Notes from SDDP Aberdeen Meeting

Scott Ehrisman is documenting and responded to South Dakota Democratic Party’s “How do we fix it?” meeting in Sioux Falls Saturday. I attended the Aberdeen installment of the SDDP tour last night with eighteen of my neighbors. Here are the most important things I heard:

  1. SDDP chair Ann Tornberg said she and her staff are planning more listening stops after this week’s Sioux Falls–Brookings–Aberdeen–Rapid City tour. They’ll hold a similar meeting with Clay County Democrats on Wednesday, December 14, at the Vermillion Public Library at noon. Another meeting is planned in Hughes County (I’m checking on date and time). It sounds like party leadership is open to invitations for more dates.
  2. Everybody is talking about message, but former SDDP chair Deb Knecht, striking a pessimistic Newquistian tone, wondered “if it matters what we say.” She cited District 8 Democratic Senator Scott Parsley, who sounds nothing like the “New York liberals” that her husband Randy said can’t win in South Dakota, and Senator Parsley still got beat by a rookie twenty-something whose only advantage of Parsley is the “R” in front of his name. Deb Knecht also cited the President-Elect, who has shown that one can win the most powerful elected position in the world despite the foul words spewing from one’s mouth.
  3. Responding to calls from attendees to go negative hard and early, high school debater and former Heidelberger campaign intern Briggs Tople said we should focus our negative campaigning on the Republican voting record of burdensome taxes, wasteful spending, and other dollar-figurable decisions.
  4. Brown County Democratic Party chair Jennifer Slaight-Hansen observed that economic issues can be a harder sell in South Dakota because our economy and state budget are relatively more stable, allowing GOP-favoring culture-war issues like guns and abortion to resonate more among voters.
  5. High school debater and Democratic activist Sulaiman Jamal said the fear of bullying keeps some of his fellow students from getting involved in Democratic politics. Tople added that it’s hard for his fellow students to join the losing side and find it easier to just graduate and leave South Dakota.
  6. In one of the few discussions of practical party activity, Tople suggested opening field offices in Aberdeen, Pierre, and Rapid City to support local organizing. Among other benefits, Tople noted that field offices would provide local groups with a regular meeting space. I added that the state party could divide its current staff among those offices and use them as regional headquarters for integrated off-year party-building activities including ballot measure petition drives and voter registration. The former and current chairs noted that physical offices have a lot of overhead.

My summary here is subjective and non-exhaustive. I invite other attendees to submit their observations on the meeting; I invite non-attendees, even “New York liberals”, to contribute their thoughts on how South Dakota Democrats can win in 2018.


48 Responses to Notes from SDDP Aberdeen Meeting

  1. Its pretty difficult to conduct party business if there is no budget for office overhead and no income. Repubs have us beat there “9 ways to sunday”. Their “scratch my back i’ll scratch yers” personally enriches them while funding aggressive party business, thus beating us every time. “Public” radio effectiveness have largely been diluted for the same reason and makes conservative talk radio the only game in town, our children parroting the worst of society. Charter schools may do the same.

  2. Scott and I attended the Sioux Falls meeting and posted the video of one of this year’s largest Democratic Party meetings in the state. Outside of Bernie coming to Sioux Falls for the primary the party functions were depressing events of defeatist attitudes.

    The Bernie event was huge by South Dakota standards with over 4500 people showing up. These were energized people who were lost after the primary because our state party was lazy and uncreative in how to keep the throng engaged.

    The thought we should support Hillary because she would be the first woman President was so wrong on so many levels. History will judge it harshly as a stupid reason to vote for anyone.

    No one was genuinely happy at either Clinton events we attended and recorded. Go check them out on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBkcje2tWnPUn2psMjzm5QW5Qr1zuk-RD . Even our supposed Democratic mayor didn’t attend the events because they were just thrown together. These events had more gray haired dreamers who never thought to bring anyone younger to fill the room.

    South Dakota does not have a Democratic Party. South Dakota has a placeholder party designed to give an appearance of party label to place a protest vote.

