Guest Editorial Op Ed: Decisions Matter

Posted 9.30.14

Guest Editorial: Troy Jones, Sioux Falls, SD

Not making a decision is a decision. Waiting for perfect to make a decision almost always ensures the least perfect result continues in the meantime because nothing changes. And “it's a moral victory” is just a rationalization to make one feel better in defeat.

In the U.S. Senate primary, the supporters of Bosworth, Nelson, Ravnsberg, and Rhoden didn’t get their choice for the GOP nominee. Decision made and a new decision is upon us. Waiting for perfect means nothing will change. And, Harry Reid remaining as majority leader is not a moral victory for anyone but liberals.

Now the choice is realistically between the GOP nominee, Democrat nominee and a former U.S. Senator running as an independent. With five weeks until election day, the fourth candidate (former State Senator) doesn’t have the name ID, money or organization to mount a real campaign to get beyond the mid-single digits.

Right now, in this election, the political prognosticators say the make-up of the future U.S. Senate is 45 Democrats (including two Independents) and 47 Republicans with 8 toss-up seats. Democrats have to win 5 of 8 to control the U.S. Senate (Vice President Biden is the tie-breaker) while Republicans have to win 4 of 8 for control and selection of the Majority Leader.

Conservatives in this country are frustrated. Currently there are 342/352 bills (depends on who is counting and what gets counted) that have passed the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives but have not had a hearing in a Senate Committee or by the full Senate. The Senate has not passed ANY of the 12 annual appropriations bills or dealt with any of the 7 House passed Appropriations Bills. Republican sponsored bills languish without debate or hearing.

The House could pass 700 bills and Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and John Thune could propose 700 more bills to make America better but nothing would change.

What liberals and Democrats understand is that the most important vote EVER taken by a Senator is the vote for who is Majority Leader. Harry Reid appoints who is chair of the Senate Committees, chairs who decide whether a House Bill or legislation proposed by Thune et. al. gets discussed in committee. Harry Reid further determines what bills get debated on the floor of the U.S. Senate, even if they pass out of committee.

During the U.S. Senate election, the election is ostensibly a choice between Rounds, Weiland, Pressler, and Howie. But in reality the choice is between:

  • Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader
  • Debbie Stabenow or Thad Cochran for Agriculture Chair
  • Barbara Mikulski or Richard Shelby for Appropriations
  • Jack Reed or Jim Inhofe for Armed Services
  • Mark Warner or Mike Crapo for Banking
  • Patty Murray or Jeff Sessions for Budget
  • Bill Nelson or John Thune for Commerce
  • Al Franken or Lisa Murkowski for Energy
  • Barbara Boxer or David Vitter for Environment and Public Works
  • Ron Wyden or Orrin Hatch for Finance
  • Robert Menendez or Bob Corker for Foreign Relations
  • Bernie Sanders or Lamar Alexander for Health, Education, Labor
  • Tom Carper or John McCain for Homeland Security
  • Patrick Leahy or Chuck Grassley for Judiciary

South Dakota liberals know what this race is about which is why they are doing anything they can to tear down Mike Rounds.

Do the liberals want to talk about the budget, taxes, Keystone, Obamacare, the EPA, regulation, the “Arab Spring” which has become a deep and dark “Arab Winter,” or defense policy? No, because they are not in sync with most South Dakotans on those issues.

So, they try to change the subject to EB-5 and try to taint Mike Rounds with actions taken by others.

Do they need evidence? No. Just innuendo and integrity attacks.

Do I think my friend Rich Benda did things that disappoint and surprise me? Might there be other inappropriate acts associated with the EB-5 program? Yes.

But, there isn’t a shred of evidence that Mike Rounds knew about any of this. There isn’t a single reasonable motive why he would approve of these things if he had, and it is unreasonable for any CEO to have known when an employee makes a decision to breach his fiduciary obligation to his employer until they are caught.

Expressing our concern about the EB-5 program should not result in a vote for Harry Reid and Company to continue to thwart opportunity for making America better. If we don’t take control of the Senate in 2014, we have only a slim opportunity in 2016 because of the races that are up that year. If we don’t gain control of the Senate in 2014, winning the Presidency in 2016 will be of only marginal impact on the direction of our country if Harry Reid is still Senate Majority Leader.

Over the past three Senate elections, the GOP has lost races in Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri that kept Harry Reid and Company in power. South Dakotans can’t be blamed for those lost opportunities but we can make sure South Dakota isn’t added to the list of states that allowed Harry Reid to impede policies that will make America better.

Paraphrasing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” what’s it going to be?

A vote for or against Harry Reid?

A vote to force President Obama to veto bills passed by the GOP House and Senate or give Obama a pass from dealing with issues and Congress?

A vote to stop President Obama from using Executive Powers to promote the liberal agenda or a vote to give Obama political cover from Majority Leader Harry Reid?

Only a vote for Mike Rounds is a MEANINGFUL vote against Obama-Reid.

Only a vote for Mike Rounds can give our 2016 Presidential candidates a real forum upon which to beat Hillary Clinton.

Only a vote for Mike Rounds can make the voices of John Thune, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson more than clanging cymbals in the U.S. Senate.

Troy Jones is a principal of Orion Financial Corp. Prior to joining Orion Financial Corp., Mr. Jones was a one-time congressional staffer and currently writes political opinion pieces for online publications.

Mr. Jones is a graduate of The George Washington University with a Bachelor of Business Administration concentrating in finance.