Entries Tagged 'Democrats' ↓

Roger McKellips Remembered (1923-2017)

South Dakota lost a friend and leader, Roger McKellips on August 18, 2017. A simple remembrance of his South Dakota and Alcester leadership is given on August 25, 2017 at the Sioux Falls Democratic Forum.

We will also have video of Jeff Barth who spoke at Forum on Friday.

The Democrats are good at one thing

Shocker! Billie Sutton running for Governor

Unlike Huether, this guy actually knows how to put a cowboy hat on.

I know! I know! Sutton is running for governor. I have known for months. Ever since Suzie Pranger quit the SDDP to run his campaign months ago. It was such a badly kept secret I was surprised anyone showed up to the flat bed announcement today. Many in the party questioned Pranger quitting the party’s executive branch to run a governor campaign. What confidence can Sutton have with Pranger running his campaign when she did so badly running the party?

Of course everyone blames Tornberg. Is Pranger that thin-skinned that she couldn’t stand up to Tornberg? Or was it Tornberg’s idea to move Pranger?

Who knows, who cares. The only positive thing I can say about the whole thing is that if Sutton gets the nomination, he will get more votes than Wismer. Remember her?

Speaking of the nomination, there is another candidate waiting in the wings. Due to personal obligations they are waiting to make an announcement, if they do at all. Let’s just say they are a more ‘polished’ candidate than Sutton, but like Sutton has a great amount of compassion for South Dakotans. Personally I would like to see this person run for AG. Their chances are better and on top of that, no matter who becomes governor, they would make a fantastic and fair AG, mainly because they have compassion.

Not sure what the Dems ultimate plans are if they have two candidates running for governor. At this point, not sure if they have any plans at all. They certainly can’t go back to 2016’s playbook. That’s bloody obvious.

What really happened on the Eve of McGovern Day Dinner?

I may not have all the details, but I certainly know more then Pitty knows.

I was invited to attend the Executive Board Meeting Friday night by several members of the E-Board, that said it was open to the public. I could see the writing on the wall, and I knew what was going to happen if I showed up, a big boot in my butt. Not just because of the blog, but because I am not a registered Democrat.

I declined to go, but one of my fellow foot soldiers who IS a registered Democrat did attend. The meeting lasted over 3 hours, and according to many at the event, it was about 2-1/2 hours to long.

The first thing on the agenda was to vote to kick out ALL media and recordings and only allow Dems. My foot soldier got to stay because of his party registration.

From there on out, it was a train wreck.

The E-Board distributed packets for the meeting, but was left with strict instructions NOT to leave the room, they had details of budget and financials. I have not seen the packet or know what it contains.

There have already been 15 applications submitted for the Executive Director position, and will officially be posted on May 21. They will have a 5 member board to select the ED.

After that, I guess the fighting begin between factions, ‘old guard against the insurgents’. At one point I guess a board member said, “Is this a good time to discuss open carry?” Not sure if it got any laughs.

Then the fight begin to get Paula Hawks elected to replace current Chair Tornberg. Many agreed that McGovern Day weekend would be a poor time to replace the chair do to a coo.

Then a discussion begin to pass on the vote to change chair to this summer. So many dates were thrown around, that I would prefer not to say what I think they decided, but I think it was July 31st. I guess some self-appointed parliamentarian from the young Dems at USD was confusing everyone with the proper process, at one point he leaves once people stop listening to him (kind of reminds you of all our Washington delegation candidates over the past couple of election cycles, lose once, and leave the state).

I was told that while the discussion got pretty contentious at times, people were respectable and no F-Bombs were dropped. But a lot of people left unhappy.

Do the Dems have someone besides Sutton for a candidate for governor

While the SDDP is embroiled in a Executive Board meeting as we speak (started at 7 PM and still going at 10 PM) There may be good news on the horizon for them after all.

It seems they have another person considering a run for Governor besides Sutton.

I won’t say who it is until closer to their announcement, that is IF they decide to do it, but let’s just say they come from a VERY public sector professional background and would be a fantastic opponent to Jackley/Noem or Huether. They would especially keep Jackley on his toes during the campaign. There uphill battle will be name recognition.

What I can tell from their political leanings is they would be a moderate Democrat with SOME progressive ideals for the state, especially when it comes to the drug problem ravishing our state and the mental health of our state.

Stay tuned!

Paula Hawks is seeking the SDDP State Chair seat

She sent out this email this afternoon;

Good evening members of the South Dakota Democratic

Party State Central Committee,

I am Paula Hawks, former state legislator from District 9 (Hartford) and 2016 Congressional candidate for the South Dakota Democratic Party.  In response to Rachelle Norberg’s call for prospective party chair candidates, I am writing to you today to let you know why I am throwing my hat into the State Chair race.  Having run a few campaigns and won a couple I have some insight into what needs to be happening for Democratic candidates in South Dakota to be successful. A thoughtful, comprehensive strategy for long-term party development is necessary and must be developed as soon as possible. It takes a lot of dedicated, passionate people willing to step up and put their money, and their time, where their mouths are and then show results. This can only happen with leadership that is capable of unifying multiple factions within the party. I believe I can provide that leadership.