    There have been offers to assist on many levels for several years but a comment made by one of the campaigns in 2010 still resonates when the offers were made “Why do you want to do it?” and “What do you want out of it?” When an older political geek like me says “Good Government” the door hits you on the way out as the “experts” laugh.

    When will we be the party of good government? Not until we clean our own house, not for purity but for acceptance of ideas long know to work. Where do we get these ideas? From people who have experience winning elections. In South Dakota these winners are now retiring and also dying without sharing their ideas because the newbies playing Facebook games are slamming the doors on them.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSouthDacola/featured

  3. I am neither a Democrat, nor a liberal. However, I wish you guys would win in 2018 because everything needs checks and balances. A governing authority needs an opposition party. In my opinion you should market yourselves as the check and the balance. You are the opposition party. I should think that would be a useful plank.

    With no opposition party there is almost nothing to keep the ruling authorities honest. It is a recipe for corruption. If one-party rule could lead to blissful economic opportunity, then how many years do you think it would take for that to be achieved? Logically it would not happen in a year. But how long do you think it would take? How long has the SD GOP held onto power, and what have they achieved with it? Our state pension system is sound (I am told), which is wonderful. Has anything else been achieved?

  4. Update! Weather has postponed the fourth SDDP listening session scheduled for this evening in Rapid City. Party HQ says they will reschedule and plan more events around the state for interested Democrats to come share their ideas for making Timoteo’s wish come true!

    Timoteo, I’d like to say that making that wish come true is as simple as going out and voting for Democrats… and bringing ten friends to the polls to do the same! But yes, we Democrats need earn those votes.

    You’re preaching to the choir about the necessity of an effective opposition party. Why don’t more people buy that notion? Why are so many people willing to let one party rule South Dakota?

    As Jennifer noted in her comments last night, South Dakota’s economy and budget are relatively stable. Can we attribute that to GOP leadership and policies? Or is that just social inertia and lack of courage to dream big? A synonym for stable is stagnant. We may be stable, but we’re stable in having low wages and not enough really good jobs to make lots of our young people want to stay here to get their education and build their careers. We get by, and lots of people are content with getting by… but is there more to life? Can we Democrats offer more? Do South Dakotans want more?

  5. Darin Larson

    Bruce, I disagree with your take on how to turn things around it seems. You talk about cleaning house? What house? There are so few elected Democrats in South Dakota that they could all fit in one large house and not be too uncomfortable. Democrats need to be inclusive and “Big Tent” people. We should be reaching out to independents and broadening the party’s outreach, not culling and becoming elitist.

    Your criticism of Hillary Clinton is another example. I didn’t vote for her because she was a woman. I voted for her because she was the most qualified, best tempered, smartest, most thoughtful person in the race with whom I also agreed with on most issues.

    By contrast, Republicans voted for a former Democrat who was a narcissist with the temperament of a toddler, the morals of an alley cat, the truthfulness of a used car salesman, and the respect for humanity of a white supremacist. Republicans didn’t stay home from the polls and pout because they could have elected 15 other candidates who would have been better, more qualified and less racist. Ultimately, they got in line and backed Trump.

    Before attacking Democrats because they are not perfect, consider the alternatives and tell me how we would be better off with the alternatives. If you want to debate the issues that separate us that is fine, but I think that generic attacks on fellow Democrats as if they are no different than Republicans is counterproductive.

  6. Darrin, There must be a house cleaning on thought and process. We do not throw people away only ideas and methods proven to not work.

    What makes us Democrats? Do we even know anymore? I know what made me a Democrat but in the world of fascism and Republican-lite DLC Clintonian politics what sets a Democratic Party apart from the Trumpster Party to bring people to a point of view?

  7. The Democratic Party of 2016 was an elitist party. The party managers looked down on the alt-right movement without seeing what they were saying. We Democrats had a terrible message and deserved to lose. What happened to the 50 state strategy? Oh yea, it was thrown away because the elitists did not want to mess up their circle with understanding the deplorables. Find a way to get into the street fight with a message of just go home and pout.

