This letter sent to the Argus Endorser by Ben Birks was denied publication with a handwritten note that said, “No such refusal occurred. No action taken to deny voters their own decisions.”
Before I begin, I would like to congratulate Rep. Deb Peters on her victory and wish her all the best in the State Senate.
Last Friday October 29th, a District 9 Senate debate was held at the Maricar Community Center. There was an excellent turnout of Democrats and Republicans alike, & it should’ve been a big deal. Earlier in the month, Rep. Peters skipped the Argus Leader editorial interview while later gaining the Argus’ endorsement. That Friday evening during the debate, Rep. Peters made some pretty jaw-dropping statements about Indian country in South Dakota.
Thanks to the First Amendment, Rep. (now State Senator-elect) Peters is entitled to her opinion, but the Argus Leader and other major news outlets in Sioux Falls refused to let the public know how a three-term legislative incumbent felt on the issues. As Argus Leader Managing Editor Mr. Patrick Lalley alluded to on Election Night, legitimate stories can fizzle if the news media doesn’t find what’s happened expedient or relevant.
As someone who reads theÂ ArgusLeader.com every morning, I ask you to seriously consider how you select your news. It seems disingenuous to me that on one hand you would champion open government in Pierre but on the other hand, deny voters the chance to decide who should be elected to a particular position in government.
It seems the Argus Endorser gets a little testy about criticism of their endorsement policy.
Rep. Peters towed the party line on the state budget, the voter feeds on reservations, & South Dakota’s ‘good business climate.’ Rob consistently emphasized that he wants to be senator for all of District 9, focusing on education, trimming the fat in the state’s budget, and keeping good, high-paying jobs in South Dakota.
Though it’s not specific to District 9, one spectator’s question asked how candidates felt about Indian country in South Dakota. Rob’s answer was cogent & to the point, acknowledging the complex problems our neighbors on South Dakota reservations face & the need for practical solutions. Rep. Peters ignored such complexities, saying that Native Americans on South Dakota’s reservations were “genetically pre-disposed” to many of the problems they face such as alcoholism and diabetes.
She even reiterated it later in her response, (i’m paraphrasing) essentially saying that part of the solution for problems facing our reservations is working w/ Native Americans to make them aware of the problems they’re genetically pre-disposed to.
Knowing the history of our relations with American Indians in this country and the ways in which some settlers used alcohol as leverage to exert power over their Indian neighbors, I was taken aback by Rep. Peters’ statements.
This in particular, along with Rep. Peters repeated refusal to acknowledge the failings of current budgeting practices in Pierre, demonstrated for me that Rob is the clear choice for District 9 Senate.
While I have often thought of Peters as your typical do nothing Republican in Pierre who is simply there to protect her own interests as a business person, I never knew she was so insensitive to Native Americans, and what is so surprising is she would show that prejudice in a public debate. But I guess nothing should surprise me anymore, and we will see if our ‘diligent’ local media covers it. Doubt it. Republicans in our state say stupid shit all the time and their supporters love it.
Sioux Falls, SD — District 9 Senate Candidate Rob Wilson has challenged hisÂ opponent, Rep. Deb Peters, to a public debate after Peters skipped the forumsÂ sponsored by the Argus Leader Editorial Board and the League of WomenÂ Voters. The debate will be held at 5PM Friday, October 29th, in Sioux Falls at theÂ MariCar Community Center, 400 N. Valley View Road.Â On October 14th, 2010, Wilson spoke with Peters to discuss the possibility ofÂ having a debate somewhere in the district. After trading calls and emails forÂ over a week, Peters responded in an email October 24th that Friday the 29thÂ would work, going so far as to say, “Anyway – if you still think you can pull off thisÂ debate, I will be there.”Â Wilson said, “Talking with voters throughout District 9 has made me realize just how much voters want to be heard when it comes to issues they care about.Â Voters in District 9 deserve to have a candid conversation with their candidatesÂ for State Senate. It would be a shame for voters to get cheated out of theirÂ chance to grill us side by side.”
I find this a little humorous, but not surprising. This is the normal game Republicans play when they are ahead in the polls, avoid confrontation. Why? Because they have no solutions, and they hate to be questioned about solving problems. Oh, and they are weasels.
After reading the budget address story in the Gargoyle Leader, I dove into a tiny little article buried on page 9A and not available onlineÂ (that’s where the Liberal media puts their important stories I guess)Â the articleÂ detailed how Dems have been after Marion M. RoundsÂ forÂ three years about limiting the growth of State Government (you know, all those unneeded no-bid contracts to friends and family he has secretly deguised as FTE’s), but as usual, Mike refuses to listen to anyone but his inner greed and arrogance;
For three years, Democrats have tried to hold state government to the 3 percent budget increases allowed schools and counties, and we couldn’t get support,” said Dem Ben Nesselhuf of Vermillion, “If we’d been doing that for three years, maybe we’d have money.”
Democratic Rep. Bernie Hunhuff of Yankton also voiced concern about the property tax increase;
It could sow the seeds for another property tax revolt, and we don’t want that.
Get out the pitchforks and torches I guess.
I think Minority leader Scott Heidepriem of Sioux Falls, District 13, where I live, said it best when he called the governor’s budget “Cynical”
I guess I wouldn’t have had a problem with expanding state government if government services have become better, in fact they are either the same or worse since Rounds has taken office. Just look at the vehicle registration fiasco. So where did the millions go? This is about helping friends out, and now that he has broken the bank, he continues his state of denial and promises more cuts to education, salaries and road construction while failing to put his hand out to our new president who vows to ramp up infrastructure and domestic spending. Once again SD Republican leaders have proven the best way to fix problems is to tax and spend instead of making cuts.