Search Results : bernie sanders

SD Republican Among First Ten Bernie-Bloomer “Brand New Congress” Candidates to File

Dakota War College notices that one Eric Terrell, possibly this registered Republican math teacher from Rapid City, has filed an FEC Statement of Candidacy to run for South Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat in 2018.  I say “possibly” only because instead of listing his middle name as “Amos”, the Statement of Candidacy lists Eric Terrell’s middle name as “Brand New”… which is silly, because if you’re doing something as serious as running for political office, you should seriously use your legal name.

DWC notes that Terrell has rather unusually listed 714 S. Gay Street, Suite 201, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902 as his campaign address.

Note: the only inhabitancy requirement for members of Congress allowed by the Constitution is that a member inhabit the state he or she represents at the time of election.

Also note: Terrell’s Knoxville address isn’t really that unusual. Out of 1,016 Statements of Candidacy on file with the Federal Election Commission this morning, ten list that same Knoxville Gay Street address:

FEC ID Candidate Party State District Office City Office State Office ZIP Receipt Date
H8TX14120 BELL, ADRIENNE DEM Texas 14 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/10/2017
H8IL07103 CLARK, ANTHONY DEM Illinois 7 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/10/2017
H8IL01106 DRUMMER, DEMOND DEM Illinois 1 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/11/2017
H8TX22206 PLUMMER, LETITIA DEM Texas 22 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/10/2017
H8AL07089 RICE, RICHARD BRAND NEW DEM Alabama 7 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/11/2017
H8FL07054 RICHARDSON, CHARDO DEM Florida 7 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/18/2017
H8AR03066 RYERSE, ROBERT REP Arkansas 3 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/18/2017
H8WA09054 SMITH, SARAH BRAND NEW DEM Washington 9 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/11/2017
H8SD01089 TERRELL, ERIC BRAND NEW REP South Dakota 0 KNOXVILLE TN 37902 05/11/2017


Brand New Congress, a progressive political movement founded by Bernie Sanders campaignerslists four of these ten candidates on its candidates webpage. BNC lists three other candidates for whom the FEC appears not yet to have paperwork. BNC lists its main address as a P.O. Box in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Two others on this list adopt Terrell’s device of replacing his middle name with “Brand New” branding (which practice properly invites mockery and should not be permitted on the ballot).

Terrell’s association with this crowd is unusual in that he is one of only two Republicans in the crowd. The other Republican, Pastor Robb Ryerse from Arkansas, is running to bring the Republican Party back to what he sees as its more progressive past.

One actual candidate from Knoxville, Tennessee, Dr. Joshua Williams, does not list the Brand New Congress office on his Statement of Candidacy.

The only other filed candidates listing campaign addresses outside of their home states are eleven candidates listing Washington, DC (eight of them incumbents) and one Illinois man running for a Senate seat in Indiana under the Disability Party banner.

DWC has listed the Facebook connections between Eric Terrell of Rapid City and the Bernie-Sanders-flavored Brand New Congress movement. Somehow DWC missed this public Facebook post from Terrell to the South Dakota Pagans & Wiccans page:

Eric Terrell to South Dakota Pagans & Wiccans, Facebook, 2016.10.16.
Eric Terrell to South Dakota Pagans & Wiccans, Facebook, 2016.10.16.

A pagan who practices with a coven—well! That should liven up the debates about religious freedom with boring old Christian Republicans Dusty Johnson and Shantel Krebs!

For the record, per Article 6, Section 3, I impose no religious test on candidates for political office. But I have about as much time for a discussion of Wicca as I do for inmates praying to Odin, Thor, and other figments of human imagination.

Krebs Exaggerates Public Support for ACA Repeal

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs
Dang—I thought Krebs would be better at math. than Noem.

U.S. House candidate Shantel Krebs says, “In general, the public wants to see the Affordable Care Act repealed.”

Wrong, Shantel. Right after Trump’s first failure to get a vote on ACA repeal, Gallup polled 1,028 adults nationwide and found 55% approval of the Affordable Care Act. Gallup found that 30% of respondents want to repeal and replace the ACA, 26% want to “keep the ACA in place largely as it is,” and 40% want to keep it in place “but make significant changes.”

