Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > Myers suing the SOS, hopefully he doesn’t make it about Gant

Myers suing the SOS, hopefully he doesn’t make it about Gant

August 1, 2014
Mike Myers speaking with a constituent at the OLC candidate forum in Kyle, SD. Photo by Ken Santema.

Mike Myers speaking with a constituent at the OLC candidate forum in Kyle, SD. Photo by Ken Santema.

Earlier this week the SD Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers held a press conference to announce his campaign is suing the SD Secretary of State. This lawsuit is to allow his campaign a change of running mates. The full press conference can be viewed on the Argus Leader website. This lawsuit is in response to SD Secretary of State Jason Gant not allowing Myers to change his running-mate. I still think the decision by Gant was wrong. Now the Myers campaign and the State of South Dakota (we the taxpayers) are going to have to pay for a lawsuit that never should have happened.

I just watched the press conference and would like to offer the Myers campaign some advice. The lawsuit is filed against Gant. This presser focused on much bigger issues and didn’t make it personal. That is good! Don’t lose that focus! The media will likely try making this about a battle between Myers and Gant. That should be avoided at all costs.

The current SOS chose not to seek re-election after losing the support of his party. This support fell after many failures of the Gant administration in multiple areas of his job. Including in the realm of elections when Gant made the claim that it was not his responsibility to ensure elections ran smoothly. I personally dropped any vitriol towards Gant when he announced his exiting the office. Fast forward to today and I am somewhat mildly annoyed at this move by Gant. But I can’t really say I’m surprised. Choosing to allow Myers a change of running-mate would have required more work of Gant. I just don’t see that happening from someone who has basically been pushed out of the office by his party (some would say his own party ran him over with a bus).

I would urge the Myers campaign to refrain from making this lawsuit about Myers versus Gant. Any attempts to do so would waste time, energy, and money. Gant has already been disgraced and will be gone at the end of the year. If this lawsuit focuses on Gant, it will appear as if everything is alright when his replacement takes over next year. For all of his faults as the SOS, Gant is not the problem! The problem that brings this lawsuit up is the fact South Dakota codified law is not written in a way that gives equal access to Independent and Third Party candidates on ballots. If the Myers campaign has to vilify anyone it should be the legislature for not enacting election reforms creating an equal environment. Myers could also vilify current SD Governor Dennis Daugaard for not supporting any true election or transparency reforms in Pierre.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Gant’s decision was bad. But it makes no sense for the Myers campaign to vilify someone who has already fallen on the sword. The Myers campaign has to keep its eyes set on implementing change. To do that they need to make sure this lawsuit is about more than Gant, it about implementing equal ballot access in South Dakota.

  1. August 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    You’re right with both the idea that Myers should not make personal and the idea that Daugaard and legislature bear a large part of the blame.

    Those of us who do these electronic scribblings should, however, call out Gant when he takes after Myers in a personal way like he did by using words like “absurd” “sad” and “pathetic.”. Attacking candidates and campaigns like that is not part of his job description either.

    • August 2, 2014 at 3:35 pm

      Agreed. Those of us wielding electronic swords should call out Gants use of pathetic. It was very unprofessional.

    • Reagan Republican
      August 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      (I’m not a fan of Gant)

      Gant’s response given to candidate Meyers is one of the reasons Gant is not viewed as neutral in that office. Gant has been a big problem for the past 4 years.

      But there is a problem with solely calling Gant out because Meyers is the one who started throwing out unfounded accusations at Gant because he didn’t get the decision he wanted.

      “Myers has described the secretary of state as ‘a hit man for the Republican machine in Pierre.’ “The secretary of state is used as a party to advance the interest of the dominant party,” said Myers”

      So there are plenty of absurd accusations going around from all involved and it doesn’t help the process. For one Meyers is 100% wrong. Gant does not have a lot of love for most of the GOP right now and Meyers should be smart enough to figure that out.

      Temperament is an important factor in choosing a candidate. Right now Meyers/Hubbel do not show good temperament. Accusing Gant of being a hit man for the GOP is a really dumb statement.

