Daugaard on the anti-gay rights bills

On Friday, while talking to Gov. Dennis Daugaard about the state budget, I also asked him about the collection of bills this year that would have allowed people to refuse service to people on the basis of sexual orientation.

"Most of them were solving problems we haven’t seen here," Daugaard said. "More legislation driven by things that are occurring in other places. I guess I don’t see those problems here in South Dakota that the legislation attempted to address."

I asked him about criticism by some that those laws were “mean-spirited” or “hateful.” Daugaard demurred.

"I don’t know that I could characterize the motivations of anybody who introduces legislation," Daugaard said.

It was, as far as I know, the first time the governor had commented on the bills, which all got shot down in their first committee hearing here in South Dakota — unlike other states, such as Arizona, where similar legislation came very close to becoming law.

Daugaard was also much more restrained than his lieutenant governor, Matt Michels, who condemned the bills in February.

"There’s no place in our laws for these kind of words," Michels said, adding that he believes most South Dakotans agree. "There’s too much hate in the world and we don’t need it here (in South Dakota)."

Daugaard makes ballot for officially nonexistent reelection campaign

Gov. Dennis Daugaard was certified as a candidate for governor this afternoon, after Secretary of State Jason Gant validated Daugaard’s nominating petitions

Of course, Daugaard hasn’t technically announced that he’ll be running for a second term.

That announcement will come next week, Daugaard said in an email to supporters from his campaign organization.

The governor’s plans haven’t been any secret. Daugaard had more than $1,000,000 in the bank at the end of 2013 and has already shot campaign commercials. But he’s declined to officially announce his reelection bid until the end of this year’s legislative session.

Daugaard faces one declared challenger for the Republican nomination, Lora Hubbel. Two Democrats have announced campaigns for their party’s nomination: Joe Lowe and Susan Wismer. One member of the Constitution Party, Curtis Strong, has also declared his intentions to run, as has an independent, Mike Myers.

None of those four have yet turned in petitions to qualify for the ballot. The deadline is Tuesday, March 25.

Daugaard vetoes first bill of 2014

Gov. Dennis Daugaard has vetoed a bill allowing Deadwood to raise its hotel tax.

Senate Bill 98, backed by the Lawrence County lawmakers and passed by narrow majorities in both houses, let Deadwood raise its nightly hotel room tax from $2 per night to $3.

In his message, Daugaard said he was opposed not only to the state raising taxes but to allowing local governments to do the same.

I do not support expanding the ability of local governments to raise taxes, especially when such a raise cannot be referred to a public vote,” Daugaard wrote in his veto message.

SB98 passed both the House and Senate with less than the two-thirds majorities required to override a veto, so unless a bunch of lawmakers change their mind the veto is likely to kill the measure.

The extra adviser

In the summer of 2012, I profiled Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s senior team of advisers: six aides who meet at least weekly to discuss issues and advise the governor. Their formal name is the Governor’s Executive Committee, which its member shorten to “GECo.”

That team consisted of Lt. Gov. Matt Michels, chief of staff Dusty Johnson, policy and communications director Tony Venhuizen, senior adviser Deb Bowman, economic development commissioner Pat Costello and budget director Jason Dilges.

Bowman is retiring at the end of the legislative session after more than two decades in state government. She’ll be replaced as a senior adviser with Kim Malsam-Rysdon, the former Secretary of Social Services. (It’s not the first time Malsam-Rysdon replaced Bowman, who was DSS secretary before her.) 

But right now there’s an overlap. Malsam-Rysdon has begun work as a senior adviser, but Bowman has yet to resign. So until March 21, Daugaard’s six-member adviser team has a seventh member.

Daugaard can expand Medicaid himself, without legislative action

Gov. Dennis Daugaard can expand Medicaid without consulting with lawmakers, the governor said Thursday.

But Daugaard said if he did pursue Medicaid expansion, he would at least informally make sure the Legislature was on board with his plan, first.

That’s because even a unilateral Medicaid expansion would need to be retroactively approved by the Legislature in the following year’s budget revision.

"I would be a little bit cautious about (expanding Medicaid) without the Legislature’s overt agreement to change the budget," Daugaard said. "But we could evaluate when that was needed and whether a special session would be necessary."

