One of the biggest reasons to be all grumbly and gloomy at the primary after-party is that Senator Phil Jensen (probably) won the District 33 Republican primary. Jensen, who proposes legislation to protect us from gays and Muslims but says the free market is all we need to protect us from the Ku Klux Klan, beat challenger David Johnson by 30 votes, 50.62% to 49.38%. That any district in South Dakota could give a majority vote to a man who says such absurd and hurtful things and advocates such absurd and hurtful legislation is an embarrassment to our whole state.

But I reject the gloomy grumbles by citing hope from Jensen's own district. District 33's Democrats and Independents had a primary choice for Senator as well. They could elect Democrat Haven Stuck, a Rapid City lawyer with decades of community involvement in the Chamber of Commerce, the Central States Fair, the South Dakota Investment Council, and other reputable activities. Or they could elect Democrat Robin Page, a single mom raising multi-ethnic foster kids in low-income North Rapid.

Robin Page, Democratic candidate for District 33 Senate

Robin Page, Democratic candidate for District 33 Senate

District 33 Dems elected Robin Page. As loyal reader Deb Geelsdottir would say, they elected the passionate poet over the lukewarm moderate. They elected an Indian woman, the best candidate on the ballot to look Phil Jensen in the eye and demand an apology for years of racism and sexism in his politics. They elected an underdog who built on what she learned in her unsuccessful 2012 bid for District 33 House, printed and mailed hundreds of letters from her kitchen table, and outcampaigned a wealthier, better-connected candidate.

District 33 elected exactly the kind of of candidate I want Democrats to elect.

Now my endorsement may be the kiss of death. But I am thrilled that Robin Page won and that she will now carry the important responsibility of holding Senator Phil Jensen accountable and convincing her neighbors to cleanse the Legislature of his bad politics.

And how is Page starting her general election campaign? By talking to her neighbors... all of her neighbors:

Good morning FB friends and family! It is official, in a very close race yesterday, I have won the Democratic Primary, in District 33, with 54% of the vote! I send my best wishes to my opponent, Haven Stuck. I am sure that this race will be talked about in Democratic circles for a long time.

It is my sincere hope that the residents of District 33, Democrat, Republican, Independents and all others, will come together and work for a strong community where hatred, racism and discrimination is not tolerated!

I put forth my honest belief that if we come together in open discussions, we can find the balance and common ground that will best serve all of our citizens.

I look forward to sponsoring several "Meet the Candidate - Listening Sessions" over the next few months. I invite ALL citizens to attend so that we can have these important discussions and together, move our community, state and nation forward!

I do these things "So the People can live"! Thank You!!! [Robin Page, Facebook post, 2014.06.04]

Robin Page for District 33 Senate—go get 'em, tiger!

59 comments

District 3, which encompasses the Aberdeen–Bath metroplex, has a Democratic primary tomorrow for its State Senate seat. Aberdeen City Councilman Mark Remily would like the job; so would writer Angelia Schultz.

Remily graces the Madville Times with responses to some questions about major policy issues and the direction of the Democratic Party

Mark Remily, Democratic candidate for District 3 Senate

Mark Remily, Democratic candidate for District 3 Senate

Given that Northern Beef Packers sits just outside District 3, and that fallout from the collapse of the plant hit Aberdeen most directly, I asked Remily for the local perspective on what went wrong at NBP and with the EB-5 visa investment program that poured millions of dollars down that economic development black hole. Remily gets the impression NBP was "doomed from the onset." He's pessimistic about the ability of California buyers White Oak Global to restart the plant; the new owners are less interested in Aberdeen and the over 200 workers "the over 200 workers and the many local business they stiffed." Remily suspects Aberdeen is more likely to see White Oak quietly dismantle and sell the plant than rehire and reopen.

Remily says he's not entirely against the EB-5 program that sustained NBP. He says the program is workable if we have oversight, but that we won't have reliable oversight and transparency until we have a "healthy minority" in Pierre. Until Democrats can check the one-party cronyism of Pierre, Remily says EB-5 should be banned.

Addressing economic development more broadly, Remily says job creation isn't our immediate problem. Unemployment in April was 3.8%, meaning over 96% of South Dakotans have jobs. "In Aberdeen, we have jobs," says Remily, "but the jobs we have do not pay enough to attract workers. It's a conundrum, which won't be solved till we raise the minimum wage." Remily says raising the wage to $15 an hour over time would help us recruit and retain workers.

