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Democrats: Put Down the Knives, Pick up a Plan to Win

KELO Radio’s Todd Epp dubs the upcoming South Dakota Democratic Party McGovern Day meeting “The Night of Long Butter Knives.” He says that if the proposed party constitution changes and snap election really are a coup, then the plotters trumpeting the coup had better win:

I hope you are more Vladimir Lenin than Alexander Kerensky in pulling this off. Because if you lose, you’ll be burnt toast in the South Dakota Democratic Party for the foreseeable future, sent off to a political Siberia [Todd Epp, “Democrats: Beware of McGovern Day and the Night of Long Butter Knives!” KELO Radio: Token Liberal, 2017.04.26].

Epp forgets: South Dakota is already the gulag for Democrats. Pass the butter, comrade!

Epp appears to share my concern that, amidst calls for new leadership in the SDDP, no one has publicly offered names or plans for that new leadership. (Remember the names of the guys who overthrew Gorbachev? Neither do I!)

If the Night of Long Butter Knives actually occurs, it could put the state party in a better position. God knows we can’t do any worse, could we? But as is often the case for South Dakota Democrats, just when you thought it wasn’t possible to go any lower, we sink deeper into the prairie gumbo because we will have no chair and no plan and just a bunch of ticked off Democrats [Epp, 2017.04.26].

A friend of the blog asked me this morning to envision the best possible outcome of Saturday’s votes. The best possible outcome is not a person but a plan. We’ve talked about all sorts of components of a serious Democratic offensive on this blog—voter registration, letter-writing, field offices, clear messaging on kitchen-table economics. Based on some notes I took and shared after the election, here’s a plan of action for reviving the South Dakota Democratic Party:

  1. Split the office: instead of concentrating in Sioux Falls, base the exec there, then base other staff in field offices in Rapid City and Aberdeen. All staff have same job: field organizing, building county parties in designated region, fundraising, and registering voters.
  2. Give each field office some level of autonomy for regional activities.
  3. Organize party dinners in every county as an opportunity to (a) register new voters, (b) give Democrats an opportunity to get face time with voters and the press (yes, the events should be open to the press), and (c) raise money.
  4. For every fancy, big-ticket fundraiser like McGovern Day, hold two low-ticket/no-ticket hot dog picnics or spaghetti feeds to attract students, blue-collar workers, retirees, and other regular folks who find $100 a plate too pricey for any meal. Recruit big-name Dems like Keith Ellison, Al Franken, and Bernie Sanders to come speak at those low-ticket events as surely as we recruit them for banner events like McGovern Day and the convention. And at the door, register voters.
  5. Deploy multiple visible, forceful leaders to demand media coverage every week. These don’t all have to be candidates, just a team of local experts in each newspaper/radio market who can speak to various issues in the media. Send that list of local experts to TV and each local paper and radio station and say that every time they quote Thune/Rounds/Noem/Daugaard/Krebs/local GOP legislators, these Democratic experts are available for comment to provide balance to every story.
    1. When the local press don’t call us, we call them: those local experts put at least one letter in the local paper every week.
    2. Include these local leaders in regular, short, punchy videos boosted on Facebook: strong 30-second/1-minute content with real faces selling our platform, policies, people, and brand.
  6. Pursue ballot measure synergy:
    1. Get behind one winning initiative petition in 2017 and conduct strong, attention-grabbing petition activities from the new Democratic field offices in conjunction with voter registration drives and other activities.
    2. Be on alert for opportunity to refer one law from 2018 Session and continue visible, attention-grabbing petition activity in spring 2018 alongside primary activity.
    3. Encourage gubernatorial and legislative candidates (and, if relevant to the sought office, SOS/AG/etc. candidates) to campaign on the Democratic-endorsed ballot measure(s).
  7. Make the voter database available to every filed candidate; pay for access with state-level fundraising.
  8. Recruit candidates from Governor and U.S. House on down who are committed to the idea that they can win in November 2018 and who will throw punches to do so. No caution, no triangulation—we choose candidates who build the Democratic brand and run on it without apology.
  9. Organize early (start week of early voting) targeted door-to-door campaigning for candidates in every urban district.
  10. Organize early targeted phone-banking for candidates in every rural district. Goal: ensure contact with 5,000 voters in every district.
  11. Renew tribal outreach with fundraising pitches aimed specifically at funding specific projects like GOTV buses and chili feeds on the reservations.
  12. Target every RV mailbox center in South Dakota with direct mail and/or calls.

That’s a lot of action (and I can think of more), but Democratic revival here in Siberia won’t happen by itself.

