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Executive Committee and Johnson/Weld electors chosen at the LPSD State Convention

July 30, 2016 Comments off

Here is a repost from the Libertarian Party of South Dakota (LPSD) website:

sd_fb_profileThe Libertarian Party of South Dakota (LPSD) state convention was held in Aberdeen today. As the outgoing chair I consider the event a success and look forward to what the LPSD can do going forth! At this convention new Executive Committee members were selected. The party also chose the three Presidential Electors that will show up on the 2016 South Dakota ballot on behalf of the Johnson/Weld campaign.

Here are the members chosen by the party to be the executive committee:

  • LPSD Chair: Jon Boon McNutt 
  • LPSD Vice-Chair: Richard Shelatz
  • LPSD Treasurer: Daryl Root
  • LPSD Membership Director: Scott Baldwin
  • LPSD West-river At-Large member: Sean Metz
  • LPSD East-river At-Large member: Ken Santema

Here are the three electors that were chosen to represent the Johnson/Weld ticket on the 2016 South Dakota ballot:

  • Jon Boon McNutt
  • Elaine Kub
  • Richard Shelatz

I believe the LPSD Executive Committee has a good vision of how to move the libertarian message forward in South Dakota. More information about what occurred during the convention are forthcoming over the next few days. Stay tuned!

Plan to attend the Libertarian Party of SD State Convention this Sat July 30

July 24, 2016 Comments off
Libertarian Party of South Dakota

Libertarian Party of South Dakota

On Saturday, July, 30, 2016, the Libertarian Party of South Dakota will hold its State Convention in Aberdeen. This is great news for people looking for alternatives to the big two parties. Details about the convention can be viewed on the LPSD website. There is also Facebook Event setup to learn details about the convention and RSVP (not required to attend!).

The Public Utilities Commissioner is the only SD Constitutional office up for election this year. LPSD hopes to have a candidate nominated for this position; giving the voters of South Dakota a liberty-minded choice for this important elected position. There are other nominations possible, stay tuned for details on that!

The convention is open to the public and attendance is free. Only those wishing to become voting members have any cost; and that is a mere $5 membership dues. I would urge all to attend and help shape the direction of a state party offering a liberty-minded alternative to traditional politics! Go to the Facebook Event to learn more!

I will be blogging about different aspects of the upcoming convention as the week continues. Stay tuned!

Libertarian Party of SD invited to LPND statewide meeting in November

October 17, 2015 1 comment

SD_Logo_grayAs many of the readers of this blog know, I am the State Chair of the Libertarian Party of South Dakota (LPSD). Part of what has been keeping me so busy the last few months (and away from blogging) has been working to regain party status and building an infrastructure to allow the Libertarian party of SD to grow and be able to run candidates in the 2016 election.

I would like to invite any South Dakota libertarians to the LPND statewide meeting next month and hear my updates about what has been done so far and what is planned for 2016. I have good feelings about what  the SDLP can do in 2016 and beyond.

Here is the announcement for this meeting I posted on the Libertarian Party of South Dakota website:

The Libertarian Party of South Dakota (LPSD) is proud to accept the invitation from the Libertarian Party of North Dakota (LPND) to participate in their statewide meeting this fall.  This meeting will include keynote speakers and presentations. Here are the details about the meeting:

Date: November 7, 2015

Time: 1:00 pm – 5 pm / There will also be a lunch opportunity at 12 noon and a socialization event after 5 pm

Location:  Baymont Inn & Suites, 2611 Old Red Trl NW, Mandan, North Dakota 58554

LPSD will not have its own statewide meeting in 2015. The LPSD will however hold a statewide convention in the spring of 2016. All supporters of the LPSD are invited to make the trip to Bismarck on Nov 7. At that meeting the LPSD State Chair, Ken Santema, will present to the South Dakota libertarians in attendance the current status of the party, the current and future projects planned to grow the party, and the plans for getting Libertarians on local ballots during the 2016 election.

There is no cost to attend the meeting (although a donation to cover costs is appreciated). Also, if possible please chose “going” on the Facebook event so we can let the LPND know about how many are planning to attend. Alternatively you can email Ken Santema to let him know you are interested.

SB69 early deadline for new political parties to be challenged in court!

June 15, 2015 2 comments
SD State Capital. Photo by Ken Santema.

SD State Capital. Photo by Ken Santema.

Today, June 15, the ACLU file a lawsuit on behalf of the SD Libertarian Party and the SD Constitution party challenging the deadline for new political parties wishing to be on the ballot in 2016. I probably should also note that I am the chair of the Libertarian Party of SD. As such I believe this lawsuit is the correct path forward towards constitutional ballot access in South Dakota.

