Entries Tagged 'South Dakotans' ↓

Paula Hawks voted in as new chair of the SDDP

 

Congrats to Paula. I’m sure she has a lot of work ahead of her cleaning up the Tornberg mess.

But in a surprising election, Paula had to go up against Tornberg in the 2nd and final round. No one reached 51% in the first round of voting, so the top two were picked. Paula got 72% of the vote vs. Tornberg’s 28%.

SD Democratic Party staff decide to Unionize 3 days before Chair election

While I am all for the staff Unionizing, why wasn’t this done years ago instead of a couple of days before a LIKELY new chair will be elected. It smells a bit.

As a person who has worked in printing for 25 years, we have often run into roadblocks in getting printing from the SDDP because they require a union printer. I only know of ONE union printer in Sioux Falls and they cannot handle large statewide mailings, that I know. That is why a lot of SDDP LARGE mailings are printed out of state at bigger union facilities. I find it to be a double standard requiring union printers when the staff isn’t even unionized.

Like I said, this is a good step, but it also looks like it will tie the hands of the new chair. Make no mistake, the new chair will want to make staff changes. I think it is pretty obvious that when there is a regime change, you change a few soldiers under that regime. I guess we will see what kind of roadblocks this presents for the new chair. I told one candidate already that if they win they need to ‘Clean House’. You can’t keep remnants of a failing party around when you are trying to rebuild it. Fixing the SDDP will take more than just a new chair, it will take a NEW staff willing to try NEW ideas, whether they are union or not.

Drinking Liberally weighs in on the State of the SDDP

In South Dakota, the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) will choose its Chairman for the next four years next week in Oacoma. There are five Democratic Candidates and one candidate who claims to be a Democrat when it is convenient for her. (Paula Hawks).

Despite a lot of good intentions and whatever the results, the SDDP will probably remain what it is today, a Top Down organization whose leaders will continue to wonder why its members don’t participate and do their bidding. Rather than live up to its name and reform itself and become a truly (small “d”) democratic organization, the SDDP will most likely remain a rural dominated Party in which “one county” rather than “one person” equals one vote and in which a Harding County with its 173 Democratic voters will have as much say in Party affairs as a Minnehaha, Pennington, Beadle or a Brown County with their tens of thousands of Democratic voters.

It was pointed out the other day that South Dakota has more cows per capita than any other state in the Nation. As long as the SDDP is governed on the basis of “one cow equals one vote” it and its candidates will never be able to form a message that resonates with a majority of both urban and rural voters. Instead it will lie moribund on the table as it does now, only partially organized and available to any cohesive interest group to use as a platform for its agenda, no matter how popular or unpopular that interest groups ideas may be to the general public.

It is a sad state of affairs because the Democratic Party affords ordinary people one of the few structures where they can regularly express their political preferences and attempt to influence the public discussion. Alternatively, people can either accept their powerlessness or choose to form and fund an independent organization of their own, an alternative, which for practical purposes, is available only to the wealthy, the well connected or those with a lot of extra time on their hands.

Despite my skepticism, I wish the SDDP well for they are the only alternative in town to the Republican Party, the Party of Trump, an alternative totally unacceptable to me for many reasons but also because, unlike our Senators, I don’t feel like Kowtowing anytime soon.

I need a Drink.

Direct Mail still works! Better than ever.

I noticed this post about the Yankton County Democratic Party Chair Candidate forum on Saturday. First I want to say I don’t have a dog in the fight, not only am I NOT a delegate, I’m not a registered Democrat (just a very bitter and cynical indy). I also have no issues with Paula Hawks, though I think the best person for the chair is John Claussen. I think Paula had her shot but screwed it up so badly it should disqualify her. But I wanted to pick apart some of the things she said on Saturday;

Paula Hawks asserted that the party needs to give members something to believe in rather than just issues to fight against. She also said that party lacks a central message and has not done a good job of showing what it means to be a Democrat.

I agree that the party needs a central message like farming, affordable healthcare and better wages but I also think each candidate needs to mold a special message for the district they are running in. I have felt that the SDDP has too often tried to create the message (simplify it) for each individual candidate. This is painting with too broad of a brush. I think the state party needs to concentrate on raising money for candidates and let the individual candidate create their own unique Democratic message in relation to their district, or even the office they are running for (legislator, city councilor, county commissioner, etc.).

Finally, she claimed that the state party needs to do more with both social media and mainstream media to get the message out. She pointed out that many young voters have moved away from Facebook and rely on Snapchat or Instagram and asserted that the party needs to fashion a message to fit those platforms.

This is where the party has been f’ing the chicken for several years. They keep thinking that the only way to bring in younger voters is by posting on Social Media. While it’s ok to campaign on social media (it’s mostly free) you have to tie it in with a strong direct mail strategy and campaign. In fact, several experts who study direct mail found that the younger generation 18-35ish love getting direct mail, in fact they read it more than voters 55 and older (which come in 2nd place) while middle age has continued to be flat.