      If the law is written badly Meyers shouldn’t be shooting the messenger (Gant). And if he is going to call into question an elected officials credibility then Meyers should be able to take the harsh response returned.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        August 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        I’m afraid Mike is starting to shoot at anything that moves in the dark. In order to be elected, he has to keep focus and have a real strategy to succeed, but I haven’t seen it yet. Maybe it’s a campaign secret.

  2. August 1, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Great reporting Ken. You are right. this lawsuit is about equal ballot access. We were informed by 3 different people in the Secretary of States office that the Independent is treated the same as the Democrat or Republican in a state-wide race, and Mike would have until Aug.12th to replace his former running mate.

    • Reagan Republican
      August 3, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      If they told you that then that is a really really big problem and again shows why Gant has been a poor SOS. He and his staff should be on the same page. I would have a big problem with that because then it shows more malice in the decision and an internal change of interpretation of the law once the new Lt. Gov candidate was chosen.

      It makes me wonder if it has more to do with Gant and Hubbel’s personal relationship history.

      • August 3, 2014 at 1:48 pm

        Your not the first I’ve heard mention this possibly having too much to do with Gant vs Hubbel. If they aren’t careful thats what it will end up looking like.

  3. Merlyn Schutterle
    August 1, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I agree with you, Ken. This is a fight that shouldn’t happen.It takes the focus off Daugaard and it is a waste of resources on both sides. It doesn’t really matter whose name is in second place. Everyone who might vote for Mike will understand through the campaign.

    Tara, this may not be fair, but it won’t matter in the election. Some fights are not worth fighting. the gain/loss ratio isn’t worth it.

    • Reagan Republican
      August 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      I disagree with you and think that if the law is not written in a clear or fair manner then the law should be changed to improve the process for future independent candidates. Myers is making the right decision. Now that the issue has been brought to light it can and should be fixed.

      I don’t see why it is Daugaard or the legislatures fault since new issues arise all the time and when they do they should be fixed.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        August 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        Since our legislators want us to feel they are competent to write laws for us but often aren’t, (Jim Bradford is the first to come to mind) who should accept the consequences, the victim? This law, like many others, show that our legislators often don’t really understand the consequences of their own legislation or previous legislation, nor do they want to accept the responsibility.

        I have been to the Capitol when the legislature was in session. It looked to me like those people were way high on their own egos.

  4. August 1, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Like I said before Merlyn, it shows a precedence that Mike will stand for what is right for the people of SD. He will not be bullied and he is not for sale.

  5. August 2, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I enjoy what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work
    and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve you guys to my blogroll.

  6. Reagan Republican
    August 3, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I’m with you Ken that ideally Meyers should be able to put Hubbel on the ballot with him but how can you say Gant made the wrong decision “I still think the decision by Gant was wrong” and still say that the law is written in a way that does not make it possible for Meyers to replace his chosen running mate? “The problem that brings this lawsuit up is the fact South Dakota codified law is not written in a way that gives equal access to Independent and Third Party candidates on ballots.”

    If the law is not written fairly then Gant still has to follow the law as written or else lobby the legislature and Governor to change the law during session – not interpret the law how he personally feels it should be.

    Meyers should be talking to legislators to get them to change the law. Maybe he should call Shantel Krebs and Angelia Schultz and see if they will support change in the next session.

    If the law is the law then follow it but if it was interpreted wrong then Gant should be called out. If it truly is written in a poor way and requires a judges decision then following the law is important.

    “The best way to repeal a bad law is to enforce it strictly.” Abraham Lincoln

    • August 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      This case is somewhat different because there have been many such cases come up across the country recently. In these cases the federal judge has ruled in favor of allowing the Independent candidate to have equal ballot access, and then said a legislative fix must be followed. Gant took a route that technically is correct. But I think it could also have been correct to work with the AG to show recent precedence in federal courts and work on a legislative fix for next year. That would have avoided the state of SD from having to defend itself in Federal court. It would also have shown the SOS and AG are trying to do what is right.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        August 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        When I was an administrator and found I had stupid policy, I just ignored it and changed it when possible. I always said to myself, “If you have stupid policy, change the policy, stupid.”

      • Reagan Republican
        August 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        Got ya Ken. Good points.

  1. August 7, 2014 at 3:54 am
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: