Voting Report Key:
Votes WITH the S.D. Republican Party Platform are in RED
it are in BLUE
Excused absences (No recorded
vote on a bill) are in YELLOW
A detailed review of the 2011 South Dakota Legislative Session is now available. Interactive reports of how they voted in relation to the South Dakota Republican Party Platform were compiled and are linked above by percent voted with the platform or by district
listing of the legislator. These reports will be emailed, posted on Facebook, and mailed to voting Republicans across
the state. Please review these reports and forward them along.
". . . whenever the people
are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their
notice, they may be relied on to set them right." Thomas Jefferson
Those of us who have been involved in Republican politics in South Dakota
have long wondered why some of the seemingly most "common sense" pieces of legislation seem to either die in committee
or in some cases are "postponed until the 41st day" (which is the euphemism used in Pierre when legislators don't
really care to deal with a particular issue or piece of legislation during the current session).
Now to be fair, some of these bills are defeated due to pressure by "special
interest" groups and lobbyists (such as the NEA, AARP, ACLU, or others) and even occasionally because of opposition from
the voting public at large.
In the past several years though, we have seen good legislation defeated that would
have helped to rein in entitlements, keep our taxes low, and preserve our personal rights and private property rights.
Many of these bills were not only rooted in "common sense", but were also based on principles contained
in the South Dakota Republican Party Platform- a document that outlines the political positions and beliefs of the Republican Party
in our state.
The preamble to this document contains the following statements:
“The South Dakota Republican Party believes that
the fundamental principles of the Republican Party are rooted in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the
United States, and the Constitution of the State of South Dakota.”
South Dakota Republican Party believes the proper role of government is to provide for the people only those critical functions
that cannot be performed by individuals or private organizations. The best government is that which governs least.”
The platform document goes on to list (in seven different sections)
what the South Dakota Republican Party stands for. For example:
Natural Resources and Energy: "The South Dakota Republican Party strongly supports private property rights."
Economic Development and Jobs: "The South Dakota Republican Party believes government should not have an
unfair advantage in competition with private enterprise." [Section 2.6]
Health and Human Services: "We support the concept
that individual states should develop and control their own health care plans as determined by local needs and strongly oppose
the nationalization of our healthcare system." [Section 3.2]
Education and Cultural Affairs: "The South
Dakota Republican Party supports parental choice and local control in education in our state." [Section 4.3]
Governmental Affairs: "The South Dakota Republican Party recognizes that government is primarily funded by the taxes which
come from individuals and businesses. The Party encourages government at all levels to operate efficiently, share services
wherever possible and limit or reduce government spending when possible." [Section 5.3]
Public Safety and Security: "The South Dakota Republican
Party supports a strong and reasonable approach to homeland security while protecting our borders; and maintaining a secure
state and nation." [Section 6.6]
Family and Community
Values: "The South Dakota Republican Party, consistent with
South Dakota law, opposes funding abortions with public resources." [Section 7.8]
We are very concerned that many Republicans in our state legislature have NOT been voting in accordance to their
own Republican Party Platform.
In fact, we contend that lack of adherence to the South Dakota Republican Party Platform is one of the biggest reasons why poor legislation is oftentimes passed while much of the "common sense" legislation
is consistently voted down (if in fact, it ever makes it to the floor for a vote at all).
If self-professed "Republicans"
are not voting according to their own platform, then at some point we have to ask: "What is the use of creating and maintaining
such a "platform" if it is only followed when it is politically expedient or personally convenient to do so ?"
In our opinion, the word "platform" is indicative of something one stands upon, as opposed to merely a set
of suggested "recommendations."
Consider the words of the South Dakota Republican Party Platform's preamble:
“The South Dakota Republican
Party believes that the fundamental principles of the Republican Party are rooted in the Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of South Dakota.”