Is Steven King in charge of writing Republican life stories now?

South Dakota highways have an unsavory reputation: long empty stretches of nothin’ lined with occasional farms or a small town, with Republican politicians disregarding the speed limits to race hither and yon, collecting speeding tickets because they’d rather be anywhere but there. It’s a mostly featureless death maze with emptiness between the Corn Palace and Wall Drug. Every once in a while one of the conservative road warriors gets caught, but they happily flaunt the law and get back to buzzing about with impunity. Except maybe this time.

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) might face a little justice, because what he did ought to be in a horror novel, or maybe a Coen brothers movie. I’m going to put it below the fold because it is particularly grisly.

As the Beast reports, “After the crash, Ravnsborg dialed 911, saying he struck something ‘in the middle of the road,’ but did not know what he hit. It was only later revealed that Boever’s face came through Ravnsborg’s windshield, and his shattered eyeglasses were found inside the vehicle,” adding, “The troopers said Boever was on the vehicle for at least 100 feet before he was deposited at the side of the road, a leg severed. He died on impact. Ravnsborg has insisted he had no idea who or what he struck, at least at first, but law enforcement officials who investigated the crash have cast doubt on that.”

Oh. A pedestrian’s bloody face punched through his windshield, propelling his glasses onto the car seat, and he hit him with so much force that he severed his leg…and he didn’t notice. Just a bump in the road, you know.

Meanwhile, his fellow Republicans aren’t sure whether he ought to be impeached or not. Unbelievable.

Lawrence wrote, “a growing swath of his own GOP, who dominate the state legislature a… face a key step next week in deciding whether to impeach him,” with State Rep. Charlie Hoffman (R) admitting he had been on the fence until seeing evidence handed over by law enforcemnet officials last Wednesday.

“After seeing the length of time Mr. Boever’s body was on the AG’s car with his head inside of the AG’s car’s window, and then flying off hitting the middle of the lane behind the AG’s car, leaving bone fragments on the road and skidding into the ditch at 65 mph, my mind has changed,” Hoffman explained. “I now have irrefutable evidence the AG knew exactly what he hit and lied to investigators and the Hyde County sheriff.”

They have to decide whether to impeach him? They haven’t already decided on the obvious? Jesus fuck, Republicans are thick, and South Dakota Republicans are among the worst of the breed. Ravnsborg only got a slap on the wrist!

Lawrence wrote, “After a months-long criminal investigation, Ravnsborg—who never even appeared in court—was only charged with three misdemeanors. As part of a plea deal, he pleaded no contest to two minor charges, was fined $1,000, paid $3,000 in court costs. and was ordered to promote safe driving. He reached an undisclosed settlement with Boever’s widow.,” adding, “Initial impeachment hearings were launched in February 2021, only to be halted after Noem released two videos of Ravnsborg giving lengthy interviews with North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents.”

There is one law for you and me, and a different law for those in power. A person’s life is only worth $4000 in South Dakota. It probably cost more to repair the damage to Ravnsborg’s car than that.

They’re voting today at 11am on whether to impeach him. Yesterday, Ravnsborg sent out a letter begging not to be impeached, because it would set a bad precedent to fire a politician because of a traffic accident. He feels no remorse at all. It wouldn’t set a bad precedent to give Republicans immunity to commit acts of vehicular homicide?


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    There is one law for you and me, and a different law for those in power.

    When has it EVER been otherwise?

  2. says

    and was ordered to promote safe driving

    Because he’s such a good role model?
    Or what, he’s a cautionary tale? “Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t be the one to kill a guy, lie about it, pay a few thousand dollars and keep your job in law enforcement.”
    Should make a very effective public service spot.
    Yeah…impeach already.

  3. lotharloo says

    It is possible he didn’t notice what he hit. It has happened in the past, but in all of those cases people behind the wheel were drunk as hell. So yeah.

