Press "Enter" to skip to content

Supercondensed Voting Guide on Ballot Measures: Yes 17, Yes 18, No Q

South Dakota Magazine continues to live dangerously, allowing me to grace its genteel online pages with my political polemics. This week I offer my Leftist voting guide for the 2014 general election.

On candidates, I offer one simple criterion: check the one-party regime in Pierre by electing qualified alternatives to Republicans wherever possible. No surprise there. I offer a few more specifics about the application of that criterion in South Dakota Magazine.

On the three ballot measures, I offer the following advice:

Initiated Measure 17, requiring health insurers to include any willing and qualified provider in their networks: Opponents have characterized IM 17 as “another mandate with more government control over health care.” However, IM 17 doesn't lay a mandate on anyone other than insurers, who have to accept any physician who meets their standards into their networks. You, Mr. and Ms. South Dakota, get more control over which doctor you see. IM 17 may save you money and a trip to Sioux Falls. Vote YES.

Initiated Measure 18, raising South Dakota's minimum wage: The labor and liberty of even the lowest-skilled worker is worth more than $7.25 an hour. Be moral, help workers pay their bills, and stimulate the economy. Vote YES.

Amendment Q, allowing roulette, keno, and craps in Deadwood: No part of a noble constitution should include the word crap. Schoolkids will giggle. Besides, I hear the high-rollers from Asia want to play baccarat. Send this amendment back to the drafters and demand an amendment giving this picayune authority to the Legislature. Vote NO [Cory Allen Heidelberger, "The Leftist's Guide to Election 2014," South Dakota Magazine, 2014.10.29].

I'm not convinced liberty hangs in the balance on Amendment Q. But the other issues and candidates on the ballot offer you real chances to improve economic security, liberty, and governmental integrity for lots of South Dakotans.


  1. Rep. Stace Nelson 2014.10.31

    Both issues were heard in the SD Legislature:

    To me, this was a private party trying to get the government to weigh in on business transactions in their favor, against the business interests of another private party, and more government intrusion into the free-market. Currently, providers who refuse to negotiate prices with insurance companies are not included on insurance companies preferred provider lists. This is a government mandate requiring a private business to do business on the terms prescribed by another private business entity. Logically, as when government normally gets involved in such things, if these providers are allowed to take away insurance companies ability to negotiate prices, and require them to pay their full prices without quantity discounts, it will increase costs to consumers.

    I am NOT a fan of gambling; however, I am for adults having the decision whether they want to gamble. My problem with gambling in SD is that the state gets a cut of the $$ taken from gamblers. Expanding gambling in SD effectively expands a tax. Just like our nation as a whole, we don't have a revenue problem, we have as problem on the priority of what we spend tax-payer $$ on.

  2. larry kurtz 2014.10.31

    Rep. Nelson, could you support a therapeutic cannabis law like Minnesota adopted?

  3. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.31

    The Rapid City Journal's endorsement include
    No on IM17
    No on IM18
    Yes on Q
    With their Sunday's endorsement of all Republicans Jackley, Noem, and Daugaard, it looks like they headed toward endorsing Mike Rounds in the next couple of days.

  4. Steve Sibson 2014.10.31

    Stace, I like your argument, but we are not playing in a free market. If we were, I would agree with you. But because the two hospitals are also Obamacare providers (correct me, there are only 3 in South Dakota), they will monopolize the healthcare market going forward. IM17 will slow it down, but not fix it.

  5. Bernie 2014.10.31

    Cory, everyone at South Dakota Magazine doesn't even necessarily agree with you on all the ballot measures - but we believe in openness, transparency and freedom of expression and we're proud to have you among our contributors online. Thanks for all you've done this election season on behalf of a more progressive future.

  6. JeniW 2014.10.31

    Stace, the State of South Dakota condones and encourages gambling. Should the state discontinue conveying the message?

    If revenue is not the problem, why are we being told that there is no enough money to expand Medicaid, repair/re-place bridges, and etc?

  7. Rep. Stace Nelson 2014.10.31

    @Larry I am NOT for a full blown California style medical marijuana law. I do believe that federally, the penalties for user marijuana possession needs to be reevaluated as I believe they are way to strict. I am for legalizing industrial hemp, and for specific circumstances the legalization of mj for medical use to include relief for terminal cancer patients.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.10.31

    Thank you and for your service, Rep. Nelson: can we expect you to advance those ideas next session?

  9. Rep. Stace Nelson 2014.10.31

    Oops! fat-fingered above "..too strict."

    @Steve Doesn't change the circumstances, my dear friend. More government involvement is never the answer. I agree with you though, the free-market is not free.

    @JeniW I do NOT think the state should be encouraging gambling. In fairness, I was against expanding Medicaid. I am honest enough to say that straightforward, and explain my reasoning; however, others look for subterfuge. SD has enough tax revenue to cover all the purposes you pay them for. Millions are directed to "economic development" (crony-capitalism) and other governmental expenses for the perpetuation thereof.