The Affordable Care Act asks states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income people earning up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line — $15,521 for an individual or $31,721 for a family of four. Under the law, the federal government promises to pay 90 percent or more of the cost, including 100 percent for the first several years.

Daugaard has asked the federal government for flexibility to do a partial expansion of Medicaid to just the poorest South Dakotans earning less than 100 percent of the poverty line — $11,670 for an individual or $23,850 for a family of four. People earning more than that are eligible right now to buy subsidized private insurance on the new health care exchanges.

The governor has also asked the federal government if South Dakota could impose a work requirement on Medicaid eligibility.

He made the request at the end of January. So far, Daugaard said the state has received neither formal nor informal word on its request.

Earlier Thursday, Republican legislative leaders suggested they were okay with Daugaard expanding Medicaid without formal approval from lawmakers.

"If that’s something that the governor and the departments decide to do, they have a right to do that," said Rep. Justin Cronin, assistant leader of the House Republicans. "We can always have a special session, if we decide to do so and don’t agree with the policies."

House Speaker Brian Gosch, R-Rapid City, and Senate Majority Leader Tim Rave, R-Baltic, agreed.

"It’s an adminsitrative decision at this point. It’s not a legislative decision," Gosch said. "So the administration, if granted that waiver, could go through with it without a special session."

Lawmakers this year have voted, largely along party lines, to kill multiple Democratic bills calling to expand Medicaid. But in so doing, many Republicans have expressed a willingness to expand Medicaid — if it can be done on South Dakota’s terms.

The first year of Medicaid expansion would have only a few million dollars in administrative costs, which Daugaard could pay for out of a $20 million Medicaid reserve fund he established several years ago. And the state’s practice has been to resist defining the state’s Medicaid program in law, giving the administration flexibility to make changes without legislative approval for each one.

Amending the budget to allow for spending hundreds of millions of dollars of federal money could be done after the fact, leaders said.

Democrats, who have pushed for Medicaid expansion, said they’d prefer the Legislature approve Medicaid expansion during its current session, which ends in March. But House Democratic Leader Bernie Hunhoff said he’s fine with Daugaard moving on his own.

"I don’t care how it happens, as long as it happens," said Hunhoff.

Daugaard said if he did decide to pursue Medicaid expansion, he would likely consult with lawmakers to make sure he had backing before going ahead.

"I would have to visit with the Legislature about that," Daugaard said. "This is a decision I should not unilaterally make… I think the Legislature has to play a part as well."

New twist: Tax hospitals to pay for poverty health care (updated X2)

South Dakota should provide health care coverage to low-income South Dakotans — but only if they work full time, lawmakers propose in a new bill.

The current measure also takes aim at South Dakota’s hospitals with a proposal to end their exemption from the state’s property taxes.

The measure’s prime sponsor, Rep. Scott Munsterman, R-Brookings, says it’s a new approach to covering the uninsured. Previously, legislative debates had focused on whether the state should expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

It’s unclear what future the measure has after passing its first committee hearing Thursday morning.

Within a few hours of the committee vote, hospitals began lobbying against it, Gov. Dennis Daugaard came out in opposition, and Republican leaders huddled to discuss strategy.

"I’m confident (Munsterman) has very good intentions, looking for a new way to skin the cat," said House Democratic leader Bernie Hunhoff, D-Yankton. "But the bill that passed out just doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell."

Munsterman said he just wants to “lay the facts out for (lawmakers), without emotion.”

"It’s about creating a new health care strategy for us, and at least to think differently about what kind of solutions we should have to create more access to care," said Munsterman, who has also voted in favor of Medicaid expansion. "I want to be able to provide another alternative strategy. At the end of the day, I want to cover people."

People covered under the proposal could get a health insurance plan that covers 70 percent of medical expenses, with the state providing premium subsidy for all but $25 a month of the cost.

It would be available only to people earning less than 100 percent of the federal poverty line — $11,670 for an individual or $23,850 for a family of four. That’s the population that would be eligible for Medicaid but can’t get subsidized insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s health care exchanges. Daugaard has asked the federal government for a waiver to expand Medicaid just for the population earning less than the poverty line, but has not yet heard back.