Another way to recruit workers and boost the economy is to boost education. Remily says South Dakota has great teachers, but we subject them to Walmart working conditions. "Stress levels would be lower" for teachers, says Remily, "if they didn't have to have two jobs to make a living wage. Citing Aberdeen's base teacher pay of $33,240.00, Remily says raising teacher pay $15,000 would be a "good beginning."

Getting the money to boost teacher pay is always the sticking point. Remily says we need to pay our way by creating revenue streams. He likes Joe Lowe's suggestion of a 1% seasonal tourism tax. Remily goes further and recommends cashing in on cannabis:

One idea would be to join 17 other states in legalizing some form of cannabis sales. Using Colorado as an example. Their state coffers are filling up.... And guess what? Crime rate going down. State prisons would empty out of non-violent offenders saving more millions in incarceration costs. Legalize it, regulate it, tax it [Mark Remily, e-mail, 2014.05.28].

Ryan Gaddy, call your Aberdeen chapter....

Remily passionately supports expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. He is not as passionate about TransCanada. He says the first Keystone pipeline that runs through Brown County brought only a brief uptick in jobs for transient workers  but no lasting economic boost. He does not support laying Keystone XL across West River.

I keep looking for a candidate who has a plan not just for winning his district but for boosting the Democratic Party statewide. The question of boosting Demcoratic fortunes is particularly relevant in Brown County, a traditional Democratic stronghold that just saw Republicans surpass Democrats in registered voters. Remily says there are plenty of Democrats around Brown County; they just aren't registering. he did his part to solve that problem by carrying voter registration forms when he circulated his own petition and earlier when he circulated the minimum-wage initiative petition. Remily says he and his fellow circulators registered nearly 100 new Democrats. "Most people want to be registered," says Remily, "but don't take the time to do it." If you want to build a party, says Remily, you've got to do the work.

Whoever wins tomorrow in District 3 faces Republican Rep. David Novstrup, who is trying to trade seats with his dad, Senator Al Novstrup. Remily ran for House in 2008 and lost to David Novstrup by about 900 votes (hey! at least Remily beat Isaac Latterell!). Remily says he's ready to bring bigger heat this election. He says his 40 years of "very public life" in Aberdeen, plus his friendly connections with Democrats, Independents, and Republicans around town make him "the only candidate who stands a chance of keeping David home next legislative session."

District 3, Mark Remily offers you a Democrat who takes pretty strong positions on wages and education funding. Remily is also willing to rattle cages with his suggestion of legalizing marijuana to generate revenue for the state. He pairs those strong positions with an assertion of long-time familiarity and electability in the community. Will you prove Remily right tomorrow, or will you choose a newcomer who prefers the "moderate" brand?

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Robin Page, Democratic candidate for District 33 Senate

Robin Page, Democratic candidate for District 33 Senate

One of the last things Robin Page said to me as I interviewed her Friday for the Madville Times was something she said her grandmother told her. Echoing Lakota wisdom, Robin's grandmother said we "have to learn to walk in balance."

Running as a Democrat for District 33 Senate, Page wants to bring some of that balance to the Legislature.

Page's family history explains some of the balance she could bring to politics. Page describes herself as a "mixed-blood Chicamuaga-Cherokee." She grew up in Utah, where her conservative Mormon parents founded that state's chapter of the John Birch Society. Page recalls asking questions at JBS meetings and Mormon Sunday School challenging her elders' tenets on equal rights for blacks and women. The most important thing she learned in Sunday School was the simple exhortation, "Love one another," which Page says guides her life.

Page got her degree in political science, with a minor in American Indian studies, at the University of Utah. She says she still considers herself conservative. She wants to use taxpayer dollars wisely and hold government accountable.

She's all about economic development, but she would like to see a greater focus on developing small, local businesses. The way out of poverty, says Page, is to help people start their own businesses. Instead of pouring big money into large industrial plants that hire a hundred laborers but only a handful of managers, Page would like to see the Governor's Office of Economic Development make lots of smaller grants and microloans to individual entrpreneurs. She sees more autonomy, more possibilities, and more local turnover of dollars from a hundred tiny businesses than from one big business. Each small businessperson has the potential to expand and hire another worker in a way that each factory worker cannot. Page says GOED can still seek the big fish, but it should divert more resources to the small fry (and more West River!).

