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Friday, July 09, 2010



There are many days left until the election, but it's beginning to appear that this is more Kristi's race to lose than it's Stephanie's race to win.

Aside from her "name recognition" race against Bill Janklow, Stephanie has benefited from incumbency, a big war chest, name recognition and a failure of the SD GOP to provide well funded "media-genic" candidates to oppose her. The Democratic Party was also "on the rise" during most of her term in office.

Most, if not all, of those advantages are neutralized this year.

This will be Stephanie's most difficult challenge and it will be interesting to see how she handles it. Was bringing Steny Hoyer to South Dakota REALLY a wise political move?


I'm not convinced by Noem. I'm sure she's a great person, and I thank her for her work on the South Dakota legislator. However, I feel it is misleading that she presents herself as a champion for balanced budgets and fiscally responsible choices without opening an honest dialog on what this means. According to Farm Subsidy Database, her ranch has acquired over three million dollars in subsides since 1995. That is the exact sort of wealth redistribution from profit-making ventures to favored sectors that needs to be examined more closely. Subsides to certain sectors are not in and of themselves wrong. Some support national interests that, although not economically viable in the marketplace without state support or direction, are so vital as to justify state action. National defense projects, high-tech research, and many infrastructure projects are good examples of situations where state action in favor of special industries may be appropriate. Private enterprise toll roads, for example, would not produce a sufficient national transportation network. By building a network of public roads, we lower costs for transportation companies but doing so serves a compelling national interest. I realize farm subsides play a large role in South Dakota's agricultural framework, but I believe that it is about time we had an honest discussion about under what circumstances agriculture presents such a vital interest to the nation as to justify the taxing of productive economic sectors and redistribution of that wealth to less profitable economic sectors in the form of subsides. My hunch is that Angus beef for sale at high-end grocers and steakhouses will not meet this criteria.


KB: I'm out of my research cave for now (first book out soon, Next Gen Librarianship: Tales from an Unclassified Generation from McFarland). As always, I appreciate the analysis. The Palin factor (she is the GOP's Obama) is making this an interesting year. Just south of my border, the Palinesque candidate got the GOP nomination---this can only be good for our political system. BTW, have you thought of attaching "like" buttons on your blog? Check Slate and there is a way to install them. I'd like to link directly to my FB page.


William: I see it as you do.

Andrew: I am not endorsing Noem here. I am handicapping the election. I wouldn't be too hard on the Noems for accepting Federal money. I would like to see subsides disappear, but they are part of the business. I keep thinking about all those guys who get money for not farming. I figure I am as qualified as anyone to not farm.

Erik: Thanks. I will look into it.


Ken you are probably right about the Palin remarks not helping.

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