A slightly more fun political item from the Herb Jones history file comes from the October 6, 1992, Huron Plainsman, which reports on page 5 that then executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party Herb Jones asked Campbell County GOP chairman Alvin Fjeldheim to resign after Fjeldheim appeared in a television ad endorsing Senator Tom Daschle over GOP nominee (and the woman who taught me my first French!) Charlene Haar.
Fjeldheim noted that his neighbors elected him county chair after he had agreed to do the Daschle ad and that he got no local grief over his TV endorsement: “A lot of them were quite pleased someone from our local area was on TV.” Jones said he got no complaints about using his party position to call on a locally elected leader to resign.
The South Dakota Democratic Party made predictable hay of a fracas that went nowhere but their way:
…Steve Erpenbach, co-executive director of the state Democratic Party… said the Democratic Party’s constitution sets up a specific process for removal of local party officials. He said if he were to call them and ask the to resign, “they would hang up on me” [“GOP Chairman Replaced After Appearing in Ad,” AP via Huron Plainsman, 1992.10.06].
Haar lost to Daschle 64.9% to 32.5%, for more reasons than Fjeldheim’s TV spot. But this historical note from the pre-blog era suggests Herb Jones has been a top-down guy from the beginning and suggests Republican legislators better think twice before they go gettin’ idears of their own.