SD Watch notes that as expected, Heidepreim is the new Senate Minority Leader
What do I think this session holds from this new minority leader? Expect a minority who's main goal will be to trip up the majority. Whether it's through legislative maneuvering, or by playing a game of divide and conquer, their energies will be directed at coming out on top.
The Argus Voices blog notes (Heidepriem takes over) that my fellow Democrats finally did something excellent and elected State Senator-elect Scott Heidepriem as Senate Minority Leader.
The Argus thinks this is odd and a poor reflection on the depth of Democratic talent. On the contrary.
This means that if the Senator Majority wants to stifle their attempts, they're going to need to hold together.
The Senate of 2007 is going to be a vastly different atmosphere from the Senate of 2006. As opposed to an opposition caucus that worked with the administration on issues, I think a new Democratic Caucus led by Scott Heidepreim will be much more calculating. Don't take that as saying they're being sinister, as much as they will be a more politicized body.
I don't think there's a doubt in anyone's mind that Heidepreim as well as others seek a higher office at some point, so we will likely see Dems seeking the media spotlight more than we've been used to recently, and taking shots at the opposition if they think they make hay out of it.
Where does this leave the GOP Senate caucus?
Sure, a few will have to put hard feelings aside, and possibly bite their tongues when they'd rather let fly. But if they want to hold on to what they have, the key is presenting a strong and united front.
As opposed to the solid conservative core that would have been expected had such candidates as Latterell, Schwiesow, Johnson, Earley, and Klaudt prevailed, we're more likely to see a caucus leadership coalition built between the more moderate elements of the caucus and some of the more conservative. You're as likely to see an Apa or Greenfield in top leadership as much as you would a Dempster, McCracken, or Knudson. Those who seem to ably flow between (and be palatable to) both circles such as a McNenny or a Gray are almost guaranteed to speak as the voice of the Republican Senate Caucus.
One big thing I see if the caucus is to prosper is that they need to collectively determine what they want to accomplish, and to enumerate those goals. They might find it handy to make that a comprehensive statement of beliefs and philosophy and to run any legislation through that as a filter.
But it has to pass the muster of what they all agree to accomplish.