So given three choices where one includes the word “repeal,” only 30% of Americans want to can the ACA. I challenge Shantel to show me the thesaurus that deems “30%” and “in general” synonymous.

And don’t forget, while the polling isn’t clear-cut, some portion of ACA repealers and replacers are liberals like Bernie Sanders, Rick Weiland, and me who believe we’d save more money and more lives by opening Medicare to every American.

Democrats: Put Down the Knives, Pick up a Plan to Win

KELO Radio’s Todd Epp dubs the upcoming South Dakota Democratic Party McGovern Day meeting “The Night of Long Butter Knives.” He says that if the proposed party constitution changes and snap election really are a coup, then the plotters trumpeting the coup had better win:

I hope you are more Vladimir Lenin than Alexander Kerensky in pulling this off. Because if you lose, you’ll be burnt toast in the South Dakota Democratic Party for the foreseeable future, sent off to a political Siberia [Todd Epp, “Democrats: Beware of McGovern Day and the Night of Long Butter Knives!” KELO Radio: Token Liberal, 2017.04.26].

Epp forgets: South Dakota is already the gulag for Democrats. Pass the butter, comrade!

Epp appears to share my concern that, amidst calls for new leadership in the SDDP, no one has publicly offered names or plans for that new leadership. (Remember the names of the guys who overthrew Gorbachev? Neither do I!)

If the Night of Long Butter Knives actually occurs, it could put the state party in a better position. God knows we can’t do any worse, could we? But as is often the case for South Dakota Democrats, just when you thought it wasn’t possible to go any lower, we sink deeper into the prairie gumbo because we will have no chair and no plan and just a bunch of ticked off Democrats [Epp, 2017.04.26].

A friend of the blog asked me this morning to envision the best possible outcome of Saturday’s votes. The best possible outcome is not a person but a plan. We’ve talked about all sorts of components of a serious Democratic offensive on this blog—voter registration, letter-writing, field offices, clear messaging on kitchen-table economics. Based on some notes I took and shared after the election, here’s a plan of action for reviving the South Dakota Democratic Party:

  1. Split the office: instead of concentrating in Sioux Falls, base the exec there, then base other staff in field offices in Rapid City and Aberdeen. All staff have same job: field organizing, building county parties in designated region, fundraising, and registering voters.
  2. Give each field office some level of autonomy for regional activities.
  3. Organize party dinners in every county as an opportunity to (a) register new voters, (b) give Democrats an opportunity to get face time with voters and the press (yes, the events should be open to the press), and (c) raise money.
  4. For every fancy, big-ticket fundraiser like McGovern Day, hold two low-ticket/no-ticket hot dog picnics or spaghetti feeds to attract students, blue-collar workers, retirees, and other regular folks who find $100 a plate too pricey for any meal. Recruit big-name Dems like Keith Ellison, Al Franken, and Bernie Sanders to come speak at those low-ticket events as surely as we recruit them for banner events like McGovern Day and the convention. And at the door, register voters.
  5. Deploy multiple visible, forceful leaders to demand media coverage every week. These don’t all have to be candidates, just a team of local experts in each newspaper/radio market who can speak to various issues in the media. Send that list of local experts to TV and each local paper and radio station and say that every time they quote Thune/Rounds/Noem/Daugaard/Krebs/local GOP legislators, these Democratic experts are available for comment to provide balance to every story.
    1. When the local press don’t call us, we call them: those local experts put at least one letter in the local paper every week.
    2. Include these local leaders in regular, short, punchy videos boosted on Facebook: strong 30-second/1-minute content with real faces selling our platform, policies, people, and brand.
  6. Pursue ballot measure synergy:
    1. Get behind one winning initiative petition in 2017 and conduct strong, attention-grabbing petition activities from the new Democratic field offices in conjunction with voter registration drives and other activities.
    2. Be on alert for opportunity to refer one law from 2018 Session and continue visible, attention-grabbing petition activity in spring 2018 alongside primary activity.
    3. Encourage gubernatorial and legislative candidates (and, if relevant to the sought office, SOS/AG/etc. candidates) to campaign on the Democratic-endorsed ballot measure(s).
  7. Make the voter database available to every filed candidate; pay for access with state-level fundraising.
  8. Recruit candidates from Governor and U.S. House on down who are committed to the idea that they can win in November 2018 and who will throw punches to do so. No caution, no triangulation—we choose candidates who build the Democratic brand and run on it without apology.
  9. Organize early (start week of early voting) targeted door-to-door campaigning for candidates in every urban district.
  10. Organize early targeted phone-banking for candidates in every rural district. Goal: ensure contact with 5,000 voters in every district.
  11. Renew tribal outreach with fundraising pitches aimed specifically at funding specific projects like GOTV buses and chili feeds on the reservations.
  12. Target every RV mailbox center in South Dakota with direct mail and/or calls.

