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Hawks, Kloucek Call for SDDP Shake-Up; Barth Urges Keeping Staff, Learning from Failures

Not one South Dakota Democrat who face Republican opponents won first place in last week’s votes for Legislature and higher. Incumbents Spence Hawley and Julie Bartling defaulted into the second-place seats in three-way races. Former legislator Dan Ahlers won second in a four-way race over aging GOP veteran Roger Hunt. Our only clear victories came in District 15, where incumbent Karen Soli and fellow Dem Jamie Smith beat two independents. With second place the best we can muster in normal partisan contests, no South Dakota Democrat on this year’s ballot, myself included, seems really qualified to tell us how we get back to beating Republicans.

Nonetheless, Dana Ferguson says that unsuccessful U.S. House candidate Democrat Paula Hawks wants heads to roll in party leadership:

“I think that what we’ve seen in the last year is that what we’re doing isn’t working,” she said Tuesday. “We do need a shake-up.”

…Hawks declined to name specific party leaders or positions she thinks need to change [Dana Ferguson, “After Loss, Hawks Calls for ‘Shake-Up’ in Democratic Party,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.11.15].

Former legislator Frank Kloucek, who lost his own race for Bon Homme County Commission last Tuesday but nonetheless may have won more past elections than every Democrat on last week’s Legislative ballots combined, does name a specific party leader, chair Ann Tornberg:

“Ann has to go,” he said. “The ball keeps getting dropped” [Ferguson, 2016.11.15].

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth, who lost to Daugaard apppintee Rep. Kris Langer in the District 25 Senate race, isn’t headhunting yet:

“I think we should try to keep as much of the staff there as possible and learn from the mistakes we’ve made,” Barth said [Ferguson, 2016.11.15].

I’m friends with everyone in this discussion. For the moment, I’m with Barth.

I bear far more direct responsibility for losing District 3 than Ann Tornberg does. Fire me.

Scott Parsley bears far more direct responsibility for losing District 8 than Tornberg or SDDP exec Suzanne Jones Pranger. Fire Scott.

Clara Hart bears far more direct responsibility for losing District 6 than Tornberg or Jones Pranger. Fire Clara.

We all failed. If we want to blame specific people, we have to blame ourselves. If blame for losing in 2016 disqualifies one from party leadership, then we’re going to need to import Democrats to run the South Dakota Democratic Party.

“Who should carry out our battle plan?” is the wrong question to ask until we have a battle plan. All these furious discussions leading up to and including the statewide central committee meeting the second weekend of December should focus on one thing: deciding the actions we will take as a party to win elections in 2018. We should then as a party turn to our party leaders and say, “Can you commit to carrying out these actions?” If our leaders’ answer is “Yes,” then we say, “Make it so.” If our leaders say “No,” or if we don’t trust our leaders’ commitment or capability to carry out those actions, then we get new leaders.

Shuffling our generals makes fun drama, not to mention easier soundbites for the press. (This blog post itself is a lot easier to write than the 20-point tome that I haven’t drafted yet on actual actions to save the South Dakota Democratic Party.) But shuffling the generals is a waste of energy and potentially useful personnel, especially when we don’t know what we want the new generals to do. Let’s make a plan first, then talk about who carries it out.


  1. bearcreekbat 2016-11-16 10:10

    It is a fools errand to try to develop a tactical approach without first clarifying one’s ultimate strategy. After all tactics are usually ineffective unless you know the reason for making any tactical choices. Barth is an excellent chess player and knows the difference between strategy and tactics. His advice is well worth considering.

  2. COI 2016-11-16 10:36

    So…just so I understand…everyone is admitting there was no strategy for ’16?

    Yes…let’s keep those people in charge.

    And you all wonder why Democrats continually fail?

  3. mike from iowa 2016-11-16 10:48

    It isn’t so much Dem failure as it is the savage hordes are overwhelming and vote that way.

    Even a prisoner in front of a firing squad has a strategy.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-16 10:56

    I do not concede that there was no strategy. I do not claim to know what the strategy was. I only admit that, whatever it was, the strategy did not work.

  5. Madman 2016-11-16 11:29

    A change at the top won’t solve much if the message isn’t getting out. Too many closed doors here in South Dakota as a rule we don’t normally talk politics to the average person. It’s too hard, to speak and often we dismiss the listener as a republican schill. Unfortunately we need to step up as a party and start talking.

    You want change to happen and to end the nonsense in Pierre then start talking about Democratic priorities here in South Dakota and not the nation. What does the South Dakota Democratic Party stand for? What’s the mission statement of the party here in the state? You want change as I do, then we have to keep having these uncomfortable conversations about the people you are electing to the state and what they are doing for you. I’ll keep battling the good fight, but we need to keep moving forward with many of the staff members (several who have been there less then a year) and push for a voter drive.

  6. Roger Elgersma 2016-11-16 12:06

    This is a red state and blaming our leaders is not going to fix it. We have tried that fix every two years as long as I can remember. That only means that we always have some level of inexperience running the office. There are times when one gets burned out butting ones head against the same wall and a new fresh hope may be good. When our party leaders quite often move out of state I hope they find better hunting grounds. What we need is a strategy that speaks to the voters. Both parties have lost faith with the people or we would not have a Trump as president. The main lose was failure to remember the worker. When even our senate candidate says that we have to do everything we can for business and forget what NAFTA did, then we are not talking to regular people. We have raised the minimum wage and when the legislature tried to undo if for teens, we the people voted it back in by a larger margin than the first time. We got the pay raised for teachers after pushing for that for decades and finally the Republican governor did it to try to get some credit for it but we all know who was for it all along. We routinely win ballot measures so we should keep going on the one track that is working and transform that into party leading issues that resonate with the voters. I do not intend that we should limit our strategy to one issue but this is just a place to start and copy on any other issue we can get our hands on.

  7. jerry 2016-11-16 12:27

    The person that must go is the janitor, it is all that departments fault that there has never been any kind of leadership in the Democratic Party of late seems to be where we are going here. Have Paula Hawks take it over and sort it out with Jeff Barth, Kloucek and Lowe. If they say Ann has to go, then that is that. If they say others must go, then that is the way it must be. No buddies here man, there are no buddies in politics only allies or detractors. Don’t wait, get on with it.

  8. grudznick 2016-11-16 12:45

    I blame Joe Lowe.
    No go.
    Just so-so.

  9. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 12:51

    Respectfully, Democrats have taking a beating the last 6 years due to national politics which many candidates in rural SD thought they had to echo and adopt in order to be good Democrats. Frankly, it was as the records show, a losing strategy. You no longer have that DC weight. SD Democrats have the opportunity to define who they are outside of what DC caste them as in the eyes of the voters. The GOP better provide the conservative measures they promised nationally and statewide or they will be ripe for Democrats in 2018 to rightfully point out their hypocrisy.

    You folks have a guy like Frank Kloucek, who got elected in a tough district for 22 years, and you don’t utilize that corporate knowledge to teach candidates how to campaign on a shoe-string budget!?

    A healthy two-party system in SD helps fight corruption, and keeps self-serving leftists from leaving the SDDP and subverting the GOP.

  10. Sam@ 2016-11-16 13:01

    The dem’s lost elections across the country as republicans road to victory on a candidate who has a 60% dis-approval rating. If the leaderships stays the course the party will be irrelevant in a few years.

    Nothing short of a major revamping is required

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-16 13:18

    Stace, why would I want to keep any self-serving opportunists in my party? You Republicans can have them!