Who emerges from McGovern Day as Democratic Party chair matters far less than what our chair, executive board, and central committee are willing to do to win in 2018. The best possible outcome is that everyone meets, speaks, and departs as allies united around a common plan of action. Anyone who talks about anything other than our practical goals and action, anyone who gripes and moans about personal grievances, should be slapped back to reality or, if they keep griping and moaning, thrown out as snacks for the David Horowitz wolves that the Lederman spin blog is so sweatily and effectively pitching. Gripers and moaners add no value to the party; doers do.

Butter your bread, Democrats, and let’s get to work!


  1. Michael E. 2017-04-26 10:10

    Cory – you forgot the most important part of any plan – how to pay for it.

  2. Cully 2017-04-26 10:31

    On the topic of who will be chair, I think it’s safe to assume Rachelle is a little too busy with law school to be chair. :)

  3. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-26 11:17

    I agree that’s a safe assumption, Cully. So who’s on deck? The folks pushing the snap election must have a chair in waiting.

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-26 11:28

    That’s in there, Michael—fundraise, fundraise, fundraise!

    It’s like the Trump plan’s reliance on supply-side economics, except my fundraising involves actual work, not voodoo that will leave us broke.

  5. Porter Lansing 2017-04-26 11:38

    Excellent plan. Is the author available for a Northern SDDP chair or maybe a frequent contributor?

  6. Don Coyote 2017-04-26 12:24

    @Cory: “Remember the names of the guys who overthrew Gorbachev? Neither do I!”

    Gorbachev wasn’t overthrown. The attempted coup in August 1991 failed and with his powers slipping away and the other Soviet Republics declaring independence and joining the Commonwealth of Independent States, Gorbachev resigned in December 1991. President Boris Yeltsin of Russia assumed what remained of Gorbachev’s powers.

  7. Troy 2017-04-26 13:01

    Todd and CH:

    Holiday Inn Express full last night?

  8. John Kennedy Claussen, Sr. 2017-04-26 13:09

    Don makes an interesting observation. Is he suggesting that we won’t get our act together as Democrats until we get our own Putin, or hopefully the antithesis of Putin, that is?…. But if takes a Putin or an anti-Putin of western values to get the job done, then I cannot wait until we as Democrats start trying to influence internal Republican Party politics and their elections under such leadership…. It’s only fair….. Hahahahahaha……

    But on a more serious note, I laud all of your ideas or your plan Cory. And I think that serious GOTV and targeted voter registration efforts are the top priorities for the Democrats going forward……

  9. Porter Lansing 2017-04-26 13:12

    @Cory … I retract my question. It’s best to just let Powers and Troy stew. They seem agitated and there’s no reason to make it worse.

  10. Darin Larson 2017-04-26 15:10

    JFK popularized the sentiment that “Victory has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.” There is plenty of blame to go around, but Cory is correct in that the plan is more important than the person. Blaming Ann Tornberg for all the Democratic ills in South Dakota is ridiculous. More people need to put down their knives and take up the cause for the greater good.

    What Democrats in SD should be doing is uniting and not dividing. We have the DNC Vice Chair coming to SD and the last thing we need is a chaotic scene of insurrection and back-biting.
    If you are moved to participate in the Democratic party, then do so as a builder or agent of change, not as a destroyer.

    We have the Republicans in the midst of proposing the biggest give-away and transfer of wealth to the rich in this country in the history of America. We should be talking about that and not whether there is going to be a coup at McGovern Day.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-26 16:46

    I agree, Darin. If we need staff changes, we should handle it civilly, sensibly, and efficiently, then get on to the real business of building the party and, as you rightly highlight, getting out the message that Donald Trump is driving this nation over a cliff.

  12. Stace Nelson 2017-04-26 17:08

    Contrary to the hoots and catcalls from the RINO pen, SD Democrats have some serious leadership in the shadows that could reinvigorate your party. Sen. Bernie Hunhoff (Ret.) was liberal but earned a good reputation with many during his many years in the legislature. Sen. Frank Kloucek (Ret.) was a tireless campaigner who got elected in a tough district for 22 years. Sen. Paul Dennert (Ret.) another grassroots Democrat that got elected for many years. Rep. Peggy Gibson (Ret.), etc.

    You’ve got some serious leadership on the bench that could help lead the Democrats back to credibility with the electorate.

    The benefit to SD Republicans in the Democrats getting organized? Maybe some of the political opportunists that jumped your ship, that creeped into the SDGOP and are pushing the SDGOP to the Left, will go back to the SDDP.

