To the Editor:
Yes, most of our announced candidates are smart, hard-working, positive, personally honest and moral. I believe these descriptors apply to Billie Sutton, Tim Bjorkman, Dusty Johnson, all Democratic legislative candidates and some on the Republican side.
But, with respect to Dusty and all of the state Republican legislative candidates, I'm disturbed at how the Koch conservative network uses money and ideology to maintain near-absolute control of Republican elected officials. Stealth, secrecy, and a policy of "no compromise" are part of the package. This is not the Republican Party that existed forty years ago.
The Republican evolution is the handiwork of the Koch conservative network. After the Kochs' libertarian political philosophy was rejected by voters several decades ago, they turned to an economics professor in Virginia. James Buchanan provided a detailed plan that Charles Koch liked. We know this because no one secured the many boxes and tape recordings of Buchanan's communications. Diligent researchers have documented everything. They even documented the related Buchanan plans used by Chilean dictator, Pinochet, to destroy democracy in Chili. It's scary stuff.
With some modification, Charles Koch's multi-million dollar empire proceeded to use Buchanan's political and economic doctrine as the basis for creating institutes, think tanks and foundations. These organizations served as PR factories to spread pro-corporate, pro-fossil fuel religion. To gain heft within the Republican Party, the network proceeded to buy influence and provide lobbyist jobs for Republicans who were temporarily out of power. In order to further strengthen the network's power, other groups were welcomed to partner with the network. Such partnering groups included the NRA and religious fundamentalists.
I believe South Dakota voters should take a broom to all Republican candidates. Give Republicans a "time-out" from public service so they can rethink the meaning of a truly representative democracy.
Dave L. Wegner