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Monday, June 21, 2010

Brian C. Liss Plays to Inattentive District 13 Voters

Remember, candidates: your junk mail now goes out to bloggers as well, and bloggers respond negatively to bull.

Today's case in point is a campaign letter from District 13 candidate for State House Brian C. Liss. Challenging incumbent Representative Susy Blake, Liss apparently sends out a letter crying about "Socialism!" He apparently tries to make hay out of the fact that Blake voted this year for HCR 1015, which would have declared that the federal stimulus money that saved South Dakota's budget constituted "important, useful, and beneficial investments for our people, economy, and infrastructure." HCR—that stands for House Concurrent Resolution. Resolution—i.e., even had it passed, it would have done nothing.

Liss's real beef should be with SB 196, the FY2011 state budget that actually spends those nasty stimulus dollars. Rep. Blake voted against that spending. GOP nominee for Congress Kristi Noem voted for spending that stimulus money. So who's the socialist now, Mr. Liss?

Liss himself appears to like government spending. On his Issues page, he advocates bringing home all the federal handouts we can for "benefits and services." He also promises to go to Pierre and spend more tax dollars on education. Isn't that socialism, too?

But the blogger who gets first dibs on setting Mr. Liss straight is Corey Vilhauer of Black Marks on Wood Pulp. He makes a rare excursion into politics to chastise "Freedom Fighter" Liss for his blowhardery:

...Despite your letter’s insistence, governmental support for public services is not “socialism.” And the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act isn’t “unprecedented intergenerational theft”....

Those things don’t mean the same thing. They never have. Buy a dictionary. I’m struggling to determine which freedoms you’re fighting for, and why I’m in need of a freedom fighter in the first place. I get it, though. You’re using baited buzz words in order to scare those who aren’t paying attention into backing the standard Conservative Agenda [emphasis mine; insightful observation by Corey Vilhauer, "Dear Brian Liss, Republican," Black Marks on Wood Pulp, 2010.06.21].

Right on the money, C.V. Shouters like Liss turn some cute phrases, but they always fail on the details. Their only hope is that enough busy voters won't have time to pay close attention to what politicians are really saying and will fall for the surface-level rhetoric.

Voters of District 13 (and elsewhere!), pay attention. The only thing you need to "liberate" District 13 from is the sloppy and contradictory rhetoric of Brian C. Liss and similar conservative fakers.


  1. And let it be known that I HATE talking about politics on the blog. Ugh. So if there's any fallout, I've only got myself to blame.

  2. Brian Liss (www.BrianLiss.com)

    I recently discussed the difference between spending money made available by the US gov't. and supporting going into debt to make those dollars available. The post is at Facebook. "Brian Liss for House District 13" is the name of the page.

    I empathize with Cory. Politics has intruded into too many areas of our lives. The budget is so big that people squabble intensely over it.

    I think you guys will find I am a very independent thinker. Enjoy the rest of your day.


  3. I know, Corey, you generally shun the political online. I figured for you to foray into the field, you must have been worked up.

    And Mr. Liss! Nice to have you along. I checked the Facebook page to which you referred. The pertinent text, I suspect:

    "It's one thing for a state legislator to use money the federal government has already made available. It's another thing to support making it available in the first place.

    "Most Democrats in the SD House voted to support the ARRA with a resolution. The ARRA accumulates 787 billion dollars of debt over 10 years and is co...mmonly known as 'the stimulus.' These facts are illustrative of the vast gap between the rhetoric and the record of the Democrat incumbants. All of this talk about fiscal responsibility during election years means nothing when they vote in Pierre. In addition, many of the uses of the ARRA money were quite foolish, but you won't find them listed here [ref to HCR 1015 text]."

    I'm afraid I don't see the distinguishing text there that permits you logically to (1) assail a Democrat who voted for an actionless resolution expressing support in principle for stimulus spending that could spare the state from much worse budgetary pain, but to (2) give a pass to Republicans like Noem and most of her fellow GOP legislators who actually voted to spend that money.

    ...unless, of course, I'm misreading your position. Are you saying, Mr. Liss, that Rep. Blake is to be criticized for not taking your seemingly Machiavellian position of criticizing the money while reaching for it and spending it?

    Independent thinking is always welcome. Considering your position as added enjoyment to mine. :-)

    (p.s.: "civilian Army contractor"—you didn't work for Blackwater, did you?)

  4. I'm also a little confused by the issues page of Brians.

    The first three issues talks about the need to provide quality services for our elderly (spending money), increasing funding for k-12 schools (spending money) and reducing business regulation (NOT spending money). Then he tries to attack Susy on this?

    I just don't get the argument here. You are either for spending money on schools, for the elderly and for a solid infrastructure (which is actually good for businesses) or you are against it.

    Brian - you might not want to go on the attack without fully thinking about the position.

  5. Brian Liss (www.BrianLiss.com)

    Travis- I favor solid schools, infrastructure, and taking care of the folks. However, I don't share a Keynesian mindset. This perspective has gotten the Greeks, Mexicans, Argentinians, etc. into very deep trouble. They have required a great deal of help from the US and others to get them out of trouble. When our GDP is exceeded by our debt, and the interest rates skyrocket, who bails us out?

    Nobody who voted for HCR 1015 is mindful of basic economics.

  6. But why, Brian, this focus on a mere resolution (supported by Democrats) without the same condemnation of an actual budget (supported by Republicans) based on the same allegedly faulty economics?


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