That’s a lot of action (and I can think of more), but Democratic revival here in Siberia won’t happen by itself.

Who emerges from McGovern Day as Democratic Party chair matters far less than what our chair, executive board, and central committee are willing to do to win in 2018. The best possible outcome is that everyone meets, speaks, and departs as allies united around a common plan of action. Anyone who talks about anything other than our practical goals and action, anyone who gripes and moans about personal grievances, should be slapped back to reality or, if they keep griping and moaning, thrown out as snacks for the David Horowitz wolves that the Lederman spin blog is so sweatily and effectively pitching. Gripers and moaners add no value to the party; doers do.

Butter your bread, Democrats, and let’s get to work!

Data Show Link Between Trump Support and Racial Bias

Donald Trump fake order
Trump signs order for next campaign cap

Protestors at the April 6 anti-xenophobia demonstration here in Aberdeen received far more positive reactions from passersby than negative. Among the scarce explicit rejections of their loving, inclusive messages were a scattering of yahoos who felt the need to shout the name of Donald Trump.

It seems logical to conclude that responding negatively to a demonstration of racial tolerance by shouting “Trump Train!” signals an overlap between racism and support for Trump.

But rather than trusting our anecdotal evidence from Aberdeen, why not consider Ohio State University poli-sci prof Thomas Wood’s analysis of the 2016 American National Election Study that finds racism unusually strong among Trump voters:

Since 1988, we’ve never seen such a clear correspondence between vote choice and racial perceptions. The biggest movement was among those who voted for the Democrat, who were far less likely to agree with attitudes coded as more racially biased.

Finally, the statistical tool of regression can tease apart which had more influence on the 2016 vote: authoritarianism or symbolic racism, after controlling for education, race, ideology, and age. Moving from the 50th to the 75th percentile in the authoritarian scale made someone about 3 percent more likely to vote for Trump. The same jump on the SRS scale made someone 20 percent more likely to vote for Trump.

Racial attitudes made a bigger difference in electing Trump than authoritarianism [Thomas Wood, “Racism Motivated Trump Voters More than Authoritarianism or Income Inequality,” Washington Post, 2017.04.17].

Bernie Sanders, are you sure you want to keep arguing that Trump voters aren’t deplorable? Trump is certainly deplorable, and the above data indicate his deplorable racism resonates with far too many Americans.

Noem/TrumpCare to Increase Health Care Costs for South Dakotans

At least Congresswoman Kristi Noem and her fellow Trumpublicans are going big on their upward wealth distribution. Instead of nickel-and-diming us to death, they’re 1,700-dollaring us to death. Noem remains coy about the Republican border adjustment tax, which the Club for Growth says will cost middle-class families $1,700 a year. But Noem is full-throatedly in favor of the GOP health care plan, which will cost people currently covered by the ACA another $1,700 each year:

The House Republican health plan would give consumers in the health insurance marketplace nationally an average of $1,700 less help with premiums in 2020, compared to the ACA’s premium tax credits, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The losses would be larger for older and lower-income consumers, and lower-income consumers would also lose help with deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. Consumers’ costs would probably increase even more than tax credits would fall, since the House plan would likely cause individual market premiums to rise [Aviva Aron-Dine and Tara Straw, “House Tax Credits Would Make Health Insurance Far Less Affordable in High-Cost States,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2017.03.09].

That’s $1,700 in increased out-of-pocket costs on average. According to the same source, South Dakota is one of eleven high-cost states where Kristi and the Trumpublicans will axe tax credits by more than $3,000.