But unlike Medicaid expansion, this state-provided health care would have significant strings attached. To receive health care coverage, individuals would have to not be eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, or the Indian Health Service, and would have to work 40 hours per week.

A number of Republican lawmakers have limiting extra state health coverage to people who have jobs.

"I think there should be a work requirement," said Rep. David Lust, R-Rapid City, the House Majority leader. "How strict (it) should be, I haven’t given enough thought to the nuances of that."

Munsterman said if the state can only help a certain number of people, those who are working but still unable to get health insurance is a good place to start.

"This is a strategy we could use to actually help those folks, well-defined, that are working 40 hours a week, and how we could begin to take care of them today," said Munsterman.

Hunhoff said Democrats are open to some sort of work requirements, but said it would have to be much more flexible to reflect the “real world.” He said the requirement would have to account for reservations with 80 percent unemployment, where residents can’t get a job even if they wanted to, as well as people with disabilities who can’t work but haven’t yet qualified for Medicaid disability coverage.

Limiting aid to uninsured people who work at least 40 hours per week amounts to an estimated 3,978 South Dakotans, out of around 26,000 who are uninsured and earn less than the federal poverty line.

Munsterman said 1,803 of those 3,978 are Native Americans who aren’t eligible for IHS. The other 22,000 are either Native Americans eligible for IHS, or don’t work 40 hours per week. They wouldn’t get coverage under the measure unless their circumstances changed — such as if they started working enough hours to qualify.

Subsidizing insurance would cost an average of $3,480 per year per person, or around $14 million for just under 4,000 eligibles.

An earlier version of the legislation set the limit at 30 hours of work per week, but a revision backed by Munsterman raised that to 40 hours. He did that to lower the cost of the program.

"I wanted to try to keep this bill under $15 million, which 40 hours does," Munsterman said.

If the measure required people to work 30 hours per week to qualify, it would cover an estimated 6,903 South Dakotans for $24 million per year. At 20 hours per week, it would cover 8,012 South Dakotans for $28 million.

If South Dakota expanded Medicaid, the federal government would cover 90 percent or more of the cost of covering low-income individuals with the federal health program. A partial expansion for just people earning below 100 percent of the poverty line would have a total state and federal cost of around $150 million per year. The state share 10 percent share, starting in 2020, would be just under $20 million per year.

Attached to the health proposal is a tax idea that Rep. Melissa Magstadt said would help pay for it.

She proposed removing the property tax exemption for health care facilities with 50 or more beds. 

Magstadt said hospitals were given tax exemptions to offset the costs they incur covering people who can’t pay, but cited a study saying that for-profit hospitals cover the same amount of charity care as the tax-exempt nonprofits.

As written, though, Magstadt’s provision wouldn’t raise any money for the state. That’s because property taxes in South Dakota go entirely to schools and local governments.

"The problem with (Magstadt’s) amendment is it doesn’t link up the dollars to the state," Lust said.

Lust said discussions are underway about the tax proposal.

If a way could be found to tax health care facilities for the state, it’s unclear how much money that would bring in. No one knows for sure how much those properties are worth.

"Most counties don’t bother assessing tax-exempt properties… because they know that they’re never going to levy taxes on these properties," said Mike Houdyshell, who oversees property taxes for the South Dakota Department of Revenue.

Instead, every five years, nonprofit health care facilities file reports with the state to maintain their tax-exempt status. In those reports, they say how much those exempt properties are worth.

The 2012 report has not yet been compiled, Houdyshell said. But the 2007 report showed 386 tax-exempt health care properties, with a total valuation of $576 million.

At average effective property tax rates, that would produce around $9.8 million in tax revenue.

Hospital chains already pay property taxes on some of their property. For example, a hospital building might be exempt, but the clinic next door might be taxed.

Avera Health as a company pays around $3.3 million in property taxes, said Bob Sutton, Avera’s vice president of community relations. Mark Johnston, Sanford Health’s vice president of public policy, said Sanford pays around $3 million per year in property taxes.

Neither man knew what percent of their company’s property is tax-exempt.

The tax proposal was introduced Thursday morning as an amendment, and caught both legislators and lobbyists by surprise. There was no testimony taken on the tax proposal. But the bill containing the provision passed 8-4 and heads to the full House.

