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Epp Suggests Drafting Schreck to Challenge Thune

Last week reporter Kevin Woster trial-ballooned his Rapid City neighbor and fellow journalist Sam Hurst as a possible Senate candidate. This week Todd Epp makes similar Twitter noise to draft precip prognosticator and fellow Sioux Falls media man Phil Schreck to change jobs and challenge John Thune:

Schreck thumps his chest—his war chest—and hears a faint, echoing jingle:

Phil Schreck
Phil Schreck: able to make John Thune lose sleep?

One guy tweeting does not a draft campaign make. But Epp’s suggestion does point toward what we should look for in a candidate to tackle Thune:

  1. Brains: The SDGOP would try to portray Schreck as an airhead celebrity (because we know Republicans never fall for celebrities who don’t really have anything substantive to say). The SDGOP would be wrong. Schreck is smart, and he applies those smarts to keeping up with state and national politics. He understands the issues that would come up in a Senate campaign as well as almost anyone the Democrats may recruit to run.
  2. Communication Skills: Schreck can also communicate those issues. As Epp said, Schreck’s articulate. Schreck has kept his job at KSFY for 27 years not out of luck or lack of other applicants; he’s still KSFY’s weatherman because he’s good on camera, with script or without.
  3. People Skills: I caught the KSFY News crew deliver their five p.m. show live from the Brown County Fair. They stood on the midway tarmac in direct sunshine, 90-degree-plus heat, and humidity that stopped every drop of sweat in its tracks. Between on-air forecasts, Schreck was working the crowd, boosting the KSFY brand with the same smiling energy he mustered for the camera.
  4. Name Recognition: Schreck’s celebrity has an obvious upside: who else could start a U.S. Senate campaign with more statewide name recognition than all three of the top-tier Democratic candidates in the 2014 election at the beginnings of their campaigns combined?

But this is all academic, right? Phil Schreck and his wife Kristie have five kids and bills to pay. Becoming a political candidate would likely require him to step away from a really good, safe job that pays those bills. (I’m worried that Epp’s mere Tweeting and my mere discussion of that Tweeting could make Schreck’s bosses nervous about a political tinge falling on their veteran weatherman’s media image—hey! KSFY! Please don’t hold the chattering class’s shiny distractions against Phil!)

Schreck’s sole response on the financial elephant in the room indicates Schreck himself will not up and run for Senate. But Epp’s shout at Schreck suggests the kinds of skills we should look for in a candidate to beat John Thune.


  1. Bob Mercer 2015-08-31

    Jon Ellis mentioned the Phil Boomlet one full week ago on the Argus Leader’s 100 Eyes.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-08-31

    And best of all Thune’s horse is uglier than sin.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-31

    100 Eyes? God, if I have to sit thru crappy video to get my news, what point is there to living?

    But I guess I stand corrected. Epp and Ellis both mentioning it makes it a real draft campaign. Let’s make some t-shirts! :-D

  4. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    I pretty much own 100 Eyes.

  5. owen reitzel 2015-08-31

    Phil would do a great job. Unlike Jay Trobec over at KELO. He’s a major butt kisser to Thune

  6. Lynn 2015-08-31

    No need for 100 eyes my two eyes work just fine for me and see that Phil would be great whenever he chooses to run.

  7. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    It would be a hoot to watch Phil debate Senators Abourezk and Daschle during the primary, for sure.

  8. Ben Cerwinske 2015-08-31

    As an independent with a conservative bent, I can see myself getting behind a Schreck run!

  9. Douglas Wiken 2015-08-31

    No sense letting Thune sleep well. Keep the rumors moving.

  10. Jenny 2015-08-31

    Phil’s the man, and he is nice on the eyes, very charismatic, and how about that name recognition. Come on Phil!

  11. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    live boy or dead girl?

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-08-31

    Ben, do you represent the 17% Pressler vote? That’s a segment for whom our Democratic nominee must make a play. If Schreck could do that, that would be all the more reason to press him to take Epp’s draft call seriously. Curious, Ben: is there anything in particular about Schreck that appeals to your conservatively bent independence?

  13. Jenny 2015-08-31

    Larry, what on earth are you talking about?

  14. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    john thune is fidelitous like pat powers is on a diet.

  15. Lynn 2015-08-31


    Remember the character Otis from the Andy Griffith Show? Pretty much explains it. lol

  16. Lynn 2015-08-31

    Is Phil at a point in his life that he can afford to run for office? He has a good gig at KSFY and a career built there? The state Democratic Party is in really tough shape and perhaps it would be better to wait until it weeds out the crazies and the party rebuilds if it ever does. Sure hate to see good potential candidates run and have no support system with a very divided party.

