Yesterday I learned that Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin would be speaking on Aug. 26 at a luncheon sponsored by the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Group Political Awareness Subcommittee.
The email sent out by the Chamber stated the event was open to members and nonmembers alike with the only difference being the price of $15 for members and $20 for nonmembers. The Chamber website (which has since been changed) also indicated the event was open to members and nonmembers.
Dr. Edward Picardi, a Rapid City surgeon, told one of the Citizens for Liberty members this afternoon and said that he and his wife had contacted the Chamber of Commerce yesterday to RSVP and obtain tickets.
Dr. Picardi said that late this afternoon, a lady from the Chamber had called them to tell them the event was no longer open to the public. According to the Chamber representative, Rep. Herseth Sandlin herself had made the decision to limit attendance to members only.
I spoke with Dr. Picardi tonight by phone. Picardi has been in the medical practice for many years, having served in the U.S. Air Force as a doctor before leaving the service shortly after the Persian Gulf War. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, and has his own practice as a surgeon in Rapid City. Picardi has seen government health care systems up close in the military and in several countries he has visited overseas. He is perplexed by rescission of the invitation and wonders if his professional experience has anything to do with it.
Citizens for Liberty was also informed by other Chamber members that an email went out late this afternoon to people who had contacted the Chamber about the event which said, “…upon request from the Congresswoman’s Chief of Staff this luncheon will be limited to YPG members only.”
I tried to contact the Chamber of Commerce and Rep. Herseth Sandlin’s office in Rapid City for more information but both were already closed for the day.
Catching up with congressional delegates has been unusually difficult this August. Several people and groups I know have been attempting to obtain schedules of Senator John Thune, Senator Tim Johnson and Rep. Herseth Sandlin, but very little information is reaching the public.
Unless Rep. Herseth Sandlin accepts Citizens for Liberty’s invitation to attend the Town Hall & Recess Rally on August 22, West River South Dakotans may not have another opportunity to hear from Rep. Herseth Sandlin this August congressional recess.