My confirmation has yet to come.. So, with that understanding, here's the latest rumor

I didn't get the internal confirmation I was hoping for, so with that understanding, here's the latest rumor of what the Senate leadership configuration will end up with.
Kenny McNenny - President Pro Tempore
Bob Gray - Majority Leader
Jason Gant - Assistant Majority Leader
Why am I taking this seriously? I had a great source on it, but they will be external to the vote. I was hoping for internal confirmation, but it's yet to come.

I am told that a couple of more senior members of the Senate GOP caucus, one of whom was rumored to be in the hunt for a position himself, have signed off on this configuration and it's supposedly sitting at a 11-12 informal vote count.

We're less than a week out from the vote, so it's entirely possible that this could change. But if my info holds true, this could be who you see as leadership this next session.


Anonymous said…
This strikes me as a really weird leadership team. Notable, although not surprising, is the lack of Knudson and Dempster.
Anonymous said…
This is the most interesting mix I have heard to date. Almost like when it was declared that the far right would dominate in November after the primary victories. Wishful thinking, my frinds, wishful thinking.
Anonymous said…
I am having trouble buying this. I can't figure out why a majority of the Senate would go for this group. I agree with 9:26 - this sounds like what the far right wing would want, but I doubt its what a majority of the caucus wants. I guess it remains to be seen.
Anonymous said…
Sounds like a reasonable compromise team led by conservatives who are not radical.

Good job if it the support holds up!
Anonymous said…
Not that this is the primary concern of the Caucus (perhaps the opposite for some), but I think Gov. Rounds will be happy with both McNenny and Gray in the leadership.
Anonymous said…
I think Gray is an excellent choice and will bring balance and sound leadership
Anonymous said…
It is a shame the GOP caucus lost a friend in Bill Earley. You can blame Gov. Rounds for that one.
Anonymous said…
McNenny makes a certain amount of sense for pro tem. He is fair and well-respected. He is a West River conservative, but he is well-liked across the spectrum. He is friendly with the governor from their time in the legislature together, but is ideologically in line with the right-wingers in the caucus.

There is also good regional balance here - Sturgis, Pierre, Sioux Falls. They will get to pick a couple of whips as well - I wonder who those will be?
Anonymous said…
These guys are common sense conservatives and can be counted on to do the right thing.

Conservatives should be happy. Gray and Gant I can vouch for.

Be happy that Dempster and Knudson are not in control of the agenda.

At the very most they will have a committee chair. Unlikely that as many S.F. area legislators will have chairs than when Lee S. was doing the appointing.
Anonymous said…
Bill Early can go back to counting stacks of pennies in his basement. He carried "micro-management" to a level that was insulting - definetly a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude.
Anonymous said…
You don't think Gant is a radical conservative?
We got rid of Earley thank God but we don't need Gant leading the Senate. I think these choices are terrible. I don't like Heidepriem and I don't have anything personal against these choices but they will get creamed by the Senate Dems. I am just trying to play out a heated debate between Gray and Heidepriem on the floor and I think the outcome is obvious. Gray is diplomatic at least so that is an asset where the Senate Republicans can longer vote through anything they want. Gant is just a blowhard who doesn't know anything outside of appropriations and does nothing but divide people.
McNenney while older and wiser lacks strategy and defining leadership characteristics.
What I like about Dempster, Knudson, and Olson is not that they're moderates, but that they are good leaders and spokespeople. I wish they were more conservative but they are still on our side and they would do a better job.
Anonymous said…
Scott will wipe the floor with any of these. The problem for the republicans is that, anyone who could keep up with Scott is unelectable to leadership.
Anonymous said…
The last couple posters are right. Setting ideology aside, Knudson, Dempster, and Ed Olson are the strongest leaders in the caucus. Unfortunately, all three are probably unelectable in the caucus. You are left with leaders such as those suggested, or Smidt, Apa, Greenfield, etc.
Anonymous said…
Floor speeches matter? How many votes doe a great floor speech move?
Anonymous said…
The floor speech is important because of what the press picks up.
GOP come home said…
The press part of this is for the state party to handle. In SD, as you all know, the legislators don't have staff so they have to rely upon themselves or the party to carry the water. During the days of Patrick Davis, and yes Rosenthal, the tactic worked.

In the end what matters is votes not speeches on the floor. Dempter, Knudson and Olson would have sold out the caucus and the Republican platform before the show started in the name of bi-partisan compromise crapola.

Whichever poster made the point that this is a pr issue has just been fired from my future staff. Get with it pal.

All the weeklies int the state will print what you send them and the dailies will be a struggle...the argus will beat you up every time, which Knudson would play to, and the RCJ is good most of the time for being fair and balanced.

Yeah, none of these guys is a Newt Gingrich or even Bill Janklow or Lee Schoenbeck but at least we know they will stick to Republican principles and not sell out after the first shot has been fired.

