Anyone trying to make sense of the political endorsements offered by that Sioux Falls paper should stop now. The only thing I can make out is that Randall Beck and his fellow Argusnauts are just trying to start fights. Earlier this week they endorsed good Democrat Paula Hawks for District 9 House, but also endorsed conservative Christian pastor Steve Hickey over more moderate Main Street Republican Bob Deelstra to join her in Pierre.
Now Beck et al. make try to start a dinner-table fight across the county on Sioux Falls' other frosty flank. For District 10 House, that Sioux Falls paper endorses Democratic Brandon city alderwoman Jo Hausman. It dumps incumbent Republican Rep. Jenna Haggar in favor of her Republican ticket-mate Don Haggar... her dad. With whom she still lives.
Haggar, a Republican, is running with his daughter, Jenna Haggar, an incumbent. We think he has the stronger ideas. A fiscal conservative, he doesn't favor increasing taxes and said the state should be cautious and not increase spending. He supports HB 1234 about education reform, which has been referred to a public vote as Referred Law 16 [editorial, "Legislative Endorsements: Our Picks for Districts 10, 11, and 12," that Sioux Falls paper, October 23, 2012].
That's got to be an awkward dinner conversation. Watch out, Don: Jenna may finally kick you out and make you get a place of your own!
But consider the strange selective logic of that Sioux Falls paper's pick of Haggar over Haggar in the context of its endorsement of oh-so-airbrushed District 10 GOP Senator Shantel Krebs over Dem challenger Paul A. Thompson:
Sen. Shantel Krebs is a strong lawmaker who understands what is important to South Dakota and how the legislative process works. She has earned her way onto important committees, become an authority on complicated issues and, most importantly, has worked hard in Pierre. She's an obvious choice in getting the re-election nod [that Sioux Falls paper, October 23, 2012].
Wait a minute. Beck and company pick Krebs, an experienced legislator, over Thompson, a newcomer to state-level politics but a reasonable dude who recognizes Referred Laws 14 and 16, the Daugaardian junk for which Krebs voted, as bad policy for South Dakota. They cite her "important committees" (Ag/Nat. Resources, Health/Human Services, and Transportation) and "hard work" in Pierre.
Rep. Jenna Haggar is also an experienced legislator. She's been in Pierre for two years of "hard work." She's on the Education and Health/Human Services committees. She voted aye on HB 1234. She's a fiscal conservative. She must have strong ideas, or else District 6 transplant and William-Buckley-in-training Isaac Latterell wouldn't be caught dead dating her or conducting incense-shop stings, would he? Heck, she's even pretty (prettier than her dad, at least), just like Shantel, so Beck can't be bewitched. What gives?
Is that Sioux Falls paper just trying to split the conservative Christian right with a family feud? Or does this endorsement simply signal that Haggar père knows his stuff and Haggar fille... not so much? And if that's the case, Jenna, what the heck were you doing in Pierre for the last couple years?