  8. Porter Lansing

    It’s hard for students to join the losing side and find it easier to just graduate and leave South Dakota? No kidding. The SDDP would do well to become a service organization (Elks, Eagles, Odd-Fellows) and do things for the community to build good will, benevolence, tolerance and generosity. Make the party a place that young, middle-age and older people are proud to be a part of and not just a group of old geezers flinging mud at another group of old geezers. Once included a party member will know it’s not about taking anybody’s guns, no matter what lies are told. They’ll know that it’s about women’s rights not over-zealous, over-religious rhetoric with no validity in fact. Negative campaigning might work to a point but it’ll never cloak positive outreach.

  9. Find a way to get into the street fight with a message of just go home and pout. should have been: Find a way to get into the street fight with a message or just go home and pout.

  10. From reading the posts, I would say that we should keep doing the same things over and over again, that will show those guys that we are seriously, seriously gonna do something just as soon as we can do something. Thanks for the 19 who showed up to the meeting. I think that may be a record showing as this moves forward.

  11. Tell Clinton you want some down ticket money, she owes it to the state, collect on it.

  12. Clean the house and get some young folks from diverse backgrounds to take over this party. Bring in new ideas that will help to change the lack of focus on important issues. In Cory’s reporting, not a word about Medicare or the ACA, wow! That is astounding. I guess reading what is going on in Washington is just a little to difficult to understand. Here is a hint, Tom Price. Know him and understand the situation. I guarantee you that young families understand the possibilities and that is also why you have not heard a peep from the “R” side of the fence. Be proactive with a change of direction. Get new blood and thank the old for keeping the chairs warm. Demand the money from Clinton, she collected it, she needs to pass it where it was promised.

  13. Maybe Deb Knecht is right in what she says, after all, South Dakota is kind of like Kentucky in the way it thinks and votes. http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article45093165.html

    Or, do we prove them wrong, and change direction?

  14. Once again communication is a big thing for the SDDP. How are we communicating, in what forms, and what is the message.

    You want the party to grow, then begin to communicate. Update the party’s facebook page with things about South Dakota, both good and bad. Highlight what our Democratic representatives are doing. I watched the Sioux Falls forum this morning and was disappointed that the party leadership seems prepared to play the same old message only on side b.

    Once again the party needs to connect to the South Dakotan voter, someone who is passionate about two things, abortion, and gun ownership. Once the party can connect to them, then they have started to figure it out. Focusing on these two issues has resulted in decades of decline.

  15. Porter Lansing

    Guns and abortion are important to voters but even more important is low taxes, despite the fact that having the lowest taxes is what’s holding the state down. Having an extra couple hundred bucks in the bank but living where things are mostly second rate is the issue to address. Rebranding from “tax and spend” to “tax and build” would attract young and progressive voters. It seems the biggest thing in SoDak to be proud of is that most people live close to Minnesota and can go there and enjoy the nice things they’ve built (with a state income tax). Dem’s need a salesperson and public relations person to message what could be done. Start with cleaning up the Sioux River from Watertown to Sioux City.

  16. I’m from out of state, but I’m coming up on 4 years of living in South Dakota. When I first moved to town, and asked about registering to vote the advice I got was ‘register as a Republican or your vote won’t matter.’ I am not the only person that’s heard this and I don’t know how long this has been the ‘advice’ to new voters, but we’re fighting a serious uphill battle because of it. Democrats are under the radar (through their own action or not – I don’t have a lot history with the party in this state, but at this point any baggage needs to be left at the door), and that definitely needs to change.

  17. mike from iowa

    Lawd save us. How can low unemployment, 15.5 million new jobs created in the private sector, stock markets at record highs, 80 some months of financial growth, relative peace and stability in America, millions of Americans insured that weren’t before, equal rights for millions more Americans of all walks of life, oil production way up, bin-Ladin dead, etc. How in the world can this be seen as a terrible message when the other side campaigned on HRC being a crook? I’m scratching my head wondering what some of you are smoking!