That's why its important to get a strong state party chairman and staff on board in February. One that will comitt to running and winning grassroots campaigns so we don't have to have these lame blog converstations about media sell outs and the persausive capabilities of state senate floor speeches.
Anonymous said…
I think you have it wrong PP.

I think it's Dempster-PPT, Knudson--ML and Gray ASL.
Anonymous said…
If some of you posters want to work on campaigns in SD in the future please don't show up at the door looking for the job with the kind of logic you have expressed here today.

The GOP needs to come out swinging and fighting for what it beleives in instead of worrying about the schenanigans of the D caucus. Yes, we don't have the most dynamic leadership team but they won't sell us out on principles that we beleive in as a party. And they won't let the moderates water down the agenda in the interest of making the Janklow-Daschle mafia happy.
Anonymous said…
The oratorical skills of the majority leader are very important. It is up to the majority leader to push the party's agenda on the floor, and there will be votes that are swung one way or the other based on that performance. With Heidepreim as the Democratic leader, we need a strong majority leader.

I appreciated the guy who mentioned Newt Gingrich and Bill Janklow, and the LEE SCHOENBECK - it is funny to me that he would be placed in that same class based on two mediocre years as senate president pro tem.
Anonymous said…

Daniel Webster he was not but he was effective. One could argue that more of Lee's agenda was passed into law than what Newt's was.

The point is that Lee was effective and moved the legislation he wanted and got it passed. That's what's it all about.
Anonymous said…

You clearly don't understand how the process works given your remarks and I would never work on your staff anyway.

The party plays a minimal role on policy issues during session. During the upcoming session, read the stories coming out of the Capital; they are full of quotes from legislators.
Also, using your logic that it's the votes and not the speeches, who cares who's in leadership if everyone casts an individual vote?
Deals can only stand up with votes from the entire body so no moderate is going to sell out the conservatives with back-door deals without a vote.

As far as 12:36 is concerned, just keep marginalizing the Dem side as shenanigans and see what happens. Nobody is saying that by putting a moderate or two in leadership is compromising principles, it's just recognizing that some of the moderates show good leadership qualities. We have a damn big tent and if you wish to create schisms that currently are cracks into chasms then get out of my tent because while I don't have to agree with these moderates, I still want them for other issues.
Your close-mindedness will lose our majority in this state and you shouldn't be so threatened by different ideas if you are confident in your own.
GOP come home said…
Woahhh big tent fella!

I'm glad you stand up for what you beleive do I.

Quotes in the Pierre Paper are all good and everything however, they do not constitute the type of comprehensive state-wide and targeted local sophisticated media plan that the GOP should put into place.

Also, who said anything about the GOP developing policy for the legislature? All that I said is the that state party used to "carry water" for the legislature back in the 90's. That water included press releases, media availablity and institutional support with the grassroots types.

And what's so wrong about the party helping the very legislators that depended upon the party for their candidacies? The party doesn't stop supporting its candidates once the campaigns are over.

Furthermore, I for one expect the GOP caucus to deal from a position of principle and power when forming legislation. Your comments would suggest that legislation should be passed for the sake of passing legislation.

And your damn right I think there are moderates who would be willing to backdoor the majority! Given the comments Mainstream coalition types during this last campaign season it is only a short stretch to imagine that some would be all too willing to cut and run on key legislation.

However, you and I will have to agree to disagree and wait and see what this session brings us. I hope it's only a matter of tactics and approach that seperates us.
Anonymous said…
I don't agree with the mainstream coalition and I think the formation of it was only bad for our party. They, like conservatives should just be content with sharing common beliefs on other issues with out having to take their ball and go home. That being said, I think we as conservatives should take the high road and still accept them and their differences. The more insistant we are that you can only be in our party if you agree with us 99% of the time, our party will lose the majority. And like it or not, having the majority is what gives us the power and I would rather have the power and be able to influence policy than be alone in my ivory tower thinking I am the only one who is right while all the world is wrong.
Anonymous said…
The Mainstream Coalition was formed in response to the "Peanut Caucus".
Anonymous said…
they are both a joke
Anonymous said…
GOP Come Home: Did you just mention Lee Schoenbeck in the same sentence as Janklow and Gingrich?

Either you're really Lee Schoenbeck or that's just crazy talk.
Anonymous said…
Earley got beat because of a gratuitious vote against a a non-binding Senate resolution honoring Tom Daschle for his service to South Dakota. The vote was like 33 - 2 and Earley, fueled by his rabid partisanship, felt like he could rub it in Daschle's face. I've talked to at least a dozen Republicans who voted for Jerstad for no other reason.

So, instead of blaming Rounds, take a look in the mirror.

