South Dakota War College Video Blog Post #2
A few minutes with SDGOP Executive Director Max Wetz

SDWC-VB #2 is an interview with South Dakota Republican Party Executive Director Max Wetz You'll hear his views on what's in store for the GOP in 2006, the party's rising stars, upcoming party promotional efforts and more.

Click on Max's picture for the interview (Reduce the window size for better clarity). I've managed to keep the file size down to 5 megabytes this time.

Once again, you get to see me live and in the flesh.


Anonymous said…
Who IS this bozo ?!?!
jack said…
Kudos, Pat. It seems to me that you actually made some news here -- Wetz is making clear that there will not be a coordinated campaign like the Victory 2002 and Victory 2004 efforts, and that will certainly have implications for a number of races (assuming, of course, that the Democrats probably don't have the resources to put together a coordinated campaign either).

At the top of the ballot, it likely means that challengers will have even a tougher time unseating popular incumbants. At the bottom of the ticket, it makes the races much more about the willingness of the individual candidates to get out there, pound the pavement, and get to work.

I think most of us knew that the coordinated campaigns on both sides were due in large part (if not exclusively) to the big time Senate campaigns and the big time money those campaigns attracted. They primarily benefitted the Senate candidates, but folks like Dusty Johnson, legislators in competitive distrcits, and even Larry Diedrich were undoubtedly helped by the very effective GOP turnout machine on election day.

But without coordinated campaigns on either side, it's every man/woman for himself/herself.

This is good news for Mike Rounds -- if Volesky is the nominee, he simply won't have the capacity to raise even half of what Rounds raises and he won't have the ability to put together the kind of organizational effort to put the heat on Rounds. Of course, challengers need both money and organization to beat popular challengers.

That same analysis applies to Stephanie Herseth -- she beat Larry Diedrich, a very good candidate, even with the Victory 2004 effort. This year, she'll have more money, more organizational strength, and a full term of outreach, relationships and accomplishments to run on.

For political junkies (and probably only for political junkies) easy races for Governor and Congress might be disappointing, but the lack of a coordinated campaign also means that turnout for local and legislative races is much more in the hands of indiviudal candidates. Top of the ticket reelection campaigns will be more (yawn) typical of the 1992-2000 era -- Daschle/Haar; Johnson/Timmer; Johnson/Berkhout; Thune/Moser; Daschle/Schmidt; Thune/Hohn; -- where we had popular imcumbents running against challengers that became a footnote in South Dakota political history (anyone heard of John Timmer, Jan Berkhout, Jeff Moser or Jan Berkhout lately?). Volseky and/or whoever runs against Herseth will likely end up footnotes as well. Rounds and Herseth will both have more than a $500,000 head start on their challengers... as well as high approval ratings. Some will argue that miracles can happen, but I wouldn't bet a dollar against either incumbent -- and I'll bet most observers capable of a shred of objectivity wouldn't bet their kids college funds on a Rounds or Herseth loss (How about it Pat? Willing to make a bet, risk some money and have JoDean Joy put you on her enemies list!?!)

Any real action will be further down the ticket -- making state legislative recruitment the game to watch in the coming weeks and months (something the Dems have not been particularly good at).
PP said…
Jack -

I have to say you've probably made the most insightful comments to date.

And I'd agree with many of them - at least until we know who else might be looking at the Herseth Race. There is still the possibility of a heavy hitter entering. But until that happens, it's looking like the status quo will be largely maintained.

I'm not shocked that there won't be a coordinated campaign in 2006. Constitutional candidates are notorious for working separate efforts - and it's for good reason.

In the case of sign placement - if efforts were pooled, who would make the call who gets what sign where? If you bunch them up, they lose effectiveness. And no one wants to share a prime location.

I often thought of proposing a coordinated effort for several constitutional candidates farther down on the ticket, pooling an office, equipment and staff, but inevitably equality of service concerns arise.

And I typically think the legislative races are the best action anyway. State level candidates have to appeal to a broad audience. Legislative candidates can be much more parochial and colorful.

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