Hospitals are gearing up to oppose the measure.

"We earn our tax exempt status every day," said Johnston. "We care for the citizens of our region 24-7, 365 (days per year), whoever shows up at our door, regardless of their ability to pay."

Sutton also said Avera has concerns about Munsterman’s health care plan.

"We have long supported full Medicaid expansion," Sutton said. "If this bill undermine’s the state’s willingness to move towards full expansion, or at least (a partial expansion), then we would have concerns."

Perhaps more significantly, after reviewing the proposal Thursday morning, Daugaard came out against it.

"It is very expensive and it creates a new, entirely state-funded program that duplicates the purpose of Medicaid," wrote Daugaard aide Tony Venhuizen in an email. "It is also a large tax increase on health care providers, and those costs would be passed on to health care consumers."

Venhuizen said Daugaard is more focused on trying to secure a waiver to do a partial Medicaid expansion.

Some lawmakers praised the idea.

Rep. Steve Hickey, R-Sioux Falls, applauded what he called a “colossal” change.

"This brings in millions and costs people millions. But it’s a conversation that this state needs to have, because the average person out there scratches his head at how some of these hospitals can be construed as nonprofit," Hickey said, citing the large hospital chains’ multi-million dollar donations and sponsorship deals.

But Rep. Scott Ecklund, R-Brandon, worried about the decision to tax hospitals.

"We had a good bill, and we just killed it," Ecklund said. "Then at the 23rd hour and 59th minute, we decide we’re going to take on the hospitals. That’s suicide for this bill."

The measure now heads to the full House.

Daugaard raises $900K in 2013, has $1.7M

Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s 2013 financial report went online last night, and showcases the incumbent governor’s huge financial head start whenever he formally announces his reelection bid this year.

Daugaard took in $907,000 in 2013, spent only $206,000, and thus has a full $1.7 million in the bank.

Most of Daugaard’s money came from individual South Dakota contributors.

His 2013 haul is a slight increase on the year before, when he took in $840,000.

The governor’s 2013 expenses included almost $100,000 in advertising* and a $51,000 donation to the South Dakota Republican Party. Daugaard even gave a $3,000 charitable donation to his former employer, the Children’s Home Society.

Neither Daugaard’s Republican challenger Lora Hubbel, nor independent Mike Myers, nor new Democratic challenger Susan Wismer has filed a 2013 report (and Wismer won’t, having entered the race in 2014).

Democrat Joe Lowe and Constitution Party candidate Curtis Strong both were in the race for about a month of the year and had quiet starts.

Lowe raised $1,300 and spent almost all of it, closing with around $100 in the bank.

Strong raised $1,100, all but $100 of that from himself, and also spent most of it. He has about $200 in the bank.

*Unless I’ve missed TV or radio spots touting Daugaard, my best guess is that this largely reflects the governor’s expenses buying displays and space at in the programs at various Lincoln Day Dinners around the state.

Daugaard asks for approval to partially expand Medicaid (updated)

Gov. Dennis Daugaard wants to expand Medicaid in South Dakota under the Affordable Care Act — but only part of the way, and only if the federal government lets him, which some experts say is unlikely.

Daugaard, with support from legislative leaders in both parties, has sent a letter to federal Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for permission to cover people earning up to 100 percent of the poverty line in the Medicaid program. The health care law calls for states to expand Medicaid up to 133 percent of the poverty line, and foot most to all of the bill.

"The one-size-fits-all approach that’s offered by the Affordable Care Act really doesn’t match up with the beliefs of most South Dakotans that we want to help those who can’t help themselves, and those who can help themselves should," Daugaard said Friday.

If Daugaard gets his way, people earning up to 100 percent of the poverty line — $11,670 for a single adult or $23,850 for a family of four — would be eligible to enroll in Medicaid.

People earning between 100 percent and 133 percent of the poverty line could — as they can now — buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s online exchanges and receive substantial subsidies to offset those costs.

Last year, Daugaard asked Sebelius informally if she would approve such a solution, and was told no. But he believes that with other states getting waivers to pursue alternative Medicaid expansion approaches, the answer might be different this time.

"This is a dynamic situation," Daugaard said Friday. "I think the federal government may be more open to considering things like that. Certainly I want to keep that conversation going."

