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HB 1176 Would Repeal “Daschle Rule,” Let Thune Run for Senate and President

Last updated on 2015.02.02

Jonathan Ellis catches another example of South Dakota Republicans' use and abuse of state statute to serve their partisan purposes instead of the public welfare. In 2002, Republicans passed a law that forbade individuals running for President or Vice-President to simultaneously run for any other elected office. The target was Tom Daschle: Republicans didn't want him to be able to run for President and Senate in 2004. (Worth noting: Dennis Daugaard voted against the measure in the Senate.)

What's good for the Democratic goose is terrible for the Republican gander. With a Senate seat to hold and long-shot Presidential aspirations to entertain, South Dakota Republicans want to keep the door open for their man John Thune. House Bill 1176 would repeal the 2002 act and let Thune two-time the voters in 2016.

I should be against this cynical political ploy. Running for two offices at once is an abhorrent practice, so abhorrent in the eyes of HB 1176's sponsors that they leave the restriction on double-running in place for any candidates not running for President. Candidates should be held to a standard of, "If elected, I will serve, period," not "I will serve unless...." Allowing candidates to run for multiple offices undermines democracy by guaranteeing that an office will by filled by gubernatorial appointment rather than by the direct will of the people. Senator Corey Brown (R-23/Gettysburg) finds appointment instead of popular choice sufficiently abhorrent to amend legislation to outlaw placeholder candidates, yet here Senator Brown is co-sponsoring HB 1176 to allow Senator Thune to serve essentially as a placeholder on next year's U.S. Senate ballot if he chooses to run for President.

HB 1176 would give John Thune an opportunity that Republicans denied the Democrat he replaced in 2004. I'd call it hypocrisy, but it's not: House Bill 1176 is another expression to the South Dakota Republican Party's consistent commitment to power and partisan interest over principle and the general welfare.

Update 2015.02.02 06:33 CST: Veteran reporter and columnist Tom Lawrence saw this SDGOP ploy coming a couple weeks ago.


  1. Nick Nemec 2015.02.01

    You can't expect logical consistency from politicians whose only goal in life is to be political hacks. Just ask them, I'm sure they have talking points.

  2. mike from iowa 2015.02.01

    Now that their ox could be gored,wingnuts have found evolution.

  3. Tim 2015.02.01

    When my republican friends bitch to me about shit like this I scream at them, you people are the ones that keep freaking electing them, what the hell do you expect? Isn't single party rule grand?

  4. larry kurtz 2015.02.01

    The most ridiculous part of SDGOP doing this is that they seem to believe Thune is electable or could even be vetted as a veep candidate.

  5. Don Coyote 2015.02.01

    Meh. Pretty toothless rule to begin with. South Dakota law only covers South Dakota ballots. If Daschle had really wanted to run for President he could have easily side-stepped this silly prohibition by not running for President on the South Dakota ballot. What's the loss of 3 electoral votes anyway? Most likely he would have failed to carry his home state a la McGovern in '72.

    And before all the Libs get their faux outrage panties in a knot, consider that Democrat candidates in the past have run for two offices at once; LBJ, Lloyd Bentsen and Joe Lieberman.

  6. Les 2015.02.01

    More than likely you are alienating pubs who have been voting with you on many instances, Tim. A positive reason this pub wouldn't consider Wieland when our party had no one considerable. Keep at it, Tim. Kind of like, all you RC racists?

  7. Les 2015.02.01

    Weiland..sorry fans.

  8. Owen 2015.02.01

    Just proves these Republicans are hypocrites

  9. Tim 2015.02.01

    Les, is that a personal attack? Or you just don't like it when your republican heros do something so blatantly obvious you can't defend them? Call me a racist to my face you fucking asshole.

  10. Les 2015.02.01

    Obviously RC has an anger issue as well.

  11. Tim 2015.02.01

    You have no clue, on many levels.

  12. mike from iowa 2015.02.01

    Thune could step down,be temporarily replaced by a wingnut and then when he gets roundly defeated for the nomination,reclaim his old senate job. It isn't like losing Thune will cost South Dakota anything except dirty baggage. He hasn't done anything for you guys as near as I can tyell.

  13. Les 2015.02.01

    It appears that way, Tim. Somehow I am supposed to understand how it is different for you to label me with a group of pubs than for me to label you with a group of RC's. Can't have it both ways, Tim. At least not outside of your own little world. If you had any reading comprehension, you would note I didn't call you racist. It was a question, denoted by the question mark! Am I also to understand you wish to physically harm me to prove a point?

  14. Tim 2015.02.01

    Mike, our whole congressional delegation is nothing more than a corporate rubber stamp, I find it annoying that the state legislative corporate rubber stamps keep changing the rules to suit their own political needs. Voters in this state won't call them out for it.

  15. Tim 2015.02.01

    Les, I'm done with you.

  16. Les 2015.02.01

    Thank you, Tim. Now if you stop screaming at your friends, we may all be able to sit face to face at the table of governance issues in SD.

  17. leslie 2015.02.01

    les, you are deceitful? you are also republican. you called tim a racist, your question mark is like the anonomous witness not paying attention at the bar yet willing to testify on behalf of Mr. Phillip Swiller, ect.

    prove you have some interest in democrat party principals, while you voted for rounds. why would you not vote for weiland if he was the best candidate, just because bloggers on a liberal forum attack you for your right wing aspersions, just like troy?

    vote for one of our people and maybe you'll have credibility here.

