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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fargen: Rounds Has "No Guts"

State Representative Mitch Fargen might have just guaranteed my vote for as many terms as he cares to serve. His Legislative Report in Tuesday's print MDL (hey, Mitch, how about posting those reports online?) demonstrates his capacity for straight talk, gutsy opposition, and policy specifics. I quote at length, because Mitch is darn good:

One thing that is certain is that Gov. Rounds is pushing the Legislature to propose a tax increase, and already his administration has passed many fee increases on to the people. I could tell with his revised budget and also how his office is pushing the agenda that he wants a tax increase, but Gov. Rounds does not want his name to be on it.

He has also said that the Legislature is "lacking the guts" to raise revenues for programs that are facing his budget cuts this year. I believe Gov. Rounds is the one with no guts, as he has not proposed any solutions or taken any leadership in this budget crisis. The governor cut programs that will hurt important education and health programs that affect children, seniors and the unfortunate people in this state without looking at his own personal budget. That lacks guts to me.

Gov. Rounds is showing no leadership with the budget and is blaming the Legislature for all of its downfalls in the past. He is not coming up with any solutions on to how solve it besides the hopes that President Obama will help us with his stimulus package.

We need real solutions this year for our budget, and we cannot count on the federal government to bail us out like Gov. Rounds is hoping. We need to find money inside the Government to fund the good programs that the governor cut.

I know we can look at selling four out of the six airplanes the executive branch has, cut out our South Dakota lobbyist that makes $200,000, open up no-bid contracts that will save money for the state, cut 2 percent throughout the general fund except for education and Medicaid, increase the state's cut from video lottery and the Deadwood gaming, and cut legislative travel outside of the state.

I am sorry I am being negative in this column, but when we have a governor that blames the entire downfall of the budget on the Legislature and then does not come up with any solutions to the problems of this state, I get a little upset, especially when I am getting phone calls, e-mail, and mail from people in our district that are concerned if their child can get access to the Birth to 3 program, or is the state is going to match the federal government for the Medicaid program, or if their school will have to shut down because they are not getting the increasing or decreasing enrollment-based program monies.

All of these programs are needed and cannot be cut just because Gov. Rounds is lacking leadership and is not willing to cut his own personal budget in a crisis like this [emphasis mine; Rep. Mitch Fargen, "Legislative Report," Madison Daily Leader, 2009.02.10, p. 3].

Sure, saying the governor has no guts and no solutions is negative, but sometimes being negative is exactly the right thing to do. Keep on negating the failure of the executive, Mitch, and keep on affirming the idea that even a rookie legislator can lead with positive proposals for solving problems.


  1. I understand where Mitch is coming from. I don't believe that this is being negative. He is just mainly speaking tongue in cheek. He wrote something about how he feels towards the Governor not picking up the slack that he created, and how he puts blame on the legislature. But it's noticeable to see that the governor first called the legislature gutless. The legislature is working hard and diligently. They do not want to fight with the governor, and not get this budget figured out.
    They want to work together for the betterment of the people of South Dakota. Which is what government is all about.

    Role of Government = Protect the weak.

    Role of Rounds = Protect the rich investors and no - bid contracts.

  2. Mitch Fargen, will you be my legislator?

    You offered positive solutions along with your specific criticisms. That is exactly what we expect from a legislator.

    Mitch, if you're not up to moving to a new district, then, will you be my governor?

  3. This is an excellent column. We need more legislators to take Mitch's lead and stand firm ground against the governor.

    He thinks he's being negative - but he positively put a smile on my face.

    Keep up the good work Mr. Fargen!

  4. I've known good ol' Mitch since the days in Model U.N. at SDSU (GO Jacks!) and he has not changed. I do not agree with him on all of his issues, but he has not changed. I am glad to see it.

  5. Keep up the good work Mitch.

    Last Saturday I had to listen to one of my Legislators tell me why we couldn't sell any of the airplanes. I told him maybe we need to rethink the way we do business. Don't know if it sunk in.


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