Candidates on the South Dakota GOP Platform, Part 2

PierreCap1041Read Part 1 here.

With the election coming up in South Dakota and a large crop of Republicans running for the state’s many legislative seats, people are interested in whether these representatives can be relied on to uphold Republican values and principles. As we saw last year and in previous years, “Republicans” don’t always behave like Republicans.

I sent out a simple questionnaire this weekend to all the legislative candidates for whom I had contact information, asking if they supported the South Dakota GOP Platform, and if they could not support the entire platform, to state which parts they could not support. I have already received some responses, and will post others as they come in.

I have no contact information for Nancy York, Lance Carson or Charles M. Turbiville and thus was not able to submit these questions to them. If you have an email address or contact form for them, please contact me through the “About” page on American Clarion.

When you talk to your candidates, let them know you’ll be watching their votes in Pierre in the 2017 legislative session, and will hold them accountable at the next ballot box based on whether or not they keep their word to uphold Republican principles.

This is the letter I sent to the Republican legislative candidates of South Dakota:

Woodrow Wilcox


Dear Candidate:

My name is Bob Ellis and I publish the conservative news website American Clarion.



As a Republican watching a new election coming up, I and my readers are interested in understanding the commitment of candidates running under the Republican banner to upholding the Republican principles found in the South Dakota GOP Platform.

As a Republican legislator, do you pledge to uphold the entire GOP platform?

To be clear, this would include but is not limited to support of religious liberty (preamble, 7.2), support of limited government (preamble, 2.9), support of the free market (2.4), opposition to government health care (3.2), support of parental rights (3.7, 4.3, 7.1), local control of education (4.2), recognition of our state and nation’s Christian heritage (4.8, 4.9), opposition to taxes (5.1), support of fiscal responsibility (5.2), opposition to illegal immigration (5.11), support of the right to keep and bear arms (6.4), oppose the homosexual/transgender agenda (7.4, 7.6), oppose abortion (7.7-9), and support of the South Dakota GOP platform itself (5.14).

If you cannot support the entire GOP platform, what areas specifically can you not support and why?

I would very much appreciate the courtesy of your response. You can respond to [REDACTED].com. Thank you for your time and consideration.

After Part 1, these are the additional responses I’ve received so far, unedited, in the order they came in.

From Taffy Howard, running for South Dakota Rep. in District 33:

Thank you for asking these questions of the candidates and I truly hope that all Republican candidates can and will answer as I will, and that is to say that I whole-heartedly support the SD GOP Platform. I just finished running through it again and could not find anything that I would disagree with. I believe our party takes a stand that most closely aligns with what our founding fathers envisioned when they founded this country and I can definitely say that I strongly support our platform and will do everything I can to advance that platform in Pierre if I am elected. My campaign slogan is Reagan’s statement that “Man is not free, unless government is limited.” As a representative of the people of this great state, I will always keep foremost in my mind that our government should not be doing anything that is not “critical” or that can be better performed by private citizens or private organizations (preamble, “The proper role of government is to provide for the people those critical functions that cannot be properly performed by individuals or private organizations”). I am strongly pro-life and believe life is precious from the moment of conception to the time we take our last breath and if we do not protect the most basic of rights (life), then there is no reason to protect any other rights. The right to life has to be the first right that we fight to protect. I strongly support all our rights, but the second amendment is, I believe, critical for a free citizenry to preserve our democratic republic against the ever present threat of a totalitarian form of government and I will continue to work to restore that right to a more constitutionally accurate interpretation.

From Jim Stalzer, running for South Dakota Senator in District 11:

Yes I support the platform. At the 2012 SD GOP convention I was the only elected official or candidate to speak for the plank encouraging candidates to read and follow the platform.

From Leslie Heinemann, running for South Dakota Rep. in District 8:

I have no problem upholding all of the parts of the GOP platform. In fact I helped strengthen some of the anti-Medicaid expansion in our platform. It’s too bad some of the Republicans don’t seemed to think the platform is that important.

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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.
Bob Ellis
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