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GOP House Leadership Excommunicates Stace Nelson and Lance Russell

Rep. Stace Nelson, R-19/Fulton
Rep. Stace Nelson, R-19/Fulton

The Legislative leadership of the South Dakota Republican Party has booted Rep. Stace Nelson (R-25/Fulton) and Rep. Lance Russell (R-30/Hot Springs) from the GOP caucus. According to reporters Bob Mercer and Tom Lawrence, state Highway Patrol officers are patrolling the Capitol, and Speaker of the House Val Rausch (R-4/Big Stone City) was accompanied in the halls of democracy by an armed guard.

I want to believe, as does Steve Sibson, that these expulsions and the summoning of police are a power play by a corrupt GOP elite determined to quash any challenge to their reign. But whenever I find my mind rolling down the same path as Sibby's, I do a reality check.

Reps. Nelson and Russell led the charge on alleging ethics violations by the GOP House leadership. The leadership effectively defused those charges before session began. If Reps. Nelson and Russell have any more powder on this issue, they have been keeping it dry since session opened.

Rep. Lance Russell, R-30/Hot Springs
Rep. Lance Russell, R-30/Hot Springs

If these two GOP excommunicants have the goods on the leadership, if they really can point to corruption and favoritism that is crowding out the voices of the people whom they are elected to represent, then they have one clear responsibility and public response: form their own caucus, invite others to join, and raise holy but civil hell for the rest of the session. Two guys with a proper grasp of House rules and Mason's Manual can throw a lot of righteous monkey wrenches into the works. At the same time, you spend every off-duty moment calling around the state and recruiting candidates of any party affiliation to challenge the leaders corrupting your party. You form alliances with like-minded Republicans and sympathetic Democrats: they can't all be cowed by a handful of tinpot dictators who think leadership of a part-time legislature in a state smaller than the Fresno metropolitan area makes them the cocks of the walk. If you really have the goods on leadership gone wrong, liberal bloggers, the regular press, and most importantly, voterswill eat it up and help you set things right.

But at the point where you blow your stack to the point that the House leaders can justify calling in armed police (and really, what else could have brought on that call?), you're not winning.

Whatever is happening, the people need to know. If Districts 25 and 30 are going to suffer weakened voices in the House because the leadership has taken action against their elected representatives, the citizens of those districts need to hear a clear, full explanation so they can decide whom to send to do that job next year.


  1. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Mr. Nelson, what happened?

  2. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    Cory, why are you not being consistent. Should we also expect the GOP leadership to provide concrete evidence that law enforcement was necessary? Similiar action happened several years ago with the South Dakota Gun Owners. Rep. Abdallah (Senator at the time, and form head of the HP for Janklow) claimed he received a threatening email from the SDGO. The details were never given, and to my knowledge no charges were issued. And this year's concealed carry law was impacted by that old event. Even though it had merit, some still voted against it because the leadership wants to bully certain lobbyists out of their schoolyard. The attitude of the SDGOP legislative leadership is if you don't do things our way, then you are not allowed to do anything at all.

  3. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "But whenever I find my mind rolling down the same path as Sibby’s, I do a reality check."

    And Cory, you seem to have many things in commmon with the SDGOP Establishment.

  4. Stace Nelson 2012.01.27

    From: Representative Nelson, Stace
    Sent: Thu 1/26/2012 9:47 PM
    Subject: FW: Personal Inapprorpaite Comments on House floor during debate

    Mr. Mercer,
    In response to your emailed question: "Speaker Rausch said this afternoon that you have been reassigned to a new seat as punishment for threatening another House member Tuesday afternoon. Do you have any comment for the story?"

    Sorry for the delay. I will try and address this with as much details as possible so you can see this for what it is. I swear that the below information is the truth to the best of my knowledge and recollection:

    After several pointed personal comments towards me during debate on Tuesday, several legislators commented that it was inappropriate and that there was a concerted effort to go after everything I advocated on the House floor. Over the course of the afternoon, I talked with Hal Wick and Roger Hunt and asked them if I was overly sensitive to the comments or if it was in fact as it appeared. Both told me that some of the comments towards me were in fact not appropriate and they encouraged me to address it with the legislators or the majority leader if it could not be resolved. Later I was on the House floor enjoying some friendly conversation, joking around, and taking an opportunity to post some comments on Twitter with/about Rep. Tornow, Hansen, Kloucek, Olson, and Joshua Klumb:!/RepStaceNelson/status/161954222898814976 (5:31PM, 24Jan12)!/RepStaceNelson/status/161954918616416256 (5:33PM, 24Jan12)!/RepStaceNelson/status/161955809239105536 (5:37 PM, 24Jan12)

