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District 3 Candidates to Discuss Education at NSU; Democrat Hosts Two Campaign Coffees

District 3 voters have numerous opportunities to meet their candidates in the coming several days. Today at the NSU Williams Library, the regular Wednesday Noon Forum features the District 3 Republican candidates—Rep. Al Novstrup, Rep. Dan Kaiser, and Drew Dennert—talking about education. The program starts at noon… and since these are Republicans sharing what they know about education, it should be done by 12:05.

We Democratic candidates—Brooks Briscoe, Nikki Bootz, and me—get to present our views on education policy and field questions from interested neighbors at the Wednesday, October 19 Noon Forum at NSU. The Noon Forums are open to NSU faculty and students as well as the general public.

I’m hosting two candidate coffees:

  1. Tomorrow evening, Thursday, October 13, at Caribou Coffee here in Aberdeen from 7 to 9 p.m.;
  2. Next week Thursday, October 20, at Ken’s Super Fair Foods in the newly remodeled Gourmet Coffee spot, 9 to 11 a.m.

Those coffee chats (advertised in my latest campaign newsletter, in today’s paper and available to everyone online!) will be my sixth and seventh in-person campaign convos this year, in addition to being online on this blog and other channels for open conversations pretty much every day. By contrast, my opponent Al has advertised one public event, a joint appearance with his GOP ticketmates this past Monday evening. Openness, anyone?

Meanwhile, as my opponent and the SDGOP wallow in negative attacks on my personal character and livelihood, my video of Al’s and my responses to a campaign finance reform question at our September 24 forum has drawn over a thousand views on Facebook:

Given the openness and informed policy discussion the Democratic candidate offers, it’s no wonder the Republican incumbent is running scared. Four weeks to go—let’s win an election!


  1. rick sterling 2016-10-12 08:21

    We have qualified teachers in South Dakota. The best thing you can do to positively affect public education in South Dakota is to do something about the poverty in South Dakota.

    The Republicans, like you said Cory, will talk about 2 minutes about education. The have not a clue.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-12 09:38

    Well, we moved teachers a bit farther away from poverty with this year’s salary increases.

    I agree that the economic situation at home has a huge impact on kids’ ability to learn. As Steve Hildebrand says, when half the kids in the Sioux Falls school district qualify for assistance in paying for school lunch, something is wrong with the economy. If kids have full bellies and stable homes where Mom and Dad aren’t constantly stressed by living on the edge of bankruptcy, they will learn better.

    Of course, there’s not one bill that will go through the Senate Education committee that will directly address poverty. Supporting the minimum wage, defeating the youth sub-minimum wage, stopping the payday lenders from screwing the poor, and expanding Medicaid would help a lot of low-income families. What else, Rick, would you like to see the Legislature do to directly alleviate poverty?

  3. DR 2016-10-12 09:48

    Hey Cory, if the attacks are true, then they aren’t attacks. They are facts…right?

    Here is what I like about you compared to one person from “your team”(as you called it at the League of Women’s Voters Forum). When people disagree with you, you take it, explain why you feel they are wrong – and in essence – agree to disagree. While you and I tend to disagree on MOST topics, you would never delete any comments that I make, Facebook or here, unless I deserved it and you I both know the reasons. To my knowledge, you have never had to delete a comment of mine. You take it and don’t go hide in the sand.
    Recently, I discovered that I cannot like or comment on the Bootz for House District 3 Campaign page. She recently posted something that I as well as others have disagreed with and called her out on it. Rather than take ownership and defend herself(well she tried), she deleted all comments except for the ones that were pro her(definitely within her right). This however, shows me that she is unfit to serve as district 3 representative. It shows me that if someone gets into a debate with her in Pierre, she will go bury her head in the sand and pretend things are happy go lucky! Work is Pierre is tough…and especially as a democrat. You know this, but aren’t afriad.
    I know you have said that they have run their personal pages and have nothing to do with each others pages. However, this is the type of buried in the sand crap that district 3 cannot have. Whoever she is getting advice from, its bad…

  4. Darin Larson 2016-10-12 09:54

    Oh please, DR, telling candidates how they should run their own campaign page now? Nobody has to allow equal time on their own campaign page or Facebook page. Do you think Republicans would allow Democrats to decry their lack of priorities for education and corruption scandals on the Republican party website? For crying out loud, you are whining that someone needs to allow themselves to be attacked on their own website. A campaign website isn’t a debate.

  5. DR 2016-10-12 10:24

    No one was attacking them Darin.

    Look at Thune’s Noem’s or Round’s page…or Cory’s for that matter, they aren’t deleting them. Sen Thune took some serious heat for his Twitter post this weekend. Those comments are still there.

