POSTED BY BOSWORTH FOR SENATE ON May 24, 2014 Share
Last night I attended the Davidson County Lincoln Day Dinner as an invited guest. Normally at these dinners the candidates running for office give a short speech to introduce themselves as candidates. These Lincoln Day Dinners are something that South Dakota should be proud of. This is retail politics in an era of social media, big media and a disengaged electorate. These Lincoln Day Dinners are democracy in action, which is why my experience last night should be disturbing to everyone who cherishes free speech.
The first sign of trouble was when the US Senate Candidates were told in the days prior to this event that they were not going to be allotted any speaking time. This resulted in one candidate, Stace Nelson, deciding not to attend. Several other candidates remarked on the bazaar no-speech-option and the issue was still up in the air even as were driving to the event.
Even amidst all this confusion, however, nothing could have prepared me for what was to follow; my Lincoln Day Dinner speech was censored and I was forbidden to make any criticism of Gov. Mike Rounds or his record on the issues.
Here is what happened.
As soon as I entered the room last night, Phil Carlson, the Davidson County GOP leader, immediately took me aside.
Carlson stated, “Bosworth, you are going to get two minutes and if you say anything negative I will remove you.” He stated, “I am the leader of this County GOP and I make the rules.”
Phil Carlson’s manner was aggressive and intimidating. From what I am able to gather, I am the only person that was told this censorship.
Over the last week my campaign has gained notoriety for the roll-out of several ads that hold Mike Rounds accountable for his record. Everyone knows that I have been willing to take Mike Rounds to task on TV, radio, and in live speeches. Last night the message was clear, I was not going to be allowed to say anything about Mike Rounds.
Let’s make clear Carlson’s relationship to the Mike Rounds political machine.
Phil Carlson was recently appointed by Marty Jackley as the attorney for the consumer protection division of the Attorney General’s office.
A week ago on the Minnehaha courthouse steps I asked Marty Jackley to recuse himself from his politically motivated attacks. His clear conflict of interest stemming from his close relationship with Mike Rounds is insulting to the good voters of South Dakota. As evidence by their behavior in this elecition, scandles like the EB-5 debacle, and the blatant pay-to-play structure of South Dakota Politics Marty Jackley and Mike Rounds believe they are above the law and above media scrutiny . . and apparently they are right.
This incident is part of the pattern of behavior of from the Mike Rounds political machine to stifle speech and crush the political opposition through use of un-American decent crushing bullying. It is just the latest and most blunt version of the message they have been trying to send me for months, “Shut up.”
Mike Rounds has created an atmosphere where discussion of his record or his political decisions is silenced or denigrated as though they are an unfair attack.
The media’s election coverage has been reduced to a bizarre situation where the speeding tickets of Senate Candidates has more press coverage that the fact that one of Mike Round’s top contributors, Advertising agency Lawrence and Schiller, received TENS of MILLIONS in lucrative no-bid contracts while Mike Rounds was governor.
Let’s be clear. . . TENS OF MILLIONS of TAX PAYERs money that went to the company whose a Rounds contributor and vender . . and somehow speeding tickets make the front page.
If the news media in South Dakota wants to prove that they aren’t Mike Rounds Lap Dogs . . this might be a good time to do so.
The message is that Mike Rounds is a nice guy. Anything else apparently is a negative comment.
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