    About ten minutes after the last picture/post, at about 5:47, I noticed that Rep. Moser had came back on the floor. Taking Wick & Hunt's advice I thought to try and resolve the issue at the lowest level and avoid any future issues by discussing it with Moser. I said "excuse me Rep. Moser, do you have a moment?" He said he did and I told him that I was hoping that we could discuss the debate today, that I felt some of his comments were pointed personal attacks, that I was offended and hurt and I was hoping to resolve the issue civility. Right away he derisively demanded I specifically recount exactly what he said and I replied that I do not have a photographic memory and that I could not dictate exactly what he said, that if we could simply avoid such things in the future it would be appreciated. He again demanded to know what specifically he said, I said I didn't want to get into the nanoweeds on it but if needed to if he would simply consider reviewing his comments of the day, and if he confirmed that they were pointed personal comments to avoid doing so again in the future. He then launched into comments that I offend him and that I made a personal attack against him during the debate when I mentioned the Republic Party Platform plank on lowering taxes. He alluded to the past report card put out on him by voters as my report card on him and said I offend him because he said that I believe I am the expert on all that is Republican and started going off on the issue. I explained that I have never stated that or wrote that and that it was his errant opinion. He was continuing to go off on a tangent on the issue, repeating his comments that I am offensive to him, that I don't know what I am talking about on being a Republican, etc. I realized it was a lost cause, and I had already put up with a sufficient amount of his arrogant tirade so continued to move away and told him "maybe we can talk someday when you finally get your big boy pants on." After I made that comment, he said something to the effect of "oh that's real civil, you idiot" and more. When he initially started becoming animated, I moved away from him and there were several chairs between us. As he got more animated, I increased the distance. By that time I was almost at my seat, on the front side of Jim Bolin's desk, and he was standing behind his desk, when I turned looked at him and said "you're a dumbass." Stop the personal attacks in debates or I will return the favor during debates and eat you alive on the floor." I turned and sit down at my desk. That is the extent of my conversation with Rep. Moser and that is what they are trying to claim is a threat. While I am not proud of stooping to the level of this arrogant young man, I sure the heck never threatened him nor did I act in a threatening fashion. Other than my last comments to him, my voice was conversational. Rep. Romkema & I believe Rep. White were nearby, and probably heard the last ugly parts of the exchange. The other the folks I mentioned above were I believe still on the floor. The whole conversation lasted a couple minutes at best. Compared to other comments I am aware others have made, and that has been complained to leadership on another legislator, our exchange pales in comparison.

    Within a couple minutes of sitting down, I opened my lap top, turned it on, got into the email, drafted the below email, and sent it. I then went back up front and talked with Rep. Tornow & Hansen. I asked them if they heard any of my conversation with Moser and they said they had not. I told them I had tried to talk with Moser but he turned it into an argument and it didn't work out. I shared the comment to them that I made to Rep. Moser about us talking more when he got his big boy pants on.

    There is a proper due process for handling complaints in Chapter 6 There is a reason when someone departs from that process either to improperly convict someone or to acquit themselves. Please note that the Speaker does not have the authority to "punish" anyone. House rules chapter 6 is clear on how ANY complaints of misconduct are to be handled and that it is the House body that decides if a member should be punished, not the Speaker of the House or Majority Leader.

    Please note that Joint rules 1-4 & 1-5 indicate that it is NOT the speaker's discretion to keep members from speaking on the House floor. He also violated this rule with Rep. Kloucek during '11's final appropriation's bill.

    I would ask you to review this with the an educated eye and remember that Rausch did admit during the recent hearing that he was aware of the charges for months and notice the similarities to his current professed intent to remove me from judiciary as punishment:

    Of note, Russ Olson told the Senate Republican Caucus at 1:00 sharp yesterday that Russel and myself were kicked out of caucus, the news was given to lobbyists, etc,. as you noted, and someone spread the untrue rumor that I was in a meeting this morning with Rausch and was heard hollering. Hope you can see all of this for what it is. If I can be of service, you got my contact information.

    God bless.
    Stace N.


