Reader Requests - Dear Professor, What's going on with the GOP?

I've had a couple of readers send me e-mails recently, inquiring on a couple of topics with relation to the South Dakota GOP. It's just regular party people or activists who want to get the skinny or to clarify things in their own mind about what's going on with our party.

As one friend said to me, your blog is a place where Republicans can talk about things - it's a powerful tool. So, ok, let's discuss.....

To take things one at a time, here's one I got today from a reader:
Professor PP -

I just received a phone call from the state Republican party requesting money. One of their talking points was that "Daschle was going to run against Rounds for Governor" and "Didn't I want to make sure that Daschle didn't win?"

Is this true? It would explain the Argus' attacks on Rounds lately. What have you heard?
My reply? I haven't gotten the phone call myself yet. But otherwise, I haven't heard a thing on Tom running for Governor on the political horizon.

I'm not saying that former Democratic Senator Daschle couldn't swoop in and surprise us all, but I'm a bit doubtful. I think he has his eye on a bigger prize - the 2008 Presidential contest. And if you notice, he's been quite vocal about his criticism for President Bush and has been making the rounds across the country.

With only about 2 months to go to have your petitions in, I don't think he's made a stop in good old SD lately. So, I'm a doubting thomas on this one.

How would I explain the phone call? Well, which scenario is going to get you to send more money in to the party?
Scenario A - "Ron Volesky, who most recently lost elections for Attorney General and Mayor for the City of Huron is going to take on Governor Rounds. We need your help to make sure this tough challenger doesn't defeat the most popular sitting Governor in the nation."

Or Scenario B - "Tom Daschle, one of the most popular and financially well connected Democrats in the country is going to come back to South Dakota to take on Governor Rounds. We need your money to make sure his challenge to our Governor is halted in it's tracks."
The most likely explanation is that it's a fundraising tactic. Like I said, I don't know. I haven't gotten the call. In fact, it may not be the State GOP, it could be a fundraising effort from the National GOP. But the goal is to fire up that fear factor to get a donation. And Tom Daschle is a much scarier bogeyman to the GOP than Ron Volesky is.

And this came in a few days ago from another Republican reader who is involved at the county level:
Professor PP -

My county chairman tells me that they're bringing one of the bylaw amendment changes back to this next meeting after they were killed at the last central committee meeting. She said that the Exec board didn't even discuss them at the last exec board meeting, but here it is again, they're trying to take the regional reps off of the executive board.

What's up with that, and why does it keep coming back?
Well reader #2, you got me on that one. Another instance of non-presence. I wasn't at the State Party exec board meeting held a little while back in Pierre. And while I might talk about internal party stuff, I wouldn't detail what was discussed. (If I'm a guest at meetings, I at least try to be a good guest).

As I understand it, the party by-law change to take regional legislative representatives off the executive board is something that will be considered at the next SDGOP central committee meeting on Saturday.

Why reduce representation of the grassroots of the party? The pro-side of this measure says that these people don't do anything, and the executive board is too big and unwieldy.

The people who oppose removing these people off of the executive board are pretty exercised about the whole thing, and make note that #1, people don't do anything because there is nobody telling them what they should do. #2, We should not reduce representation of the grassroots at any level of the party. And #3, those who oppose the measure think reducing the number of participants puts too much direct authority in the party chairman.

Me? I'm a little ambivalent on many points in the measure, but I hate to see the energy of the party pulled out by the grassroots. Every time you take the little guy out of the equation, you're killing the future of the party for everyone by making the present more convenient for a few.

Enough said.

Otherwise, I believe this Friday night at the Kings Inn there's an event for Republicans who are coming to town for the meeting on Saturday. One of the constitutional officers told me I have to join him at the event (and my wife is coming to town) , and many other friends and acquaintances will also be there, so I'm thinking I'll make an appearance at the event to support the elephant.

Oh - and don't forget the Hughes County GOP luncheon tomorrow at noon:
Monthly Meeting

When: Tuesday, February 14, 2006, Noon
Where: Ramkota RiverCentre

Guest Speakers: Our District 24 Elected Legislators will give us an update on this year's legislative process.

Senator Bob Gray
Representative Ryan Olson
Representative Tim Rounds

Comments

Anonymous said…
PP: Just say it like it is. The GOP Chairman and the power elite in Pierre are attempting to silence the grassroots. First, they attempted to eliminate the precinct people from voting at the state convention in order to control the convention. After the backlash, that attempt was sidelined. Second, they are attempting to eliminate the regionally elected members of the executive board, consolidating the power with the chairman, and silencing anyone with differing ideas. Unfortunately, the only ideas in the party are coming from the grassroots. The top down formula is not producing leadership or ideas and the powers that be are scared and hostile to ideas and discussion. The GOP is simply trying to centralize power to discourage the exchange of ideas. The democrats and mainstreamers will be proud if the chairman and his controllers have their way!
Douglas said…
Actually, Hillary Clinton is going to leave NY. Move to Pukwanna and run for governor here just to get some executive management experience. James Carville has already bought a "vacation" home in the Black Hills for the campaign. The natural stone base for the huge American flag is being built right now, but weather is a factor. Apparently Tom Daschle will buy if from Carville and turn it into the Black Hills Political Institute for Thousands of People Who Support Tom Daschle. Oh, and Ted Kennedy is already buying TV time.

Tell all the GOP fundraisers. That should be a fundraising champ idea. Truth doesn't seem to be necessary in GOP fundraising appeals.
Anonymous said…
I just got a great call last night asking who I supported in the war on terror, President Bush or Osama B.L. and the Terrorists. Great question, I had to think for a while and then I said "neither." Does this make me free thinking or a mainstreamer because I'll ascribe to the former but not the later.

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