On Sutton and Kooistra: More on the Dem's Dumpster Diving for candidates

(again, refer back to today's RCJ Article)

Who is being truthful? Dave Newquist or Duane Sutton? Because both are offering differing accounts of who approached who for Duane to become a Democrat. First, here's Duane's accounting of the matter from today's Rapid City Journal:
"I got a call Wednesday, June 7, the day after the election from a state Democratic official, asking if I'd consider it," Sutton said. "I did give it some thought. But I just didn't think for me that it was the right decision."

Sutton said Democrats assured him that the party nominee in his district, Ted Kneebone, would step aside if he agreed to run as a Democrat. Sutton spoke to Kneebone to confirm that and sought guidance from other Democrats and Republican colleagues.

Sutton said he believes he stood a good chance in the general election of beating Isaac Latterell, the man who topped him in the Republican primary, in part by focusing on HB1215.
(Aside from the fact I doubt that he could beat Isaac after losing the primary,) he's stating that Democrats approached him. But that's a much different accounting than the Democrats provide in the matter as per Brown County Democratic Candidate and Blogger David Newquist at Northern Valley Beacon:
Duane Sutton called up the head of the Brown County Democrats and inquired about switching parties and running as a Democrat. This would require one of the candidates running for the legislature this fall to withdraw, and a reorganized ballot to be submittted to the Secretary of State by the county executive committee by the last Tuesday in August.


However, before he had a scheduled meeting with the Brown County Democratic Central Committee, Sutton called and said he had changed his mind. While he had the serious consideration of members of the Central Committee and the Democrat state delegation from District 2, his candidacy would not have been a slam dunk. Sutton did meet with the Central Committee to review the recruiting of new candidates in light of the changed circumstance for the general election.
According to the Dems, he didn't just take a call - he met with them, and conferenced on candidate recruitment with them in light of a possible candidacy. That's a bad move in light of what he has planned for the future (according to the RCJ). Here's a rather cocky Duane commenting on how he might have done, and what he has planned:
"I'm fairly confident that I could have won (this fall), if I'd wanted to just go back for two years and prove a point," Sutton said. "But for my long-term future, if I ever want to get involved in a leadership position, I think I'm better off staying with the Republicans."

Sutton said he plans to run again in 2008.
And I'll bet his conferencing with the Dems on running and recruiting candidates against Republicans will just put him right up there as the comeback kid in a 2008 primary against Isaac. *Riiiiight.* Even if he could manage that miracle, strategizing with the Dems somehow doesn't sound like a good way to campaign for Majority Leader.

Has Kooistra changed his mind? It seems just in the past two or three days I know I read it again where he was looking at running against Bob Kolbe in a few years. I certainly blogged on it earlier.

Now, it appears his true stripes are coming out. Back to today's sweeping Rapid City Journal Article:
Kooistra expects to be more comfortable as a Democrat. He is now waiting to see if some possible reshuffling of the Democratic candidates in District 25 will give him a spot on the November ballot.
Huh? What happened to Bob Kolbe? It would appear to be more Democratic Dumpster Diving for candidates. And it appears that while finding people to actually do it has only caught on lately, it's a long term strategy for the Dems who seem unable to grow a good farm team in SD:
Frederick said he was asked to switch to the Democratic Party after he lost a Republican House primary race in 1988.

"To make a long story short, I said no. I've been exactly where Stan is. This isn't a new tactic," Frederick said. "I think I can say in all honesty that it was better that I didn't switch to a Democrat. And I think it'll be better for Stan if he doesn't switch to a Democrat."
(Again, RCJ Article) That's one I hadn't ever heard before. The Democrats had tried to recruit the man who is our current Republican party chairman after he himself lost a primary. And Randy's comments on the Dem's attempts in getting him to defect bring up a very good point.

It's ok to run for an office and lose. If I was your mom, I'd call it a character building exercise. Because Randy came back later to serve in another office, in the State Senate. From there, he's been elected chairman of the state GOP.

Sure, I'll bet the loss stung at the time. But would he have been better off going DEM, even if he had won? No. He would have been consigned to being a member of a minority party, disdained by Republicans because of the switch, and having to deal with DEMs having those troubling little thoughts in the back of their heads that he was "too GOP" and unsure if he might switch back.

