Ballotpedia posts a list of the 26 House races it finds competitive. South Dakota's is not among them.
One step toward making Corinna Robinson's challenge to Rep. Kristi Noem #27 on that list is trumpeting the long-anticipated publication of Robinson's Issues page on her campaign website. What's she got?
Jobs: Robinson says Noem's partisanship has contributed to the lack of action from Congress on jobs. In her most substantive statement, Robinson promises to "fight for much-needed improvements to critical infrastructure, fullly support the use of solar and wind energy to help keep our environment safe while helping create new green jobs right here in South Dakota." Rather than go for the green-jobs enchilada, Rep. Noem supports a few temporary jobs to build a tar sands pipeline that will raise our gasoline prices and cost us long-term jobs.
Children and Education: Robinson expresses support for early childhood education and Head Start. Rep. Noem, as we know, helped kick 57,000 kids out of Head Start. Robinson also strikes a Weiland-Warrenesque position calling for giving student-loan holders the same interest-rate breaks international banks get via corporate welfare. Meanwhile, Rep. Noem tells folks worried about student debt to get a job.
Veterans: Robinson dings Rep. Noem for voting to cut funding for veterans' programs. She says "it’s high time we had one of our own representing South Dakota military families in Washington." Showing her stripes is one good way for Robinson to cut into Noem's traditional conservative base... but let's hope she doesn't succeed so well with that argument that she gets Rick Weiland supporters to all flip to Vietnam veteran Larry Pressler.
"A Soldier's Pledge to Defend the Second Amendment": I feel an urge to roll my eyes. Really, Corinna? Do we have to roll over to the misguided gun-nuttery? Can no one run for office in this state without waving a gun and dead critters around?
But wait: Corinna sends me a little code, saying that she "sincerely understand[s] the purpose of the second amendment ~ to provide for a militia in defense of our great nation."
Hmm... she may not understand the purpose of a tilde and an em dash, but Robinson alludes here to the traditionalist, limited interpretation of the Second Amendment that I'd be happy to hear more of: the Founders saw firearms as a means of national defense, not an excuse to walk into a bar or courthouse with a machine gun strapped to your back.
Agriculture: Robinson says Rep. Noem stalled the 2012 Farm Bill, causing food prices to rise. I might need to see some more data on that:
- Bread spiked in anticipation of the 2012 failure, but actually dropped a bit right after the 2012 failure and has stayed pretty much at the high to which it climbed from 2004 to 2008.
- Ground beef has risen sharply since 2010, but that price climb stalled while the Farm Bill was in limbo, then bounced up when the Farm Bill finally passed last February.
- Eggs are following what looks like an typical inflationary trend, with a slight bounce when the Farm Bill failed in 2012, then a drop, then a climb right through passage in February 2014, then a slight drop this May... all the while remaining below the peak price of March 2008.
- Milk prices plummeted in November 2012 and have remained below their 2011 and 2012 peaks.
Robinson also dings Noem for the $3.4 million in farm subsidies her family has collected. An issue that has non-fatally hobbled Noem's conservative credentials since her first Congressional camapign. Remember, Robinson has received paychecks from the government all her life, but she actually worked for that money.
It's good to see that Robinson has settled on a policy platform. Now let's see her get the voters talking about that platform and asking their Congresswoman why she hasn't done better on those issue.