GOP leader calls for ‘inquiry’ into Herseth Sandlin’s GF&P requestPIERRE — The chairman of the state Republican Party called for an “inquiry” Thursday into U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s request for lists of South Dakotans who purchased hunting and fishing licenses in 2009.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic
PIERRE — The chairman of the state Republican Party called for an “inquiry” Thursday into U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin’s request for lists of South Dakotans who purchased hunting and fishing licenses in 2009.
Her request for free lists was denied Wednesday by the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission. She could still get the lists if she pays the standard fee, which is $100 per 1,000 names. Regulations also allow groups to apply for an exception and pay a modified fee of $100 for an entire list.
State GOP Chairman Bob Gray said Thursday that an inquiry is needed to determine why Herseth Sandlin, a Democrat who is running for re-election this year, wants the lists and whether anyone in her office tried to influence the outcome of the GF&P Commission’s decision. He did not say who or what agency should conduct the inquiry.
“South Dakota taxpayers deserve an explanation from Stephanie Herseth Sandlin why she believes she deserves special treatment,” Gray said in a written statement that was included in a GOP news release.
“Our state budget is stretched thin enough as it is, and now our U.S. representative is trying to get out of paying the state for mailing addresses that you and I would have to pay to obtain. It seems the Washington, D.C., ‘something-for-nothing’ mindset has taken over our congresswoman.”
The GF&P Commission’s refusal of Herseth Sandlin’s request was the subject of a story in Thursday’s Daily Republic. The newspaper offered the congresswoman’s press secretary, Betsy Hart, a chance to respond to the story just prior to the issuance of the GOP news release Thursday afternoon. Hart declined.
After the GOP issued its news release calling for an inquiry, the newspaper left Hart an e-mail and a phone message, again offering her a chance to comment. Hart did not respond prior to the newspaper’s deadline.
In a separate development Thursday, one of the three men seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Herseth Sandlin announced that he is dropping out of the race.
Thad Wasson, a network technician from Piedmont, said he is quitting the campaign and throwing his support to Sioux Falls orthopedic surgeon Blake Curd, who is vying with Secretary of State Chris Nelson, of Pierre, for the GOP nomination.