using the very Initiative process he wants to undermine to propose these changes. Second, and perhaps more ominously, just this week he filed two bills that would further eliminate or restrict our tradition of Direct Democracy. One, HJR 1007, would eliminate the initiative process for constitutional amendments. Another, HJR 1008, would, in effect, give the Legislature a veto on any Constitutional Amendment which the voters of South Dakota may enact.

Mark seems to have an autocratic bent. He certainly reflects the current Republican leaderships intolerance with those whose views on policy differ from their own. Heaven forbid, if once in awhile, the people successfully enact their own ideas of good government and circumvent the cozy, smoke-filled rooms in Pierre where the current leadership cuts deals with their donors.

Here are some thoughts from Dakotafreepress;

This Republican Legislature is out to kill voter initiatives. Voters, you should initiate some conversations with your legislators this weekend (the calendar says they are home Friday through Monday). Rep. Mickelson doesn’t have a crackerbarrel until February 10, but there are crackerbarrels this weekend in Aberdeen, Brandon, Rapid City, Vermillion, Watertown, and Webster where you could catch your local Republicans (because Democrats don’t do mean, elitist things like these proposed amendments) and tell them to stop calling you stupid and to leave your right to vote and amend your (your!) constitution alone.

What I don’t understand is why is Mark so bitter towards the citizens (voters) of South Dakota? Like the governor he thinks we are too dumb to pass these initiatives and amendments on our own.

But really? How has this hurt Mark in any way? His party has controlled Pierre for over 40 years, him and his family have been elected to serve in many positions. His wife, with the help of many prominent donors was able to win (buy) the SF school board seat. Mark has done very well in his business and politically. So Mark, what are you so pissed off about? The voters of this state have been very kind to you and your family over the years, and this is the way you treat us? It’s despicable. If you are mad at Noem and Jackboots for pushing you out of the governor’s race, take it up with them. It seems Mark wants all the power in this state not only to be in one party but one institution, Pierre’s House of Lords. Paul Getty was asked by his assistant once how much money would make him happy, and Getty said, “All of it.” It seems having ALL of the power in our state would make Mark happy . . . maybe.


#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.26.18 at 3:09 pm

Lord Mickelson and his wife would also like the peasantry to replace literature with welding, in order, to facilitate the needs of the landlords or ownership class…. (…”My Lord, how can I be of service to you?”….)

The “Divine Right” mentality of these Lords best explains why they often support the regulation of others, but never the regulation of themselves and their interests – and especially in the areas of choice, LGTB rights, education, and health care.

And this assault on the public’s right to change the state constitution is my guess a result of the passage of Mercy’s law in this state. If you remember right, the brilliance of the South Dakota GOP establishment – in attempting to defeat that law or amendment and others, (which frankly many Democrats opposed too, (Mercy’s law, that is)) – was to tell the public to just vote “No” on everything….. As if the electorate were sheep, but I guess if you treat them as sheep, then it becomes easier to see them as chattel or demonstrates how you truly see them, which is as merely sheep – which also is often sadly the narrow mentality of most lordships with those they claim to be beneath them….

If Republicans of recent had not developed such an aversion to facts – both nationally and locally – then perhaps it would be easier for them to win arguments, and thus elections, without the mere emotions of “…Vote ‘No’ on everything.” But I am afraid their abandonment of truth leads them to ironically become servants of their own arrogance, which works to their advantage if they succeed, but darkens us all into a devolved abyss void of any renaissance and enlightenment; which overtime will destroy their own logical claim or claims, or deeds shall we say, and how ironic. Perhaps such a thought is poetic justice overtime, but will not the peasants be gone too and unable to claim the deeds in their place?….. Or is that merely the reality of self-righteousness which comes with a “Divine Right” mentality and thus a “right” in the minds of the self proclaimed “Lords?”


#2 A simple peasant on 01.26.18 at 3:59 pm

During a committee hearing during legislative session in Pierre a couple years back I was shocked to watch Lord Mickelson pick his nose sometimes in depth during nearly the whole hearing while he sitting next to the committee chair Lord Spencer Gosch. We peasants get in trouble for picking our noses but it is ok for the House of Lords?

#3 l3wis on 01.26.18 at 4:05 pm

They have no shame when trying to get as much gold as they can.

#4 "Very Stable Genius" on 01.26.18 at 9:02 pm

“Dilly Dilly…..”


#5 grudznick on 01.26.18 at 11:54 pm

I approve of the young fellow’s ideas. At least he his not just sitting back in his lawn chair whining like most of Sioux Falls.

#6 Donald Pay on 01.27.18 at 10:04 am

The House of Lords hasn’t changed that much. All their futzing with the initiative process after 2000 has been directed by the power elite. They thought cluttering up the process with a lot of bureaucracy would kill it. Well, it just made the process so complicated you need attorneys and a well-funded operation to use it now. It’s exactly what we said back in the 1900s when we were fighting off these efforts.

Don’t think this is coming from G. Marky, (the G. stands for God). The power elite (SD Chamber, especially, but also anyone who represents various out-of-state special interests) have been gunning for the initiative since we stopped their nuclear waste dump in 1984.

#7 anominous on 01.28.18 at 10:51 am

Mark is trying to make up for all the times his dad spoke like a conservative democrat. The shame!

#8 Levi on 02.03.18 at 3:32 pm

This is shortly after I sent in a couple of initiated amendments for 2020. He might actually be calling me a knothead. I need to find the actual podcast.

#9 Parsons on 06.03.18 at 12:43 pm

Now, now, Unstable Genius, stop pushing your abortion agenda in this story. No one likes your support for baby killing.