Candidates spar over issues
Published: Thursday, November 7th, 2013
Two of the four candidates for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination had several contentious exchanges Monday evening at a Custer County Republican-sponsored candidate forum at the VFW post in Custer.
State Rep. Stace Nelson, Fulton, and State Sen. Larry Rhoden, Union Center, answered position questions posed by the county Republican leadership and from the audience.
Nelson challenged Rhoden’s voting record on a number of issues, including tax increases and fees in light of the state’s $50 million budget surplus last year.
Rhoden said there was a lot of misrepresentation in what Nelson was saying about his voting record in the state legislature. “User fees have been successful in South Dakota government to cover specific government services,” Rhoden said.
Rhoden said he also voted for a continuance of the half cent tourism tax to help fund advertising and marketing for the state. Nelson said he voted against the tourism tax, as he has voted against many other tax and fee increases.
The candidates also sparred over Senate Bills 38 and 43, which Rhoden supported and Nelson did not. SB 38 reorganized state law to prepare for Obamacare and SB 43 changed state law to comply with Obamacare by prohibiting waiting periods for patients with pre-existing conditions who were under 19 and allowed children to stay on their parent’s health insurance policy until the age of 26.
Nelson, who said he was “not an establishment candidate,” claimed these two bills enacted Obamacare into state law. “I have fought against it (Obamacare) in the state legislature and I will continue to fight against it in Washington,” Nelson said.
Rhoden refuted his opponent’s take on Obamacare in the state, saying Attorney General Marty Jackley joined other states in taking Obamacare all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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