A common bit of advice to other lawmakers from Jim Putnam during his 26 years as a Republican legislator from Armour was this: “Keep your eye on the ball.” That line came to mind this morning, as I considered how the South Dakota news media organizations have covered the election campaigns this summer.
Because I might need to report on some of them, I will withhold my personal opinions about some of the personalities. But their actions are triggering reactions and opinions in my head.
Some of what’s happening seems to be idiocy run amok. Some of it is self-inflected. Some of it leaves me speechless. Here are two examples from the past six weeks:
A Republican Party official proclaiming that Democrats don’t value voters when the Democrats leave ballot slots open for legislative seats — never mind that Republicans left slots open, too; and
A Democrat stating on Twitter about her candidacy that “I condone misogyny in all its forms” — and then wiping her Twitter account clean of the several tweets in which she said she condones misogyny, and showing nothing on her Twitter her account since July 16.
As for the Chad Haber and Annette Bosworth duels with Secretary of State Jason Gant and Attorney General Marty Jackley…
And people wonder why I spend so much time covering the actions of state boards and commissions and legislative committees.
It’s either that, or spending more time covering these election campaigns.
I put some time into the gubernatorial primary campaigns in May. I used a questionnaire format and went to some candidate forums.
I will shift more attention to the election politics come September and October.
During the primary season, I was stiffed by a major candidate in another race on questions about EB-5. I’ll take another run at that matter.
But some of this stuff we’ve been seeing this summer, well…