A chance to ponder....

Now that the election is over and we have a chance to sweep up and assess the mess, it's a good time to reflect whether or not we're happy with the results. And if not, what each and every one of us is going to do about doing our best to make sure it doesn't happen again.

I can't point to any one specific factor which can explain the results of last night, because it affected different factions within the GOP.

For fiscal conservatives - you lost two of your biggest proponents in the legislature, Earley and Klaudt. Some might not care for their miserly ways, but they were first and foremost concerned with how taxpayer dollars were spent. But you also picked up Arnie Hauge.

For those who are conservative on moral issues - You lost Elli Schwiesow who has been a long time backer of the pro-life movement. But you also picked up Dennis Schmidt who knocked out Duniphan in the primary on that basis.

There's really no single ideological factor that you can point to to explain a few of these losses. Which means we're going to have to probe further.

Unless we examine the root cause of the problem, it's going to be difficult to solve it. Unless we can tell what's broken, it becomes more and more problematic to fix.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Where are you blog feeds lately? Did you shut it down?
Anonymous said…
they refresh from time to time.
Anonymous said…
The problem is quite simple: the GOP as a party continues to drift further and further to right, while the electorate (both nationally and in South Dakota) stays consistently in the middle.
chad said…
Frankly, and I know this is unsolicited advice, but the state GOP needs to stop carrying water for the Leslee Unruh crowd.

Hopefully the results last night will put her divisive social agenda on the back burner and instead we can work on things that the vast majority of people of this state encounter on a daily basis.
Anonymous said…
If you R's don't see the truth in what Chad just said, you're really missing out.

He gave you some incredibly valuable advice. Advice that would be good for ALL of South Dakota. Reject it at your own risk.
Anonymous said…
An open letter to "Chad", if this "Chad" is the Clean Cut Kid: Although I agree that social issues have dominated the Republican Party to their detriment the last few years, I think the last person Republicans are going to be taking advice from is the person running Clean Cut Kid. No one, and I repeat, no one, with any social decency is going to take advice from someone that disrespects a political enemy by calling her names.

Also, it is important to remember that his politcal protege is not at the top of the political mountain anymore. Their campaign antics have lessened their credibility and stink of jealousy and immaturity. You have seen how South Dakotans respond to smear campaigns, just ask Senator Dick Kelly, and "Clean Cut Kid" was the SD innovator in that regard in this election cycle. My unsolicited advise is to please don't give any more unsolicited advise. It is not sound, nor wanted.
chad said…
Politically, it is my sincere hope that the GOP continues to do Leslee and her crowd's bidding and ignores my unsolicited advice.

But for the welfare of South Dakota, it is my hope they can push her aside and get focused on other things. Their agenda serves no one and doesn't make our state better.
Anonymous said…
"Hopefully the results last night will put her divisive social agenda on the back burner and instead we can work on things that the vast majority of people of this state encounter on a daily basis."

One would hope, but I'm afraid that won't be the case...
Anonymous said…
I don't like Chad. He can call us right wing loons and I can call him a wacko lefty. HOWEVER, he is RIGHT about Ms. Unruh. Having her as the face of HB1215 was a huge mistake.
Anonymous said…
It would have passed if the exceptions didn't "require explanation" and Leslie stayed far, far in the background.
Anonymous said…
Leslee won last night, didn't you see her on Kelo and KSFY. And didn't I pick up some bias on the part of the SF media bending over to be nice to Leslee and her group, almost like they felt sorry (or scared) of them.
Anonymous said…
"For fiscal conservatives - you lost two of your biggest proponents in the legislature, Earley and Klaudt."

Earley? Please. He did three things that angered me enough to go actively work to help his opponent.

He voted for the abortion ban, he tried to defund PBS (as retaliation in my opinion) and ignored school funding. When the kids in our district have to have prison trustees as their janitorial staff maybe Earley should have cared at least a bit about school funding.

Words can't explain how glad I am he is gone.
Freeman said…
I don't think Ms. Unrush is personally responsible, and therefore I don't think that a different spokesperson would have made a difference. Chad's message is correct. I think the SD GOP needs to re-think its political agenda, get off its moral high horse, and work on education, health care, and a reasoned tax program.
Anonymous said…
The GOP needs to wake up. There are more than a few Republicans that have abandoned the party out of frustrations with far right morality junk.

Realistically work on solving the actual issues in South Dakota. Another session of creationism, religious abstinence, contraception restriction and abortion bans is going to cause an outright revolt by the rest of the state.

