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Stace Nelson Offers Contract with South Dakota, Challenges Other Candidates to Sign

Last updated on 2014.02.07

Rep. Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) spoke mostly extemporaneously at his Senate campaign announcement in Alexandria yesterday. He returned to the podium to read from prepared text only toward the end of his speech. That prepared text was his "Contract with South Dakota," a fourteen-point platform of policy positions he swears to uphold and challenges all other candidates to sign. Here are the enumerated points to which candidate Nelson signed his name in front of over a hundred witnesses yesterday (and to which I interpolate my commentary in italics):

  1. Support only legislation that is contitutionally sound and which equally applies to all Americans, to include Congress.(Stace must thus support repealing the Hatch Act and allowing Congressional staff to engage in partisan campaign activity just like all other Americans.)
  2. Oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.(This is the Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge, verbatim.)
  3. Support the reduction of the income tax; review and reduction of other federal taxes, limit or reduce government spending; and, support the rest of the South Dakota Republican Party Platform.(Nelson reformulates here his RINO charge that he's the truest Republican. Team Rounds is ready to throw accusations of anti-platform activity back at him.)
  4. Except when related to a congressional authorization of force, I will consider all spending open for reduction and vote only for budgets that present a path to balance; and, vote against any appropriations bill that increases total spending and against the authorization or funding of new programs without offsetting cuts in other programs.

    (A federal government that never grows? Not one penny more for the Army or highways unless we systematically gut everything else the federal government does? How many of you have declared a permanent freeze to your household budget?)
  5. Support only nominations to the Supreme Court, and U.S. federal benches, judges [sic] who are committed to restraint and applying the original meaning of the Constitution, not legislating from the bench.(I assume this pledge excepts the original meaning of Negroes as three-fifths human.)


  6. Oppose any further "stimulus" spending or bailouts.(Nelson thus advocates letting recessions plunge unchecked into depressions. By opposing bailouts, does he also propose ending crop insurance and FEMA assistance?)


  7. Support the repeal of the federal death tax.(Yes, let's keep concentrating wealth, because the Founding Fathers thought... oh, wait.)


  8. Oppose any amnesty for illegal aliens; actively work to require the securing of our borders; and, support measures which prohibit employers from knowingly hiring illegal aliens.(Stop imagining your biggest problem is "the other": get-tough policies like securing the border made illegal immigration long-term and more widespread... but under President Obama, "net inflow of new undocumented immigrants arriving from Mexico has fallen to zero.")


  9. Support the full repeal of Obamacare (also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act); and, I will oppose any bill or budget resolution that provides funding to implement or enforce any part of it.(Stace, like everyone else on the GOP ticket, wants to make thousands of South Dakotans pay more for health insurance or lose their coverage altogether.)


  10. Support pro-life legislation to permanently end all taxpayer funding of abortion in all domestic and international spending programs, and defund Planned Parenthood and all other contractors and recipients of federal funds with affiliates that perform or fund abortions.(Rick Weiland, you'd better have something better to offer South Dakota's and the world's women. Republicans like Stace are determined to reduce women's access to vital health services.)


  11. Oppose any efforts to seize, or require registration of, Americans' firearms or any other efforts to subvert or limit Americans' Constitutional Second Amendment rights; and, I will actively support national concealed carry reciprocity, as well as other legislation that ensures Americans' Second Amendment rights.(Sloppy wording: if an armed American commits a crime, this text commits Stace to telling the cops not to take the criminal's gun. And citizens toting guns will not solve health care costs, unemployment, poverty, pollution, or any of the other top 100 serious policy problems facing this country.)


  12. Support legislation of drug testing for anyone receiving public assistance.(This had better apply to crop insurance, FEMA grants, corporate tax breaks, and grants for local water systems. When the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System finally gets built, everyone in Madison will have to pee in a cup, right?)


  13. Honor my oath to support the Constitution of the State of South Dakota, to include Article III § 32 "Term limitations for United States congressmen.. no person may be elected to more than two consecutive terms in the United States senate or more than six consecutive terms in the United States house of representatives"; and, support legislation to enact those term limits nationally, to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.(That portion of the South Dakota Constitution is itself unconstitutional. The best term limits are elections.)


  14. Care for our veterans and for their widows and orphans, by working with the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Fleet Reserve Association, Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, Purple Heart Association, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and other service groups, to identify and support legislation that removes employment barriers, and ensures our nation is fulfilling our obligations to those of us who have borne the costs of freedom.(I recognize the moral imperative of compensating veterans fairly for their service to the country. Now how about a comparable pledge to moms and dads, to teachers, to police, to assembly-line workers, to librarians and reporters, to judges and lawyers, and to everybody else who performs duties crucial to the maintenance of democracy?)

We can admire the Contract with South Dakota for making clear the major policy priorities of candidate Stace Nelson. No other current Senate candidate has made clearer from launch what he or she stands for.

But Nelson's contract also makes clear that we Democrats have to work very hard to prevent the Republicans from sending to Washington another regressive conservative who will work against sensible fiscal policy and equality for women and the working class.


  1. Owen Reitzel 2013.08.19

    I will give Stace credit for what he wants to do to a point on his Contract on South Dakota. He still has to say what he wants to cut and how he plans to replace the Affordable Healthcare Act.
    What we don't need is another conservative that will continue gridlock in Washington.

  2. Rick 2013.08.19

    Stace will find out if there really is a true Republican Party, for which he presents himself as the truest Republican in the primary. Get ready for a rude surprise, Stace. They really are a bunch of phonies.

    Perhaps Stace can chase his primary opponents with a copy of the 2012 GOP state platform to see if they'll sign that. Or maybe Stace can cut the gimmicks and get back to the one, two, three reasons why he's the only one in this race with a record of bucking the GOP leadership to cut their fat, recklessly-spending budgets.

    He's making this a lot harder than it needs to be.

  3. Jerry 2013.08.19

    He has made his declarations very clear and they are doozies. I will tell him and the other clowns in the car that they are gonna be in for a big shock in the days ahead, Obamacare is gonna work! I know I know, this is not only about Nelson's stance on that issue, but republicans stance on the rest of that as well. Their platform is nothing. They stand for everything that is against the well being of ordinary Americans by putting in more regulations and more barriers to capitalism and the rights of women. You can clearly see of their hatred and fear of women by trying to control their bodies. Mr. Nelson and the rest are not anti-government or for small government, they are for a large government that crushes small business and competition. What is really cool about these bullet points is that they are all misfires and blanks.

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