  17. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    SDDP is divided like John Thune is fidelitous.

  18. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    Lynn is a Democrat like the Big Sioux is pristine.

  19. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    how much prison time is about right for someone who puts a harmful substance into his/her body. Lynn?

  20. Roger Cornelius 2015-08-31

    Larry is as hard on South Dakota Democrats as Pat Powers, just because Lynn does not agree with Larry on pot, doesn’t make her a republican.

  21. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    what doesn’t kill you makes you stink.

  22. Ben Cerwinske 2015-08-31

    Cory, I forgot if I voted for Pressler or Weiland. I don’t know much of anything about Schreck’s specific views. If he can show himself not to be an ideologue, he might have a shot. I don’t find Thune to be as objectionable as Noem or Rounds, but then again I’m not exactly sure what he’s done besides simply playing nice.

  23. Lynn 2015-08-31

    “If I don’t detect any sign of life from SDDP in 24 hours I am pulling all my support and backing the Libertarian Party agenda in South Dakota.” Posted by Larry Kurtz 7/19/2015

    I’d wager there was some celebration at SDDP HQ, probably SD Progress and elsewhere when that 24 hours was up. Unfortunately someone didn’t get the clue and came back. Must of just been the usual rambling in a smoke filled room that night.

  24. larry kurtz 2015-08-31

    so, how much prison time is about right for someone who puts a harmful substance into his/her body. Lynn?

  25. Todd Epp 2015-08-31

    I’ve had some fun with Phil and the Draft Phil Movement. BTW, I am the president of the organization. The vote was unanimous! I voted for myself, Donald Trump-like.

    On a serious note, as Cory so aptly describes, Phil has a lot of upside. Well-known, well-liked, personable, smart (he’s a scientist! Aren’t meteorologists scientists?) and he’s got great hair. The SDDP could do far worse.

    I’m guessing Phil is looking for some new challenges in his career. I’m just “helping” him see that. ;)

  26. leslie 2015-08-31

    Sounds like SDDP may have a friend, Mr. Epp. Thanks

  27. Todd Epp 2015-08-31

    BTW, I never watch 100 Eyes, so I had no idea Ellis had beat me to the trial weather balloon re Phil. News travels slow to Harrisburg.

  28. Curt 2015-08-31

    I think it’s perfect – Shrek is an ogre with a big heart and John-Boy is an evil villain dressed up as a matinee idol.

  29. Winston 2015-08-31

    The Democrat who challenges Thune, in order to be successful, needs to stress Thune’s pro-China attitude towards American foreign and trade policy and how these positions weaken America’s relevance in the 21st century and embolden the Chinese.

    The Democrat who challenges Thune needs to identify Thune with the “Hollywoodization” of Washington leadership. Where image and style unfortunately trump substance and policy – a reality that challenges our ability as a nation to continue to be great in the 21st century, while others, ironically, in Thune’s party claim they have the answer to make our nation great once again.

    The Democrat who challenges Thune must be a bulldog and not a “Bluedog.” A bulldog who educates South Dakotans on how Thune and his party offer only the three “I”s to South Dakotans: The fear of IRAN, the fear of IMMIGRATION, and the actual harm stemming from the denial do to the politics of IGNORANCE over the reality of climate change and its cause.

    Thune as a Republican leader in the US Senate does not offer the leadership of hope rather he offers the leadership of fear and his Democratic opponent must remind South Dakotans of this fact.

    Also, Thune and his Washingtonian Republicans are in denial of the accomplishments which our Democratic President has been able to foster even in a time of partisan bickering and gridlock devised by Republican partisans; which further shows how Thune and his fellow Republican leaders in Washington have an inability to truly lead us in the US Senate and thus our nation as a whole – and a denial, which must continue to be reiterated by Thune’s Democratic opponent as he/she reminds South Dakotans of our new founded energy independence, a mass reduction in federal deficits in the past couple of years, the rebounding of the American economy after a Republican administration’s economic collapse, proactive changes on immigration policy which unites us rather than divides us on this policy and proactive policies on carbon, the progression towards greater health care coverage for many more Americans and the end of the “exclusion rule,” the inclusion of those 26 and younger under their parent’s health insurance policy, and the end of the “donut hole” for Medicare recipients….all thanks to leadership from the Democratic Party and not Thune’s party.

