The South Dakota Supreme Court just ruled that our representatives cannot grab some of that free COVID money for themselves.

Rep. Arch Beal, a Sioux Falls Republican, said the court's decision was "a travesty" for some lawmakers whose businesses could have qualified. Sen. Lee Schoenbeck, a Watertown Republican, wrote on an email listserv, "This is a big deal. There are several that have businesses seriously affected, that will forgo six-figure grants due to their $12,000 legislator gig. New spin on public service. Hope it doesn't prove to be a detriment for future candidate recruitment.

There is a long history of fraud and graft that comes with politicians being able to dig their hands into taxpayers' money.

If you are worried about "candidate" to serve, then push to allow the common hourly worker to get involved by writing a law that forces employers to give unpaid time off just as National Guard and jury duty requires. Also make the law so this person cannot be fired for running or winning political office in Pierre.

This law would allow all citizens instead of just business owners or retired people to run for office in Pierre.

Brent Cox

Sturgis, Oct. 23