Is Democratic candidate Joe Lowe already effecting positive change for South Dakota? That's the thesis offered by my blogospheric colleague Michael Larson, who connects Lowe's announcement (published first here on the Madville Times) with Governor Dennis Daugaard's unexpected ante up in K-12 funding. Consider the timeline:
- Evening of November 30: Lowe goes public.
- December 1: The Sunday Sioux Falls paper publishes Governor Daugaard's statement (likely made prior to Lowe's announcement) that state revenues are too uncertain to give schools more than 1.6%.
- December 3: Governor Daugaard's budget address offers K-12 a 3% increase, returning to the sort of cost-of-doing-business increase that the Legislature regularly approved pre-Daugaardian austerity.
Rep. Kathy Tyler (D-4/Big Stone City) shares Larson's suspicion of hasty political maneuvering in Daugaard's proposal:
The Governor is proposing to pay off some bonds and pay cash for the state’s share of the veterans’ home in the Black Hills. He also upped his percentage of increase to education and Medicaid providers from 1.6% to 3.0%. Interesting how that increase happened right after another gubernatorial candidate threw his hat into the ring. And, no, the funding is still not where it would have been if those programs hadn’t been unnecessarily cut in 2011 [Rep. Kathy Tyler, untitled, Kathy's Corner, 2013.12.09].
I'm not ready to go down the connection road with Larson and Tyler just yet. The Vikings also lost after Lowe's announcement, but I can see a couple explanations in line before "Matt Cassel was so surprised to see Democrats fill the top tier of the ballot before Christmas that he couldn't concentrate on the Ravens' defense."
Governor Daugaard's quick K-12 upshift is a little more Occamly explicable as a simple head fake, lowering our expectations in hopes of drawing even more praise when revealing the real number.
But that thesis sticks only if you believe that Governor Dennis Daugaard would say something he doesn't really mean. And none of us here believe that, do we?
As devotees of science, let's test the Larson-Tyler hypothesis. Candidate Lowe, keep calling Governor Daugaard out on his stingy budgets and misaligned priorities, and let's see if he improves anything else!5 comments