I'd liken it to marrying someone after having an affair with them as they were married to someone else. Because you shouldn't be shocked when they start cheating on you. They were an adulterer when you met them, so why would their behavior change when they left their spouse for you?

Will the Dem's Dumpster Diving continue this election? Stay tuned.


Anonymous said…
Of course Randy Frederick is going to kiss up to Adelstein. He doesn't want the GOP to lose Adelstein's checkbook. It is time for Mr. Frederick to step down as chairman. He does not represent the majority of Republicans in SD.
Anonymous said…
Sure.....Randy Frederick was recruited by the democrats. I want details Randy. Who, what, where? I don't buy it. Randy is a liar.
Todd Epp said…

As a reasonable person, I don't understand why you insist on bashing your former GOP office holders like Sutton and Kooistra. One thing I've learned is that most people define themselves by more than just their party label--father, lawyer, Catholic, soccer coach, volunteer, horseshoe expert, Lutheran, mother, etc. So, suddenly, in your GOP playbook, Sutton and Kooistra, who were for years successful Republicans, are suddenly dumpster material? That's crass and ultimately, I believe, a bad strategy.

That type of rhetoric is insulting to these gentlemen and other Rs who are feeling uncomfortable right now. But please, keep it up. Seems like some in your party don't realize a good thing--or a good person--when you see it. Come on over!

The parties are reformulating. The GOP is driving away its moderates. Don't you see it? Don't you realize you are a spokesman now for this approach? I thought your political instincts were better than that.

Todd Epp
PP said…
Todd -

I am a Republican, and would bleed for the GOP. You're telling me I shouldn't be critical of people who are calling the party a group of right-wing extremists and can see only fit to consider leaving it?

As far as I'm concerned, they started it, but by gosh, I'm going to finish it.

I have, and I will, bite their tails when they trash talk the people who make up the GOP. Because it's crap.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - if the moderate/liberal wing of the party doesn't like what's happening, they need to recruit more people of like mind, go out and do the work for the party.

Because by changing parties, all they are doing is a self-serving version of "cut and run."

The party is made up of those who show up to do the work - nothing more and nothing less. Right now, there are liberals and moderates, and conservatives, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, etc.

I know two or three hard workers who are pro-choice, but they are conservative on fiscal issues. If I named them, I don't think there's a person in this party who would suggest they leave the GOP. And that's who Adelstein, Kooistra and club are painting with that broad brush when they throw names like "extremists" out.

With their name calling, Adelstein, Kooistra and club do the GOP a disservice. And if that's how shallow their vision is, your party is more than welcome to pick them out of the dumpster their hard feelings and poor sportsmanship have left them.
PP said…
Anon 2:17 - if you want to make accusations like that, you can make them to my face, as opposed hiding behind anonymity.

Until then, find yourself deleted.
Mike Quinlivan said…
Wow, someone is pissed off today. Sheesh. party changing is the name of the game when you lose, and/or are pushed out/marginalized in your party. I have no idea why you, Mr. Powers, have your undies in such a twist. I personally love the fact that we have a buch of flip-flopper repub's coming over to my side. All we need is Tom Dempster (a mentor and friend of mine, and a man who will also bleed for the GOP (sadly)), and the conversion will be complete.
Anonymous said…
You can bleed for the GOP, but what if it feels like the GOP is bleeding you? What's next in my party w/Brock as majority leader; no birth control for minors, evolution in the schools, how about christianity as our official religion?

PP, I've posted this before. The GOP isn't a family, as much as my family might believe it and you aren't born a rep or a dem. If things change, if issues dominate a party, there is absolutely nothing wrong w/switching sides to comport w/your own beliefs. To stay, merely for staying, to not "cut and run" is childish. A political party isn't like a street gang that will kill you for leaving.

Yes, stay and fight, PP I understand your point. Some of us don't want to go hang out with the likes of Lee S. and Randy F. at convention and feel self-important. Like Epp said, we've got 20 other things that drive our lives.