  12. Madman 2016-11-16 13:32

    Hard to believe that Stace Nelson and I share the same viewpoints as to why the democrats in the state have a poor showing. Once again the Democratic Party has to figure out who it is on the state side. The lack of a universal effort to show a party message (for South Dakotans) is a huge issue that can be overcome.

    First the party needs to know who their supporters are….

    I am a democrat in South Dakota who owns guns, believes in the constitution, is pro-choice, favors local government, and equal rights to all citizens.

    While national issues are a concern to me, I’m more concerned about what’s going to be happening at a local level. Let’s work on real issues for South Dakota such as ag, environmental (I like to go hunting and fishing but the areas are shrinking), individual rights (were entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…all of us regardless of religion, gender, or anything else that divides/labels us), etc.

  13. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-16 14:01

    I’m tired of the same conversations we have every election cycle that we lose and never produce results.

    Democrats need to get mean and vicious.
    Democrats need to lie and produce propaganda at staggering rates.
    Democrats need to learn to talk down to their constituents in the same way Stace Nelson is known for.
    Democrats need to label each and every republican leader in this state as a communist or fascist, that is what the republican base understands.
    Democrats need to let voters know that it is fact that if there ever was a president that would take their guns away it is Fascist Donald Trump, You can’t keep in line if they are armed.
    Democrats need to hold the republicans feet to the fire and demand who in their family has had an abortion.
    Now, Democrats will say that we are above that kind of campaigning but guess what Democrats, we need to be just like that if we want to win elections.

  14. mike from iowa 2016-11-16 14:54

    Nice guys, in politics, rarely finish first. Obama explained in a speech from Greece why the people who voted for Drumpf and wingnuts voted the for the people who obstructed Obama’s attempts to help disaffected people. They fell for every lie Drumpf and wingnuts tossed out there because of their hate for the best Potus America has ever had, at least in my lifetime.

  15. Gary 2016-11-16 15:07


    I agree. I ran a race as a very moderate Democrat and got trounced. I am a Marine Corps veteran who is a staunch 2nd Amendment supporter, pro-choice, and believe in our Constitution.
    I campaigned on those principles, and in this election, it didn’t even matter. The voters came out to vote on emotion, and that’s exactly what they did. They claim that Trump is “anti-establishment”, but every single Republican candidate that they put back in office is pro-establishment.
    I also tried to convince voters to not focus on the presidential election as much, and that the state and local elections had more impact on their day-to-day lives.

    On a side note, I disagree about hunting acres disappearing. GF&P is buying and leasing land at a record rate. Gregory county alone has over 12,000 (yes, 12,000) acres owned by GF&P. This is not including land that is leased/rented for walk-in use.

    As far as “firing” anyone, I feel that Suzie Jones-Pranger did an excellent job of working with candidates and promoting the party. The problem is that the party has been beaten up so much over the years that it’s fractured. They can’t come together enough to let people know that the majority of South Dakota Democrats aren’t left-wingers, and that deep down, we have more in common with the voting public than the Republicans do.

  16. Madman 2016-11-16 15:52


    I hope sincerely you run again and keep working these two years in informing people why you are the best candidate to represent your area. So many people in this state are single issue voters that its tough to overcome that. My own sister votes Republican based on that one issue even though she disagrees with 75% of their platform. She didn’t even check into who the candidate was only that they would be pro life….a pretty poor way to elect officials if you ask me.

    As for hunting and fishing areas, I guess I am speaking more on the fishing side as a lot more lakes have seen some significant changes over the years. I just hope the walk in land in Gregory is better then where I grew up in Codington where some hunting areas were the size of a couple of football fields, but then there were plenty of them to choose from.

    I completely agree with you about Democratic Party which I feel really needs to figure itself out rather then starting changing staff.

  17. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 16:40

    @CAH They are the worst of the worst. Democrats may disagree with me on the issues; however, they know at the end of the day that I’m honest and consistent with my principles I have explicitly told the public I will serve them by. I have relatives, friends, and supporters that are Democrats. I love them no less for their party registration and I have more respect for the honest Democrats in the legislature than the politicians who lie to the public claiming to be limited-government conservative Republicans, to get elected, and then betray GOP principles.

    @Roger Cornelius So? Same game plan you’ve been espousing for years? You confuse frank, candid, and honest discussion with talking down to people. Its your type of ugly, bitter, partisanship that cuts Democrats’ noses off to spite their faces. You keep preaching your special blend of intolerant hate to Democratic candidates, its worked so well so far.

    @Gary There’s no one in the state of SD that would confuse me, Lance Russell, Phil Jensen, Liz May, Dan Kaiser, etc., as “establishment” candidates. While some of what you saw on election day was the tail end of a bad wind for SD Democrats that was swept in by the extreme Left in DC politics that does NOT work in SD. SD Democrats do share some of the blame personally. My advice is to do a serious after action review of your campaign to assess what worked and what didn’t. There is a science to campaigning effectively. If you did not attend a campaign school, I’d put that at the top of your list of should have dones. My wife and I attended one coordinated by Ed Anderson from REA in 2010. Madman has a point, 50% of the population view abortion as immoral. Before any other issue is discussed, you’ve effectively lost 1/2 of your potential votes. It is a key issue with many voters and is likely to grow with the understanding of how unnecessary it is in this age of birth control convenience. Its more than that though. People like me who are antiabortion are militantly so. So not only have you lost the moral high ground on the issue with 50% of the electorate? You earn militant activists who campaign against you.

  18. Laurisa 2016-11-16 16:43

    For several years, I’ve been as frustrated with the SDDP as I am with the DNC. The SDDP has lost its way and that’s been the case for about six years now. The focus has been wrong in two ways.

    First, a political party cannot just say what it’s against. It has to actually stand FOR something, put forth its own programs and solutions that have merit ON THEIR OWN and not just because they’re against “the other guy.” The SDDP has largely forgotten this, as its main focus has been simply to continually say all the ways in which Republicans are wrong, have done wrong things and have the wrong ideas. While all of this is quite true, that cannot be the primary focus. People want to know that they’re voting for something and not just against something. Even if they agree with you in being against the other guy, they usually need and want more than that in order to vote for your party.

    Second, the SDDP has got to give itself a serious reality check. Too many in the leadership and party structure seem to be in their own bubble, refusing to see that the state is not nearly as liberal as they think and would like and that running really liberal candidates is simply not going to work. Now, I find that as incredibly frustrating as they do, and I wish it were otherwise, but that’s the reality in this state. The only encouraging thing I see politically is that South Dakotans usually seem to vote more liberally in regards to initiatives and referendums. But that’s not the case with candidates, and that has to be faced.

    One of the reasons why Herseth Sandlin and Johnson often won was precisely because they recognized that. And now, because Herseth Sandlin and the SDDP messed up during the last two weeks of her 2010 campaign, we’re stuck with one of the worst congress critters in the entire nation; one who, unlike Herseth-Sandlin, refuses to recognize that she represents everyone in the entire state and not just those who agree with and voted for her.

    Herseth-Sandlin could have run for the senate in 2014, but that was, incredibly, nixed by the party in favor of a complete unknown with no name recognition and no track record whose chances were practically nil from the beginning. And why did they do that? Because, as insiders told me, she wasn’t nearly liberal enough and they wanted someone a lot more liberal. Yeah, we see how that turned out. However frustrating it is to come to terms with, that is NOT going to fly in this state and we need to be a lot more realistic about it.

    There’s much more, but unless the SDDP figures this out and comes to grips with and does some serious changing, we will only become even more irrelevant. If we even survive at all.