    From: Representative Nelson, Stace
    Sent: Tue 1/24/2012 5:56 PM
    To: Representative Lust, David
    Subject: Personal Inapprorpaite Comments on House floor during debate

    Rep. Lust,
    There were several pointed ugly untrue comments made towards me on the House floor today ("self-serving," etc) by Rep. Moser, Abdallah, and Turbiville. It was my understanding that such things were inappropriate, yet nothing was done to reign it in. While some may have taken my comment about the GOP platform personally, it was not directed at anyone and simply cited the platform.

    I attempted to discuss this matter civilly with Rep. Moser just now semi-privately and it degraded to angry comments. I would appreciate it if the matter was addressed in general terms and people reminded to avoid such personal attacks.

    God bless & Semper Fidelis.

    Respectfully, your public servant,

    Stace Nelson
    Representative, District 25 (Hanson, McCook, Northern & Western Minnehaha Counties)
    South Dakota House of Representatives

    South Dakota State Motto: "Under God The People Rule"

  5. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Stace, unless you want Sibson to do all your talking for you (which I guarantee will do you far more harm than good) would you please tell us in your own words what happened in the capitol that is now resulting in this bad press?

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.27

    (Rep. Nelson's much-appreciated reply got hung up in the spam filter; I didn't hit the Allow button until after Bill Fleming's request came in; thus the mixed-up chronology.)

  7. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Thank you, Mr. Nelson.

  8. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Observations Set 1:

    Boiling down Nelson's story and eliminating all the emotional commentary, I get this as the first part of the plot outline:

    1. Nelson feels he was personally attacked in debate.

    2. Wick and Hunt tell Nelson they think so too and suggest he talk with his fellow legislators (presumably one of the "attackers" was Moser.)

    3. Nelson confronts Moser, asking him why the personal attack.

    4. Moser asks "what did I say that was a personal attack?"

    5. Nelson says he can't remember.

    This strikes me as a problem, Mr. Nelson. If you can't remember what it was Moser said that that offended you, why did you confront him about it? Is there a record of the debate somewhere that would allow you to be more specific here?

    If I am misunderstanding your narrative this far in, please clarify.

  9. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27


    Please simply end your conversation with Fleming. He has the same mindset that is causing you problems within the SDGOP Establishment. You will not overcome his hatred. The difference is you don't have to work with him, as you do the legislature.

    You are right Stace, we should have civil discussion on policy without the personal attacks.

  10. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Again, Stace, it's not helping your street cred here if the only one speaking on your behalf is Steve Sibson. I'm just sayin'.

  11. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    So this thread is working out to be another example of how the Marxist left Democrats and the Fascist SDGOP combine to attack limited government conservatives. Then throw in the mainstream media, who have been promoting the misleading budget claims of the governor and now seem to not understand what fascism is.

  12. Stace Nelson 2012.01.27

    @Bill You are in error. I never said I forgot, as I had not. I was taught in some long ago govt class on mediation, to not let resolution efforts get drug into a court debate over details. In the ensuing conversation he alluded that he in fact did make pointed comments as he felt my comment about the platform plank on taxes was an inapporpriate personal attack on him.

    The debate audio for the 24th is missing from the LRC site at this time:

  13. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "it’s not helping your street cred"

    Thanks for helping me development the bully tactics and gang style attacks that come with the political envirnoment. And these people think they have the wherewithall to deal with bullying on the schoolyards of South Dakota.

  14. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "Bill You are in error."


  15. Stace Nelson 2012.01.27

    I am not ignoring any other questions on this, I simply have a ton of stuff to take care of before I get back to Pierre and do not have the time to engage in lengthy debate.

    I would challenge folks to require Rausch, Lust, & Moser to be as forthcoming and complete with their responses on their past reported misconduct and their involvement in this matter. Hope this helps.

  16. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    "Right away he derisively demanded I specifically recount exactly what he said and I replied that I do not have a photographic memory and that I could not dictate exactly what he said..."

    So you started out your conversation by lying to him?

    That doesn't seem like a very good way to strike up a conversation.

    I've had bullies come up to me accusing me of insulting them.

    It's a fairly common intimidation tactic.

  17. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    I don't think you're going to have much success playing the victim here, Stace. Everyone knows better from past experience with you. Besides, it goes against your brand to hear a big tough Marine whining.

