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Hickey Rattles Sanford’s Cage-Fighting

Senator Dan Lederman (R-16/Dakota Dunes) thinks mixed martial arts is #1:

Chris 'Super Jew" Galinsky, Sen. Dan Lederman, and (separate photo) the ring girls, Sioux City, May 26, 2013. Photos by Dan Lederman.
Chris 'Super Jew" Galinsky, Sen. Dan Lederman, and (separate photo) the ring girls, Sioux City, May 26, 2013. Photos by Dan Lederman.

Yes, we love us a good night of T & A-kicking. And we love voting for legislation that expands opportunities for businesses in which we invest.

Rep. Steve Hickey (R-9/Sioux Falls) is a bit more sensitive to the lure of bloodlust and money. He led a losing fight against the Legislative effort to legitimize our most violent sport last winter. Now he speaks truth to some of the biggest money power in South Dakota that's promoting that commercialized violence: Sanford Health. Terry Vandrovec reports in Monday's paper on the business relationship between South Dakota's largest health care business and MMA league Ultimate Fighting Championship:

The ever-expanding rural provider received approval from the UFC to work with its athletes and does so regularly in terms of training and treating injuries.

Brad Reeves, an orthopedic surgeon at Sanford, was at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas when Weidman stunned Anderson Silva to win the UFC middleweight title in July. Reeves consulted with the 29-year-old Weidman in the locker room before the bout and cheered him on just beyond ringside.

The Sanford-UFC relationship began with the local agent Martin bringing some of his 26 MMA clients there, but it has expanded [Terry Vandrovec, "MMA Fights for a Bright Future in South Dakota," that Sioux Falls paper, 2013.09.09].

Rep. Rev. Hickey follows with these blessedly impolitic words:

Not everyone is thrilled about the relationship. State representative and Sioux Falls pastor Steve Hickey is the most vocal elected opponent of MMA in South Dakota. “Sanford follows the money, so this is it,” he said. “(Three-billion) dollar industry, fastest growing sport in the world” [Vandrovec, 2013.09.09].

Rep. Rev. Hickey blog-elaborates on Sanford's profit motive for promoting cage fighting:

My friends tell me this kind of thing is political suicide - to smack one of our largest employers in the state, and most generous, one that does a ton of good, etc.. Here's why…

Non-profit Sanford Health is all about multi-million dollar sports venues and high dollar corporate sponsorships. Frankly, in light of that it would be odd for Sanford not to be right in the middle of the mix in bringing high dollar cage fights to town. The possibility of bringing some huge UFC matches here to their venues, televised nationally and via pay-per-view is, how shall I say, exactly what the doctor ordered [Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey, "Sanford and MMA Cage Fighting: Money or Medicine?" Voices Carry, 2013.09.10].

Senator Lederman throws his votes and his money at a sport that glorifies violence and treats women as decoration. Representative Hickey's voting record on gals and guns is shaky, but I praise him for having the guts to call out one of the strongest financial forces in the state for putting profit above its mission of health and healing.


  1. Rorschach 2013.09.13

    Nobody can claim that Sen. Lederman lacks in business acumen. Those MMA crowds are chock-full of potential customers for Lederman Bail Bonds. But try to keep it quiet in SD what the Senator does. He doesn't want the electorate here to know what business he's in. Shhhh!

  2. Douglas Wiken 2013.09.13

    I suspect 99% of Sanford's "customers" would be much happier with lower bills and better service and a lot less Sanford money dumped down sports ratholes. Sanford employees might also appreciate more than fractional percentage wage increases instead of seeing electronic billboard ads. I don't understand why the federal regulators don't prohibit any expenditures for trash sports, etc. Money is fungible. Medicare and Medicaid are probably also helping fund this tripe.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.09.13

    No doubt, Douglas! I'll take a deal on my operation and pay full price for my own game ticket later.

    R, would the electorate respond at all negatively to that line of work?

  4. Poly43 2013.09.14

    I rarely agree with pastor Steve on anything. But in this case I do. The National Football League is currently battling the issue of concussions. This "sport" makes the NFL look like child's play. Really makes a person wonder why a health facility like Sanford could promote something like this. But then this is a state that just elected Miles Beacom to the SD Hall of Fame, so Sanford going for money over health in Sanford friendly SD is a no brainer.

  5. Kal Lis 2013.09.14

    Like Cory, I wish the good Reverend wasn't such a fan of pistoliers in schools.

    That said, he's led an attack on usury that his Republican collegues stopped cold. (As a side note, what is the interest rate on a bail bond?) He's also announced he's going to introduce legislation to end the death penalty in South Dakota. Now, as Poly43 notes, he is taking on a 3 billion dollar industry that will eventually make the concussion problem the NFL is facing look like a series of scrapped knees and elbows.

    Hickey is challenging the idea that the free market must be absolute and the death penalty. That’s more than half of the conservative agenda. Given the Tea Party's apparent desire to cannibalize all but the purest conservatives, one wonders how long it will be before Hickey becomes South Dakota's Most Hated RINO Du Jour.

  6. Rorschach 2013.09.14

    Cory, I wonder how many Willie Hortons Sen. Lederman has put out on the street. Surely the electorate would respond negatively to stories of people who committed crimes while out on a bond posted by Sen. Lederman.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.09.14

    Now that, R, would be a good story! Is who posts bond for whom a matter of public record?

  8. Roger Elgersma 2013.09.15

    If you want experience doing sports medicine, back the most violent sport so you will get more sports victims in your beds.

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