We haven’t seen a strategic plan from the state office telling us what the plan is for the next five years, the next year, or even the next six months. From a business perspective, this is unacceptable. I have had the privilege of being a high school teacher, a training professional and a talent recruiting specialist. Not once did I work for a company that did not have a short- and long-term strategic plan in place. Once you have the strategic plan in place, you have to have the capital to make it happen, and the leadership capability to execute it across the state. Our fundraising efforts have been lackluster and have not been meeting the needs of a major political party working to ensure the election of progressive candidates across the state. Listening sessions are great, but only if some action comes about as a result of what is heard. We need to take that data, analyze it, determine what it means for the mission of the SDDP, and then involve our leaders to develop our strategic plan around it.

This is what I intend to do if elected to the Chairmanship of the SDDP:

  1. Capitalize on the opportunities being handed to us by the massive numbers of people taking action through the many resistance groups forming across the state:  LEAD, Progress SD, South Dakota Forward, Pantsuit Nation…There are more people than ever who want to be involved and are looking for a way to move ideas forward rather than sitting in a dark room complaining. The listening sessions left people feeling like they weren’t really heard, and so they are finding other ways to be engaged and active in creating progress. Let’s engage these groups as partners!
  2. I will work to reinforce the existing relationships I have with media outlets in South Dakota, so that when we give them our message, they report it.  I will work to craft a consistent, clear message about the intent and goal of the Democratic Party and I will make it a priority to keep that message in front of statewide media outlets. We have to hold the media accountable for reporting the news from more than one angle. Lopsided news reports are doing us no favors–our media outreach must work to promote the actions of Democrats around the state, AND holds Republicans and Democrats alike accountable.
  3. The wait-and-see strategy that is occurring now isn’t working – we can’t wait for the reporters to come to us – we have to go to them and keep the lines of communication open.
  4. I will vigorously pursue the formulation and dissemination of a strategic plan of action. Within 30 days of my election, I will have called together the Executive Board of the South Dakota Democratic Party to create this document, which will provide a roadmap for communicating a progressive message, engaging voters and citizens at the grassroots level. This cannot be one person’s idea of what needs to be emphasized and executed, but the coming together of the elected leadership of every part of the state. The needs and desires of the southeast part of the state are different from those of the western part of the state and the northeast and central parts of the state.  We must focus all of those priorities and bring about a centralized message that identifies the mission of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
  5. I will expand fundraising efforts and make them a much larger priority.  The money is out there – we just have to get people to take it out of their pockets by showing them we have a plan that can work!  There is no excuse for the chair of the party to be spending tens of thousands of dollars of personal money to fund the state party instead of fundraising from partners that grow our influence.  We must focus on finding new ways to engage people that sparks their passion for supporting their party.  We do this by hosting events more often than twice a year and in more locations than just Sioux Falls and Rapid City.  Engaged people will support the party with their money, and when people make that kind of investment, they tend to be more engaged!  This is a positive loop of support and involvement.

These are the things I intend to do to lead this party into the progressive future we all want, while building a sustainable, connected Democratic Party that responds to the needs of all South Dakotans.  We want to move South Dakota forward. We have waited too long, hoping that a plan will emerge, that action will be taken.  Enough waiting, we need to start this YESTERDAY!

We have an incredible opportunity right now to build a strong team in the state party office: we have an empty executive director seat.  I will not go into this decision lightly or with preconceived notions of who I think will do the best job.  Again, this is not a decision to be made by one person, but by the leadership of the state party.  We also cannot wait to make this decision. We need an ED in place to start building momentum for the next election cycle and to start executing the strategic plan as soon as it is drafted and approved.

We need a polished approach of strategy and tactics combined.  This means not just ideas, but action steps to make those ideas happen.  These are things we can do, this is what we must do, and this is what I will do if elected to be the chair.  The buck stops with the Chair of the Party and our current state of affairs stops with our current chair.  It’s time for a change.

Thank you,


Drinking Liberally fills us in on some interesting tidbits

Seems there is going to be some shakeups in the SD Dem party next weekend, or maybe not;

In South Dakota: Next weekend the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) will hold its McGovern Day dinner, the SDDP’s big annual gathering and fundraiser. Keith Ellison, Congressman from neighboring Minnesota and National Democratic Party Vice-chair, is scheduled to be the featured speaker. Keith was one of the few Democratic office holders who endorsed Bernie Sanders, the Socialist from Vermont, in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primaries. He said Bernie reminded him of Jack Lemmon in that greatest of all Minnesota ice fishing movies, “Grumpy Old Men”.

The SDDP will hold a state Central Committee meeting in conjunction with the dinner. Constitutional amendments, which could lead to an election of state party officers at this same meeting, have been introduced. To quote from a letter from Rachelle Norberg summarizing the proposed amendments, “One of the most important changes in the proposed amendment is the moving of State Officer elections to a spring window on odd-numbered years, typically held at the same time as the McGovern Day fundraiser. If passed, this change causes an election of new officers to be held April 29th, 2017. Please ensure all potential officer candidates are given adequate notice to the best of your ability”

There could be fireworks at the Central Committee meeting, folks!!! Rumor has it that Paula Hawks wants Ann Tornberg’s job.