The true theocrats who would support this are not large enough in numbers to carry your party. That and Steve Kirby is probably running out of spending money for this sort of nonsense.
chad said…
For the record, the only members of the GOP -- if you can call them that -- I consider to be wacky, are those who are completely and unabashadly tied to the Unruh divisive agenda.

Commonsense fiscal conservatism -- the kind that doesn't cut things to the bone and doesn't use mechanisms like TABOR laws -- is where common ground can be found between Democrats and Republicans in South Dakota. There are places where we can cut taxes. There are places where taxes need to be made more fair. There are places where we can agree to spend a little more and cut somewhere else.

We need to find these areas where we can agree and work together for the benefit of taxpayers and citizens.

The constantly bickering over the Unruh issues isn't going to solve any problems or resolve any challenges. There will never be any agreement or compromise on these things. It serves no one and does the state no good.

And I say this with the understanding that I truly believe Unruh and her crowd want to do good. I think their beliefs are a little wacky, but their motivations are sincere.

But a focus on their agenda does a disservice to the state.
Anonymous said…
I'm a long time GOP supporter.... It's time for a New Chairman!!
Anonymous said…
i dont care who "CHAD" is or whether he is fronting for the Dems. He is right on the money. Ive been an R a long time, and worked in many campaigns. any R candidate not married to "no exceptions, never not ever" is trashed by his or her own party members. Ellie Schweisow trashing John Thune for being too liberal? HELLO?

we are in danger of becoming a very small tent. its our own fault.

we let these people outwork us, outsmart us, out-everything us. suddenly theyre running the legislature and peppering us with message bills. theyre not happy unless they pass two bills a year, that have no hope of winning in court. every ounce of energy is "lets send a message!" they send lots of messages...but...they arent GETTING any.

here is how this will all play out. the far right will continue to drive this agenda, until the voters put the dems in. THEN AND ONLY THEN, will the right wing wake up and figure out...better our moderate, than their democrat.

hmmm. i just said "maybe the right wing will figure this out." sorry, my dumb. ok, i will explain it to them.

"Ross Perot." (for you rob regiers out there, this is an allusion to the idea that whacky divisive wing nuts draw off critical money and votes, and we get.....dems.)

if i was a D, i would already be looking to promote that "way right pledge taker" to run for gov in four years, to tear up money and votes and moderate republicans, and thereby make it easier for scott h. to win. scott moves to the center and stays there.

bet on it.
oldguy said…
I read CCK daily and find Chad to be a sharpe young man on issues. As a matter of fact he has even turned me around on a few. He does often get to passion about somethings which causes him to get too personal with those he disagrees with. He is soooo right on this thread!Thanks for the advice
Anonymous said…
I agree with Chad. Maybe we can get him to switch to our party and take over the Chairmanship.

The one positive note for our GOP, is that the word came through pretty loud and clear last night that we're standing too far to the right side of the room.

Many of the extremists are gone, and the ones that are left aren't going to get much respect from the rest of us.

It's said that sometimes you need to take one step back before you move two steps forward, and we're fortunate enough on a statewide level to still maintain control after our step back, unlike our counterparts in DC.
VJ said…
"Stay the course"!

"Full speed ahead"!

Nothing more needs to be said!
Anonymous said…
Fiscally conservative Bill Earley was President of the Sioux Empire Housing Partnership during a time when a staff member stole over $50,000 from the organization. During his time as Board President, Earley's lack of fiduciary responsibility was both alarming and troubling. Even more so, when during the campaign, he promoted himself that you could trust with your tax dollars. We all owe 19 voters in District 12 a big thanks for getting rid of one of the biggest self righteous hypocrites in the State Senate.

I get your point about fiscal conservatives. I agree we need them in the State Legislature. But Bill Earley was not one of them. I wouldn't trust him with my kid's lunch money.
Mark said…
A lesson must be learned. The Republican party must get back to its basic tenets. Ask yourself: Would Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater approve of the agenda driven by the extreme right wing of the party? I think not. The Republicans need to return to their traditional beliefs: fiscal responsibility, integrity and personal autonomy. Smaller government and a strong national defense.

The Republicans have driven moderates out of the tent for years and have given them no reason to come back. The sooner the state party casts aside the extreme agenda of Dobson, Unruh, Hunt, and Kirby, and the sooner it quits practicing the politics of exclusion, the better off it will be.