  4. Alverant says

    @5 The victim’s eye glasses were found in his car and this isn’t the first time he abused his authority to avoid responsibility for his illegal activities.

  5. yknot says

    Youtuber Beau of the Fifth Column introduced me to the “go fast fee”. It was introduced to him by an acquaintance who was a member of a rich and influential family. That’s what his acquaintance called all of the fines and costs of him practicing his favorite hobby, speeding in his automobile. Ravnsborg has another variation, the “vehicular homicide fee”. Shades of Death Race 2000!

  6. says

    #4: WTF does that have to do with anything?

    #5: The police report also says that he swerved onto the shoulder to hit the poor guy. Sure, he could have been drunk, but that doesn’t excuse anything.

    Also in the report: the police officer on the scene did not find the body — he’d driven more than 600 feet beyond the corpse before stopping by crashing into a ditch — and loaned Ravnsborg his personal car to drive on to Pierre. He assisted him in leaving the scene of the crime. That’s how soft South Dakota cops are on their pet Rethuglicans.

  7. raven says

    He didn’t just hit a pedestrian in the middle of the night.
    He also hit and ran.
    Probably the guy was already dead but he didn’t know that at the time.
    Or so he claims, claiming he didn’t even know what he hit.
    It hasn’t been mentioned yet, but it is likely Ravnsborg was very drunk or drugged and left the scene because he didn’t want a DUI ticket to add to his collection. Or maybe he didn’t know what he hit because he was mentally fogged up.

    Leaving the scene of an accident without performing the duties of a driver.
    Hit and run.
    Vehicular manslaughter.

    Remind me not to go for a walk in South Dakota.
    Oh, just remind me to not ever be in South Dakota.

  8. ffakr says

    @lotharloo, there weren’t allegations of him being drunk, though that was my first assumption too. The truth is possibly more stupid.
    Police said his phone records indicated the was browsing web around time of accident. I recall reading reporting that he was looking at election conspiracy theory stories.

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 8

    #4: WTF does that have to do with anything?

    My guess, right-wing trolls are going to troll.

  10. Howard Brazee says

    So many Republicans believe everybody is corrupt. Therefore they just need to be better at it than the Democrats are.

  11. simonhadley says

    @8 I prefaced by saying it was off topic. You have a habit of ignoring or even defending bad behavior from the left so I thought I’d put it here for your reaction.
    @ 11 No, I’m hardly a right winger, I just don’t like bullies who ruin other people’s lives in the name of being “progressive.” This was seriously bad behavior on the part of the dean and the students who went after the business based on their feelings rather than facts. It’s the same mob mentality we saw at Harvard law school when the entire class shouted down a guest speaker because they disagreed with him rather than having an honest debate or just listening to him speak so they can produce well thought out rebuttals for later use. Having a temper tantrum and screaming isn’t free speech so much as just childish behavior and is worse than what we see from creationists who at least try to engage and sell you on their craziness.

  12. simonhadley says

    As for the original topic, Ravnsborg absolutely needs to be impeached and jailed.

  13. drickard says

    It wouldn’t set a bad precedent to give Republicans immunity to commit acts of vehicular homicide?

    PZ, did you miss the several wingnut legislators reducing or eliminating civil penalties (and, in Oklahoma, criminal penalties) for running over protestors in the street–so long as the driver claims to have been afraid?

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 13

    No, I’m hardly a right winger, I just don’t like bullies who ruin other people’s lives in the name of being “progressive.

    Which is exactly what right-wingers say. Kindly go fuck off and die.

  15. Akira MacKenzie says


    blockquote>So many Republicans believe everybody is corrupt. Therefore they just need to be better at it than the Democrats are.



    My father would often admit that Trump was a corrupt slum-lord who likely sexually assaulted women… BUT Trump was pro-gun, pledged to ban abortion, pissed on LGBTQ folks, let right-wing Christians have their way, and the Democrats have done worse so Dad is fine with him.