This lawsuit comes in direct response to the legislature passing SB 69 (SoDakLiberty Posts). When this bill first came up I believed it had constitutional issues by being overly restrictive to newly formed political parties. It is now time for the courts to decide!

In the future I will blog more about SB 69 and the lawsuit (I have almost zero free time today). But for now I will share the press release from the ACLU, which I feel sums up the case quite nicely:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 15, 2015
CONTACT: Heather Smith, ACLU of South Dakota, 605-332-2508, heather.smith@aclu.org
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit challenging a South Dakota law that moved the deadline for new political parties striving for a place on the 2016 ballot.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of South Dakota’s Libertarian Party and Constitution Party, challenges a section of the law that shifted the deadline for new parties to submit declarations to participate in primary elections backward by four weeks — from the last Tuesday in March prior to the date of the primary election to the first Tuesday in March. The plaintiffs are asking the deadline be set for no earlier than March 29 for a party that wants to participate in South Dakota’s primary election, and August 1 for a party that does not need to participate in a primary election.
“This new deadline is unreasonable and far too early. It forces new parties to decide whether to participate in the primary election before potential nominees of larger parties are known, and requires new parties to collect signatures during the coldest months of South Dakota’s winter. Courts have invalidated deadlines that were much shorter than the 95 days required by the new law as unconstitutionally burdening candidates and voters and effectively blocking new parties from participating in elections, “said Laughlin McDonald, director emeritus of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project.
The case, Libertarian Party of South Dakota v. Krebs, was filed in the U.S. District Court of South Dakota in Sioux Falls. It charges the new deadline violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and seeks to stop state officials from enforcing that deadline.
“South Dakota’s new deadline is anti-democratic. The new law makes it nearly impossible for anyone except the major parties to place party candidates on the ballot. The major parties have bent over backwards to unfairly squelch potential opponents,” said Stephen Pevar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program.
He adds, “Given the historical pattern of third parties not emerging until after the selection of major party candidates, an early filing deadline that prevents new parties from advancing their candidates for the state’s highest offices conflicts with an important political tradition that has proven its value over the course of American history.”
The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU, the ACLU of South Dakota, and Brendan Johnson of Robins Kaplan LLP

Mike Myers at the SDLP convention

August 22, 2014 3 comments
Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers speaking at the SDLP convention. Photo by Ken Santema

Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers speaking at the SDLP convention. Photo by Ken Santema

One of the guest speakers for the South Dakota Libertarian Party (SDLP) convention this year was Independent gubernatorial candidate Mike Myers. Myers is always an interesting person to speak with and listen to. This event was no different.

Myers opened saying he has a pancake platform. This basically means he has the best parts of all parties. Such an approach may do well with libertarians, because libertarian beliefs cross over with each side of the political spectrum on a variety of issues. I’ve said before that Myers is almost libertarian, and after seeing him in Sioux Falls I feel it would be more appropriate to call him truly independent. Myers himself said he really doesn’t like labels though. If he had to actually label himself it would be ‘populist’.

One of the more interesting portions of the Myers speech was when he talked about industrial hemp. During the whole campaign Myers has touted the benefits to the agricultural industry in South Dakota by allowing producers to grow industrial hemp. While talking about hemp Myers went to the back of the room and asked Independent US Senate candidate Larry Pressler if he supported industrial hemp. Pressler only said “I shall answer that question later”. It would have been great if Pressler had answered that…

Going back to his campaign, Myers mentioned three planks that are important to him: good education, good healthcare, and good government.

When talking about good education Myers mentioned his long tenure as a professor at a law school. He believes he might have helped create the current corrupt system while teaching there. Myers has spoken about this before. Myers has seen first hand the problem with higher education in this State.

In his talking about healthcare Myers promoted his healthcare co-op. He said the exchanges are one part of ACA that is actually kinda good. But he would go a step further and transform the exchanges into a co-op system that was truly consumer-based. Myers also talked about Iatrogenesis. Iatrogenesis is basically anything that goes wrong with a patient due to errors made on the part of a physician, or in this case a healthcare system. He contends that more people are hurt just by going into a clinic and saying “I don’t feel good”. Myers says the current system run by Avera and Sanford are not patient-centered, but centered around doing more procedures.

As to good government, Myers said he wants a Lt Governor that is a woman. He believes such balance is needed. He also said the Lt Governor should be someone who has been to Pierre. That would explain his choice of Lora Hubbel as a running-mate. She fits the bill on both counts. Personally I don’t see what the sex of a candidate has to do with anything, but Myers appears to think it is important.

Finally, Myers mentioned EB-5. He thinks Rounds should be held accountable for the money lost in the program. Myers also says a truly independent prosecutor is needed to investigate EB-5. Part of me thought he should also have included Daugaard in his remarks, that is his opponent after all.