If the results here in SD don't convince you, look at another redder than red state, Kansas. Its governor is a conservative Democrat who was easily re-elected. Republicans there are switching their party affiliations and successfully running as democrats. Ask Kansas AG Phill Kline (a poster boy for the extreme right wing of the Republican party) how it feels to get thumped at the polls. He pursued an anti-abortion agenda 24/7, and embraced the Kansas state board of education's plan to require the teaching of creationism. Kline was badly beaten by a Republican-turned-Democrat. Two former AG's (both Republicans) endorsed Kline's opponent.

Being a true conservative is not synonymous with being a Republican. Check out Andrew Sullivan's blog and his new book, The Conservative Soul, to learn more about that.

So, as a bunch of us moderate Republicans stand just inside the flap of the so-called "Big Tent," a decision needs to be made: Will you invite us in as full members and consider our opinions, or shall the exodus continue?
Anonymous said…
Wow. Some good comments here. As another GOP supporter and donor I agree w/most above, including Dem. Chad. The problem is I've watched Leslee and Roger and they are marching on. Some issues that are moral/religious cross into the political atmosphere and poison the process (please don't bring up integration or slavery). Sorry, but abortion is doing that in SD. I honestly don't see how it ends until someone like a reiger or a kirby is put up by the party for Gov and someone like a Billion or Scott H. then wins. This is not what I want, but it might be the only long term solution.

I think it's called a flush.
Anonymous said…
Anon 5:21 and Chad - You are right on the money.

"No man is entitled positively to assert that he is right, where other men, equally intelligent and equally well-informed, hold directly the opposite opinion." Unfortunately, the GOP has been controlled by people that will not tolerate anyone with a different opinion. Can't they understand that this country's strength comes from democracy which, by its very nature, requires differences.
Joan said…
There is excellent commentary and insight on here tonight. It's refreshing to read input from people who can reason things out instead of just parroting what they've been told.

Leslee Unruh and Roger Hunt have been somewhat exposed for what they are because of all this.

Leslee didn't come across as too well balanced when she was interviewed on television, Sen. Hunt did a good job of smearing his reputation by attempting to skirt finance disclosure laws, and both of them proved that they have no problem with bending the truth when it suits their purpose.

Perhaps their behavior, and the knowledge that South Dakota isn't quite as conservative as some legislators might have thought, will cause more of our elected officials to shift their focus back to the issues that are important to everyone in our state.
Anonymous said…
The R kvetching on here is funny - you contol the legislature, all the constitutiondl offices, and 2 of 3 statutory offices, but from the posts here you would think you had all been run out of the Capitol.

You bitch about the right wing control of the SDRP. Most of the newly elected D's, with the exceptions of Maher and Kolbeck, are from the leftist wing of the SDDP.

Is the SDRP really father off center that the SDDP? Rounds more of an "extremist" the Billion?
RDM111 said…
It is time to take back the party from the religious zealots. This is the party of Lincoln, Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan. It is time to get back to our base.
Anonymous said…
This is the best thread ever in the history of this blog.
Anonymous said…
I wonder if abortion was still illegal in SD and some of you wanted to make it legal "without exceptions", that it would be alright for you to be called "unreligious zealots, and left-wing extremists"? Think about it!
Anonymous said…
Maybe we need to thank the ultra right for the wake up call that went out to South Dakota's apathetic voters.

I worked at the polls yesterday, and the turnout was excellent for our rural precinct, especially in a mid-term election. Of the approximately 200 people who voted in person, less than 10 did not have notes with them.

People were concerned enough to take time to study the issues and then turn out to vote.

It would have been interesting to ask everyone if there was any one particular issue that brought them out to vote. I would guess proposed amendments D and E, plus the abortion ban, probably generated the most interest.

When people try to change the method of levying property taxes, add an amendment that could keep people from serving on boards, and pass a law that makes personal medical decisions for women in crisis, they are messing with things that hit home with just about everyone.
Anonymous said…
Who shows up and works gets to have its say. If moderates want the party to return to its "roots" they will have to show up at the county party, they will have to work on the campaigns, etc...

South Dakota maintained strong majorities in bouth houses and soundly rejected Billion and his fringe views.

The voters kept in office just about everybody who voted the abortion ban. So the argument that the SDGOP somehow went off the deep end is spin and you know it.

I wonder if the same poster here wanting the GOP to return to its roots are willing to go back to local control and funding of education? What about cutting back on state government jobs? How about restructuring the colleges in SD by getting forcing consolidation and chopping off a layer of management?