  13. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-26 17:29

    Stace, you persist in this false statement that your party is full of Democrats. That is not true: The South Dakota Republican Party is full of Republicans. If the SDGOP is veering left, I must have missed it.

    But hey, if we can offer an organization so good that Republicans want to change parties, well, that would be a good benchmark of success… not as good a benchmark as winning elections, but still good.

  14. grudznick 2017-04-26 17:43

    Mr. Nelson is wrong about Mr. Kloucek being serious leadership. Even the Democrats did not often want him to sign onto a bill they actually thought might have a chance of passing, for Mr. Kloucek is the only fellow who can challenge Mr. Nelson for the title of the Most Ineffective in the Legislatures.

    Mr. H, some might say, I don’t say this, but some might, that you are just being self serving with this blogging to take advantage of poor attacked Ms. Tornberg. The first 8 of Mr. H’s points are the ones that are geared towards his own, self-dealing future, no differently than Mr. Bollen’s golden parachutes, those people might say. Those people would probably say:

    1) Mr. H wants a full time job running the Aberdeen office
    2) Mr. H wants to not have to answer to the Democratic Party bosses and just do his own rogue things
    3) Mr. H wants the Democratic Party to pay for food parties for him to enjoy and get face time with the voters drawn in by the free food
    4) more free food for Mr. H
    5) Mr. H wants the Democratic Party to put his name forth so he can get more media coverage and build name recognition
    6) get paid to be a rabble-rouser and pursue Mr. H’s normal hobby
    7) get a free copy of this data base for use in his own candidate runs
    8) all of the above leading to Mr. H being drafted for a statewide run for Governor with the Democratic Machine backing him

  15. Stace Nelson 2017-04-26 17:53

    @ CAH I said political opportunists, there’s nothing in my post that says “Democrat.” On Republican issues? Democrat leadership very well could have been redubbed “Majority” leadership in near every session I have participated in.

    @Grudznick This is me laughing at ya. You can tell a lot about a person by the quality of their enemies. Happy to add your nomme de lâche, no matter how insignificant a weasel you are. :-D

  16. grudznick 2017-04-26 18:28

    Mr. Nelson, I’m not certain if you are calling me some kind of a frilly coffee drink you favor or putting me “on your list.”
    Both seem equally terrible.

  17. Porter Lansing 2017-04-26 18:44

    Grudz … You should be ashamed of yourself saying those things about Mr. Cory Heidelberger. If you ever really needed something who do you think would help you? Cory or Pat Powers?

  18. grudznick 2017-04-26 19:11

    Mr. Lansing, I stated that there might be persons out there who would accuse Mr. H of such motives, but that I was not one of them. Did you not read my blogging fully or was I unclear? Drive safe, I see on the news that drugged driving is now killing more people than beer.

    Mr. Powers would not help me for he is a chinsey fellow. Mr. H would not help me for he rages at me. Mr. Nelson would help me because he is bound by his legislature code of conduct to do so.

  19. owen reitzel 2017-04-26 19:34

    Grud, Klocek was so ineffective that the Republicans gerrymandered his District so he’d lose.
    Doesn’t sound ineffective to me

  20. grudznick 2017-04-26 19:44

    Mr. reitzel, I suspect they found him annoying, not effective. Please research all the legislation that Mr. Kloucek got passed as a primary sponsor.

  21. owen reitzel 2017-04-26 20:20

    You don’t gerrymander a district because someone is “annoying.”
    Here is a friend of Frank’s that wrote a nice letter to him and no it wasn’t me but I wish it was.

    ” I wish to commend Frank Kloucek for 22 years of unselfish service to the people of South Dakota.
    I’ve known Frank since the early 1980s. When it comes to helping family farmers, rural communities and taxpayers, Frank was there. When they needed help, he worked with state legislators in seven other states to bring forth state mandatory livestock price reporting. This forced meat packers to work with national legislators to pass a national law on mandatory livestock price reporting, which brings transparency to the market place for livestock prices.
    Frank wasn’t afraid to speak out when there was a wrong that needed to be righted. These included: support for the environment, clean air, ethanol, prevention of uranium mining pollution, elderly nutrition funding, energy audits to make state buildings more efficient, tuition reduction for National Guard members, benefits for EMTs, consumer healthcare bill of rights, reform prescription drug pricing, increase veterans’ bonuses, fought to repeal of unfair taxes such as state inheritance tax, medical provider tax, food tax and the intrastate trucking tax.
    He also had success putting reflecting signs on railcars, helping with Standing Bear and Discovery bridges, rebuilding four state-owned dams, safer rail and highway crossings, risk pool for uninsurable South Dakotans, protection of law-abiding gun owners’ rights, protecting the rights to refer and initiate state laws, contract livestock and crop growers bill of rights, support for the adequate funding for public education and more.
    Many proposals were made laws, some were defeated and passed as laws sponsored by governors and legislators in the majority party, and others are still being debated today. In every instance, Frank stood up for what he believed the best interest of the state and his people.
    Too often today in politics, we see self-serving interests. Frank was not one of those individuals. He put others first which is becoming a rarity in today’s political atmosphere.
    I’m proud to call Frank my friend and wish to commend him for his efforts. We need more public officials like him who are not afraid to take on the tough challenges and try to make our state a better place.”

