Monday, October 1, 2012

South Dakota's Most Interesting Politicians?

Scott Ehrisman apparently started a meme when he substituted Stan Adelstein's bearded face for the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in World. The good folks at the Mitchell Republic developed the de rigueur Top 10 list.

I'll play along.  First, let's define the term; I'll go with being able to get or hold one's attention.  Second, I'm leaving off Governor Daugaard and Senator Thune because they are playing the traditional political game, and although I admire traditional political Machiavellians when they play the game well, that fact doesn't make them interesting.

10th: Tim Johnson:
I'd put him in the same category as Thune and Daugaard but his medical struggles make playing the standard political game much more difficult.

9th: State Representative Bernie Hunhoff:
Watching South Dakota's Republican leaders push through legislation provides little drama; everyone knows they'll get what they want. On the other hand, watching Hunhoff lead the handful of Democrats as they try to do a political version of Chief Joseph's retreat keeps me reading the newspapers during the legislative session.

8th: Steve Sibson
Interesting is not synonomous with successful or effective. Sibson, a  walking conspiracy handbook, may never get elected to anything, but he's certainly not boring. All one has to do is read blog comment threads when he posts.

Tied for 6th: Secretary of State Jason Gant and Representative Kristi Noem:
Seeing the Peter Principle at work is always interesting in the same frightening way that a traffic accident is. I want to turn away, but I can't.

5th: Angie Buhl:
She's actually a liberal not a "Blue Dog" or a raging moderate. In South Dakota, real liberals are the equivalent of a Coelacanth. Rarity creates interest.

4th: Frank Kloucek
Kolaches. 'Nuff said

Tied for 2nd: The bearded gadflies, State Senator Stan Adelstein and State Representative Steve Hickey:
 Anyone calling on his a constitutional officer of his own party to resign as Adlestein has done with Secretary of State Gant is automatically interesting. Hickey challenges his party on usury laws. Gadflies may be annoying but they aren't boring. Besides, 21st Century politicians with beards are rare.

The Most Interesting Politician in South Dakota: State Representative Stace Nelson
I'm not sure if he's a renegade or someone who should have lost a few more games of checkers when he played his grandfather, but anyone who gets expelled from his caucus is an interesting dude.


Stace Nelson said...

Folks keep this kind of talk up, and the next you will see of me is my ugly mug on the side of a milk carton.

My loyalty is to South Dakotans, not crooked politicians.

For the record, my Grandpa Gerlach was the king of checkers.

LK said...

At least they'll put your face on the carton. A whole bunch of us won't be missed.

Besides, you could be getting notoriety for being boring.

Fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...

The Reverend Steve Hickey believes he is a holy Apostle, and you pick the big uncouth marine? Hickey even has the governor's endorsement on his site, granted he has never passed any legislation, but he was the determining vote to pass the governor's 1234 education bill that was Hickey's least favorite bill of the session.

LK said...

I've given Hickey grief on his blog for his HB 1234 vote. The Governor's endorsement actually makes Hickey a bit more boring.

I would guess that neither Hickey nor Nelson would want me as a constituent. Heck, I bet they may both want this post to go away.

larry kurtz said...

"Sate Representative Hickey:" typo as metaphor.

Bob Newland is resoundingly absent, LK.

LK said...

Good point on Newland. If I update next year, I'll have to look at putting him on the list.

I fixed the typo. Interesting observation about the metaphor. I'll have to look at using it in class. Do the people really have to sate their legislators? Interesting question