A political outing for Sunday, March 12, 2006

I just rolled back into town and wanted to do a quick update on political issues before I started writing my piece on Jim Holbeck and why his candidacy is doomed to failure. So, without further ado, here's the scoop for Sunday March 12 -

Straight from the lady herself, Rebekah Cradduck writes under a previous post that she has changed her party to D and is going to take on State Senator Jason Gant in the District 11 Senate Race. As was written:
Pat, thank you for your kind words. I did do some antiquing with your Mom, many years ago. The rumor is true, I have changed my party affiliation and I have taken out petitions to run for the Senate in District 11. The decision was challenging, but it is the right one for me. I tried to sign up as a blogger but the system did let me. So sending this under anonymous. Rebekah Cradduck.
I'm not going to chomp on her tail for her decision to change parties, but I will say it's unfortunate. The GOP is a big tent with room for everyone.

Don't think so? As I see with the abortion issue, after this session, it looks like the DEMS are beating up their pro-life legislators much worse that the GOP is beating up it's pro-choicers. Yes, we can disagree, and yes, we can have primaries. But am I going to say they're unfit to be Republicans? No, I'm not. My 2 cents? If we don't allow a difference of opinion, we'll stagnate. So differences of opinion are a good thing.

Jack Billion has petitions out to run for Governor. Both SD Watch Blogger Todd Epp and SDWC reader and former Representative Nick Nemec have noted they are circulating them. Jack joins a 25 year old Afghanistan Vet from Aberdeen who is also circulating petitions for the office.

The Rapid City Journal also has an AP article on the topic:
A Sioux Falls man considering a bid for governor says he is days away from making a final decision. “I think the issues are there,” Jack Billion, a retired orthopedic surgeon and former state legislator, said. “And I think that right now we’re looking at organization, funding and time schedules to see whether or not it’s feasible.”

If Billion got the Democratic nomination, he would run against Republican Gov. Mike Rounds, who in a poll earlier this year was said to be one of the most popular incumbents in the nation.

Billion, chairman of the Minnehaha County Democratic Party, said he must travel the state, listen to people and find out what they’re thinking. “I want to see what the issues are that really affect them in their daily lives,” he said.
Read it all here.

Since Representative Sean O'Brien has decided to run for Judge, I'm hearing that Carol Pitts does have petitions out to run for that vacated House Seat.

A couple of yearrs back, Carol was being looked at as the serious PUC candidate to take on PUC Commissioner Jim Burg until she was leaving the country for a while with the military. The chance for that shot went to now PUC Commissioner Dusty Johnson.

Check out this article last year from KELO and Steve Hemmingsen
on what Carol has been up to since she was forced out of the legislature because of a conflict with her SDSU job.

Finally, I had an e-mail this weekend that mentioned that the word in Aberdeen this weekend from the McGovern Day event is that Democrats are going to put most of their eggs in the State Senate Basket. Err... State Senate races, that is.

It makes sense. It's a strategy that they had employed with success in the past, eventually allowing them to whittle enough seats away from the GOP to take control of that chamber of government for two years.

Fellow Republicans, are you listening?


Anonymous said…
As reported in today's Argus Leader - Dennis Wiese is also considering a run against Rounds. A primary perhaps? Who would be the better opponent?
Anonymous said…
Wiese would be much better. He could consolidate the ag interests. Rounds is extremely weak with this constituency, even west river.

Billion is a has been. He's too old and certainly won't bring a constituency. A liberal Sioux Falls democrat will be easy to beat.

Dan Sutton would also be a good contrast for the governor. He's young, smart and sincere. Three things the governor isn't. Also, he's not from Sioux Falls and doesn't appear to be a flaming liberal.

Wiese or Sutton would be very competitive with the governor. Either one could easily be within ten percentage points without breaking a sweat. With $750,000, they could probably beat him.

Where is Rounds going to pull from? If the ag interests are backing the democrat, he'll have to rely on the business community, who he just tried to raise the minimum wage on. He won't credibly be able to say he's for less government. The democrats could just do a few graphics of increased taxes, spending, property taxes, employees, gas taxes and the deficit spending, and wallah, they could run to the right of the governor with the business community.

Then, where does he get his suppport? He'll have to rely on a name Id campaign to convince the ignorant that he should be re-elected because he has increased tourism and federal grants to the universities. But another graph depicting the percentages of growth of tourism during the Janklow administration and everyone will see he really hasn't done anything but meet the inflationary increases which were bound to happen anyway.

Then, he has just recently infuriated the liberals and moderates alike with the too extreme abortion language. That's just too out-there. They should have put it to a referendum. Now, the democrats can strike him over the head with this until election day.

There's going to be GOP blood on the highway this year. Off presidential election year where things aren't going that great. Unopen, unattentive and nepotismic government in the state spells a recipe for disaster.

That is if the democrats nominate a Sutton or a Wiese. Billion will not resonate and the governor would win re-election by default. Billion is too old and too liberal and too from sioux falls to capitalize on the ineptness in Pierre.
Anonymous said…
I'm a Republican, but I agree with everything that last guy said about Rounds, except on abortion. The bill is awesome, and signing it is one of the few good things he's done, although I was very disappointed with his lukewarm endorsement of it. Another bone I have to pick with Rounds is most all the tax breaks he's signed are for the super-big: the multi-million $ processing plants,power lines or windmills or power plants, and the motion-picture industry,and this year several ag related ones. Meanwhile he's vetoed or had killed piddly little cuts for little guys like umpires,greenhouses,vacation-package planners, and others. And everyone else's property taxes keep going up!
Nicholas Nemec said…
Dennis Wiese spoke at the Central Committee meeting and said he was considering a run. I know he and Jack Billion spent some time alone talking later in the day.

I'm friends with both and it's never fun to have to pick between friends but before the Central Committee meeting I told Dennis I was supporting Jack.

Each candidate has their strengths. Some people are leery of a primary. But others think a primary would be a great low cost way to gain alot of attention for this race, a traveling Dennis and Jack show. Beating on each other would be a mistake, instead they should just take turns pointing out where Mike Rounds is failing to show any leadership or is wrong on the issues. On election night have a joint victory party where the winner thanks his opponent for a race well run and the opponent congratulates the victor and pledges his support.

The croud was pretty optimistic and I heard no talk of issue purity litmus tests. In fact I saw Steve H. and Frank K. shake hands and Steve assured Frank that, no, he didn't hate him. The entire night was a regular love fest.
Anonymous said…
It looks to me like the GOP is facing a bad year. I think we could very well be seeing a Montana Miracle in November.
Anonymous said…
Really? I'd say all this talk of a Rounds defeat is at least a little pie in the sky considering he's been pretty locked into that 70% approval range. One of his faults is economic development? Sounds terrible... Another is distancing himself from an extreme abortion bill? Still not seeing a vulnerability...
Anonymous said…
I'd support Dennis.
Anonymous said…
Polls change very quickly, especially when you have fractured your base and pissed off all of the liberals and moderates. Moderates were the governor's base.
Anonymous said…
Rounds will run his "together, we can make SD better" ads, smile, call it a message, and get at a minimum 58% regardless of who the Dems put out. Never over estimate the SD voter.
Anonymous said…
58%? Not if Weise or Sutton runs against him. I don't think you realize the real perception of the Governor--not-too-swift. A smile and together we'll make a difference won't do this time. There won't be confluence of events where he won't have to defend his lackluster record.

Prediction: Wiese/Sutton 52% to Rounds 48%.

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