  22. Adam 2017-04-26 20:26

    I think we SD Dems spend waaay too much time finger pointing at each other for our losses.

    Let us never loose sight of just exactly how backward the people of South Dakota actually are, and how that one factor alone is the sole reason why the SDDP would have to innovate to the point nearly transcending politics alltogether to overcome the dysfunctional culture of SD.

    GOP is a broken record which never gets old to the rural and older (scam-susceptible) demographics. They believe in plausible BS because for decades, advertising rained down upon on them from heavens of big city control centers – convoluting their sensations of reality, and exacerbating the negetives in/of the solitude in rural living and pscologicsl selfishness in/of the country club Republican demographic.

    It’s not that Dems are doing a bad job in SD, it is however that with every year we ship off our best and brightest to bigger better places, we loose aggregate IQ points as a state, we culturally devolve, and make the SDDP’s challenges greater by the year.

  23. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-26 20:35

    Ah, opportunists. Stace, you can keep your opportunists. I’ll take their votes, but I don’t want them coming in and trying to climb our ladder to power.

    Adam, I agree that we need less pointing at each other and more pointing toward the future. Don’t execute party chairs; execute plans!

  24. Don Coyote 2017-04-26 21:49

    @grudznick:”Mr. Nelson, I’m not certain if you are calling me some kind of a frilly coffee drink you favor or putting me “on your list.”
    Both seem equally terrible.”

    You are confusing latte with lâche. Lâche is French for coward; latte is Italian for a delicious espresso drink made with milk. I start every morning with one.

  25. leslie 2017-04-27 04:46

    Dems bring in Keith Ellison. Repubs hire out the next room to intimidate. But nationally we are witnessing the death spiral of GOP & Trump(“golly gee this is big complicated stuff-governing). Hard Ball Kremlin tactics against the West, have compromised our Nation. Lets stay out of the next pre-emptive war.

  26. jerry 2017-04-27 06:04

    The problem with Democrats is the same problem with republicans and trump, all three are hated and mistrusted equally. Look at the numbers indeed, there has to be change from the tone deaf national party to completely deaf state party. Voting registrations tell the the tune here in South Dakota, Democrats are leaving and going to Independent status for the most part according to what numbers there are available. If the Democratic party wants to become relevant, it must change its whole approach. It must be able to denounce what we see here as politics as usual and offer solutions. Be able to answer a question about guns and their importance here. Be able to answer clearly a stand for the laws of the land. Who gives a damn what you think about abortion if it is the law of the land. Until that changes or if it changes, you have to support the Constitution and the laws of the land. Develop some testosterone to stand and deliver while asking what republican leadership has done for the state of South Dakota? How have your taxes been cut and why have they risen? Stop being a rug, and start to sweep the joint clean of corruption. Put these new folks in to start the new way. If the old guard gets upset, they can always go and find their own way or they can shut the hell up and help make this happen. Geesh, coup talk. Make it war talk and get something done. A coup just meant you touched someone with a club, a war is when you to take charge.

  27. Todd Epp 2017-04-27 07:47


    Sleep in a refrigerator box last night?

  28. Todd Epp 2017-04-27 07:52

    Revolutions are seldom civil. Ask the Romanovs. There’s no polite way to fix the state Democratic Party. South Dakota Nice won’t work, I’m sorry to say. There may not be blood but there will be plenty of hurt feelings, regardless of the outcome.

  29. Jeannie Hanson 2017-04-27 08:49

    Grow up people! We need Glass-Steagall. Cut the cancer out that’s destroying this county and the world. Over 50 billion goes out in Q E each month to the bankrupt financial Wall Street Banksters. A resolution on the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall passed through the South Dakota Senate and House in 2013 by over 80%! There are two resolutions HR790 and S881 regarding Glass-Steagall in Congress now. Why has Rounds, Noem, and Thune not signed onto them yet? Have any of you taken the time to call and tell them to sign onto them? Think of what one billion $ would do for each state, each month, for a year! The Dems & Republicans should be discussing
    this as one of the first thing on our State Parties platforms instead of pulling each other into petty cat fights. Agree on one thing and work together. Glass Steagall should be that one Thing. I think we all want to future for our children and grandchildren.

