Scott did a terrific job at the debate on Saturday night in Springfield in front of the Farm Bureau. Scott scored a lot of points with how state government in Pierre is broken and how the current Administration has not done its job. At one point Lieutenant Governor Daugaard even suggested that South Dakotans are paying less today for their electric bills than they were when he took office! South Dakota ratepayers would most assuredly beg to differ! Check out the footage from the debate here.
Wow. State Fair Debate Illustrates Stark Differences -- On Saturday, September 3rd on an absolutely gorgeous day at the South Dakota State Fair's Freedom Stage, Scott Heidepriem and Dennis Daugaard articulted their very different plans for South Dakota. Lt.Governor Daugaard defended the status quo which has seen education funding shrink during the Rounds/Daugaard term from 39% of general funds to 31%. He defended the state maintaining 10 airplanes as neighboring states cut their fleets to a single airplane or none at all. He defending the state using a quarter-million of taxpayer money to rennovate the bathrooms at "Valhalla", the secret summer summer home for the Governor, Lt. Governor and their cronies. He defended dramatically slashing the State Fair budget as his Administration blew through state tax dollars elsewhere despite the fact that the Fair showcases agriculture, young farmers, rural development and our way of life while drawing tens of thousands of South Dakotans (and Iowans and Minnesotans) to the heart of the James River Valley each September. Daugaard did not even try to defend the fact that the Rounds\Daugaard Administration cut ag and extension programs that help support 4-H and other programs which are instrumental to the Fair and to our way of life. And, yet again, while praising parts of the Rounds record, the Lt. Governor threw Governor Rounds under the proverbial bus on issues like ethanol and wind energy when the audience quickly realized the Rounds/Daugaard Administration has been anything but a friend to value-added agriculture. Every debate makes it increasingly clear. It's time to change South Dakota. It's time to fix our fiscal crisis so South Dakota can make real investments in eduction and economic development.
Daugaard at DakotaFest: A Reinterpretation; A Flip Flop; An Abdication of Leadership -- For the Third Time in Three Debates Daugaard Throws Mike Rounds Under the State Government Bus
Dennis Daugaard's woes at debates continued and indeed exploded today at the candidate debate at Mitchell's DakotaFest. First, Daugaard felt he had to reinterpret his own words when he told the DakotaFest crowd that he never said he opposed the $26 million in federal education funding because he feared "strings" that might be "attached." But a transcript of the August 12 education debate in Sioux Falls, shows he indeed said he would not accept the funds because of feared "strings" attached. Not good.
If reinterpreting his own words wasn't enough, Daugaard who said at that education debate last week that he would have voted against the education funds for South Dakota if he had been in Congress because of those "strings," today flip flopped and said he would accept the federal funds. Well, which is it Mr. Daugaard, are the funds good or are they bad? So, let us get this right. You would have voted against them before you took them? Sounds like a fairly famous political flip flop of recent times.
Finally, if the Daugaard campaign bus is hitting bumps in the road, it is apparently because Daugaard himself keeps throwing his running mate, Mike Rounds under it. For the third debate in a row, Daugaard tried to have it both ways. "If you like Mike Rounds," Daugaard repeatedly argues, "then I am his right hand cheerleader and partner." But now, "If you don't like Mike Rounds' policies," he clearly is saying, "then they are "Mike Rounds'" policies not those of Dennis Daugaard." So, again today at DakotaFest, as he did in the past two debates, Daugaard baffled onlookers by again trying to distrance himself from horrible policy outcomes of the Rounds\Daugaard Administration by claiming he really isn't part of the Rounds\Daugaard Administration at all. Instead, he said, he is his "own man" and that it is not his "duty" to defend Mike Rounds' budgets! Not exactly a profile in leadership.
Finally, and perhaps ironically, Daugaard has been ending each debate by saying South Dakotans should vote for him because of his record as a "leader." Leader! Do leaders really reinterpret their own words, flip flop, and abdicate responsibility for their actions by blaming them on their running mate? That's a pretty shameful display of "leadership." In fact, that is not leadership at all. They are the actions of a typical politician. And typical politician get states into horrible messes -- not out of them. Leaders get them out of them. That leader is Scott Heidepriem. Enjoy the debate.