Today's Legislative elections

After talking with one of the Senators last night, the only thing that's firm is the lack of agreement going into the home stretch.

As of last night, it appears that the President Pro Tempore race is going to be between Pierre State Senator Bob Gray and Brookings State Senator Orv Smidt.

One interesting tidbit - with the group of most senior Senators, those termed out of office after this election (Ed Olson, Mac McCracken, Jerry Apa, and Brock Greenfield) it looks like none of them are seeking one of the top positions.

On another note, Dave Kranz is writing today in the Argus on how the talk he hears in the race for State GOP Chair is how some want to bring back Joel Rosenthal. My question? Who in the heck is he talking to?

Nothing against Joel (who writes over at SD Straight talk) but aside from hearing word that he might be able to be talked into it, the word among party activists, county chairs, legislative leaders, and those out of the Thune and Rounds camp is a loud and resounding NO.

Why? Joel has had two separate and long runs as GOP chair already. Those who are in the know are looking for someone different. The grassroot people on the ground want a change in direction to help stave off another Democratic win, and they don't want to look backwards to do it.

Keep reading for more as things develop.


Anonymous said…
Want to know why we keep losing legislative races in the populated parts of our state? Because we elect a Governor from nowhere, a GOP Chairman from nowhere, and Senate and House Leaders from nowhere.

Think about our caucus? Who's in the news? Bill Napoli and Jerry Apa, 2 loose cannons in the isolated Black Hills.

Are the Sioux Falls Republicans in the legislature too chicken to take leadership seats? With Schoenbeck gone how are we going to have a voice on the I-29 corridor.

Get a clue. The state's population is growing fastest in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. It's where the dems are making their best gains. Stop writing us off or you could be electing Governor Scott Heidepriem!!!
Anonymous said…
I believe Knudson and Dempster would probably vote for and support Heidepriem, so your point is we should have them in leadership? They are the same.
Anonymous said…
Wrong. Dave Knudson was Janklow's chief of staff and Tom Dempster is a loyal Republican. They make much more intelligent choices for quotes than that nimrod Napoli with his goofy explanation of what constitutes rape. If goobers like Napoli and Apa and Fredrckson are the best Republicans can offer as talking heads, then get ready for more ass kickings. Does Mike Rounds have to have idiots for leaders because he himself is so shallow?

If we are a big tent party then start acting like it. Nimrods and goobers won't cut it with the majority of South Dakotans especially on the I-29 corridor where the dems are winning winning winning.

Remove Rounds and his family members from running everything and put qualified and attractive leaders up front before it's too late, or say hello to Governor Heidepriem.
Elephant's Memory said…
Some of you may recall that when Joel was chairman, Republicans were not losing seats to Democrats. Democrats just had their best year in many years. What does that say?
Anonymous said…
Where's Joel stand on abortion and gay marriage?
pdq said…
Under Joel, the GOP did nothing to foster a farm team of up and comers. It was strictly devoted to those in power holding it.

Joel had an autocratic leadership style which was not conducive to a grassroots organization. And he is notorious for playing favorites.

No one would deny that the party won some legislative races during Joel. But was that due to anything that Joel did, or was it because of Gubernatorial sweeps? If anything, when it was up to the party to produce, the party always started gradually whittling down seats when Joel was there.

Look at his PAC, the Committee for SD’s Future which was designed to give money to up and comers and to develop a farm team. It’s spent the same if not more on meetings and phone calls as it has candidates.

Yeah, Joel is just what we need back at the party. Yuck.
Anonymous said…
Here are 5 things that need to be made clear in this discussion:

1) Rosenthal can win some campaigns. He is a good fundraiser but his fatal flaw is the refusal to accept the legitimacy of grassroots development. This is probably because the grassroots is more conservative than he and his political crew. I.e. the refusal to cultivate that part of the electorate.

2) He is also divisive within the party, so much so that he is the wrong person at this time for the job. Why? It all goes back to he and Janklow screwing Abdnor over when Janklow ran against Abdnor in the primary. Why would Janklow run against a sitting U.S. Senator who crushed the liberal icon McGovern? Where was Rosenthal''s leadership? He should have never allowed that primary race to happen. The Janklow/Rosentheal clan placed the need for power ahead of the public and the party.

