Rhoden visits Madison for Senate campaign
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Larry Rhoden, state senator and Union Center rancher, didn't pull any punches in criticizing the current state of congressional affairs in Washington, D.C., blaming the latest budget stalemate and threatened government shutdown on a lack of leadership.|
"Congress has had plenty of time during the past year to come up with some sort of plan for the budget, instead of waiting until the last minute to work on an agreement," Rhoden, a candidate in South Dakota's 2014 Senate race, said. "But they take things up to a deadline and then try to work out a deal."
According to Rhoden, the results from past 11th-hour agreements should provide enough proof that the federal government needs to fix the way it does business. Rhoden said the leadership should move before any deadlines to produce a workable budget instead of waiting until the last minute and "...kicking the can down the road."
"It's an absolute failure for Washington to put us in this situation," Rhoden said. "It hurts our economy and hurts our nation. These arguments and delays promote uncertainty and damage all of the markets in our country."
Rhoden visited Madison on Saturday and participated in Dakota State University's homecoming parade, similar to other candidates who plan to run in 2014. He's currently campaigning for the Republican spot in next year's Senate race, competing against former governor Mike Rounds, state Rep. Stace Nelson of Fulton, and Dr. Annette Bosworth of Sioux Falls.
Rhoden has served for 13 years in the state Legislature and currently holds the position of majority whip in the state Senate. He and wife Sandy have four sons -- Jesse, Cody, Reggie and Tristen. During the Rhodens' trip to Madison, they visited one of Sandy's sisters, Marletta Eich, a Madison elementary teacher.
Some political prognosticators in South Dakota have given Rhoden an edge in the Senate in the area of agriculture, which remains a major economic force in the state.
According to Rhoden, the federal government's proposal to eliminate crop subsidies and move toward a greater emphasis and support for crop insurance was a good idea. He said having producers make their own decisions on crop insurance offered farmers a greater role in charting their personal futures.
"I thought it was a step in the right direction -- to move away from crop subsidies and provide support for crop insurance," Rhoden said.
Rhoden added that conservatives pushed Congress toward separating food stamps from the ag programs in the latest House version of the Farm Bill. He said it wasn't a good idea to move the nation's food policy away from agricultural programs, because the combination of the two brought rural areas and urban centers together to pass the legislation.
"We're looking at difficult times down the road, if you separate the two and then try to pass ag programs," Rhoden said.
He realizes that most of the public view the national debt and federal budget deficits as the overriding issues currently facing the nation. However, Rhoden also knows the value of some of the federal government's presence in South Dakota.
Rhoden helped pass legislation that supported the Ellsworth Development Authority, an organization that supports the continued operation of Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City. He also supports continued, adequate federal funding for the Lewis & Clark water pipeline, a project that is supposed to provide Madison with an additional source of drinking water.
"In the case of Lewis & Clark, that was a commitment from the federal government as an endorsed, legitimate project," Rhoden said.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
Send us your community news, events, letters to the editor and other suggestions. Now, you can submit birth, wedding and engagement announcements online too!
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 madisonet.com All Rights Reserved.