  30. jerry 2017-04-27 08:55

    I year ago trump was blathering about raising taxes on the rich so others would truly get a tax break without one going to the wealthy, it was a lie

    republicans cannot help themselves but to tell them. They lie so much, they loose track. It should be the job of the Democratic leadership to keep up with the lies and to make sure that voters are kept in the loop on them as well. Currently in South Dakota, we are still broke and going broker. Our property tax is much to high for what we are getting and sales tax revenue is in the toilet. Why isn’t the SDDP raising awareness about this along with solutions? This is not normal for a state to function the way we do here. Folks, these are considered good times financially in the rest of the country and here, we are in competition with North Korea with our books. The bailbond guy, the governor, and all the republican legislators need to get the bad hair cut dude’s hair stylist. They all sound alike so they all should look alike.

  31. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-27 09:31

    Per Todd’s comment, I guess I’m the worst guy in the world at civility. The GOP points to my blunt hollerings as signs of my unreasonable incivility… and then when I call for civility and sensibility, my friend Mr. Epp says this is no time for such namby-pamby politeness.

    Forget winning—I’m just going to wave my arms a lot. :-D

  32. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-27 09:47

    For my amusement and yours, I address Grudz’s sly accusations, for which he declines to take responsibility.

    “1) Mr. H wants a full time job running the Aberdeen office”

    I advocate field offices because I think they can help meet party goals. The first field office should go in Rapid City to build West River presence. If we can afford another, Aberdeen is the next logical choice for such an office. If the SDDP established such an office and hired a staffer to run it, I would apply for that job with trepidation, because…

    “2) Mr. H wants to not have to answer to the Democratic Party bosses and just do his own rogue things”

    …Grudz’s second statement has some truth. I don’t like answering to anybody. I like being able to write this blog independent of party control.

    “3) Mr. H wants the Democratic Party to pay for food parties for him to enjoy and get face time with the voters drawn in by the free food. 4) more free food for Mr. H”

    Incorrect. I get all the food I need on my own dime. In my 2016 Senate campaign, I raised sufficient money to host my own coffees, picnic, and other events, at which I was generally too busy speaking with voters to eat much.

    “5) Mr. H wants the Democratic Party to put his name forth so he can get more media coverage and build name recognition”

    Grudz, if I were interested in using a party to put my name forth in South Dakota, I’d have joined those opportunists against whom Senator Nelson keeps railing and stayed in his Republican Party.

    “6) get paid to be a rabble-rouser and pursue Mr. H’s normal hobby”

    I welcome your contributions via the Tip Jar to sustain this useful public service… which, yes, I do also find immensely instructive and personally satisfying.

    “7) get a free copy of this data base for use in his own candidate runs”

    The party should make this information available to every candidate. Such data serves the interests of the candidates and the party.

    “8) all of the above leading to Mr. H being drafted for a statewide run for Governor with the Democratic Machine backing him”

    Grudz, I am not angling to be drafted. If I want to run, I will run. (Remember that rogue thing, and my not liking to do things that other people tell me to do? Be consistent in your psychoanalysis, please.) If I run, I will win, and if I win, I will have to move to Pierre, and my wife’s job is here in Aberdeen, so that’s not going to happen.

    Of course, if we could implement my Capitol Online plan to run South Dakota from my computer, well, game on! :-D

  33. Porter Lansing 2017-04-27 10:06

    Cor-A-Lago has a good ring to it. :0)

  34. Todd Epp 2017-04-27 12:10

    Sometimes, even a good, kind man or woman has to shoot the rabid dog. With apologies to Atticus Finch.

  35. Adam 2017-04-27 12:45

    Me thinks if we could just reduce our SD state sales tax down to 0.000001% it would unleash the sleeping giant within SD’s economy so much that it would increase the state’s yearly tax revenue.

    Heck, maybe a 0% sales tax would increase tax revenue EVEN MORE than that.

    Me pretty stupid – and me know it – but me pound chest and hate government.

  36. Adam 2017-04-27 12:49

    That mocking statement says almost everything about the problem in SD. It’s not the Dems that suck so bad who are the real problem – it’s the real idiots who hold this state back. The real ones… folks… keep your eye on the ball.