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government promises to pay almost the entire cost of Medicaid expansion for the first several years for states that do so, then 90 percent or more of it into the future.

Robin Rudowitz, associate director for the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, said the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have warned states away from partial expansions.

"CMS has issued guidance related to waivers, and what waivers might be eligible for the 100 percent (federal) matching funds," Rudowitz said. "Their guidance is that these partial expansions would not be eligible for the 100 percent matching funds."

Wisconsin, in fact, just recently pursued a Medicaid expansion up to 100 percent of the poverty line, leaving those over the poverty line to join the exchanges. But the federal government isn’t paying the full cost of the expansion, as it is for states that went the whole way. Instead, that expansion happened under the normal Medicaid formula, where the federal government pays for just over half the cost.

Other states with waivers, such as Arkansas and Iowa, agreed to provide health care coverage up to 133 percent of the poverty line. They received flexibility to provide that care in other ways, using Medicaid money to instead support their residents’ private insurance on the exchanges.

Nationally, 25 states and Washington, D.C., have expanded Medicaid. Several others are considering it.

If Daugaard receives a swift response, he said he’s willing to amend his proposed 2015 budget to include Medicaid expansion for next year.

Democrats in the Legislature have long urged Daugaard to expand Medicaid. They say the low-income uninsured need health coverage, and that the federal funding would bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s economy.

House Democratic leader Bernie Hunhoff, D-Yankton, said he believes a full expansion is the best course but is willing to support a partial expansion.

"Anything we can get on the table is a good step forward," Hunhoff said. "Politics is the art of the possible… I don’t think a partial expansion should limit us from continuing to pursue full expansion down the road."

Daugaard, along with most Republican lawmakers, has resisted expansion. The governor has worried the federal government could renege on its promise to pay most of the cost. And he says he doesn’t want to create more people dependent on government aid than is necessary.

But Daugaard has never ruled out Medicaid expansion, saying he just wants to be cautious.

Senate Republican leader Tim Rave, R-Baltic, said he sees a partial expansion as a good, practical approach.

"Members of leadership in the Republican side have been talking at length about how we could find a common-sense, conservative approach to Medicaid expansion," Rave said Friday. "I believe that we’ve come up with a fairly good approach and are looking forward to that discussion."

Outside groups that have been pushing for Medicaid expansion say they’re happy to see Daugaard’s letter but are uncertain about its chances for success.

"We would be supportive of any programs that have a credible chance of being accepted by the federal government," said Dave Hewett, president and CEO of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations. "The ability to have a budget that allows for the state to move forward sooner rather than later on expansion is a good thing."

Reviews find flaws, errors in economic development office

South Dakota’s economic development office didn’t take enough precautions to prevent potential fraud or collect enough information from some grant recipients, two external reviews have found.

But the reviews, ordered by Gov. Dennis Daugaard after allegations of misconduct by the state’s former economic development secretary, didn’t turn up any new wrongdoing or major violations.

"There are a bunch of small things, but I think this should be viewed as good news that we don’t have a finding of wrongdoing, but find a lot of places where there’s room to improve," said Tony Venhuizen, a senior adviser to Daugaard.

A third report commissioned by Daugaard, a formal audit of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development by the state’s Department of Legislative Audit, is not yet complete. That audit is expected to touch more directly on GOED’s involvement with the bankrupt Northern Beef Packers plant, currently under federal investigation.

The two reports released to legislators this morning included one, by accounting firm Stulken, Petersen, Lingle, Walti & Jones LLP, that examined every single expenditure by GOED from January 2009 to September 2013 for irregularities. (One part looked at the Future Fund. The other part looked at the Dakota Seeds program.)

The second, by accounting firm Eide Bailly LLP, analyzed the office’s procedures for preventing fraud by employees.

One of the findings touched directly on Benda, South Dakota’s Secretary of Tourism and State Development from 2006 to 2010. An investigation last year by Attorney General Marty Jackley concluded Benda had double-billed the state for around $5,500 worth of airfare expenses, and Eide Bailly said GOED didn’t put a time limit on when employees could turn in expenses.

"Employees could submit expenses for reimbursement that were already reimbursed to the individual and the authorizing employee may not recall the purpose of the expense if there are significant time delays in the submission," the report says.