  18. larry kurtz 2012.01.27

    Turbiville didn't vote for expulsion because he is an ALEC operative, too.

  19. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    "I’ve had bullies come up to me accusing me of insulting them."

    Bullies bullying bullies, typical for politics. No wonder we have tons of debt and destroyed Constitutions.

  20. Bob Newland 2012.01.27

    For the record, I have experience with Moser that suggests he is, indeed, a dumbass.

  21. Bob Newland 2012.01.27

    That's not to say that Nelson isn't.

  22. Rorschach 2012.01.27

    Before Rep. Nelson I don't remember SD government being such a soap opera.

    This whole thing makes me wonder how Rep. Nelson ever fared in the military with his know-it-all judgmental additude, his passive aggressiveness, his penchant for drama queenism, and his contempt for authority and the chain of command. The constant semper fi gawd bless America stuff must have gotten him through.

    The end of that letter to Rep. Lust really sets out Rep. Nelson's persona: false humility "your public servant" sandwiched between God and Country - from the testiest, least humble guy in Pierre.

  23. Donald Pay 2012.01.27

    The real issue here is the closed caucus, not who is and who isn't wearing "big boy pants." The supposed slights and snarks are part of human interaction.

  24. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Okay, the RCJ has a story up now. (See Rapid City Journal Website)


    "Nelson, however, is facing worse consequences than being barred from the caucus. House Speaker Val Rausch, R-Big Stone City, moved Nelson's seat away from other Republican lawmakers. Rausch said he's considering taking Nelson off one or more of his committees, and on Thursday Rausch refused to recognize Nelson when he wanted to speak during a floor debate.

    "The only right you have as an elected official is the right to vote on bills," Rausch said. "Everything else is a privilege. As your behavior warrants, so does your privileges."


    "In turn, Nelson accused Rausch of acting like a "dictator" and exceeding his authority.

    "Rep. Rausch does not have authority to punish any legislator," Nelson said. "In order for a legislator to be punished or censured, the full house has to investigate the charges against them."

    House rules, Nelson said, require the Speaker to call on the first member who stands up, making Rausch refusing to recognize him a violation, he said. Rausch said speaking during debates is a privilege and that he might continue to refuse to recognize Nelson unless he agrees to meet with him and discuss the issue.

    Nelson has been feuding with Republican leadership since the end of last year's Legislature. As the dispute accelerated, Nelson accused Lust, Rausch and others of impropriety and misconduct. His accusation led to an investigation by a legislative panel that dismissed the charges, though Nelson criticized that judgment as a whitewash."


    And the beat goes on...

  25. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.27

    It is entirely possible that the people of district 25 will feel that Stace has outlived his effectiveness in the state legislator because of his actions there. For every action there is in fact a reaction and Representative Nelson knew that from the start of his political career.

    He rolled the dice hoping for different results then what he got. It happens. He chose to poke the big kitty with a stick hoping that his vast knowledge of “how he thought things should be” would make him a hero and help him continue on his ways up the ladder of power.

    He forgot one thing. South Dakota doesn’t have a power structure that would resemble anything that he would have found in the military. No our power structure is more like this. When we say “for the people” what we really mean is for certain people. When we say “by the people” what we really mean is government by force to keep those in line that we don’t agree with. You know, women, environmental activist, medical marijuana promoters, and apparently now Staces own views on politics and how he thinks they should be handled.

    Forget the big boy panties Stace, go commando. There is a certain comfort in the freedom that it brings. Take it from another big man.

    Whiskey anyone? How about a beer? Bong?!

    The Blindman

  26. larry kurtz 2012.01.27

    Exactly, Bill. Ya gotta hand it to Stace, though, it sure is fun watching the SDGOP dissolving right before our eyes.

    Evidence for your comment: this came over my twitter feed today.

  27. Troy Jones 2012.01.27

    Jim Abdnor once said something to the effect:

    "My most important job is not to vote. It is to change other votes to mine."

    The point he was making is the people of South Dakota want results and not a guy sitting in his chair casting votes.

    For Senator Abdnor effectiveness was really forming coalitions and relationships quietly overtime.

    While there are other means of changing votes (e.g. speeches), in the end, effective legislating is to make your vote into two, three, ten, twenty votes.

    It appears Representatives Nelson & Russell are comfortable being a couple of votes in a body of 70. Otherwise, rather than trying to prove themselves "right" today, they'd have assumed the following Pooh quote and tried to rebuild a relationship.