CBPP TrumpCare tax credit cuts by state

Nineteen of the twenty states losing the most Affordable Care Act assistance in buying individual market insurance all voted for Trump.

And these losses are just the premium tax credits the GOP will cut and redistribute to richer policy buyers. Noem’s health care plan also eliminates the ACA cost-sharing subsidies that reduce out-of-pocket costs for folks earning 100% to 250% of the poverty level, eliminates small-business tax credits, and allows insurers to charge older folks two-thirds more than the ACA allows*. The Trumpublican plan also shifts $370 billion over ten years in Medicaid costs to the states. That’s $253 billion cut from Medicaid expansion, likely forcing most expansion states to drop that ACA benefit, and $116 billion in new per capita caps cutting funding for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children in all states. The proceeds of these cuts would mostly fund tax cuts for the rich.

The per-capita caps are supposed to make already lean Medicaid more efficient… yet Noem and her Republican colleagues have no problem allowing private insurers to become more inefficient by allowing insurance companies to deduct more of their executive pay and benefits as business expenses. The ACA capped those executive-compensation deductions at $500,000, encouraging insurers to sink their money into more customer-oriented expenses.

I look forward to Congresswoman Noem’s town halls when she explains to real live South Dakotans the merits of paying more for insurance.

Related Reading: Douglas Wiken spotlights conservative commentator David Brooks’s critique of Noem/TrumpCare. Brooks writes in the New York Times that TrumpCare will kick ten million people off their health insurance, increasing “fear, isolation, social tension, chronic illness, suicide and bankruptcy.” Brooks suggests that the failure of the Noem/Trump plan may finally provoke voters to “destroy market mechanisms to get the security they crave.” Bernie Sanders 2020, anyone?

Update 08:46 CST: Charlie the Squirrel and AARP agree that the TrumpCare Age Tax deserves the ax:

Newquist: Trump Vile, Malicious

In his explanation of the difference between 2010’s Tea Party protests and today’s resistance to the dangerous and incompetent White House, Dr. David Newquist neatly summarizes why we should all object to the Presidency of Donald Trump:

Trump PinocchioThe resistance to Trump is also a rejection of a personality, but not a rejection based on race. There is a moral and intellectual imperative behind this rejection. Donald Trump is, plain and simple, a vile human being. He lies constantly. It has become a journalistic custom to list the falsehoods and abusive insults he delivers each day. His reputation as a “business leader” is in fact a record of fraud and failure. He has single-handedly transformed the Grand Old Party into the Grabbers Of Pussy. He refuses to reveal his tax records and other evidence of his conflicts of interest. He serves the one percent by loading his cabinet with the ultra-weathy and corporate managers for the purpose of dismantling those agencies which serve and protect the people. His executive orders are directed at oppressing and inflicting harm on people more than implementing any Constitutional protections….

Everything Trump has done since he took office is an extension of his campaign. And his campaign has been predicated on who he can oppress and hurt. What characterizes him and his supporters is the intensity of their malice and misanthropy. He and his kind expend all their energy in looking for some pretext for hatred. The pretexts are based upon dishonesty. The Trump world lives in a world fabricated out of malice [David Newquist, “This Ain’t No Tea Baggin’ Party, Mama,” Northern Valley Beacon, 2017.02.26].

This vile, malicious, misinforming and uninformed creature speaks to Congress tonight at 8 p.m. Central, 7 p.m. Mountain.

Related: Moral leader Senator Bernie Sanders laughs at the President’s ignorance and keeps pushing for better health care policy for all Americans:

Franken, Sanders, Warren Show DeVos Unfit for Education Secretary

Asked to respond to a basic question about proficiency versus growth as testing metrics, Betsy DeVos, Trump nominee for Secretary of Education, served word salad instead of a cogent answer.

Fortunately for us, she served that salad to intelligent and informed Senator Al Franken:

Senator Bernie Sanders takes his turn to ask DeVos is she thinks she’d be on the edge of Secretaryship if she weren’t a multimillionaire, then tries to get her to address whether his free tuition plan is as important as her boss’s tax-cuts-for-the-rich plan:

Senator Elizabeth Warren points out the lack of vetting for Trump’s Education nominee, asks if DeVos has any qualifications to deal with higher education lending and financing, and then neatly ties in the fake Trump University to the incoming Administration’s ability to protect taxpayer dollars from similar waste, fraud, and abuse:

Pay attention to that ending: offered an easy “you betcha” question, Secretary DeVos declines to not commit to enforcing existing rules that protect students from lying, cheating for-profit “colleges”.

