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Daugaard Spins “Apology”, Still Says Voters Uninformed

Last updated on 2012.11.09

KELO actually tries to apply a little heat to Governor Dennis Daugaard for saying the voters who turned down his two (count them! two!) signature pieces of legislation Tuesday were just tired and stupid. Sensing the Facebook rage over the Governor's denialist insult, KELO interviews cranky commenter Andrew Simmons:

Andrew Simmons said while it's true some people he talked to at his polling place were unclear about the ballot issues, most people were informed.

"We take our responsibility very seriously. We wouldn't just go to the polls and randomly fill in circles," Simmons said [Ben Dunsmoor, "Voters Respond to Governor's Comments,", 2012.11.08].

Governor Daugaard, sensing his verbal misstep, pretends to apologize but continues to assume that those of us who vote against his agenda are ignorant:

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'... [Governor Dennis Daugaard, written statement to KELO, quoted by Dunsmoor, 2012.11.08].

Yes, I'm sure the Governor is sorry to have offended people... but notice that "sorry" does not entail a retraction of what he said. He continues to ply the line that there were just so gosh darn many measures on the ballot, hinting again that people just got worn out before they got to his poison legislation. He then ignores what citizen Simmons said and insists that, golly, the majority just must not have had enough information.

Pay close attention, voters: Governor Daugaard is excusing what he perceives as your fatigue and ignorance, but he's still telling himself (and the press!) that he lost Tuesday because of that fatigue and ignorance. He's telling himself that if he just makes a better marketing pitch for his bad plans, he'll get more votes next time. He ignores the legislative history of his education bill. The more time legislators had to read the bill, the less they supported it. Dennis, did you really expect any different result from the voters?

Governor Daugaard's head-in-the-sandiness sounds a lot like his fellow Republican Troy Jones's assertion that Latinos, blacks, young people, single women, and anyone else who voted for Barack Obama are really Republicans but just don't know it yet. Troy and Dennis just need to educate them so they can overcome their ignorance and vote the right way.

Are no Republicans in this state capable of living in reality?

Governor Daugaard, let me try again: South Dakota did not reject your corporate welfare slush fund and education reform plan because they lacked information. When I circulated petitions last spring to refer your education plan, lots of signers knew exactly what I was talking about. They read your bills, they read my blog and others, and they recognized that your proposals were bad proposals.

Let's not play stupid, Dennis. South Dakota's voters killed Referred Law 14 and Referred Law 16 for good reasons. Now give up, move on, and look for different policies that will actually do South Dakota some good.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.11.08

    Anyone else wondering how PP knows intimate details only available on SOS servers?

  2. JoeBoo 2012.11.08

    I sometimes wonder just how dumb some South Dakota voters are. Its like its a crime to vote democratic but then they bitch about what the state does. It is almost as if many do not understand how the state government works. Well whatever, I use to think I could help change it, now I understand that I cannot and really don't care anymore

  3. grudznick 2012.11.08

    Mr. Larry, I read a book back a while and they talked about leaving screen doors in computers so after you were fired you could get back inside them. This book was about screen doors in computers in the 1970s but why couldn't computers 40 years later have them?

  4. Justin 2012.11.08

    As if we needed anymore evidence that Governor Daugaard disrespects every majority opinion of our voters that his donors disagree with.

  5. Candoryote 2012.11.08

    C'mon Corey, even you can't believe the Governor lost on Tuesday. If you ask most South Dakotans 'what has Gov. Daugaard done in office?' they would say 'he cut government spending and balanced the budget.' The tax increase went down and the balanced budget amendment passed.

    Also, the voters bucked national trends and huge Republican majorities back to Pierre.

    Tuesday was a win for the Governor and a confirmation in their trust in the GOP to prudently manage.

    On RL14, BJ said that he put it on the ballot to be a good issue for his legislative candidates to run on. How did that work for you guys?

  6. Jeremiah Corbin 2012.11.08

    I have a hard time accepting an apology that is qualified with "if you were offended"

    If you're going to apologize, apologize.

  7. hmr59 2012.11.08

    Uh, huh - straight out of the Politician's handbook chapter on "Non-apology Apologies". Well, it's not like we expected anything different now, did we?

    Think the next two year are going to prove interesting for the SDGOP. With the passing of Bill Janklow, there is a leadership vacuum developing. One would say that Thune is the easy call, but, much like Daschle and the Dems, I believe his focus will remain on D.C. Then comes Noem (yeahhh, OK), Daugaard (still trying to remove foot from mouth), Rounds (and just who was responsible for the budget mess Denny D. had to clean up, Mike??), and, sitting right in the Governor's own circle of advisors, Dusty Johnson (who has VERY high ambitions). Somebody is going to have to step up while others swallow some pride - could be entertaining. Then again, as Dennis Miller used to say, "That's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.08

    Oh yes, I can believe it. Have we met? (Don't call me my name unless I know yours.)