    "“If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” (Winnie the Pooh)

    Instead, Representative Nelson appears to have decided to continue the fight: "If I'm gonna go down I'm gonna do it with style. You won't hear me surrender, you won't hear me confess cause you've left me with nothing but I have worked with less." (Ani DiFranco)

  28. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    "We get to choose which hill we're going to die on."

    Isn't that a Marine saying?

    And is this really the right hill, Mr. Nelson?

  29. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    Great, the Troy Jones/Bill Fleming anti-conservative show continues on in full spin-mode.

  30. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    (In ritual fashion, Sibson walks into wall, bumps head walks backward five steps, then back into wall, bumps head, then back...over, and over, and over... all afternoon. Reminds me of my days as an aide at the State Hospital. There were about four guys who used to do that for a few hours every day, just after the Thorazine wore off.)

  31. larry kurtz 2012.01.27

    (shoot him in the gluteus again and send him back in, bill; what fun!)

  32. Troy Jones 2012.01.27

    I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, "I'm going to mop the floor with your face." I said, "You'll be sorry." He said, "Oh, yeah? Why?" I said, "Well, you won't be able to get into the corners very well." (Emo Philips )

  33. Bill Fleming 2012.01.27

    Good one, Troy.

  34. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.27

    Its time to lighten up a little. After all I know how Stace feels. Been there done that. Here is something from the greatest front man / guitar player that ever lived that explains how it must feel in Pierre right now.

  35. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.27

    I've been thinking about what I should post about this all day at work.
    I live in District 25 and I know Stace. Politcally we are polar opposites. We've had some pertty good arguments on issues and even though they got a little heated I've never felt threaten from Stace. (I don't think he ever felt threaten from me lol).
    I'll give Stace the benefit of the doubt on this, but that's not what I'm worried about.
    Whether Stace is right or wrong I'm afraid our representation has been reduced. We do have Jon Hansen and Tim Rave but because of what has happened Stace will have influence on nothing.
    I'm sure Stace thinks he's right and he may very well be, but if your going to change the system you have to change the system from within it.
    Unfortunately Stace tried to change things by going in like a bull in a china shop.
    Hopefully he can change how he does things but I'm afraid its to late.
    While I disagree with Stace on just about everything, I do respect his passion. More people, no matter liberal or conservative, should have that passion and care that much.

  36. Taunia 2012.01.27

    What's your next step Stace?

    Blowing up the Capital doesn't seem to be working out so well.

    This fight has turned into being just about you, Stace Nelson, and not about being Representative Stace Nelson, who was voted into office to represent a certain group of people armed with serving their interests in the most capable way you can.

    Do you believe, after being nearly run out of the South Dakota State Capital, that you arre currently serving your constituents in the best possible way?

    I ask this with sincerity and not condescendingly, as I think if you believe you are currently serving your constituents to the best of your ability, this story is far from over.

  37. Bob Newland 2012.01.27

    Stace Nelson doesn't hold views concurrent with mine on several fairly important matters, but I am not at all sure that he is being treated in accordance with House rules.

  38. Steve Sibson 2012.01.27

    Owen, I really appreciate your comment. What I think we should keep in mind is that Stace could not represent District 25 within the current system. And neither can anyone else in the legislature. It is the special interests that are running the show. The time is now for populist Democrats, conservative Republicans, and independents to stand together and take back their government.

  39. beenthere 2012.01.27

    Most of you are missing a very important point from this story. Reps. Tornow and Hansen,two of his best friends in the legislature didn't even hear the argument even though they were on the other side of the same room.So how could Rep. Nelson have been SO loud ,scary,threatening,etc. to Rep. Moser if they didn't even notice??? The acoustics really aren't all that bad there. Obviously,there was a huge over-reaction by leadership,I would call it an excuse, to get back at Stace for his courage and outspokenness in outing their corruption. I would call the presence of lots of cops and a Rausch bodyguard nothing but a big show,and waste of taxpayers money,to try to make people think there was some danger when there really wasn't. I've been around Stace many times,and I've never felt threatened for a second.

  40. Joe 2012.01.28

    I'm probably on the opposite spectrum of the political rainbow as Rep. Nelson however I think he is noting something that I have suspected all along, that the GOP in SD tries to run their caucus like an army unit. You stay in line or you don't move up, you don't get support, etc. I don't know if its all true, but it makes me wonder.