I am not a big fan of the current SDDP Chair, but a snap election, initiated in this manner, with almost no notice, seems deeply arrogant on the part of the conspirators and very wrong-headed. This appears to be a palace coup by Powers behind the throne. Changing one Queen for another is not progress even if the new Queen would be substantially taller. Change requires changing the Powers that be.

I would agree with the mighty Pooh-Bah, change can be good, but you have to do it carefully. I keep telling the Dems I would return to the party if they get their poop in groop, looks like I will be an Indy for the indefinite future.

Another ‘Sloppy’ announcement from the SD Dems

“There’s a tear in my beer because I’m crying for yah dear, please help run this race . . .”

When I first heard about this on Monday, I thought the announcement of Suzie’s departure and a possible run by Billie so sloppy, I just sat on the news to see if someone heard something different, I guess not;

Jones Pranger didn’t say whose campaign she would be working on, but signaled it would be for state Sen. Billie Sutton, D-Burke. (Sutton has not announced his 2018 plans.) “South Dakota Democrats have many great potential candidates like Senator Billie Sutton who, should they decide to run, would level the playing field for South Dakota’s working class,” Jones Pranger said in an email.

This could have been coordinated better . . . oh, nevermind, forgot who I was talking about. And we’ll all sit around in November of 2018 and wonder how Mike Huether became Governor.

South Dakota Dems working on the ‘Important Things’

I only stayed at the Minnehaha County Dems meeting last night for a few minutes. I showed up right when they were deciding what new protest signs to pick out. I think the favorite was. ‘We Shall Overcomb’.


South Dakota Democrats! WAKE UP!!

If opportunity was ever knocking on the Dems doors, it is 2018.

Let’s face the facts, Trump and his limp congress and senate will be burning bridges like no tomorrow come January 2018. But even if Trump is still popular, this is the first time in a long time that there will be so many open seats in a multitude of races.

Sioux Falls school board (empty seat, have until March 28, 2017 to get petitions) so far only one candidate has formerly announced, Cynthia Mickelson, wife of ‘Dark Money’ crusader Mark Mickelson. Democrats should be all over this easy race. They expect the voter turnout to be so low they are going to hand count the election. You could literally win this race by a couple of votes.

Sioux Falls city council, Four seats (two open seats, At-Large & Central. Two incumbents, At-Large, South East). Another shoe-in for Democrats, especially when it is a non-partisan race (Your party designation doesn’t appear on the ballot). The next city council is going to need some progressives to address many economic issues facing our city.

Sioux Falls mayor (open seat) I swear by the notion that the next Mayor is going to have to be the opposite of Huether. He was anything but a Democrat, and he knew it, that is why he left the party. It will take someone who will represent not only open government but ALL citizens no matter their economic status.

Attorney General of SD (open seat) with Jackboots running for governor, this will open this wide open. Besides US Congress, this may be a job Brendan Johnson could consider running for.

Secretary of State of SD (open seat) with the shoe salesperson boot scooting her way out of the SOS office (in which she had to hire temps to help clean up after the last goon farting all over it and wiped his butt with the state flag) this would be another great seat  for Dems to pick up (they should have last time).

Governor of SD (open seat) this will quickly become a hot mess all around. I have suggested the Dems put up Joe Lowe as their candidate and have NO primary. I know Billy Sutton’s name comes up quite often too, but I don’t think Billy knows what party he is in, since he continually votes for Republican tax plans (teacher pay).

US Congress (open seat) I’m still sticking to my guns and say Huether will run for this seat as an indy. This leaves him and Dusty to battle it out leaving a popular Democrat to sweep in at the end. I say Dusty because I don’t think Shantel ‘Glass Slipper’ Krebs can beat Dusty. He is just a far more personable campaigner, and if you have had any interaction with Shoeless Krebs you will realize she holds an elitist attitude towards the minions. She is vehemently against the initiated measure process. As for my MMM prediction, it is something I have felt for awhile, but after him and his BFF, Rob Oliver slipped SHS in at Augie, I felt it was a mild ploy to eliminate her as competition.

With all these open seats, the Democrats need to pounce NOW! The Republicans are already showing multiple candidates for Governor, Congress and AG. And what have the Democrats shown? NOT Squat.

As I have told several within the party, the chair, Ann Tornberg needs to be calling the leading candidates RIGHT NOW and asking the question, Yes? NO? Or Maybe? Especially with some of the obvious ones, like Brendan Johnson. This screwing around worrying about IM 22 and whether or no gays can adopt need to be handled by special interests. The party needs to concentrate on rebuilding the party, that means finding at least 2 candidates to run for each of these seats and several of the legislative races. If the Democratic party can’t start making announcements by at least the end of May (2017) they might as well just shut the lights off and pack up, because you are toast.

Update: State Auditor, Commissioner of School & Public Lands and PUC will also be up for grabs.