    Come on South Dakota Democrats, we can find that candidate! We are the party of McGovern and Daschle and the issues are already “ready, willing, and able” to our likening. Now, we only need a candidate who is “ready, willing, and able” to be a true bulldog.

  30. Bill Fleming 2015-08-31

    Winston, how about Larry Pressler? ;-)

  31. Winston 2015-08-31

    Bill, he is definitely a “free agent” option, but his candidacy as a Democrat would merely be perceived by the public like Heidepriems in 2010. Pressler’s relevance in 2014 was do to his independence and not a partisan tag. I think it is imperative we run a historic Democrat against Thune in 2016 if we want to wage a bountiful challenge to Thune, which is the only way to truly invigorate the South Dakota Democratic party and the party’s positions.

  32. Roger Cornelius 2015-08-31


    You have stated quite well and with more eloquence of what I have saying for sometime now.

    Democrats don’t need a republican inspired or approved candidate, we need a Bernie Sanders populist that can explain to South Dakota how the republican representatives continually misrepresent their own best interest.

    We are Democrats, playing in the middle of the road hasn’t won us any elections for sometime, it will be refreshing to have a Democrat come out swinging and maybe with a chip on his shoulder.

    If you’ve scrolled past Winston’s comments, go back and read them and remember them.

  33. Winston 2015-08-31

    Thanks Roger, I really think as Democrats in South Dakota in 2016 we need to remember the words of the late great Democratic President Harry Truman, who said….”I never give them hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.”

  34. mike from iowa 2015-09-01

    A vote for Marlboro Barbie Thune is a vote for war with Iran and for an ugly horse.

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-01

    Lynn, what crazies? Pat Powers keeps mentioning this notion that the SDDP has been taken over by liberal whackos, but I have yet to see any sign of such a takeover. Does Ann Tornberg strike anyone as a liberal extremist? Paula Hawks? Suzie Jones Pranger? Where are the liberal crazies? Please, tell me, I want to invite them to the South Dakota Blogosphere Picnic September 12!

  36. Donald Pay 2015-09-01

    Thune is a career politician in a year when being “the establishment” is not necessarily the best place to be. You need a Larry Pressler-type, but one more like the 1970s Larry Pressler, young, idealistic, willing to fight the establishment, but a Democrat.

    I don’t think the anti-China approach is the right one. They’re going through rocky times, and you push that approach too hard, and you are going to drive them to a place that’s dangerous for the people of China and for us. You need someone who actually knows China, knows the Chinese market, who knows how to negotiate, speaks the language, respects the culture. Thune is just in it for the political checks, and that’s what’s bad. He’s for whoever gives him the last donation. That’s what needs to change, rather than going all xenophobic.

  37. Rorschach 2015-09-01

    It sounds like Todd Epp is getting fired up about the race. I say we draft Todd Epp and he can give Thune hell. He’s got great hair and $11.50 in his war chest!

    Seriously folks. This idea of press ganging someone into the race is ridiculous. A candidate has to have the fire in the belly. A candidate has to have a plan – like Paul Wellstone had a plan. A strong candidate isn’t someone who has to be reluctantly dragged into the race. Let’s quit talking about who we can reluctantly drag into the race. It’s defeatist talk.

  38. 96Tears 2015-09-01

    Cory – Please attend a meeting of the SDDP State Central Committee. These are the folks from the county Dem parties who are organized enough to have elected a chair and other officers. Did you know that fewer than half of South Dakota’s counties have any current officers? But go ahead and sit in on the meeting. Look around the room. Half of those “organized” counties will bother to send anyone to the meeting which gets together only four times a year. You’ll notice the average age of the people attending the meeting is 60-plus. These are the people who officially are in charge of everything.

    I agree that Phil Schreck is a fantastic potential candidate. He has plenty of strengths and some fixable weaknesses. Is he the next George McGovern or Tom Daschle? Before 1953, McGovern was a decorated bomber pilot and a college professor. Before 1978, Daschle was a senate staffer and Vietnam War vet. Phil starts the race, if he decides, with a lot more name identification than either George or Tom, and it’s a positive image. I believe the definition of luck is when opportunity meets preparedness, and 2016 offers plenty of opportunity both in South Dakota and across our nation.

    But is the SDDP ready to be harnessed as an organizational machine to elect Schreck, or even a perfect candidate who meets everybody’s approval (whomever that could be)? And when I say is the SDDP ready, I don’t mean just the state central committee. I’m talking about anybody calling themselves a Democrat. Are you ready to work, give money and talk up your candidate and defend your candidate strongly when the snipers start sawing away?