  37. Porter Lansing 2017-04-27 12:54

    Why stop, Adam? Reverse taxation … like the reverse mortgage scam Republicans are using to steal seniors homes. Think big, bro. Every purchase comes with a 10% credit on the next item. 👍🏻

  38. Robert McTaggart 2017-04-27 13:10

    Yes, let’s do negative sales taxes while we are at it. We will make up for it in volume….

  39. Adam 2017-04-27 13:10

    Porter, me thinks that would work really well! – but only if we give it to the top 1% of income earners – because ya know – job creators are like God’s angels and we shouldn’t tax that which is Holy.

  40. Porter Lansing 2017-04-27 13:29

    You guys are geniuses. No taxes … no government. Think of all the new jobs created by private police, firefighters, teachers, road workers. It’ll be huge.

  41. Adam 2017-04-27 13:39

    Does any conservatives on this blog believe that we have a free market sleeping giant within South Dakota just waiting for all our regulations and taxes to get low enough for it to one day come out of dormancy?

    It’s funny. No one really believes that about SD yet SD conservatives think that’s what’s going on in America – which in itself means most SD conservatives don’t really think SD is part of America.

  42. jerry 2017-04-27 13:42

    Adam, Lone Tree comes to mind.

  43. Monty 2017-04-27 13:59

    Epp, that dog had a name. Tim Johnson.

  44. grudznick 2017-04-27 17:56

    Mr. H, when you are Governor, having been made so through your own rogue actions along with the backing of the rejuvenated and omnipotent Democratic Party Machine, you will be able to get your wife a job in Pierre. I bet you could get them to open a whole new church just for her, or even encourage somebody already there to step down. Worst case I bet they have jobs for chaplains at the prison there, and what government employee would refuse to hire the wife of a sitting Governor. Although I bet you would not sit, you will stand and pace your entire Governorship. The biggest failure of your administration will be the crumbling of the party’s office in Aberdeen after you leave it with a disarray of yellow sticky notes as the only instructions for your successor there and it turns out she is not a rogue seat-of-the-trousers sort but one who follows detailed instruction manuals.

  45. Porter Lansing 2017-04-27 18:55

    Grudzie … You said you weren’t the one saying those things about Mr. Heidelberger. shame 🐐 on you

  46. grudznick 2017-04-27 19:10

    I’m really getting your goat, ain’t I, my weed toking young little buddy?

  47. Porter Lansing 2017-04-27 19:26

    Weed tokin’ l’il buddy? Good one, G. You’d better just settle down and re-evaluate your own situation. Y’all in SoDak don’t have much credibility or validity criticizing a state that’s tolerant of soft drugs (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana) when you live in a state where so many women have abused pain pills, people in the west have nicknamed you “South DaCodeine”. Your drug abuse diaper is full and we think it’s quite amusing. But ….. football’s on tv, so see ya ’round.

  48. grudznick 2017-04-27 19:29

    A banner goat day for ol’ grudznick, it is indeed.

  49. Roger Cornelius 2017-04-27 22:18

    Why are you even bothering with grudz’s, you know he is nothing more than a boring distraction.

  50. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-28 06:28

    [Grudz is very effectively distracting me. Grudz, neither I nor my wife would stand for any condescending effort on my part to arrange a job for her. She is an independent professional whom you would be wise not to treat as an accessory to anyone else’s career.]

  51. Donal 2017-04-30 13:06

    why have a party chairperson? They don’t do anything anyway.
    I mean the chair bows to the old establishment Dems on the board and the other powers that be both Democrat and Republican.
    Even if we could find real progressive Democrats the South Dakota state party and the DNC does nothing to financially support candidates.
    The Republicans must be kicked out of the Democratic Party.
    The old guard establishment Democrats must relinquish control of the party to progressives who will fund raise for the candidates and who support the people of our state. Support single payer insurance and $15.00 minimum wage and raising the taxes on the rich and corporations who have not paid their fair share. We need candidates who will fight to INCREASE social security for those who qualify. We need jobs programs and INCREASING funding for education in this state.
    These are policies to run on and our only hope for our children’s futures.
    The establishment Democrats have been willing and satisfied to take the scraps from the Republicans table for far to long and it is time to fight back and take back what is ours.
    We need new leadership and to chart a course back to becoming ‘NEW DEAL DEMOCRATS”. If we do not a new party will eventually form to take the place of the dead democratic party.

  52. jerry 2017-04-30 13:18

    Democrats should have 65,000 votes against NOem after this coming week. NOem and the rest of her party are again coming after ACA/Obamacare. Included will be a little over 1,500 elderly on Medicaid presently. So, the nursing homes will have some open beds and more agony for their families.

