Sheldon Osborn, host of the Drinking Liberally events in Sioux Falls, has said more than once that South Dakota Democratic Party chair Ann Tornberg must go. Now, presented with a rumor that a movement is underway to remove Tornberg next weekend and replace her with Paula Hawks, Osborn balks:
The SDDP will hold a state Central Committee meeting in conjunction with the dinner. Constitutional amendments, which could lead to an election of state party officers at this same meeting, have been introduced. To quote from a letter from Rachelle Norberg summarizing the proposed amendments, “One of the most important changes in the proposed amendment is the moving of State Officer elections to a spring window on odd-numbered years, typically held at the same time as the McGovern Day fundraiser. If passed, this change causes an election of new officers to be held April 29th, 2017. Please ensure all potential officer candidates are given adequate notice to the best of your ability”
There could be fireworks at the Central Committee meeting, folks!!! Rumor has it that Paula Hawks wants Ann Tornberg’s job.
I am not a big fan of the current SDDP Chair, but a snap election, initiated in this manner, with almost no notice, seems deeply arrogant on the part of the conspirators and very wrong-headed. This appears to be a palace coup by Powers behind the throne. Changing one Queen for another is not progress even if the new Queen would be substantially taller. Change requires changing the Powers that be [Sheldon Osborn, “McGovern Day Prep at the Taphouse 41 Tonight,” Drinking Liberally Sioux Falls, 2017.04.21].
I take no position on the rumor Osborn publishes. I note with curiosity Osborn’s capitalization of the word “Powers,” as if he is angling for another favorable, gloating, and inaccurate mention from the SDGOP spin blog, which frequently portrays Osborn’s lone voice as multiple Democrats.
I ask this question: if an individual is unhappy with the leadership of his party, and if other individuals come up with a procedural move that will change that leadership 21 months early, in plenty of time to hire key personnel and change strategy for the mid-term election, shouldn’t that individual be excited for an opportunity to make the positive change that individual has been calling for?
If a majority of members attending next week’s Democratic Party Executive Board meeting really want to hold a snap election, I say the same thing I said last November when Paula Hawks and Frank Kloucek issued their calls for a party shake-up: the first question we need to ask is not, “Who will carry out the party’s battle plan?” It is, “What is our battle plan?” Show us the plan. Show us that the plan is substantively different from and more likely to succeed than whatever has been done before and is being done now. Then determine whether current leadership is willing and able to carry out that plan. If they can, great! Then we don’t need a special election or palace coup or whatever. If they can’t, hold the vote, see if you muster a majority, and then, everyone, quit grouching and get to work on the battle plan.