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Walsh Improves SDPB’s Legislative Candidate Interviews

Lori Walsh is bringing a major improvement to South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s coverage of Legislative races. In the past, SDPB did canned videos for YouTube or interviews with the same generic questions for each candidate. This year, Lori Walsh is doing live eight- to ten-minute interviews with the candidates on In the Moment. When she opened the “Meet the Candidates” series last week with District 3 Democratic Senate candidate Cory Allen Heidelberger (me!), she got “right to the issues,” asking me about “major topics you’d like to address in Pierre.”

And instead of sticking to some script of generic questions, Walsh follows up, digging into the details of candidate statements and asking them to elaborate or consider counter points. When I said I would prioritize defending voter rights by restoring our initiative and referendum powers, Walsh countered by asking about concerns about voters passing bad initiatives like Marsy’s Law. When I said my incumbent opponent’s support for racial profiling and banning refugees from our state makes South Dakota look bad and hampers our efforts to recruit and retain workers, she asked how we make South Dakota look like a more inviting, inclusive state. That kind of follow-up challenges candidates to get off their own scripts and explain their ideas more deeply.

Here’s my full conversation with Walsh, in which we also discuss the need for competitive teacher pay, the impact of Trump’s tariffs on South Dakota agriculture, and my ability to reach across the aisle and talk with people of all parties:


  1. Porter Lansing 2018-07-05

    Excellent interview with Lori Walsh. Concise while broad in scope. Local focus while still seeing how the big picture brings USA politics to SoDak farmers.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-05

    Thanks, Porter! I didn’t expect to slide into my inner Wendell Berry in this interview, but it occurs to me that the only way Trump’s effort to rip up global trade makes sense for South Dakota is if we take an entirely different approach to agriculture, replacing mass monoculture with diverse small-scale production focused on local markets and regional self-sufficiency. But that sort of deep, thoughtful policymaking is far beyond Donald Trump’s ability or inclination… and, I’m afraid, beyond the imagination of many Republican legislators, whose only function is to do what the party leaders and lobbyists tell them to do.

  3. Debbo 2018-07-05

    Cory, you just need a little energy, a little enthusiasm. Really.

    As far as your inner Wendell Berry, I think the best way for farmers to avoid being jerked around by the whims of a lunatic like pres Child Abuser and Putie’s GOP is exactly what Rev. Dr. Berry supported. Less acreage, less quantity, high quality, higher prices. That won’t fix everything, but at least it creates a solid base.

  4. Dana P 2018-07-06

    Good interview, Cory (not surprised, of course) And I’m glad to see the change with Ms Walsh and interviews. I saw some of this “change” when she interviewed wacko jacko Tapio. Refreshing

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-07-06

    Self-sufficiency—good point, Debbo, about how farming with a local focus could mean more independence for farmers from corporate and global powers beyond their controI. The Trump approach to trade kicks the freedom of access to broader markets out from under our farmers but leaves in place the corporate favoritism (fascism?) that leaves farmers under the thumb of international corporations like Bayer/Monsanto.

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