    I will say this about Rep. Nelson, I may not agree with much or anything he stands for but I like his passion, something that not too many in Pierre have.

  41. Steve Sibson 2012.01.28

    "I’ve been around Stace many times,and I’ve never felt threatened for a second."

    And I have never heard him issue physical threats to others will discussing issues with me.

  42. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.28

    It is disturbing that a democratic body is governed by very undemocratic rules, allowing the leadership to apparently deny the voters representation in normal democratic processes without any due process.

    But if the leadership is acting unjustly, then where are the legislators with the courage to stand up against that injustice? Where are the Dems, who ought to savor taking the GOP leadership down a peg? Where are the Republicans of good conscience?

  43. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.28

    Cory you yourself know that the government legislates like that now more then ever. From the comments that Rep. Nelson has put just on this blog showing not only his disgust with those that oppose him but his outright contempt for the same is it any wonder that the dems are setting on their hands in this manner? I would bet there hasn’t been much reaching across the isle from Stace to the party on the other side.

    Remember we are only getting a small piece of what is actually going on in Pierre from those involved. Could there be more to this then has surfaced? My guess would be yes. Stace fought the boss and the boss won, but Stace refused to let it drop, now he and his district are paying a high price for his continued trouble making. Had he stopped his fight after the ruling I very much doubt that we would even be having this conversation.

    Let this be a lesson to other legislators, if you are going to start a fight make sure it is over well before the next years session starts.

    The Blindman

  44. Bill Fleming 2012.01.28

    Cory what difference does it make to us whether or not Stace gets to be part of the Republican caucus? Isn't that their business?

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.28

    The caucus is one thing. Declining to recognize a representative in floor debate is another.

    Bill D., I can't quite give in to the notion that the fight is over and that Stace needs to give up before more damage accrues to his cause and his constituents. If (if if if!) there is a there there, I'm not sure I'd give up the fight. But I would also recognize that if there is any chance of getting up off the floor and winning, I need to build a coalition. And Stace seems not to be building a coalition.

  46. larry kurtz 2012.01.28

    There is no mystery here: Rep. Nelson, Sibby, and the ALEC caucus are in bed with the sovereign citizen and anti-civil rights movements.

  47. Steve Sibson 2012.01.28

    Cory, here is an opportunity for you and I to agree. The two Bills are off base. What the Democrats are hoping is that this will divide the SDGOP and they can gain seats. They too are playing politics. When will populist Democrats, conservative Republicans, and independents come together out of concern for the broken representative government in Pierre? Cory your questions are spot on. I welcome politics being put aside and the people in the state of South Dakota then can take priority. That will not happen unless the people take action. Those of you who comment on these blogs are more active than most citizens, so I urge you to consider speaking seriously with your state representatives. And then follow up with a trip or two to Pierre.

  48. Steve Sibson 2012.01.28

    " And Stace seems not to be building a coalition."

    Cory, I agree with your point. I just want to point out that the conservatives will be bullied into not supporting Stace. That was how they got conservatives to vote for HB1230 last year. Any ideas on we can effectively overcome that obstacle?

  49. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.28

    Cory I don’t know what to say except maybe its time for divine intervention on Staces part. My only problem with that is I don’t know who he would be talking to, the GOP leadership, or someone higher up the ladder. Maybe this would help.

  50. Bill Fleming 2012.01.28

    Nice one Dithmer. Is the guy taking a leak at 1:37? If not, he sure made me want to! Mercy, mercy, mercy. I had to run to the john before I could finish typing this. Fire and water, brother.

  51. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.28

    Fleming how the hell should I know? This is Saturday and I'm renewing old friendships, old rock, and listening to electric blues. Sometimes there's just a cosmic convergence with the blog I'm trying to read.

    Now if you really want to hear something that Stace might be feeling after the next election in district 25 try

  52. Bill Fleming 2012.01.28

    Yeah, it was kind of a rhetorical question, actually, BD. A sort of inner mind/body cosmic convergence on my part, I suppose. Of course, laughing and a half pot of coffee didn't help much either.

    On the blues note, not sure Stace is capable of that much introspection. But maybe. More likely, he and Sibby might take up giving dance instructions as per this link:

  53. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.28

    I don’t want to hog the blog but I do have a question. Is 9:30AM to early in the day to begin to inebriate? I'm starting to have strange thoughts and it might be the only way to get back in the center again.