3) Further, evidence of Janklow loyalty instead of party loyalty is seen when Janklow/Rosenthal refused to lend a hand to Pressler in the 96 Senate race. The party could have helpd Larry out immensely but didn't budge. It went so far as Staffers being fired b/c of Rosenthal's insistence on loyalty to Janklow instead of to the party as a whole.

Then in 98 Janklow goes to D.C., on CSPAN, and tells the audience he voted for Daschle. The leader of the party should not be voting for Democrats, even if you didn't like Scmidt the party leader should not vote for a liberal Democrat.

Fast forward to 2004. Rosenthal wanted to limit the victory operation in 2004 and wanted to rape and pillage national money coming in for Thune. Joel and Janklow got pissed off when Victory refused to release volunteer names to Janklow's Congressional Campaign. Janklow is quoted in some paper as being pissed off at victory for this.

4) You know what Janklow and Rosenthal, Cry me a frig'n river! You guys got what you deserved, even if it was something as small as a volunteer list. You don't need volunteers names when all you do is poo-poo grassroots development all the time anyway. Now that you are out of power it sucks doesn't it!

Here's the moral of my story and the link to PP's thread. Politicians associated with Janklow and party leaders need to be purged from the SDGOP. Why? They are RINOS and more interested in cronyism than advancing conservative ideas and values.

Knudson used to be a democrat and only changed when he wanted to get elected. Dempster is not a loyal Republican. These guys will never reward the grassroots GOP anyway if they would get back into power. It would just be more Janklow cronyism.

5) How much money did these guys give to other candidates last cycle and if so which ones? Knudson is in district 10 a solid GOP stronghold. Did he campaign for other candidates or raise money or make calls? How many grassroots GOP functions did they attend and avidly support other than the Minnehaha Lincoln Day Dinner? Did these guys give any support to party building in the off years? Or, are they too busy pandering to the chamber crowd in SF while forgetting about the rest of the grassroots?

Ponder these thoughts...
Anonymous said…
If Bill Peterson is elected GOP chair, does that mean the staff has to take orders from his wife, too?
Elephant's Memory said…
Bill and/or Sue Peterson would be a lot better than another yahoo from west river or the lunatic fringe of the right wing. Learn something from the lefties and the Democrats. We are throwing the middle ground into the laps of the Democrats. If you don't think that matters, check out the 12-point loss of the abortion ban. Our big tent is being shrink-wrapped for the sake of pinheads who can't tolerate others who differ with their narrow views. Again play it smart or lose everything.
Anonymous said…
The smart money is on "lose everything."
GOP come home said…

I think most GOP'ers would agree that we need to retake some ground and recapture several issues. We certainly can package ourselves better and hold onto our conservative values at the same time. Neither Napoli or Knudson are the right ones for the job.

The problem here is that Dempster/Knudson/Rosenthal and their types are incredibly good at fractionalizing the GOP just as what Napoli and Apa do.

They do nothing to excite a majority of Republicans. They scare off needed voters just as the fringe right Napoli types scare off votes from the middle.

Both of these camps are good for the party but not in positions of leadership.

We need a force who is media/organizationally savy to come and bridge the two parts of the party back together.
Anonymous said…
Knutson was a D until he took the job with Janklow wasn't he?
Elephant's Memory said…
You're right that both extremes need to get out of the way and allow a bridge builder to intervene. The reason that won't happen is the extreme right won't cooperate. They are convinced they are correct and everyone else is wrong and morally bankrupt. As long as they seek to shrink-wrap the party to conform to their narrow agenda, Democrats will keep taking power away in Pierre.

Napoli and Apa need to be told to shut up and sit down along with the other extremists. The extreme right won its primaries last spring, but big deal, we paid for their extremism and elitism in the fall. More of the same will guarantee the same result in 2008 when Johnson and Herseth roll into handy victories with coattails.

I've also got news for you. John Thune is a right winged religious zealot in appearances only. That was proved this year when he had the good sense to back off from HB 1215. He's not going to buy into his party shrink-wrapping to appease a vocal, angry minority of the electorate. That will create problems for him in the fall of 2010. Thune does not want problems.
GOP come home said…
Elephant's Memory:

Is this all about Yes on 6 to you?

