An anonymous tip says that Billion is in.

I got an anonymous tip over the lunch hour that Jack Billion is in the Gubernatorial race as a Democratic Candidate.

Supposedly, he would have announced last Friday, but I'm told the Tim Johnson people were pushing for Wiese. The word is that Billion, supported by the Daschle/Hildebrand camp, is looked at as the candidate who would run a harder hitting campaign.

(I'm assuming that harder-hitting is code for "will go negative quicker.")

Let's sit back and see if this proves true with an announcement by Billion in the next week or so.

Stay Tuned.


Wiese can still run can't he? I won't stop him!
Anonymous said…
I know several Johnson staffers who were supporting Billion. I know others who were supporting Wiese. There wasn't any sort of orchestrated effort either way. Sometimes I wonder if people make this stuff up just to sound like they are in the know.
eddie said…
I hope you don't mean "hard-hitting" like separating yourself from the governor's policies.

the no-exception abortion ban comes to mind. (mis)use of state aircraft comes to mind. cutting the funding of pbs.

our elected leaders can only be held accountable through elections.

while i'm not familiar with billion at all, i do hope his can distinguish his vision of this great State on a different path.
Anonymous said…
Professor PP -

My question for you is how will negative attacks against Rounds be received? Abbott obviously didn't have the choice 4 years ago. Will any of the squeaky-clean good guy Rounds image still be left this election year? Will negative campaigning by the Democratic nominee backfire or will it work?
Anonymous said…
To the Professor:

That depends on whether Marion's dimwitted inner circle on the 2nd floor shoot first, and it depends on whether you call commenting on Marion's abysmal record of bad decisions and ridiculous underachievements negative.

I'm sure that Marion will pretend to be upset and whine if every word coming from his opponent's mouth isn't praising his every half-baked, unfinished ideas.

But if you need a standard for slime and sleaze, you need only look at the effort put together by Thune's pals who dropped nukes all over Daschle and his wife. I predict nobody will sink to that level unless Marion gets trapped like a rat and has to claw his way back up the drain to stay in office.

I guarantee you, I know Marion well enough to say that he would waste no time to turn sleazy if that's what saves his phony ass.
Ed said…
my Democratic rep says Billion wants in PP and that he's about to announce so i think your source is good...The Dems plan to trash Rounds to help Johnson in 2008.
Anonymous said…
Anon #4,

There are a lot of negative things that can be said about Rounds, but "mean" isn't one of them.

I can guarantee you that even if he gets trapped, he won't go negative. He doesn't play that way, and frankly, doesn't have it in him.
Page said…
GOP should not discount Billion...he will give Rounds a mom heard he wants to get in race right away
Harding County Flapper said…
Professor PP:

So would Rounds like to run against the most? Volesky? Wiese? or Billion?

isn't Billion a rich doctor from Sioux Falls? Rounds should smoke this dude
Anonymous said…
Neither Billion or Wiese were considering a run until Volesky got out.

I think most people would wonder why they should waste a vote on the guy chosen to replace Volesky on the DEmocrat ticket...
Sue said…
I'm for Weise! Don't give up on him! Billion is a jerk and will get pounded by Rounds...go Dennis!
Anonymous said…
Rounds seems popular, but he is in big trouble. His popularity is a mile wide and a 1/2 inch deep.
Anonymous said…
Don't count Dennis out. He's just as likely to announce as Jack is. Don't pick your side until you know what each as to offer?
Bob Newland said…
By signing 1215, Rounds would have made Volesky a viable candidate. The others are there now because V can't re-enter, and they know that Rounds gave them a great tool to beat him on his stupid, bill-signing, chicken-hearted shoulders.
Anonymous said…
I agree that we shouldn't "pick sides" until see what Wiese and Billion bring to the table. I also wouldn't count Wiese out, and I think we'll find more in common with Wiese than Billion, as he may be able to bring some of the swing voters from the middle over to our side. As many people have noted, there are issues out there that can weaken Round's image and I think its time we start to focus on making those known....But, to do that, we need to offer something different. I think Dennis is in the best position to do it.
Anonymous said…
I'm with Sue.

Wiese would be a much stronger candidate.

Bilion couldn't win a State Senate race in central Sioux Falls against Kermit Staggers.

So how delusional do you have to be to think he pull off of a state wide race against Mike Rounds?
Anonymous said…
people let's face the facts Jack Billion is a good man who has done a lot of good for the "debate" in South Dakota, but Dennis Wiese is the only man who can win the Governor's office. Dennis is someone knows Agriculture in South Dakota, he also knows business and what it takes to be a leader. Dennis Wiese will not give Mike Rounds a run for his money in November. Dennis Wiese will send Mike Rounds back to the insurance business where he belongs.

By the way I have a Wiese for Governor petition in my hand, and getting signatures is easier than even I thought.
Anonymous said…
I'm delighted to read Dennis Wiese has petitions!!!

I was afraid Bilion would be the D's candidate and all D's on the ballot would suffer from being associated with a liberal extremist like Billion.

Wiese is a moderate that other candidates can run with instead of away from.

The only downside for me is financial. I'll contribute to a Wiese for Governor race.
Anonymous said…
I've watched politics in South Dakota for many, many years. Here are some obstacles for Billion if he is serious about running.