Overall I thought Myers was an interesting speaker for the SDLP convention. There are some issues I think he really doesn’t have enough detail on, but it is a long way until November 4. He has plenty of time to fill in the blanks.

Five of six Libertarian candidates certified by SD Secretary of State

August 19, 2014 Comments off

sdlpYesterday Jason Gant, the SD Secretary of State, certified five of the six candidates submitted for constitutional offices this fall. I’ve listed all six candidates in a previous post, and included a few thoughts. With Gants certification of five candidates here is the current lineup for the constitutional offices on this falls ballot:

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (6 yr)

Constitution Party – Wayne Schmidt
Democrat Party – David Allen
Republican Party – Gary Hanson

South Dakota Secretary of State (4 yr)

Constitution Party – Lori Stacey
Libertarian Party – Emmett Reistroffer
Democrat Party – Angelia Schultz
Republican Party – Shantel Krebs

South Dakota Attorney General (4 yr)

Libertarian Party – Chad Haber
Republican Party – Marty Jackley

South Dakota State Auditor (4 yr)

Libertarian Party – Kurt Evans
Republican Party – Steve Barnett

South Dakota Commissioner of School and Public Lands (4 yr)

Libertarian Party – John English
Republican Party – Ryan Brunner

South Dakota Treasurer (4 yr)

Libertarian Party – Ken Santema
Democrat Party – Denny Pierson
Republican Party – Rich Sattgast

There are some potential changes. The Libertarian PUC candidate Ryan Gaddy was not certified by Gant. According to Gant’s letter, Gaddy was not allowed because he did not properly change his party registration in time. I’ve seen on Facebook that Gaddy will be fighting this decision. His lawyer might have some success showing that the will of the voters (party members in this case) are what comes first. If anything does happen it will have to be soon. The time to print ballots is quickly approaching.

The other problem area is Haber as the Libertarian candidate for AG. There are multiple members of the SD Libertarian Party that were not happy with the moves made by Haber to receive the nomination. I have a feeling Haber’s ballot status will be questioned right up to the time ballots are printed. In this matter I have been pretty neutral. Before the convention I was against Haber, but now I just want to move forward and focus on areas that don’t involve publicity for the sake of publicity.

At least no constitutional officer race is going uncontested. It is definitely going to be an election season to remember…

New executive committee coming out of the SDLP convention

August 11, 2014 Comments off
Emmett Reistroffer was chosen as the new SDLP State Chair. Photo by Ken Santema.

Emmett Reistroffer was chosen as the new SDLP State Chair. Photo by Ken Santema.

This previous Saturday the South Dakota Libertarian Party held its state convention in Sioux Falls, SD. That day I posted the state constitutional offices which were filled during the convention. In this post I will focus on the new executive committee for the state party. The five spots to fill in this convention were the State Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, West-River At-large Representative, and the East-River At-large Representative. These five officers are the core of the executive committee.

There were twenty-one voting members present in the morning for this portion of the convention. A couple of the voting members were present via GoToMeeting over the Internet.

Following is the results of the voting for the executive committee. It is worth noting that the SDLP allows None Of The Above (NOTA) to win an election; although that did not actually happen in any of these election votes.

State Chair – Emmett Reistroffer – Emmett was the only person nominated to the position and won the vote overwhelmingly. After accepting the position Reistroffer said he wants to bring the state party up to the next level. He will also focus on regaining party status in SD after it is lost this year.

Vice-Chair – Samuel Saunders – Saunders is the outgoing State Chair. He was the only one nominated and won with no opposition. His staying on the committee as Vice-Chair should make the transition much easier for Reistroffer.

Treasurer – Nathan Barton – Nathan was the previous Treasurer. He had not opposition in keeping this position. His being retained will also help the party retain knowledge as Emmett tries to grow the party.

West-River At-large Member – Bob Newland – Bob won this position with no opposition. He has been working with the SDLP for a long time and is a good resource to have on the committee because of his knowledge of how things work.

East-River At-large Member – Lee Stranahan – Lee Stranahan, Ron Leeper, and Ken Santema were all nominated. Stranahan won the nomination 9-4-5. Stranahan is a media guy and new to South Dakota. He would like to draw upon his experience to grow the party. He also reached out to Ron and Ken (that’s me) to help him in his new position.

Overall I think this lineup should work well for the state party. I think it is great to have someone with Reistroffer’s youth and energy leading the committee. With enough work the SDLP can maybe start fielding legislative candidates in 2016 or 2018. That will be a true test to see if the party can create some competition to the Republican Party in South Dakota. With the Democrat Party mostly absent in South Dakota it might be the time for Libertarian Party move out of third-party status in this state over the next decade.

PS. Also during the morning a new party platform was partially vetted. That was eventually deferred to the executive committee to go through.

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