Let's get back to the days of Janklow, right? No focus on social issues and only talk about the growth of state government.

Here's the dirty secret the only reason Janklow didn't talk social issues is because he would have lost his primaries. The people and their deeply held beliefs in this state have not changed, only the politicians representing them.
Anonymous said…
You moderates TALK about working in the center--but you want to FORCE your beliefs on everyone the very same way that the Conservatives do--it is just different beliefs.
Anonymous said…
2:02 - Do you mean FORCE like in forcing your religious beliefs on others through legislation so that they can no longer make personal, medicial decisions without government intervention?

Show us examples, please, of where moderates have even attempted anything of that magnitude.
Anonymous said…
PP: this thread is about to go into another direction. Abortion is a Hot Button Issue. Maybe you would consider a page for this topic???
Another great page imho would be what are the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Now, that would be one lively page also. Hope you have access to one large server at low cost.
Just a thought on topics... I am not trying to tell you what to do with your blog.
I have to admit this page has been nice to read and rather civil.
Anonymous said…
The legislators I think you would refer to as moderates don't force anything, and that is part of the problem.

School funding for example, Olson, Dempster, and Knutson continue to say they would like to increase funding, but they just can't - can't support the adequacy study, can't convince anyone in the caucus to come along. They all give themselves a big pass on trying to accomplish anything because they are in a caucus they do not control.

The moderates are NOT leaders. And they don't try to be. It's their ready excuse for doing nothing. They thrive on being ineffective within the Republican caucus and it gives them credability with the Democratic caucus members.
Anonymous said…
9:36:

I would go farther than that.

A moderate like Knudtson for example has used his innefectiveness to further his own standing in S.F. He pals around with the same old downtown/Janklow crowd who croon on about being wisemen in government while using their standing i.e. position on issues to position themselves financialy and socialy.

Yet they don't accomplish anything in Pierre. They are simply innefective as legislators yet effective at self promotion and social positioning.
Anonymous said…
Now that the makeup of the Senate has changed, I urge you to watch the next legislative session and see true leadership emerge as Knudson, Dempster and Olson, along with other moderates are able advance their ideas to focus more on the issues everyone has been discussing. If it weren't so bogged down with issues that merely make a statement rather than a difference, our legislature could be much more effective. I would advise the GOP to take Chad's advise. He's right on with what's wrong in South Dakota.
Anonymous said…
I'll give some examples of "moderate forcing". Trying to force anyone in the medical field to perscribe or fill perscriptions for abortifacients, or "morning after pills", etc. Trying to force public schools to say nothing of abstinence, or Jesus, or the Bible,or creationism. Forcing prayers, nativity scenes, and Christmas carols out of public places..... I could go on, get the point??
Anonymous said…
I see a couple of post have disappeared, hummm.
PS: they were not Bonnie posts.
Anonymous said…
Might want to check out under the thread "light posting tonight family is in town".
Interesting......
Anonymous said…
Sorry, the threads did NOT disappear, they were under another heading. Sorry it made it look like PP hit the delete button. My appologies.
PP said…
That's ok. I'm not afraid to note that I will delete if a statement is blatantly libelous.

Or if it's from Bonnie Russell. I just do that because it's funny.
Anonymous said…
So is Ken Mehlman gay or what?
Anonymous said…
12:48 - But I thought you were blaming the liberal left for that, not moderates! Or do you consider anyone who isn't hanging on the far right end with you to be a closet leftist?

Regarding the pharmacists: If their boss says they have to package the morning after pills, they must do what they are told. That's the way it is at any job when people work for someone else.
Anonymous said…
Think any "moderates" from either caucus will be elected to leadership positions?
Anonymous said…
You can bet on it!
Anonymous said…
Anon 4:00 am:
Question: As a person are your morals and values who you are everyday?
Thought to ponder: Would you say it is safe to say that almost 100% of life is regulated in one way or the other in the US? I am not going to talk about other countries they are not America.
Anonymous said…
5:48 PM - No, I don't think it's safe to say that almost 100% of life is regulated one way or the other in the US. But it looks to me like there is a segment of our population that is trying to push us in that direction!
Anonymous said…
Anon 10:11 a
Okay, you got me on the "100%' quote. I should not have used such a high percentage- i was flip. However, I do feel a very high percent of society is regulated one way or another. It may not be a direct association -single regulation- but in one way or another a regulation is attached to society/life.

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