Benda’s double-billed expenses were included in two reports filed about three months apart.

"They both covered a pretty wide amount of time, and also just a lot of travel," said Venhuizen. "Just the itemized list for each of the vouchers was more than a page long."

The reports identified only one instance where the state paid out too much money: a $189.96 overpayment to an employer who had hired an intern under GOED’s Dakota Seeds program. Due to employee error, the state’s reimbursement of that employer was miscalculated.

That money has not yet been recovered.

"Frankly, we did not ask," said Pat Costello, Daugaard’s economic development commissioner.

But other Daugaard advisers said the state will try to get that money back now.

"The governor said it’s his intention, if he learns about shortfalls and things owed to the state, as the steward of the people’s money, we intend to seek those," said Jim Seward, South Dakota’s general counsel.

Many of the shortcomings identified in the reports have already been addressed. Costello said his office would “identify the weakness” based on questions and discussions with the investigators and immediately try to address that weakness.

Along with the two reports, Daugaard’s office released responses from the agencies that acknowledge each flaw and say what steps are being taken to fix it.

Read the responses:

"(Daugaard) doesn’t believe that the state should be defensive," Venhuizen said. "We should always welcome opportunities to improve."

Among the reports’ other key findings:

  • Due to a mistake, a $4,042.91 payment was actually made to the sister company of the intended recipient. The state “verified that the company… internally transferred it over.”
  • On nine occasions, GOED accepted a company’s own assurances that it had spent a grant instead of seeking receipts. It has since obtained most of those receipts, except for several companies that are no longer in business in South Dakota.
  • Once, the office gave an informal go-ahead for a company to spend its grant on computers, instead of formally changing the grant agreement to allow the expenditure.
  • GOED didn’t require one company to give a copy of every employee agreement, as it was supposed to. Instead, it accepted one employee agreement and just the signature pages for every other worker.
  • The economic development office doesn’t conduct background checks of new employees to ferret out any false information on job applications. There are currently legal obstacles to conducting those searches, but Daugaard is considering seeking a bill this year to grant the office that authority.
  • GOED didn’t compare expense reports to expenses billed directly to the state, raising the possibility that an employee could directly bill an expense and then separately file for reimbursement.
  • Sales of merchandise such as hats and t-shirts at the Governor’s Hunt weren’t closely tracked, raising the risk that “individuals could take shirt or hat inventory and/or cash and checks received and no one would be aware of the shortage.”
  • The same supervisor processed employee payroll and added or removed employees from the system. This raised the prospect for “fraudulent payroll disbursements through unauthorized rate changes and/or fictitious/ghost employees.”

Stay with Argus Leader Media for more updates.

Wismer enters governor’s race

A Democratic state lawmaker entered the gubernatorial race Tuesday in a bid to be South Dakota’s first female governor.

Rep. Susan Wismer, D-Britton, announced her candidacy in the South Dakota Capitol with most Democratic state lawmakers standing behind her in support.

Wismer, 58, is the second Democrat to run for governor this year. Previously, former state wildfire chief Joe Lowe threw his hat in the ring.

"I believe that moderates, including independents, Democrats and Republicans, all of us deserve a credible candidate," Wismer said. "I believe I can be that candidate."

Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, hasn’t formally announced a reelection bid but is raising money and planning on seeking a second term.

Tony Venhuizen, a senior Daugaard aide, declined to respond to Wismer’s announcement, as the governor’s office has to other candidates.

"As we said with other announcements, the governor’s not focused on politics," Venhuizen said. "He’s focused on his service as governor and particularly on the legislative session. He’ll turn his attention to the upcoming election season this spring."

An accountant and a member of the Legislature’s Appropriations committee, Wismer focused her criticism on Daugaard’s budgets, and in particular the 10 percent cuts he championed in 2011.

"Our communities know what the administration seems so determined to ignore: that budget cuts won’t educate our kids," Wismer said.

No Democrat has been elected governor in South Dakota since 1974, when Dick Kneip won. Wismer acknowledged she had an uphill battle but said she was optimistic.

"I won’t be successful unless the silent majority of common-sense moderates… step up to the plate," Wismer said.

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