  53. Todd Epp 2017-04-30 13:37

    Donal, every organization needs a leader. The chair of the party plays an important part in providing that leadership–kicking butts, taking names, inspiring people, developing strategies, making sure those strategies are implemented, helping to raise money, etc. For those of us who study leadership, it is clear that poor leadership brings about poor results and good leadership brings about good results. It is the single biggest factor in the success of any organization.

    When I look at our Republican brothers and sisters, they have had great leaders as chairpeople. Craig Lawrence and Joel Rosenthal especially come to mind, but also people like Pam Roberts and Dan Lederman. While we may disagree with their positions on the issues, they knew or know how to lead. For example, Lederman holding the rally at the same venue as the Democrats’ McGovern Day was diabolically brilliant. It took attention away from the Democrats, who also shot themselves in the feet but not opening our event to the media.

    With yesterday’s events, not only do we still have a poor leader in charge of our party, but a mortally wounded one going into the 2018 election. I’m not sure how things could get any worse but we are set up for such an eventuality. To wait for Trump to implode is not a strategy but a wish. Politics is an elbows out sport and hard work that depends on planning and money. Until we Democrats figure that out, we will continue to bleed market share–i.e. voters, to the Republicans and Independents. And even fewer Democrats in Pierre.

    Maybe it is time for a new party. I’m not sure this one is salvageable. We can’t even stage a propper revolt.

  54. Todd Epp 2017-04-30 13:49

    Proper not propper. Propper makes camouflage and mil-spec clothing.

  55. jerry 2017-04-30 13:56

    Gosh Mr. Epp, your gushing over diabolical schemes, must have given you the vapors. Maybe the timing was just not quite right, but whatever the case may be, I see that I will stay an Independent for now. Sometimes, outside forces are the things that make change.

  56. Porter Lansing 2017-04-30 13:58

    Much of what Donal calls for is right on the money.
    Two Questions:
    1. Why do SoDak Democrats have an aversion to change?
    2. Why do SoDak Democrats have such a low opinion of California?
    ~ Change is the spine of the Democratic Party.
    ~ No one knows exactly where the Democratic Party is headed but be assured California will get there first.

  57. jerry 2017-04-30 14:16

    California is about ready to put in universal healthcare. Those pesky Democrats there seem to understand what it means to actually be a Democrat. As the tumbleweeds flow across the deserted plain in South Dakota, Democrats will become relevant. Think Tom Berry.

  58. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-04-30 15:36

    Jerry, I have yet to see any evidence that independents are a “force”. And didn’t Tom Berry lose while Democrats in other states solidified their positions because Berry didn’t embrace FDR’s New Deal?

    Donal, you give us much to think about. I’ll say this:
    (1) There aren’t a bunch of Republicans in the Democratic Party. We’re all Democrats.
    (2) I don’t see any need for old-guard Democrats to “relinquish control” of the party until some new guard shows up in big enough numbers to take control away from them in a floor vote. And if an opposition group can’t muster enough votes to take over an existing party, do they really have the oomph to form an effective new party of their own?

  59. jerry 2017-04-30 15:54

    Tom Berry was elected twice during the Roosevelt years and even enacted an income tax, which may have been his downfall. “Elected governor twice, in 1932 and 1934,[3] Berry assisted in South Dakota’s recovery from the Great Depression. As Governor, he acted as Federal Relief Administrator and helped secure federal aid. He called the legislature into special session to legalize 3.2 percent beer and again to enact unemployment insurance. During his tenure, state property tax was abolished, replaced by gross income tax which was replaced by a state sales tax.[4]

    Berry ran for a third term in 1936 but was defeated by Leslie Jensen.[5] In 1938, he defeated interim United States Senator Herbert Hitchcock in the Democratic primary,[6] but lost the general election to Chan Gurney.[7] In 1942 Berry defeated incumbent United States Senator William J. Bulow in the Democratic primary[8] but lost the general election to Harlan J. Bushfield.[9] That defeat ended his political career.”

  60. Ron Wieczorek 2017-04-30 23:30

    Jeanne Hanson it’s hard for small minded people to grasp the importance of Glass Steagall.

  61. Adam 2017-05-01 00:20

    I really think we need a strategic ‘elbows out’ culture changing (heavy on the advertising) campaign funded by where ever the money might come from.

