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SD Progress Holding Bipartisan Fundraising Dinner April 8

Larry Pressler is worried that the dominance of the two-party system is bad for America. My Republican blog neighbor John Tsitrian thinks we don’t even have a two-party system, just a one-party regime. To rectify that social ill, he’s joining hands and grinding hummus with Democrats:

flyer from SD Progress
flyer from SD Progress

Tsitrian and former Democratic legislator Tom Katus are hosting a fundraising dinner for South Dakota Progress, the new group formed to support progressive local and legislative candidates. You tell me which you think will be the more provocative mixture: Katus and Tsitrian, or all that Mediterranean food and home-brewed beer.

I am curious: if some Republicans believe a weak Democratic party is bad for their own party, just how far will those parity-minded partisans support the opposing party? Would those Republicans help Democrats reach a 40–60 split with Republicans in the Legislature, then back away and let Democrats fend for themselves? Would those Republicans focus on helping elect a Democratic governor in 2018 to give Pierre a jolt?

And Democrats? what of our commitment to parity? It sounds nice to say we want two-party government, but suppose we really resurged. Suppose we recaptured simple majorities in the Legislature and the Governor’s office. Would we stop there, happy with balance? Or would we pursue the same strategy as today’s Republicans, vowing to take every office in Pierre?

The fun begins Wednesday evening (April 8), 6 p.m., at 821 Upper Pines Drive in Rapid City.


  1. Lynn 2015-04-04 08:50

    Mediterranean food, home-brewed beer, stimulating conversation, great company and a great opportunity to support a positive change in South Dakota! What more could you ask for?

  2. larry kurtz 2015-04-04 09:13

    Tsitrian and his RINOisticism aside, Tom Katus should know better than siphoning the remaining gas from the SDDP to see if the hastily built SDP will actually start.

    Stupid state.

  3. Lynn 2015-04-04 10:04


    SDP is focusing on a more elementary level of building the party from the ground up. Recruiting candidates to run for water board, planning commission, school board, city council, county commission all the way up to legislature. We are talking building basic leadership skills and experience with candidates that are willing to work hard to win, will be supported and mentored.

    Think of SDP as helping to fill the pipeline with candidates for the SDDP. SDP compliments the SDDP and does not compete with it. They both have the same goal.

    People I’ve visited with brought up SDP and wanted to donate to them also for the greater effort.

  4. Bob Newland 2015-04-04 10:07

    I’m going. I’m going to see if I can stop SDP from siphoning gas from libertarians’ tanks.

  5. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-04-04 21:40

    I think Larry is entitled to his opinion.

    I think if SDP is really focused on electing Democrats then they’re falsely promoting themselves. If they are truly focused on returning 2 party government, including Independents and Libertarian leaners who will caucus with Dems, moderate Republicans, etc., then keep up the good work. SDP, your reputation is everything. Don’t screw it up.

  6. Les 2015-04-04 23:31

    How about the best choice when there is no party choice?

  7. Curt 2015-04-05 09:03

    Yes, mfi, it’s mind-boggling. Recall, though, that the party in power treasures it and guards it vigorously and jealously. They continue to deny the existence of corruption and the voters are still falling for it.
    Several factors contribute to that. Some members of that party are actively involved in their pay-to-play schemes and kick-backs. They clearly are motivated to maintain the status quo. Meanwhile, although Dems have attempted to shine light onto the corruption, those efforts continue to be thwarted. And many voters – who may have come out to support Pres Obama in ’08 and believed in his message of ‘hope and change’, have seen no change in SD and are losing that hope. Add to that the fact that while you in Iowa benefit from a non-partisan system of establishing legislative districts, we in SD do not and the majority party draws lines effectively and shamelessly.
    All of that means we as Dems need to work harder and work together. That’s why I will be at the event Wed eve after participating in election of our county party officers the previous night.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-05 09:09

    Larry, that’s scarcity mentality. I don’t buy it. There’s not one small pie. There’s lots of people who can make more pies.

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-05 09:11

    Bob Newland! If you’re going, can you shoot some provocative selfies with broad ideological spectrum of guests?

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-04-05 09:12

    You’re a busy man, Curt! (Be sure to bring a couple petitions along! :-) )

  11. larry kurtz 2015-04-05 09:15

    Bake a man a pie and he’ll learn to divide by seven. Teach a man piety and he’ll crucify the apples then say they died for his sins.

  12. Bob Newland 2015-04-05 12:12

    That’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, Cory.

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