But if Lee S. and Randy F. want to boldly go where I would never, then maybe I should vote Dem? Maybe I should give money to the Dem who represents me? If you have trouble with free thinking and individual choice, pp, that's your problem.
RiverRoader said…
People are missing a central point in this debate: convenience and opportunism. The fact is that Senator Adelstein lives in Republican-heavy Rapid City so he ran as a "Republican." Despite his support for tax increases, his great affinity for AIM, his love of Tom Daschle, and his pro-choice politics as recognized by Planned Parenthood with an award, he decided to run as a "Republican," throw around his millions, and he won. Nobody should be surprised that some people aren't happy that he's not really working for Republican causes in Pierre and financing attacks on his fellow Republicans. How arrogant does Adelstein think he is that he can simply use the Republican Party like that? Instead of being thankful for years of support from Republicans who were probably naive about his real priorities and going out with dignity, he just bashes his party and complains like, well, a spoiled arrogant rich guy. The point is this: Adelstein was an opportunist and it's finally coming back to bite him.
PP said…
Mike -

Maybe my undies are in a twist, because I'm tired of being called a "right wing extremist" and being told that my party is leaving me when that is not the case.

Again, the party's tenets are not set by anyone other than the people who show up and work or run for office.

If the Mainstream crew thinks they will be happier on the other side of the aisle, they can be my guest. It is America after all.

But they are likely going to be complaining on your side of the aisle as well, calling you all left-wing-something or anothers, since your party isn't going to change to their liking either.
PP said…
And anon 3:53 - since when am I a republican party darling who hangs around with anyone?

I'm usually referred to in HUshed tones as "that blogger"
Steve Sibson said…
Aren't you all forgetting something? The people of South Dakota...of which a majority are conservative. And those who call us "right wing extremists" will not fair well on Election Day. PP has it right.(No pun intended)
Anonymous said…
riverroader is right--Adelstein is a phony, who is bored and likes to buy people and things...we're making too much of this guy and just feeding his massive ego more
Lee Schoenbeck said…
Two comments:
First - the RCJ article's comments by Dave Knudsen are outstanding, and under-reported and under-accounted for in the comments above. Dave brings a varied and valuable (and very analytical) perspective to the GOP senate caucus.
Second - Tom Dempster has been a good Republican since Moby Dick was a guppy, and I have been lucky to count him as one of my best friends these past four years (and a person I can regularly whip on the golf course).
Both of these fine senators serve as committee chairs, do a great job, and are valued members of the GOP. I have a sense that some of your readers struggle with the idea that they serve as such. While they and I differ on some aspects of the abortion debate, there has NEVER been a caucus position where they didn't do their part for carrying forward the work that goes with being in the majority --- balancing the budget, increasing aid to education over the state formula,or doing the not-at-all-glanorous work of reading legislation to find those ways that somebody is trying to sneak a little government expansion in on us one paragraph at a time.

All the way from Abdalah and Albers and Apa --- through Dempster and Knudsen,to Schoenbeck and Smidt - the GOP is alive and well in the SOuth Dakota Senate.

PS -- like the attack ads directed at Chris Nelson that are too embarassed to disclose their name or source, I laugh to myself at those cowards that hide behind annonymous personal attacks -- and I am impressed with those of you with the courage to claim what you write - it ads to the debate that makes good policy. Lee
Anonymous said…
Also, why is Adelstein using a Daschle hack like Jody Severson to run his campaign? Shouldn't that tell you something? And why was Daschle so hot to appoint Adelstein's son to federal boards? Why is Adelstein pro-AIM? This guy is just an absurd phony...don't make any big trend out of him getting his comeuppance.
David Newquist said…
I was not witness to the initial calls about who approached who concerning Duane Sutton's exploration into running as a Democrat. I reported what had been told to me as a party officer, and I took the notes.

However, I was in atttendance at subsequent meetings, which are exactly as I reported.

My account was more to define an issue rather than to expose any candidate to the kind of character assassination and personal insult and abuse that appears to the only political business that the dominant party is really interested in.
NewquistforPresident said…
DAVE NEWQUIST: do you still oppose saluting the flag?
Anonymous said…
While Jody Severson is a Democrat Hack, lately he has just been more of a Hack. He is on a losing streak that begs the question...How does he get hired? I have heard a few individuals considering him, even Mr. Fuller in the West River judicial race. That would be excellent. A political novice with a hack campaign consultant vs. the guru, Lance Russell.
Mike Quinlivan said…

I am not disputing the fact that Tom has been a good Republican for a very long time. We talk about it whenever I go to his office while he makes me rich. I do recall Greg Belfrage calling him Tom "Dumpster", and saying not to vote for him. Which is his right. The GOP is doing well...it always does well here. I am looking forward to the fall though. I am curious how it will be then.

