Folks may not like Congress, but working there sure seems popular. Yankton attorney Jason Ravnsborg is the fifth Republican entry into the U.S. Senate race. campaign for the U.S. Senate seat Tim Johnson will vacate next year. What will we learn from his entry into the race?
The Affordable Care Act is bad, except when it's good: Ravnsborg tells the Yankton Press and Dakotan that he supports repealing and replacing the ACA... but not really. He says the ACA is "dishonest," but he wants to keep the ACA's coverage for folks with pre-existing conditions. He wants to keep the ACA's extension of parental insurance to children up to age 26.
In place of the parts of the ACA he thinks he can do without, Ravnsborg offers the standard, uncreative non-reforms of tort reform (myth-based edge-nibbling), health savings accounts (already in place for ten years, not a solution for low-income folks), and selling insurance across state lines (won't work).
Ravnsborg makes numbers up: Ravnsborg claims that "The polls show that 60 to 70 percent of the people are against Obamacare." Gallup found in November that support for the ACA was at 45%; it drops below 40% only if you call it "ObamaCare." Gallup's end-of-October poll found 44% approving and 47% disapproving. Christian Sciences Monitor found 50% supporting repeal in November. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research finds current support at 49–44. I welcome Ravnsborg to provide support for his numerical claim... and if he can demonstrate any poll showing 70% opposition, to clearly delineate between those who oppose the ACA completely and those (like Rick Weiland and me!) who want to expand it to something like Medicare for Everyone.
Ravnsborg is good at keeping secrets: In a small sign of Bosworthian tone-deafness on messaging, Ravnsborg touts the hush-hush part of his résumé:
Jason is now back in Yankton, practicing law and ready to serve the state of South Dakota as your next U.S. Senator. He is currently serving as a Major in a joint intelligence unit in Minneapolis with a top secret clearance with the requirement (under oath) to keep military secrets to secure our Nation’s safety ["About Jason", Ravnsborg Senate campaign website, downloaded 2013.12.16].
Given the secrets fellow candidate Marion Michael Rounds has been keeping about his Governor's Office of Economic Development schemes, I'm not sure the ability to keep secrets is the quality anti-Rounds voters are looking for.
All in the name: Conspiracy theorists will love Ravnsborg's entry into the race. Look at how his name is pronounced: ROUNS-borg... that sounds an awful lot like Rounds Borg! He's a plant! Another Rounds heat shield to tamp down the challenge from Stace Nelson!
Now remember, folks, you all need to get 1,955 signatures between January 1 and March 25. Republicans, if you keep floating candidates, you might start running out of signers!
Update 09:15 CST: A quick review of Ravnsborg's Facebook groups indicates his online reading includes updates from Constitution-busting radio talker Mark Levin, Sarah Palin News, and Herman Cain's Intelligent Thinkers Movement. I was going to say "Herman Cain's Intelligent Thinkers" is an oxymoron, but its usage here suggests it is simply a synonym for bowel.