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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Voting for Daugaard? Ah, So You Like Cheating Kids...

Hey, all you folks giving Dennis Daugaard 70% favorables: are you paying attention to the status quo?

I generally don't like to give letters from the campaigns much space, but the following statement from Steve Jarding, Scott Heidepriem's campaign manager, gives a pretty straightforward assessment of the damage done under Mike Rounds's watch. Can we expect more of the same from a Governor Daugaard? Do you really want to take that chance?

Of all the misplaced priorities of the Rounds\Daugaard Administration, perhaps none is as alarming and inexplicable than their legacy with regard to our children. From the time Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard took office in 2003 through 2008 (before the national recession took hold) child poverty in South Dakota rose over 20 percent—we know it has continued to rise since then and likely has risen dramatically—official numbers for 2009 are not in yet. On top of this, South Dakota leads the nation in percentage of working moms and in the percentage of wage earners who hold multiple jobs. Many of these workers have no choice. They are trying to make ends meet with little support from Pierre.

One area of support for these children, these moms and these parents would have come in the form of the Birth to Three program. But Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard inexplicably did not support this program. Nor did they support the Pre-K program in South Dakota. Yet, literally every empirical study shows that these programs are arguably the best investment a state can make. Kids who have access to Birth to Three and Pre-K programs stay in school, get better grades, are healthier, are less likely to get in trouble, graduate in higher numbers, make a better living—the list goes on and on. But Mike Rounds and Dennis Daugaard do not support them—but they did support giving $38 million to TransCanada to build an oil pipeline they were building anyway. But they won't sell one of their taxpayer funded airplanes. But they won't give up their taxpayer funded vacation house in Custer State Park. But they will give their 19 top executive staff a $533,000 pay raise (of which Dennis Daugaard collected $63,000 of it back into his campaign coffers), and they will raid federal funds given to South Dakota for education and the poor, sticking the money into the general fund to spend covering up their debt -- all while our child poverty rate skyrockets.

We have to take South Dakota back. The lives of thousands of South Dakota's children are depending on it. Literally [links mine; text from Steve Jarding, campaign e-mail, 2010.10.12].

Would anyone care to point out which of Team Heidepriem's arguments here are wrong... or why you'd be willing to take four more years of this kid-unfriendly governing from a Daugaard Administration?


  1. # of Children in poverty in 1999: 32,900 (16.7%)

    # of Children in poverty in 2009: 34,671 (18.2%)


    Cory, since all of our reservations are both mired in poverty and growing, I'm pretty sure the bulk if not all of the growth is related to the problem on the reservations. I'm not minimizing the problem. However, the ability of the state to rectify it is limited.

    I am always struck by the idea working mom's is a bad thing. Isn't that what feminists worked for?

    But to the larger point, to accuse a man who has spent most of his working life improving the lives of our most helpless children as one insensitive to their needs is frankly disgusting.

  2. Right on, Cory. Tribes should secede from South Dakota and form their own State with two Senators and a House member. Troy represents more GOP eagerness to just place one more brick in the wall.

  3. What do they mean by not supporting pre-k? DOE and DSS certainly pushed for standards and funding for those families that didn't qualify for Head Start but were financially strapped to afford private pre-k.

    As an add on to Troy, isn't it quite illustrative that more government doesn't solve poverty problems? You liberals like to chide conservatives for trying to legislate morality and values but making sure we do everything to encourage those things can do more than any government program ever could. I think the model is less government dependence and more self responsibility.
    As far as the reservations are concerned, the only way we as a state can be of real help is if the federal government turns everything over to the state. Larry says the GOP is trying to put bricks in the wall but they are already there and the federal government makes sure of it. The problems that are on the reservation are a result of years of failed federal policies that have stained multiple generations. It's almost like saying the state of SD needs to go fix Afghanistan.

  4. [Ryan... ? last name?]

    The state can't just wash its hands of the problem. If children are in poverty, we as a community have an obligation to look for remedies, through whatever means may work. The solution may not be more government, but it sure might be different government.

  5. Cory,

    I agree. Child poverty is an issue for which we all must be concerned. But the accusation Dennis Dauguard is unconcerned about children, especially disadvantaged children, is one of the most disgusting things I have ever heard in politics. On this specific issue, Dennis Dauguard is a hero for which he deserves our praise and admiration.

  6. ...and I'll be happy to vote for Daugaard to serve another term as head of the Children's Home Society.


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