South Dakota Progress formed last winter in response to the Democratic Party’s continued underperformance in South Dakota elections. SDP’s mission: to recruit, train, and support good progressive candidates for local and legislative elections.
SDP is raising money for this cause; the organization drew $1,400 in donations at one Rapid City event a few days ago, thanks in part to good home brew.
Perhaps SDP will want to sweeten that home brew with some imported dollars… from George Soros and friends!
A cadre of wealthy liberal donors aims to pour tens of millions of dollars into rebuilding the left’s political might in the states, racing to catch up with a decades-old conservative effort that has reshaped statehouses across the country.
The plan embraced by the Democracy Alliance, an organization that advises some of the Democrats’ top contributors, puts an urgent new focus on financing groups that can help the party regain influence in time for the next congressional redistricting process, after the 2020 elections. The blueprint approved by the alliance board calls on donors to help expand state-level organizing and lobbying for measures addressing climate change, voting rights and economic inequality [Matea Gold, “Wealthy Donors on Left Launch New Plan to Wrest Back Control in the States,” Washington Post, 2015.04.12].
Oh no—outside groups pouring money into local South Dakota elections to promote their ideological agenda? The horror!
But hey, if the Koch Brothers and ALEC are trying to buy South Dakota, doesn’t South Dakota Progress have an obligation to fight back with whatever resources it can find?
…Republicans have consolidated power in state legislatures, bolstered by lobbying groups such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and a network of think tanks and advocacy groups funded by the billionaires Charles and David Koch and other conservative donors. The GOP now controls 30 state legislatures, while the Democrats control 11, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Reversing the right’s momentum — and matching its financial firepower — will not be easy, alliance leaders acknowledge. Earlier this year, the Kochs and their allies pledged to spend $889 million to fund political advocacy, think tanks and educational projects in the run-up to the 2016 elections. One of the panels at the Democracy Alliance conference will be devoted to discussing the Koch network’s influence and “the electoral arms race,” according to a copy of the agenda obtained by The Washington Post [Gold, 2015.04.12].
I’d love for South Dakotans to be able to conduct their own elections and their politics without outside interference. But if the Right is going to swing that money stick, we can’t blame the Left for responding in kind.
Democracy Alliance—here’s their contact page, SDP.