A variety of studies have concluded that millennials favor and even enjoy receiving direct mail. InfoTrendsconducted a survey finding that while only 26% of millennials prefer email marketing, 38% prefer direct mail pieces. In addition, millennials are more likely than any other generation to read their mail, in great part due to the fact that they actually enjoy receiving mail; in fact, this study found that 25% of millennials consider reading direct mail a leisure activity. The USPS found that 47% of millennials look forward to checking their mailbox each day, which Harris Diamond, CEO of the global advertising network McCann, affectionately refers to as “The Mail Moment.” It’s important that companies attempting to target millennials effectively tap into this moment.

Not only do millennials like to read their mail, but they also pay closer attention to it than any other age demographic. In 2016, the USPS found that 40% of millennials read direct mail thoroughly, compared to only 18% of non-millennials. They also discovered that millennials spend more time reading mail compared to other generations: an average of 9.7 minutes each day, compared to 7.9 minutes for Generation X and 8 minutes for Baby Boomers. These reports illustrate that millennials are extremely likely to engage with direct mail marketing material.

So why is that? Because the younger generation has NOT grown up with mail, they have grown up with social media and phones, they are bored with it. A good, old fashioned direct mail campaign towards younger voters tied into social media and good old door knocking is incredibly effective. It also helps to have definitive voting lists of who actually votes. As Cameraman Bruce would say, “Enough of the Facebook games.” Direct mail works if you work it. Every successful campaign I have worked on used direct mail as it’s central messenger.

UPDATE: Democrats to hold 1st Forum of State Chair candidates

The Brookings County Democrats will be hosting a forum for all of the candidates for State Democratic Chair this Saturday, at 1pm, at the Brookings city library.

The Six  Candidates are: John Claussen (my choice), John Cunningham (my 2nd choice), Paula Hawks, Tom Cool, Allison Renville & Ann Tornberg.

Here is the video from today’s forum;

Posted by Brookings County Democrats on Saturday, February 9, 2019

I’m a credentialed journalist of ONE

In South Dakota, you can get a badge for almost anything!

As I have stated before, there is no credentialing of journalists in South Dakota. You can certainly belong to the SD Newspaper Association, you can also work for a TV station or newspaper in which you collect a paycheck. You can also have a degree in communications and journalism. But in SD, there is NO organization that will give you credentials.

I find it ironic that a state legislature and governor’s office find it necessary that you have credentials to carry a pen, but you only need a holster to carry a gun.

Their misunderstandings between the 1st & 2nd Amendments are astounding.

South Dakota MSM should be against this bill

It surprises me that the print and TV MSM is not against this bill since it leaves out the internet as a news service;

(1)    Obtains or receives the information, with or without solicitation, in the course of gathering or obtaining news for publication in a newspaper, magazine, or for broadcast by a radio or television transmission station or network; and

(2)    Is employed by or otherwise associated in a new-gathering capacity with the newspaper, magazine, or radio or television transmission station or network [HB 1074].

While I have several arguments against being ‘PAID’ to qualify as a journalist (I do sell advertising). It amazes me in this digital age that the local TV and Print wouldn’t be against this legislation because it does NOT include the internet.

The argument is obvious. The Argus Leader and all of our local TV stations maintain very active websites. Even some of the more advertising slanted media in town like 605 Magazine has an active website. Siouxfalls.business is only web based.

I get no news from TV. Haven’t turned one on in over 6 years (except in my occasional hotel stays). I read the state’s dailies online. In fact, if I had to guess, most of these media sources could not pay the bills or survive if they shut down their websites.

While it is obvious the ‘internet’ was left off of this bill to poke an eye at bloggers, it really misses the point that most people get their news digitally. While Pitty Patt may not be my favorite person in the whole wide world, I think he said it best;

Given the prevalence and shift of resources to the Internet in the news world, I would argue that it’s the legislative equivalent of writing legislation for licensing requirements for the horse and buggy… and ignoring the fact that most people are traveling by automobile.

I’m surprised there wasn’t a bill proposed this year that asks the Capital Building to maintain a stable.

UPDATE: Paula Hawks announces she is running for Dem Chair

UPDATE: Last night before I posted this I was told by some upstanding members of the SD Democratic Party that the vote for chair would be decided by a simple plurality. Basically ONE vote, ONE election. Well since than, a new ruling has come down. Now they are claiming there are no specific rules in the Constitution saying it is a simple majority or 50% of the vote. The Constitution does say, however, anything that is not specifically written in the SDDP Constitution will defer to parliamentary procedure and that the Executive Board will be reviewing the rules during their next monthly meeting.

So what does that mean?  If they defer to Robert’s Rules, then we keep having balloting until a candidate gets 50%.  It could go all night.

All this rule changing and indecision is the EXACT reason why the party needs new leadership.

