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Daugaard in Denial, Calls South Dakotans Stupid and Tired

South Dakotans spanked Governor Dennis Daugaard hard at the polls Tuesday, overturning two of his signature pieces of legislation with resounding No votes on Referred Laws 14 and 16.

Predictably, Governor Daugaard denies that any such thing happened. He says South Dakota voters who disagree with him are just tired and stupid:

"I think it showed a little voter fatigue on the ballot when you have that many measures, some with great complexity. It's bound to happen," Daugaard said.

Daugaard believes the ballots were long and the issues too complex so by the time voters got to the back side of the ballot, they were in a hurry and the mood to vote "no."

"The voters don't have time to dig into and understand the facts that bare upon an informed decision and so when voters don't have that time then most are included to say, 'well, I don't have time to dig into this and so I'm going to vote no,'" Daugaard said [Peggy Moyer, "Daugaard Reacts to Defeated Ballot Measures,", 2012.11.07].

Daugaard contends the "take-away" from Tuesday's results is that we need more "straightforward, easy-to-read" (Moyer's words) ballot language. Considering that language was written by his own Attorney General, he should take that conversation down the hall at the Capitol.

The Governor's insult to South Dakota voters is obvious. Check the comments following Moyer's story:

Mr. Daugaard must be spending too much time underestimating the people of South Dakota. We are not uninformed. We are very much informed which is why we voted no. Maybe it is the governor who is uninformed about the needs and wants of the people of South Dakota. It is disrespectful of you to blame fatigued, uniformed voters for voting no to your initiatives [Susan Bartscher].

What a joke. I can't wait until the people of South Dakota have the chance to vote Do(no good) out of office because of being "fatigued" of him. He is making it sound like South Dakota voters do not know how to read ballots or understand how education works. Does he think people just bubbled them in to get done with the voting process. His comments in this article make about as much sense as his ideas on how to "reward" educators in our state [Mike Howard].

Another slap in the face. What a rude man! [Katie Abraham]

South Dakotans declared the Governor's policies on education and corporate welfare unaccceptable. Yet in his obtuse arrogance, Governor Daugaard dismisses the popular anti-mandate and promises (as I've heard Senator Deb Peters and others in the media promising) to bring back the education law we just rejected as separate pieces of legislation. That's really just a trick to impose his agenda in a way that will be harder for citizens to refer to a public vote.

South Dakotans, when your make your voice heard loud and clear at the ballot box, Governor Dennis Daugaard thinks you're just tired and stupid. He ignores your voice and carries on making the rules he wants. Remember that when he asks you to come to the ballot box for him in 2014. Send him a message he won't be able to ignore: vote to show that you're tired of his stupid.


  1. Dougal 2012.11.08

    Daugaard got his head handed back to him. His response to the people's will is to deny they knew what they voted on. So does that also apply to the legitimacy of his election in 2010?

    This man is just plain dumb or a really bad liar.

  2. Roger Elgersma 2012.11.08

    Many people stood patiently in line for that vote. I will not believe that they lost patience once they got their chance to make their point.

  3. Brad Hakeman 2012.11.08

    I really hope voters are reminded of his quote when he's running for re-election. I had no problem understanding the issues on the ballot and I was glad that I opportunity to make my vote count.

  4. Steve Sibson 2012.11.08

    "Yet in his obtuse arrogance, Governor Daugaard dismisses the popular anti-mandate and promises (as I've heard Senator Deb Peters and others in the media promising) to bring back the education law we just rejected as separate pieces of legislation. "

    Cory, they don't need legislation, they have given rule making authority over to Daugaard's Department of Education via SB25. That implement's Obama's NCLB waiver. When Democrats understand that their leadership is misleading them and then understand that limited government conservatives have the discernment and the solutions, then maybe things will change for the better. Until then, the government grows with borrowed money from stolen from future generations regardless of which party is in control.

  5. larry kurtz 2012.11.08

    Failure of SDDENR forces EPA to gear up for assault on chemical toilet.

  6. Stace Nelson 2012.11.08

    Wow. I cannot believe he said that.

    I think nothing could be further from the truth. I received dozens of calls asking me about the measures, for weeks before the election. Questions about each one was asked during debates and on radio interviews. South Dakotans were clearly engaged on the initiated measure and referred laws.

  7. Kara 2012.11.08

    The Governor can be assured, I did not have "voter fatigue", I knew my ballot and my decisions well...what I do have is "governor trying to shove unpopular legislation down my throat fatigue", thank you very much.

  8. hmr59 2012.11.08

    Hmmm, let's see:

    RL 14 - voted down by 50,000+
    RL 16 - voted down by 120,000+

    Governor, I think what South Dakotans are tired of are half-baked ideas and carelessly researched notions masquerading as legitimate legislation. What say you stick to weighty topics like "official state kuchen flavor" til 2014 and then you can try again...

  9. Barry Smith 2012.11.08

    Good thing we didn't have a ballot here like they had in Florida. I think that just the language on one of the initiatives was longer than our whole ballot. Imagine if we had though, there would not have been enough hospital space for all the folks whose heads would have exploded or fallen into comas from exhaustion while they were in the booth. What an insult.

