Letters to the editor, February 6, 2021
Our Voice Matters
The South Dakota coat of arms proudly states, “Under God the People Rule,” but under the proposed Home Rule charter – it would be better stated, “The Manager Rules.” While Mayors are elected by the voters, Managers are hired by the politicians – and given unfettered power and control from: legislative authority (SDCL 9-10-15(9)); law enforcement (SDCL 9-10-15(1)); the budget and public treasury (SDCL 9-10-15(5) & SDCL 9-10-15(8)); and even extra-ordinary powers (9-10-15(10). Under a City Manager, no one is safe – including government employees who can be hired and fired at a whim. (SDCL 9-10-13).
On a personal note, for those of us who are currently renting and a planning to buy a house in the Rapid City area, it matters a lot. If Home Rule would come why would we want to move there. Also, even those that are not living in Rapid City, they still be affected by it in one way or another.
Let’s keep it.
Martina Kilburn, Box Elder
I watched the local news broadcast last night regarding Representative Taffy Howard’s inquiry into how much tax dollars were spent for our governor to stump for the Trump campaign (and frankly her current and future ambitions). I fully support Representative Howard’s inquiry. Governor Noem has always touted her policy of full transparency to the citizens of our great state. Her response to Representative Howard's inquiry was inadequate at best. Representative Howard was not asking for the route of the motorcade, or how many security personnel were used or the weapons that were available. It was simply a question of how much tax payer money was spent on these trips.
We have a right to know and the governor needs to step up and release the dollar amount that was spent. In my view, the larger question is; why did she (Governor Noem) feel it was necessary to spend our tax dollars in the first place? Why wouldn’t the Trump campaign or the Governor's campaign foot the bill? I applaud Representative Howard for standing up and asking the question. I fear that the RINOs will scramble to demonize Representative Howard for not supporting the governor.
Randy Chavez, Custer
Country over party
On Jan. 6th a violent mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, intending to interrupt Congress doing its constitutional duty of certifying the Electoral College’s vote. Some of them planned to kidnap and murder members of Congress. One police officer was killed defending those members, and many others were wounded.
Two weeks later the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell said, “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president and other powerful people, and they tried to use fear and violence.” If it had been a Democratic president who’d done all that Trump had done, no doubt he would have been impeached and convicted within days.
The Senate will soon begin the trial of Donald Trump for his role in the attack on the Capitol. His conviction will be a punishment that will deter future lame-duck presidents from trying such seditionist acts. If our senators Thune and Rounds don’t agree with that, and if they’re okay with the murder of police for the purpose of obstructing a constitutional process, then by all means they should acquit. I hope that for once they will put country above political party and vote to convict.
Dismantling the democratic process
As a kid of 1950’s and 60’s South Dakota, in Great America when Republicans thought for themselves, most neighborhood parents shared affiliation. Neighborhood gatherings included thoughtful discussions examining sides to political issues. More recently our national party orchestrates cleverly twisted responses that abuse our loyalty to party. It belittles discriminating thought. The barrier between national and state party is crumbling the integrity that stood firm. State legislators now vilify each other as not Republican if they think for themselves. Citizen protections hard fought for have been derisively renamed “ regulations" to convince us to eliminate them.
Goals include streamlining eminent domain of property and water rights for things like foreign pipelines. This year's legislation includes alarming aims to dismantle the citizen democratic process. For example the House just passed HB 1028 ruling out the right to contest giant agribusiness and mining's use and pollution of drinking water and trout streams. Our governor would eliminate checks and balances provided by separate departments of agriculture and of environment and natural resources. Again, to streamline out-of-state and big corporations take of what they want without considering South Dakotans, land and water consequences, or local producers.
Let legislators know you don’t approve.
Thomas Thorson, Custer
Are they happy?
I wonder if voters that believed media enough to not vote for President Trump are happy our current president will use Tax Payer money not only for abortions in the US, but in foreign countries as well?
Ronald Smith, Deadwood
Bring it to light
Whether you supported the Keystone XL and its workers or not you must admit that the Biden Administration’s socialist agenda and suspending the permit for the pipeline has left many voids for our community.
Some businesses have spent thousands to remodel for winter stays, restaurants bought extra inventory and hotels bought extra linens and performed upgrades. I am not asking for subsidies or handouts. I want to provide the services that we have invested for and planned to provide.
We rural business and municipalities should be looking for media exposure to advocate and help bring our losses to the same debate table as the dismantling of high paying union trade jobs. A swipe of the pin decimated rural small businesses in collateral damage, and it needs to be brought to light.
Laurie Cox, Midland
Death threats made against Dusty Johnson, or anyone, are reprehensible. The divisiveness in our country must stop. We focus too much on our differences rather than the things we have in common.
I complain about politicians all the time. However, I do my best to remain civil. Yes, I get angry and upset over politics, as we do when we are dismayed with the direction of American politics at times. But we do not need to resort to threats of violence.
Many of us have been disappointed in the way politicians have defended Trump when he has acted less than Presidential. Personally, I have never been able to understand how Trump won the Republican nomination to begin with, as his behavior throughout his entire campaign was atrocious. Regardless, I have never wanted Trump dead. I prefer he and others be held accountable for their crimes and uncivil behavior.
While Thune, Rounds, Johnson, and Noem have a great deal to answer for regarding their support of a megalomaniac, I wish them well and hope they make better decisions regarding our state and country. If not, we can always go to the polls to express our disappointment in their leadership.
David Hubbard, Rapid City