Page is pleased that Democrats are pushing the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage, but Page says $8.50 isn't enough. She says District 33 voters working in motels and restaurants are often already making that amount and still can't afford quality housing in Rapid City. Page says she wants the state to talk to business owners and look for ways that we could use economic development dollars to help businesses weather the transition to higher wages, but she says business owners recognize that higher wages will draw and keep better workers, which would pay off in lower costs in turnover and training.

But Page won't have us putting more money into economic development unitl we've put back what the Daugaard administration took from education. Page says her neighborhood school, Knollwood Elementary, used to offer an after-school tutoring program that reached over 300 kids. She says Governor Daugaard then strangled school budgets with his 2011 cuts. At the same time, says Page, the state applied for a waiver from No Child Left Behind, which meant the state could continue to receive federal aid without meeting NCLB's tutoring requirements. Poof! went Knollwood's tutoring program. Last fall, Page says she received a letter from the school saying their spring 2013 test scores placed Knollwood in the bottom 20% of the nation. And we wonder why students get into trouble and drop out of school later?

Page says South Dakota must restore school funding to the curve it was on before the Daugaard austerity of 2011. She says that with all the "good for business" statistics the state touts, we must have the wealth to back that business climate with a comparably top-of-the-line learning climate.

Education reform isn't just about money. Page sees the education of lots of low-income and American Indian youth suffering because of shortcomings in our juvenile corrections system. Juvenile offenders with mental health and addiction issues are often placed in out-of-state residential facilities. Such programs in places like Utah and Georgia cost $250 to $500 per juvenile per day. Stays in such facilities regularly last 12 to 18 months. When young people come back from such programs, they deal with enormous disruption in their schooling. Their friends have moved on. They feel out of place among younger, "normal" students. They often come from homes that lack the resources to pursue GEDs. But without a diploma, they can't get into vo-tech programs and land good jobs.

Page would like to break that cycle. Instead of sending kids and money out of state, Page would like to invest in treatment programs that would keep juveniles, especially Indian juveniles, closer to home and family and maintain some continuity in their education. Such in-state programs would make it easier for families to participate in family therapy and other more holistic approaches to help juvenile offenders get back on the right track.

Page also wants to help low-income South Dakotans by expanding Medicaid. Page speaks very personally about the benefits of Medicaid; she has experienced them firsthand. Three and a half years ago, a man assaulted her. She suffered serious injuries to her shoulders and spine. She burned up all of her small savings to get treatment and ultimately had to apply for disability to qualify for Medicaid. Since then, she has been able to get medications and some of the surgery she needs to reduce her pain and restore some of her physical function. However, her doctor says that if she had had Medicaid-quality coverage from the beginning and could have gotten surgery sooner, he could have gotten her back to 100%.

Page knows Medicaid could help the sick and injured get well sooner and get back to the workforce. "We are turning our backs on our people," says Page, but we are also turning out backs on money, jobs, and independence for 48,000 fellow South Dakotans just like her and her North Rapid neighbors.

Page navigates racial diversity daily in her house: she has two biological sons, one by an African-Cherokee father, the other by a Dutch father. She also has seven foster children, four Lakota, three Navajo. She says her family is part of the most racially diverse district in the Black Hills. Hearing current District 33 Senator Phil Jensen say this year that government should stay out of civil rights and let the free market protect minorities was deeply hurtful to her family and her community.

Page wants to replace that "leadership" with someone who can speak for all of her District 33 neighbors, rich and poor, Indian and otherwise. When she wins the primary (she said when), she plans to hold public listening sessions so she can be the "voice of the people." She wants to engage young people more in the political process, but she is also attentive to the needs of the aging population in her district, where older folks may struggle to get decent jobs to supplement their retirement income.

Page says she can win as a Democrat, but she's not trying to sell her District on Democrats. She's selling them on her beliefs and abilities. She rejects extremism in either direction, Right or Left. She wants to meet with as many Democrats, Independents, and Republicans as possible, listen to them, and help everyone find common ground. She said she received a positive response from Republicans in North Rapid during her 2012 run for House; she believes she can build on that response this year.

Robin Page wants to help all of her neighbors "walk in balance," the way her grandmother taught. She gets to test the strength of that message in the District 33 Senate primary against Haven Stuck on June 3.

