Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > OLC candidate forum part 4: questions from the public

OLC candidate forum part 4: questions from the public

May 20, 2014
QA portion of the OLC candidate forum

QA portion of the OLC candidate forum

This last Friday, May 16,  the the Oglala Lakota College (OLC) hosted a South Dakota Congressional, Senatorial and Gubernatorial Candidates forum. So far I’ve written three posts dealing with this event: a brief recap of the event, a look at the SD gubernatorial candidates, and then a look at the SD US Senate and US House candidates. Now it is time for the final post in this series: the quests asked of the candidates by the public. 

Two of the candidates from the gubernatorial forum (Hubbel and Wismer) had to leave by this time due to other commitments. That left five candidates still around to answer questions from the crowd. Still left from the gubernatorial forum was Joe Lowe (D) and Mike Myers (I). Remaining from the US Senate race was Stace Nelson (R) and Jason Ravnsborg (R). And finally from the US House race was Corinna Robinson (D).

This portion of the forum was quite short, clocking in at only 30 minutes (by this point the event had already gone on about 3 1/2 hours). I’ve embedded the audio from the QA session below. The MP3 of this portion can also be downloaded by clicking this link: OLC Forum Q&A. The file is 30 minutes long and has a download size of 28MB.

Here are some notes/thoughts on the questions and answers portion of the candidates forum:

  • One Party Rule Question – The first audience member mentioned that people tend to vote how their parents and grandparents vote. He also noted it is quite unusual that the Republican candidates are asking something odd by pleading with reservation voters to temporarily switch their registration just to vote in the primary. The audience member calls Rounds a “one issue candidate” with no real plans beyond killing Obamacare. He also notes the Republican party has been in charge in SD a long time, and has a bad reputation (I think he means on the reservations in particular). The question was then directed at Nelson asking him why the voters should trust his Republican party when the party has destroyed this state.
    • Nelson – Nelson makes the case that there are a lot of people going around calling themselves Republicans that truly are not Republicans. He specifically goes after Rounds for his record of exploded government spending and crony capitalism. Nelson says he doesn’t consider that to be asking like a Republican, and he won’t be held responsible for what Rounds does. Nelson says there are a lot of people in the Republican party register that way just to be elected. Nelson then brought up Rounds by mentioning a millionaire insurance agent ‘loosing sleep’ over his dad’s health insurance. Stace also said that traditionally native Americans have been limited government people, and he called native Americans the ‘epitome of libertarians”.
    • My Thoughts – This was a tough question. I think Stace did pretty good on it… But… I do think there is a lot of reason for there to be mistrust of the Republican party by the tribes. It will take more effort from the party as a whole to fix the disconnect between the establishment SD GOP and the reservations. All I could think during this question was that another Russel Means is needed in the modern world.
  • Native American Adoptions – This is a story everyone should listen to. I’m not going to try summarizing what this audience member (Doug) has to say. Most of the real bad parts of the story are not in this audio because I heard those details later. The question was then asked as to how are the politicians going to help people if they are going to run away (Daugaard had avoided talking to this person). This couple had spoken to a LOT of people in all the right places and is getting no help; and children are suffering due to it.
    • Robinson – Said congressional delegates should continue to bring attention to the issue. (from what I’ve heard of the situation, our current congressional delegates have not tried bringing attention to the issue).
    • Ravnsborg – Jason is an attorney. He offered to speak with the couple after the event (which he did).
    • Lowe – Brought up the fact he has never ran from anything and has heard other says Daugaard has run from issues like this. Lowe outright said Daugaard will not look people in the eye and help people in situations such as this.
    • Nelson – Mentions he had talked to Doug before, and that he had recommended going through the California AG (that is where the children are now). He also recommended Doug take up Ravnsborg’s offer to speak with him, since he is a practicing attorney.
    • Doug – The audience member brought up the candidates need to work on communications between the tribes and state. He said both sides need to stop worrying about who gets credit, and focus on the children. Doug also mentioned Sen Johnson sits on the committee that handles ICWA. That is very relevant to Nelson and Ravnsborg, since they are running for Johnson’s Senate seat.
    • Lowe – Lowe mentioned working for Janklow, and the fact he would listen to people. He said Jankow would have called the CA governor. The implication being that Daugaard isn’t the type to do that.
    • My Thoughts – I’m not going to go into this topic at this time. I heard a few other adoption stories that evening in Kadoka, a couple of which were even worse than the one shared this audience member. This is an issue I am looking more into. Previously I had ignored this issue due to my own bias; my bias is to think anything to do with government is bad, so yes government involvement with adoptions and foster homes is going to create problems. Unfortunately I let me bias for thinking something was bad keep myself from looking more into the topic. If I had done so I would have realized the situation was much worse than even I would have expected. This is a time where people (especially the senatorial and congressional candidates) need to drop any pre-conceived notions and dig deeper into the issue.
  • Media Missing From this Event. Tara Volesky  (Mike Myers campaign staff) took a moment to tear into the white mainstream media for not covering this event. Tara mentioned the great amount of work done by the OLC library staff to hold this event. Then she specifically called out Daugaard for not attending; and Rounds for not even replying to the invitation. Tara then asked the candidates if they knew of any more televised debates from the mainstream media coming up.
    • Ravsnborg – Jason mentioned he believes there is a KELO GOP Senatorial debate being televised on May 28. As far as he knows Nelson and himself have confirmed the event. He also has the understanding that Rounds is not attending the debate.
    • Lowe – Joe mentioned the SDPB Democrat Primary debate on SDPB TV May 29th.
    • My Thoughts – The tragedy here is the debate that is missing: the Republican Primary Gubernatorial debate that Dauggard declined. There was no attempt to try rescheduling the debate. Daugaard apparently doesn’t feel the need to answer to constituents.
  • Cryptocurrency Question – Payu Harris mentions the Mazacoin, the cryptocurrency officially adopted by the Traditional Lakota Nation. He asked the candidates is they would work on appropriate regulations for cryptocurrency that would take into account sales tax, income tax, etc. This would basically show the currency is ready for primetime and allow it to grow.
    • Nelson – He supports cryptocurrency in principle. He would have to see legislation before he could do anything about it.
    • Robinson – Thinks it would be worth looking into.
    • Ravnsborg – Has interest in the topic.
    • Myers – I like Myers, but he didn’t really answer this. Just said it was disappointing establishment politicians were not here.
    • My Thoughts – This is an issue I have a lot of hope for. It is also a tough question because few people understand cryptocurrencies and what they are truly about. I’ve used Bitcoins and Litecoins before, and advocate for their use. Regarding politics, cryptocurrencies such as Mazacoin have even greater potential when it comes to transparency. Yes it is true that often cryptocurrencies are used to ‘hide’ transactions. But the reality is this: all transactions using cryptocurrencies are out in the open. If used correctly, cryptocurrencies could bring a whole new level of transparency to campaign finances.

I don’t really have any final thoughts on this portion of the forum. The QA session for me was more about discovering issues that I as a blogger should be digging deeper into. I look forward to attending future events at the  Woksape Tipi Library. It is well worth the drive!

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