    I'm thinking Id like to have the licks of Rory Gallagher
    The fingers of Julian Sas
    And the sex drive of Bill Clinton

    Does that make me a bad person or just a man with misplaced hero worship?

    The Blindman

  54. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.28

    thats a good link Larry

  55. Bill Fleming 2012.01.28

    Bill, D. I don't drink anymore, having used up all my drink tickets early in my youth. But I did learn a few things back then and will give you my best council.

    Avoid beer and wine in the early hours.

    Instead, maybe try two shots of good cognac or irish whiskey in your coffee (no cream.)

    But the best remedy, I recall was two pulls from a half empty bottle of Gusano Rojo mescal. Even better if the second one includes the worm.

    If that doesn't center you, you'll at least be able to go back to sleep and have beautiful dreams.

  56. Bill Fleming 2012.01.28

    Sorry...mezcal, not mescal... the latter is a whole different ballgame entirely.

  57. larry kurtz 2012.01.28

    Thank you, Owen. If you'd like: take that link over to the War Toilet as ip is blocked there.

  58. larry kurtz 2012.01.28

    @bill d: wake and bake, my brother.

  59. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.28

    I'm not surprised Larry

  60. Bill Dithmer 2012.01.29

    I promise this will be my last post on this subject

    Earlier we were talking about a way to get me centered again. Having just made a fool of myself posting dumbass songs as reply's in a serious political discussion. Larry Kurtz suggested that I “wake and bake”, that wouldn’t have been the first or last time but not this time.

    Bill Fleming said "I don’t drink anymore, having used up all my drink tickets early in my youth. But I did learn a few things back then and will give you my best council. "

    Flemings suggestion was to avoid beer and wine that early in the morning.
    Sorry to disappoint but been there and done that with varying degrees of success.

    BF also mentioned Instead, maybe try two shots of good cognac or Irish whiskey in your coffee no cream. Man that would do it but there is a certain amount or risk, after all those are sipping spirits and sometimes I forget when I'm on here and tend to just go ahead and throw the damn stuff down my throat.

    Then he came up with the winner for the day. "But the best remedy, I recall was two pulls from a half empty bottle of Gusano Rojo mezcal. Even better if the second one includes the worm."

    Well I don't have any mezcal so Belinda and I headed to the deck her with a long neck and me with a glass of Crown. On our way out the door I happened to see what was on TV and wouldn't you know it was a couple of good old boys in polar suits "ice fishing"And that's when I remembered one of only three experiences that I have ever had with mezcal.

    The will be in THE CHURCH OF BILL

    It was in the early 90s and I was an ice fishing fool. I spent almost every day fishing when it was to cold to work dogs. To make maters worse I had a lot of friends that were as addicted as I was. Two of those friends were named Dave and Mike. They were from Winner but at times acted east river. They came out one weekend for one of our fishing excursions.

    We left the house before the sun came up but we only had a half mile to drive to get to the dam north of the house. The first order of business was getting set up. We unloaded the ice castle from the trailer and got it set up. Eight feet wide and sixteen long feet of warm comfort on the inside. Meanwhile it was minus 19 on the outside with an expected high of minus 10. It doesn't matter how many layers of clothes you have on when its that cold.

    Now everybody knows that when you go ice fishing you take most of the kitchen and at least half the booze that you have on hand. So while the other two were digging holes the Blindman went about cooking breakfast. A Colman stove a flat griddle, a new fangled pancake in a bottle and sausage patties. When you start the morning with "wake and bake" thank you Larry, and Black Velvet in copious amounts it doesn't take long to get in the spirit of fishing.

    We got the tip ups set on the outside and all three Vexilars going on the inside of the castle. Everyone had a couple of holes with two to spare. We had shed most of the layers in favor of the warmth of the stove and were reclining in our comfortable fishing chairs when Mike did the dumbest thing. We had finished of a pint of Velvet that had been opened sometime in the past and were nursing beers along with a never ending bottomless bowl and then he opened a big bottle CLC. We all had a small pull and he had a brain fart and dropped that damn bottle from about six inches in one of the open holes. We all stood up and watched the only thing we had other then beer disappear from sight.

    Dead silence. Then about thirty seconds later Dave said "What the f[---] Mikey"? Speaking as only one of the members of the expedition I can only say that the talk about banishing Mike from the castle were only about half serious and were tempered by the fact that he was holding the only bag and pipe.

