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Friday, January 22, 2010

Sen. Olson: Forget Renewable Energy; Let's Play Bingo!

Another note from the "I can't make stuff like this up" department:

Senator Russell Olson (R-8/Madison) has a vision for rural economic development in South Dakota. That vision does not include small renewable energy projects or tax breaks for those who build them. His employer, Heartland Consumer Power District, probably loathes the thought of individuals producing their own power, becoming more energhy independent, and messing up their pretty little grid. Senator Olson voted against Senate Bill 58 in the State Affairs Committee yesterday.

What is Senator Olson's vision for rural economic development? Our man Russ is a prime sponsor of House Bill 1095. This legislation permits local industrial development corporations to conduct bingo games and lotteries.

Bingo. Lotteries.

So that's how Senator Olson's previous employer, the Lake Area Improvement Corporation, is going to fulfill the Forward Madison goals: they're going to hire 400 people to sell lottery tickets and run a bingo hall in the renovated depot. (I assume the LAIC is one of the "industrial development corporations" created by SDCL 5-14-23.)

To review: Olson is a Republican voting against (1) business opportunities and (2) tax breaks, but promoting games of chance as an economic development strategy.

I want to use renewable energy for economic development. Russ wants to use bingo.

Ah, vision.

Of course, if HB 1103 passes, you'll be able to drive your golf cart to the bingo hall. Say, couldn't we charge those carts with wind turbines?


  1. Steve Sibson1/22/2010 6:05 AM


    Again I ask you:

    Why are you supporting tax cuts? I thought you believed tax cuts hurt business. Now you are supporting a tax cut for special intersts and saying:

    "I want to use renewable energy for economic development."

    You are bouncing all over the place Cory. You are not making any sense. Is it because you lied when you used carefully selected statistics to say tax increases are good for business? Please explain yourself.

  2. It's almost as if he doesn't recognize that if you're not producing something, you're not developing the area economically. Lotteries simply redistribute existing wealth. Wow.

  3. Steve Sibson1/22/2010 11:27 AM

    "Lotteries simply redistribute existing wealth. Wow."


    And that is true about government in general, including tax cuts for renewable energy.

  4. I like this bill. Who needs taxes, let's just mandate that every citizen play at least 2 hours of bingo a week and the money replaces all other taxes.

    The problem with our government is they don't make paying taxes fun. This bill would be a step in the right direction. Instead of a sales tax, go to the bingo hall and have a hayday!!!

    Think of all the sideline revenue in soda and coffee sales at the bingo halls the state could drum up. Heck, even offer a Friday night all you can eat buffet to cover property tax revenues.

    I don't even think the most advid T-bagger could oppose this kind of fun!!

  5. No one is safe when the legislature is in session!

    As business owners, we deal with budgets all the time. Gov't does not think long term. We need a 5 to 10 year budget plan for the state that would eliminate the need for the annual drama in Pierre over money.


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