    Rural states see ads all the time about how so-and-so’s “extreme liberal agenda will kill America” but – IN MANY WAYS – never see anything about conservative-candidates “anti-American extremist agenda.” This has left rural state conserva-voters with the impression that only liberals can be seen as extreme. Ultimately, we need ad messages that trivialize the conservative advertising.

    The big boys at the National Dem Party haven’t been willing to have the deepest conversation with Madison Street about how to make sense to rural-state voters because past projections have indicated that it costs so very much money to persuade this demographic to think outside of their box.

    A culture changing ad excersise is not designed to win the next election but instead to win the long game – and rural states don’t have many voters – so, we’re SOL for a while on this front for a while.

    One fine day, a morning in America [if you will], this test market messaging exercise will revolve around: a.) conservative voters are flying into a storm on autopilot b.) their brains have been hacked by being made to believe feel good lies and c.) the GOP is a broken record, and it’s getting old.

    We need a lot more regular old generic Democratic Party advertising targeting SD’s moderate demographics. That’s what we need.

  62. Adam 2017-05-01 00:27

    It needs to be 100% perfectly clear why a person would want to be a Democrat in South Dakota… And the only way to do it is to contrast and compare with the Trumplican Party.

  63. Cully 2017-05-01 01:52

    I couldn’t disagree more. The single largest thing that ruffles the feathers of the generic SD voter is the idea that or elected officials are out of touch with generic American problems. By showing how much people should hate Trump, we simply look like a hoard of petty mudslingers with no accomplishments of our own. Great example is Karen Soli’s accountability board. In an effort to show lawmakers as bad people, this minister (The Reverand Doctor Karen Soli if memory serves) had her bill belittled in the media, especially from Represent.Us. She built an ethics commission and got it passed! Butt because we were to busy talking about Trump’s preferred putter, nobody covered that great deed she did.

    We need to stop being the anti-GOP and stay being the SDDP. Time for us to build our own successful identity.

  64. jerry 2017-05-01 02:12

    Diabolical schemes Mr. Epp, are typical of Lederman and right wing Jews, Nothing new here with this, just more Gefilte served with a little more hate and indifference. So as not to be left out, Yale republicans staged a barbecue (my guess, beef) by a union hunger strike. The French did something like this having to do with cake and it did not work out so well..or maybe it did.

  65. Adam 2017-05-01 02:21

    Gosh, Cully, try not to marginalize what compare and contrast messaging is and has always been. It’s done a lot for a lot people, and many groups of people. It doesn’t mean ‘go negetive.’ However, it does mean ‘compare and contrast’ – which means: point out how your better than the competition.

    Ya gotta do that – if ya wanna get or stay in business.

    Some people say, “don’t hate the player – hate the game.” It’s apropos to this comment.

  66. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-05-01 05:46

    Whatever messaging Adam and Cully settle on, it seems we also ought not pass up opportunities to get our message out via free media. When we bring the DNC vice-chair to town and don’t allow the press to report on his speech, we not only miss a bunch of free press but also make the national party feel like, “Why should we invest in South Dakota when our top people don’t get any headlines from visiting?”

  67. jerry 2017-05-01 06:06

    Today, May 1, is Worker’s Day in most of the world. It used to be a day that we kids in South Dakota collected May Baskets of candy and good cheer to celebrate the working people, we even had picnics if the weather allowed. What a nice break from the long winter these baskets and good cheer were. Of course that all changed when the right wing got their diabolical wings. Then workers were looked upon as puppets to the unions, as communists and law breakers. McCarthyism continued to make its ugly stain upon when America was great and we started to change ourselves into fearful obedient children of the great capitalist father. John Birch Society came about and told us all how we needed to fall in line. So how is that all working for us today? You can see it in the faces of the left behind ag people who are now so indebted they live from second to second and hope to reach a time when they can finally get the medical care they need. You can see it in the looks of main streets with their empty store fronts and tumbleweeds. You can see it in the land itself with only a row of trees to mark where a family once lived. You see it in the faces of the obese children that are forced to survive on the only thing they can afford, junk food. We, that are not republicans can clearly see the carnage while the republican only sees the progression of their fulfillment of slavery and ownership. When America was great, there were 3 billionaires in the whole United States, now there are at least 600 and counting. The elite keep us digging for table scraps while they continue to behave like the vampires they are. Democrats, or those that used to think as they once thought, need to read history to understand what was given up and then vow to change it.

  68. Jeannie 2017-05-01 09:37

    I think you’re right Ron. New Deal Democrats? Where are you? We should be talking about Glass-Steagall. This needs to be number one on the Democrats platform. FDR knew what it took to turn the economy around. He wasn’t afraid of the Wall Street banker gangsters.

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