  18. mike from iowa

    What really pisses me off is every wingnut Potus starting with Nixon has screwed the American people pooch worse than their wingnut predecessor and every damn time a Dem must fill the breach and straighten the economy and world relations out. Then Dems are ungraciously kicked to the curb so the next moron wingnut can really screw up.

    I do not have to listen to whiny, crybabies pitch a fit and scream I am not listening to them. They got that one thing right. I am not and will not put up with their s###-fits. As I have said, the next time this country is on the brink, Dems should pitch right in and push it over the edge where right wing morons want it. That’ll show us unfeeling Libs.

  19. Exactly mfi, what is there to complain about? Let’s just start putting together a coalition of interested parties that can actually change things here. We know that having a “D” is pretty toxic because of what we fail to stand for. That is why I am an Independent. In my view, we need to have an approach like our neighbors in Minnesota to get our point across. How about for now, standing up to defend the protection of our water for starters. Go on record as being so. Make it a part of whatever it is we are discussing. How about telling the truth about what is going to be happening regarding Medicare and how block grants for Medicaid will impoverish our elderly, and going on record to not only identifying it, but defending it as well on this platform.

  20. Medicare gone in 6 months, that is the plan. Where is Ann and the rest of the crew on this? This ain’t bullcrap either, this is it. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/still-missing-it

  21. Donald Pay

    I don’t know how many meetings like this I attended in Rapid City over the years. I have no idea how to make the Democratic Party come alive again in South Dakota. As I am a Wisconsin resident, I’m wondering whether the Wisconsin Democratic Party is going to right itself. I think it was just a bad year to be a Democrat in the middle of the country.

    I was never that big on party politics when I was in South Dakota. I did run Democratic Forum in Rapid City for a few years, but I was more interested in people’s ideas and issues than on party organization. For two decades my efforts were usually focused on environmental causes and later I switched to education issues. I could organize around issues, but I don’t really have a clue about how to organize around a broad-based grouping like a party. I made enemies in some sections of the Democratic Party at times with my single-minded environmentalism. I found it often easier to work with and ally with Republicans on these issues. We could agree to disagree on issues not related to the ones we were working on. Democrats seemed to want down-the-line agreement.

    Democrats did well in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, partly, I like to think, because we single-issue folks pushed a lot of issues to the forefront. That helped juice the Democratic base, but it also got thinking Republicans to question their leadership.

    Democrats also had great and varied personalities: folksie Farmers Union rural guys, like Frank Kloucek, more conservative guys like Flowers, and really strong women, like Linda Lea Viken, Linda Stensland, Pam Nelson, Sharon Green and Carol Maiki. There was a good mix of liberals and moderates in the party then, and leading it all in the best years was are really savvy centrist Lars Herseth, who, somehow, could keep all the various parts of the party mostly united.

    The party then had adequate funding with Daschle and Johnson able to organize good campaigns that had some down ballot impact. They also kicked over some money for organization.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t be too down about things. It will take effort and money and continuing arrogance and corruption on the part of Republicans to revive the prospects of the Democrats. One thing seems clear: the Republicans seem intent on remaining arrogant and corrupt, as their freak-out on IM22 indicates. So, that leaves effort and money for the Democrats to do.

  22. The South Dakota Democratic Platform is about as powerful of a statement as you can get http://www.sddp.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/2016-South-Dakota-Democratic-Party-Platform.pdf
    Now that it is the platform, who else even knows about it? There is a line item involved about the protection of Medicare, great, who knows about that? Where are the press releases in the rural papers defending Medicare? The platform also discusses the value and saving of Medicaid, once again, press release on what those block grants could actually mean to those in the rural areas that depend on Medicaid for nursing care and care for children. The ADA, once again, great platform, what about Jefferson Beauregard Sessions opinions on that as being the driving cost for education? http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarahaelle/2016/11/29/would-special-education-rights-be-safe-with-jeff-sessions-as-u-s-attorney-general/#4cb149815dd8 How many folks in South Dakota have a child with disabilities, could be learning, could be physical, could be from birth? In order to get the vote, there has to be a reason to support or else, what? This platform is fantastic, but no one knows about it.

