Not All GOP Candidates Are Violent Rapists, But Their Ideology Points Them All In That Direction
This Week's Example: Failed Republican South Dakota House Candidate
South Dakota’s 27th state House district includes the Pine Ridge Reservation as well as exuburbs east of Rapid City. The counties that make up the district are Bennett, Haakon, Jackson, Pennington and Oglala Lakota. Nearly three-quarters of the population is Native American. The median household income is extremely low— $35,664.
South Dakota didn’t get behind the COVID vaccination agenda and has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in the country— 65%. Oglala Lakota County has the highest vaccination rate in the state— 87%— and is also the bluest county in the state. The district also includes the most political backward county in the state, Haakon. Here’s how the 5 counties voted in the 2020 presidential election and their vaccination rates:
Haakon- Trump- 90.2% (43% fully vaccinated)
Jackson- Trump- 66.2% (58% fully vaccinated)
Pennington- Trump- 61.0% (62% fully vaccinated)
Bennett- Trump- 58.7% (66% fully vaccinated)
Oglala Lakota- Trump- 9.3% (87% fully vaccinated)
The state legislative elections in South Dakota work like this: each party can have one candidate for the Senate seat and two candidates for the House seats in a district. This cycle there were two from each party who ran in the House race: incumbents Peri Pourier (D-Wanblee) and Liz May (R-Kyle) and challengers Norma Rendon (D-Porcupine) and Bud May (R-Kyle). The Mays are mother and son. She easily beat him.
This cycle, there were two ballot measures being voted on as well— one to expand Medicaid (which passed 56-44%) and one to legalize marijuana (which failed 53-47%). The two challengers had explained where they stood on each:
Norma Rendon (D):
“The expansion of Medicare will be beneficial to those with low income or existing below the poverty guidelines… I am a strong proponent of Amendment D.”
“I am not a user and have never smoked but the People already voted this in. So I will support this IM27 because the People do.
Bud May (R):
[On Medicaid expansion] “No, it;’s not fiscally responsible nor necessary.
[On marijuana legalization] “The entire thing needs to be thrown out and rewritten to suit South Dakota’s needs. The measure was brought by a special interest group out of Colorado. Given how the Democrat agenda has destroyed Denver and outlying areas, I think we as South Dakotans would be wise to learn from their mistakes rather than repeat them.”
Each was also asked about the state’s restrictive abortion law. Rendon wanted to eliminate it and May wanted to make it more restrictive and eliminate the exception for the life of the mother.
Both incumbents won so neither Norman Rendon nor Bud May will be going to Pierre. The results:
Bud May will not be just not be going to Pierre, he may be headed to prison, perhaps for 50 years, having been arrested and charged this week with second-degree rape. The victim, a Native American woman, said May, who is 6’8”, forced himself on her in a bathroom stall at a bar after he bragged that he’s white, presumably meaning he has the right to have sex with her whether she wanted to or not. The police reported that he fled the area and, upon being detained in Box Elder, first claimed he had no involvement and then changed his story, claiming “it was simply a hug.” Magistrate Judge Scott Bogue said the woman was hiding behind a bar counter with dirt, blood and an abrasion on her face when the police arrived. She said May raped her in multiple ways. The criminal complaint asserts that May used “force, coercion, or threats of immediate and great bodily injury” against the victim. His bail was just $7,500. (He was also in court last week for driving without insurance and with expired plates and has three outstanding warrants with the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety.)
South Dakota is very lenient towards criminal white Republicans. Another GOP candidate— Joel Koskan, a Senate candidate in the neighboring district and who was also defeated— was arrested and charged with child abuse days before the election. He accepted to a plea agreement that spares him any jail time and requires him to see a therapist and stay away from the child.
I vaguely recall that pre-MAGA it was pretty common to find Republican candidates and officials who didn't believe they had the right to rape women and beat up children, even in backward, lawless hellholes like the Dakotas.