    The state of mind of Democrats in South Dakota is worse than losers. They don’t even think about winning. Thinking about working hard, giving money and talking up any Democrat does not cross their minds.

    This is a party that has many bridges to cross before any sensible person would think of running statewide, needing to become dependent on people to help, give and defend a serious campaign. The SDGOP has demonstrated it can run a corrupt racketeer who encouraged hundreds of millions to be swindled and an attorney general who covered it all up … and still got them elected. That’s because Republicans work hard, give money and fiercely defend even the most corrupt politicians in state history.

    This isn’t on the SDDP, its staff and its officers. It’s on the individual Democrat who slops out on his or her own beliefs that government can serve all the people and that South Dakota deserves better than one-party rule.

  39. Jenny 2015-09-01

    I could ask the DFL to send Franken and Klobuchar over for some fundraising dinners for Schreck.
    This isn’t as crazy as it sounds. No one thought Kristi Noem would beat Herseth, or Obama would win two elections.
    The Tim Johnson staff needs to be on board. That team knows how to win elections.

  40. Jenny 2015-09-01

    Phil has that nice large Catholic family also, and probably leans conservative on a lot of his beliefs because of it. He needs to be groomed up on the debates and he’ll be ready to go. He already knows how to work the cameras with his TV experience.
    Phil Schreck is in Sioux Falls and Sioux Falls is where it is to win.

  41. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-01

    96, what does any one Democrat do to change the composition and practices of the SDDP Central Committee?

    Jenny, how about we petition for the DFL to absorb the SDDP and administer our campaigns as their ninth Congressional district?

  42. 96Tears 2015-09-01

    Cory – If you live in a county that is not organized, call some of your Democrat friends and organize a meeting to start up a county party. Call the state party office to have a staff member or state party officer show up. Elect officers and file them according to state law and bylaws.

    If you live in a county where there are officers who do nothing or very little, volunteer to take an officer spot and get elected. Also, find out how to become a precinct committee man or woman if positions are unfilled in your precinct. Hold county party events to raise money. Invite incumbents and candidates and potential candidates to stir up some interest. Then do it again.

    Use the imagination. This is NOT rocket science and all actions to raise money and activate others in any kind of supportive role are steps in the right direction. Sitting at home and carping about candidates not being perfect is the wrong thing to do.

  43. Jenny 2015-09-01

    Cory, no one thought SE MN 1st CD would turn blue. If a teacher from Mankato, Tim Walz, with a lot less name recognition than Phil Schreck, can win a traditionally strong republican area, then a popular news anchor from the states largest city with thousands of minorities and thousands more moving in all the time that are largely democrat, can win a Senate race. This would take hundreds of volunteers and lots of walking the neighborhoods, but it can be done.
    Schreck has something that Weiland never had, charisma. Charismatic people win races.

  44. Jenny 2015-09-01

    MNs 1st CD covers all of Southern MN now, not just SE.

  45. Lynn 2015-09-01

    As 96 mentioned there might not be the SDDP county/statewide organization to fully support a candidate in a campaign that would need all hands on deck. Did the SDDP HQ fill the 3 full -time vacancies yet? Even having those positions open is valuable time lost in building momentum for the short and long term. Then there is fundraising.

    Didn’t Joe Lowe travel to places here in the state including some larger towns and there were hardly anyone was in the room during his campaign for Governor? It takes an organization of volunteers to hype up and promote a visit before that or any candidate comes to that town to speak. Otherwise it’s real shame for a candidate to stick their neck out there financially, emotionally, family and the time involved with a commit to running and there is hardly any organization to properly support them. What signal does that give others who might otherwise consider running for office? It’s nothing new and was basically covered in Dr. Newquest’s Northern Valley Beacon blog.

  46. leslie 2015-09-01

    lynn, your and newquist’s critiques feed the republican fire, despite disclaimers. help some other way, please.

  47. Bob Newland 2015-09-01

    I was wondering, Lynn, how much prison time is about right for someone who puts a harmful substance into his/her body?

  48. jeniw 2015-09-01

    I do not sense that enough South Dakotans are tired of Thune at this point.

    Campaigning for the office would be a gallant effort, but I doubt that anyone would win the position other than Thune.

    Please prove me wrong!!!!