  23. David Newquist

    There are some suggestions in the comments that have been tried before in revitalizing the SDDP and resulted only in further lack of interest with many active Democrats deciding to be inactive.

    Some suggestions from the high school students have merit. It involves organizing resistance, which may or may not be party business. When I was sent to Germany twelve years after the end of WWII, we were aware of the role that the resistance played in reshaping Germany and the rest of Europe. Members of the resistance helped the Israeli Holocaust hunters find and bring to justice those who participated in the persecution and execution of the Jewish people.

    Our mistake is in letting crimes against the people and oppressive politics acts be forgotten in the wash of media propaganda. In South Dakota, the EB-5 and Gear Up sandals exposed corruption with clearly visible complicity within state government in the GOED, the Dept. of Education, and related agencies. This should never be allowed to be lost in the fogs of political machinations and propaganda and the perpetrators should be hunted down and exposed no matter how long it takes. It is not a matter of making accusations, but of the careful collecting of evidence and the interviewing of witnesses, something that the press should be doing, but the South Dakota press has never had that sense of purpose and integrity.

    Of course, we are going to need a strong resistance with the coming of Fuehrer Trump, but South Dakota has its own corruption to expose and bring to justice. That process is the one thing that might awaken a soporific electorate to the realities it has condoned.

  24. mike from iowa

    You are going to need access to government documents that have been kept off limits, Mr Newquist.

    You need a mole to access those documents and shine the light of day on them. You would need at least one blogger or newspaper who wasn’t intimidated by threats of jail time to publish those documents. The government should never be allowed to hide evidence of crimes behind faulty facade of protecting innocent third parties. Those pols are protecting their own mangy hides.

  25. David Newquist

    Mike,

    Correct. We need a state Wikileaks. And people using their mobile phone cameras and documenting things they hear from friends and acquaintances. An organized resistance movement is needed. The Better Government Association, which was created in the 1920s in Chicago to combat Al Capone, is still in operation and is a key player in exposing many of the misdeeds in Illinois government.

  26. Republicans have proven they are full of crap in scraping Obamacare, it is here to stay! Now NOem fix the damn thing and put Rubio’s poison pill back in to lower premiums on those that do not qualify for the ACA or Medicaid. SDDP, bring the reason for the higher premiums directly where it belongs, The Republican Senate and the addition of preventing congress from offsetting the claims that are incurred by allowing pre existing conditions into healthcare. We all love that but we have to pay for it and congress had the way until Marco Rubio killed it. Why allow Democrats to continually take the blame for the rising costs?

    Whatever has been tried by the SDDP, try your hand at getting the word out about Medicare and what the intent is. That is no secret, Tom Price and NOem are working to kill it. Ask our own Nelson what his position is on that for the record. Ask all lawmakers their position of Medicare vouchers are for the record. As Dr. Newquist mentions, while you are at it, bring up the past corruption and keep it on the burner, EB5 should not be forgotten and neither should the rest of the rampant corruption. Simple stuff. Oh, and get some money from Clinton as promised.

  27. mike from iowa

    Just for fun, Hannity @ Fake Noize sez there is an Alt-Left that counterbalances the Alt-Right extremists. Both sides do it, doncha know?

  28. Porter Lansing

    Excellent, David Newquist. “We were good before. We’ll be GREAT, again.”
    Since early 2016, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) has been at the forefront of protests to stop Trump. Chapters and affiliates led protests from coast to coast, even helping to completely shut down his speaking event in Chicago. This summer, we attended and spoke at the March on the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. From the beginning, SDS has said that Trump’s agenda of bigotry, misogyny, anti-immigrant, and Islamophobic attacks should not go unopposed.
    http://www.newsds.org/

  29. Rough Rider

    So, what is being done about replacing Noem in two years. There are a couple of people in the state who have name recognition.

    Perhaps they need to be supported and start talking about jerry’s post: ” The South Dakota Democratic Platform is about as powerful of a statement as you can get http://www.sddp.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/2016-South-Dakota-Democratic-Party-Platform.pdf

    My 2 Ȼ

  30. Roger Cornelius

    The alt-right should be called what they really are, a hate group.