  19. Madman 2016-11-16 16:51

    Once again I find myself agreeing with Stace on his points. I sure wish that the Republican voters would have agreed with you (Stace) on the run for Senator instead of Rounds, as I have a respect for you and know you would put the best interests of the state first.

  20. mike from iowa 2016-11-16 16:56

    While some of what you saw on election day was the tail end of a bad wind for SD Democrats that was swept in by the extreme Left in DC politics that does NOT work in SD.

    Nelson, you won’t make it as a comedian. Extreme left to you is anyone to the left of Attila the Hun.

  21. Gary 2016-11-16 17:06

    I did attend training that SDDP put on. One thing I would do differently is maybe, and I do mean maybe do door-to-door campaigning. District 21 is over 130 miles from end to end, so there is a lot of ground to cover. Unlike some, I need to work full time in order to provide for my family, so that doesn’t leave a lot of time to go door to door. In hindsight would it have mattered? Not in this election.
    You speak about losing 50% of my voters for being pro-choice. Well, I am “militant” about women’s rights, and I will take those lost votes. I’ll keep my 50% of votes. I enjoy the term “moral high ground” as well. Being Pro-Choice isn’t just about abortion, and my “moral high ground” is giving women a choice and control over their own reproductive rights. Those same “moral” voters don’t believe in birth control either, so until the perception about birth control can be changed, the argument is still valid.

  22. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 17:18

    @Madman Thank you for the kind words. Money buys elections, and DC $9 Million bought that one. I have thanked God for unanswered prayers, many times. I did my civic duty and called out a corrupt politician. I have no regrets and I got to spend 2 weeks with my daughter and grandson before they shipped out overseas that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

    @Iowa Mike You keep your head in that Iowa sand box and telling yourself that you know better and that its just the liberal message isn’t getting heard after 6 years of nonstop bull horns. Its so obvious? A lifelong NY liberal abandoned his liberal friends, did a 180 from them, and won the presidency. How far Right the USA swings back will depend on whether Trump and Republicans in Congress follow through on their campaign promises.

  23. bearcreekbat 2016-11-16 17:28

    I cannot imagine how any true conservative would be against our Constitution’s guarantee of a constitutional right of privacy in matters of procreation. And it appears from Gallup that less than 50% of Americans want the government to police women’s bodies.

    I doubt that SD Democrats would improve their chances by siding with less than half of Americans on a single issue.

    But perhaps if SD Democrats took the other “pro-life” stance and ran with it following Cory’s lead, they might actually create common ground with people who see themselves as “pro-life.” And by that I mean hammering on the benefits of public policies guaranteeing pregnancy support, post birth support, and support of our children throughout childhood, including guarantees of safety, housing, adequate food, education and other policies that are designed to help and encourage pregnant women and policies that are designed to improve the lives of children after they are born.

  24. mike from iowa 2016-11-16 17:28

    Stace, dream on from your South Dakota wingnut cesspool of corruption. The country never got past center. Too much obstruction from wingnuts at every turn. Obama knows and understands the constitution’s little nuances like equal rights for everyone-including Gays and Muslim Americans. Obama trusts women to handle their own bodies and reproductive systems without pervert wingnuts helping hands.
    How does it feel to vote for a racist, misogynist, narcissist, anti-Muslim moron who has no clue how government works?

  25. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 17:30

    @Gary You do have a large district. Door-to-door is key. The voters have to get to know you before they can trust you. I beat a Democrat incumbent when I first got in. I knocked on every door I could and asked every person I met for their vote and looked them in the eye and told them why they should vote for me. You are in a traditionally Democratic district, Julie Bartlings? You cant blame anything but your own campaign there. That last bit of nonsense? Happy to compare what I have done fighting for women’s choice and control over their reproductive rights. Birth control is widely available and not an issue with anyone I know of. After conception, its no longer about choice, “birth control” or “reproductive rights” as reproduction is in full gear and 99.9% have voluntarily engaged in the act designed for reproduction. There is no right to kill an innocent baby. Advocating for such barbarism earns the outright scorn of many, and the apathy of most. the way I look at it? If a candidate doesn’t have the wherewithal to defend the rights of an innocent baby? Why would I ever think they’d defend mine.

  26. Gary 2016-11-16 17:35

    @madman, thank you. I enjoyed it, but it is exhausting. One issue voters are the biggest hurdle to overcome. They don’t care where you stand on anything except their issue, and if you don’t support it 100% they will never vote for you.

    I can’t speak for fishing areas, we are blessed to have the Missouri River. I do know, however, that you have had issues in your area with landowners getting fishing areas removed. Maybe GF&P can put some of that licensing money to work and reestablish those fishing areas.

  27. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 17:38

    @Iowa Mike You are forgetting that Democrats controlled all of Congress and POTUS for 2 years during President Obama’s first two years. The USA all but became the USSA. Keep spewing your hateful bile and wondering why the voters reject it overwhelmingly in SD. How does it feel to have a life-long NY liberal, that you and every other liberal LOVED up to 3 years ago, repudiate everything you believe in and beat Hillary… Now, You go scurry off and find a nice cheese to go with that bitter whine.

  28. Gary 2016-11-16 17:50


    I am glad you’re always right, we need that in Pierre. So, I politely disagree with you, and respect your beliefs, but mine are nonsense?
    Let’s look at the facts. I can add citations if you’d like, but you’re a smart guy and Google is your friend.
    The right fought for years to prevent free and low-cost birth control. They are also talking about taking it away. They have fought and are still fighting to rove health and sex-ed classes from schools. The adoption system is a mess, and most “pro-lifers” are pro birth. As long as it’s born, they don’t care what happens afterward. The mom is on welfare because the dad is nowhere to be found? Shame on her! Let’s present a scenario. A 39-year-old woman gets pregnant. Those are High risk pregnancies. Under current laws if she had a miscarriage she could go to the doctor get checked out and be allowed to grieve. When you remove women’s Reproductive Rights, she becomes a criminal. Unless she can prove without a doubt that it was a miscarriage. All the while, she has to deal with losing a baby.

  29. mike from iowa 2016-11-16 18:10

    Nelson we’ve been through this before but in typical republican fashion you refuse to listen Dems had solid control for about four months only in Obama’s first two years with Franken not being seated due to recounts and Kennedy missing most of both years and not voting after March or April in his last year.(This is from memory. Don’t piss me off and make me look it all up all over again)

  30. mike from iowa 2016-11-16 18:15

    Drumpf is your animal,wingnut. It took every one of Drumpf’s lies, the FBI in collusion with Drumpf’s campaign, wikileaks and all kinds of assists from Russian intelligence interfering in our election, plus the fact that HRC will have 2 million more popular votes than the mangled apricot hellbeast- to get Drumpf where he is now. HRC didn’t lose. The election was stolen from her and the American people.

  31. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 18:29

    @Gary I offered you some friendly advice. Take it or leave it. On paper, you should’ve won the race. Blaming everything but yourself only ensure that the results will be repeated. In regards to abortion, no matter how many times somebody claims the killing an innocent unborn baby is a “reproductive” right? There will be someone like me not only pointing out how ridiculous of a statement that is, but doing their best to educate the public on what that barbaric evil act actually is. The killing of an unborn baby is the opposite of “reproduction.” Americans are tired of this give me give me mentality. If you can’t pay for you on birth control measures? Don’t expect me to. But who am I to lecture you? Because you Obviously have all the answers to win in a democratic district. Have a nice night.

  32. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 18:37

    Rep. Nelson or any state GOP elected official … What are the three laws written in Pierre, in the last 20 years, that you are most proud of? Not laws that stopped something from happening but laws that created things that helped the citizens.