  10. Rep. Stace Nelson 2014.10.31

    @Larry I am a lame Bull elephant conservative who is out to pasture January 1st.

  11. larry kurtz 2014.10.31

    Rep. Nelson, curious that no one has sought your service to lobby the legislature: what about your future in politics?

  12. Steve Sibson 2014.10.31

    " More government involvement is never the answer."

    Ok, get rid of Medicaid, Medicare, Indian Health Services and Obamacare. Bring back the cost/benefit rule and the free market. Now that is something that would gain disagreement from both Rounds and Weiland.

  13. Steve Sibson 2014.10.31

    Stace, the pasture is where you will find the green grass everyone is looking for.

  14. Roger Cornelius 2014.10.31

    Sibson is beating the Mike Rounds drum, get rid of, get rid of, or in Rounds case Repeal Repeal

  15. Owen reitzel 2014.10.31

    Yes Steve get rid of all those and go to a free market
    The rich will have Healthcare and the poor and middleclaas I guess die

  16. mike from iowa 2014.10.31

    Sibby,you only find green grass in pastures that are managed properly,not overgrazed for the near term and them become weed patches for eternity. Kinda like your neo-econimics and everything else you espouse.

  17. mike from iowa 2014.10.31

    I am NOT a fan of gambling; however, I am for adults having the decision whether they want to gamble (Rep Nelson)

    Now exchange gambling for abortion. What say you,now?

  18. Jana 2014.10.31

    Not to mention Mercer's latest post on the EB-5 Darley settlement. Love his last lines.

    "Since then we’ve found out some things about the immigrant investor program known as EB-5 in South Dakota. But it seems we have much more to know."

    Sorry Mike could tell us, or enable others to tell us everything...but you have chosen not to.

    Just can't trust Mike with a Senate seat.

  19. owen reitzel 2014.10.31

    I'm voting for IM 17 because people should be able to choose their doctors. I don't feel its a government mandate but a right.
    My wife went through breast cancer and she loved her doctor. She had Sanford Insurance and she had to go to Sanford. After her surgery he cancer doctor was going exclusively to Avera. My wife had 2 years to find another cancer doctor. She wanted to keep her doctor but Sanford said no. She now has different insurance and she can keep her doctor.
    We got into this mess by letting Sanford and Avera get into the insurance. That's why insurance companies left South Dakota. Not Obamacare which Rounds likes to keep lying about.

  20. owen reitzel 2014.10.31

    Plus 11 other states have this and no raise in premiums

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.10.31

    Good call, Owen! If we can't come to a conclusion on the premium impact, can we all still agree that expanding your choice of doctor is a good thing?

    I do have trouble believing that either side is fighting for our economic interests. Both sides are interested in preserving and/or boosting their market share. That dynamic leads me to believe choice really is a voting issue here: Sanford/Avera want to keep us from going elsewhere, while the specialty docs want to increase our opportunity to go elsewhere.

  22. scott 2014.10.31

    Just wondering if Stace has endorsed anyone for Senate yet. If so, who? And if not, why?

  23. owen reitzel 2014.10.31

    I think he endorsed Gordon Howie

  24. jerry 2014.10.31

    The reason the insurance companies left South Dakota was because of Wild Bill Janklow. He actually had the audacity, along with his insurance division to force insurance companies to pay 80% of their take to actually pay claims. What a concept, instead of pocketing all the loot, pay the providers and hospitals. The insurance companies told Bill what he could do with his mandate and left the state with many people holding the bag. That was why there was an insurance pool here a long time ago as well. Without Wellmark, Dakotacare, Sanford and Avera, there would not have been any companies here. I am sorry that many of you do not like those two hospitals, but without them and their insurance, we would have only one or two companies here.

    I voted no on the 17 because I do not believe that the outcomes that are demanded by the insurance companies for all providers will be met with awp. I do not see the insurance companies opening the doors to anyone who cannot make the outcome demands by them, simple as that. We shall see as the Yes votes appear to be in vogue. As we have the 80% ratio still in our state, lets see how the premiums are a year from now.

    By the way, Obamacare came along and said the same thing about the 80% that Janklow said and gave to the state some years ago in the late 90's. That law has been on our books for a lot longer than most people here know. What rounds is spewing is bullshit, just like always.

  25. Steve Sibson 2014.10.31

    "I'm voting for IM 17 because people should be able to choose their doctors. I don't feel its a government mandate but a right."

    And with that right comes the responsibility to pay the doctors.

  26. leslie 2014.11.01

    no, this is not a perfect little world. people I love fall off roofs drunk and wind up in Denver with a new spine, or in mayo losing an internal organ and using chemo and radiation to survive. they are both worth keeping around for profound reasons.

    government fulfills a precious purpose and crack surgeons drive porsches and party over-night in new Orleans. can you afford your dr., your lawyer? no, didn't think so. grow up.

Comments are closed.