I moved, kind of

Ever since I have owned my home I have lived just barely in District 13. The district used to be pretty balanced but it seems lately it has become ran by Republicans. I have been watching the districting process over the past few months. It seemed that I was destined to be moved to District 10 and I barely slipped in. I welcome it. The District has moved out of Brandon (Thank God) and mostly encompasses the Whittier neighborhood, Beadle and a tiny chunk of McKennan, it also leans Dem. It will be fun to watch how the legislative seats in the District play out in 2022. It’s time to kick Maggie Sutton to the curb and create a left of center district in Sioux Falls.


#1 D@ily Spin on 11.13.21 at 6:32 pm

You shouldn’t have pointed this out. They’ll hide the polling places or the county auditor will take the votes home overnight coming back with fewer democratic ballots. Maybe there’s a new trick like maybe the chad thing. In one election I was told I couldn’t vote because I’m Indy. A call downtown got me a ballot with all candidates.

#2 rufusx on 11.14.21 at 8:57 am

I got moved from 6 (a rural/suburban mix – 60/40 Repub) to 16 ( a very rural populace – 70-30 Repub)

#3 John Kennedy Claussen, Sr., on 11.15.21 at 10:33 am

Well, if you like the new redistricting map, then you need to thank the Democrats, which I know is hard to believe, but it is true. There may only be three Democrats in the State Senate and eight in the State House, but when the House passed the Senate Blackbird/Sparrow plan this past Wednesday, it did it with a 37 to 31 vote with all seven House Democrats present voting for it. So now, it’s the Democrats’ baby.

Now, what’s good about this new map? Well, instead of having four of nine legislative districts, which involve Sioux Falls, that are all urban, now there are six of ten districts that are urban and associated with Sioux Falls. District 11 is now all urban. District 10 became competitive with a Democratic edge. District 15 still exists with a Democratic advantage, but some of that edge was lost in creating 10. Some also think that 12 has become more competitive, but if it has, it has been done at District 13’s expense. So this new map is good for the GOP in 13 and definitely for the GOP with the new 14.

When you look at Rapid City, the good is that most of the Native American constituency is now found in one legislative district instead of being split up like in the past. But Rapid City is involved in four legislative districts, actually five if you include the airport, but the 2020 Census can only justify three legislative districts for Rapid City. So the urban and rural respect cannot be found when it comes to Rapid City.

Now some more bad, Wall and Wasta have been taken from District 30 and placed in 27, which enhances the white vote in a native district (Rosebud), and thus this reality finds itself at odds with the 15th Amendment and Civil Rights Acts when it comes to legislative redistricting, especially when you put in question the actual Census numbers for the Rosebud Reservation and the population deviation that should be allowed for District 27.

However, this urban and rural respect cannot be found in Sioux Falls either. Six of ten might be an improvement, but the 2020 Census suggests that Sioux Falls should have eight total urban legislative districts and not six. The Sparrow plan, however, allows a total of ten districts to be involved with Sioux Falls, which means that 38,000 citizens of Sioux Falls and their corresponding rural neighbors have to share representation even if their interests are often at odds or have competing priorities.

I also think that the final map enacted, the Sparrow plan, is unconstitutional because it relied upon a mechanics involving what was called conurbation areas for Sioux Falls and Rapid City, but a conurbation area means a totally urban area like the Twin Cities and its suburbs. It doesn’t mean like the Twin Cities, its suburbs, and then outlining cities like St. Peter, Faribault, and Rochester. But that’s what our legislature did when looking at so called conurbation areas for Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

Actually, there are no true conurbation areas in South Dakota because none of our major urban cities have suburbs. So it was disingenuous for the legislature to use the word conurbation, but it was convenient for them. Because their use of encapsulating conurbation areas for Sioux Falls and Rapid City allowed the legislature to control these two cities from the outside rural areas and towns and then in, which is contrary and counterintuitive to anyone who trying to make districts compact as the state constitution requires. Because If you really wanted to make districts as compact as possible, as the constitution requires, then you would work out from the core of an urban concentration and then out, but since the final plan adopted left 38,000 of Sioux Falls citizens, for instance, still tied to rural citizens proved that they failed the compact requirement and the mere mechanics of the plan demonstrated blatantly the motive or intent to control the urban vote instead of respecting it constitutionally. Thus, in my option, the Sparrow plan enacted is unconstitutional and will not stand constitutional muster unless compact means controlling rather than identifying first the most compact legislative districts possible.

But where do we go from here? Call it a partial victory because Sioux Falls, for instance has 60% and not 44% of its citizens now involved in totally urban districts, or should we file suit? Should we file a motion for declaratory judgment concerning what is meant by compact in the state constitution and what are the proper mechanics to achieve that goal? Well, stay tune. The one thing I have learned overtime is that you should never have yourself (a fool) as a client, but after 4500 miles and testifying fourteen times in five cities throughout South Dakota on the redistrict issue this past year, I would be a fool to just sit back and accept this outcome.

So, I’ll guess I see what my attorney(s) says. Like I said, stay tune! It might not be over with yet. I am not a happy camper. I have strong mixed feelings about all of this and so should you If you believe in true urban and rural legislative districts for South Dakota.

The sad thing also is that I expected the majority party to do a number on us, but I didn’t expect the minority party to be an accomplice.

#4 Further reflections on 11.15.21 at 1:34 pm

One of the things I couldn’t help but notice as this whole urban/rural theme began to catch fire was how opposed members of the Sioux Falls establishment were to the idea, because I think they wanted as many districts and potential legislators to be in Pierre with a possible Sioux Falls identity or connection. I especially noticed this during testimony on September 28th at the Sioux Falls House/Senate Redistricting Committee/Subcommittee. You couldn’t help but notice at that meeting, that those who were advocating for maintaining the status quo of multiple legislative districts involving Sioux Falls to maintain a rural/urban quality to them were legislators, the spouses of legislators, former legislators, and members of the business community like the Chamber. Well, guess what? If you ask me, they won, because Sioux Falls ended up becoming involved in 10 legislative districts just as Senator Duval predicted back in April in a KELO story. So while the Democrats claim victory, it was actually the establishment who won with the Sparrow plan.

I might also mention, that when it comes to the new 15 and 10, and especially 15, there is a growing gentrification which is going on in the heart of downtown Sioux Falls with all of the expensive apartment and condo developments that are going on there, which I believe will continue to challenge any Democratic hopes in 15 over the next ten years and maybe 10, too. So what did the Democrats really gain with Sparrow? Maybe a Hail May 12? Will see.

And finally, when a minority political party, that controls only 10% of a legislature, claims victory with redistricting – while the super majority political party fights internally – isn’t that ‘Exhibit A’ for a smoking gun, which is better known as gerrymandering?


#5 "Woodstock" on 11.15.21 at 1:41 pm

“‘Hail May’?”…. “Are you talking about Theresa?”… “Is she starting some kind of movement in LD 27?”…