  49. 96Tears 2015-09-01

    It’s 434 days until Nov. 8, 2016. Tomorrow there are 433 days to set it up to win. Please don’t miss my point here. This can be turned around and it is not too late. And John Thune has a shameful record in Congress carrying water for Mitch McConnell, the Koch Brothers and Reince Priebus at the expense of transportation, health, education, elderly, agri-business and veterans needs at home. Instead of using his influence to give South Dakota a hand up, he’s blowing it on setting the stage for people who will wreck South Dakota’s economy.

    Luck occurs when preparedness meets opportunity. It’s an uphill job, but it can be done.

  50. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-09-01

    I met Rick Weiland at Rickstock West and found him charismatic and fun. I don’t think he should be written off as a candidate. As others have said, a more organized and motivated state Democratic Party is crucial, regardless of who runs.

  51. Lynn 2015-09-01


    I know it sounds like it feeds the opposition but coming from a sales background openly recognizing strengths and weaknesses is very important before confidently moving forward. Otherwise it’s just wishing, hoping for a hail Mary, fantasy game playing and armchair quarterbacking.

    Good Luck in 2016!

  52. Jenny 2015-09-01

    It’s funny and sad at the same time that the SDDP has no one to run against Thune. If money was taken out of politics and each candidate from a party was given equal air time, there could be a race.
    Right now, with so much dirty corporate money running the game, it’s more likely that the Vikings would win the Super Bowl this season than the Dems to raise anywhere the amount needed. The corporations apparently like their Thune, otherwise there would have been a candidate by now to run against him. Americans are screwed, and I’m just telling it like it is, Cory. At least I live in a state where it’s not quite as screwed, and there is more than one party in power.

  53. Jenny 2015-09-01

    Lynn, don’t let Kurtz and Newland get to you. You have every, and I mean every right be against the Cannabis legalization. I don’t know why Cory lets them bully you on here.

  54. Todd Epp 2015-09-01

    Dear Rorschach:

    Thanks for the hair compliment. (I think.) I don’t have as much as I used to and most of it is now gray. And gray her becomes unmanageable. I’m on the verge of Einstein hair as we speak. And I’ve got about $1.5 in the bank so Phil Schreck is 10X ahead of me fundraising-wise. Why we need Phil Schreck for U.S. Senate:

    1. He has great hair, better than mine.
    2. He is trained in science. He’s a meteorologist! No one getting over on him on global warming!
    3. He already knows how to look and sound good on TV, the most important aspects of a candidate in this day and age. (Yes, I’m very shallow. But except for Jim Abndor, name a recent major SD politician who was bad on TV? That’s right, none. Even pompous old blow-hard Karl Mundt had a commanding TV presence.
    4. He’s smart.
    5. His heart is in the right place on most of the issue. Heck, I can help get him ready for debates. I am John Thune’s lower dark side companion. I’m more Thuney than Thune himself.
    6. Like Sen. Rounds, he has a big family, so there already lots of votes in the bank.
    7. He listened to years worth of Nancy Naeve’s “Whitey” stories and yet he was patient and didn’t choke the living crap out of her. This is a man with a judicious temperament.
    8. If a B-movie actor (Reagan) and an SNL writer (Franken), why not a TV weatherman?
    9. I’ve developed a nifty slogan for him: South Dakota’s political climate needs to change. Phil Schreck gives South Dakota sunny days of opportunity.
    10. He will be the grassrootsiest candidate ever if my stupid, pointless campaign on Twitter (#PhilSchreckforUSSenate actually works.

    Now get out there and tweet for @philksfy!

  55. Lynn 2015-09-01


    Worst case scenario this blog can serve as a therapeutic venting tool for those that remain here in South Dakota or those that have moved out of state but emotionally can’t seem to move on and spend nearly every hour awake consumed with posting hateful and vile things about those in power here.

    Who knows? The winds of political change here in SD may occur in an electoral revolution, gradually or not at all for a lifetime or two. Time will tell.

  56. Bob Newland 2015-09-01

    Sure, anybody has the right to oppose anything anyone wants to oppose. Just as anyone has the right to try to ascertain why.

  57. Bob Newland 2015-09-01

    How ’bout you, Jenny. How much prison time do you think is about right for consumption of a harmful substance?

  58. Lynn 2015-09-01


    Thank you! :) I’m not too worried about Larry or our good friend Bob. We live in two completely different worlds with different priorities in life. The social circles I gravitate towards are not consumed with mentally escaping reality and the latest drug to do so.

