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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The South Dakota legislature sucks.

Its members are both suckers and suckees.

It came up in the matter of Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller, who was stripped of her vote and committee assignments for a few days.  That was the result of a complaint from a member of the Legislative Research Council, which provides information and protocols to legislators in the drafting of legislation.  The LRC person's statement was that Sen. Frye-Mueller came to the person's office with her husband to confer over some legislation the Senator was sponsoring.  After discussing some proposed legislation, the  Senator ask the LRC worker about a baby she'd had recently.   According to the worker's statement, Sen. Frye-Mueller then proceeded to give some insistent advice on raising

the child.  She cautioned the mother in a strident manner against vaccinations.  She said they could cause Down's Syndrome or autism in a child and that the child could die from vaccines.

If there's a reason to suspend Sen Frye-Mueller from legislative activity, it is because these statements reveal, if accurate, that she is a prattling lunatic not mentally competent to be making laws that affect public health.  Down's Syndrome is genetic in origin.  So is autism, with the age of parents, premature birth, and gender as other known factors.  As is the case with exhaustive scientific research, testing is done to see if other factors are involved, but vaccines have not been found to contribute to autism.  Frye-Mueller is an ignoramus who presumes to make laws regarding vaccines, and other measures about which her knowledge comes from the wing nut fringe.

She also asked the new mother if she was breast-feeding her baby.  The LRC employee replied that the baby is fed formula.  One assumes that being a working mother is a major consideration in that regard.  But Frye-Mueller launched into the subject of milk production.  She recommended that having the husband suck the nipples at night could stimulate the mammaries into producing milk.  The Senator did not seem to be considering a law requiring that husbands provide oral manipulation of the breasts at night, but she made it a mandate for the young mother,  with the Senator's husband present nodding agreement.  Such a law, however,  would provide some  interesting debate on the legislative floor and give the legislators  a chance to suck in a positive context, rather than demonstrate what bungling fools they are on matters like education curricula and transgender issues.

When Sen. Frye-Mueller's case came before the Senate, her fellows seemed to think her suspension was harsh, but they thought that her encounter with the LRC staff member constituted harrassment.  The  Senator denies that she said or did the things stated in the complaint.  She was restored to her position, but limits have been placed on her interactions with legislative staff, and her work with the LRC must be done with the director.

This case demonstrates what happens when elected officials start legislating on matters for which they have little and often erroneous information.  Competent people leave the state.  The outmigration from South Dakota is reflected in the single-party control of the legislature.  Sen. Frye-Mueller reflects the people who elected her.   So do her colleagues.  If the legislature sucks, that says something about the whole state.  Who wants to live and work in it?  Teachers don't.  That's why the year starts short 176 of them in the state.  Many think it sucks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was at the Aberdeen Legislative Cracker Barrel this morning at Northern. The format seemed to me being very pro-Legislator with protecting them from tough questions, holding them accountable and anti-constituent. It really seemed anti-Democratic. It was strict 1 minute and only a question asked. Not much for commentary explaining bills like HB 1234 which is a voucher using taxpayer money to be used for private schools which I opposed. It was the same as HB 1080 the another anti-Transgender bill banning care for minors which I also opposed.

Whether it be Carbon Pipeline fiasco, Medicaid expansion or whatever I could see some of those asking question getting frustrated with being constantly interrupted by the moderator that they need to ask a question. That discourages participation and hinders the ability to hold elected officials accountable. It is very lopsided and was sad to see this happen. I miss having journalists and the newspapers there also. A number of questions asked by me were not answered. Given the interruptions it made it difficult to do follow up questions politely reminding the moderator and legislator I did not get an answer.

Miranda Gohn

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Aberdeen, South Dakota, United States