Governor Dennis Daugaard’s extreme political views were exposed this week when he supported plans to raise taxes for tourism promotion but vetoed a bill to repair flood-torn local roads and bridges.
“Tourism is more important than roads?” asked Ben Nesselhuf, Chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party. “His vision is completely backwards. How can we afford to advertise for more tourists when the very roads they’ll arrive on are plagued with potholes, gravel patches and dangerous bridges?”
Photos circulated by local citizens during the legislative session showed bridges collapsed by the weight of a single truck or tractor.
“Some roads are hazardous for motorists, especially at night when you can’t see the bad spots,” said Nesselhuf, who commended legislators of both parties who stood up to the governor and overrode his veto on both the House and Senate floors Thursday afternoon.
“We have an extremist governor who puts his own political interests above the people’s safety and South Dakota’s economy,” Nesselhuf said. “Our local roads are important to the farm economy, tourism and commerce. These are the roads our children travel to and from school.”
The House voted 53-16 to override the veto, and the Senate voted 30-4.
Nesselhuf noted that Daugaard didn’t campaign as a Tea Party candidate, “but his behavior as governor to increase corporate welfare and slash education and health care spending surely make him a soul mate of the Wisconsin governor and other radicals.”
His veto of HB 1192, which passed overwhelmingly on bi-partisan votes, is another troubling example of putting his political agenda over the public interest, Nesselhuf said.
HB 1192 provides road repair funds by a slight increase in license plate fees. A Republican legislator noted on the House floor that it costs him more to fill his fuel tank than it costs to license the vehicle for a year.