Short Summary: The forecast is bleak with no change foreseen for the SDDP

This was sent to me by a reader;

Full Report: I attended the SDDP’s E-Board and Central Committee meeting in Mitchell on Saturday (12/10/2016). I was not in the room for any Quorum count but I am sure they had a Quorum for both meetings. I counted 13 counties toward the Quorum for the Central Committee plus a number of people I didn’t recognize. Electronic attendance was allowed too, though no notice was given.

Ann Tornberg acknowledged things went badly in November but she has no intention of stepping down. She never misses an opportunity to remind listeners that she was elected to a four-year term two years ago.

The Budget was presented to the E-Board without much discussion. Niblink  congratulated the Party for having a $100,000.00 cash surplus at year-end without any material liabilities against it. The meeting then adjourned to executive session to discuss salaries. This lasted at least an hour. ( Not being an E-Board member, I toured the Discovery Museum. (Interesting Museum. I recommend it.)

Meeting reconvened. The Budget was approved without much discussion. (I learned two days later that they approved $10,000.00 in staff salary increases in executive session). (I guess this was a reward for the poor results in November Ann alluded to.)  (The SDDP has 4 staff people, three subsidized by DNC at $2500.00 per month.)

The Black Hills area was promised their own office by Ann when she was elected Chair in December 2014. A motion was made to honor this commitment but it was tabled for further study. Ann reported on the listening sessions the Party has held. She said the take away was that we need a coherent message. She plans to hold more. She also announced she would not be working for the Democratic Caucus this session but instead planned to attend County Party meetings wherever they are.

Lunch Break

Central Committee Meeting:

Was carbon copy of E-board meeting except that 1) no mention during Budget approval of staff salary increases.. 2) I pointed out that it shouldn’t be considered an accomplishment to have a $100,000.00 cash surplus at the end of an election cycle; that the SDDP was not a profit making operation but was supposed to elect Democrats to office and I suggested that such a balance is evidence of poor planning. Staff responded that Republicans have a $300,000.00 surplus and that the SDDP didn’t spend the money because it wasn’t budgeted for. Someone then suggested perhaps they should have a process to approve spending when the SDDP has more cash than they budgeted for.

3) New Budget has projected a surplus of $56,000.00. So I asked if I was correct in understanding that the $100,000.00 surplus and the $56,000.00 surplus projected for 2017 meant the SDDP would end up with a $156,000.00 surplus at the end of next year. I was told this was correct. A discussion then followed about setting aside money for Statewide Candidates.  It was discouraged by Ann and nothing happened. 4) Then followed a discussion of the Black Hills office again with Leonard, Pennington County chair on the phone obviously pushing hard for a commitment. Tom Katus had a written proposal from Joe Lowe which was handed out. Finally, a motion was adopted  “To commit to a study of the proposal and report back at the next meeting” (probably in February).


Oh! And Tom Cool never missed an opportunity to remind the group that the squares on the Party’s organizational chart have been assigned responsibilities which they need to perform. Or else.


#1 Bill on 12.13.16 at 11:34 pm

Another organization struggling for relevance in SD and losing. For another example see The Argus Leader.

#2 l3wis on 12.13.16 at 11:43 pm

What amazes me is the obvious is always on top. Like mold on bread or turd floating in a toilet that doesn’t flush.

Who keeps 100K in a bank account when your party is getting beat to a pulp? Seriously, you would think they would be robbing their children’s penny jars to win?!

It’s like they enjoy the pain. Like people who actually think Bettie Page was spanked in her thousand dollar Italian boots.

I don’t get it. And trust me, I have read our founding fathers papers, about Liberty, and Trust and better union.

These people are more worried their asses will show up, chapped and red in the latest, sad, conservative dailies strewn across this state.

Whatever happened to pride?

Proud to be a flaming Liberal who cares about the less fortunate, and not whether or not teachers can afford a fishing boat for the summers they have off.

#3 The D@ily Spin on 12.14.16 at 9:09 am

And Sioux Falls, the city with a Democrat for mayor. Tobacco is conscription only. A monument to Sadam Hussein across its river namesake. Soon, no police. Even if they make to much, they stood still to slow down criminals so 84 year old ladies had time to shoot. The city where you can’t vote because there’s no form. A place where there’s restricted indoor Aquatics because it’s built on federal land with federal money. Huethercare didn’t work. We need a new program.

#4 duggersd on 12.14.16 at 1:05 pm

The Democrat party is not relevant in SD. This might because what they have to offer is not relevant to South Dakotans. The Republican party is not relevant in California. This might be because what the Republicans have to offer is not relevant to Californians. South Dakotans and Californians tend to scoff at each other, so it is not surprising.

#5 l3wis on 12.14.16 at 1:43 pm

That’s just it, Democrats values ring with regular working class South Dakotans more then the Republicans. Just look at the ballot issues Democrats have been pushing, they usually win. Sure V and T failed. But everything else flew by. The problem with the party is they can’t relay that message to voters when it comes to their candidates. Why? Because leadership and message F’ing Suck right now.

#6 The D@ily Spin on 12.14.16 at 1:43 pm

We didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left us.

#7 Reliable Voter on 12.14.16 at 5:35 pm

Anyone who answered the fundraising requests from the SDDP in the last weeks of this election cycle with a donation – your money wasn’t spent to elect Democrats but instead went in to an account to pay staff in 2017. That’s what the budget says, correct?

#8 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 12.14.16 at 9:26 pm

Well, they are most likely sandbagging for 2018, when the “Powers that be” within Democratic circles will emerge once again, because life is easier when there are open seats like for governor and congress.

Williams most likely would have never beat Thune, although Mr. Williams is a good man, but it would have been nice if the SDDP had dropped some of that $ 100,000 on Mr. Williams’ campaign, after the Thune flip-flop on Trump in October, especially. Because it would have helped to dent the armor of our senior senator and his claimed invincibility in preparing for the Senator’s defeat, hopefully, in 2022 with the help of the fourth term jinx….Oh well (?)……

This $ 100,000 proves Paula Hawks’ recent criticism of the SDDP to be spot on, does it not? She probably could have used some of those funds to help her campaign with more effect GOTV and TV ads…. But I say this with some reserve, since I found her recent criticism of the SDDP to be some what disingenuous when you consider that her own campaign back in 2012, for the State House, funded a post card telling voters in District 9 to vote for her and one of the Republicans, thus, selling-out her Democratic House partner in District 9……( Karma anyone?)

#9 l3wis on 12.14.16 at 9:31 pm

I don’t think they have any interest in winning. I can’t understand how someone can F’ck something up this bad unless they were trying.

#10 The Blogger Formerly Known as "Winston" on 12.14.16 at 9:55 pm

Well, it does seem that the art of winning has become a lost art for Dems in this state. There no longer seems to be any interest or understanding of how to set up an effective GOTV and or targeted voter registration plan.

We are living in the “Dark Ages” of South Dakota Democratic politics right now. We cannot wait for a white knight or Michelangelo to come along to begin a “Renaissance,” rather there are monks amongst us, who have the knowledge, but they are no longer sharing, some of them, however, will conveniently reappear in 2018, but we need them now and every year, and not just during their parochial convenience….