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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Stan Adelstein: TAX EVERYONE!

Stan Adelstein has been called a RINO by those on the radical religious right. Me too.

Where Stan and I separate is that Stan has been active in proposing tax increases at every opportunity. In this session he has said he will re-introduce his plan to increase the state sales tax during the summer.

I cannot think of another Republican lawmaker who has been less effective. Let's look at his 2011 record of bills he sponsored:

SB 104: Anti-bullying legislation to require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies. Failed to get out of committee.

SB 105: A bill to require ignition interlock on second-offense DUI convicts' automobiles. Failed to get out of committee.

SB 115: A bill to prohibit the use of cell phones while driving. Failed to get out of committee.

SB 116: A bill to confiscate DUI convicts' license plates. Failed to get out of committee.

SB 117: A bill to prevent minors from using tanning devices. Failed to get out of committee.

SB 118: A bill to expand medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and to provide an appropriation therefor. Failed to get out of committee.

SB 151: Revise the grandfathering provisions and renewal requirements of massage therapy licensure. PASSED with amendments, signed by governor. This was a tax on massage therapy license holders who fail to renew their license 30 days prior to its expiration date.

SB 174: A bill to temporarily increase the state sales tax and use tax to fund the state budget shortfall and to declare an emergency. Failed to get a committee hearing.

SB 175: A bill to provide for the participation of independent voters in primary elections. Failed to get out of committee.


HB 1055: a bill to prohibit employers from restricting employees who are volunteer emergency responders in their response to emergencies during work hours. Failed to get out of committee.

HB 1130: A bill to allow certain adult children of overseas citizens to vote in the state. PASSED with three amendments. Signed by governor.

HB 1159: A bill to create and ombudsman position to assist taxpayers with property tax assessment appeals. Failed to get out of committee.

HB 1205: A bill to provide for the distribution of certain stimulus money to state aid to education. Tabled in committee.

HB 1253: A bill to establish provisions for military and overseas voters. Tabled in committee.

In 2009, Sen. Adelstein was eager to wage war on taxpayers when he sponsored SB 194 which increased fuel excise tax on ethanol blends. Failed to get out of committee.

In 2006 Sen. Adelstein sponsored SB 139, would would have allowed the state to confiscate motor vehicles driven by people who are DUI or who has no drivers license. Failed in committee.

In 2005, He was primary sponsor of a House Bill to increase tax on cigarettes. Failed to get out of committee.

He sponsored an increase the tax on alcoholic beverages, which never got to committee. This was the "per drink" tax that would have created a reporting nightmare for every wholesale and retail liquor distributor in the state.

He was the primary sponsor of a House bill to increase the school term and require taxpayers to provide for the costs associated with doing so. Killed in the education committee.

In 2004, he sponsored a bill to increase the tax on alcoholic beverages and revise the distribution of revenue. Died in committee.

He also sponsored HB 1170 which would have repealed the video lottery and replaced the revenue with increases in sales and use taxes. Tabled in committee.

In 2003, he again introduced HB 1204 the old per drink tax. That year he also introduced HC 101 which honored his son, Jonathan for his appointment to the Federal Communications Commission. (That one passed) He was the primary House Sponsor of SB 147 to increase the states percentage of the video lottery income, and SB 186 to impose additional tax on certain alcoholic beverages. Both died in committee.

He has obviously been an opponent of video lottery for some time and back in 2003, he was House sponsor of SB 191 which prevented people in the video lottery industry from contributing to political candidates. That one died too.

In 2003 he co sponsored a bill to impose a tax on cell phone companies. This was Passed with multiple amendments, vetoed by Gov. Rounds and both the House and Senate successfully voted to override the veto.

Also in 2003, he co-sponsored a bill to increase taxes on cigarettes, which passed.

The guy really hates booze and cigarettes. He introduced tax increases on both in 2001. Both bills failed.

He's also big on confiscating the license plates of people he believes can't afford their cars, having introduced legislation in a number of years to do just that, which has always been a failing effort.

