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Daugaard Letting Political Capital Go to Waste

Jonathan Ellis comes to the same conclusion I offered after the budget address two months ago:—with his vanilla budget, Governor Dennis Daugaard is letting his enormous political capital go stale:

Dennis Daugaard won a crushing victory in November. By a historic margin. As he starts his second term in office, that drawer is full of political capital.

In other words, Daugaard has the capital to set an agenda and get stuff done in the next couple of years. But unlike the gold coins, political capital is perishable. Even if you don't use it, you'll eventually lose it. The day will come when Daugaard, even if he is still governor, won't have the leverage he currently enjoys. At some point, the focus will shift to Daugaard's replacement [Jonathan Ellis, "Will Daugaard Spend Political Capital?" that Sioux Falls paper, 2015.02.07].

South Dakota, you used to elect interesting people, like Peter Norbeck, Bill Janklow, and George Mickelson. When did you become allergic to bold leaders with vision?


  1. larry kurtz 2015.02.09

    DD is T. Denny's bitch, Cory: it's just that simple.

  2. lee schoenbeck 2015.02.09

    Cory, you may be missing a dynamic here. While I was disappointed with the Governor not addressing education funding in the state of the state, I think he's maybe doing this a way that he's found comfortable and effective. He's taking on education challenges with the same formula used for the criminal incarceration and then juvenile system.
    I don't like studies, but I think - if you are about results and not just noise - you shouldn't underestimate this tool for this Governor, as a way to tackle a challenge our state faces. He's got plenty of time to use his political Capital, and on this topic - many who want to help.

  3. larry kurtz 2015.02.09

    Lap dog Schoenbeck here to defend DD: priceless.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.09

    Lee, the study is a delay tactic. We know what the problem is. We've studied it to death. We've undervalued teachers and let them trickle away for two generations. We all want to solve the problem, so how about we just solve it? Grab a bill, hoghouse it into my moonshot plan to lift 16% of our sales tax exemptions, and send that money to the school districts to raise teacher pay.

    And hey, I'll even offer a compromise unbidden: think about making all that money matching money. Tell the school districts that for every extra dollar above the PSA-percentage-increase that they raise their teachers' salaries, the state will send a matching dollar. Or heck, do it Cutler-Gabriel style: for every 46 cents above the PSA increase the district can put to teacher pay, the state will send 54 cents to be used for the same purpose.

    What are we waiting for?! Act now! Teacher supplies are limited!

  5. Nick Nemec 2015.02.09

    It will be interesting to see if the end result of this study is more money to the bottom line or identifying a bunch of scapegoats. I hold out hope it'll be the former, I'm afraid it will be the latter.

  6. 96Tears 2015.02.09

    The emperor really has no clothes, after all. GuvDD clearly has no idea what to do as Governor and apparently doesn't know why he took the job. He'll fit right in with the rest of the clueless ones in Congress.

  7. jerry 2015.02.09

    DD should cut taxes, and make more loopholes. Nothing shows governing like getting yourself deeper into the hole, just ask Brownback, or Jindal or that other dumbass in Wisconsin.

  8. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.09

    Larry, that John Oliver video was outstanding. Thanks.

    Cory has nailed it regarding another in an endless stream of "studies."

  9. jerry 2015.02.09

    Hunoff says more or less, regarding education funding, that "a lot of it might have to be approved by voters" I am wondering how that would work. We passed the minimum wage increase and the legislature is working to kill that. So it seems to me that the voters have no say in anything whatsoever that the state decides to do. In short, we do not have a democracy here in South Dakota what we have is a fiefdom run by a corrupted criminal machine.

  10. jerry 2015.02.10

    DD, along with his sidekick lee schoenbeck, are both card carrying members of the KOP. They simply cannot allow teachers to be paid higher wages any more than they can allow Medicaid Expansion as both are not in the gang's platform.

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