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Video Judo: Real Neighbors Speak up for Billie Sutton

This isn’t the fanciest ad you’ll see, but it is the most honest,” says Dr. John Malm, one of Billie Sutton’s neighbors, in what I’d like to believe is the ad that shuts Kristi Noem up once and for all:

KELO-TV won’t have to fact-check this one: unlike the Republican convention delegates and convicted felon Kristi Noem included in her attack ad on Sutton, these local folks aren’t afraid to identify themselves, either in the ad or in the Sutton campaign press release. Joining Dr. Malm are Christi Rozeboom, Bryan Hanson, Dean Rozeboom, Virginia Tolstedt, Mike Jones—Billie Sutton’s wrestling coach Mike Jones:

The thing about Billie is his work ethic and his drive. I mean, I say that to tons of people. I think that’s what’s going to make him be just a great governor [Mike Jones, in Sutton “Real Neighbors” campaign ad, posted 2018.11.03].

In those nine second, Mike Jones names more specific qualities of the candidate, grounded in his own observation and experience, to justify his claim, than anyone in Noem’s attack ad said to justify their recitations of Noem’s propaganda that Sutton is a lying liberal.

By itself, this Sutton ad would be no big deal. Nice people say nice things about the candidate—everybody runs that kind of ad. But as a response to Noem’s nameless neighbor attack ad, this video is perfect. It not only negates what little impact the Noem ad might have had but also makes ridicules Noem on multiple levels. Rewatch her ad:

“Not the fanciest…”—yup! There’s no optimal lighting. There’s all sorts of noise—café chatter, wind on the mic. Maybe Sutton hired a camera crew, but they worked really hard not to look like a camera crew and instead to make it look like they just told a campaign staffer to grab the camera, point and shoot. Compare that to the controlled indoor settings and close-ups in Noem’s video.

“…but… the most honest”—yup! Sutton’s video shows the speakers in real, clear settings—in town, on the farm, at the café in front of the house with the Sutton and Cougars signs, out by the field with cows crapping in the background. That’s Burke. That’s where Billie’s from. Noem’s speakers are framed by blurry, nondescript backgrounds—maybe a house, maybe an office, but they could be anywhere. Not one visual element in Noem’s video says, “Hey! There’s Burke!”

Sutton’s ad shouts local authenticity, while Noem’s shouts, “Lights! Make-up!” Without mention Noem’s name, Sutton’s ad thus puts an exclamation point on the difference between him, the real hometown boy with neighbors he cares about and who care about him, and Noem, the still mean-girl beauty queen, obsessed with image and winning over substance and service.


  1. 96Tears 2018-11-03 23:38

    Lazy Dirtball Kristi Noem has no other choice but to sling mud, lies and fear to win the election. Frankly, it isn’t enough because Lazy Dirtball Kristi failed badly sitting on her ass in Congress doing nothing except to skip votes and party in D.C. Very sad. She could have been governor if she would only lift a finger and try. She didn’t. She assumed they would crown her governor because she’s registered as a Republican.

    People won’t lower their standards for Lazy Dirtball Kristi. Most folks have to work hard for what they’ve got.

  2. leslie 2018-11-04 04:37

    Good press coverage for Billie in Huffington Post emphasizes fighting Republican political corruption in the “era” of Trump criminals.

  3. Rorschach 2018-11-04 05:56

    Anybody can see that this commercial is as genuine as Billie himself. I hope we as a state get it right this election.

  4. chris 2018-11-04 08:16

    Hmm… these shiny repubs talk their trash up in a river bluff mcmansion, while the real neighbors are outdoors working.

  5. Debbo 2018-11-04 19:24

    Very good ad. Very good. Should appeal to SD voters.

  6. happy camper 2018-11-06 13:02

    Already voted Sutton – you’re welcome – but it is interesting his in-laws – his wife’s grandmother and great-aunt donated thousands to Kristi. For the sake of family couldn’t they have just skipped donating one year or given the money to charity instead. Unnecessarily awkward imo. He works for this big Republican family in their bank but they give money to Kristi that’s just kind of weird.
    “We love Billie and Kelsea dearly, but we can’t support the Democratic Party,” she said.

  7. Porter Lansing 2018-11-06 13:21

    Hc … What a great opportunity for Billie to show them all the good we Dems can do. Maybe they’ll see it differently when Billie runs for re-election.

  8. Debbo 2018-11-06 13:34

    That’s the way families are. My big brother is a good guy, but he voted for the Orangutan in 2016. This year? Maybe not. I haven’t asked him yet. My cousin and friend describes herself as a “trump fan.” She wouldn’t even vote for me! But we all get along fine. We have political differences, but that doesn’t mean we attack one another personally. That’s unlike Pootiepublicans and Ryan, Grudz, OS, Jason and the SDGOP “leadership.”

  9. happy camper 2018-11-06 14:10

    Your grandmother gives money against your husband while he’s working in the family bank. I still can’t believe it. I would be very unhappy if I were the granddaughter. Sorry that’s weird.

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