  18. leslie 2015.02.01

    by the way, les, old buddy boy, a raped ape screams that conneticut school children killed in moments with an assault rifle were at fault.

  19. Les 2015.02.01

    You are likely the most inept attorney I've ever read, at comprehending the English language, leslie. As a mind reader or with the intuition of a good attorney you also fail in not being able to read, remember or understand my thoughts on Rounds or read my mind as it appears you may be attempting.

    I'd like to think you're just a little early for the game with your intoxicants but really feel you're just another tired old failed attorney dissatisfied with that which you believe life has dished on you.

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.01

    "Don Coyote", do you really think your distractions about other liberals out of state have any impact on my point about South Dakota policy? I don't have to defend LBJ, Lieberman, et al. to defend the point I make here: The GOP passed the Daschle rule not for principle but to hinder a political opponent. They now lift that hurdle to prevent an identical distraction to their favored Senator. That's Republicans using the Legislature for their partisan purposes, and that's wrong. Anyone else who has done anything similar in other states has done something wrong as well.

    Your attempt to dismiss this law as toothless small potatoes is also a meaningless distraction. The Republican legislators proposing this law thought the Daschle rule was worth passing, and they think it's worth lifting for Thune. So please, direct your knee-jerk mockery at the Republicans.

  21. Winston 2015.02.01

    But wait a minute…. One of Thune's parents was born in Canada. So, is not the presumption then, that he is not constitutionally qualified to be President?…. Oh silly me, only Republicans think like that and spread such speculation….Never mind…… ;-)

  22. mike from iowa 2015.02.01

    Kentucky has a similar law and Rand Paul wants it changed so he can run for Potus plus keep his sinatorial seat. Ain't wingnuts a caution?

  23. Winston 2015.02.01

    Don't these aspiring Presidential candidates think they will ultimately win? So why do they need such legislation? Are they not running for President do to a higher calling and a concern for the direction of our nation which supersedes the possible eventual consequences of their own political existence?…. Oh, I am such an idealist, I have so much to learn. ;-)

    But you would think a political party like the Republicans, who have championed the issue of term limits for politicians over the years, would be the last ones to promote the idea of the hopeful guaranteed perpetuity of a given politician's political career.

  24. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.01

    The moment Republicans passed this "Daschle Rule", I knew they'd change it when it suited them. I wish I was surprised.

  25. Winston 2015.02.01

    They were for the "Rule" before they were against it. Now where have I heard that one before…..?…… Oh yeah, in 2004…. and to think "they" were the ones who made such a big deal about such a logical inference back in the day….

  26. drey samuelson 2015.02.02

    Winston--good catch: they were for the rule before they were against it. A once devastating Republican slogan, but that was then, this is now.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.02

    Winston, I understand the motivation to remove any risk factor out of the risk calculus. But if I were a backer of a Thune Presidential bid, I wouldn't worry about losing the Senate seat. Certainly Thune's running for President and leaving his Senate seat open would improve Democrats' chances of winning it, but after their strong 2014 showing and given the thinness of the Democratic bench, are Republicans really worried? Isn't that what Dusty Johnson left Daugaard's staff for?

  28. 90 schilling 2015.02.02

    Dusty is not stupid by any means, Cory. The political ride has always been his goal but with the Rounds/Daaugard house of cards falling, it was time to get out and keep his clean image.

    I seriously doubt the Federal Machine is done with SD yet. As Troy stated elsewhere on "cover and timing", the D's in the Justice Dept may put those elements to work when they need a bigger gun or just whenever the job is finished.

  29. Winston 2015.02.02

    Personally, I do not believe Thune is running in '16 for President. I think Jeb has a lock on it - for the Republican nomination that is. Thune's opportunities were in '08 and '12 and for some reason (?) he seems sheepish towards a presidential run (?)….. 2004 rumors (?).

    Thune is the next Bob Dole without the multiple presidential campaigns, who will end up, if re-elected in 2016, as a future majority/minority leader of the US Senate some day. Also, like Dole in '96, maybe some day as an elder statesman, he will be the token Republican nominee for president, but he will then probably lose to one of the Castro brothers from Texas…. Imagine a President Castro…. Viva America!….. Or how about Levi Johnston, I think he's a Democrat who could carry Alaska for us someday ;-) …. Isn't the future fun!

  30. Jana 2015.02.09

    So the House votes to hypocrisy to all new levels!

    Here's two quotes from the KELOLAND story.

    House Majority Leader Brian Gosch says the 2002 law "wasn't good policy." Speaking about his proposal, Gosch said it wasn't aimed at Republican U.S. Sen. John Thune.

    Thune has been considered a potential 2016 presidential candidate.

    Republican Rep. Mark Mickelson, a supporter, says voters are the best judge and the option should be available.

    Mickelson should have pointed out that what he meant was voters are the best judge...except for when they don't agree with the legisature.

    'Gosch', do you think they know what jerks they come off as to the voters?

  31. Jana 2015.02.09

    Should be "So the House votes to take hypocrisy to all new levels!"

    While the story was on KELOLAND it was an AP story. Good followup questions AP! I smell a Pulitzer in your future.

  32. grudznick 2015.02.09

    This Mr. Thune fellow isn't going to run for President. The bill is just to really rub it on the few libbies left in the legislatures and mock them. The senator who brought this law is just trying to punish a few.

  33. Tim 2015.02.10

    grudz, let's assume for a moment what you say is true, don't you think the state legislature should have better things to do than "rub it on the few libbies left in the legislatures and mock them."

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