Another hat in the ring;

I am Paula Hawks, former state legislator from District 9 (Hartford) and 2016 Congressional candidate for the South Dakota Democratic Party.  I am announcing my candidacy for the State Chair of the Democratic Party, along with Jack Mortenson for Vice Chair, and Caroline Hansen for Secretary.  Bringing a united, strong leadership team is important to the success of the Party at a time when we need to be developing a strategy for success in 2020.  From the top of the Congressional ticket to local elections all over the state, we must focus our attention on building the Democratic Party’s ability to identify strong candidates and support them in their endeavors.

This adds to the current list of John Cunningham (SF), Ann Tornberg (Beresford) and Tom Cool (SF). There is also another announcement of another Sioux Falls resident that will be running coming soon (who I support). Since the vote is based on plurality, it’s anyone’s game, but I think it will be a close matchup between Hawks and one of the three candidates from Sioux Falls.

Nice knowing you Ann . . .

I do know that Randolph Seiler did consider the volunteer position but decided not to run.

Who is Ann Tornberg kidding?

Ann Tornberg is running for Re-Election as SDDP Chair. I know. Almost more baffling than Constitutional Carry. You can read her BIO and Plea below, but I did get a good barrel laugh out of this;

“There is still much to do and no one understands that more than the person who has the experience, work ethic, and perseverance to take the job despite the challenge and the critics.”

You have ‘CRITICS’ because your tenure has been a total failure! We have had enough of your ‘Experience’. It’s time to Elect a NEW chair that wants to move the party forward instead of incredibly backwards.

Ann Tornberg, Running for Re-Election as SDDP Chair

Background: Ann is a retired high school English teacher, speech and debate coach, having spent 32 years at Beresford and Sioux Falls Lincoln HS.  Prior to retiring in 2010, she was elected President of the Sioux Falls Education Association, the largest public union in the state of SD, at that time. She first ran for the State Legislature in 2010 and did so in three more cycles.  While she lost these races in a highly GOP District (District 16 has 4,000 more Republicans than Democratic voters) she knew there were other ways to serve and became a volunteer legislative aide serving every day in Pierre at four Sessions (2013-2016).  She was elected Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party in Dec. of 2014, starting her four-year term in Jan. of 2015.

Ann and her husband of 43 years, Mike, own and operate their four-generation family farm south of Beresford.  Their two daughters (one a family physician, the other a teacher) are both married to farmers. Their six grandkids are just as smart and talented as your own (if you are lucky enough to have them).

As with all other Democratic state and county officers, Ann is entirely a volunteer.

Prior to becoming Chair, Ann served on the SDDP Executive Board (2010-2014) and is Chair of the Union County Democrats. Why run again for an unpaid full-time job? Ann explains:

“I have learned, adjusted, and grown through this position. We expanded with a Rapid City office, have five full-time year-round employees, and just approved the 2019 budget to add a full time Tribal Organizer. We’ve grown Founder’s Club from 160 to 430 members in four year. I believe I am best equipped to continue to expand relationships with county leaders, legislators, potential candidates, other progressive groups, and Democratic leaders from other states. I have regular personal communications with DNC Chair Tom Perez.  My experience authoring the Delegate Selection Plan for SD will be essential for the 2020 National Presidential Convention. There is only one direction to move…forward.  I believe I am the person best equipped to keep moving in that direction.

There is still much to do and no one understands that more than the person who has the experience, work ethic, and perseverance to take the job despite the challenge and the critics.

The current Vice Chair, Joe Lowe has decided not to run.  I want to thank him for his service.  If I am re-elected as Chair on March 23, Larry Lucus will run as Vice Chair.  As a former educator, Vice Chair of the SD Education Association, and State Legislator, Larry brings a wealth of experience and connections to this team.  Thank-you Larry for your willingness to serve.

Larry and I would sincerely appreciate your support on March 23 as we elect the officers who will lead us for the next four years.”

Say it ain’t so! Tornberg to seek another 4-year term

According to my sources, Ann Tornberg is seeking another 4-year term as SD Democratic Party chair;

Ann Tornberg, the current Chair of the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) has announced she will seek another 4 year term as State Party Chair despite the continuing decline in Democratic voter registration (down over 13% under her leadership and now resting at 29% of all registered voters, the lowest it has been in living memory) and the lack of success the Democratic Party has enjoyed statewide in recent years (no Democrat has won statewide since 2008 while Democratic representation in the state legislature has declined from 20 seats in 2014 to 16 seats today) . I guess Ann thinks when you are losing, more of the same is a good thing. Needless to say, I oppose her election to another 4 year term. There must be someone out there who can pick up the remnants of the Democratic Party and make it relevant again. Dig deep, Democrats! You need something, but the one thing you don’t need is four more years of the same failed effort.

My suggestion would be Pam Nelson or Bruce Danielson. Let’s see what happens.