Your extreme moderation is vulgar to many of us in rank and file GOP. You are obviously a moderate unwilling to compromise on the abortion issue and that is unsavory to many regular Republicans.

Further you confuse yes on 6 with the greater prolife movement which has deep roots among a majority of Republicans and the GOP in general.

Say for instance the legislature voted to get rid of partial birth this year and take it to the Supreme Court just as Congress did. What then? Is that still too extreme for you? Are you a one issue person?

Further, why are you so hostile to "right wing zealots"? I wonder if the Democrat party is this hostile to all of its different factions such as gays, blue dogs, anti war nuts, and others?

You clearly wants us to comprimise our principles, especially on the pro life front. That is unacceptable and tenuous at best. Maybe a victory in the Argus Leader and in Sioux Falls coffee houses but not on mainstreet South Dakota.

Folks want us to recommit to conservative principles inlcuding the life issue. This election cycle was simply too big of bite for a smaller than expected mouth.

South Dakota is still prolife just with the exceptions. Such a bill would be welcomed by many, especially the majority of South Dakotans as borne out in poll after poll.

Also, so called Republican extremist who won in primaries but not on election day only lost by marginal votes. Latrell and Early both strong conservative voices lost by less than 30 votes each. Think if we had strong county and state grassroots operations up and running? We would have overcome that. Think if we had a governor who would have packed his pride in his pocket and come out and supported Latrell and Earley and Klaudt, instead of freezing them out? He would have greater governing majorities. Instead he froze them out financially and now he has to work harder during session.

To say that right wing zealotry is the problem for the GOP is to only see the iceberg floating above the sea. Much of what we don't see is the lack of foundation for party building and issues presentation that the party and Gov could have provided during election day. It's what so called loyal Republicans in safe seats could have done for endangered candidates.

Your calls of zealotry are mostly wishful thinking. How can you explain why Knudson and McNenny are tied for the leadership race. I bet if Knudson would have handed out checks instead of drinking coffee at Kaladis he would have this thing wrapped up.

To marginalize hard core conservatives in this state is to be devisive and fractionalizing. We need to unite those voices with the moderates, not the other way around.
Anonymous said…
12:23, you talk about too big a bite for a smaller than expected mouth. Your mouth is plenty big.
Elephant's Memory said…
Okay. I'm done rolling on the floor laughing. GOP Come Home, you've coined a new term for political neanderthals ... extreme moderation. I'm going to remember that one! "We gotta git rid of secular humanists, queers, abortionists, activist judges and, and, and ... um, extreme moderates. That's what wrong with America today!"

You've got to be a Democrat. C'mon! You're kidding, right? If I'm in a Sioux Falls coffee shop you must be living in a cave-dwelling cult outside Igloo.
Anonymous said…
GOP Come home, the elephant's rear was correct on one thing.

Extreme moderation? "Moderate" is a democrat's terminology.

Call it what it really is - flaming liberalism.

Those advocating tax and spend politics, gay marriage, burning the flag, and abortion on demand were flaming liberals 20 years ago, and they still are.

Don't let them change the dictionary to make it nicer for them.
Anonymous said…
9:41, Abnor didn't have the guts to debate McGovern. If you remember it was Janklow that ended up debating GM. Is there any question why Janklow would challenge a "sitting senator" that didn't have the courage to debate his opponent?
Anonymous said…
9:41 the people of south dakota must have missed something that you did because first, McGovern had already been beaten six year prior by Abdnor. Secondly, Janklow was running in primary against Abdnor so what does Janklow debating McGovern have to do with taking on a sitting us senator six years later.

There was no need to run against Abdnor and was a waste of resources, time, and ultimately that beautfily inspired stroke of political genius cost Abdnor and the GOP a seat.

But that's right this isn't about the gop is it? It's about Janklow.
Anonymous said…
I know that some of you like to bash the Governor, but I think it is fair to say that he is far happier with the SF guys in leadership than the Black Hills boys.
Anonymous said…
I think it is funny that you say Rosenthal and Janklow don't do what it takes to win, then bash them for being MAD that the Victory team in 2002 wouldn't help their campaigns! How interested was Victory in holding the House seat?