Bonus Reading: That's my distillation of Page's politics. Now check out Robin Page in her own words. Below is a stump speech Page posted to Facebook Friday. She says she is receiving some good responses to it.

For 12 long years, the citizens of North Rapid have not had a voice at the South Dakota State Legislature.

During that time, our Legislators have bowed to the whims of Governor Daugaard and failed to provide their Constitutional role of oversight, checks and balances.

They robbed our children's educational funding to support the East River development of large business ventures doomed to fail. The current EB-5 scandal, of selling permanent residency to investors from China and Korea, has barely had the Legislature's attention.

And every night, as the citizens of Pennington County lay their heads to rest, between 350 and 400 of our youth are incarcerated in the Juvenile Service Center or in out of home and out of state residential treatment facilities. Many of these youth are from North Rapid. They are on the "Pipeline to Prison". This practice placed us as the number one county in America with the highest rate of youth in the Department of Corrections custody per capita population.

Although our Legislators have replaced some of our children's education money, the education budget is still not funded at the pre-2011 level. Last fall the Principal of Knollwood Elementary reported that the students had placed in the bottom 20% of the Nation on their Spring 2013 standardized testing. Gone is the federal money for the 300 students who use to receive free tutoring to help them get caught up. That federal money was taken to pad the general state budget.

I want to bring the "Voice of the People" of North Rapid to the State Senate. For over 30 years I have worked as an advocate of the People. I have the education and employment experience that has prepared me well to serve you in our State Senate.

I am proud to live in the multi-ethnic and multi-racial community of North Rapid! And I promise, I will NEVER sponsor or vote for legislation that promotes hatred, racism or discrimination!

Please vote ROBIN PAGE FOR SD SENATE, District 33 [Robin Page, Facebook post, 2014.05.23].

What response do you think Page will get for those words among District 33 Democrats and South Dakota voters in general?

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Haven Stuck, Democrat for District 33 Senate

Haven Stuck, Democrat for District 33 Senate

Haven Stuck wants to upset the Republican apple cart and become only the third Democratic legislator from the Black Hills in the last 20 years. But in an interview with the Madville Times, the Rapid City attorney and District 33 Senate candidate indicates his route to victory lies in showing that he is a pragmatic good apple in the cart who's just going to Pierre to get things done.

Stuck, who has chaired the Rapid City Chamber of Commerce and the South Dakota Investment Council with a master's , says the economy is a major issue for South Dakota. He says South Dakota is doing a lot right but that we need to make our state more attractive to young people by offering more jobs. Stuck wants to boost our vo-tech schools to provide more training for trades and develop programs that align better with job market demands.

Stuck says the EB-5 scandal, a product of the state's economic development efforts, hasn't pinged the Rapid City radar much. He says we should look at how the state has used EB-5, but he has no specific suggestions for changes in federal visa investment program.

Stuck does not see a major economic boost coming from the Powertech uranium in-situ leach mining plan, although he notes that even a small number jobs will be a big plus for the Fall River area where the Canadian-Chinese company plans to dig. Stuck says there is a lot of scientific evidence that in situ leach mining is safe, but he says the state needs more information. He favors a continued review of the proposal to ensure that we can regulate the project to keep our land and water safe.

Stuck sees "tremendous" economic gain to be had in expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Along with the obvious humanitarian justification, good health care, says Stuck, means a more efficient economy.

Expanding Medicaid is an important issue for his lower-income constituents in North Rapid City. So is increasing the minimum wage. Stuck says the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $8.50 won't affect a lot of workers, but it will be positive for the economy. Stuck breaks out his master's degree in economics to explain that the folks who benefit from the minimum wage hike are more likely to spend every penny of that boost, thus generating a GDP increase that would outweigh whatever small job loss a minimum wage hike might bring.

On education, Stuck recognizes that we need to boost teacher salaries. He prefers not to set some benchmark goal for teacher salaries, saying instead we simply need to "see what we can do." Stuck also wants to look for efficiencies, like sharing resources among districts. (Hmm... I think some teachers and administrators will tell Stuck that we've already squeezed that turnip.)

