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Libertarian Posts Video of Aberdeen Democratic Forum (And Bernie Has 50–50 Shot in SD!)

That’s no video stalker—that’s Libertarian Party chair Ken Santema filming Democratic Party chair Ann Tornberg and four other loyal South Dakota Democrats at Thursday’s “Front Porch Forum” hosted by the Brown County Democrats here in Aberdeen.

Tornberg joined District 21 Senator Billie Sutton from Burke, former District 4 Representative Kathy Tyler from Big Stone City, former (and it sounds like future!) District 1 Representative and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Susan Wismer from Britton, and Santema’s Aberdeen blog neighbor me to discuss GEAR UP, EB-5, the Blue Ribbon K-12 panel, and other topics of interest to local Democrats and other interested South Dakotans.

Cory Allen Heidelberger and Ann Tornberg at Brown County Democrats' Front Porch Forum, Aberdeen, SD, 2015.11.05. Screen cap from video by Ken Santema.
Cory Allen Heidelberger and Ann Tornberg at Brown County Democrats’ Front Porch Forum, Aberdeen, SD, 2015.11.05. Screen cap from video by Ken Santema.

Senator Sutton brought particular knowledge on GEAR UP, since he serves Charles Mix County and Platte, site of the gruesome killings of the Westerhuis family that launched the Mid-Central Educational Co-op scandal, and the Blue Ribbon panel, of which he is a member. Tyler brought unique I-told-you-so authority on the issue of EB-5, which she helped publicize in September 2014 and whose concerns have been validated by the USCIS Notice of Intent to Terminate South Dakota’s EB-5 Regional Center status. Susan Wismer and I had a wonderful contrast of viewpoints on whom the Democrats should nominate for President (the real headline of this forum: “Clinton and Sanders Tied Among Dems in Crucial Final-Primary State!“). Chairwoman Tornberg made a passionate pitch for Democrats to fire up and support the party by defending Democratic principles (which, as shown by the success of our ballot measures, reflect the principles of South Dakota voters).

And me? Well, I just waved my arms a lot.

Santema broke out his new camera and found he can get 90+ minutes of quality video on one battery. He breaks that 90+ minutes into three segments for your YouTube pleasure. I commend Santema for taking the time to document this public event and share the views of an opposing party with the general public. Watch, comment, and share!


  1. Porter Lansing 2015-11-07 08:57

    Nice suit, young fella’.

  2. jerry 2015-11-07 09:19

    Get the right kind of person that can fight the fight and that person will win. I have been watching the governors race in Louisiana as I think that state and South Dakota have a lot in common. Corruption and republican politics all rolled into the same shady deals. Bobby is no longer eligible to serve as governor and hopefully, after this dismal presidential try, he will be flushed, like the turd he is into oblivion. Here is an example of the fight that needs to be fought

  3. Rorschach 2015-11-07 12:15

    How is the Libertarian Party petition going? It was not on offer in front of the Minnehaha County Administration building this week, though the Constitution Party petition is still there and getting signatures.

  4. larry kurtz 2015-11-08 09:07

    The South Dakota Democratic Party is made up of a couple hundred cowards and dry drunks.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-08 14:33

    Fine, Larry. Go make calls with Lynn.

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-08 14:38

    Rohr, I haven’t heard any updates. If the 18-percenters did half as well with the Libertarian petitions that some of them carried on top of their fake rate caps as they did with their primary job for the payday lenders, then the SDLP should be returning to our ballots. But these are Libertarians we’re talking about; they seem to be good at messing up simple organization.

  7. Kris 2015-11-08 16:45

    this wont werk! corporatons own both big partys and we need to go with somthin new. green party is the way to go. people tired of wat does not werk. thats why no establishment doing good for prez.

    they are wastin time doin this back porch get together

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-08 17:09

    Also not working: Kris’s spellcheck.

    Kris, your generic response offers no counterplan. It fails to identify any specific corporate ownership of the South Dakota Democratic Party. If the SDDP were owned by corporations, we’d have a lot more money!

    Unless you plan to organize a Green Party SD (and if you do, Kris, let me know—I’ll certainly publicize your effort), South Dakota Democrats are your best shot at breaking the grip of corporate control here in South Dakota. Join the party… and learn to use capital letters.

  9. Kris 2015-11-08 18:36

    no way dude! I like you activisim but yer chaneling it wrong. national demorcatic party is owned by corps too not much diff from repubs. we need to scrap both and go new. green party is pure just like the plant.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-08 21:49

    Well, I’m not working for the national party. They left Rick Weiland high and dry for most of the 2014 campaign. Who needs ’em?

    But I’m also not focused on national level reform—that’s too big a bucket for me to lift. Right here in South Dakota we have a contest between a monolithic, corporate dominated Republican Party and a statewide Democratic Party that isn’t on any corporate gravy train that I’ve seen. Is there any effective Green movement in South Dakota? I haven’t heard of one. I appreciate the urge for a third party, but I decided in 2004, when I realized the GOP was full of bull, that I stood more of a chance of making a difference in Pierre by working with the resources the SDDP can offer and working to pull that party toward the right positions on issues than in trying to cobble together a third party.

    But let me entertain your notion, Kris. Suppose the people you see in the above videos are useless to the goals of genuine progressive activism. Suppose we need a third party. From whom do we build it? Who are its leaders? Who forms its base? And how does such a party make any positive impact instead of splitting the progressive vote and ensuring more Republican wins?

  11. Kris 2015-11-09 04:36

    dude we gotta start fresh! young kids look at the big partys as goin to the nursin home and goin to the trash bin. old idias corrupt system which favor the man! dont vote for ether!

  12. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-09 04:51

    Kris, come up for air, set the generalities aside, and address the specific questions I offer about practical action in South Dakota. Are the young kids forming their own party or some modern, loose but effective alternative to a traditional party? What new ideas are they offering to counter the old ideas of the corrupt system that they cannot promote by working with the SDDP the way South Dakota Progress is? Who will form their base? Can youth lead such an effort in South Dakota without splitting the progressive vote and leaving GOP dominance (a.k.a., “the man!”) unchecked?

  13. Ken Santema 2015-11-09 08:30

    The LPSD petition drive is going well ahead of schedule.

  14. Porter Lansing 2015-11-09 08:44

    Common perception among pundits is that Libertarians are just Republicans that want to smoke pot and cheat on their spouses.

  15. lesliengland 2015-11-10 21:33

    GREAT ISSUES DISCUSSION. half way thru….

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