  16. simonhadley says

    @18 Thank you for illustrating my point about bad behavior so perfectly. I hope one day you will look back on this and similar conversations with a bit of remorse for your actions.
    @17 I’m sorry if it’s an alphabet soup link but I don’t know how else to post links here. I’d appreciate any pointers on how to do that better. My point is that it’s a subject that needs to be addressed because incidents like that give the right wing media all the fuel they need for their propaganda.

  17. says

    a) Reads horrific story of death and mutilation by a Republican.
    b) Responds by linking to an irrelevant distraction about bad Lefties not buying their cupcakes from a particular bakery, and hurting their business.
    c) I’m hardly a right winger

    Oh, I am not falling for that one.

  18. says

    #20: Let me help.

    <a href=”alphabet soup link”>I am trolling</a>, and how dare you accuse me of trying to derail a conversation!

  19. raven says

    Stupid troll:

    I hope one day you will look back on this and similar conversations with a bit of remorse for your actions.

    I’m sorry PZ Myers hasn’t banned you yet for being an obvious troll.

    I’m also sorry that humans have tossed up a stupid troll like you. It is a failing of that species.
    I’m almost sorry that you aren’t even a good troll. Stupid and boring and not even competent enough to come up with something out of Qanon or a Russian troll farm.

  20. raven says

    Now that this thread has died from a troll infection, more OT.
    In this case a real atrocity not involving cupcakes. OT, headline this morning.

    Ukraine checking reports of Russian use of chemical weapons

    It appears now that it was likely a phosphorous munition, not poison gas, i.e. nerve gas.
    The Russians or at least their ally Syria have used chemical weapons before and recently at that.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if they used them sooner or later in Ukraine. It goes along with the genocide theme.

    That would be a major escalation of what already is a steadily escalating situation.

  21. simonhadley says

    @21 You’re right, I shouldn’t have posted off topic and I apologize for that. It’s a story I’ve been following for some time because I get frustrated with childish behavior that makes progressives look bad. Sadly, the comments here are making my point for me.

  22. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 22

    Oh, don’t worry. I have tons of regret, but I won’t feel a nanosecond of shame for telling trolls to piss off.

    @ 26

    Oh! You poor, poor thing! You come in here to post an off-topic story to denigrate anti-racists as “the woke mob” and you were called out on it! My heart bleeds for your plight!

  23. says

    OH NO! Concern about childish behavior that makes [people] look bad! We have to do something about that.

    Buh-byeee, Simon Hadley.

  24. unclefrogy says

    I had to go and listen to this old song seemed like the right thing
    The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    Ravnsborg’s life story (as given here, anyhow) doesn’t have enough racism to have come from the mind of (disgraced former Iowa congressperson) Steve[n] King.

    The unfortunate encounter with Mr. Boever has the grotesqueness we might reasonably associate with Maine’s Steph King.

  26. pick says

    That seemed to be a classic case of What About?? – False Equivalence!!??? = Fake Outrage!! at falsified hypocrisy projected on others. Easy enough to automate. Could be Simon is a bot or a functional equivalent thereof.

  27. DanDare says

    How impeachment should work in these cases. A jury is selected randomly from the public. The case is presented to them with the identity, race, gender and politics of all subjects obscured.

  28. StevoR says

    Beyond horrific.

    Why wasn’t Ravnsborg arrested and jailed for at least manslaughter?

    I’ve know there’s the whole Its Okay IF You Are Republican (IOKIYAR) thing but this seems to be taking that to a whole new level.

  29. StevoR says

    @ Dan Dare : Agreed. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to select a certain number of Congresscritters (or inmy case Parliamentarians / MPs) for a short stint that way too in my view.

  30. acroyear says

    finally read this one (bookmarked in Pocket ’til I could get to it). He was indeed impeached…but it was only 36-31, not leading to me to having much hope for the state senate trial…