  33. jerry 2016-11-16 18:43

    Nelson, here ya go. Put an end to abortion. You all should demand it. Been there before and it failed, all you guys do is keep getting the money from the dummies who pay your way so you can fight for the widdle bubba’s. Put a tent on this circus and move the hell on son.

    I keep hearing the same old dance. Guns for instance. Show me an American who does not support the Constitution…When you find them, tell them to that in order to be an American you should abide by the laws set in the Constitution with one of them being the 2nd. What a bunch of dummies to get caught up in that claptrap. Regarding abortion, that is up to the ding bats to either repeal it or shut the hell up about it. As an American, I support the law simple as that. I did not make that law or any other one of the laws. As an American, it is my duty as a citizen to support what the law is. Abortion folks should try and do the same or change the law. Good luck with getting that done as you have fallen on your arse’s before, because you really don’t want to change something that you can fool folks with.

  34. jerry 2016-11-16 18:47

    Medicare is going to be eliminated! Guess what Nelson wants you to talk about, everything but that. Nelson knows that by killing Medicare, he will fulfill the rights dreams of eliminating social programs that actually help people. As long as he has his, to hell with everyone else. Where are the democrats on this? Arguing over deck chairs after the sinking.

  35. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-16 18:59

    Stace Nelson,
    Campaign science in South Dakota is a farce, all that is required for a republican to win is putting an R after their name.
    And yes, President Obama did have a two year period when he controlled the House and Senate, but what republicans fail to realize is that in those two years President Obama was consumed by repairing the wreck republicans made of the economy and working diligently to provide healthcare to Americans.
    Stace’s continued war on women is tantamount to his president-elect grotesque comment about “grab ’em by the pu**y”.

  36. Gary 2016-11-16 19:15

    @Stace. I do appreciate the advice. Everyone has different ways to approach a campaign, some successful, some not. As far as districts go, ours is very heavily Republican. Billie and Julie run outstanding campaigns, but win because they are outstanding legislators.
    I’m not blaming anyone for anything. I did what I could with the time that I had to run a campaign. There’s always hindsight, and there’s always something that can be done differently.
    So, it’s not reproductive rights to give women a choice. I see. I also see that you were a Marine as well. Unless you were part of a different Corps, we are trained to kill a man with our bare hands. So, how can you be pro-life, all the while knowing that you have the training and the temperament to take a life with your bare hands? Using “innocent” is not valid, as either way, as you define it, it’s taking life.
    As for birth control, that’s a tired Republican excuse. “You must have the baby, after that, you’re on your own”. So, you would force women to have a child, but not hold the baby daddy accountable, provide financial assistance, or fix the joke of an adoption system that we have.
    It takes two for the process unless you’re Jesus. So, if you want to hold one person accountable, the father should be as well. He either pays child support, or he faces mandatory military service and ALL of his wages go to the mother. Before you say that it’s not fair, what about the mother? As for his wages, he gets free food, shelter, and clothing.
    So, instead of removing women’s rights, why not start by providing options?

  37. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-16 19:28

    How does a discussion of SDDP strategy revolve so much around the suggestions of a radical right-wing Republican? And why does a right-wing Republican take so much time to help us?

    Only on Dakota Free Press…. :-)

  38. jerry 2016-11-16 19:52

    As long as said radical right wing republican can keep everyone focused on his agenda, we all fail to see what his real agenda is. He could give a damn about anything other that killing Medicare for his big ol pockets. The idea has always been to kill Medicare since before it was born. Nelson is aborting a beautiful baby that is socially needed to keep the peace. A Baby Jesus of a law that was enacted to prevent our elderly and disabled from suffering starvation and worse. Yes, Nelson supports Abortion!! Call Nelson and tell him to save the baby called Medicare.

  39. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 19:52

    Maybe the best strategy is initiatives and referendums. The people spoke on IM22 and those who were getting paid off are livid. No way Dems in Pierre could have delivered such corruption reform.

  40. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-16 20:02

    Excellent point, when Nelson professes his outrage at “killing innocent babies” he apparently doesn’t consider that as a Marine he killed innocent people an outrage. So much for pro-life.

  41. Jana 2016-11-16 20:02

    It would be fun to see how liquor and food sales in Pierre spike during the legislative session. That shouldn’t be that hard to find if you knew who to ask.

    If legislators had to report how many drinks they had during the session and how many were bought by people seeking political favor, I’m wondering if they could remember.

  42. Darin Larson 2016-11-16 20:02

    People should not make knee-jerk, rash decisions in the immediate aftermath of catastrophe (unless your name is Trump). The party needs to analyze the causes and issues first and then reflect on the job performance of SDDP staff and what, if anything, could have been done differently. The first priority is to identify and learn from any mistakes that were made.

    Most of us don’t know enough about all the issues facing the SDDP, including resource limitations, to make an informed opinion about whether there are job performance issues. I think we all need to be more involved and take a role in making a better SDDP. It’s really on us to make SDDP more successful. I’m not sure having a strategy session on a public blog is how the Republicans would do it. :-)

    Wanting to change horses after a lost horse race might be a natural inclination, but you might just be giving up on a promising filly and bringing in an old nag. Maybe the strategy of the jockey is the problem or the work of the trainers. In other words, there are a lot of reasons for losses and some are within our control to change and some are not.

  43. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 20:03

    @Gary disagree with your assessment of heavily Republican, so do the registration numbers and your Democratic colleagues success. My family is originally from Lake Andes and I am proud to say I am related to Democratic Icon Red Allen.

    The choice ends at conception. If a person can’t afford birth control and don’t want a baby? Abstain. The rest of the nonsense you project on Republicans? My record shows it to be just that.

    You are correct, I am more apply called anti-abortion. 13 1/2 years in the Marines, I would have stayed till death but injuries ended my career. I did another 10 as a federal agent. 2 inches or 500 meters, I have no qualms about defending this nation, or this state (capitol punshment) from all threats foreign or domestic.

    @CAH Honest, candid advice. I take no pleasure in the Pavlovian reverse effect it elicited.

  44. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 20:04

    @CAH FYI, me and my ilk haven’t been “radical” since we rebelled against England or slavery.

  45. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-16 20:09

    Have any other commenters here on DFP noticed that every time Stace Nelson joins our conversation he is sure to mention his creds?

  46. jerry 2016-11-16 20:15

    Nelson is just another fraud that wants to keep social programs that help the elderly and disabled aborted. Nelson supports the abortion of Medicare and does not deny it.

  47. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 20:23

    Since Rep. Nelson has no laws the GOP in Pierre has passed (that didn’t restrict someone’s rights)that he or any other Republican is proud of, let’s assume they only pass laws that restrict someone’s rights, a vast majority of the time. They then aren’t really lawmakers at all. They’re social justice warriors. And since they’re elected overwhelmingly and continually, lets assume that the voters want Pierre filled with social justice warriors, willing to focus on stopping things in South Dakota they don’t like. Why then would Democrats, in an effort to make things better want to be part of such a group? When the voters reject you time after time, maybe it’s time to stop running for the legislature until the vast majority of people demand that you do so. Refusing to participate, until the people demand you do, is a statement in itself. Initiatives do the most good and it’s so entertaining to watch when the voters go against the Republican majority and big, red, heads explode with anger. I see on the red blog that IM22 is already going to be repealed.

  48. jerry 2016-11-16 20:24

    Mike Rounds wants to abort Medicare and Social Security “Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said he supported “active management” of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. “I think we should have specific committees responsible for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,” he told a TPM reporter.”

