Here again, I find myself agreeing with Bill Fleming on a political matter.
I agree that Bob Newland should abandon his non-candidacy and actually challenge Lance Russell for his House Seat in District 30. I also believe that Bob should run as a Republican. And, I believe it is possible that Bob could unseat, or at least help unseat Russell in a Republican primary.
Bob is much more conservative than folks think. And, I think he would be a colorful, as well as thoughtful addition to the South Dakota House of Representatives.
Russell can be a mean dude. He sponsored a bill (SB88) in the last legislative session that changed the penalties involving the bribery of a voter. But the change made the voter guilty of a felony rather than a misdemeanor, for accepting money to vote a certain way. Russell's bill did nothing to change the penalty for the guy offering the bribe. It didn't pass.
He was also prime sponsor of a bill (HB1204) to prohibit businesses and employers from establishing a policy of not allowing invitees and employees to store firearms in their locked cars. Huh? My property, my rules. Nobody feels more strongly about the Second Amendment than I do. But, I think those who wish to keep firearms off their property have every right to do so. That one failed too.
His bill (HB1132) to allow seasonal employees of chemical pesticide businesses skip the applicator license process also failed.
His bill (HB1195) sought to allow the government to restrict a landowner's right to create and transfer a conservation easement. It failed.
And, my favorite: He was a co-sponsor of a bill to outlaw surrogate mother contracts. HB1218 would have prevented surrogate grandmother Arlette Schweitzer from carrying her daughter Christa's twins. That family would not have happened had Russell had his way.
The guy's just mean. Bob should run.