Of course, some of the 80K they dumped in Kelly's race may have helped!
Anonymous said…
I happen to know one Republican in District 12 who told me he voted against Earley strictly because he had a Dump Daschle bumper sticker on his car. Serves him right. South Dakota politics has no place for a person who is so full of sanctimonious partisan vile.
Sioux Falls voter said…
Oh give me a break!

More than half of the SD population had a DUMP DASCHLE sticker on their car. More than half of the SD population was so grateful and relieved to finally have Daschle's anti-SD politics exposed and dumped.

Earley lost because a DEM. auditor sent the wrong ballots to a polling place in his distict and to some absentee voters.

We will miss him...and Lee!
Anonymous said…
"Earley lost because a DEM. auditor sent the wrong ballots to a polling place in his distict and to some absentee voters."

Are you serious? It couldn't be because he got outworked? This is a district he should have won hands down, but instead of working all he did was bitch about all the Jerstad signs. He got what he earned, end of story. No matter what he says about lack of support for the governor are a screw up in ballots (in an area the Jerstad won)the simple fact is that if he would have worked half as hard as Sandy, we wouldn't be talking about this. This is all sour grapes.
Anonymous said…
The Mainstream Coalition was formed as part of an effort to liberalize the Republican Party as they have attempted to do in Kansas. PP has blogged on the Kansas effort and has revealed what the members of this movement believe in. Unless there is a "peanut caucus" in Kansas that we've yet to hear about, I doubt this was in response to the SD "peanut caucus" which I hear was nothing more than a few legislators getting together and gabbing about the events of the day & unwinding.
Anonymous said…
10:03, Jersted probably won that area because the Earley voters weren't able to cast their votes for him before they headed off to work. By the time the Jersted voters rolled out of bed & went to vote, the right ballots had showed up & they voted for her.
Anonymous said…
Yes, 8:32, SD has no place for "sanctimonious partisan vile". That is exactly why we got rid of Daschle, the most partisan man in Washington. If there were republicans who voted against Early simply because of this principled stand against Daschle, they are just RINOs anyway. No principled republican can tolerate Tommy two-face.
Anonymous said…
Seems odd that Gant and Gray would get these two jobs after only one term each.
Anonymous said…
11:35pm: Yep and now the same goes for Earley. An "Earley" Retirement..... Maybe he can spend more time actually practicing the religion that he has been preaching.
Anonymous said…
“Jersted probably won that area because the Earley voters weren't able to cast their votes for him before they headed off to work.”

This is exactly right. Those 27 votes (assuming Earley got every one of them) would have completely made up the 10% Jerstad won by in Minnehaha county.

Stop being stupid. Even with the new tally, Earley would have had to win 21 of the 27 votes in order to change the outcome of the election. Again, Earley would have had to win 78% out of that pool of voters in a county where he only won 45% of the rest. That is one hell of a claim. Accept the fact that your guy lost and move on.
Anonymous said…

Your grasp of voter voting habits is weak at best.

Your statement rests on the assumption that an accurate sample of the electorate votes at all the same times during the day.

This is a plain falsehood. Jerstad's voters probably voted during the work day and early afternoon while Earley's voters tend to go to the polls before 8:00 am and after 5.

I'm sorry to break it to you but Republican voters by and large are current workers who go to their jobs. That's why the 2004 exit polling was skewed when the networks gave the election to Kerry.

But we will never know now will we? The same auditor who f'ed things up 2 years ago did the same this year. If that happened on the res the D's would be screaming for investigations.
Anonymous said…

Show me one single study to back up that statment.
Its just wishful thinking.
Anonymous said…
Well, unlike people on this blog, I am no expert on voter habits. But 9:17 is right that if had happened on rez, the Dems would be demanding investigations. On the other hand, if Earley voters did show up EARLY and weren't able to vote for him, they could have gone back after work. Maybe they just didn't think enough of him to do that.
chad said…
The voting habits analysis that Earley's voters voted before 8am is just completely false. At least in Sioux Falls.

Every look at Dem vs. Rep turnout in the early morning hours in the Sioux Falls precincts has shown me that Dems vote in higher numbers (an actually have a pretty substantial lead) before 9am. Republican turnout actually doesn't catch up until around 1pm. After that, it's pretty much a wash, depending on the precinct.

And from the counts that I saw this year, Dem turnout was actually a higher percentage of total turnout in the early hours than in the previous two cycles. At least in the Sioux Falls area.

I say this looking at counts that were actually reported from poll watchers to the boiler room.

But none of this really matters. Bill Earley lost.

There was no voter disenfranchisement, which would be the only cause for this to go any further.
Anonymous said…
The repubs got their butts kicked in the last election. Now they are going to get their butts kicked in the next session. This so called leadership team will be the weakest leadership team the repubs have had in recent memory. The dems should be dancing in the streets. Gray and Gant, Two guys that just barely found the bathrooms. The Repubs are getting dumber by the minute.

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