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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Questions for Tonight's Madison Candidates Forum

Anybody running for anything in our fair county will be at the Madison High School lunchroom tonight at 7 p.m. for the Chamber of Commerce forum. Candidates will face a series of questions carefully vetted by the Chamber's Governmental Affairs Committee.

Maybe the Chamber will surprise me and permit some tough questions, like...
  1. For our District 8 Senate candidates: "Please explain the extent to which voters should consider your opponent's criminal record and your own in selecting our next state senator."
  2. For District 8 House candidate Jason Bjorklund (and anyone else who cares to jump in): "Do you believe the public schools in Madison, Chester, Rutland, and Ramona have failed? If so, with what practical alternatives should we replace them?"
  3. For all District 8 legislative candidates: "Senator Russell Olson said in Wednesday's Madison Daily Leader that the 2011 Legislature may face a deficit even greater than the projected $107 million. Yet Senator Olson's Republican colleague Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard optimistically assures us the deficit is only $80 million and falling. Who's right?"
  4. For all District 8 legislative candidates: "What's the smallest size school district that the state can afford to support?"
  5. For District 8 Senate candidates: "Who gets your vote for District 8 House?"
  6. For District 8 House candidates: "Who gets your vote for District 8 Senate?"
  7. For Lake County Sheriff candidates: "Should we allow public officials to hold full-time jobs with the county while collecting retirement benefits?"
  8. For Lake County Sheriff candidates: "Does Lake County have a drinking problem?"
  9. For Lake County Commission candidates: "What impact will the extensive proposed revisions of the county zoning ordinances have on Lake County resident?"
  10. For Lake County Commission candidates: "Do you support continuing to hand out $25,000 of county taxpayer money to the LAIC for failed job creation policies with zero public accountability?"
  11. For all candidates: "How are you voting on IM 13 on legalizing marijuana in South Dakota?"
I think that list of questions would make for a lively forum, don't you?

Eager readers, your additions to that list are welcome in the comment section. And candidates, if you're reading, your responses are welcome here as well.


  1. I thought the Auditor candidates were involved in this to. No tough questions for them?

  2. None come to mind, Nichole. Any suggestions?

  3. We all remember the controversy over our school superintendents using retire/rehire to double-dip the system, collecting full salary while also collecting full retirement benefits back in December of last year. People had strong opinions but no chance to vote on the issue.

    On Tuesday, we will get to vote on whether current retired Sheriff Roger Hartman keeps collecting his full retirement benefits while earning his full Lake County salary. In Roger's case, double-dipping takes away opportunity from the next generation.

    Roger said in 2006 that he would not run again (January 2006 Madison Daily Leader), it would be his last term. What changed his mind? Greed? Double-dipping in the sheriff's race is questionable.

  4. You should ask the Sheriff candidates if any of them had been demoted while they were in law enforcement.

  5. In answer to your questions for Sheriff. State Law did allow for Sheriff Hartman to retire and remain in the position of Sheriff when he did so several years ago. Does that make it right or moral to draw retirement and remain on the payroll? In circumstances where the public figure is engaged and active following retirement, no. In the current case of our sheriff, yes! The laws have since been changed in recognition of the fact it is wrong to double dip. And who in our county could disagree with alcohol use and abuse being a serious issue? It seems like the only time Madison has made statewide headlines lately is when something with alcohol is involved. And seriously Cory, how do think a law enforcement officer would vote on the medical marijuana bill?
    Jason Lurz


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