What does it mean for Mike Rounds when the former two-term Governor can’t clear the Republican field for South Dakota’sUS Senate?
Today, state senator Larry Rhoden (R-Union Center) announced his candidacy for the US Senate, and it looks like a few more Republicans are itching to jump into the race Why? Mike Rounds failed in his leadership for South Dakota from all political points of view. Here’s a short review:
Governor Mike Rounds: Candidate for US Senate
–Rounds displayed very little vision and indeed took dramatic steps backward for the state. In education alone, the best ticket to a brighter future for our children, funding under Rounds was cut from 39 to 31 percent a drop of almost 25 percent in just eight short years which helped sink South Dakota to last in the nation in teacher pay and last in the nation in per pupil funding.
–A higher percentage of South Dakota college students carry massive debt coming out of college than students do anywhere else in the nation. This is in no small part because on Rounds’ watch, college tuition rose over 50 percent in just eight years. That’s probably why South Dakota freshman and sophomore college students began dropping out of college faster than freshman and sophomore students anywhere in America during Rounds’ administration.
–Rounds strongly opposed birth to three and pre-Kindergarten programs even though South Dakota children are some of the most threatened in the nation and study after study indicates that these two programs have been wildly successful wherever and whenever they have been implemented in other states. As a result, South Dakota regularly ranked at the bottom of states in its commitment to our youngest and most vulnerable children during the Rounds’ Administration.
–On Rounds’ watch, South Dakota fell to the bottom and ranked last in wages of all states in America, and South Dakota rose to the top of states whose people must hold two or more jobs just to make ends meet.
–Poverty rose over 20 percent in the state with South Dakota’s children and seniors being hit the hardest during Rounds’ administration. The consequences of Rounds’ cuts to Medicaid were that on his watch, poverty rates in South Dakota exploded as did food insecurity among the people of South Dakota with over 20 percent of our kids now going to bed hungry. Now, shamefully seven of the poorest counties in America now are South Dakota counties.
–Rounds enacted the most restrictive reproductive choice laws our country had ever seen only to watch the voters of South Dakota rebuff him twice.
–Always a fan of oil companies but much less so a fan of ethanol, Rounds attempted to raise taxes on ethanol during his tenure which, had he been able to do, would have severely undermined this vital and burgeoning South Dakota industry. Meanwhile, Rounds pushed through over $30 million in taxpayer giveaways to the foreign oil company TransCanada to build a controversial and dangerous tar sands oil pipeline in eastern South Dakota that they were going to build anyway. In states like Nebraska where the pipeline was built as well, the state did not give TransCanada a dime.
–On Rounds’ watch, the state seemed to stockpile state owned and operated airplanes for Rounds’ and his elite government cronies to use. Rounds, who personally loves to fly, and did so frequently on questionable and personal business, had no problem with the state owning multiple airplanes when surrounding states were selling theirs’ off – including Nebraska (and even states like California).
Protect Senator Tim Johnson’s seat!
Sen. Tim Johnson never lost an election because he always fought for South Dakota values. We reward work, respect women, and invest in our children’s futures. South Dakota can’t afford another Republican in the US Senate. Be a strong South Dakota Democrat and pledge your support to protect Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat today!