Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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Who gets to influence the governor at a state-organized pheasant hunt?
[Or where is that mongolian idiot with the hand calculator when you really need him?]
The idea is very simple. It is that any elected or appointed or hired official acting in the behalf of the public serves at the will of the people in our democracy. There are even laws, although selectively ignored and violated, that require those officials to keep records of all the proceedings that take place within the purview of government business. And those laws also require that any member of the public has the right to view those records and arrangements must be made to provide access.
Except in South Dakota.
In South Dakota taxpayers give the governor a neat, little choo-choo plane he can tootle around in at their expense. They bought the damned thing. They foot the bill for maintaining it. The governor may find some funds to pay for the fuel when his larking gets too far afield from government business, but for the most part taxpayers, who are repeatedly told that there is not enough money to really support education in a vital way in this state, foot the bill.
For years, the state has sponsored the Governor's pheasant hunt. The list of guests used to be open. The event is organized by government officials and is designed so that the folks who enjoy blasting the heads off what some claim is the world's dumbest bird can revel and rejoice together. And socialize with each other in various ways. Now the list is closed.
The Sioux Falls Argus Leader has sued the state for access to the list. The state has replied to the suit with a doozy of a reply.
"If the Argus Leader can compel release of this information, so too can the economic development offices of neighboring states, so too can competing businesses, so too can solicitors of all types," says the state's designated idiot, who cannot operate a hand-calculator.
Note that the people who own the state and for whom all these designated idiots work are not even given consideration in the scheme of things. Rather, the state has an elaborate argument that while the state is required to keep records and make them available, the economic development department is exempted. That's probably because its idiots are designated to screw around with state money and the state future and see what kind of postures the state can get into to please any corporate predator who might have designs on the state ass, so to speak.
The people of South Dakota are getting ripped off every day in every way. They seem to like it. It's a form of bondage.