  10. Donald Pay 2012.11.08

    Not surprising. Not even original, which indicates how "fatigued" Daugaard must be to crib the tired ideas of past Governors and Legislators who got spanked badly by the voters. It's the typical response of the elite class in South Dakota, when they don't get their way. Expect another round of bills to reign in the Initiative and Referendum from the elite, and expect them to try to make some sort of end run around the public's sentiment. The elite doesn't quit, and so the people must not either.

  11. larry kurtz 2012.11.08

    Senator Adelstein, please: save our beloved state before it is completely broken.

  12. Erika 2012.11.08

    So...once again, our votes say "no" but our eyes say "yes"?

  13. Steve Sibson 2012.11.08

    "I think what South Dakotans are tired of are half-baked ideas"

    They are not half-baked ideas, they are centrally planned at the very top. But don't tell too many people, this is suppose to be a secret.

  14. JoeBoo 2012.11.08

    I'd buy his argument if they are close, I've always said with educated voters you have to get the Yes or approve by a 5%+ margin to factor in those who like the Governor said either are in a hurry or don't care and vote NO. However neither were very close, and 16 wasn't even in the same ball park.

    I think all what that shows is how much power the Governors office has over the legislature. Very few legislators agreed with the philosophy behind HB 1234 but they voted for it because the governor told them to do so.

  15. Owen Reitzel 2012.11.08

    hopefully the people of South Dakota will remember this when it comes time for his re-election.

  16. G-Man 2012.11.08

    You should see the backlash of comments on KELOLAND's website. They just keep growing and growing and growing. Make sure you tweet this story and keep it on Twitter for as long as it keeps growing ;)

  17. Brad Hakeman 2012.11.08

    The Governor's "apology" makes me laugh. His line saying "when they feel their questions haven't been answered, they make the sensible decision to vote 'no,'" made me cringe. I WAS informed, I stepped into the booth with no questions and voted exactly how I intended. "16" was not right for our schools, our teachers, or our kids.

  18. Jana 2012.11.08

    The latest from the Governor. Gosh you can hardly see his son-in-laws lips move. Heck, they did such a good job you can hardly see Dusty Johnson's hand up "somewhere" making the governor almost seem animated and human.

    Here's his walk back that seems totally divorced from his first and honest thoughts. You know...your basic non-apology apology.

    From KELOLAND:

    We reached out to the governor's office for further comment and the governor himself personally sent us a statement apologizing for the comments.

    "I'm sorry if I offended anyone with what I said. I have great respect for the voters, and I appreciate the time they take to study and understand the ballot measures, especially in a year when there are so many of them. The voters have a healthy skepticism, and when they feel their questions haven't been answered, they make the sensible decision to vote 'no,'" Daugaard wrote.

    This is important.

    The fact that his staff of family wants to walk those comments back without saying "I was wrong" shows an even deeper disrespect for the people of South Dakota.

    Anyone care to dissect that crap, line by line, and point out how totally different his new line is compared to his initial honest answers.

    I hate it when people offer the non-apology apology opener of "I'm sorry if I offended anyone..."

    Let me translate that for everyone. That means they said nothing wrong and it is only your inadequacy of understanding him that is at fault. In essence, he's calling us stupid and slow once again.

    Read Paul Krugman on his description of the Republican lust for power here and see if you can find a fit for the Governor in his column.

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.08

    Brad, Owen, friends, we are the memory. We must remind voters in 2014 of Daugaard's comments about them in 2012. We must sustain this story and tell it hard when he comes asking for our votes.

    And Stace, congratulations. More than just Mom-and-pop Republicans will be counting on you to check the GOP leadership's arrogant disregard for the popular will.

  20. G-Man 2012.11.09

    ...And do not forget that the Governor's comments were merely the "straw that broke the camel's back." Do NOT forget, come 2014, when the Secretary of State refused to print the opposition on the voter's guide to the Governor's proposals until the Attorney General stepped in to force him to. Don't forget the partisan campaign crap going on inside the Secretary of State's Office. I know you all see a pattern here and YES, it is connected. I believe the Governor's comments are just one more symptom of a huge ongoing problem in Pierre.

  21. G-Man 2012.11.09

    Fortunately, in Oregon, we voted to retain our honorable Secretary of State, Kate Brown. She has done a great job in keeping elections fair and honest here and she knows THAT is her primary responsibility as the Cheif Elections Officer for the state of Oregon. I do not believe Jason Gant has taken that responsibility in good faith or as serious as he should and his actions over his first decision not to print both sides in the election guide are one of many reasons I do not trust him. In Oregon, all of the major newspapers endorsed Kate Brown's opponent, Knute Buehler who wanted to turn the Oregon SOS office into what he called a "Jobs Office." I smelled a fish here after my experience of living in South Dakota and I'm breathing a sigh of relief that the voters here did not make the mistake of listening to the newspapers and voted to retain Kate Brown who has a reputation for cracking down with her audits. That is the kind of Secretary of State you need in South Dakota;)

  22. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.09

    Good job, Oregon! And hey, I think I've heard that silliness from Gant about using the Secretary of State's office as some sort of economic-development platform.

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