    Call his office and ask him what in the hell he is up to? Why does he want to end Medicare and Social Security?

  49. Stace Nelson 2016-11-16 20:28

    @Jerry How about you stop sticking your hands up my backside and trying to attribute your asinine positions on me? I reject all the crap you’ve been posting and claiming are my positions. Cite my floor speeches or official votes to back up your BS.

    This is the short sightedness of SD Democrats. They think that they can come on here and be nasty and as snide as they can be. Say the most obscene and ignorant things about the Republican electorate and then ask them to trust them and vote for Democratic candidates. What they forget is many Republicans read this blog and will share with their friends and say “look at how nasty the Democrats are.”

  50. jerry 2016-11-16 20:31

    If I reached up your backside it would be to pull your head out. We know that you support block grant Medicaid, correct Nelson?

    We do not know what your position is on Medicare and on Social Security though, Do your support Paul Ryan and what he is attempting to do with the privatization of both Medicare and Social Security? Yes or No son

  51. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-16 20:43

    I just returned from the Powers Dump Site where they are on full Red Alert over IM22. Poor babies have so many sob stories about what IM22 won’t let them get away with anymore.
    Dump Site Powers has six, yes six, posts on how bad IM22 is.
    Cory could probably do a single post on IM22’s implication and accomplish more than Powers’ six posts.

  52. jerry 2016-11-16 20:49

    Yes or no is really difficult on something as important as Medicare and Social Security. Run that through a focus group in your club.

  53. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 20:58

    I know, right Roger? Cory is a statesman. Powers is not a statesman. And, when Repubs have been beat by the voters Nelson always appears with lies about babies being killed. Hey, Jar. It’s against the law to kill a baby. If babies were being killed , the killers would be arrested. It’s not a baby until it’s born and God blesses him or her with a soul. We all know you were raised by women and it left you with some subconscious control issues that have manifested into believing you need to tell women what to do. We get it. It’s you who doesn’t, caveman.

  54. Gary 2016-11-16 20:58


    I love this Republican rhetoric.

    “The choice ends at conception. If a person can’t afford birth control and don’t want a baby? Abstain. The rest of the nonsense you project on Republicans? My record shows it to be just that.”

    Yes Stace, because it’s always the same scenario and people are always in control of their emotions. OH, and yes, that woman that was raped? Apparently her fault. Medical problems? Her fault. Your response is just as tired the Republicans that say they don’t want large government but consistently create legislation to govern citizens’ day-to-day lives.

    If you are anti-abortion, use your position and influence to create preventative measures and support for those women that are terrified of their situation instead of blaming them.

    @Roger, I have been enjoying that! He’s already elected, but must still be in campaign mode.
    @Jerry, good point!

  55. MOSES6 2016-11-16 20:59

    Just give the party up no one run and let them have it.It will save me money not having to give money to my friends.

  56. jerry 2016-11-16 21:01

    I hope they do share how nasty Democrats are in protecting Medicare and Social Security benefits Nelson. I hope that republicans who read this unite with democrats to really get nasty about the defense of Medicare and Social Security programs, they are that important.

  57. Jana 2016-11-16 21:02

    Roger, I agree. The old boys network is very afraid of transparency. Have your parties boys, just tell us how much you are spending to influence legislators and the laws that affect everyone.

    Why is transparency so hard for these guys? Suck it up buttercup! The people have spoken.

  58. Gary 2016-11-16 21:03

    @Porter Lansing, women are scary! Giving them a voice or a choice is scary!

    @moses6 Don’t give up! If want you donating because you believe in their cause and campaign, you are doing the right thing!

  59. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 21:29

    Hi, Moses. Good to talk to you, again. At least abandon the part of the SDDP that trys to elect candidates that don’t reflect what the people want. The people will change and SDDP will be there when they need their wishes taken to Pierre. Elections reflect the thoughts of the voters. Elections don’t change the thoughts of the voters. SDDP is about helping the citizens. There are hundreds of ways to do that.

  60. Roger Cornelius 2016-11-16 21:45

    Don’t you love how Stace Nelson chastises Democrats, particularly those on DFP, for being nasty and saying bad things.
    What Stace fails to mention is that he helped elect one of the NASTIEST candidates in the history of the United States to the presidency.

  61. grudznick 2016-11-16 21:51

    I, for one, don’t think very many Democrats at all on the blogging site here are nasty and only a very few say bad things, and my friend Mr. C is usually one of the most civil fellows.

    I, for one, didn’t help to elect Mr. Trump either.

    I think Mr. Nelson should speak at one of the breakfast gatherings some time and entertain many of us.

  62. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 21:54

    He’s your HUCKLEBERRY (a blue dog). ? But he’s also off the topic of party rebuilding suggestions.

  63. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 21:58

    Do you think an elected official would speak to a group of you old “gravy taters” unless you paid for his breakfast ?

  64. leslie 2016-11-16 21:59

    skipping ahead, I think we need a medical industry professional that can help us beat daugaard with he and pence’s decision to give up on Medicaid expansion. dems must fight to the bitter end on this issue.

  65. leslie 2016-11-16 22:10

    stace, if republicans in general knew what the facts were, this may make sense: “What they forget is many Republicans read this blog and will share with their friends and say “look at how nasty the Democrats are.”

    i.e. climate change, Benghazi, emails….

  66. grudznick 2016-11-16 22:12

    Mr. Lansing, we always pass the hat and pay for our guests breakfasts. I, for one, often allow my own hat to be used.

  67. jerry 2016-11-16 22:20

    First thing to do leslie, is start calling these legislators in South Dakota to get their position on these issues. All of them, not just republicans but the democrats also. Tell them to put that in the agenda during session to go on record that they do not support the dismantling of Medicare and Social Security. Also, to admit their recovery mechanism for block grant Medicaid when it comes up short of the mark, how will they get the amounts needed to fund demand. Full disclosure on what the property owners will be on the hook for regarding property taxes. If we are gonna talk about it, lets talk with those who make the call.

  68. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 22:23

    No more gifts to politicians, Grudzy. They now have to want to be there and have to be interested in talking with to you. Republicans (like Schoenbeck) are saying this “no gifts” clause will keep politicians from attending meetings to learn how to help their constituents. Just because you don’t get a free meal or get to give a free meal the duties of a public servant grind to a halt? C’mon, man!! ??

  69. jerry 2016-11-16 22:28

    It is clear that you need not call Nelson, because cannot answer the simple yes or no questions. I am sure that the others would love a try at it though. Going on record for something as life changing as killing Medicare and Social Security, would be important for them to answer.

  70. grudznick 2016-11-16 22:33

    I am surprised by how many of these meals are over $100. Some of them are breakfasts. Those are some pretty fancy breakfasts.

  71. Porter Lansing 2016-11-16 22:44

    If a judge is deciding your case, you can’t even give them a bologna sandwich and they can have you arrested just for trying. If a legislator is deciding a multi-million dollars decision involving your business, they shouldn’t even be able to get a free bag of those good Codington County potato chips. It’s just respect for your elected status.

  72. Chip 2016-11-16 22:53

    Unfortunately South Dakota is a very red state. That wont change any time soon. However, as much as Stace would like to rub your noses in s—, he’s forgetting that referendums and initiated don’t go his way nearly so often. And all this BS about Dems hateful rhetoric?? Give me a break…. So I would take his comments with a grain of salt. Or maybe a block.

