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Daugaard: No New Taxes? Did I Say That?

Governor Dennis Daugaard just spotted his opponents five points. Maybe ten.

In 2010, candidate Dennis Daugaard promised no new taxes:

A recession is not the time to raise taxes. I will not raise taxes as governor. I will not support any new taxes or any increases in existing taxes. I would only consider a tax increase in response to an emergency, such as the temporary gas tax increase to pay for snow removal after the blizzards of 1997 ["Dennis Daugaard on Tax Reform,", downloaded 2014.05.22, citing 2010 Gubernatorial campaign website, 2010.11.02].

In 2013, the GOP spin machine cheered Governor Daugaard promised no new taxes and meant it. Governor Daugaard's staff reaffirmed that promise:

Daugaard made a commitment during his 2010 election campaign that he wouldn’t raise taxes except for an emergency.

Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said that hasn’t changed.

...“The governor is willing to discuss the state’s transportation infrastructure needs, but he intends to keep the promise he made to the voters in 2010 that he would not raise taxes,” [spokesman Tony] Venhuizen said.

“He hasn’t even announced that he’s running for a second term. He’s been pretty firm on controlling taxes and spending and that’s unlikely to change,” Venhuizen added.

There was a final statement that perhaps summed it all up. “The governor has never said that he would change his position on taxes,” Venhuizen said [Bob Mercer, "SD Governor to Keep Fuel Tax Vow," Prairie Business Magazine, 2013.04.26].

In 2014, Governor Daugaard says he will support raising some taxes:

“South Dakota’s highway system is currently in good condition. However, the state has seen the purchasing power of the gas tax go down over time, because we tax gasoline per gallon rather than per dollar. That means that, unlike the sales tax, gas tax revenue does not go up with inflation,” Daugaard said. “I also know that many county and township officials believe that local road funding is also an issue.

“When I ran for governor four years ago, I promised that I would not support tax increases, and I have kept that promise. I want to participate in a discussion about future transportation needs, however, without taking any options off the table, including proposals to restore the purchasing power of the gas tax,” he said [Bob Mercer, "Daugaard: Willing to Consider Increasing State Highway Taxes," Aberdeen American News, 2014.05.21].

Restore the purchasing power of the gas tax—who writes this stuff? I guess that's how we Democrats need to sell our plans on Capitol Hill: We need to restore the purchasing power federal income tax among higher-income earners. Wow! That really does sound better than saying, We need to raise taxes.

Permit me an analogy. 26 years ago there was a tall, gangly Republican who had promised "No new taxes" to get elected. But then he changed his mind and said he was o.k. with some new taxes. When he ran for re-election 22 years ago, he weathered a noisy but mostly ineffective challenge from a radical conservative in the primary. But breaking the "no new taxes" pledge weakened that President politically. A cranky old Independent peeled some votes away from him, and he lost to a fiery Democrat.

Joe, Susan, have a beer. Have two. On Dennis.


  1. Bill Fleming 2014.05.22

    Nice political strategy, Cory. But just between you, me, and the fencepost, he's probably right. Good for the Gov. (And, yeah, his copywriter too. I wonder if whoever it is wants to work for a nice, laid-back West River ad agency ;-)

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.05.22

    Dang it, Bill! Now you've got me caught between strategy and practical, effective governance. Hmm... I think we need Mike Myers to switch his I from Indy to Irony and run with this slogan: "No new taxes! Potholes make South Dakota stronger!"

  3. Bill Fleming 2014.05.22

    Haha. Sorry Cory.

  4. JeniW 2014.05.22

    I listened to DD campaign ad this afternoon, among the things he said (if i understood correctly,) "...we balanced the budget without raising taxes or using special gimmicks...."

    Wait a second, didn't Rounds claim that when he left office the budget was balanced?

    When and how did the budget become not balanced?

  5. grudznick 2014.05.22

    I thought Mr. Daugaard promised to oppose taxes during his first 4 years and now is using his second 4 years to have some fee increases to jam it down hard on both the libbie fringe and the whacko fringe. That's the way I read it.

