Dumb things that JIm Holbeck had to say

My BS Meter has been buzzing since this last week when Jim Holbeck announced that he was dropping out of the House race in Legislative District 6 in favor of taking on State Senator Brock Greenfield. I read the short articles in the Clark Co. paper and the extended interview in the Arlington Sun.

(Click to enlarge)

When I picked up the newspaper off of my driveway in Brookings this morning, I read Dave Kranz’s article in the Argus as well.

By way of disclosure, Brock is a friend of mine. We agree on some issues, and we differ on others. Putting my friendship with him aside, it’s my firm belief that he is going to walk all over Jim Holbeck in the GOP Primary. Why do I believe this? Well, that’s the subject of my little post this evening.

As mentioned, I got thinking of this at the beginning of the week with the advent of the announcements. The small announcement in the Clark County newspaper wasn’t much. But the one in the Arlington Sun by Frank Crisler went more in depth. I think it’s the first salvo in the race, and sets the themes that Jim is going to use in the campaign. You can see it pictured above as I picked it up on my way through Arlington today.

What are the themes that he’s spouting? As I'm reading it from the Arlington Sun and the Argus Leader, two of them are:
1. Holbeck says “we need to see a little more movement to the middle.” And that he’s “a moderate Republican, and I think that's the way the party needs to go.”

2. Holbeck says “It is time we send someone to Pierre who isn't living on one issue.”
Lets start with the theme that he’s a moderate, and that Republicans need to move towards the middle.

The first problem with this is that Holbeck clearly made the statement without considering his voter base. This district is mainly made up of rural ag based communities. These are generally smaller communities and the voters are likely to be church-going. And that’s not even starting on the Republicans. Add “very conservative” to the description when you get to the Republicans.

If I were Brock running in this race against Holbeck, The smart thing to do would be to position myself as the more conservative candidate. But now, he doesn’t have to bother – Holbeck has already done it for him. Whatever position Holbeck takes, Brock is now automatically more conservative than he is by Holbecks own admission. This was a massive blunder on Holbeck’s part.

I can understand why he's done it. With the controversy over the abortion vote, it's an opposing position to take. But in the long run, it's a knee-jerk reaction that isn't going to pay dividends. Sure, some Democrats are going to like it. BUT THEY AREN'T VOTING IN THIS ELECTION! It's strictly a GOP thing for this go around. And staking out the moderate territory was a dumb move.

Theme #2 was another bad, bad statement to make on Holbeck’s part. “It is time we send someone to Pierre who isn't living on one issue.” His downfall here is that he’s ignoring the old adage that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Looking at Holbeck’s legislative record during the two short years he was in the House you quickly get a clear vision about his issues. During his two years, he was the prime sponsor of seven House bills. And what were the topics they dealt with? Without exception, they all dealt with education.

Now, education is not a bad issue in and of itself. But he’s the one saying that his district should not send a one issue candidate. The problem with that thesis is that HE was a single issue legislator. 7 House Bills primed in 2 years. All on education.

I contrast that with Greenfield. We can assume that Holbeck is trying to paint him as being single issue on the topic of abortion. However, The 11 Senate bills that Brock primed during his 6 year tenure have dealt with topics as diverse as GFP issues, video lottery, taxation, employers, non-profit organizations, education, etc. Out of these 11 bills primed, only one dealt with abortion. One.

One bill out of eleven looks to be a bit more diverse that Holbeck’s 7 out of 7.

Now, education is not a bad topic to be concerned on. But the issue here is with him accusing his opponent of being single issue when he’s the one guilty of it. All he’s going to accomplish by attempting to paint Brock as a single issue candidate is to make himself look foolish when he has his own statistics handed back to him, sideways, and stuck up his keester.

These are issues that directed campaign postcard mailings are made for.

I had all of this research under my belt left over from when he was looking at running in the House primary. In a large House Primary, many of those issues would have not been brought up because of the clutter arising from all of the candidates. In that rae with 4 people, you need to stick with name id only.

In a one-on-one race between Holbeck and Greenfield, all of these issues and more can be brought up and hammered into the dirt since there's no clutter from other candidates.

This primary is going to continue to develop as an issue-driven hard fought battle.

I had another couple of points that I'd researched. But as I've typed this all up, I started thinking to myself, "why should I just hand them out?" Aside from the fact the post was getting a little long. The two issues I've brought up are really, really easy to defend against. And they end up hurting the person that said them more.

As to the others, why should I tell Holbeck from what direction he might expect the arrows to start flying? Many times a good strategy against an opponent contains an element of surprise. You try to catch them off guard. It's what I term "rattling an opponent." If I notice an issue that seemingly gets under a candidate's skin - I know I 've got him. Because I can hammer and hammer on that issue and possibly get them to make a stupid mistake.

If Holbeck can make it through this primary with the stupid mistakes he's making already, he'll have the element of surprise over me.


Anonymous said…
A professional committed to education vs. a convenience store clerk and professional anti-abortionist.

Gee, I don't know who I would pick. Does Greenfield even live in the district anymore?
mjb said…
Since when is working at a family business a dirty word?

Must be a liberal talking. Because it's all about the downtrodden until you have to do something for them.
PP said…
Behave guys (or gals). And, yes, I can assure you Brock resides in the District.
Anonymous said…
Brock is far from a one-issue guy. There are a number of one or two issue legislators (IE. Anti Gun and Pro Sex Offender Tom Hennies in Rapid City), but Brock isn't one of them.

He's done a great job and deserves to be returned to Pierre.
Anonymous said…
I live in District along with Greenfield and he has represented us well. He deserves my vote. Again my vote will be for Greenfield.
Anonymous said…
(I am anon 1...)

There have been I don't even know how many posts about Holbeck on this blog in the last few days. If you all honestly weren't worried, I don't think you'd bother talking about him.

I am originally from district six, and my remaining family there are some of the few Democrats in the district, so they won't be voting on this one. I know they're sick to death of Greenfield, and they absolutely believe he is a one-issue senator.
Anonymous said…
Holbeck is just trying to take on a giant in the senate for district 6, as opposed to three relative 'newcomers' in the house.

Perhaps he just figures a loss to Greenfield is justified.
Anonymous said…
How much has Holbeck gotten from Adelstein?
Anonymous said…
Hey PP, time to do some research to the last question, "How much has been given to Holbeck by Sen. Stan Adelstein!?
mjb said…
Unfortunately, we won't know what, if anything, until his PAC reports.

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