    Dems will need help nationally to turn a few more seats blue in the legislature. I have to say, it’s pretty embarrassing that blue collar America went against you. Look at the bigger picture though. Who won in Washington in the last couple years? Who has gotten all the attention? Gay marriage, BLM, Islamophobia, who’s been rooting for blue collar America? Nobody. They’ve been swept under the rug. Until Donald Trump came along. As I’ve said before. You can’t just concentrate on the fringe and not expect everyday Americans to feel unaccounted for.

    Let Stace strut around like he actually won something, and get to work showing blue collar America who really has their backs.

  73. Chip 2016-11-16 22:55

    Unfortunately South Dakota is a very red state. That wont change any time soon. However, as much as Stace would like to rub your noses in shiit, she’s forgetting that referendums and initiated measures don’t go her way nearly so often. And all this BS about Dems hateful rhetoric?? Give me a break…. So I would take her comments with a grain of salt. Or maybe a block.

    Dems will need help nationally to turn a few more seats blue in the legislature. I have to say, it’s pretty embarrassing that blue collar America went against you. Look at the bigger picture though. Who won in Washington in the last couple years? Who has gotten all the attention? Gay marriage, BLM, Islamophobia, who’s been rooting for blue collar America? Nobody. They’ve been swept under the rug. Until Donald Trump came along. As I’ve said before. You can’t just concentrate on the fringe and not expect everyday Americans to feel unaccounted for.

    Let Stace strut around like she actually won something, and get to work showing blue collar America who really has their backs.

  74. Don Coyote 2016-11-16 23:19

    Yikes! What a bunch of drama queens. On a lighter note gun manufacturer stocks are tanking after Trump’s election and pharmaceutical companies that manufacture Prozac are experiencing soaring stock prices. Dayum!

  75. leslie 2016-11-16 23:27

    Thx jerry. Dem Billy Sutton did a good summary today of criticisms of daugaards failure to govern regarding Medicaid expansion, on the republican SDPB.

  76. Neal 2016-11-17 00:21

    The Dems are ruined for more than one reason, and there’s no reason for hope so long as their strongest candidates (Herseth and Brendan Johnson) are riding the bench. Until then, you might as well all register as Republicans. You’ll be a thousand times more effective that way.

  77. Porter Lansing 2016-11-17 01:27

    As usual, you’re just pulling things out of your “whatever” Coyote. And you using the nickname from my college is deplorable. Gun stocks aren’t falling. For years gun huggers like you bought guns to protect yourself from our great government. Now, liberals like me are buying guns to protect ourselves from gun huggers like you. Stopping Bigotry One Mag At A Time!!

  78. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 05:35

    Thank you for those words of encouragement, Neal.

    As you may deduce from how I spend my Sunday mornings, I don’t believe in waiting around for any one savior. In politics, we are saved by works, not grace.

  79. Lynn Ryan 2016-11-17 07:23

    I would think number one on the agenda is financial support so the candidates can become known more than 3 months before the date of the election. I couldn’t see that the SDDP did anything to support Hawks and Williams. And I sent a message after the election saying so. If money is the issue, then fundraising becomes the number 1 goal.

  80. jerry 2016-11-17 07:41

    @ Lynn Ryan, Why I think that most of the South Dakota Democratic Party officials must go is that they did not seem to put any kind of pressure on Clinton for money here. Clinton raised hell with Bernie about supporting the down ticket with money for races and then what? I must have missed it, but exactly how much money did the Clinton campaign dole out to the South Dakota Democratic Party for candidates running for office? Cory and others have noted that Clara Hart got $76,000.00, more or less, from Bernie Sanders, what about the promised money from Clinton?

  81. o 2016-11-17 08:39

    I notice much of the discussion of what Democrats need to do to win races includes things that Republicans do not need to do to win races. South Dakota is a Republican state; its voters default to Republican in spite of who is running on either side; I would even say that a good number of SD voters voted for people they could not name, but voted solely on the basis of party affiliation (a phenomenon not unique to Republicans).

    The Republican party has a clear brand: they are the party that is pro-life. That is the most common reason for party affiliation I hear (again, a personal observation that others may disagree with or disprove). That single issue as not the largest issue to support Republicans, but the ENTIRE reason to support Republicans exclusively means wins at the ballot box.

    This frustrates me for three reasons: 1) pro-life Democrats or Independents do not seem to get this auto-vote allegiance, 2) it gives free reign to elected pro-life leaders to do things that I believe these same voters would reject if the representative were not under the safety umbrella of pro-choice, and 3) the GOP has not delivered on that pro-live agenda.

    Of course I talk in sweeping generalizations, but I think that is the real problem in partisan politics: it is always about the sweeping generalizations when we discuss party systems.

  82. Douglas Wiken 2016-11-17 12:35

    Pro-choice is pro-privacy. Why GOP retrogrades want to have their noses in women’s private parts is a mystery to me when they claim they support the constitution. “Ammo-sexuals” becomes appropriate.

    Also the GOP retrogrades have no respect for language and pervert it at every partisan opportunity. They are “pro-life” only for fetuses, but run on making real life more miserable in multiple ways to support their rich supporters. Trump was the master fooler of voters and the master baiter of the press. He skillfully employed nearly every trick of Republican bottom-feeding scum campaigners.

  83. Jenny 2016-11-17 13:00

    Republicans think abortion would go away if Roe v Wade was overturned. Nah, as a matter of fact, abortions would probably increase and mothers will die. It would become a huge underground business.

  84. mike from iowa 2016-11-17 13:00

    Wiken-stop holding yourself in and let us know what you really think.

  85. jerry 2016-11-17 13:02

    o, the whole thing is packaged wrong and Democrats fall for the stupid each time. Instead of “pro-life” It should be “pro-constitution” or “pro-law”. The law is very clear on how the decision was made after much debate. As it is the law, it should be seen as such. You ain’t gonna change it, so you are pro law. Simple stuff to stay the course with. Don’t take the bait.

    Guns, Democrats get so far out in the boondocks that they get lost. I am pro 2nd Amendment. What is so hard to say about that? It is in the Constitution, to say you are against it, can be seen as being against the Constitution. You cannot be against the Constitution while seeking a job defending it, duh. As a citizen, understanding the laws, you support whatever the laws say, then move on. I am also pro 1st Amendment and and all of those that are now on the books as law. You might add that you really support the 13th, 14th and 15th, that will set the table for further discussion. I defended Williams and that blanket statement about his opinion of magazine containers, because that was his opinion. Sometimes your opinion can get your butt kicked, keep that in mind. We are a nation of law, we must uphold the laws or we have nothing.

  86. Laurisa 2016-11-17 13:25

    Jenny, that’s quite true. In fact, if you research abortion rates prior to Roe v. Wade, you’ll see that they were much, much higher than you’d think. The difference is that women aren’t suffering and bleeding to death in hotel rooms, in seedy, unlicensed and unsanitary hidden “clinics” and in their own homes. Or in hospitals. Talk to doctors about their experiences with it and it’ll be an eye-opener. My grandmother personally knew one young woman who died and two others badly harmed physically. But we’re just women, so I guess that doesn’t really matter.

    If Republicans were truly “pro-life”, they’d properly fund education and human services and health care and not fight so hard against every single piece of legislation that would actually help people. And they’d join the fight to save Medicare, which their party will be coming after like a freight train come this January; the state’s medical establishment is very concerned about that because they rely on it for a large share of their income, and a large share of the population relies on it, and social security, as well.

  87. bearcreekbat 2016-11-17 13:55

    Jerry’s point is a good one – People who advocate following the law and respecting a woman’s settled Constitutional right of privacy might be better served with the terms “pro-constitution” or “pro-law” in place of (or in addition to) pro-choice.

    The problem with “pro-choice” is that it seems to suggest there is a current “pro-life” legal alternative. The real conflict seems to be between the “pro-constitutional right” group and the “pro-take away a constitutional right” group.

  88. mike from iowa 2016-11-17 14:04

    Pro-life is pro discrimination against women. Pro-life gives rights to clusters of cells that are totally dependent on a host to survive for nearly 6 of the 9 months gestation. These parasites have more rights than the hosts that are forced to carry them to term, No where in the constitution does it say wingnuts are allowed to comandeer a woman’s body and force her to bear unwanted children.

  89. John W. 2016-11-17 14:38

    I’m in partial agreement with Stace- surprisingly, but the one thing I will argue with is the abortion issue. After spending almost 40 years in government- dominated mostly by republican aristocracy, the message “you can’t legislate morality” is finally starting to soak in. Regardless of one’s beliefs and passions about killing the unborn, there can not be any political or legislative fix. Politicians who campaign on the abortion issue on either side are disingenuous with their inferences and use them as an election tool and platform cement rather than any realistic advocacy. Anti-abortion proponents can promise to do everything in their power to pass legislation to make abortion unlawful in an effort to satisfy the moral outrage of the middle and right; but nothing of any lasting or purposed substance is going to remain on the books until SCOTUS reverses Roe v. Wade. And even when that eventually happens, making abortion unlawful is not going to make the practice disappear from our culture as the pundits speculate. It isn’t going to happen but what making abortion unlawful will do is make proponents feel good and morally superior to those women confronted with life choices that no longer have the support network that has arisen out of the abortion fight. We solve nothing but educate the underground and drive it to more innovate and covert practice. As an example- We passed RICO in order to rid our society of organized crime. Did it do as expected. No it didn’t. It just made it more divisive and more difficult to enforce and diverse in nature and distribution. visa-vi the motorcycle 1%ers, big city gang culture and so on add nauseum.

  90. bearcreekbat 2016-11-17 15:06

    Indeed, “No where in the constitution does it say wingnuts are allowed to comandeer a woman’s body and force her to bear unwanted children.” Instead, the SCOTUS has repeatedly ruled to the contrary, holding that our Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee each woman a right of privacy from governmental interference with her decision whether or not to procreate.

    Each of us has the right to seek and advocate for amendments to the Constitution, including amendments that take away our own, or other people’s, personal freedoms, or amendments that elevate one group over another. But until our population agrees with such amendments our public officials are required by law to swear an oath to uphold that Constitution. If they cannot do that in good faith they should stay out of public office and remain in private life where they have the legal right to disrespect any Constitutional provision or interpretation they disagree with.

    Politicians who pass laws they know are contrary to the current interpretation of the Constitution violate their oath of office and disrespect our entire system of government. While some individuals believe their own personal interpretation of the Constitution trumps the law, Democrats should argue loudly to the contrary and proclaim the monikers -“pro-Constitution party” or “pro law and order party.”

    Indeed, such descriptive monikers terms go well beyond “pro-choice” as they encompass all aspects of our current Constitution. And as Jerry points out, there is no language in the Constitution, the Amendments, nor interpretations by the SCOTUS, that allow our government officials to deprive women of the right to decide whether to procreate or carry a pregnancy to term.

  91. mike from iowa 2016-11-17 15:50

    Well said, bcb,Jerry and John W.

  92. jerry 2016-11-17 16:34

    The only issue is pro law. Always always that. We cannot drift from the facts of a democracy based on the rule of law. Simple stuff. Stay out of the weeds and go with that.

  93. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 16:57

    Madman, your guns are of no concern to me. Your individual liberties, and making sure those liberties are equal to the liberties of every other South Dakotan, regardless of sex, race, creed, or other personal quality, is of utmost concern to me.

  94. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 17:06

    Roger’s call for nasty campaigning should alarm me… but I can see his point. When Tim Johnson likened some Republicans to the Taliban and Republicans freaked out, Johnson apologized. I won’t apologize for calling our President-Elect a fascist and pointing out the parallels between his style and policies and those of Mussolini and Hitler. We should not apologize for pointing out when legislators like Al Novstrup lie about the discriminatory and bigoted intent of bills they vote for. We should not apologize for refusing to yield to the Republican narrative.

  95. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 17:09

    Gary’s experience on the campaign trail with Trumpist emotion overriding local realities mirrors mine. But if that’s how the electorate is going to roll, is there any way for a conscientious Democrat to break through?

  96. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 17:12

    Darin, I agree that a public blog post may not be the optimal place for hammering out all the details of internal party strategy and staffing. ;-)

    That said, given that others have launched the question of party leadership into the press, I feel it’s worth urging a general position that anyone working on reforming any organization should focus on identifying necessary actions first, before turning to the question of who should carry out those actions.

  97. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 17:17

    Clear brand… clear brand…. I’m rolling O’s phrase about in my head and wondering: what is our brand? What do South Dakota Democrats stand for, other than standing against Republicans? What one word can we use, as O says Republicans use “pro-life”, to clearly delineate ourselves and inspire a big cadre of single-issue voters to check our box and be done? Pro-privacy? Pro-constitution? Pro-people? Pro-democracy?

  98. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 17:18

    Jerry, can we adapt President Obama’s line: “If you like your gun, you can keep it”?

  99. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-17 17:21

    John W, note, the only reason I bring up abortion in a campaign is because Republicans keep bringing it up to convince their base that it’s the only issue that matters, forcing me to try convincing them that it’s not.

  100. jerry 2016-11-17 17:59

    Yes, embrace the law, love the 2nd and go on record for doing so. It was so important that it is an actual Amendment for our standards of laws to be governed with. When you hear NRA, you say those initials only mean Not Really Anything as you are a law abiding citizen of the United States and do not need to pay a fee to be able to declare your citizenship as a follower of all the laws within. “If you like your gun, you can keep it” Damn straight, that is a winner. Democrats here is your way forward. Think what you will. Remember, your president elect Trump will not allow guns on his properties. Voters, here is your V. It brings all together.

  101. jerry 2016-11-17 20:59

    Also, why bother to vote for Democrats if they follow the same path as Republicans. Here is how jobs are lost here and will never come back, with Democrats blessings in the case of so many things. Wall Street has now taken over friends, the only thing that may save us will be what? Can’t go on strike because we don’t make anything here any more other than waste.

  102. jerry 2016-11-17 21:11

    We all should be asking how in the hell the Russian Government managed to take over the government completely by throwing an election process. Clapper has resigned folks, the head of National Security has stepped down.

  103. jerry 2016-11-17 22:08

    Democrats should have gotten on the medical marijuana band wagon as well. Take a look at the amount of drugs we take here by prescription. Many of these would be unnecessary if medical marijuana was available. Those millions and millions are prescribed that you have to go see the doctor to get. So yeah, a shake up is kind of necessary else we stay the same with the same results. What will happen when Medicaid is block granted? How about vouchers for Medicare and the take over of Social Security?

  104. jerry 2016-11-17 22:40

    Democrats, nothing to see here either. This is November 2016 and the gang has this ready to screw us all in 2017. Got any ideas?? You all do not have time to keep on keeping on, ya gotta make a move folks. They are literally going to gut Medicare. The same Medicare that has protected our elderly and disabled.

    “Medicare was created in 1965 when people over 65 found it virtually impossible to get private health insurance coverage. Medicare has made access to health care a universal right for Americans once they reach age 65. This has helped improve the health and longevity of older Americans.”

    Maybe we just do not care anymore. Maybe it will not be to bad for the elderly, after all, they are dying each day anyway from just gettin old. You know in 1965, you were only expected to live 66 years and now 78.8. So it is clear that we cannot allow the old to get any older (me too). Instead of just starving us to death, why not give us suicide as an alternative. Pay for the services and a couple of 2 to 3 day old flowers, hire a post hole digger and that will be that. That would be the humane thing to do, but no, sadists want to punish and torture.

  105. o 2016-11-17 23:01

    Cory, decades of election results show that there is no competitive alternative to “pro-life” that sways those single issue voters. The evidence is empirical, massive, and incontrovertible. “Pro-life” also need not be fully pro-life; it need only be anti-abortion.

    The only veto of pro-life legislation that I am aware of in SD was by a Republican governor. He still gets to be “pro-life” and reap the electorate rewards of that label.

    Back to the original question, it is not a dearth of good people running as Democrats, it is not an obvious superiority in the quality of the GOP candidates; it is not a lack of work, or inferior understanding of issues, or a lesser concern for the health and well-being of constituents. It is all about political labels.

    Political parties must end.

  106. Robert McTaggart 2016-11-18 10:06

    “Political parties must end.”

    So much for a Nuclear Power Party ;^). It never reached critical mass…..

    Republicans have elected two actors (Reagan, Trump), so that is something that the Democrats will have to contemplate given the new media landscape. Then rely on a strong bench to execute sound policies.

    There is also too much dessert-first politics today and not enough meat, potatoes, and veggies. Solve people’s problems first and then have dessert, not the other way around.

  107. Douglas Wiken 2016-11-18 11:40

    Did not reach the critical masses either.

    A lawyer in Winner years ago made a point about critical mass and the internet. He said that in this small community there may only be one or two people informed or interested in serious issues and never reaches a critical mass for anything. The internet however may have hundreds or thousands of people interested in an issue and there may be a critical mass for actually getting something done.

    Despite that, I think the influence of the internet, Facebook, etc. on SD politics was rather exaggerated in the hopes of some Democratic candidates. Interesting too is the recent discussion of totally fake news turning up. Some Macedonians churned out hundreds of pro-Trump Facebook and other posts that were all fake news, but they fit the prejudices of Trump supporters only interested in news that favored Trump.

  108. leslie 2016-11-18 18:51

    I’ve wondered why so many dems, including even Obama, were fooled by the outcome of the election. In 2015 Bloomberg columnist Joshua Green exposed Steve Bannon as the pissed off drunken head and chief cheerleader for sara palin, at Breitbart news.

    His goal then:

    In 2012 he became founding chairman of Government Accountability Institute (GAI, a nonpartisan 501(c)(3 staffed with lawyers, data scientists, and forensic investigators. “What Peter (GAI president) and I noticed is that it’s facts, not rumors, that resonate with the best investigative reporters,” Bannon says.

    “facts not rumors”. “Government Accountability Institute”. right

    Republicans have created their own “non-facts” a standard operating procedure, just hidden behind the curtain,for decades now and we are seeing Facebook and others profligate “fake news”.

    That’s how they won this election. Republican election fraud is replete since Jimmy Carter was defeated. Since 1981 at least. It is one long story from then until Bernie took his turn and Hillary failed to produce.

    On Jan 09, 2009, Republican Leader of the House for a moment, Kevin McCarthy and senate cronys conspired to obstruct Obama, to the words of Limbaugh’s infamous “I hope he fails”. Before that, Gore’s election was taken away by Scalia’s Supreme Court (I know, Roberts was chief) and of course Bush Jr. and Cheney destroyed Iraq looking for nukes. Before that the house voted to impeach Clinton for semen stains on the blue dress. The senate did not. Before that Bush Sr. took out Iraq the first time with Wyoming cowboy Cheney. California republicans elected governor/actor Schwarzenegger. Minnesota republicans elected governor/fake wrestler Ventura Before that republicans elected actor/governor Reagan.

    Bob Woodward reported in the Washington Post that three Reagan campaign aides met in a Washington DC hotel in early October, 1980, with a self-described “Iranian exile” who offered, on behalf of the Iranian government, to release the hostages to Reagan, not Carter, in order to ensure Carter’s defeat in the November 4, 1980 election.

    This year Thune signed a letter with 47 lawmakers to disavow the Iran nuke deal Obama had Kerry negotiate. Same pattern.

    Prior to their televised debate Reagan had prepared himself by examining a stolen copy of Carter’s briefing materials.

    Surveys still found the election too close to call. Reagan’s pre-election top pollster, Richard Wirthlin, predicted that a pre-election hostage release would boost Carter at least 5 or 6 percent in the polls, and as much as 10 percent—giving him a sure victory—if the release came before the campaign’s final week…But in the campaign’s closing weeks, the mood of high anxiety suddenly changed…’We don’t have to worry about an October surprise’ a jubilant staffer at the campaign’s operations center (told Honegger). ‘Dick’s cut a deal.'” See generally,

    Bannon fooled us, DEMOCRATS and PROGRESSIVES using the New York times. Are you listening? “If you were trying to create doubt and qualms about [Hillary Clinton] among progressives, the Times is the place to do it.” He pauses. “Looking at it from their point of view, the Times is the perfect host body for the virus.” “What you realize hanging out with investigative reporters is that, while they may be personally liberal, they don’t let that get in the way of a good story,” he says. “We’ve got the 15 best investigative reporters at the 15 best newspapers in the country all chasing after Hillary Clinton.”

    We dems and progressives are such dupes. more to follow.

  109. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-11-19 13:36

    O, can we really win elections without parties organizing, recruiting, fundraising, and campaigning for candidates? Can any candidate win without some sort of organization?

  110. Leo 2016-11-20 20:13

    So did DEMs go soft, and Tornberg still reigns? What was the result of your “listening tour” Billie Sutton? Anyone ask for an audit of the SDDP after June 7th…you know, when the “Paid for by the Hillary Victory Fund” started appearing on all the mailers? How many DEM candidates received such funds….and which ones?

  111. Leo 2016-11-20 21:29

    Echo…Echo…Echo Chamber!

  112. jerry 2016-11-20 21:33

    Does seem like a legitimate question Leo. Indeed, where did the money go or was there any bequeathed as squawked about.

  113. Leo 2016-11-20 21:44

    Yes, Jerry. Right now DEM POTUS is allowing DAPL goons to water cannon Water Protectors in subzero temperatures. Yes. The Democratic Party at all levels needs a shake up! Paula Hawks and Frank Kloucek have my support because I think they have the right compass!

  114. jerry 2016-11-20 21:59

    Okay Leo, without funds, how do you propose to make any differences than removing all levels? I looked at that part and do not see any change that could be of use without the funds to carry out the fundamental mission of outreach. I like your idea of making the demand on what happened to the down ticket money that was blathered about in the primary with Sanders, that makes perfect sense. If it did not come into the state party, then the question to leadership should be, why not?
    Regarding now DEM POTUS, you cannot be sure of what is going on anymore than the rest of us. One thing is for certain, when folks like Mr. Wiken are asking citizens and mayors down river why they are not up in arms about this, perhaps change will come. The water supply in that river is not infinite with little snowfall now in the high country to date. As the river subsides, more and more will look at it as what it is, life. I am sorry for the protectors and have great respect for them as this progresses, but do not loose the hope and faith that something good will come from all of this. I do not know what, but like you, we must be steadfast in complete support of what they are working on to save.

  115. Leo 2016-11-27 22:48

    @Chip, How do you come to the conclusion that gay, black and Muslim people are not part of the working class?

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