DeVos is not up for Education Secretary because she understands real education issues or wants to help all Americans get an education. DeVos is up for this job because she is rich, and because she will fight to protect her fellow rich people.

Democrats, take note: Franken, Sanders, and Warren show us how to deal with Trumpists: by asking them direct questions that they can’t answer. Franken/Warren 2020.

Michael Moore: Call Your Congresspeople, Protest, and Run for Office

An eager reader shares filmmaker Michael Moore’s latest post on how to resist tyranny. Moore recommends five specific actions:

  1. “Make your presence known” by telling your Representative and Senators to block all the damage Trump is going to do or expect to lose their seat in 2018 at the hands of a Tea Party 2010-style revolt. This recommendation fits with “Indivisible,” a resistance guide compiled by former congressional staffers recommending an application of 2010 Tea Party strategy to today’s anti-Trumpism.
  2. “Write to the DNC tonight” and tell them to elect Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison as their chair. Ellison is Bernie Sanders’s pick for leading the Democratic Party. Whether the DNC pick makes any difference to rejuvenating the South Dakota Democratic Party remains to be seen; for what it’s worth, Rep. Ellison says “Howard Dean was right to say we need a 50-state strategy, but we got to go beyond that now. We need a 3,141-county strategy.”
  3. “Form your own Rapid Response Team” of five to ten neighbors “to email elected reps, make calls, post on social media, go to protests and/or organize others at work, school or in the neighborhood” in response to each new bad plan from the Trump White House and Congress.
  4. “Make plans now to be at the Inauguration Weekend protests“—Inauguration is a Friday; the Women’s March on Washington is that Saturday. I check Expedia for flights from Aberdeen to D.C., arriving Thursday, January 19, flying out Sunday, January 22, and find prices starting at $1,004.70 for the three-hopper via Minneapolis and (really?) Raleigh-Durham. The Trump Hotel website says all of its rooms a mile from the White House are booked during that period, but rooms from January 23 start at $552 a night.
  5. “Run for office…. It’s time to stop carping about politicians and become one.” Do it yourself—that’s the best advice I’ve heard.

Democrats Should Form a Shadow Cabinet

I recently suggested that, in response to the passel of unqualified deplorables the President-Elect wants to seat in his Cabinet, Democrats should convene a Shadow Cabinet. The United Kingdom has a Shadow Cabinet consisting of members of Parliament from the opposition party (usually the party with the second-largest number of seats) presenting themselves as an alternative government-in-waiting. In the United States, such an association of Democratic policy experts could lead public opposition to the Trump Administration’s ignorance, greed, and antipathy to public service.

The Green Party supportsGreen Shadow Cabinet, but it doesn’t seem to get much press. Democrats, whom could we offer to talk facts and good sense on national policy?

We could just ask members of the Obama Cabinet to continue serving the public as spokespeople for how their former Departments ought to work. But if those good public servants need a break, we can bring on some Democratic all-stars:

  • State: Samantha Power (promote her from U.N. Secretary!)
  • Treasury and Commerce: Bernie Sanders (he’s good enough and right enough on economic policy to do both)
  • Defense: Colin Powell (they don’t have to be Democrats; they just have to know their stuff!)
  • Justice: Eric Holder
  • Labor: Robert Reich
  • Environmental Protection Agency: Al Gore
  • Interior: Bill McKibben
  • Agriculture: Wendell Berry (he probably wouldn’t take the job, but he deserves the first pitch!)
  • Education: Bill Nye

There are more spots to fill, and I welcome your suggestions. They key is to pick intelligent, well-known people who can step up to a microphone at a moment’s notice and lay out clear principles and policies. They should all be able to expose Trump’s Cabinet members as the chumps, stooges, and saboteurs that they are.

