Jack Billion is new SDDP Chair. I guess he's a good choice (for Republicans).

While I was enjoying some family time yesterday, I see that the Associated Press reports this AM that the Dems were electing Jack Billion as their new state chairman:
Jack Billion lost the governor’s race but will lead the South Dakota Democratic Party as chairman.

Delegates to the party’s central committee meeting in Chamberlain elected him Saturday by less than 1 percentage point over Bill Walsh of Rapid City.

and...

He said he plans to focus on attracting more voters and challenge Republicans onissues including jobs, health care, education and open government.“Democrats in South Dakota need to bring these things forward,” Billion said.
Read it all here as written by AP reporter Carson Walker in the Rapid City Journal.

As the article notes, Billion won the chair race by 1% - 1% when he had been their choice as Governor. I'd argue it's little wonder why Democratic delegates wanted to just say no.

First, in his candidacy for Governor, where was the strategy? The campaign imploded after a while in a flurry of reassignments, and still couldn't gain traction after that.

Secondly, in his candidacy for Governor, where was the money? He had to cut back on media buys because he couldn't raise any. A bad thing for someone who wants to be chair.

Thirdly, I'd pose it as a question - what does Jack bring to the table (besides a lot of complaining) that would draw voters to the Democratic Party?

As a Republican watching on the sidelines - Way to go Dems. I'll sleep much better tonight as we look down the line for 2008.

Comments

Justice for all? said…
Billion is state chair. End of story.

What I think is far more interesting and should be examined closely is the pending prosecution of Roger Hunt and the special House hearings on Hunt's violation now that Attorney General Larry Long has decided Hunt broke state law and has defied a lawful order to comply.

Don't get me wrong. The Senate should forge ahead and hammer on Dan Sutton's alleged misconduct. I don't know why a kid would tell his dad he was groped by a longtime family friend and why the kid would allow the public discussion to move forward if it were not true. I believe the 18-year-old. However, Long has not made a decision that Sutton committed a violation of law ... but he sure has with Hunt.

If the House ignores Hunt's violation of state law and defiance of a lawful order to surrender the identity of a $750,000 illegal contribution, how does the Senate have the moral high ground to continue the openly public harrangue of Dan Sutton which started a couple months ago?

Hunt should resign before he further disgraces himself.
Anonymous said…
I'm curious what kind of guy Bill Walsh is. Is he a far-left liberal like Billion, or more moderate? Truly, this is probably good for the GOP to have the loony-left Billion as their leader.
Anonymous said…
Bill Walsh is a bright, thoughtful, charming guy, much better suited to the office of chair. It would appear a large majority of county officers voted for Walsh and without the large weighted Minnehaha vote for Billion, Walsh would have won easily. Any way to see the numbers?
Anonymous said…
I'm an active democrat...and am not to excited about the pick of Billion as chair. Walsh or Knecht would have been a much better (moderate) voice. I could be wrong...but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Anonymous said…
Walsh brags about leading protests against the Vietnam War when he was a priest and maintaining a close friendship with the Kennedy clan. You really can't be more liberal than Bill Walsh. Calling him a moderate anything is nuts.

Knecht may be moderate. Nobody knows. She headed Stephanie Herseth's efforts in the northeast counties.

I'd place Billion's ideology somewhere in the middle of the two, assuming Knecht is a real moderate.
Anonymous said…
As a Democrat I am thoroughly disgusted to see Jack Billion as our new chair. While I admire the guy and agree with him on most issues and most definately supported him in his race in november, i believe he is not good for this position.
First of all, rumor is(and i state RUMOR....) he wants to move the office from pierre to sioux falls. While Pierre may be way smaller than Sioux Falls, in my opinion it is good for the Democrats to have the office in a central location. There are also rumors that he plans to completely hire new staff....i hope that this one is just a rumor because I think that our party office has some of the best and brightest Democrats in the state....
So lets hope and pray for those people and for all of the Democrats that he does not choose to do these things.
Anonymous said…
Bill Walsh would have made a fine chairman. He is friendly, populist and appeals to the GOP as well. Billion is a hard core partisan and his elitist roots will not help.

The Dems lost in this one
Anonymous said…
Does anyone else see the parallel between the SDDP and the national dem. party? An angry white man doctor who loses big time and is near the top of the most hated list from the Republican party becomes the chairman?
The dems didn't take control of Congress because of Howard Dean if that is the model they are using.
Anonymous said…
Oh and I forgot raging liberal.
Anonymous said…
Anon 4:30

If Howard Dean was so bad for Democrats why did Bush say the Republicans got a thumpin'? Amnesia seems to be epidemic among you whacked out neo-cons, which probably explains why you guys got us into the losing war in Iraq.
prairie populist said…
Isn't that an oxymoron, "best and brightest Democrats" ? Or is that like saying "the best of the worst".
Anonymous said…
No, it is not an oxymoron. Any truly smart individual would have to admit that there are intelligent individuals on both sides of the party line. I will admit that I have met a few of the Best and Brightest of the Republicans and I would in no way associate myself with that party. Thinking that the other party is dumb or lower than you is the easiest way to encourage the opposition. So thanks for the encouragement!
Anonymous said…
"As a Republican watching on the sidelines - Way to go Dems. I'll sleep much better tonight as we look down the line for 2008."