  59. Bob Newland 2015-09-01

    Nor, apparently, about the damage done to all of us by putting people in prison for arbitrarily selected offenses.

  60. Lynn 2015-09-02

    “Lynn, what crazies? Pat Powers keeps mentioning this notion that the SDDP has been taken over by liberal whackos, but I have yet to see any sign of such a takeover.”

    Cory, Oh! I’ll leave that up to others and election results to decide. lol :)

  61. larry kurtz 2015-09-02

    I am not a liberal and Newland is a patriot.

  62. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-02

    Phil Schreck has stated no position on marijuana, but he seems to operate on the natural high of extroversion.

    Jenny gets me thinking that Schreck might have more name recognition among immigrant voters and other segments of the population than John Thune.

    Among the many good points Epp makes, the “heart in the right place” comment catches my eye. Running for office would be a genuine sacrifice for him. He’d be doing it because he gives a darn about the issues. He could talk about those issues with genuine passion, a passion he would know how to project on camera and to audiences. Even if Epp’s draft campaign won’t work, those are qualities we should demand of a candidate.

  63. Phil Schreck 2015-09-02

    Hey folks, I’ve been largely out of the loop for a few days. We just got our daughter moved into the U of M…packing, traveling, fighting traffic, unpacking, driving home.

    Wow! I appreciate Todd’s efforts along with Cory’s blog post and I’m flattered and honored by all the comments.

    While I am interested in running for public office someday, this isn’t the day.

    We need someone who’s ready, willing and able to jump into the race right now and, for a variety of reasons, that “someone” is not me.

  64. Curt 2015-09-02

    Thanks for putting a period at the end of that sentence, Mr Schreck.
    I guess we’re back to square one.

  65. Todd Epp 2015-09-02

    Ok, Phil, enough with the humble act. We know you won’t brag about yourself because that’s the kind of regular, hardworking South Dakota guy you are. Your state has called you to glory, Mr. Schreck! Your state needs its favorite weather son at this dark hour in its history. Fortune favors the brave. Plus, you have great hair and know how to talk on TV.

    Then how about Phil for State Representative/Senator? I hear that Sen. Rounds will probably only serve one term as he’s sick and tired of the b.s. in D.C. already. Being a state legislator is a part-time gig in the middle of the winter when there isn’t much going on weatherwise except the occasional blizzard, so it’s not like KSFY would miss you too much then. You could always do the weekend weather when you’re back from Pierre. Or you could do the weather live from the Capitol in Pierre after your legislative duties. There’s always a way.

    Then, you’ll be ready for the US Senate race in 2020! So, i’m still touting #PhilSchreckForUSSenate! Run Phil Run!

  66. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-02

    Curt, not quite square one. Even if Schreck is offering a period and not a comma, Epp’s push here gives us a good checklist of skills we should look for, of qualities we should ask candidates to emulate.

    Todd, you’ve worked in the media. What’s your assessment of Sioux Falls media employers’ willingness to allow an on-air personality (or print journalist?) to run for and serve in political office while continuing to work in the media? Is there any precedent for such moonlighting? Would a weatherman be better able to make the case for doing both jobs than reporters like Angela Kennecke and John Hult? (Hey, what if we drafted Kevin Woster?)

  67. Todd Epp 2015-09-02

    Cory, I can probably give you some insight into this from my work in the local media. I think most GMs would not allow the on air person to work while they are a declared candidate. I’m not sure if the FCC’s “equal time” is still in place but I think they’d nonetheless demur. Same thing for print, IMHO. It would cause perception problems at the least and perhaps legal ones for the broadcasters. However, other TV and radio stations in other parts of the country have had to deal with this when their talent decided to run for public office.

    In 1974 when Rick Knobe ran for mayor of Sioux Falls, M.E, “Mike” Schirmer was the mayor. Schirmer was running for re-election and Knobe wanted to run. Given the above, Rick agreed not to use his last name, which I think was Jeffries on air at that time. Schirmer also didn’t think there was a chance he would lose. And he did, in the runoff, to the young, upstart radio DJ/talk show host.

    A young, enthusiastic, articulate smart, idealistic candidate to run in 2016 for US as a Democrat? Why, look no further than the publisher of this blog! This calls for a stupid, pointless act on someone’s part and Cory’s just the guy to do it! Run Cory Run! Unfortunately, he doesn’t have Phil’s hair but some people dig the shaved head look and Cory rocks it.