All those years in the legislature and what he has to show for it is a series of efforts to tax individuals, businesses, industry. For many years, I have hated the term RINO. In Stan's case, with his love of every new tax that comes down the pike, RINO just might fit.


D.E.Bishop said...

Did you see this at NPR?

Michael Sanborn said...

I'll let Bob argue the relative effects on lungs that pot smokers risk.

If people smoked as much marijuana as cigarette smokers smoke cigarettes, I doubt the research cited by NPR would be as encouraging.

Likewise if cigarette smokers smoked one cigarette a week, it's likely the incidence of lung disease would be significantly less.

Beyond that, marijuana and its effects are Bob's realm.

larry kurtz said...

Right over yer head Sanborn...good one, D.E.

BF said...

Some of Stan's ideas look pretty good to me. Not sure I would brand Stan for being the one who is ineffective in every case. In some, it might well be his fellows in the legislature who head up the committees.

Michael Sanborn said...

Which one of the bills mentioned do you think should have passed, Bill?

Larry, you're right. If you were trying to be glib or clever, I missed it completely.

BF said...

Okay, Mike, going doewn the list, I like the cell phone limitation, medicaid for pregnant women, the temporary sales tax increase to fund education and health care, indys voting in primaries, the emergency responders, the property tax appeal thing, more time for kids in school, and I'm kind of fed up with Video lottery now, having seen what it has done to a lot of good people I know.

I would think these could all at least get to the floor for discussion and vote. It's not like they're crackpot ideas like a lot of the legislation those guys pass.

D.E.Bishop said...

First, about pot smoking: I think part of the point in the article is that people rarely smoke weed as much as cigarettes. Once upon a time I smoked 3 packs of cigarettes per day. I don't think I could have possibly smoked that much weed. Also, isn't using a bong easier on the smoker's throat and lungs than a joint?

I agree with most of BF's list too. It may have been that the Repubs have been obstructing Stan like they've been obstructing Obama in D.C. The goal is to discredit, rather than doing what is best for SD or the USA.

larry kurtz said...

Soda tax could curb childhood obesity in the chemical toilet.

Les said...

I believe the cell tax was to bring wireless carriers on par with the local exchange carriers who already had that tax, not a bad bill.

As far as cell phone use while driving, I need someone to tell me it is not legal as I and everyone I know use it carelessly.

I like many drinkers and smokers, but, I cannot walk away from a drunk driver like I can walk away or turn from a buddy smoking in my face.

I've long been a proponent of enough road fuel tax to maintain our own roads believing our Fed teat was soon going to dry up. South Dakota is lucky in that we have a great amount of traffic transiting our state to help offset that load. What strikes me odd, most of the fight against this comes from farmers who receive rebate on off road tax and Yugo drivers who burn ten gallons a year.

While I don't agree with Stan on some important issues to me, I do respect him more than many who will say whatever necessary from face to back assuring re election.

Oh, and right Larry! I agree, get the damn pop machines out of our schools even if it means getting Stan to sponsor a bill doing so.

Wayne Gilbert said...

From the comments, it looks to me like the point you are missing here is that the venerated
GOP establishment tends to evaluate legislative proposals initially by the identity of their sponsor. Then they might take a look at the merits.

Bob Newland said...

Responding in general to the first 10 comments, most of which require no response:

Wayne has a point, its poignancy somewhat dulled by the simple fact that a significant number of the members of the SoDak Legislature have earned a second sidewise glance at what it is they propose.

I have rudimentary understanding of the kind of campaign that gains legislative approval. If the end result is of benefit to most of us, that part is, well, accidental and coincidental.

I have seen nothing that frames an Adelstein philosophy. I'd like to know where he stands on intiation of aggression or fraud.

Some things happened during the past few years that got really personal between Adelstein and me. They're all a matter of public record. I think I might post a chronology of our history, now that I mention it.

More to follow...