I’d also be curious to see if we could create a state Shadow Cabinet for South Dakota. That’s a little trickier (trick #1: Google “South Dakota Cabinet,” and most of the first two screens that pop up are for cabinetmakers). Our state executive branch includes elected offices other than Governor’s cabinet appointees, so South Dakota Democrats forming a Shadow Cabinet would want to include the newsmaking offices of Secretary of State and Attorney General. My suggestions:

  • Attorney General: Brookings County State’s Attorney Abigail A. Howard
  • Secretary of State: me! (who else can you think of who gets as excited about election law?)
  • Economic Development: Scott Parsley
  • Agriculture: Jason Frerichs
  • Environment and Natural Resources: Red Dawn Foster (remember, she was at the Dakota Access protests!)
  • Education: Kathy Tyler
  • Health and Social Services: Michael Saba

Again, I welcome your suggestions. But we Democrats, at the state level and at the national level, need a corps of smart, eager go-to spokespeople for the media. At both levels, those Shadow Secretaries can be plowing the road for the Democrats who will run for executive positions, testing messages and getting people thinking about how government ought to work.

Guest Column: Democrat Recognizes Need for Bernie’s “Revolution” But Will Give Trump a Chance

Spink County Democrat Gordon Richard offered some solid comments following the state Democratic Party’s discussion in Aberdeen last month. Now the Dolander* expands on his state of mind, a vigilant, tentative patience with the President-Elect in tension with a recognition that Bernie Sanders may be right:

I feel as if I need to apologize to my liberal and progressive friends and acquaintances. I am sorry. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter and gave him more money than I have ever given to any politician (two $27 donations; along with over 8 million other Americans with that particular amount). I had some trouble with Bernie’s insistence of the need for a “revolution”, but have come to pretty much agree with him. We are going in the “wrong direction as a nation” and Bernie and others have articulated that feeling and, I believe, most Americans agree.

So, who and what is the answer? The American people have not really “spoken” because we have the Electoral College that skews a Presidential race, and we have the loser (again) with more individual votes from American citizens.

I am not altogether pleased with The Donald being elected President. I am not altogether disappointed that Hillary Clinton ‘lost’. I’d like to see changes made so that the candidate with the most votes’ wins, but that seems to be an almost insurmountable challenge. I was not enthused at the probability of the Clinton’s Wall Street friends coming back into the White House and continuing the reign of the rich and connected we have seen over the past many years. I was especially not tickled to get ole Bill back in the White House. I felt her winning would give him a chance for a ‘redo’ of what I believe was a squandered Presidency.

So, not to turn this into a tome, let me say that I will give President Elect Trump, and after January 20, President Trump a chance. I will stop calling him “The Donald” and comparing him to a Carnival Barker or the other terrible things many are calling him. I will remain vigilant and will protest, with others, when I see things going the wrong way. I do believe both Democrats and Republicans, especially, at the national level, are corrupt and have undermined our Democracy, or is it our Republic?

Anyway, maybe I should be more upset and outraged, but I did vote for “hope and change” twice and was disappointed both times by the Democrats and their policies, and especially, the Republicans with their extreme partisanship and just plain unwillingness to work with President Obama on anything.

I am coming to Senator Sanders’ basic assumption that we do need a “Revolution”, but am willing to give this ‘wild & crazy’ guy a chance to prove me wrong, and, besides, what choice do I really have other than what I have already described of what I will be doing?

I would enjoy hearing your thoughts, opinion and insights and what you are doing and are going to do!

Gordon Richard… about one month post 2016 Presidential Election

p.s.: I am especially torqued at how the DNC undermined Bernie’s primary campaign and feel as if we might have had a President-Elect Sanders at this moment had he not met subterfuge [Gordon Richard, letter to Dakota Free Press, 2016.12.11].

Friends, fellow progressives, fellow Americans (and isn’t progress written into the definition of American?), read GR’s letter, then consider these questions:

  1. What does “giving Trump a chance” look like?
  2. What specific actions would have to happen to justify ending that “chance”?
  3. What does “no longer giving Trump a chance” look like?
  4. Can we bring Bernie back?
  5. What does Bernie’s revolution look like in 2017… and 2020?

Update 2016.12.16 13:26 CST: I originally incorrectly identified Richard as a Redfielder. I apologize and welcome further correction on the proper term for a denizen of Doland.