The SDDP is going to be busy today ousting an E-Board rep, Sheldon Osborn. For full disclosure, I know Sheldon pretty good, and he doesn’t deny many of the accusations hurled at him. Sheldon is an old school Dem so he isn’t big on the ‘Woke’ agenda. Sheldon and I agree that LGTBQ issues should be a rung on the Dem’s platform ladder, but not the top one. When we are struggling with food insecurity, unaffordable healthcare, under funded public education, opening up imports and exports with other countries for our farm products, gun control, affordable housing and healthcare and lastly livable wages, it’s hard to put this as a top priority. Sure, the rainbow deserves to fly it’s flag with other righteous Democratic endeavors, but it is a party of may flags and stripes.

Sheldon has NO doubt he will get the boot today. I wonder who will be in charge of turning out the lights on the Dem party in SD? Maybe they will vote on that designation today also.

You can tune in for the outing;

Good morning everyone,

On behalf of SDDP and Region 3 Representative Sharon Schulz-Elsing, I’m sending you a reminder of today’s Region 3 State Central Committe meeting scheduled for 4pm CT. The subject matter for this meeting pertains to the presentation of recall signatures for Region 3 Representative Sheldon Osborn.

Zoom information is provided below.

Notice was provided by email on Saturday, January 20, 2024 with information on the meeting. Please contact Shane Merrill ( or Sharon Schulz-Elsing ( for more information.

We’ll see you all this afternoon.

Minnehaha County Democratic Party is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Region 3 State Central Committee Meeting
Time: Jan 27, 2024 04:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 857 7447 7384
Passcode: 965317

Mr. Osborn has been a very bad boy;

For clarity and by request, I am sharing the foundational reasons submitted by petitioners to me and SDDP for initiating the current process to recall Region 3 Representative Sheldon Osborn.

  • Known efforts to prolong Jennifer Slaight-Hansen’s fight against the State Central Committee in public and private. Through a widely documented public media campaign and several communications with State Central Committee members around the state, Sheldon misrepresented the entirety of Region 3 (Minnehaha County) throughout the process of Jennifer Slaight-Hansen’s recall as State Party Chair. MCDP unanimously voted to request Jennifer Slaight-Hansen’s resignation and pursue recall. On contrary, Sheldon actively worked against the wishes of his constituency–Region 3, fully contained within Minnehaha County–and aided Slaight-Hansen’s organization-harming efforts by misinforming State Central Committee members about legal concerns, leaking information to media, discrediting State Party leaders in public forums and media, and continuously meeting and communicating with Slaight-Hansen privately to push to a recall vote, despite known communication that she had considered resignation.
  • Continuous defaming and undermining credibility of Democratic Party officials at local and state levels, as well as the South Dakota Democratic Party as an institution. Following Slaight-Hansen’s recall, MCDP and District leaders had hoped that Sheldon may work peacefully with local leadership to exercise his duties as a Region 3 Representative. Unfortunately, that hope was misplaced, as Sheldon’s words were contributed toward an op-ed written by Slaight-Hansen that her recall was wrongfully pursued, and it is highly probable, though unconfirmed, that Sheldon submitted an anonymous statement to the Rapid City Journal–published on the date of Shane Merrill’s election–that states

    “So, having forced out the Chair of the SD Democratic Party, Shane Merrill now wants to replace her and rebuild the Party ala George McGovern in the 1950s. What a surprise! Mr. Merrill, I knew George McGovern. He was a friend, Mr. Merrill, you’re no George McGovern! There is no reason to be a Democrat in South Dakota anymore.”

    Sheldon has also shared additional comments publicly and privately about the “incompetence” of state and county party leadership, as well as spreading inflammatory rumors about the private businesses of state and county party leadership attempting to take over the SDDP. This culminated with a recent email for a non-Party event called “Drinking Liberally,” in which he states “Lord knows the SDDP’’s new Leadership can use whatever help you can give them.”
  • Documented instances of homophobic statements and misconduct that has previously resulted in reprimand by local and state Party officials. New information regarding Sheldon Osborn’s misconduct was brought to our attention over the past few weeks. First, MCDP and district leaders within Region 3 are aware of statements made by Sheldon Osborn about SDDP Chair Shane Merrill’s profession as a youth baseball coach, using a slur against LGBTQ+ community members regarding pedophilia and gay men. Additionally, it has been made known to MCDP and district leaders that Sheldon Osborn has long been banned by the SDDP from its offices, to which we would request information from SDDP to support unsurprising and congruent, yet deeply concerning, conduct towards SDDP staff and leadership.
  • This decision to collectively pursue recall of Sheldon Osborn from his role as a Region 3 Representative is not taken lightly and is not done without the understanding of processes outlined in the SDDP Constitution. Given the grave impact Sheldon continues to have on our local and statewide efforts to build a stronger party and pass sound policy, it is soundly in the best interest of Region 3 and the SDDP to proceed with this recall. Our representatives are prepared to use proper channels in the SDDP Constitution to recall Sheldon Osborn and replace him with a candidate who will support Region 3’s efforts and represent the SDDP in a positive, effective manner.
  • Our Party, especially at a local level, faces many threats, but the continuous presence and undermining behavior of Sheldon Osborn is the most dangerous threat to the success of Party efforts in our state’s largest county. For these reasons and more, a majority of Region 3 SCC members seek an expeditious process to recall and replace Sheldon Osborn.