Oh, and PP, I understand about not like being labeled an extremist. I am not one either (although Mr. Sibson may disagree). I got my tribe, you got yours. Just don't go bitching about name-calling after accusing Dems of "dumpster diving". If we are serious about name-calling on this blog, I expect that the next time Late Lobby is brought up there will be some big time policing of the comments.

Most Sincerely,

Mike Quinlivan
Brian Aust said…

The tone of some of these comments are getting a bit racy. But, you have to look at it positively, I think.

You're getting more popular. People are coming here more often. The secret is out. But, with that, you're going to get the other side, and some are going to be outrageously negative.

Just look at some of the forums on the Argus, and how some bash the Argus for putting ideas out there. Same thing here.

Anyway, you don't need me telling you this stuff, I think. Just my way of saying, "Don't let em get to you."

Keep it up.
Envision It said…
who is Jody Severson? please explain....some of us aren't such 'insiders'
HaakonCountyDem said…
the people who talk about abortion around here constantly are Democrats...i don't hear Repubs talking about it...but what i want to say is this: if abortion is banned in South Dakota, it will be ok. Those 800 people a year who are aborted could move out here--WE NEED THEM HERE.
Anonymous said…
Kooistra got beat because he made all the farmers in McCook county mad about his wanting to regulate livestock operations...that's what killed him...and the fact that he's a strange ranger...so it really wasn't abortion, even tho he likes to think that because then the Dems stroke him
PP said…
Brian -

Thanks for the vote of confidence. Good point to be taken. The more readers, the more likely the number of "negative commenters" who will tend to pop up.

And envision it -

Jody Severson is a long time Democratic Consultant. In fact, he's one of the few in South Dakota who make a full time living off of consulting and polling.

I've spoken with him before, and found him to be a pretty decent guy, despite some of the comments you might read.
scimitar said…
You would think that Schoenbeck would know how to spell Dave Knudson's name by now.

Both Knudson and Tom Dempster are fine, moderate Senators. But if their conservative colleagues thought they could take them down as they did with other mainstreamers, they would do it in a heartbeat. Their moderation on social issues is grudgingly tolerated by conservative upstarts only because they are so deeply embedded in the Sioux Falls and GOP establishment that elected them.

I predict that eventually, Dave Knudson and Tom Dempster will be pushed out of the Republican party, as have so many others in the business wing of the party.
Anonymous said…
Agreed Scimitar. After watching the primary and convention (sahr) does Schoenbeck want us to believe he wouldn't run Dave K. out if he could. The entire line of thought that everyone should get along now is ridiculous. Toleration from those who are intolerable is fun to watch but transparent as hell.

And I amongst others will keep posting Anon as long as we can. "it ads to the debate that makes good policy." Funny.
Anonymous said…

Let me remind you that no Republicans were “pushed out” of the Republican Party. Some Republicans lost in the primary. Losing in the primary is always going to happen in a healthy party. As a matter of fact, it is the sign of a healthy party, when there is competition for a spot on the ballot. Contrast the Republican Party situation of having two good candidates wanting the same position versus the Democrat problem of not having one good candidate (Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General, and State Treasurer). In a democracy, it is the responsibility of the party to offer the voters a choice.

As to your prediction that Knudson and Dempster will lose a future primary, I doubt it. But no one is guaranteed a seat in Pierre
scimitar said…
Anon 10:51, I didn't predict that Knudson or Dempster would lose a primary. Nor would losing a primary necessarily push one out of the party.

I did predict that they would eventually be "pushed out" of the Republican party, as many others have and will in 2006 and beyond as the party veers right.

As the GOP continues to stake positions and aggressively pursue policies far to the right of the electorate, and demonize the moderates, many voters - and officeholders - will increasingly feel unwelcome in the party. It's a tough decision for many, but a choice that many will make.
Anonymous said…

Do you think pro-life Democrats are going to be pushed out of the Democrat party?

How exactly is someone pushed out of a party?
Anonymous said…

No because the Democrats didn't take extreme positions at their convention and didn't make a concentrated effort to drive people out of the party. The Republicans did.
scimitar said…
Anon 3:40, are you just another one of the people who just wants to nitpick, or do you have some positions of your own? Do you have any assertions that rebut what I have said?

As much as I appreciate this warcollege, the commentary from some, including Anon 3:40, is far less than college level. I have tried to stimulate debate by adding facts to my comments, but some just want to nitpick without bringing any facts to the table.

