Home > SD 2014 Ballot > Nelson, Rhoden, and Bosworth on filibusters

Nelson, Rhoden, and Bosworth on filibusters

September 20, 2013

This last Sunday I made the trip down to Redfield for the Spink County Republicans Lincoln Reagan Family Lunch. Three of the four Republican candidates for US Senate were in attendance: Stace Nelson, Larry Rhoden, and Annette Bosworth. Instead of asking the usual “why should anyone vote for you” type questions I decided to ask their opinion on the use of filibusters in the US Senate. For those with short memories, it was only two months ago that filibusters were a hot topic in the Senate. I wanted to find out how these candidates felt about the use of filibusters. I also wanted to find out if they would support a scenario where Republicans have the Senate majority and Republican leadership wanted to end filibusters so they could act without Democrat obstructionism.  I left my questioning very vague so they could lead the answer to wherever they wanted it to be.

Stace Nelson in Redfield

Stace Nelson in Redfield

Representative Stace Nelson was the most passionate talking about this topic. He mentioned the #StandWithRand filibuster on March 6 where US Senator Rand Paul stood up for civil liberties. Mr Nelson stood on the floor in Pierre that day to announce his support for Paul’s filibuster. When speaking with Stace about the topic you can tell he truly believes the filibuster is a great method of standing up for liberty. He also said in no uncertain terms he would go against leadership in the Republican Party if they tried to diminish or remove this important tool. Stace gave the impression that the filibuster is one of the few ways to stand up against the typical ‘business as usual’ mentality current held by legislators in DC.

Annette Bosworth in Redfield

Annette Bosworth in Redfield

Dr. Annette Bosworth was the second person I spoke with on the filibuster. She gave a very different answer. Dr Bosworth mentioned there is an over-use of filibusters within the Senate, by both sides. In particular Annette is annoyed with ‘virtual filibusters’ that allow legislation to be held up with no actual debate. She feels any filibuster should lead to debate and voted upon; with the end purpose of a ‘real’ filibuster is to force debate that was not happening. Bosworth did say she would potentially go against Republican leadership if she felt they were doing something wrong, but was not opposed to changing the current filibuster rules if they would keep the physical standing version of the filibuster.

Larry Rhoden in Redfield

Larry Rhoden in Redfield

Senator Larry Rhoden was the most caught off guard with this question. I don’t think he has been asked many Senate procedural questions on his campaign; or given them much though. However he did state that filibuster are an important part of the Senate process. And after given a moment to think, he gave what I thought was a very good answer about whether he would support his caucus in the even they tried to remove or diminish the filibuster. Larry stated any party in control must think hard before making any procedural changes that would diminish their capabilities when another power shift occurred. He said he would vote against party leadership if need be. However he wouldn’t do so for political gains, it would be because it was the right thing to do.

The fourth Senate Republican Senate candidate, Mike Rounds, was not in attendance. He did have the Rounds campaign Statewide Coalitions Director Jason Williams representing him at the event. I was going to try getting an answer from his campaign on this issue. However after further thought it appears that Nelson, Rhoden, and Bosworth are working hard all across the state to get their message out to constituents. Conversely, Mike Rounds is traveling all across the country to raise money.  With that in mind I decided it is irrelevant if Rounds has an opinion on the issue because he really doesn’t seem to worry about actually spreading his message himself.

I don’t believe this issue will have any impact upon the Senate race. But I do think filibusters and willingness to stand up to leadership are important issues. It also allowed me to speak with the candidates in a topic of my choosing, and not one they have pre-canned answers for. I would urge anyone going to these events to ask their own non-standard questions so we can learn more about these candidates than what their campaign pushes.

  1. September 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Ken,
    Great article!

    “But you must remember, my fellow-citizens, that eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing. It behooves you, therefore, to be watchful in your States as well as in the Federal Government.” — Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, March 4, 1837

    If I am unwilling to support the Liberty of my colleagues to represent their constituents, regardless of my stance on their issue, how then can I look my fellow South Dakotans in the eyes and say I will fight for their liberty?

    Much to the chagrin of my more moderate colleagues, I am well know to stand for smoke-outs solely on the principle that South Dakotans deserve to have their issues vetted in public debate, regardless of my stance on the issue.

    Libertas inaestimabilis res est.

    • Ken Santema
      September 23, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Thanks Stace.
      Smoke-outs are another interesting topic. I think I will do a post them soon. I heard it said they were ‘overused’ this last session in Pierre. I actually didn’t believe that to be true.

  2. You lost me...
    September 22, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Are you serious?
    “I was going to try getting an answer from his campaign on this issue. However after further thought it appears that Nelson, Rhoden, and Bosworth are working hard all across the state to get their message out to constituents. Conversely, Mike Rounds is traveling all across the country to raise money. With that in mind I decided it is irrelevant if Rounds has an opinion on the issue because he really doesn’t seem to worry about actually spreading his message himself.”
    I frequent this blog periodically and often enjoy it. I am libertarian but this post proves why libertarians never get ahead in politics and are always irrelevant politically. It’s why I left the libertarian party when I moved to Watertown from Rapid City. Of course Mike Rounds’ position matters and on this issue he most likely agrees with you but you chose to marginalize yourself. He’s going to win anyway. Why not create a friendly dialog and save your powder for something that matters?? You might aswell call for his defeat like you did with Daugaard and Noem. I like your critique of issues but when you critique candidates you lose any credibility you had. If your knee jerk reaction is to make a petty remark or call for defeat why should any of them give you the time of day to make a credible argument when things are on the line? I followed the post from Mercer’s blog and enjoyed the post until it became just another example of exactly why I left the libertarian party (banging my head on the desk). moment. How about advancing the libertarian philosophy by making others value your opinion instead of rollng their eyes because another libertarian ripped on another republican for no reason and the 20th time this month?
    Politics is about influence and because you are knowledgeable on the issues you have that potential to be an influence maker but right now you are throwing it away in handfuls because your going to go from Milton Friedman to Lora Hubbel in 60 seconds flat. The choir is all you will have and what good does that do anyone?

    • Ken Santema
      September 23, 2013 at 1:05 am

      You are right, advancing positive message is much better than being negative. In this case I don’t believe I was being being ‘negative’. I think I was being more constructively critical of the Rounds campaign. Maybe I’m wrong. I just feel frustrated with the Rounds campaign because I feel that most politicians sent to DC become disconnected from voters once they are there too long. And in this case it appears that Rounds is becoming disconnected before he even gets there. Perhaps I am wrong and he just isn’t publicizing his engagements with voters as much as the other candidates (possible since he already has name recognition).

      That is why I try to stay mostly with issues instead of candidate posts. I’ve made a LOT of mistakes in the last year of political blogging. Most of the non-grammatical mistakes revolve around forgetting to step back and use logic with analytical thinking.

      No matter what I thank you for your comments. It has given me something to think about. Without feedback (good and bad) it is hard to know how I am being perceived.

  1. November 21, 2013 at 4:20 pm
  2. September 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm
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