    It wasn't long after that we all shuck hands and agreed that life wasn't over and that we still needed Mike,a, we still needed what Mike had, his herb, and then he suddenly remembered something.

    Mike was a bar tender at that time and one night after closing, the other bar tender and he decided to try a couple of different kinds of booze. One of those bottles was a bottle of mezcal. Mikey decided that the taste wasn't for him but decided to take it home for his liquor cabinet. Well it just never got to the house when he got home but instead was left in relative obscurity behind the seat of Mikeys pickup where it remained for the next six months.

    When Mike got back from the pickup he was not only allowed to come in the ice castle but also was given his old seat between the two of us.

    Let me tell you mezcal is thick when its that cold and the first couple of shots didn't go down especially well. But after it had been in the warmth of the castle for a while and held above our trusty propane stove it started to loosen up a little. More beer, more from the bottomless bowl, and more mezcal and we were definitely on our way. We were doing pretty good in the fishing department to. We had about forty fish in all, some bass, some crappie, and five real nice perch that were about a pound and a half a piece.

    It was my habit at that time when the fishing was hot to put five or six good lively wax worms in my mouth for speed in redbaiting, its hard for a blindman to see what is going on in the damn wax warm bucket so its just easier that way. Now stop making that face. As long as you don't bite they don't have any taste.

    The fishing was slowing down a little and I was in-between wax worm loads. We were down to the last couple of pulls from the mezcal jug and Mikey handed it to me. As was my custom I swirled the bottle a couple of times and then took a drink. The stuff was still pretty cold so I had learned to keep it in my mouth for a couple of seconds before I swallowed it. That's when I found the worm. It was still frozen, about three times the size of a wax worm, but other then that felt exactly the same. I rolled it around a couple of times with my tongue and did give some thought to chewing it up and swallowing it, but I didn't. Instead I put it between my cheek and gums, I don't know why, maybe for safe keeping who knows.

    We as a group were doing better all the time. The fishing was great and even if it was colder then a witches tit we had almost forgotten about the "whiskey incident".

    The colors started to seem sharper and more vivid. The vexilars were putting on a show and seemed to have a mind of their own, and I noticed that Mike and Dave were talking with a little slur in their voices. As for myself I listened to what I had to say and didn't find anything unusual in my own beautiful voice.

    I had forgotten about the mezcal worm in my mouth and had reloaded with wax worms. The fish had started the late afternoon bite, and then it happened. For some reason I thought I had one last waxy in my mouth and when I took it out it was the mezcal worm. I don't to this day know how it happened but possibly the confusion started when Dave hooked a big fish and I stuck the mezcal worm back in my mouth. I must have decided to go ahead and chew it up and before I knew it I was chewing up the mezcal worm along with five wax worms.

    For some odd reason words that were spoken to me in my youth came back to me from a far off corner of my mind. Bud Allen our next door neighbor had given me my first chew of tobacco when I was about twelve years old. "Don't spit, swallow".

    And I did.

    This was also the first time that I had sushi. Someone had given Dave a knife with a ceramic blade and that sucker was SHARP. We had those big perch and cleaned a couple up nice. Then Dave took his new toy and cut flakes off and we got some Worcestershire sause and laid them on a bed of that on a big white plate. Then we put a drop of soy sauce on each little slice of fish and set the plate out in the still below zero air for a couple of minutes. It wasn't to damn bad when you backed it with beer.

    I learned two things that day. First, if the weed is really good, and you have enough booze, and enough of that booze happens to be mezcal, you can eat almost anything.

    And two don't drop a full bottle of booze into an ice hole because it will sink.

    The Blindman

  61. Bill Fleming 2012.01.29

    Ha! Classic Dithmer. Thanks for the tale, Bill. Amen to every word, brother.

  62. beenthere 2012.01.30

    Of interesting note is that the "witness" who allegedly collaborated with Moser to bring Nelson down was none other than Nelson's seatmate Fred Romkema. (District-mate and friend of long-standing Nelson adversary and E-board chairman Chuck Turbiville). No wonder Rausch moved him : pay back to Fred for the favor.(The E in E-board must stand for "Everything goes as long as you're in leadership!)

  63. larry kurtz 2012.02.02

    Mercer has purged his blog of dissent.

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