Bob Newland said...


Eye explosions are fairly rare, and are normally also associated with about 10 shots of Patron within two hours of the incident referenced.

Aside from that, there's scarce evidence that smoking cannabis, in whatever frequency or volume, causes any problem whatsoever.

Drawing smoke into your lungs intentionally and regularly is, intuitively, not a pleasant picture. There are tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of people who have been doing that for 50 years, who will, largely, talk about their lives as they have related to cannabis.

Epedemiologists are all over the place. They specialize in trends in medical conditions within groups of people. South Dakota has a State Epedemiologist, Lon Kightlinger.

No epedemiologist ever, anywhere, anytime has made a correlation between inhalation of cannabis smoke and any adverse lung condition.

The incidence of lung cancer within the population of people who have smoked marijuana "regularly" (I don't know what "regularly" means here) but WHO HAVE NOT SMOKED TOBACCO is a virtually unknown condition.

The preceding paragraph is a bombshell, if it is true. I have seen enough of the benefits of cannabis use to believe it is possible that regular cannabis use could be a contributing factor in a lifestyle that, generally, might be adverse to the incidence of lung cancer.

Anybody want to try to supply any evidence that contradicts what some friends of mine in the medical community in California have told me?

Bob Newland said...

To put it more succinctly:

If cannabis ingestion were causing a trend in adverse health conditions, the epedemiologists would be all over it.

There is most certainly a large enough study group available, largely a group who will talk about their experience with cannabis.

There is no trend of any lung disease associated with cannabis smoke inhalation or any other cannabis use.

Again, I invite refutations, because I really don't know: I just haven't seen any evidence to the contrary.

Les said...

""GOP establishment tends to evaluate legislative proposals initially by the identity of their sponsor."" Wasn't that Stace Nelsons beef?

I don't doubt Stan has a better understanding of the affects of initiation of aggression than most of us would care to know.

There is a well known chronology of you and Stan Bob, but, I would bet he would be more apt to walk in favor of a well written med marijuana law than many in Pierre.

Bob Newland said...

And, really, what need did we have of any of Stan's proposals? Were not the responsibilities for the potential harms already covered by other laws. I think so.

Bob Newland said...

Les, Stan would never shut up long enough for a person to enlighten him with some knowledge of the conflicting and stupid state and federal law situation necessary in any state provision for legal use of cannabis. He made noises about being in favor of qualified patients having safe legal access to cannabis, but displayed a pathetic lack of knowledge of how the feds have the deal all sewed up.

Les said...

I had a customer who never hid his pot consumption which was stoned all day daily. At 55 while getting tested for a bypass, the doc at regional told him he had the heart of an 80 year old and the lungs of a coal miner.

All things in moderation for those who are capable of such a feat.

Les said...

Just saying Bob. Most politicians in our state are so worried about the political fallout of supporting your agenda they won't even look at Newland if he is in the crowd for fear they may have to answer a question. You never had to wonder what was on Stan's mind even if you didn't think it was much.

Rep Noem had a facebook about the debt reaching GDP. What they don't say is US government obligations are pushing 544% GDP similar to the PIIGS. I doubt in a year or two you will still be waging this battle as they will be taxing heavily commercial MJ.

larry kurtz said...

So, why not draft legislation in anticipation of cannabis looking like alcohol law?

The legislature has adapted to PPACA, right?

Bob Newland said...

Les, did your pot-smoking friend also smoke cigarettes. Not that it will prove anything; just interested.

Wayne Gilbert said...

"If the end result [of the process of obtaining legislative approval] is of benefit to most of us, that part is, well, accidental and coincidental."

True that.!

Les said...

No Bob, he did not smoke tobacco. I do believe he had a toke on arising and throughout the day as his needs directed which in my opinion was often.

I see little difference in his personality or character since he quit pot, but do think he has a better appearance, maybe its a healthier look with more blood flow from the bypass.

Les said...

Ditto that Wayne, all the way to DC!