Additional personal context from the co-Region 3 Representative:

On a personal level, I have long enjoyed a cordial relationship with Sheldon as co-Region 3 Representative. It is important for the sake of a healthy party to welcome multiple perspectives and all demographics – but the sharing of those perspectives must happen in good faith and with civility. Those qualities have unfortunately not been demonstrated adequately by my partner outside our one-on-one conversations.

The position Sheldon and I each hold within the SDDP, that of Regional Representative, comes not only with the privilege and power of bringing our individual voices to the table in guiding the path of the South Dakota Democratic Party forward. It also comes with the responsibility to caretake the organization in such a way that our conduct does not weaken the party, ESPECIALLY in public. It comes with the responsibility to faithfully represent our constituency’s needs and concerns to the state party. It comes with the responsibility to actively listen as well as speak, build bridges and seek to collaborate. The personal responsibility to not browbeat, hijack meetings, sow discord, or undercut other members of leadership at any level with ugly insinuations or malicious gossip. To not deliberately splinter the party into warring factions or deepen existing “natural” divides.

Minnehaha and Lincoln County area party leaders, many of whom are relatively younger or have become active in the last decade, have been portrayed to other party leaders across the state as a “Sioux Falls mafia” that wants to reshape the nature of the SDDP in a way that utterly sidelines and silences all voices outside our metro area. Disseminating such false characterization destabilizes the party, not to mention being inaccurate and unrepresentative of the constituency our position is intended to serve.

Again, this recall action is not undertaken lightly or with relish, and I am personally sorrowful that the situation has come to this. Sheldon has decades-long experience and knowledge that by itself is valuable to the party. Unfortunately, experience and knowledge deployed in a divisive and combative manner cause more harm than good. Similarly, experience and knowledge alone do not automatically enable someone to lead and represent others effectively.

Regardless of the outcome of this recall, initiated by nearly three-quarters of those eligible to vote Sheldon in or vote him out as one of their elected representatives to state party leadership, I hope that he will individually continue to help elect Democrats in our state.

Sharon Schulz-Elsing

SDDP Region 3 Representative

17 Thoughts on “South Dakota Dems kicking another person out today at 4 PM

  1. The Guy From Guernsey on January 27, 2024 at 4:31 pm said:

    No wonder the party has difficulty gaining traction.
    Quite a circular firing squad.

  2. Very Stable Genius on January 27, 2024 at 7:02 pm said:

    There’s the Bunker Ramp and then there’s the bunker mentality. Hitler, too, used to think that he had armies he no longer had. At times, IMO, the accused can be a rat fxxker, but politics has always had some rat fxxkers. They are the kinetic energy of our political existence, because without them it becomes a stagnant reality which feeds complacency and dictatorial tendencies.

    What is being experienced here is a Cultural Revolution, where some are acting as a Gang of Four; a once revolution which ironically laid the doorway to an eventual form of pseudo capitalism in China, which was not their intent.

    A state party, which has become a city-state party consisting merely of 10, 15 and the Reservations, is not a party that can grow until it becomes tolerant of others, but that challenge appears to be an issue for both sides with this case. Such internal fighting will not strengthen the party, but rather it will merely weaken it.

    This is not a time for mutiny nor flogging, but rather a time for us all to row to a new horizon of hope and possibilities. But instead many in our party are merely playing Boy’s State and Girl’s State, while the Republicans in our state live in a real world, where they win by 65% or better.

    Stop the fighting! AND, stop going to DC for selfies at the White House, and let’s instead see our party leaders start registering Democrats once again!

  3. "Woodstock" on January 27, 2024 at 7:09 pm said:

    “Is that why they wouldn’t allow just anyone to attend the Buttigieg fundraising event in Sioux Falls last fall?” #GrowingTheParty

  4. Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on January 27, 2024 at 7:17 pm said:

    In Alabama, I heard, they use nitrogen gas.

  5. The Democrats in South Dakota could use a Cinderella story, but as long as they don’t allow just any one to attend the ball with a guy like Buttigieg, then it will never happen:

  6. Kelsey on January 27, 2024 at 9:40 pm said:

    Nah. See the thing is…the state party actually has, nor had; anything to do with this. This issue was brought forth by Region 3 voters, acted upon by Region 3 voters; and voted on by Region 3 voters. Per their rights that have been written in the state party constitution.