    You are right, they are free to run their page as they wish. But it tells me that when comments are deleted b/c of heat they are getting…it tells me that if they cant stand the heat, get out of kitchen!

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-12 10:47

    Oh, DR, you understand the difference between stating facts and crafting them into personal/professional political attacks. Let’s not play word games. Plus, Pat’s blog post about calling for condoms in classrooms isn’t fact—it’s a misrepresentation of satire used to critique bad legislation that Al supported, the school gunslinger bill. If you’d like to discuss that policy, fire away here, or come have coffee with us Thursday evening! I’ll take your heat in either kitchen and, maybe, just maybe, bake it into some common understanding.

  7. DR 2016-10-12 12:12

    Sorry, there was supposed to be a :) in my first comment.

  8. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-12 13:47

    Thanks for that smile, DR. :-D

    On social media policy: candidates make choices about how open their websites are. I’ve made different choices on my different online campaign channels. My website,, is almost purely broadcast: I post all information, I open no comment sections on posts, and the only user input is the private Contact form. The website is a basic, clean information/campaign portal dedicated to my message while allowing users to send private feedback. My campaign Facebook page is public, accessible even without logging in to Facebook. My FB campaign page is open to comments, but I reserve the right to moderate the conversation and delete comments that I find inappropriate. In extreme cases, as I do here on the blog, I will block chronic troublemakers or vulgarians. (I don’t think I’ve exercised that authority much.)

    I prefer openness. Reasonable cases can be made for restrictions. An interesting case is the anonymous folks demanding answers to their purported “non-partisan” survey. They won’t reveal their identities or any identifable contact information beyond email, Facebook, and Twitter. People have a right to participate in online discussion anonymously. However, given campaign finance laws and obligations to actual constituents, candidates and elected officials have a right to ignore, delete, and block anonymous messages so as not to infringe on their interactions with known voters and neighbors.

    There’s my policy. Take up other candidates’ policies with those other candidates.

  9. Dicta 2016-10-12 13:53

    Critique offered, not on substance but delivery: you talk pretty quickly, are prone to making large gestures and tend to be loud without much inflection. It makes you come across as much more aggressive than you actually are. Too much cross on Lincoln-Douglas, my man.

  10. mike from iowa 2016-10-12 13:53

    I will block chronic troublemakers or vulgarians. (I don’t think I’ve exercised that authority much.)

    Methinks you is too honest to be a real politician.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-12 16:50

    Dicta, you recognize the policy/CX rat-a-tat! I did a year and a half of policy before switching to LD my final semester. I also did four MHS spring plays and three one-act plays.

    I’d like to say high school speech and theater ruined my public speaking. But I think the problems you cite are part of an earlier stamped character. Maybe I really am that aggressive… although, believe it or not, when I first reviewed this video, I thought I was calmer than usual.

    On volume—I may suffer from teacher voice. I have spent most of my professional life walking into rooms with a couple dozen bubbly children and competing for their attention. When I walk into a room, my default setting is to project my voice to the back of the hall. I expect to hear my voice ping off the back wall. Darned microphones! I’ll keep working on adjusting for audio equipment. (Feel free to elect me to the Senate, where I can really get some practice not trying to fill the hall with my voice… though oh! what a stately building in which to speak!)

    Oh well, back to the practice room. Practice, practice—breathe—practice.

  12. Darin Larson 2016-10-12 17:06

    Cory, Trump can relate to your problems with microphones. :) I think your enthusiasm for your subject matter is infectious. Don’t let the critics steal your thunder!

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-12 23:09

    Thanks, Darin. You hit on the excuse I usually make for myself: I’m genuinely excited about this stuff. Same thing happens when I walk into the classroom and get to discuss French verb conjugation, or the quadratic formula, or Chapter 4 of Of Mice and Men (Crooks, Lennie, Candy, and Curley’s wife! The symmetry! The stagecraft! Wow!)—we get to talk about important, interesting things! We get to explore ideas! At a candidate forum, we get to talk about things we’re going to vote on that could change our state for the better! Maybe the question isn’t why I’m talking so excitedly; the question is why isn’t everyone else?

  14. D Bice 2016-10-13 12:35

    Cory, I have the same problem with public speaking… And I blame Doc… I don’t know how many times I heard him say, “Project… Project… PROJECT!!!”…

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-10-13 13:57

    D Bice, deep down, that may well be what’s at work in my soul, the fear that if I start mumbling, if I don’t push from the diaphragm and enunciate, Doc is going to cry out from the back of our dark auditorium, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

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