  6. larry kurtz 2014.05.22

    It will be interesting how many new GOPers will monkey wrench the gube race.

  7. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.22

    When do you think SD Republicans will ever realize that those Tax and Spend Liberals are actually Republican?

  8. Les 2014.05.22

    They all tax and spend Corny. Wasn't it the four years of Clinton's balanced budget reign that the GOP controlled the house and senate. I say they robbed SS to do so. Dems controlled W's last few years. Our own Timmy J helped give away the Glass Steagall Act and Prez Bill C put his X on that repeal.
    Tell us something that isn't BS?

  9. larry kurtz 2014.05.22

    It's W's fault, Les: want me to paint you a picture?

  10. Douglas Wiken 2014.05.22

    Les hits a couple nails on the head. Tim Johnson was predicting great things from the repeal. Dorgen from ND saw reality and nearly predicted the catastrophe that resulted.

  11. Les 2014.05.22

    When you mention Sen Dorgan, Lanny, there has been but a handful in the history of our country who can compare to his vision, wisdom and integrity. I will add, he was one of only eight not sold out to the banks who voted against the repeal of GS.
    Paint me a picture Lar. I'm always up for a little entertainment!

  12. Les 2014.05.22

    Doug, not Lanny.

  13. Roger Cornelius 2014.05.22

    My name is Roger.
    The Republican Party consistently refer to Democrats that liberals tax and spend, I believe it is carved in their souls

    What Bill Clinton did or not do is irrelevant, I'm talking about raising taxes and fees in South Dakota, where Republicans have been in control for 40 years. In those 40 years Republicans are responsible for increases in all state taxes and likely most at the local level as well.

  14. Douglas Wiken 2014.05.22

    Republicans don't tax and spend, they borrow and squander.

  15. Cranky Old Dude 2014.05.22

    "Watch my lips-no new taxes.." Watch my lips while I pick your pocket!

  16. grudznick 2014.05.22

    Mr. Gibilisco, you are one sharp fellow and that is the precisest way of saying it I have ever read.
    I would send you a pizza.

  17. Nick Nemec 2014.05.22

    It sounds as though Dennis is talking about extending the sales tax to gasoline. I've listened to GOP legislators talk about this for years. I have no idea why a sales tax on gas would be better than a set rate per gallon.

  18. MJL 2014.05.22

    It appears that Daugaard has wiped away everything he claimed to stand for in 2010. I guess he is now the etch-a-scetch Governor.

  19. Tim 2014.05.23

    Well, at least Daugaard is keeping us pure by not allowing medicare expansion. (as I grab my mouse and throw it across the room)

  20. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Cory, we can fix potholes without raising taxes. We can start by eliminating South Dakota's Dept of Ed. That way we can also increase the quality of education in South Dakota.

  21. Jenny 2014.05.23

    Sibby, are you a Catholic? You never answered my question from yesterday.

  22. Jenny 2014.05.23

    I'm waiting Sibby. The Catholics are promoting spiritual meditation and yoga for youth at Assisi Heights in Rochester MN. Explain that, Sibby. Is that evil?

  23. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    Democrats have a golden opportunity to monkey wrench the Republican primary: git er done!

  24. Jenny 2014.05.23

    Sibby, why do you think breathing and bodily posture exercises are harmful?

  25. Les 2014.05.23

    With a sales tax on gas you get to tax the road tax as in the excise tax on building materials taxes the sales tax, Nick. Just another way of taking the shell game to the taxpayers of no new taxes but hundreds of new increases on grandma and gramps fees across the board.
    I'm all for fuel taxation to help maintain our roads by the users not just the citizens on SD. Put your big boy pants on Dennis.

  26. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Jenny, I am not a Catholic. There are two types of Christians, ones who study and follow principles found in the Bible and then there are false apostate Christians. Yesterday I provided links to some research. From one of those links you will find the answer to your question regarding what is going on at Assisi Heights in Rochester MN:

    God says he alone is God, the creator, and the Gods who have not made the heavens and the earth will perish. Can any guru or mediator claim they created the universe? Isaiah 47:10 "For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, 'No one sees me'; your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; and you have said in your heart, 'I am', and there is no one else besides me." There is only one God and there is one thing we can be sure of-- we are not Him!