Stuck is running in a district currently represented by Senator Phil Jensen, who has run and won on culture-war issues like abortion, Islam, and civil rights. I asked Stuck how he'd fight the culture war. He said he didn't think such issues have been at the forefront of District 33's concerns. But he does say that he's been active in his church and supports the free exercise of religion. Stuck leans libertarian in saying government shouldn't over-regulate how we live our lives. Whether we're talking marriage or medicine, Stuck says we should be "tolerant" and leave decisions to the individuals. Unlike Senator Jensen, candidate Stuck says we have nothing to fear from the gay community.

Stuck doesn't let Dems' low victory record in his neighborhood bring him down. He says he gets good comments from his GOP friends around town. He believes his 30 years of community involvement will help convince voters beyond his Democratic base that he can legislate in the best practical interests of the community.

Haven Stuck faces Robin Page in the District 33 Senate primary on June 3. The Madville Times profiles Page here.

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To inform its discussion of the Legislature's travel policy, complete with ALEC subsidy, the Legislature's Executive Board Thursday got to review how much taxpayer money they've spent so far this year on out-of-state travel. Here's how much we've paid for legislator travel to conferences from July 1, 2013, to May 6, 2014:

SDLeg OutState Mtg Costs FY14 to May 6 2014 SDLeg OutState Mtg Costs FY14 to May 6 2014 col2

82 trips, average $1,430 a pop... that's $117,260. That's not so bad... until you count up the $42,520 that was spent on the blatantly ideological ALEC trips. Add in average costs for the reimbursements still pending for Reps. Campbell, Qualm, and Stalzer and Senator Lederman, and those ALEC costs will constitute over 40% of the FY14 out-of-state Legislative travel bill. (And hey, Dan! The ALEC States and Nation Policy Summit was back in December. The Legislature is adopting an even tougher version of the new Benda rule: while other state agencies are supposed to have those reimbursement requests in within 60 days of your trip, the new Legislative travel policy says 30 days. Get with the program!)

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Remember how last year the Republican leaders of the South Dakota Legislature decided to spend your money on their dues for the corporate fascist lobbying group ALEC? GOP spinners blew some smoke about putting the American Legislative Exchange Council on a level playing field with what they misportray as liberal legislative organizations, but more honest Republicans criticized the decision, which uniquely favored ALEC with tax dollars for legislators' dues.

But they got by with it: ALEC claims that every member of the South Dakota Legislature belongs to ALEC. South Dakota's GOP leadership wants to keep those good times rolling. The agenda for the May 8 Legislative Executive Board meeting includes discussion of this year's travel reimbursement policy for legislators. E-Board members will discuss the following proposed travel policy, which renews last year's controversial ALEC subsidy:

The Executive Board of the South Dakota Legislature has established a Travel Policy for Legislator attendance at out-of-state meetings for the period May 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. All legislative out-of-state travel not in accordance with the guidance received in this memorandum will not be reimbursed.

All requests for travel must be approved by the Executive Board Chair. Any legislator who wishes to attend a national meeting but will not be seeking reimbursement from state funds may do so without prior approval.

A legislator who has been selected as a member of a committee of the National Conference of State Legislators, the Council of State Governments, the Midwestern Legislative Conference or the American Legislative Exchange will be reimbursed for travel expenses. Any member of the executive governing board of the NCSL, CSG, MLC or ALEC will be reimbursed for travel expenses to attend board meetings. Dues for ALEC are also eligible to be reimbursed.

Legislators and individuals appointed to the Streamlined Sales Tax Project, the Uniform Laws Commission, the Education Commission of the States, and the Legislators Forum will be reimbursed for expenses to attend these meetings.

All legislative travel reimbursements are subject to the Rules of the South Dakota Board of Finance. (NOTE pending rule change: In order for the LRC to comply with the pending rule change, travel voucher reimbursement information must be submitted to the LRC for processing within 30 days from the day a legislator returns from travel.)

This policy has been adopted by the Executive Board and is effective for May 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

All previous travel policies adopted by the Executive Board are superseded by this policy [emphasis mine; Proposed Legislator Travel Policy, Executive Board, South Dakota Legislature, 2014.05.02].

Notice that of the four legislative organizations addressed by this policy, only ALEC receives eligibility for dues reimbursement. And notice that, despite the alarms set off by Richard Benda's insufficiently overseen travel extravagance, this policy places responsibility for approving travel requests in the hands of one person, the chairman of the Executive Board. Such are the lessons our Republican leaders learn from one-party rule.