  68. 96Tears 2015-09-02

    Democrats are a fickle bunch. For the U.S. Senate to remove John Thune, I want someone perfect. I don’t want what (fill in the blank) thinks is perfect. I want who I think is perfect. And if they disagree with me on one key issue (abortion, climate change, the existence of a deity, if they’re not Catholic, if they are Catholic, were they registered as a Democrat since they were old enough to vote, do they like dogs, do they hate cats, West River, East River, not a lawyer, not a farmer, male, woman … jeez you people are tiring!), then I will hate them and tell my friends not to vote for anybody!

    The insipid vetting reminds me of the high qualifications for another very popular man in South Dakota from the 60s and 70s. He used to be on KELO at 4 p.m. Maybe we Democrats in South Dakota need to hold the bar higher:

    Today’s man of the future.
    One man in each century is given the power to control time.
    The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected.
    He must be KIND. He must be FAIR. He must be BRAVE.
    You have fulfilled these requirements; and we, of the Outer Galaxies, designate to you the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas.
    You are Captain 11!

  69. Todd Epp 2015-09-02

    Never understood why Capt. 11 didn’t at least promote to Lt. Col. for as long as he was in the KELOLand Cartoon Defense Forces. Or maybe he was like a Navy captain, which is = to a colonel in the other branches? Then he should have made at least commodore during his time defending the borders of KELOLand from unwanted cartoons and colored jewels.

  70. Todd Epp 2015-09-02

    The perfect US Senate candidate would be like me (or you) except a lot better. That’s not a hard prescription to fill.

  71. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-02

    Hey, 96, am I laying any criteria like that?

  72. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-02

    Thanks for that media perspective, Todd. Now, more hair perspective: does a candidate need hair? Does a candidate need to shave? :-{D}

  73. Fred Carpenter 2015-09-02

    Another reason Phil would be a great candidate is his (I believe) understanding of AIPAC’s influence of Israel’s influence on US national politics and foreign policy issues in ME overall. A few years ago Alison Weir of If Americans Knew spoke in Sioux Falls about the Israel-Palestinian occupation issue and Phil was in the room for the lecture. He understands the power of the Lobby and would be a better candidate than Rick Weiland, who seemed to give status quo lip service to this issue when I talked to him last year. See Alison’s excellent book here for those desiring to learn more about this Vital issue.

  74. 96Tears 2015-09-02

    Nope. My remarks, Cory, are more reflective of the criticisms I see from commenters and hear from Dems on the street over the years. Good example: Stephanie Sandlin Herseth’s loss in 2010 to a brain donor named Kristie Noem because Stephanie didn’t have a 100 percent Obama voting record. Another good example: Rick Weiland having to cut through the carping from the Stephanie camp when he got tired of waiting and jumped into the 2014 Senate race. There are many others, but it would be tedious.

    I think the most important thing is if:

    – The candidate has a strong desire to win and serve in office. Name ID is important, but not as much as fire in the belly. Goes along the “any given Sunday” observation.

    – The candidate can tell you right away why he or she wants to win and serve in office.

    My biggest concern, as previously stated, is whether the Democrats individually and as county parties are prepared and have a strong desire to win. They’re going to have a lot better luck recruiting quality people who want to win and serve if those candidates had some kind of network already functioning and eager to get a strong, quick start.

  75. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-02

    Listen to 96, Dems. If we find a candidate who comes close to being as good as Phil, we drop our little quibbles and back that candidate hard! Beat Thune! Beat Noem! Win the seats and put two leaders in Washington in a good position to help stump for our statewide candidates in 2018!

  76. Troy 2015-09-02

    You guys realize he will have a problem with flip-flopping. He is all over the place.

    “Tomorrow it will be sunny.”
    “Tomorrow it will be cloudy.”
    “Tomorrow it will be dry”
    “Tomorrow it will be humid.”
    “Tomorrow it will be windy.”
    “Tomorrow it will be calm.”

    Make up your mind Phil!!!!

  77. 96Tears 2015-09-02

    Touché, Señor Jones!

  78. Lynn 2015-09-02

    There is always Craigs List. Place an ad under the Wanted: Candidate to run for US Senate running as a Democrat. Long hours but pay is decent with income potential with victory. An experience you will never forget and can tell your grandkids about! Must have good people skills……..

  79. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-02

    But Troy, Phil flips like that on a daily basis, on a very public stage, and he’s still kept his job for 27 years! Teflon Schreck!

  80. Todd Epp 2015-09-02

    Cory, you side-stepped my endorsement and draft for 2016. Or maybe you ARE running!?

