When Republican State Representative Scyller Borglum launched her primary campaign against U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, SDGOP establishment mouthpiece Pat Powers was quick to point out that Borglum’s challenge was likely to fail:
Convincing South Dakotans that the man voted in more than once as South Dakota’s nice guy needs to finish last? That might be a tough challenge, indeed [Pat Powers, a rare original but windy and tedious blog post, Dakota War College, 2019.07.01].
The next day, Powers spotlighted the Rounds campaign’s vigorous response and baseless counterbranding of Borglum as a leftist. Powers featured Borglum’s early Hillaryesque aspirations to power and Montana roots. He focused on the weakness of Borglum’s initial campaign fundraising. He rebutted Borglum’s October criticism of our Republicans Senators for a perceived lack of robust resistance to the Trump impeachment.
Then Borglum started buying campaign junk from Powers and the SDGOP:
After $250 to the SDGOP for a newsletter ad on October 23, 2019, and $319.50 to Powers’s “Dakota Campaign Store” on November 6, the first of $1,432 imparted to Powers in the fall, critical coverage of the Borglum campaign disappeared from Powers’s blog. November 11 brought a commentaryless reposting of Borglum’s Veterans’ Day propaganda. At year end, Powers favored the Borglum campaign with overtly complimentary coverage as one of the top ten political stories of 2019:
Since announcing, Borglum has been criss-crossing the state as she’s been grinding out campaign appearances supported by friends and family serving as her campaign team. Rounds has campaign staff already in place, and is expected to make an official announcement soon, but from all indications, he’s in. It’s just a matter of when he feels the need to pull the trigger.
Starting January 1 candidates will be in the next critical phase of the campaign, when they collect signatures to be placed on the ballot, while they also have to contend with legislative duties; with Borglum in Pierre, and Rounds in DC.
There’s much more to come on this story.. and we’ll be watching it unfold in the coming months [Pat Powers, slightly more engaging post but typical overlong headline, Dakota War College, 2019.12.26].
On January 30, Powers gently reported Borglum’s second campaign finance filing with a note on Borglum’s kitty rubbing his business leg but no mention of the fact that her Q4 fundraising was even weaker than her Q3 performance, which pre-paycheck he found worth criticizing. And on February 8, he reposted with no commentary another Borglum campaign video.
Perhaps Powers’s coverage has gone limp because the likable coded-yuppie (miss that word?) Borglum stands no chance of beating Rounds in the primary. With Rounds’s nomination assured, why not make nice and make money?