Dear Governor Daugaard,
Since moving back to South Dakota in 2007, I have heard you, your predecessors and many legislators speak passionately about your love for South Dakota, your love for the state’s young people, your plea to have the State’s best and brightest go to college in South Dakota, and continue to live, work and raise their families in the State. I’ve heard you time and again invite the rest of the world to come visit our state as tourists. I’ve heard you time and again invite businesses, researchers, doctors, and many other high-demand professionals to come and stay in SD to enjoy the “good life” here.
Every commencement speech, every campaign commercial and stump speech, every town hall meeting is filled with epic rhetoric on why South Dakota is the BEST.
Republicans/conservatives have more or less been in power in South Dakota for at least the last 50 years. It’s during those 50 years that we became 50th in the nation in far too many categories. It’s during those 50 years we became the Brain Drain State. As the leaders, you and your colleagues are never shy of taking credit for our successes. As the leader, you need to start taking credit for the failures, too.
This latest travesty regarding transgender kids and school bathrooms and locker rooms is the worst example yet of the ignorance, bigotry, and disregard for the rule of law at our Statehouse. Please. Read the letter below. Re-read it. Please have your wife and family read it. Have your grandkids read it. It’s not written by someone seeking office, or seeking a government contract or grant or concession. It’s written by someone who is exactly the kind of person you want coming home to SD. It’s someone who is dying to come home but can’t because of the ignorance and hate present on the floors of the House and Senate.
If the ignorant are playing politics and are willing to gut the much-needed K-12 education spending bill unless you sign this travesty, veto the bill and let them. All of us in South Dakota are at a crossroads. You need to be a champion for fairness, for good for what’s right. You are the only one who can avoid this tragic mistake.