  31. Roger Cornelius

    I’m all for riding the corruption train to the end and most likely uncovering more as we go along.
    In South Dakota it takes murder and suicide to expose corruption, our government is going to tell us since they are a part of it.
    Another issue that Democrats haven’t used effectively is taxes. Taxes are always a huge concern for republicans and they love nothing more than to bitch about tax and spend liberals.
    I have repeatedly said this through many South Dakota election cycles and it seems to fall on deaf ears. Voters need to be told in big bold voices that it is the republican party of the past 40 years that have raised their taxes and fees. No tax and spend liberals, only tax and irresponsible spending republicans.
    Just as republicans hang on to the two issues of the 2nd Amendment and abortions to get elected, we must limit ours to taxes and corruption.
    We need to make these issue the core of each and every campaign, corruption and taxes can be easily understood by voters, but we need to drive it into the voters heads.

  32. Gordon Richard

    I, too, was at the road-trip-evaluation-meeting Monday evening in Aberdeen. Very quickly the economy was brought up and how Democrats must connect more with workers. I mentioned the need to ‘open’ the Big Tent of the Democratic Party to Democrats of all persuasions. It seems almost impossible for a Democratic candidate to get much beyond 30% of the vote in South Dakota. A Democratic candidate more representative of her/his fellow citizens would stand a better chance of being elected. Democratic numbers are down, Independents are up and there are plenty of Republicans, and they all need to be reached out to by a more inclusive and democratic Democrat Party.

  33. Hmmm… in what ways are Paula Hawks, Jay Williams, and Henry Red Cloud not representative of South Dakotans?

  34. Gordon Richard

    Cory: You are the expert; you tell me. Thune over 70, Williams 28; Noem 65 to Hawks 35 and, yes, even in your 38 to 61%. More “representative” Democratic candidates would have done better. In your case, no one ran a more spirited campaign, but still did not connect with enough district voters to win. South Dakota is a red state and bright, shiny blue Democratic candidates will have a difficult time convincing a majority of voters to vote for them.

  35. No, I’m not the expert, especially not on what you mean by “representative.” Are you saying that the way Democrats can run elections is by running Republican candidates? Does “representative” refer to the majority or to every South Dakotan? Does being representative mean giving voice only to the largest portion of those who vote, or does it mean including other voices?

    But let me return to my question: in what ways are Jay Williams, Paula Hawks, and Henry Red Cloud not “representative” of South Dakotans? They are South Dakotans. They face the same daily issues as other South Dakotans. They live under South Dakota laws. If I were writing a news story about South Dakotans for folks from overseas (not a political or historical essay), how would showing the daily lives and attitudes of John, Kristi, and Chris give a different or more “representative” picture of life in South Dakota than an essay featuring Jay, Paula, and Henry?

  36. Gordon Richard

    Democratic candidates keep losing elections! It has been going on for a long time now. Over 900 state legislative seats have been lost in the past eight years. Almost unprecedented. The morning after the election pundits and SD reporters were talking of a Republican Party “blowout” and a SD Democratic Party “grasping for relevance”. And this may be hard to hear, but one wrote of a “dearth of credible candidates”. Again, the margins were 60% to 30% and will remain there unless “credible” and, yes, “representative” Democratic candidates come forth to run. These candidates will present their positions on the issues, express their beliefs and values clearly and not be subject to any shenanigans by the opposition. And, very importantly, these beliefs, values and the like may well ‘represent’ the same among the voters these candidates wish to represent. Or we can keep doing what we have been doing and become even less “relevant”.

  37. Mr. Richard, we keep on being irrelevant or we can change. Problem is, no one wants to change from something that sounds so good it must be working. Talking to voters about the economy is boring as hell for them. They already have the economy they want. That is why there is no economic development here, ask those 35. What social issues are you gonna talk about that they care about? The way to win is to know what makes the voter tick. Democrats do not want to wind the damn clock. Republicans know how to wind the thing because they know what the alarm sounds like.