You've got plenty to worry about in your own house, PP, which is rapidly becoming a house divided.
Anonymous said…
Billion's not in the "big tent" business either. The Billion campaign barely hid their disdain for pro-life D's.
Anonymous said…
This is a big mistake for the Dems. Billion's campaign was awful in every aspect - message, organization, and fundraising.
Anonymous said…
5:08

Read my post at 4:30!

Republicans got a "thumpin" because of themselves, not because Dean is a politcal genius.
Anonymous said…
7:54pm - I hate to agree with someone who is obviously a liberal Dem, but you are right. the GOP is a house divided. As a loyal Christian Conservative, it sickens me to see Senator Dempster asking Senator Hunt to reveal the anonymous donor's name from the Pro-Life campaign. Anonymous or not, that donor's gift came straight from heaven and we should all be sending our prayers to Roger Hunt - not trying to put him in jail. THANKS ROGER! OUR PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU!

PP: Please don't let these liberals- both Rebublicans and Democrats - take over the comments on this blog. We are fighting a war for the soul of this country and you need to stay strong!!!!!!!
Anonymous said…
11:05 PM - So the end justifies the means?

Never mind if a statement is untrue (there are exceptions in HB1215) or a contribution is illegal (Hunt's anonymous donor) if it helps meet your goal. And you also want to censor people who disagree with you.

In other words, you think it is okay to lie, break the law, and deprive people of their constitutional rights because you believe you are fighting for God's cause?

Thank heaven that there are still Republicans who believe nothing is worth doing unless it is can be done honestly and ethically. Your elitist attitude, sir or madam, is why your Grand Old Party is split right down the middle.
Anonymous said…
6:29am: When the laws are written by the ACLU, then yes the ends do justify the means. Because in the case of protecting life, the end is more than just. It is God's law and our Christian responsibility.

While the State GOP obviously forgot this when they chose their leadership, at least the National GOP did the right thing by picking John Thune to be in Leadership. He is in a prime position to use the filibuster or any other means to block legislation until Congress "chooses" to protect unborn life.
Justice for all? said…
Again, where is the commitment to law and process if the Senate proceeds with punishing Dan Sutton, but Roger Hunt is untouched by a similar process in the House?

One thing is for sure: Dan Sutton will never face criminal charges. Roger Hunt's lookin' at temporary custody of an orange jumpsuit for $750,000 (I'm sure this isn't the only amount involved) of fraud.

I'm grateful there will be a hearing on Sutton, despite the lack of tangible evidence. I believe he acted inappropriately. When is the special hearing going to be held in the House for Hunt for criminal activities? And doesn't Hunt's activities fit the legal definition of racketeering?
Anonymous said…
11:05, if that 750K was a gift that came straight from heaven, couldn't Roger just list God as the donor?
Anonymous said…
7:46 pm - You're pinning your hopes on John Thune? Good luck!
I hope he helps you in Congress as much as he helped the Yes on 6 people this fall.
foxgrandma said…
Roger Hunt should definitely be prosecuted. Dan Sutton's case was talked about long before the election, why just a couple weeks before time, did certain politicians decide to make it public. Besides if the page was 18 at the time of the alleged incident, he was legally an adult. John Thune isn't going to help anybody but him self. Johnny-boy has a few skeletons in his closet that should be investigated more thoroughy before too many people crown him Prince.
Anonymous said…
Billion is a great asset to the Party. Please underestimate him like you continue to underestimate Howard Dean.

And... please continue to over estimate the power of the Anti-Choice Democrats and the voting power of all Anti-Choice voters.
Anonymous said…
Why do any of you Republicans even care. Worry about your own messed up broken backward-a$$ed party.
Anonymous said…
Did any "anti-choice" D's lose their seats in the Legislature?
Anonymous said…
anon wrote:
"Anonymous or not, that donor's gift came straight from heaven and we should all be sending our prayers to Roger Hunt - not trying to put him in jail."

Uh. Actually the money most likely came from Steve Kirby and even if he seems to think so he is not god. This whole thing is a scam, a crime and wrong. The fact that you support their actions puts you in the same category.
Anonymous said…
Roger Hunt's defense it that it's all o.k. as long as Jennifer Giannonatti notarized it. She didn't you say? It's never too late.
Anonymous said…
Democrats can change their mascot from an ass to an angry wrinkled bald-headed old man. Either way an ass is an ass.
Tru Major said…
Having just concluded a campaign, Jack Billion was in touch with what needs to happen for Democrats to win. Bill Walsh is a long-time well known, popular Dem. Billion is Sioux Falls, Walsh is Black Hills. The vote divided along the lines drawn by those twin considerations, 51.17-49.83. Deb Knecht was also a great candidate and will be a quality vic chair; yes, she is a moderate. She's chair of the Brown County commissioners having been a commissioner for several years.

Any of them would have been excellent; Glen Rice, the 4th candidate, would have been excellent but didn't have the history the other 3 did.
Tru Major said…
Re Roger Hunt's misdemeanor ... even though it is a $750,000 crime it is still only a class 2 misdemeanor, as serious as speeding. However, if he's ordered to disclose and refuses, he could wind up in jail for contempt until he coughs up.
Anonymous said…
1:29, real clever. Now go change your personal mascot to a pile of elephant shit

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