The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

What will this man do for your liberty?

Dave Knudson, Candidate for Governor of So. Dak.; photo by Denise Ross for Hoghouse Blog

It is suggested that he would restrict your right to carry a weapon that might deter or allow you to retribute upon some poor SOB who’s just trying to extract a portion of the fruits of your labors or, simply, just wants to waste you.

In the 2009 session, Sen. Knudson voted against being able to carry a gun on campus (SB82), and Gun Owners of So. Dak. targets him as being consistently anti-2nd Amendment.

Okay, this has started off on a hostile note. I have a reason for that. I saw Mr. Knudson in action in 1999 in a legislative committee, where he said, in response to a question from SD Rep. Pat Haley…

Rep. Haley: “What is the purpose of the “War on Drugs?”

Dave Knudson, then-chief of staff for then-gubner Bill Janklow: “…to lessen the impact of the use of illegal drugs on families….”

We were in a hearing of the So. Dak. House State Affairs committee. I was there because Janklow had written and proposed a bill that would have imprisoned everyone subsequently convicted of any crime of possession of cannabis or a controlled substance for a minimum of 30 days. If SB210 had passed, there would no longer be any misdemeanor possession of drugs or paraphernalia.

Janklow lumbered in, shoved Knudson out of the way, and said, “I don’t have many moral principles. I don’t. But I know what drugs do to young girls.” Despite the presence of newsfolk from all over the state, not one reported those words, which had drawn gasps and swiveling heads all over the crowded hearing room.

I testified in opposition to the bill. I referred to Knudson’s response to Rep. Haley; “So, by kicking down a family’s door, shooting its dogs, stealing its cash, car, house and kids, and imprisoning its breadwinner because he has tried a non-state-approved way to feel better, the state is lessening the impact of drug use on families? Is that right, Mr. Knudson?”

I’d like to say that my testimony helped kill the bill, but, if anything, it probably nearly got it passed. Rep. Hennies, ex-police chief in Rapid City, probably can take the credit for killing the bill. Can’t remember his argument, but it gave cover to even the law-and-order guys who were sickened by Janklow’s bloodlust.

Why’d I bring all this up? Because I intend to start querying candidates for governor of So. Dak. on their proposed policies. I’ll letch’all know how that works.


Anonymous said...

I am not sure the purpose of the post above since it lacks a coherent message. While the guns on college campus bill is a debatable point on Knudson's record, a cursory look at his past shows he is no enemy of the 2nd amendment. HB 1173 from the 2006 had Knudson as a cosponsor. That bill prohibited government agencies interference with gun rights. His cosponsorship and affirmative vote on this bill is a better reflection of his general views on gun rights than the nuanced subissue of guns on campus.

Bob Newland said...

Oh, so you want a COHERENT message? Maybe I should put up a poll question and see if anyone else does.

Troy Jones said...

I think any views that Knudson had as Chief of Staff should be imputed to his boss. Not every decision I communicated while working for Governor Mickelson was my views.

Secondly, the statement that Governor Janklow made "I have no principles" was shorthand for "I'm not selling this based on principles but facts/impact as I see them."

Finally, ask away of the candidates for the views on the issues. This is why I read blogs. Too many important issues don't get attention in the mainstream media.