  38. I think all of this discussion might be productive. But such discussion is only productive if positive action results from it. George McGovern was not wrong to focus on grassroots development of the statewide Democratic Party in all of its 67 counties (that’s what we had back in the 50’s).
    George worked at it. He actually drove from town to town with a freaking miniature donkey in his vehicle to dramatize the message. He grew to hate the donkey, and presumably the donkey also hated SD and all its highways. The point is we probably can’t do this while sitting at our keyboards. It appears we have a problem – raise your hand if you want to help fix it. Don’t worry – the donkey died.

  39. The first thing would be money. Sorry to bring that up, but that is a fact. Clinton has the money, she collected it. I have not seen any accountability for that. Has anyone? You have to have money to drive the donkey around the state.

  40. Money (or lack thereof) is not the reason Dems lost this year and it is not the reason McGovern won. ‘Grassroots’ was the title of the first book he wrote and remains the key. Money helps – duh – but working the ground is imperative with any amount of money, more so without it, and essential in raising it.

  41. What was the reason of the loss then? How much do you think it costs to run a campaign to get the support needed to get your vision to the people?

  42. Gordon, you keep dancing around my direct question: what do “credible” and “representative” mean? Again, what specific things did Williams, Hawks, and Red Cloud say and do that were either not believable or not representative or South Dakota? To tell Democrats their candidates need to be “credible” and “representative”, you need to tell us specifically how our previous candidates have not been “credible” and “representative.” Reciting the vote counts only points to a result, not the root cause.

  43. Mr. Richard has probably figured it out, along with Curt that in order to be “credible” you have to have the resources to be “representative”. First order of business would be that if you fail the first time you run, that does not mean you are a failure, it just means you need to better. Thune showed that in his close loss and then came back to win. In Democrats case, they seem to be getting the base only, that will not win. Then, it is back to the drawing board with an old dream about Stephanie swooping in for victory. Here is a flash, she was beaten as well and then she did come back. She had the resources to do exactly that. Without the money and without the proper vetting, we have one oar in the water. Running as a Democrat should not be, Well, as no one else wants to do this, I guess I will. or words to that meaning. There needs to be a better way of doing this rather than having the same old guard making the same old guard decisions that have been made since McGovern drove around with a donkey in the back seat.

  44. Gordon Richard

    Cory: Perhaps, I was wrong. Our SD Democratic Party candidates for higher office were too ‘representative’ along side their Republican opponents. Enough, even, where SD voters said ‘why change our elected officials, the two we have now are dong a good job?’. I reviewed the first Hawks/Noem debate and Paula Hawks said at least three times “I agree with…”. Again, maybe not enough contrast in candidate positions.

    Ms. Hawks was the most “credible” of the DP candidates and with, in my opinion, the best chance of winning, but she did not. Instead, two popular Republicans will continue to represent South Dakotans in Washington, and they did have the coat tails of the new President-Elect.

    The Aberdeen meeting is a month old; we all need to move on to begin our vigilance for the new Trump Presidency. However, as a last word, if you want to “represent” someone you must share some likeness in views, thoughts, attitudes, values and the like with that person or persons. Republicans and Independents are showing the only robust growth in a state with fewer and fewer Democrats. DP candidates will need to change.

  45. I agree that we must watch the Trump Presidency closely. I’m already on that assignment.

    But I wonder: is such vigilance “representative” of South Dakota voters? Do they want real watchdogs of Presidential, gubernatorial, and Legislative excesses and errors?

  46. Vermillion 12/14 @noon SDDP Listening Tour continues with Ann Tornberg @ Vermillion Public Library. It is a never done before brown bag lunch! Always good to listen to people when they are eating and have a tight schedule…a real good way to hash things out, and it can only take one hour! Thank goodness. I’m sure USD students don’t have any ideas that they would like to share about their future.

  47. No calendar of events on SDDP website. Looked, but if there, very difficult to find. Maybe the organizers really don’t want to listen.

  48. SDDP Facebook page only lists past and future events, not the one tomorrow in Vermillion.