Weiland, Samuelson to Fight Plutocracy with Ballot Measures, Candidates

Thought you’d heard the last from Rick Weiland? Think again:

Weiland, who carried the Democratic banner in last year’s U.S. Senate race, and Drey Samuelson, who served Senator Tim Johnson as chief of staff, are starting TakeItBack.org, a political organization that will support candidates and promote ballot measures (ah ha! so that’s why Weiland was so irate about Sen. Corey Brown’s attempt to sandbag ballot measures!) to, in Weiland’s words, “take our government back from the stranglehold of wealthy special interests” and “recreate a government that is truly of, for and by the people.” Huh—now why didn’t Richard Pettigrew think of that?

Weiland says the new PAC will target D.C. and state capitols in its fight against plutocracy:

We’re at a critical juncture, and neither of us feel comfortable simply watching from the sidelines, wringing our hands.  The average citizen has, unfortunately, lost faith in our political system.  Congress’ approval rating remains at an all-time low, voter turnout last year was the lowest since 1942, people feel that their vote no longer matters and that big money donors and paid lobbyists are calling the shots in Washington and in our state capitols.  If we don’t do something about it, and soon, our democracy could perish [Rick Weiland, press release, 2015.03.18].

Samuelson says South Dakota-grown initiatives and referenda will be an important part of TakeItBack.org’s strategy:

We strongly believe that the ballot initiative and referendum process is an important tool allowing the voters a direct voice outside a legislative process that has been corrupted by wealthy special interests.  In 1898, South Dakota was the first state in the nation to give its citizens the power to use direct democracy, their vote, to bypass the state legislature believing that legislators were not listening to their concerns. It’s worth noting that it was such a good idea that 23 states followed South Dakota’s lead.  We believe that the wisdom of our ancestors is still relevant today, and that we can use the tools that they gave us to affect public policy and restore the people’s trust and faith in their institutions of government [link added; Drey Samuelson, press release, 2015.03.18].

No word yet from Weiland and Samuelson on what topics their organization may bring to the ballot, but they’ll want to hustle: with cannabis advocates brewing two initiatives and Steve Hickey and Steve Hildebrand ready to wage war on payday lenders, TakeItBack.org will want to get its ballot measures in the LRC chute and beat the rush for signatures!

(If you’d like to help Rick and Drey walk petitions, give them a shout at TakeItBack.org.)


26 Responses to Weiland, Samuelson to Fight Plutocracy with Ballot Measures, Candidates

  1. larry kurtz

    Well, as one of my ex-wives has always said, better than a sharp poke in the eye with a rusty kickstand.

  2. Far better: it’s experienced, connected political operatives reinvesting their political capital in South Dakota. This is one of the twenty things we need to restore democracy and support Democrats.

  3. I have heard Lynnette say that before. I think that’s what she said her name was. Anyway, I think we should all look forward to more information and activities from Mr. Weiland. I am glad he is still active in South Dakota and didn’t run off like some people said.

  4. “Take it back” was a rotten campaign slogan and it isn’t any good as a name for any kind of progressive movement.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir

    I got an email about this, and I agree with Doug. A more distinctive name needs to be chosen. It seems like nearly every election includes a candidate saying, “Take It Back!”

    Although I do disagree with the name, I am entirely supportive of the goal.

    I hope they will connect with the Amendment folks. Their plan is to get an amendment into the US constitution saying that money is not speech and corporations are not people. (I don’t recall the exact language.)

  6. Deb Geelsdottir

    Here is a link to Move to Amend: https://movetoamend.org

    There are many groups similar to Move to Amend and Take It Back. They need to cooperate and coordinate. All the splintering of similar minded people does a disservice to them/us.

  7. No such thing as going back, or taking back. All we can do is to go forward, or do nothing.

  8. bearcreekbat

    I agree with Deb and Doug – “Take it back” says very little of substance and fails to provide any real reason to support the substantive policy changes needed. It sounds too “sound bite like” and fails to communicate anything that might appeal to rational folks. It seems tribal and alienating.

  9. Bill Fleming

    Okay, fair enough about “Take it back.” What are some other ways to say what has happened to our body politic, and what we need to do to correct it?

    How about “Wake the #^!* up?” ;-)

  10. Almost Bill, waking up is not enough. I can wake up and still not do anything.

    Maybe it is something like Wake Up to Take Action!

  11. Good one Bill Fleming and more to the point. I don’t know where the hell take it back came from but I wish someone would. it makes no sense.

  12. When Jack Billion campaigned for the governorship, he used Take It Back.

  13. mike from iowa

    Wingnuts sure have made a passel of messes that need fixing. You can’t repair potholes by filling them in,you need a new strategy. More complete like a major,thorough overhaul. Get rid of the incompetents and get some workers already.

  14. Deb Geelsdottir

    Return Democracy to the People!
    South Dakota for South Dakotans!
    For the People!
    Every Citizen Matters!
    Stand for Your State!
    Renewing Hope in South Dakota!

    I dunno.I like “Every Citizen Matters” best.

  15. Douglas Wiken

    How about, “We can do better.”

  16. “We will do better!”

    I’m inclined toward Fleming’s suggestion. Naturally, being a family-friendly blog and campaigner, I’d cut the brackin-frackin and add a verb: “Wake up and Fight!”

  17. larry kurtz

    “I won’t be Sanford’s bitch no mo!”

  18. larry kurtz

    “Exhume Rich Benda!”

  19. Bill Fleming

    “Wake up and fight” works.
    Good job, Mr. Heldelberger. U da man.

  20. larry kurtz

    Under Dog, the People Rule!

  21. I will happily adopt Underdog as team mascot… assuming he’s entered public domain, or the creators are amenable.

  22. Or how about, simply, “The People Rule!”? It’s Tea Party Time, 2.0.

  23. “Wake up and fight” is the best Underdog would be a fun mascot! Talk about classic retro! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Underdog

  24. dems unite-wake up & fight!

    i suppose one word will kill us

  25. Deb Geelsdottir

    If Rick is Underdog, is Samuelson Sweet Polly Purebred?