Kloucek Would Bring Winning Experience to 2016 Senate Campaign

Frank Kloucek, 2011
Frank Kloucek doesn’t win beauty pageants; he wins elections.

Kevin Woster thinks Democrats can’t beat John Thune in 2016. Kevin Woster is wrong.

But Kevin Woster does suggest a pretty good candidate to lead the Democratic charge for U.S. Senate next year: former Scotland legislator Frank Kloucek, a Democrat who was so good at winning elections (eleven of them) in deep Republican territory that his enemies in the SDGOP finally had to gerrymander him out of the Capitol.

Kloucek has never been a particularly sophisticated politician. But he always understood his constituents and their issues, and connected well in a way that always seemed sincere, was often kinda wacky and turned out to be pretty effective in piling up wins in a Republican-dominated state.

He’s not afraid of a political fistfight, either, or the probability — OK, near certainty — that he’d lose the race.

Somebody’s got to do it, for the Democrats. And my guess is Kloucek would, if given enough resources to get a message out, tangle with Thune on stage a time or two and make the powerful senator do a real campaign dance, instead of that stroll he had in 2010.

So, Why not Frank in 2016? [Kevin Woster, “Thune vs. Kloucek and Kolaches in 2016? Why Not?” KELO-TV, 2015.08.17]

The SDGOP spin machine would have us take Woster’s suggestion that Dems are so hopeless that Kloucek should run for Senate as a kick in the teeth. But Kloucek has a better election record than most Democrats in South Dakota. Kloucek has value to offer South Dakota Democrats as a Senate candidate, or at least a consultant to our eventual Senate candidate.

30 Responses to Kloucek Would Bring Winning Experience to 2016 Senate Campaign

  1. Don’t underestimate a Scotland Highlander “There can be only one!”

    “From the dawn of time we came; moving silently down through the centuries, living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering; when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you… until now.”

  2. The gentleman looks as if he could have the tenacity to brawl with Tehran John’s handlers. Tehran himself, is not one who has the backbone to stand and fight, but his gang does when they have the numbers to do so. I would personally like to see a fellow like Mr. Kloucek get in the ring and throw punches continually on what a failure the empty suit has been for our state and how Thune is so callous that he would allow the wholesale slaughter of our young men and women in the meat grinder that would come out of a war with Iran. Thune is a war monger and he is a war profiteer that loves the smell of moolah with complete disregard for the blood lost in this latest folly.

    Tehran John lost an election by some 500 votes here in South Dakota. Republicans know that one of the main reasons he lost was the Native vote. Jackson County, along with the rest of those counties with large Native populations, must not allow that to happen again. Enter now, Ms. Wilson and her thuggish commissioners to do their very best to prevent Native voters from having that say again.

  3. How to beat the crap out of Tehran John. First, label him on what he is, a war monger that is clueless on Iran and the consequence of a war there. Then a punch to the soft belly with this for all the old dudes (that would be me) and dudettes here in South Dakota . http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/SocialSecurity/Documents/ArticleID/14/The-Truth-About-Social-Security-and-Privatization

    Tehran John and his party, want to eliminate Social Security along with Medicare. They must pay for this at the ballot box. Simple stuff for a brawler like Mr. Kloucek or any other candidate who wants to expose the truth about a bottom dweller.

  4. mike from iowa

    Dems have ideas that are good for everyone-even if taxing the wealthy at 90% like the good old days-allowed them to prosper. Dems ideas are good for the country,the hemisphere,the world and the universe in general. Wingnuts-not so much. They prop up the wealthy and war machines and are totally anti-life for everyone other than the koch bros.

  5. Frank would make a good PUC candidate and have a reasonable chance of winning with proper backing.

  6. PUC? Come on, Rohr, think big! Campaigning for PUC against Chris Nelson wouldn’t be nearly as fun as unloading on Thune’s Senate record. Look at all the stuff Jerry is laying out for Kloucek or any Dem who’d like to swing those punches.