    As to a candidate needing to shave: You can win with a mustache, probably. See Matt Michels and his cookie duster. Unless we revert back to 1864 grooming habits, you probably can’t have a beard. I’m trying to come up with a major party candidate for President, Governor, U.S. Senate or U.S. House in the last 50 years that has had a beard and I’m not coming up with one. Good hair, ala Romney, Clinton (Bill), Carter, Dole, Thune, Noem, Reagan, even Obama seems to be the winning “style.”

    But a neatly trimmed beard like yours? Maybe. The problem is it makes you look TOO smart, like a college professor. We like our politicians not to be complete dummies but we also don’t want them to look too much smarter than us–just maybe a little smarter. If you were running for legislature, I don’t think it would be an issue, as a number of male legislators have had some decent facial hair. Stan Edelstein comes to mind.

    You can join the Dollar Shave Club and be clean shaven for a year or so relatively cheaply. Mrs. Rev. Cory might like the change of pace! (Wink, wink, nod, nod, say no more!) :)

    Run Cory Run!

  81. Todd Epp 2015-09-02

    China, Israel, interesting issues. But most South Dakotans don’t know and don’t care.

    The successful candidate has to sell change, hope and a better future. See Obama 2008. That message is typically built on the state and nation’s role in the economy and economic fairness and that things will be better not just for us but for our kids and grandkids. Yes, corny, I know. We all vote our pocketbooks except for those few one issue voters of whatever ilk.

    Weiland had the right message but was the wrong messenger in 2014. Same with Pressler. My guess is the person we’re looking for may not be anyone we’ve talked about. But he or she is out there. That’s why Phil Schreck is so exciting. We know of him yet we don’t know him that well. With the right message and fire in the belly, Phil would make a race respectable in 2016, and with planning, could win in 2020. I think 2020 will be an open seat. Maybe Brendan Johnson will take the plunge then. Maybe Stephanie Sandlin. Or maybe it will be a Paul Wellstone-like person that captures our imagination.

  82. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-03

    No beard? Shaving every day? Forget that!

    I agree with Todd’s assessment that China won’t crack the top tier of winning issues in South Dakota. Stace Nelson talked about tried pitching EB-5 as a security issue with Communist China, and that didn’t catch fire. I’d still talk EB-5, especially in terms of whether Thune joins Rounds in reauthorizing his old windfall program. I’d mention free trade à la Sanders. I’d hammer on Tehran John’s unpatriotic letter to the mullahs (that language will rile folks up), but the focus has to be on bread-and-butter domestic policy and Thune’s failure to deliver on roads, jobs, a balanced budget, and everything else as well as the threat he poses to Social Security and Medicare.

    Someone is out there. Jonathan Ellis said on Dakota Midday that he is “certain” the SDDP will field a challenger to Thune. We must make sure that challenger has the media savvy and fire that a Phil Schreck could bring to the campaign trail. We would do well to pick someone like Wellstone who can capture imaginations.

    And I maintain that person doesn’t have to announce until next year. Do it on February 29, Leap Day. Keep the opposition guessing for as long as possible, then make a big splash, condense the buzz, and go full throttle for eight solid months. (Good grief, eight months?! That’s still too long… but I don’t think I’d recommend a placeholder/convention surprise.)

  83. Todd Epp 2015-09-03

    Methinks Cory nearly has a hat in the ring. My friend PP’s head is almost exploding as it is from the Hurst/Schreck talk. I guess he’s ok with uncontested elections. That’s what Saddam liked to do back in the day. Last I checked, South Dakota and the United States were supposed to be democracies. And democracies have real elections with real candidates so the people have real choices. We don’t do coronations.

    I’ll mark Leap Day 2016 on my calendar Cory!

  84. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-03

    We will have a real candidate. Voters will have a real choice. And John Thune could get beat!

    But why rush? Why not let Thune wonder and PP stew? Why not build some anticipation? Why not enjoy some buzz and make them burn a little fuel scrambling jets at ghosts on the radar without handing the opposition a single early hard target?

    Leap Day—we’ll see if any candidates take my advice.

  85. Todd Epp 2015-09-03

    Mike from Iowa wins today’s Non-sequitur Award.

  86. mike from iowa 2015-09-03

    Dang,I rilly wanted that sequitur for my wall. What is a non-sequitur?

  87. leslie 2015-09-11

    HAIR WARS 2016

  88. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-09-11

    Hair wars? In that battle, I shall continue to unilaterally disarm.

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