Posted on Friday, 24 February 2006 at 03:31 AM. About South Dakota.

Wacky conspiracy theory

We interrupt your regularly scheduled silence for a lengthy political rant. The occasion? A bill soon to be passed by the South Dakota legislature that would outlaw all abortions in South Dakota.

I always knew politics in South Dakota was--forgive the expression--a clusterfuck, but this time they really put it over the top. Nearly half of the members of the Senate and a good chunk of the House broke with their parties on the two votes thus far. (Here, I made a helpful spreadsheet.) Instead, the sides here seem to be the reservations plus most of the Rapid City and Sioux Falls delegations standing in opposition of House Bill 1215 against, well, everybody else really, save the stray Libertarian--Clarence Kooistra (R-Garretson) for example.

That's just a guess, though. You have people voting against the bill because it will be contested in the courts. You have people voting for the bill because it will be contested in the courts. You have Julie Barting (D-Burke), the chief Senate sponsor of the bill, claiming to be part of "a movement across this country [that] wishes to save and protect the life of the unborn." You have Roger Hunt (R-Brandon), the bill's author, claiming to have found a million bucks somewhere* to help pay state lawyers when they appeal the inevitable legal challenges bill to the Supreme Court. And finally you have House Bill 1222, the "intellectual diversity" bill, that was introduced on the same day as 1215 by twenty of the same sponsors, and that Board of Regents director Tad Perry has said "was designed by out-of-staters with a specific political philosophy."

I guess what I'm getting at is, it seems like to me that ever since the Daschle-Thune and Herseth-Diedrich races in 2004 funnelled millions of dollars from national Republican-affiliated organizations into South Dakota politics, our fair state is increasingly becoming a proving ground for conservative legislation that would be considered too far "out of the mainstream" in other places. 2004 being the year, coincidentally, that Mr. Hunt wrote an earlier version of his abortion ban bill that was killed by a gubernatorial style-and-form veto.

Call it an unforseen side effect of the campaign finance reform movement, perhaps. Soft money is moved out of states that have passed reform bills into places like South Dakota, where politics are still virtually unregulated. Perhaps the Democrats are similarly manipulating the legislature of, I don't know, Rhode Island or something. But it's a damn shame for those of us still living in South Dakota, our elected representatives held captive by nothing less than a gargantuan pile of money.

Almost makes me glad I moved.

1 comment(s) on 'Wacky conspiracy theory'.

  1. 1 Jestin
    Posted on Sunday, 26 February 2006 at 03:27 PM about 'Wacky conspiracy theory'.

    Looks like the stock prices for coat hangers have just shot through the roof.

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