    But Rohr, I take it your suggestion is that Kloucek could win PUC but not U.S. Senate. Are you simply agreeing with Woster’s assertion that no Democrat can beat Thune? Or are you making a more specific argument about Kloucek’s electability to specific offices?

  7. The SDDP would need to have a primary for that Senate seat.

  8. For John Thune, Frank Kloucek is the anti-Trump. The uber careerist Thune hasn’t lost touch with South Dakota as much as he has no loyalty to South Dakota any more, other than to be a platform for his national political aspirations. His national persona as a power climber and “third most powerful U.S. Senator” makes him look like a cold fish at home. At least with Tim Johnson in the delegation, Thune had to appear to care about diddley stuff like highways and bridges, farm bills, senior citizens, veteran care and high school graduations. You know, constituent work. That crap is now on Mike Rounds’ plate, and, frankly, Mike couldn’t care less about anyone other than fossil fuel lobbyists and sycophant reporters back home to trumpet his paltry press releases on the front page of the Sanford Leader.

    Kloucek as a state legislator had his share of oddities, but nobody could ever say for one second that Frank Kloucek did not care about his constituents. He’d haul them by the busloads to Pierre year after year to show them around the capitol, popping into executive offices and popping his buttons with pride in his second-hand suits. He was proud of the people he served and looked like he loved every minute of it.

    So, how is Frank the anti-Trump? Trump talks down to everyone. He’s the self-proclaimed hero and smartest guy in the room. Trump has billions in his checking account. Kloucek commands attention as a happy-go-lucky and sometimes silly ‘every man.’ He doesn’t take himself seriously, but he’s got grit and courage to stand for others, whether or not people are looking for a hero. He’s got no money and probably never will have. A real life Walter Mitty do-gooder. But what he lacks in money, he more than balances with personality and bubbly enthusiasm. His enemies laugh at him and sneer, but they can never deter him from just being himself. And that’s Frank’s secret power. He’s authentic. You get what you see. People can’t help but like him whether or not they agree with him.

    John Thune, in his designer suits, slick $200 hair cuts, year-round sun tans and entourages of front-of-the-line self-important GOP power broker lackeys and lobbyist pals, deserves an opponent like Frank Kloucek in his second-hand suits, co-op caps, kolaches and old country charm. Thune has no defense against the “little guy.” John forgot about those little people long ago when he served in the House and his pals and cling-ons would coo in his ear, “you know, John, some day you really should be President.”

    I doubt Frank’s remotely interested in running a multi-million Senate race. But I agree with Cory and Woster, there wouldn’t be a dull moment.

  9. Frank James

    We often jump to the politics but let’s not forget Frank is a good man and takes representing his constituents seriously. No matter what he does, he has my respect.

  10. He has a good election record because he is a pro-life Democrat. That is also why he would likely do much better against Thune than most Democrats.

  11. Frank is a good retail politician, but he can’t raise money. Everybody knows that. His old minivan wouldn’t survive a statewide campaign and he would spend far too much time looking for free lunches (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I like Frank, but this is not the right race for him. The right candidate will enter this race in time, so let’s not engage in defeatist talk of just finding someone, anyone.

    The cardboard cutout at the back of every GOP press conference will have a Democratic opponent, and a good one. I just can’t help but think how we traded down from the guy who held the press conferences to, in motion picture parlance, the “extra” standing behind the guy who holds the press conferences. Let’s elect a real senator, and the GOP can still put the Thune cardboard cutout behind them when they talk. It’s a win-win.

  12. larry kurtz

    Frank told me at the convention that cannabis should be regulated like alcohol.

  13. larry kurtz

    He’d be great in a primary with Joe Lowe: the east/west discussion could be good. Be aware that I’m lobbying Tom Daschle pretty hard to get in.

  14. 96,

    You should be a writer for Frank’s campaign. You did a great job describing Frank and how South Dakotans could be served by him and the clear differences between a humble down to earth selfless public servant and the complete opposite. Frank would be an unconventional candidate which might be very popular today. Thune is very photogenic in depth and that’s about it.

