Entries Tagged 'Democrats' ↓

South Dakota Democratic Party Struggling, Big Time!

From Drinking Liberally;

Unfortunately, in South Dakota, the Democratic Party has shown little ability to take advantage of Trump’s unpopularity. Democrats continue to lose the Voter Registration battle to Republicans. According to the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website, Democrats lost another 449 registered voters in February while Republican registration increased by 325 voters. In all the Republican advantage over Democrats increased by 774 voters in February. Overall, it now stands at 87,112 voters or, to put it another way, by an average of 2489 voters in each of South Dakota’s 35 Legislative Districts. That is a big deficit for a Candidate to overcome and a big hole the SDDP needs to climb out of.

A year ago the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) announced a big voter registration drive. It even got a $10,000.00 grant from the DNC to conduct registration drives on Indian Reservations. The SDDP doesn’t have much to show for its effort. Since last April Democratic voter registration statewide has dropped by 11,360 voters, from 169,688 to 158,328 or 6.7%. I encourage the SDDP to rethink what they are doing. I don’t know what it is but it obviously is not working.

I think it is time for ALL NEW leadership.

Democratic Forum, Friday, Feb 16, 2018

The Sioux Falls Democratic Forum’s regular Friday get together at the Sioux Falls VFW brought in District 15 Sen. Reynold Nesiba and Rep Jamie Smith. The February 16, 2018 talk brought the appreciative crowd up to date on the events in Pierre this legislative session.

Sioux Falls Chamber caves to Republican Pouting – Punishes Dems


Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce won’t allow Minnehaha County Democrats to sponsor annual legislative coffees

January 15, 2018

On Thursday, January tenth the Minnehaha County Democratic Party (MCDP) was notified they won’t be allowed to sponsor the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce (SFACC) Legislative Coffees as they have for years.

The Minnehaha County Republican Party (MCRP), the Minnehaha-Lincoln Republican Women, and Americans for Prosperity all pulled their sponsorship from the SFACC Legislative Coffees for 2018. Speculation is the conservative organizations didn’t like a recent article (Argus Leader, Sept. 20, 2017) in which SFACC President and CEO, Jason Ball expressed concern over events that are “antagonistic to immigrants and new demographic groups in Sioux Falls,” and “legislation and policies that negatively target specific populations …”

“We believe the Republicans are trying to punish the Chamber for a stance that they don’t agree with. Unfortunately, that resulted in the Chamber trying to smooth things over by removing us, the opposition party, from the event,” said Heather Halverson, Minnehaha County Democratic Party Chairwoman “We see this as an effort to appease the Republicans, while removing our voice. From our perspective, this is undemocratic.”

This year’s events will be held at the Holiday Inn City Centre from 10:00 am to 11:45 am on February 3rd, 10th, and 24th. The SFACC Legislative Coffees include legislators from area districts and allow the public to ask timely questions related to the 2018 legislative session. The Republican legislators that attend the coffees outnumber the Democrats twenty-six to four.

“We have been a longtime sponsor of the Legislative Coffees. As the minority party in the state, it is very important for us to have a table at the event, and allow local residents to stop by and ask us questions about our platform, legislative matters and our upcoming events,” said Halverson. “We aren’t the party that picked up our ball and went home because we didn’t like the way the game was going.”

Heather Halverson, Chair

Minnehaha County Democratic Party
SouthDaCola Notes; While I could care less what either party is up to in our state, I think this is pretty crappy to treat the MCDP this way because the Republicans are a bunch of whiny crybabies that want to continue to push their racist and homophobic views on the rest of us. The sad part is that the Chamber should NOT have to apologize for Jason’s comments, he is right, being a racist is bad for business.

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.