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After rejecting Senate Bill 114 to allow South Dakotans to order wine by mail, the Legislature has decided to conduct a summer study on the topic. AP's Nora Hertel gets some useful information on personal wine imports from nurse anesthetist and wine connoisseur Don Roesler. Roesler and his gassy colleagues (no, really: the article says "a group of Sioux Falls anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists who enjoy drinking wine together" drafted SB 114) say allowing wineries to deliver to our doorsteps should be right up South Dakota's free-market alley:

"It's all about consumer choice. We have a right to choice," said Don Roesler, a nurse anesthetist who is president of the group, South Dakotans for Better Wine Laws [Nora Hertel, "Consumer Choice Driving SD Study on Wine Imports," AP via Seattle PI, 2014.04.26].

Roesler adds that 41 states allow direct wine shipping, and those states' traditional hooch honchos appear to have suffered no calamity. Roesler also tells AP that letting him and his fellow snifter swirlers click and ship their beverages would add $200,000 a year to state coffers.

Enter Speaker Brian Gosch (R-32/Rapid City) to dismiss consumer choice, a revenue boost, and the summer study with incomprehensibility:

Republican Speaker of the House Brian Gosch voted against the study on Wednesday.

"There are some people who are particular about the wine they drink," Gosch said. "I don't know that the state needs to get involved" [Hertel, 2014.04.26].

Um, Brian: the state is involved. The state is banning direct-to-consumer wine shipments and telling consumers that they can buy wine only from the state's favored retailers, which seems to violate both the South Dakota Republican Party's free-market fundamentalism and the Interstate Commerce Clause.

Senate Bill 114 would not have removed state involvement from wine sales. It would simply have allowed out-state wine shippers to ship to South Dakotans under a framework of regulation similar to what governs our in-state vintners and shippers. Why our Republican speaker would prefer outright prohibition over sensible regulation is hard to explain. Quick, pass him a glass of out-state wine, see if we can loosen his lips and get him to explain.

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Kudos to Ken Santema for making the drive out to Ipswich for Monday's District 23 GOP House candidates forum. His summary of the candidates' responses to audience questions is a useful guide for voters in the sparse but sprawling north central district.

Of all the instructive policy statements staked out by the candidates, Mr. Powers chooses to focus on the vague partisan snark issued by Democratic Party apostate Dale Hargens. District 23 voters frankly don't care about that. They want to know which of the five candidates can best represent their views on property taxes, education, and social issues.

Santema notes that all five candidates—Hargens of Miller, Michelle Harrison of Mobridge, Gene Toennies of Cresbard, Larry Nielson of Tulare, and incumbent Rep. Justin Cronin of Gettysburg—appear to view economic development as a priority for government. Hargens said his departure from the Democratic Party came because of a "surge to the left" by our party, but I remain fascinated at supposedly free-market Republicans' ongoing surge toward leftist government intervention in the economy.

On education, all five candidates appear to defer the question of education funding to local control... because legislators would hate to be responsible for advocating the tax increases necessary for schools to end South Dakota's humiliation of teachers with the lowest salaries in the nation.

Santema reports some predictable fuss and feathers about Common Core. But someone phrased the Common Core question perfectly, asking the candidates what they thought would happen if there suddenly were no standards in public education. Harrison, Toennies, and Hargens gave the right answer: teachers would go right on teaching, proving there is no need for top-down standards and political reform movements like Common Core and No Child Left Behind.

On gay marriage, Nielson appears to have offered the greatest offense, saying (in Santema's paraphrase) that gay marriage is "nothing but a topic brought forth to expand benefits...." Yeah, because all you non-heterosexuals aren't looking for equality or justice or respect; you just want your partner's pension, and that's just evil. We should get rid of all those greedy spousal benefits for everybody!

On the hopeful side, Harrison said gay marriage and abortion are morality issues and that (reports Santema) "she doesn’t believe the government has the right to choose these issues for people." Hey, Charlie Hoffman! Can you get your neighbors to recognize the true conservatism in that statement?

Alas, Santema notes that all five candidates said they support the Keystone XL pipeline (Hargens on the false assertion that TransCanada's export of tar sands oil to China will promote our energy independence) and that not one addressed the issue of property rights and eminent domain that ought to raise Republican ire over Keystone XL.

Thank you for that report, Ken!

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