Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Governor’s race in 2014 should revolve largely around Building South Dakota

Governor’s race in 2014 should revolve largely around Building South Dakota

December 8, 2013

chlopaya_BuildingIn 2014 South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard will be up for reelection. So far there are four confirmed candidates in the race:

  • Mike Myers, Independent
  • Lora Hubbel, Republican
  • Curtis Strong, Constitution
  • Joe Lowe, Democrat

One person that has not confirmed their entry in the race is Daugaard. He will wait until after the 2014 legislative session to make his re-election announcement. Politically I think that is a good move. It allows him to work with legislators in Pierre on a series of populist, yet likely meaningless, bills that will make his re-election go smoother. People like governors that ‘get things done’, one way to do that is to make it appear he works well with the South Dakota legislature. Plus, waiting until then may allow most of the EB-5 scandal to blow over. I don’t like that approach, but believe it is a good strategy for him to take.

Even though I have been somewhat critical of Daugaard’s big-government ways when it comes to economic development, I hope he does enter the race. In that event I would hope the Building South Dakota program passed by Daugaard’s legislative staff our elected Legislator’s this last session will be the main topic for the Governor’s race. The Building South Dakota program is a large-government type of program. It is also a program South Dakota voters rejected in 2012 on the ballot when Referred Law 14 was shot down. Since Daugaard felt he knew better than the people of South Dakota he had the legislature pass SB235, aka Building South Dakota.

This last week Daugaard gave his budget proposal for fiscal year 2015. An interesting approach in this budget was to use creative shuffling of one-time moneys and give an unexpected $30 million to the Building South Dakota program. With this move Daugaard is doubling down on the Governor’s office choosing winners and losers in South Dakota’s economy. Will the voters of South Dakota see this as good fiscal policy? Or will the voters of South Dakota seen this as crony capitalism? Hopefully we will see enough debate on the topic in the next year to find out.

PS. Some have asked me why I don’t do constant posts on the EB-5 scandal. Basically I think there are a few reporters and bloggers in the state already doing a good job on this topic. I would rather focus on the policy side of whether government officials should be intervening in the economy at all. To me the scandals may actually help Rounds and Daugard by keeping focus on outlying topoics, instead of on whether the policies behind those scandals are fiscally sound.

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  1. December 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm
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