The greatest weapon in any battle, particularly a political battle, is a trained mind. PP, keep on providing thought-provoking commentary. Anon 3:40, kick your mind out of neutral or your grade is F.
Anonymous said…
scimitar, does this mean you can't answer 3:40's question? Give us an example of the same sort of facts you wanted from 3:40.

Tell us how someone is pushed out of a party? I had a very good education, but I don't know the answer.

Please enlighten the lower class folks without your impressive credentials.
Anonymous said…
scimitar said "I predict that eventually, Dave Knudson and Tom Dempster will be pushed out of the Republican party"

Just how does someone get pushed out of the party? Does the Central Committee show up at the victim’s house after midnight, demand they come out on to the front lawn and then push the victim out to the curb?

Please draw me a picture of how someone gets “pushed out of the party”.
I keep hearing that people are getting “pushed out of the party” but no one can tell me how it is done.

If they lost an election and chose to become a Democrat, would that be "pushed out of the party"?

An example of someone leaving the party is Senator Kooistra, I don't think he was pushed out of the party. I think he had less votes than his opponent and choose to leave the party. (If I can’t win, I am taking my bat and ball and going home)

Go ahead and insult my education level but do answer the question.

Anon 3:40
live it said…
So is Severson a Dem? A Daschleista? Why was he working for Adelstein?
Anonymous said…
Anon 3:40-I think when all is out in the Sahr matter you will see how someone gets pushed out of a party. Plus, running Elli in Stan's district is another example. Why didn't she resign her position to run? She should have or was the party pushing it, encouraging it? It seems that certain State Senators couldn't write enough letters in support of her so what does that say?
scimitar said…
Anons 7:07 & 7:31, I answered your question about how someone gets pushed out of a party with my post at 3:04, which was prior to either of your posts. If you don't like the answer, it's not my problem - it's yours.

Now, if you dispute what I said, then it's your turn to say why nobody is being pushed out of the Republican party. So far, people have questioned me, but nobody has produced any facts to contradict me.

I'll debate you anytime, but you must live up to your side of the debate. If you are worried about whether you can match wits with the big boys, you probably can't.
Anonymous said…
Losing in the primary is hardly getting “pushed out” of the party. Leaving because your philosophy is different from that of the party you are leaving is also not getting “pushed out”.

My family, strong Democrats everyone, left that party when the party moved so far to the left that we could no longer support them, but we certainly didn’t consider ourselves to be pushed out. We left of our own free will. It’s the American Way. Get used to it.
Anonymous said…
That is interesting that Democrat Fuller is contemplating hiring Democrat Severson. That is a natural fit. Severson just attempted to have another democrat, who just happened to be registered as a republican, win in a GOP primary by pretending to be a republican.

Severson must already be giving Fuller advice. Fuller quoted Mickelson in his less-than-thank you ad. Fuller is trying to disguise his true leanings and infer he is a member of the republican party, and not part of the problem with the judiciary.

Severson will be a great fit for Fuller. Another democrat trying to run as a republican in a conservative district.
Anonymous said…

If Republicans are so “far to the right of the electorate” why are the Republicans the majority party in the US Senate, the US House, the State Senate, the State House, constitution offices and in voter registration in South Dakota?

And the party that represents the people the Democrats, can’t seem to win and can’t even get candidates for all the state wide offices?
scimitar said…
Anon 10:38, that is a good question, and one that deserves an answer. I said this in a comment on a different post by PP that I believe is no longer up.

Democrats are at a huge fundraising disadvantage both in SD and nationally. The fundraising disadvantage is because Republicans are far more likely to cater to wealthy special interests than Democrats, and their rich buddies lavish a portion of their government-bestowed riches/tax savings on their GOP benefactors.

At one fundraiser last month alone, President Bush raised $27 million. He's not getting that money from an adoring public (under 40% approval rating). He's getting it from wealthy special interests. People benefiting from his tax cuts for the rich, people making huge profits from the price of oil, people making huge profits off of the war (no-bid contracts), people making huge profits from medicare prescription drugs that the government is prohibited from negotiating price, the list goes on.

The public is beginning to catch on to the fact that GOP officeholders are not on their side, and their dismal approval ratings reflect that. But it takes money for the Dem's to get their own message out.

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