#1 - Money. Other people's money and not just draining Jack's checking account. People know Jack's a rich, rich man from a rich, rich family (car dealership his dad started in Sioux Falls). I remember Samuelson in 1992 had a reputation for having a lot of money and that dried up his fundraising in his race for gov against Mickelson. Democrats are horrible donors to governor races -- even though the truth is they have as much money as the average South Dakota Republican. If Jack has the star power of a Tom Daschle or Stephanie Herseth, it might be different. From what I've seen he doesn't. That should concern both Jack and the people that want to defeat Rounds.

#2 - A very liberal and erratic voting record when he served in Pierre. I'm not kidding. There are an awful lot of whacky votes that will come back to haunt Jack. If we believe the Republicans would not slice and dice Jack on tv and in the mail, think back two years and then wake up. A record is fair game in South Dakota and Jack's record is not close to the middle.

#3 - He's an elitist. That is something some folks might enjoy about Jack. But if elections are supposed to be about differences, then where is the difference between the elite Billion name and the elite Rounds name other than one comes from Sioux Falls and the other comes from Pierre? Where is the difference other than one person's political identity is on one fringe extreme and the other candidate signed the bill to tatoo him forever as the titular head of the other fringe extreme? How is Jack going to attack the multi-million dollar governor mansion and the elite use of state planes when you know the Repubublican film crew will line up in McKennan Park and film the luxurious lifestyle of Jack's beautiful home? Don't think they'd do that? Then maybe you don't remember the Daschle home ads from 2004.

I just saw a poll on the abortion bill. It tells me people are shopping for some big changes. Moer than that, they are shopping for common sense and moderation in the direction of state government. They are not looking for fringe elements.

The economy is going south and Bush's numbers are going to stay in the toilet. If we send voters a candidate whose lifestyle matches the incumbent's, what have we accomplished?

The key is to create the middle ground needed to swing the folks in the middle to throw out Mike Rounds. If Rounds faces another extremist, then voters will do what they've always done and that is to vote GOP, roll over and go back asleep.
Anonymous said…

This page provides very insightful analysis. I agree that Wiese would be the better candidate. Rounds will be the first GOP governor in how long to be defeated, PP? When has the GOP lost an incumbent governor in the state's history?
Anonymous said…
For the sake of the GOP, Rounds should pull out of the race. Without Rounds the GOP would have a fighting chance. The Republican candidate could distance themselves from the tax increases, spending increases, employee increases, the rape and incestless abortion bill, irritation of the agies and the nepotism.

This is going to be embarrasing. We will lose state government for at least eight years and maybe longer.

Rounds needs, for the sake of the Republican Party, to step down before the bullets start flying. The GOP should not want all of the questionable decisions and events to reach the light of day. A fresh face will keep much of the problems areas from reaching the surface, keeping much of the pain away from the other republicans on the ticket.

It is time Rounds took one team and in order to win one for the gipper.
Anonymous said…
Wiese would be a huge improvement as a candidate over Billion. Billion comes across as a 1/2 baked crazy with nothing but a personal agenda. The state is in bad enough hands with Rounds at the helm. Only Billion could be worse than Rounds. Lets go Wiese.
Jason Fox said…
I'm for Wiese! Where can I get a petition to circulate?
PP said…
To the Anon who is saying "For the sake of the GOP, Rounds should pull out of the race"

Are you serious? You should probably be asking "for the sake of a dem possibly standing a snowball's chance in hell of winning a Gubernatorial election in SD, Rounds should pull out of the race."

Cause that's the only way it would happen.
Anonymous said…
Yes. There is time to acquire the signatures required for republicans to file for governor.

I am serious. Moderate GOP women are energized. Liberals are energized. Money and organization will be available to whomever the democratic candidate is.

There will be plenty of resources to beat up the governor all spring, summer and fall.

The governor hasn't had to really run in an election. He isn't battle tested and this is going to be a battle.

PP, in your hometown, this guy is the hometown boy. For the rest of the state his identity isn't that well known, other than the smile.

The democrats WILL be able to expose this guy. Nice guys don't populate the jobs of state government with thier relatives. Nice guys don't take advantage of the taxpayers by using state resources for their personal benefit, only paying for it when caught. Nice guys don't circumvent campaign finance laws. Nice guys don't raise your taxes, including gas taxes. Nice guys don't use heavy-handed tactics to accomplish dubious goals. Nice guys don't spend too much. Nice guys won't raise your taxes in the future. Nice guys are expected to work hard and actually represent their constituents. And nice guys are expected to actually think things through before subjecting the entire state to very negative, costly and divisive consequences. Nice guys are open and honest, not trying to hide things and public records.

The perception which is Mike Rounds will be different as a consequence of the coming election. There won't be any hiding behind two others.

Once the exposures start, the taxpayers will be left with the question of why haven't any of the other elected officials (republicans) blown the whistle? That is the problem for the GOP. Why hasn't anyone had the moral courage to make things right? It won't taint everyone, but it will hit a few. That is what Rounds could alleviate for his party.

I don't think Rounds is that type of guy though. He will just hope things don't rise to the surface. Clinton wouldn't take one for the team either. He made the team take one for him.

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