Finally, the South Dakota Governor debate bonanza is over.
On Tuesday, October 29th over at the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club Billie Sutton and Kristi Noem finished the last of three debates that have taken place in less than a week. Many South Dakotans did engage in watching the first of these debates on KELO television, none watched round 2 since it was on SD PBS, and just a ribbon of politically connected folks watched today’s but only because of the delicious Hors d’oeuvres provided by the rotary club. I am jesting a bit here, of course, there were probably a hundred or so folks watching online too. Plus, whoever works on the campaign, plus there are the employees of the rotary club…
As stated by probably anyone with half a brain in politics: these debates don’t matter very much. Yes, they do have some impact, and perhaps contain the potential to be tremendously powerful if a candidate messes up. Soundbites for radio commercials and all that. Which is exactly what almost happened to her during round 1 of the debate. Why Noem felt it would be wise to attack the guy in the wheelchair and compare him to a geriatric senator from Vermont; I do not know. If a winner had to be called last Tuesday night, it was Sutton.
Well, it seems that over the course of the last two debates that Representative Kristi Noem learned her lesson and decided to adopt the pleasant and peaceful (not to mention boring) debate performance of her competitor. For Noem, this is the smart play; as Sutton needs negative soundbites more so than Kristi. Moreover, to her credit, Kristi kept her cool and acted the role of politician well until just near the end. If you want to know what I’m talking about, please go to the video by KSFY at 54 minutes and watch the candidates ask each other a question. Noem got so very close to screwing it all up. Despite that mistake I still must give the victory over to Kristi Noem since she met the goal of staying chill and overall, I found her to be more specific about what policies she would enact as governor. Something that team Sutton might want to work on when speaking with people this week (hint, hint).
With only a week away til election day I have to say that the race is much more competitive than most experts predicted (including myself). There is real and distinct possibility that we will be seeing the end of a 40-year GOP streak of living in the governors, However, in many ways, South Dakota is still Republican territory, and that advantage does roll in Noem’s favor. Who wins this election at this point is anyone’s guess?
Balanced Budget Amendment
Internet for small towns
Reform assistance programs, so they help provide economical betterment opportunities.
More agriculture programs at SDSU
better train School boards and adjust the revenue formulation
eliminates the need for student remedial courses. She pointed out only 25% of students graduate in 4 years, 50% in 6 years.
Noem is against IM 25 (the cigarette tax)
Supports the death penalty in rare circumstances.
Wants to support law enforcement and turn around crime rate.
Wants more transparency in government, no confidential government meetings in most circumstances
Reporter Shield Laws
No confidential settlements for S.D. politicians
With the advice of law enforcement, she wouldn’t be against removing the felony for illegal drug use
More drug treatment options for public and county jails
Choose more conservative judges that reflect S.D. values
Habitat initiative (look it up on her website she says)
More wildlife and hunting licenses to pay for environmental cleanup efforts.
No expansion of gambling operation on reservation land
The state should mainly pay for law enforcement for the Keystone pipeline
Supports Jason Ravnsborg for S.D. Attorney General
Also wants to balance the budget
More early childhood education investment
More training for at-risk youth and to lower student/teacher ratio in smaller school districts
More dual credits and needs-based scholarships
Also against IM 25
Is against the death penalty, but says he will stand by the law of the land
Openness on emails and keep all state records forever in the databases,
Also wants more transparency in government
End felony for drug use in S.D. (only state where it is still a felony)
Use a qualifications committee to decide judges
Support Bumper strip legislation
Work with the DNR and industry for protecting the environment and regulations
No gambling expansion also
Also wants the state to help counties pay for law enforcement
Supports Randy Seiler for S.D. Attorney General