I got this email on Friday;
The South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) under the leadership of its Vice-Chair, Randy Seiler, held an emergency Executive Board meeting last Saturday following the abrupt resignation of its Chair, Paula Hawks, and its Executive Director, Stacey Burnette. The meeting was held in Ft. Pierre but yours truly and several other Democrats attended the meeting by phone. I can report that the SDDP is in good hands with Randy Seiler. He handled the meeting professionally and patiently, allowed everyone to voice their concerns and ask questions without criticism and he provided answers when he had them without requesting confidentiality. He led the group in calling a SDDP Central Committee meeting on December 7th in Mitchell to elect a new Chair and said he would step aside as Vice-Chair if the gender balance requirement of the SDDP required it. He also said he respected Paula and Stacey’s decision and requested that the Democratic Party look forward and not involve itself in finger-pointing or recrimination. Then, rather than try to do everything himself, he showed his Executive experience and appointed various Democrats, both from the E-board and outside it, to head various Task Forces to address the financial, operational, and reporting issues now facing the SDDP and report back expeditiously. Since the meeting he has followed up vigorously with those who accepted the various areas of responsibility.
With all of this, Randy has steadied the SDDP ship and set it on a course which should revitalize it going into the 2020 campaign season. I hope Randy remains in a leadership position in the SDDP.
And for those who wonder about the financial position of the SDDP, it is not nearly as dire as some would have you believe. Yes, it has a small amount of debt, less than $30,000.00, which is not unusual for a political party following a hard fought gubernatorial election. But, its monthly revenue should exceed its now pared down monthly expenses by several thousand dollars even without the additional contributions it normally receives and which it has every reason to believe will continue. Those in the South Dakota Republican Party gleefully writing the SDDP’s obituary may soon be forced to eat some proverbial political crow.