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Sioux Falls Paper Endorses Haggar over Haggar — Pass the Potatoes, Dear

Last updated on 2012.12.03

Anyone trying to make sense of the political endorsements offered by that Sioux Falls paper should stop now. The only thing I can make out is that Randall Beck and his fellow Argusnauts are just trying to start fights. Earlier this week they endorsed good Democrat Paula Hawks for District 9 House, but also endorsed conservative Christian pastor Steve Hickey over more moderate Main Street Republican Bob Deelstra to join her in Pierre.

Now Beck et al. make try to start a dinner-table fight across the county on Sioux Falls' other frosty flank. For District 10 House, that Sioux Falls paper endorses Democratic Brandon city alderwoman Jo Hausman. It dumps incumbent Republican Rep. Jenna Haggar in favor of her Republican ticket-mate Don Haggar... her dad. With whom she still lives.

Haggar, a Republican, is running with his daughter, Jenna Haggar, an incumbent. We think he has the stronger ideas. A fiscal conservative, he doesn't favor increasing taxes and said the state should be cautious and not increase spending. He supports HB 1234 about education reform, which has been referred to a public vote as Referred Law 16 [editorial, "Legislative Endorsements: Our Picks for Districts 10, 11, and 12," that Sioux Falls paper, October 23, 2012].

That's got to be an awkward dinner conversation. Watch out, Don: Jenna may finally kick you out and make you get a place of your own!

But consider the strange selective logic of that Sioux Falls paper's pick of Haggar over Haggar in the context of its endorsement of oh-so-airbrushed District 10 GOP Senator Shantel Krebs over Dem challenger Paul A. Thompson:

Sen. Shantel Krebs is a strong lawmaker who understands what is important to South Dakota and how the legislative process works. She has earned her way onto important committees, become an authority on complicated issues and, most importantly, has worked hard in Pierre. She's an obvious choice in getting the re-election nod [that Sioux Falls paper, October 23, 2012].

Wait a minute. Beck and company pick Krebs, an experienced legislator, over Thompson, a newcomer to state-level politics but a reasonable dude who recognizes Referred Laws 14 and 16, the Daugaardian junk for which Krebs voted, as bad policy for South Dakota. They cite her "important committees" (Ag/Nat. Resources, Health/Human Services, and Transportation) and "hard work" in Pierre.

Rep. Jenna Haggar is also an experienced legislator. She's been in Pierre for two years of "hard work." She's on the Education and Health/Human Services committees. She voted aye on HB 1234. She's a fiscal conservative. She must have strong ideas, or else District 6 transplant and William-Buckley-in-training Isaac Latterell wouldn't be caught dead dating her or conducting incense-shop stings, would he? Heck, she's even pretty (prettier than her dad, at least), just like Shantel, so Beck can't be bewitched. What gives?

Is that Sioux Falls paper just trying to split the conservative Christian right with a family feud? Or does this endorsement simply signal that Haggar père knows his stuff and Haggar fille... not so much? And if that's the case, Jenna, what the heck were you doing in Pierre for the last couple years?


  1. grudznick 2012.10.26

    This young Mr. Laterall might want to think about asking her daddy for permission in the right way or that room at the Pierre Hilton is going to get real crowded and surly this winter.

  2. Justin 2012.10.26

    They are so last century they think somebody cares, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

    You know the Noem endorsement is coming. Or has it happened? I don't care.

  3. grudznick 2012.10.26

    Mr. Justin, these young people should not live together until they are married. By a justice of the peace, or notary, and Mr. Gant has certified it. This is our law.

  4. Justin 2012.10.26

    My sympathies to you family, Dr. Nash.

  5. mike 2012.10.26

    If the Argus endorses Noem it will be simple. Varilek hasn't given them a reason to vote for him just reasons to vote against Noem.

    If I was choosing at the Argus I would leave it blank. That would send a strong message to voters about Noem not doing her job.

  6. mike 2012.10.26

    Newspapers like to go back and forth on choices. One Dem and one Republican.

  7. Justin 2012.10.26

    ... and each that do declare their disqualification from being discussed with integrity. Journalism isn't supposed to be entertainment, in my opinion. Anything that qualifies as such isn't journalism.

    You do have me channeling Brewster's Millions, though.

    If that Sioux Falls newspaper endorses Noem it will be because they think that will make them more money. If that is their goal, they won't make an endorsement, imho.

  8. Rorschach 2012.10.27

    In 2010 Jenna Haggar showed she is the master of the last minute attack postcard. Somebody ought to run one asking voters if they really want someone representing them in the South Dakota legislature who still lives in her parents' basement.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.10.27

    Mike, Varilek has given at least as much reason to vote for him as Noem did in 2010. Varilek has experience as a Congressional staffer working on economic development. He's done more to help businesses and communities in this state in his work as Senator Johnson's economic specialist than Noem did as a state legislator. He has shown his ability to articulate coherent positions on federal policy. He's shown us the failure of Rep. Noem to do her duty. He also lies less and takes his work more seriously and selflessly. How much more reason does one need to endorse Varilek?

  10. Testor15 2012.10.27

    As a person who has been in business for over 30 years I see no reason to vote for a "business person" over a policy maker just because they have had a "business". I don't care. What special mystical quality does a businessperson have over someone who actually can think, reason, read, write and make decisions. We do not need an ideologue who can only regurgitate talking points given out by ALEC and wealthy supporters.

  11. what4 2012.10.27

    I have multiple(4) businesses in Sioux Falls and am bothered to the core with the thought of anyone getting away with being dishonest and down right telling lies to our lawmakers in Pierre.

  12. Kelsey 2012.10.27

    I feel like the the Argus is just trying a little too hard to be 'fair and balanced.' Or their endorsements are being picked by a schizophrenic.

  13. Steve Sibson 2012.10.29

    "also endorsed conservative Christian pastor Steve Hickey"

    Cory, research shows his theology is as liberal as the New Age theology you push, but don't believe in. And that reserch includes his own writings, not just google search. Hope to do a post once the research has been gone through.

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