South Dakota GOP Convention Deliberations on Resolutions

South Dakota GOP Convention General Assembly

South Dakota GOP Convention General Assembly

When the general assembly of the 2014 South Dakota GOP Convention came together this morning (369 registered delegates was the final count), recommendations from the Resolutions Committee were considered.

Resolution 1 honoring Alice Kundert was passed Friday evening unanimously.

Resolution 2 recognizing the election of SD Attorney General Marty Jackley as president of the National Association of Attorney’s General was passed with no discussion

Resolution 3 recognizing SD GOP Chairman Craig Lawrence was passed without discussion.

Resolution 4 calling for party unity after the election was passed without discussion and only a few “nays”.

Resolution 5 Electoral College was passed without discussion and no “nays.”

Resolution 6 on Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Laws  was passed without discussion and no “nays.”

Resolution 7 in support of the Keystone Pipeline Project was discussed. There were some concerns stated from some delegates relating to the fact that much of the oil might end up going to China instead of the United States. Other concerns included eminent domain issues. The item passed with a small number of “nays.”

Resolution 8 concerning timbering in the Black Hills National Forest and the pine beetle infestation.  The item was passed without discussion and no opposition.

Resolution 9 on the Internal Revenue Service calls for an investigation of the agency for abuse of power and targeting of the Tea Party, and withholding of any funds for expansion of the agency until an investigation has been carried out.

An amendment was offered to add “and to work toward abolishing the IRS” to the end of the resolution.  The voice vote was close so a roll call vote was taken. Yea’s 133, nays 222, motion failed.

Another amendment was offered, following the end of the resolution with: “Be it further resolved that our elected representatives sponsor an amendment to repeal the 16th Amendment.”  Motion failed on a close voice vote. The question was called and the resolution passed without opposition.

Resolution 10 in support of Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL).

An amendment was offered to strike “…supports Country Of Origin Labeling” and replace it with “encourages voluntary Country Of Origin Labeling by private business.”  The motion failed.

The vote on the main resolution was too close call on a voice vote so a roll call was taken.  280 yeas, 77 nays.

Resolution 11 dealing with illegal immigration cited the children being sent illegally across our borders, the threat of terrorism and drug traffic, and the lack of enforcement of our borders and immigration laws by President Obama. The resolution called on elected officials to enforce our laws and protect our borders before any amnesty is considered. After brief discussion, the vote was taken with a handful of nays.

Resolution 12 called for the impeachment of President Obama.

One delegate spoke against the amendment, claiming this was for “political purposes” and that “treason” or other constitutionally specified offenses would be required to justify impeachment. The delegate claimed no crime or treason was committed by Obama.

A retired Marine spoke in favor of the amendment, stating he still held his oath to the Constitution sacred, and said that he would pray for anyone who could not recognize the treasonous offenses of President Obama.  Another delegate agreed with the Marine regarding the oath he took and that she took, and said that the actions mentioned in the resolution constituted treason.

When the voice vote was taken, the chair was in doubt so a roll call was taken.  In the Pennington County delegation, “Republican” South Dakota Speaker of the House stood in opposition to the resolution to impeach President Obama.

The total vote count was 191 in favor, 176 opposed. The resolution passed.

Resolution 13 was in support of the people of Red Shirt community on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The resolution was passed without dissent.

Resolution 14 dealt with regulation freedom, or freedom from federal regulations and mandates. There was no discussion and it passed with only one nay.

Resolution 15 dealt with Common Core education standards, calling for the rejection of them.  After several proposed and mostly rejected amendments, the resolution passed overwhelmingly.

South Dakota "Republican" Speaker of the House Brian Gosch standing in opposition to the teacher test resolution

South Dakota “Republican” Speaker of the House Brian Gosch standing in opposition to the teacher test resolution

A proposed resolution from the floor was considered:

WHEREAS, the South Dakota Republican Party respects and values the hard work and professionalism of our South Dakota teachers, and trusts their judgment to adapt their teaching to their students’ needs rather than be forced to “teach to the test.”

WHEREAS, the citizens of South Dakota rejected by a two to one margin the use of student test scores for the purpose of teacher evaluation, using a unified statewide system of evaluation and teacher rating. (Referred Law 16)

WHEREAS, the evaluation of teachers is best left to the local school district.

NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the south Dakota Republican Party opposes the systematic linking of student test scores to teacher evaluation and ratings.

After considerable testimony, including many educators, a voice vote was taken that was too close to call. A roll call vote was taken. The final count was 183 yes, 188 no, causing the resolution to fail.


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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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