    Gurus tell us the problem with mankind is that man thinks he is a separate individual, we need to see the interconnectiveness of all life, all is part of God. This is called pantheism. By meditating, our life and our reality will respond to our changed thinking. Today we have similar techniques applied in the church, its called positive confession. Which is like its Occultic counterpart decreeing.

    Acceptance in Christianity Unfortunately, Eastern forms of meditation are practiced by Christians in many churches. Which has sparked a new openness by Catholics, Protestants, or Eastern Orthodox appreciation of meditation as Thousands of priests and nuns practice TM and Zen.

  27. Jenny 2014.05.23

    You still didn't answer my question about what is wrong with breathing and bodily posture practices and what Christian church do you belong to, if any.
    Tell me where it mentions breathing is wrong in the bible.

  28. Jenny 2014.05.23

    I don't believe it mentions that breathing to reduce stress is harmful anywhere in the bible!!!!!!

  29. Les 2014.05.23

    In fat u ated with Sib, Jenny?

  30. Jenny 2014.05.23

    No, not at all. I just don't care for holier than thou Christians.

  31. Les 2014.05.23

    I don't either, Jen. Sib does have points in his diatribes that deserve consideration. I don't call sib a fool by any means but, even the fool is right on occasion as is a stopped clock.

  32. Steve Sibson 2014.05.23

    Jenny, you must have missed this from yesterday:

    He refers to deceptive spirits who will impersonate a person’s guru in visions and urge disciples to commit suicide. He also mentions several people who died from yogic breathing exercises. [Read Article What Eastern Gurus Say About Occult Practices] - See more at:

  33. larry kurtz 2014.05.23

    When the bible was being written pre-Columbian mesoamericans were mapping the galaxy and Jesus went into the desert to learn from mystics many of whom were androgynous.

  34. Jenny 2014.05.23

    Is it considered a sin if you choose to not have children?

  35. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.23

    Okay, my curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on Sibson's link. O the humanity!

    It's a prime example of Paranoid Conspiracies 101.

    Good grief!

  36. Bree S. 2014.05.24

    Nothing wrong with a straight spine and good posture.

  37. Tim 2014.05.24

    Why is it bible thumpers always feel the need to shove their shit down everybody else's throats? I don't shove my shit down their throats, and I don't want theirs shoved down mine. If anybody is expecting spine from Daugaard, don't hold your breath, he's republican, they don't do that.

  38. barry freed 2014.05.24

    The text of that speech read: "Read my lips, Know new taxes".
    They raised License Plate Fees in Pierre, but not on all of us. The businessmen/lawmakers did not raise plate fees on their commercial vehicles. Another tax give-away to business as our roads fall apart. So people are doing what they do, geting rid of cars not often used. Now these businessmen will have to raise another tax to compensate. Too bad they can't leave themselves out of this one also... or maybe they plan a gas tax rebate to themselves as business owners.
    Just whom does our Representative Government represent anymore?

  39. larry kurtz 2014.05.24

    I am 800 miles away from South Dakota and sick to my stomach that anyone has registered Democrat at all in my home state. Somewhere, Bill Janklow is chortling over a Coke and a Marlboro.

  40. larry kurtz 2014.05.24

    The scariest part? If Lora Hubbel beat DD in the primary she'd win the general.

  41. Tim 2014.05.24

    Yea Larry, but republicans have it made with Daugaard, minus a real scandal he is almost a shoe in, sad to say.

  42. larry kurtz 2014.05.24

    that would be shoo-in, tim.

  43. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.05.25

    A "shoe in" is what GWB almost had, but unfortunately he ducked the footwear flung at his face.

  44. JeniW 2014.05.25

    No doubt in my mind that Daugaard will be re-elected, whether he deserves to or not. That seems to be the trend. The governorship is actually an eight year term. It is only when a governor has reached the term limit is there any chance of anyone else being elected for the position.

  45. Tim 2014.05.25

    Larry, if he bends over, he might have a shoe in. Otherwise you are right, oops.

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