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April 12, 2012 05:55 PM

South Dakota's 'Table Of Wisdom'

Sioux Falls, SD

South Dakota political movers-and-shakers from both parties gathered around the lunch table Thursday to share some light-hearted food for thought on the issues.
  
Former U.S. Senator Jim Abourezk is holding court at Sanaa's Restaurant in downtown Sioux Falls.

"I'm calling the meeting to order.  It's showtime," Abourezk said.

The guests come from a variety of political tastes. Democrats sitting across from Republicans.  Liberals breaking bread with Conservatives.

State Rep. Gene Abdallah: There's only one reason I came and that was to get a free lunch off a liberal.
Abourezk: What do you mean?  You've got to pay for it.
Abdallah: I'm not paying for it.

Abourezk calls these gatherings the "Table of Wisdom," with plenty of wisecracks mixed in with the political table talk.

Abourezk: Well, Russ likes Obama.
Indian activist Russell Means: I just ate.

The good-natured barbs are served up long before dessert ever arrives.

"Okay, let me figure this out.  We've got the 99-percent and the one-percent," Democrat Scott Heidepriem said. 

Those sharing this meal say it's a good way for people with different political backgrounds to exchange views and gain a better understanding of one another, regardless of who is picking up the tab.

Other topics at the "Table of Wisdom" included legislative re-districting, Mitt Romney and the Tea Party.

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