The South Dakota Republican Party convention could have been split by disagreement over Common Core.  Instead, delegates rose above the potential squabbles and wrote their platform based on principle, not hotbed issues.

Different delegates had different opinions of how to combat Common Core: “The party’s 2012 platform opposed adopting any additional Common Core standards, but some activists said they wanted the platform to go further and call to abandon Common Core altogether.”

Tony Venhuizen, spokesman for the governor, expressed what everyone could agree on: “We are concerned about federal intrusion into education, and we support giving state government and especially local decision-makers the ability to run our schools.”  And that’s what their platform reflects.

This was a great example of finding common ground in principles, and not giving way to division by issues.  We hope Citizens for Self-Governance can do the same to unite citizens of this great nation, to work together to restore government that is truly “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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