  15. Larry,

    That’s great news for you. I hope Frank puts that at the centerpiece of his campaign. It’s the silver bullet to a complete political change here in South Dakota. I really believe this! I really do! lol

  16. happy camper

    Kloucek is definitely no poser, like Thune. He looks like your everyday, down to earth South Dakotan. He should use this to his advantage. Thune just does not look like a person you can trust. Too slick. Too many teeth.

  17. 96: the anti-Trump? Instead speaking down to voters, Kloucek looks up to his fellow citizens? I like that line.

  18. But pro-life didn’t save him from redistricting, did it, Spencer? There are bigger issues for Dems to run on than your effort to turn us all into Republicans. But fine, if you want us to go there, let Frank neutralize the abortion debate (wait: what abortion debate? What has Thune accomplished in Washington on abortion?) and attack Thune on all his other do-nothingness.

  19. Rohr: Frank’s not good at fundraising? Well, that what friends are for. Could we line Frank up with some fundraisers who could handle that work for him?

  20. mike from iowa

    Thune is the koch bros “fluffer.’ His job is to engage the victim(s) until the money shot,then he steps aside for the real star.

  21. Larry, Lynn, you know I like primaries. But the 2014 gubernatorial primary didn’t do much to boost Susan Wismer’s election chances. Tell me Tom Daschle wants back in, and we all clear the decks and welcome Tom to the Senate race (never mind that the chances that Tom runs are less than the chances that I run). Tell me Joe Lowe wants in (can his executive temperament be tempered to a legislative temperament?), and we can see if Frank would prefer to run for PUC. But we need the chess pieces on the board before we can get fancy about arranging them. Kloucek for Senate sounds like an excellent idea on its own, with no need for a primary challenge… unless the kuchen lobby decides it can’t brook kolache supremacy on the campaign trail and runs some Democrat from Eureka against Kloucek in the primary.

  22. Porter Lansing

    @96Tears …. Hear, hear. (ps- I live across the street from Thune’s tailor, who I speak to frequently. Those designer suits aren’t really “designer suits”.) lol

  23. Looks like from what South DaCola states that SDDP HQ has lost another fulltimer staff position and now has 3 full time openings. With the SDDP being divided with that division getting worse as the election draws closer, losing registered voters and lacking in help and momentum 2016 is going to be another bad election cycle.

  24. jerry- i am only remembering Heather Wilson, Regents’ plant at SDSM&T for the nuclear waste industry that joopians are slavering over?

  25. I am all for Frank for whatever he decides, but wonder: “CORRINA CORRINA, WHERE YOU BEEN SO LONG?”

  26. Deb Geelsdottir

    “Why not Frank in 2016?” Wooster

    Now there’s a campaign slogan! I am another Kloucek fan, though I don’t know him personally. However, I’d label him as the anti-Thune, but anti-Trump also fits.

  27. Watching SuFuStu at the Sanford Leader today was a serious Bromance with John Thune being a guest speaker. That show is terrible!

  28. Douglas Wiken

    Frank is smart, mostly on the correct side of all real issues, and he has a sense of humor which is missing in many of South Dakota’s politicos. I think Frank’s sense of humor and willingness to puncture mythology GOP balloons scared the crap out of the retrograde GOP.

  29. I think Frank would be a great candidate! He’d call a spade a spade, which is something Thune can’t do.
    In fact Frank is Donald Trump with substance. There are some things I might disagree with him on but the one thing you can’t argue with his is honesty and his integrity.

  30. Roger Elgersma

    Do NOT mistake Frank’s sense of humor about himself as a lack of intelligence. He did a lot for ethanol and many other issues for this state. If you want a suit and tie to beat Thune you will be taking him on at his strong point. If you want common sense to get it done rather than to make it sound like he is important, then you have to go with Kloucek rather Thune.