    So instead of spewing misinformation and spreading lies, how about you find out the facts first. The only reason this is an article of a one sided, clown car; no facts article is because the person in question sent it To you. And instead of doing a fact based article, without reaching out to both sides; you just went with “It’s the State Party” when in fact it’s not.

    Read the minutes of this meeting, you’ll be corrected once again by FACTS. But then again, you don’t like facts; hence why you “published” this click bait article.

  7. rufusx on January 28, 2024 at 7:47 am said:

    Yes Kelsey, this is a personal opinion blog, not a professional journal. I’ve known Sheldon a long time as well, and I am frankly surprised he was still a DPSC Region Rep. to this point. Good guy to sit and BS about politics over a couple beers with. But like this blog, highly opinionated – not a professionally disciplined political operative – IMO.

  8. Kelsey, thanks for the clarification, I edited the title of the post. As for the content, that was forwarded to me from Sheldon, no spin job here. Like I said, Sheldon may be guilty of the stuff, but he won’t hide from it.

    “not a professionally disciplined political operative”

    And thank gawd for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wondering when the SD Dem party is going to start using that criteria for their leadership?

  9. A Real Dem on January 28, 2024 at 9:38 am said:

    What is a Democrat? It once was a big tent filled with people with every kind of thoughts about knowledge, truth, right and wrong, religion, and the nature and meaning of life. The 1950’s methods of McGovern were very basic sales work, knock on every door and when asked, answer objections with positive images of what can be done if we work together. We need the Sheldons to balance the load we must all must carry. We are not the party of the anti-Trump, we Democrats have been the party of people who believe in each other and their strengths to build a future.

    Getting rid of us older Dems only ensures the the future failures of unsetting the GOP from their monopoly in South Dakota.

  10. Reliable Voter on January 28, 2024 at 11:12 am said:

    Undone by an unconfirmed anonymous blog post and his first amendment rights of free speech and freedom of association.

  11. ThePocketGopher on January 28, 2024 at 11:33 am said:

    Maybe the party should put this energy into finding viable candidates instead of whatever these hatchet jobs are. Just a thought…

  12. The great, great irony is that 10 and 15 exist for Democrats in South Dakota because they barely got the new redistricting map passed in the House with the help of moderate Republicans and one other group. Who was the other group you ask? Well, it was Rep. Deutsch and his small crowd. Initially, Deutsch was gerrymandered out of the strategy as they were going to destroy his completely rural legislative district, which would have forced him to compete with more urban and possibly more moderate Republican candidates for the state legislature, but by protecting Deutsch they got his vote, and by protecting Deutsch they protected the most anti-transgender legislator in the state House, while 10 and 15 have become great voices for gays and transgenders. I know politics can create some strange bedfellows at times, but when you preserve the enemy to survive or strive one really has to ask what the hell is really going on here?

  13. "Woodstock" on January 28, 2024 at 1:41 pm said:

    “In 2018, Buttigieg was the quest speaker at McGovern Day. In 2023, he was only for the chosen”….. “Something tells me we are not going in the right direction”….

  14. D@ily Spin on January 28, 2024 at 5:57 pm said:

    Not focusing on LBGTQ is hardly enough reason for firing Osborn. He’s remarkably served the Democratic Party for many years. Perhaps it had become time to step down. It could have happened without persecution. This sort of shameful prosecution makes me proud to be an Independent. Actions such as this are what makes and keeps South Dakota a Trump Republican cult. Does Minnesota accept RV democrats with a PO Box there but no RV?

  15. rufusx on January 29, 2024 at 6:53 am said:

    DL – FWIW – MAGAats have a strong preference for amateurism in their views on government. How’s that work out for us all? Tell you what, next time you need medical attention – go ask the guy on the next corner to fix what ails you. Those professionals — bahhh — who needs ’em.

  16. A Real Dem on January 29, 2024 at 9:12 am said:

    Amateur hour in South Dakota politics, the reps have the head banger Trumpers who put 1930 Germans on a platform to be exalted and the dems have a bucket of empty because there is no bottom to keep anything in. Both sides are willing to destroy all to become the authoritarians to control us.

    Both parties need the worker bees like Sheldon who believe in something positive. They might not be able to speak in unison with the pretend leaders but they still believe in the party principles. It’s shameful to see both parties having purity tests that allow the uneducated morons who are seizing control of the empty shell so they can force their views.

    I see both parties imploding from the emptiness of being.

  17. ThePocketGopher on January 29, 2024 at 2:12 pm said:

    SD Dems have become so criticism avoidant that some have resorted to turning off the ability to contact them via social media.

    *Cough* Sen. Reynold Nesiba *Cough*

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