OTHER VIEW: Expectations of those electedIf the voters are going to turn away from the majority party’s pet projects, why do they keep putting them in office?
By: Editorial board, Aberdeen American News
With the contentious 2012 elections finished, now comes the really difficult part.
Those elected must begin to lead. And there are some lessons to be gleaned from the final tallies on election night.
• For Rep. Kristi Noem, she has learned from a relatively close race — well, until the voters hit the polls, at least — that South Dakotans are expecting much more from their lone representative in Congress. Noem and challenger Matt Varilek each campaigned, essentially, on a platform of who would attend more meetings.
• Noem needs to be on the committees that benefit South Dakota, yes, but she also needs to be on committees that allow her to make allies — Republican and Democrat — to best help our state and country.
Showing up and being engaged is part of that.
• For Larry Lovrien, a change was clearly needed in the Brown County state’s attorney’s office, and we were guaranteed a change this time. By selecting a Republican after longtime Democratic state’s attorney Kim Dorsett chose not to run again, voters signaled they want business to be run differently than it was. A greater transparency and a commitment to ethics and fairness are essential.
• For Al Novstrup, the victory in District 3’s Senate race was hard fought. The campaign was tough. Democrat Paul Dennert’s loss is South Dakota’s, as well. Both Dennert and Novstrup are good public servants, and both deserve a place in office. We would like to see Novstrup recognize the tightness of the victory and choose to lead for all, rather than hew closely to party lines. Continuing his crusade for a more open government, a sticking point between Novstrup and Dennert in the final days before the election, is key.
• And though Gov. Dennis Daugaard was not running for office, his pet legislation, the teacher bonus/continuing contract law, was soundly rejected by voters. In his first year in office, the confident governor got his way on budget cuts. While this “no” vote doesn’t signal a sophomore slump, how the governor responds will be fascinating.
• For the voters of South Dakota, the status quo was again in place. Noem won; sales tax increase lost. Voters tended to stick with Republicans, even though they defeated so many of the constitutional amendments and referred laws that were specifically put forth by Republicans.
If the voters are going to turn away from the majority party’s pet projects, why do they keep putting them in office?