  9. Jana 2012.11.08

    Candoryote, I'd love to see your research on what South Dakotans would say about what Governor Daugaard has done.

    Wasn't he the guy that told us when he was running for governor that there wasn't a budget crisis and then upon winning proceeded to create a budget crisis for everyone but himself, family and political friends?

    Then to add to the irony, he accepted taxpayer money from the Blue States to balance the budget mismanagement of his predecessor/partner.

    Mind you, this was a budget crisis created by the party in power where he was the #2 guy.

    Sometimes when I hear the Republicans in Pierre brag about balancing the budget, I'm reminded of the guy that sets a fire and then brags about being the first on the scene to put out that same fire.

    Candoryote, the Governor even said it himself that he was disappointed his ballot measures weren't approved by "uninformed and lazy voters" can you possibly interpret that as a win?

    Please proceed...

  10. JoeBoo 2012.11.08

    It'll be interesting to see if Herseth gets back into the game, her former Chief of Staff ran the best Senate campaign of the cycle up in North Dakota, and I've heard she wants to run again, but I've heard conflicting reports of what for and when. I've heard she wants to be Governor but many want her to run for Senate. I get the impression if Senator Johnson's son wants to run for his Senate seat Democrats will support him fully. Many would advise against running against Daugaard but I don't know, his 2 big things went down in flames and it'll be interesting to see what happens with this coming Legislature. Also will be interesting if he gets a primary challenge.

  11. Jana 2012.11.09

    Candoryote, there is a part of me that sadly agrees with your statement -

    "Also, the voters bucked national trends and huge Republican majorities back to Pierre."

    But that sadness is couched in my thinking that South Dakota Republicans just might have elected Akins and Mourdock...

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.09

    Daugaard has money and a big network. He will be tough to beat. But Democrats must not be afraid to run their best person against him. But we also have a Senate seat to keep, and that's a big deal too. We need Stephanie and we need one other big kahuna. Show me that other kahuna, and I can tell you which one ought to run for which seat.

    But we need to find bodies and not play it safe. We need happy warriors. We need folks who can beat the crap out of Dennis for the insult above and his insular bad, insular policymaking and who can do it with a big infectious smile on their faces.

  13. larry kurtz 2012.11.09

    The SDGOP has splintered into at least three factions.

  14. G-Man 2012.11.09

    Cory, maybe you should run against Governor Daugaard in 2014!

  15. G-Man 2012.11.09

    Larry is correct! The SDGOP is fractured and weak right now at the same time the partisan scandal continues to circle Secretary of State Gant's office and then Governor Daugaard insults the voters of the state with his comments. The Democrats would be very wise to begin fielding some strong candidates for 2014. They don't have much time and this is the time, especially if Governor Daugaard goes ahead and tries to fight the will of the voters with a new bill in the next legislature. Democrats: NOW IS THE TIME.

  16. Jenny 2012.11.09

    Both Cory and Jana should consider running for the legislature in their respective districts. SD needs smart common sense democrats, desperately! Have any of you ever considered it? Corey you have a start on the name recognition already.

  17. G-Man 2012.11.09

    Jenny is right. A run for the legislature would be a great fit for Cory and I believe he could win based on his command of the facts.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.09

    Thanks for the compliments, folks! I feel sheepish every time I tell Dems to get up and run and then don't do so myself. My peripatetic job status has me in political commitment limbo for a bit. If we can get settled again (likely after Erin finishes seminary), I'll see what I can do. In the mean time, I will shout for anyone else willing to do the job right!

    Larry, what's the third faction?

    I agree with Larry and G's assessment: 2014 is a heck of a time to run. 2012 was an excellent time, and we could have capitalized on it more by filling more ballot slots and hitting the referendum synergy harder. 2014, we get to hold Gant's and Daugaard's feet to the fire and remind voters of four years of ineptitude and arrogance.

  19. larry kurtz 2012.11.09

    The Rounds/Lederman faction has marginalized DD and the wacko faction is led by Stace Nelson.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.11.09

    Good grief: those three need to throw down and fight so we Dems can play the Rounds of 2014 and squeak through as the nice guy in the middle.

  21. larry kurtz 2012.11.10

    Cory, I went to bed thinking that Larry Piersol should run for governor next cycle.

  22. larry kurtz 2012.11.10

    On another note: why any Democrat would want to live in Pierre completely escapes me.

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