Senator Jessica Castleberry is stuck in a parasitic relationship with Rep. Tim Goodwin. His self-inflicted PR meltdown has spilled over into her campaign during a high-stakes election season. But how much of her political capital is she willing to expend to save him?
The Senate Judiciary committee convened on Feb. 3rd, 2022, giving hearing to SB 121: an act to restrict the distribution of deceptive images or recordings with the intent to influence the outcome of an election. The South Dakota Newspaper Association and the South Dakota Broadcasters Association testified in opposition to Castleberry and Goodwin's SB 121. Attorney and lobbyist Justin Smith asked what issue this bill is attempting to solve in South Dakota by saying, " The S.D. Newspaper Association is currently unaware of anyone who has attempted to or published intentionally manipulated candidate pictures or videos, whether in our state or nationally." It was noted that the libel and defamation laws already on the books provide adequate protection for political candidates in need of legal recourse. Smith argued that this bill would have a "chilling effect" on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the press. Smith stated that public officials and candidates are ripe for satire and also "must expect more public scrutiny."
S.D. Broadcasters Association lobbyist Steve Willard asked the committee to put this bill "quietly to death." In Castleberry's rebuttal speech, she said she found it "troubling" that the media and "bad actors" are being protected. The members of the committee asked no questions before the bill moved onto committee discussion and or action. The Senate Judiciary Vice-Chair Helene Duhamel (R-D32), a former television personality, took to the mic to remind Sen. Castleberry that negative campaigning isn't new. Dramatic public students like this actually give free airtime to the accusations surrounding her, effectually driving more eyeballs and clicks. Senate Bill 121 flopped belly-up, 7-0.
In Jessica Castleberry's world, it is fair play for Tim Goodwin and Co. to deceive me, but it is foul play when I decide to play by their rules. I was asked to trust the Senator "because she's a woman." They trusted me because I'm a woman, and a real "downhome kid." How could they fall for their own gimmick so easily? Sen. Castleberry's SB 121 is a failed bill, sent to the legislative dustbin known as the 41st Day. It was written to exploit the very real concerns of election integrity, and advanced technology. Is Jessica ringing the alarm ahead of time about deep-fakes because of Tim's rumored confession tape?
HEALEY: So, Lee... Thats...?
After my Nov. 9th testimony before the House State Affairs committee, I heard through the Pierre grapevine that Tim Goodwin was threatening me with defamation. South Dakota is a one party consent state meaning its fully legal to record a private conversation if at least one party consents to being recorded. If I had to guess the temperature in Pierre, I would say that Tim Goodwin and Co. are in some very hot water with Senate Daddy Schoenbeck, as they scramble after having fumbled Schoenbeck's plan to reshape the state legislature.
This situation has left lasting effects on my emotional, mental, and physical health. It was a manipulative, exploitative, intimidating, and unprofessional.