RINO Governor Daugaard Backs RINOs in Primary Again

Phil Jensen


There are some people you just know you can count on.  Sure, everyone disappoints someone from time to time, but there are certain folks out there who are reliable. You can count on them to put the greater good ahead of their own convenience or what’s easy.  You know you can count on them to do what’s right. You can count on them to do what needs to be done.

Do not feed the RINOs

Adapted from a photo by Colin Kinnear.

Then there are the Republicans In Name Only (RINOs), like our Governor Dennis Daugaard.

You can usually count on RINOs, too, just not in the same way you can count on good people. You can always count on RINOs to choose the easy way–the one that doesn’t require a principled stand, the one that doesn’t require saying “No” to a squeaky but overbearing wheel, the one that require them to stick their neck out at personal risk.  You can always count on RINOs to take the liberal path, usually proportionate with how important the issue is.  If you’re a conservative, you can always count on them to let you down when you need them the most.

Rick Kriebel 2016


During the last presidential election cycle in 2012, Daugaard took the unusual step of endorsing some Republicans over other Republicans in the primary.  Normally, high profile incumbents don’t show partisanship in the primary. After all, many such figures–the governor included–are de facto if not official officers in the party, and the party is usually expected to support ALL the candidates who hail under its banner in the primary. But not Dennis Daugaard in 2012 during his first term as governor. No, he endorsed several Republicans over other Republicans in their primaries, and in just about all cases, he supported the more liberal candidate. Of course, the fact that he would favor liberal “Republicans” over ones who were actually loyal to Republican Party principles was, sadly, no surprise either. Given Daugaard’s record of leaning Left at critical times, it was in character (and I use the term “character” loosely, for it’s usually reserved for people who do the right thing even when it costs them).

In 2012, our supposedly pro-life, conservative governor endorsed liberal Republicans who had received an “F” from South Dakota Right to Life, who had voted multiple times for embryonic stem cell research which destroys innocent human life, in favor of forcing insurance companies to cover abortifacients, with poor records on open government, who had supported ObamaCare in our state, with a poor record on parental rights, with a poor record on dealing with illegal immigration, with poor records on gun rights, poor records on education, poor records on taxes, and poor records on resisting the homosexual agenda.

According to the South Dakota GOP Platform, the party stands against the liberal agenda in all of these areas. The South Dakota Republican Party Platform is pro-life, pro-family, limited government, low taxes, promoting the rule of law and our God-given rights.  Why would the South Dakota governor–the highest Republican official in the state–not only fail to exemplify such values himself, but go to the additional effort of championing liberals who make a mockery of our party’s own platform?  Why, indeed?

Woodrow Wilcox


Incidentally, this is the same “Republican” governor who has applauded the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion in South Dakota, and other expansions of “free stuff” that costs hard-working Americans a lot of money.

It’s the same “Republican” governor who, instead of trying to fight the unconstitutional ObamaCare scheme in South Dakota, took $7 million in federal bribe money to “study” implementing ObamaCare exchanges in our state.

Daugaard has also called for, in addition to all the other ways he supports raising your taxes, raising your taxes on internet purchases–something that even a lot of Democrats realize is a bad idea.

Our “Republican” governor also earned a “C” for fiscal policy; shouldn’t a Republican be earning “A”s?

When liberals in the “mainstream” media came after a conservative legislator, attempting to smear him as a “racist” (a favorite tactic of the Left), did Dennis Daugaard come to the aid of his fellow Republican? No, he threw him under the bus, instead.

When President Barack Obama made it known he wanted to force poorly vetted Syrian refugees on the sovereign states of our union, did Dennis Daugaard protect the people of South Dakota–or once again lick the boot of the tyrant in Washington?  You guessed it.

When some Republicans in the legislature sponsored legislation in an attempt to protect the religious liberty of Christian business people in South Dakota, it was our “Republican” governor who came out against such measures.

He has also gone out of his way to veto a bill to protect the security and privacy of our state’s school children. When the majority of South Dakota legislators stood against the “restroom wars” waged by the transgender/homosexual agenda and passed a bill to protect our children, Dennis Daugaard stood instead with the radical Left and vetoed it.

While some Republicans in the legislature were trying to deal with the problem of illegal immigration in our state, our “Republican” governor opposed them and even sought ways to secret taxpayer funds to pay for health care for pregnant illegal aliens.

Want to expand trade with a brutal regime like communist China, though, and Dennis Daugaard is all over that like wet on rain.

These are just a few examples of the kind of man our “Republican” governor is.  And if you didn’t know the kind of people Daugaard supports from his 2012 endorsements, this little recap of some of Daugaard’s own flirtations with the liberal agenda should give you a fresh idea.

As reported by Bob Mercer on Pure Pierre Politics, Daugaard has recently made $1,000 contributions to a variety of RINOs and other liberal-leaning legislators who can be counted on to heel when he calls.

I am not familiar with all of these candidates (some are East River), but in the races I am familiar with, Daugaard has, at a minimum, chosen the candidate most likely to side with him and his Left-leaning agenda. In many cases, he is financially backing liberal “RINOs” whose records are so bad that Democrats are about the only ones with worse voting records.

Go ahead. Check their records yourself. The 2016 American Clarion Scorecard shows some of these people with scores like 65%, 64%, 63%, 46%, 44%, 44%, and such. Some of these people vote with the Democrats more than they vote in support of Republican principles. Some of the incumbents on Daugaard’s pet list voted to raise your taxes, against overriding Daugaard’s veto of the restroom privacy bill, and generally sold out your interest in favor of political correctness.

Daugaard’s pets include:

  • Senator Deb Peters over former legislator Lora Hubbel
  • Caleb Fink over former legislator Stace Nelson
  • Senator Bruce Rampelberg over Rep. Lance Russell
  • Rep. Jacqueline Sly over Senator Phil Jensen
  • Senator Alan Solano over Rick Kriebel
  • Rep. Jeff Partridge over Janette McIntyre
  • Terri Haverly over Tina Mulally

Other RINOs are throwing around big RINO money in some of these races, too, including one of the biggest RINOs in the entire state (Stan Adelstein) helping fellow RINO Jacqueline Sly against conservative Phil Jensen.  As usual, the good guys are way outgunned by establishment money.

It’s too late at this point to get a good governor. We’re stuck with this vindictive RINO for another couple of years.  But you can make a difference in the legislature NOW.  Check out the records of the people Daugaard supports, and the positions of their challengers.  Then set your mind to help support Republican values. Give campaign contributions if you can. Donate your time to help knock on doors, make phone calls, stuff envelopes, and the like. Help educate others and encourage them to vote for what is right. And make sure to get out and cast your vote for the candidates who best uphold the Republican principles which keep our state and nation prosperous and free.

The last time Daugaard did this, most of his pet picks lost. Let’s see if we can make sure that happens again, perhaps by an even greater margin this time.

Don’t let the Left win, regardless of what letter they have after their name.



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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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  • conservatives for stace

    Well said! I certainly hope this article is shared over and over!