I love South Dakota, but lately it’s not been easy. Yes, there are still many good people who somehow live up to the vision/stereotype of a state and people who are fair, honest, hard-working, plain-speaking and community-minded. However, it’s become painfully and incredulously clear that an alarming number of South Dakotans act as if we’re still a Territory during the gold bonanza days in the late 1800’s, wrapping themselves in populist rhetoric while making profitable back-room deals, and covering up public money lost by thievery or incompetence. What’s worse is that a majority of SD voters continue to send these paragons of virtue back to Pierre and the innards of Sioux Falls, making this mockery possible.
My Minnesota friends would be astounded by what goes under reported and unpunished by the political power structure in SD. MN has its policial underbelly, and its share of zealots trying to take life back to the Good Ol’ Days when the Legislature measured diversity by the number of White German Men vs White Norwegian Men, women knew their place and native children were forcibly taken from parents and crammed into “Indian Schools” to beat the savage out of them. However, even the MN political fringes are militant about it’s Political Sunshine laws demanding open meetings and accountable elected officials. I moved from MN back to SD 10 years ago, and I’m still shocked what the elected and appointed get away here. The Wild West Good Ol’ Boys are alive and kickin’ in SD.
Patrick Lalley is a KSOO Radio host, blogger, writer and commentator in Sioux Falls who has followed this devolution most of his adult life, and penned the piece below with just the latest examples of skullduggery at the State Capitol: