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Democrats: Do It All… and Do It Yourself!

Sheldon Osborn, organizer of Drinking Liberally Sioux Falls, appreciates the discussion you commenters generated from the South Dacola report on last Saturday’s South Dakota Democratic Party meeting and the reported $100,000 surplus in the SDDP’s checking account. To spend that money, we proposed (among other things) field offices, weekly newspaper columns, assistance to other state parties, pushing ballot measures, better messaging with less passive voice, and targeted voter registration and Get Out the Vote. Osborn says we’re all right:

Upon reflection, I think all of the commenters are right. Everyone’s ideas are good and they all should be done. The important thing is the “doing”. There is no magic bullet. The Democratic Party needs people to roll up their sleeves and get involved. It needs people who are willing to lead by doing the hard work of listening to and understanding the needs and desires of the everyday citizens of our state. And it needs a Party that sees itself as a bottom up not a top-down organization. One willing and able to harness the energy and the desire to participate that obviously exists in the grassroots. I say do it all [Sheldon Osborn, blog post, Drinking Liberally Sioux Falls, 2016.12.16].

Alas, just as I started reading Osborn’s entry, an eager reader chimes in to say she was at the SDDP executive board meeting last weekend and says there is no $100,000 surplus. The reader says whatever we do, the SDDP needs more people to do it: “Seems to me we have a lot of complainers and not enough doers. Everyone seems know what we should do to be successful, but when it comes time to take action those same people are awfully busy.”

Want a Democratic voice in your local paper? Write it yourself… or tell your local editor to reprint the best of Dakota Free Press. Want to register Democratic voters? Get four friends and a stack of registration forms and register voters.

Do it all. Do something. Do it yourself.


  1. Hank 2016-12-16 14:55

    Meatloaf. This is a story that a long time Republican Senator, long since retired, told me. He said you can put all the Republican legislators in one room and all the Democrat legislators in another and tell them to agree on a recipe for Meatloaf. The Republicans will argue and complain, but eventually come out of the room with the one recipe and call it a job well done. The Democrats will argue and complain and come out with 25 meatloaf recipes and say they did a better job. That’s it, that is the entire story. I think it fits well, get to your roots, agree on something,
    win a few and keep building. Flock shooting has done nothing to get us a 2 party system in South Dakota.

  2. Rorschach 2016-12-16 17:04

    The party can ask too much of too few people for only so long before the doers get burned out. Building the party and the voter rolls will take boots on the ground, and a lot of us have families and bills to pay. Boots on the ground should not be viewed as squeezing the volunteers till they break. It will take money. Time and money.

    Cory does a lot. Let’s take time to thank him. Thanks for all you do, Cory! You do for free what PP gets paid to do – and you do it better.

  3. Rorschach 2016-12-16 17:08

    Those people out there who want to be elected to a big office some day – you know who you are – better offer up some significant time and money. I can think of at least one who has, and one I’m not so sure about.

  4. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 17:39

    Right, Hank. Never have I lived anywhere with the level of complaining and negativity as SoDak Democrats. I’ve often said it comes from the overwhelming number of people with German/American heritage, who just won’t allow themselves to be happy. It seems the Dems derive enjoyment from denying themselves enjoyment and it makes losing election after election somehow fulfilling to their negative predictions and thus makes them a winner, even when they lose.

  5. Mark Winegar 2016-12-16 18:11

    Cory is right again! If you think something needs to get done then do it. “Be the change you want to see.”

  6. Leo 2016-12-16 18:17

    Heidelberger, you happy?

  7. Leo 2016-12-16 18:24

    Porter, you sure it isn’t the Norwegians, Swedes and Finns’ fault? You are a great unifier of Democrats!

  8. jerry 2016-12-16 18:40

    The meatloaf recipe that the republicans agree on is how much of a portion they get personally. The 25 meatloaf dishes the democrats agree on is more portions for everyone. Yep, there is a difference. So as you say, agree to something and then get started. My vote is for the blog guy here to write the weekly standard for the papers. My second choice would be the drinking liberally guy as I think that anyone who can do that and write a column, has proven they can multitask. Now, lets get started.

  9. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 18:41

    There aren’t enough Norwegians, Swedes and Finns’ combined to make a statistical difference in South Dakota, even if most German Americans claim to be Scandinavian even if they have just a bit. German Americans make up 44.5% of the state (second highest in USA, next to North Dakota) and all Scandinavian countries combined make up only 21.5% of SoDak citizen’s heritage. South Dakota is the way it is because of the German American heritage of it’s voters. Traits include stubbornness, traditionalism and cheapness.

  10. Leo 2016-12-16 18:46

    Porter, if someone hasn’t hacked your account, please stop it! You are not helping.

  11. grudznick 2016-12-16 18:56

    Mr. Lansing’s frequent ethnic slurs aside, I am a big fan of this meatloaf concept and of meatloaf in general. If Mr. H could get a gig writing articles for the media papers that would be a very good thing indeed. I know he already works for a radio show in Sioux Falls but if he could also get on with a radio show in Rapid City that would be really swell too. Or do one of those pod castings but not one you have to pay for or nobody would listen.

  12. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 18:58

    Something needs to be done and if you think I’m criticizing you personally Leo, the you’re the problem. These German Americans are the SoDak Republican Party. First step is to identify your opponent, find their weaknesses and work in a guerilla method … because we’re such a minority.

  13. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 19:01

    Slurring German American Republicans like Schoenbeck, Deutsch and Princess Grudznick? Line ’em up. I’ll knock ’em down like bowling pins on a Friday night in Milwaukee.

  14. Leo 2016-12-16 19:46

    Porter: Friends and allies are never truly developed merely along ethnic heritage as you suggest, but rather along the acknowledgment of universal human decency. You insult my friends and neighbors, so please GFY!

  15. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 19:55

    I’m insulting no one by showing who they really are and why they act the way they do. Only if you’re ashamed or embarrassed by the truth, would it describe an insult. Do you want to sweep this under the giant rug of SoDak embarrassment, too. Denying your heritage is an insult. A personal insult to yourself, Leo. What does GFY mean? Isn’t it hard to dance with that stick up your rear?

  16. Leo 2016-12-16 20:02

    Porter, Bless Your Heart.

  17. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 20:06

    Lee, when you post on Power’s blog you use your real, full name. Why not here? hehe

  18. Lee Schoenbeck 2016-12-16 20:17

    Just reading the interesting discussion. I don’t know porter lansing and nobody I know in South Dakota has told me they know him. He’s obviously a real something. Anyway, mr whatever Lansing, from wherever, I never post except under my own name. You all have a good day. Interesting discussion

  19. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 20:22

    But, you just happened to be reading? I’m glad nobody you know in Watertown knows me. It’s about you, Leo … not me.

  20. grudznick 2016-12-16 20:24

    Mr. Lansing, I am an American, and I have no German ancestry. You may continue to claim that I do and that it somehow affects how I think for vote, but you will just be continuing to make things up. That does amuse me, so you may continue.

  21. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 20:45

    You do, Princess. Your mama just never told you the truth. ?

  22. grudznick 2016-12-16 20:49

    Those heinous Germans!!!!! No wonder they run the world!

  23. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 21:10

    It’s Easy. Easy to tell when advice and explanation about how to chip away at SoDak Republicans is on point. They come out of the woodwork, with their phony names, to tell you you’re wrong and that they know how to grow our party. Taking advice from Jones, Nelson, Schoenbeck, Deutsch, Powers, Ms. Grudz, Hickey etc. is foolish. If they criticize you, it means you’re on the right road to ending one party government. (I do it so often that I can recognize who’s posting no matter what nickname they use. You can’t change the words you use and how you arrange them.) Keep up the good work, Dems. We’re getting their goat. …………. ?

  24. Porter Lansing 2016-12-16 21:18

    Princess … Germans in Germany are great people. Watch “Who Do We Invade, Next”. If you research you’ll find that a large group of poor Germans moved to the steppes of Russia for free land. After a few generations , the Russian government stopped honoring the promises made to these German/Russians and they moved as a group to the Dakota’s. You still see remnants in the Hutterite and Mennonite colonies. Most just started their own farms and towns.

  25. Leo 2016-12-16 22:53

    Back to the article content. Do it yourself. That is what we have been doing with little help from SDDP and many obstacles, so this suggestion is nothing new. SDDP under current leadership is not needed. Under current leadership SDDP does not represent FDR or McGovern principles, they represent Clintonian principles which are basically Republican. As I have heard said, when given the opportunity to vote for a Republican or a Republican, turns out they vote for the real Republican every time.

  26. Phyllis E. Cole-Dai 2016-12-17 09:12

    Cory, it would be GREAT to have your blog posts reprinted in the Brookings Register. I don’t know if there’s much chance of it happening but I’m willing to try. What would I need to tell the editors in terms of “permission to reprint”?

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-17 09:15

    Phyllis, just tell them I said it’s fine, as long as they include full citation: Cory Allen Heidelberger, Dakota Free Press, publication date, URL.

    The trick with printing my articles is that they integrate hyperlinks so much that I usually have to reword certain passages to make sense without the active link.

  28. Phyllis E. Cole-Dai 2016-12-17 09:20

    Perhaps it would be best for them to confirm with you any post they might wish to reprint? That way you would have the opportunity to reword. I’m not certain they would catch the nuances around the integrated hyperlinks–sometimes they just “cut and paste.”

  29. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-17 09:21

    I’d be happy to take their call. You can also cite and quote me heavily in any letter to the editor you want to submit!

  30. Porter Lansing 2016-12-17 09:58

    Heidel-Papers OpEds is an excellent idea. We old folks (millennials and hipsters don’t) still read the paper and a continual, soothing portrayal of our message would slowly show that we’re not the corrupt ones in Pierre politics. Personally, I’d enjoy seeing Cory “Go Live” on Facebook and Twitter. Seeing you disassemble Carny Al on the radio and the debate was a highlight of the cycle. Things aren’t always very exciting in SoDak and a dose of arm waving exuberance (weekly) could be just the kind of cheap entertainment the German/Americans “cling to”. hehe Cory’s challenge would probably be to keep the length down to a workable time frame, with all the knowledge he carries.

  31. Rorschach 2016-12-17 10:46

    Schoenbeck, Leo, Rorschach … whatever your name is … you are all the same person according to Porter from Colorado.

    Porter Lansing, I can tell that you are really Larry Kurtz posting under a different name. You arrange your biases in exactly the same fashion. It’s a dead giveaway.

  32. Porter Lansing 2016-12-17 11:47

    You see, the term “Porter from Colorado” is a term used by Anne from Mitchell. Is it you, Anne from Mitchell? hehe Why don’t you Republicans just give us your real names and this will be settled? Is it because you’re embarrassed or afraid to let people see through your facade? Seems that way.
    ~ As far as German/American ethnic slurs are concerned … SoDak German/American Repubs are very good at judging groups by their ethnic and religious traits. e.g. Indians, Mexicans, Muslims, Asians and quite lax at accepting the traits of your own personal heritage. Also, you explode with angry response when someone judges you by the same standards with which you judge others. Once again, are you embarrassed to be of German/Russian descent? I’m half German and proud of my stubbornness, cheapness, traditionalism, argumentativeness, social coldness (not really with me) and lack of humor (Not much with me. I’m a funny guy. :)), because a favorable trait is the ingenuity that we Germans are famous for. Be proud of yourself, no matter where your ancestors came from and stop denying that each culture has it specific human traits. They do and you do, too. e.g. A few letters to this effect and Watertown has stopped it’s Ki-Yi disrespect for Natives and become a mostly German celebration. Ms. Bruhn (German heritage and the lady who taught me to write cursive in the late ’50s) would be happier about it then when she was made to write an Indian themed pageant, so many years ago, for a town school with zero Indian students.

  33. grudznick 2016-12-17 12:15

    My friend Lar usually wears shorts and leather jesus sandals, while Mr. Lansing from Colorado is more bespectacled and, well, more portly. Plus, Lar is far more bitter about life. Lar tends to be more crude in his false accusations and would never, ever wear a bow-tie.

  34. Porter Lansing 2016-12-17 12:34

    Princess Grudz … I can tell you miss your friend, Mr. Kurtz. That’s sad, especially now during the holidays. Lar regularly posts on the Northern Valley Beacon if you want to say hi to him. Merry Christmas, Your Highness. hehe

  35. grudznick 2016-12-17 12:37

    I do miss Lar tremendously. Mostly I miss the hugs.

  36. bearcreekbat 2016-12-17 12:59

    Here is an interesting video that seems to be related to Porter’s argument. White people are asked to stand if they would be happy to be treated like black people are treated by society in America. The results are very telling, although not particularly surprising – not a single white person in the audience stood up.

    Opening minds to a little self-reflection would seem to be a useful first step in rebuilding the Democratic party here in SD.

  37. mike from iowa 2016-12-17 13:04

    bcb-could it be these idealistic young looking whites fervently believe that Obam gives Black new SUVs, Obama phones and hundreds of dollars on SNAO cards every month. Might that be why whites wouldn’t stand up? I don’t have audio. My eyes work pretty good.

  38. mike from iowa 2016-12-17 13:05

    SNAO was supposed to be SNAP. Damn Russians/wingnuts hacked my comment before it was posted.

  39. bearcreekbat 2016-12-17 13:24

    The audio clarifies that by declining to stand white people already acknowledge there is a difference in the way society treats people of different races, and further, that they are aware that being white means better treatment by society.

    mfi, I don’t think the response has anything to do with anyone’s current economic situation since blacks and whites alike are entitled to whatever government benefits they might qualify for. The problem goes a bit deeper.

  40. Gracie 2016-12-17 13:24

    Back to the original subject, it bothers me somewhat that Sheldon Osborn’s remarks kinda say “not my responsibility, you do it”. I totally agree we individuals need to be more active and visible. Yet, our party leader blames others…They must totally rethink their leadership and how they do things to be a better voice for us. And quit blaming the repubs and crying foul, but instead initiate some positive things. If you cry foul, give us activists a way to make our voice heard.

  41. Roger Elgersma 2016-12-17 17:37

    The more I think about it the more I think that regular weekly columns in the newspapers would be best. Not necessarily the only plan. It is cheaper than an office, how many closet dems would enter an office. How many people can read that column if they are reading the paper alone. If they see an issue that interests them they can read that column. Each column should be on a specific issue with the headline telling what it is about. This can reach people in their own home when they have time and not have to make a separate trip to an office. If the county party chairs and precinct people take charge of helping people get government services and other helpful projects, we would not need an office until we get someone in Washington again. We need to push the issues. We win on the ballot with issues. Pushing the issues rather than the party works better here. Win enough issues and the party does better as well.

  42. bearcreekbat 2016-12-17 18:36

    I fully agree with Roger. And such a regular endeavor might help South Dakotans gradually retreat from our current “post-fact” environment on a state and federal level. That can only help SD Dems.

  43. mike from iowa 2016-12-17 18:50

    bcb-my thinking was the youngsters might not have stood up for the same reasons people would never say they were going to vote for or did vote for Drumpf.

    Drumpf’s white voters seem to believe Blacks get everything for free. That seems to be the general message spat out to rile up white voters.

  44. bearcreekbat 2016-12-17 19:14

    And when we ask them – would you like to be treated like black people in our society are treated, the silence says everything and just might induce some beneficial self reflection.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-12-20 17:04

    Roger E, Bear, I agree that a weekly column should be a relatively easy way to get regular, ongoing visibility for both our message and for key leaders in the party. Joe Lowe could get in that groove. So could Bernie Hunhoff, who is a fine writer.

    Gracie, I’m all for taking action. We have no bench—we all need to be out on the floor blocking, passing, and shooting.

    Porter, Twitter’s new Go Live feature is very tempting. But good video takes polish. I’m working on a podcast. Stay tuned.

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