The reason Victory was bad, and the reason Rosenthal was critical, was that it gutted the county party organizations, deserted the longtime volunteers, and replaced them with a bunch of college kids with a DC win-at-all-costs mindset. Then as soon as they got Thune elected, they're gone and we're left with county organizations that have withered away.
Anonymous said…
I disagree. Most county chairs today are Thune folks. Thune controls the GOP ground game today.

To this point though, he has failed to exercise that muscle. Probably why he will be involved with picking the next gop chair.
Anonymous said…
Larry Russell, Larry Russell, when can he run for office!!!! I assume of course that is where you are heading Lance R. or PP posting Anon.
Anonymous said…
Whoe 9:41. You certainly have an interesting take on some things. I'm going to respond to just a few of your points:

1)Joel is a believer in grassroots, but it takes lots of money and PAID staff to fund the type of organization you are talking about. When there's a hot election year (2002, 2004) the money flows from the RNC. When there's not a high profile national race, SD gets ignored. South Dakota Republicans are genererous, but don't think for a minute that they will contribute anywhere near the type of money it takes to run a good grassroots game. Yes, you can rely on volunteers and the county organizations to a certain extent, but most of them have other jobs, lives and as good and dedicated as some of them are, you do have some pretty inactive precincts or even county organizations.

2) The volunteer list that you refer to wasn't small. It consisted of about 6000 volunteers that were raised by the party through the 2002 Victory operation. Gee, that would have been a pretty good thing for the party to have looking toward a big 2004 race wouldn't you think? Unfortunately, Larry Russell refused to turn it over to the party. Instead, Larry wanted to keep it for himself (anyone remember his speeches when he was running to replace Janklow -- as if he could-- in the US House? He went on and on about having access to thousands of volunteers. Where else do you suppose those names came from?

3) Furthermore, Joel and the party were not interested in "raping and pillaging national money coming in for Thune". You need to understand the way victory operations and campaign funding works. First of all, yes, there's no question the money for the 2002 (not 2004 because Joel was not chairman that election cycle) campaign came from DC to help the Thune election. However, it is illegal for the party to give more than $10,000 ($5000 in the primary and $5000 in the general) to a federal candidate. Therefore, the money needs to be used in grassroots development FOR ALL CANDIDATES, not just on one race. If you will remember correctly, this was the first year that term limits affected the constitutional officers, so there were 10 statewide and countless targeted legislative races that all needed to benefit from the volunteers putting up yard signs, making calls, being in parades, etc. The GOP party staff at the time had their hands full of trying to convince larry's gang to play by the rules and campaign for Janklow, Rounds and the others in addition to Thune. If it wouldn't have been for Joel, you would have seen more of the absentee ballot problems that larry was responsible for in the 2004 race.

Obviously there are different sides to this issue. I thought it would be interesting for the readers to see another perspective.
Anonymous said…
8:02 and 8:17 pm -

Are you talking about Sioux Falls, MN? That portion of 1-29 including Brookings or Canton?

10:17 - The 12 point loss resulted from many things such as: Thune voting for Six while speaking against it, Rounds sitting on his hands, indecisiveness within the pro-life movement, Fredricks choosing not to back the Party platform, mainstream/pro-death media, Stan's money (and possibly a promise to withhold future contributions), Healthy Family lies, confusing language on the ballot, Herseth and Johnson. The "big tent" is nothing more than a Trojan horse for RINO's.

11:17 - The "extreme" right does cooperate its the Mainstream Coalition types that doesn't.
Anonymous said…

It sucks to get a taste of the same medicine you have been feeding to the conservative base in this state for so many years doesn't it.

Second of all why should janklow be rewarded with a volunteer list? That guy always prided himself on winning elections because of Democrat and Republican support.

Most of those Democrats supported him because he never touched the social issues. They supported him because he would look after business interests to the exclusion of everything else. That's not so bad but it's important to also take action on many social issues that a majority of south dakotans agree with, such as gay marriage, partial birth, and abortion with exceptions. All social issues that a majority of SD's support.

So please keep crying me a river. Janklow and Joel screwed the party over for years starting with killing off Abdnor and ushering in Daschle. There is no sympathy for you folks out there.
Anonymous said…
Joel wrote a "we won't forget you" message to pro-lifers prior to the election--I doubt he would have said that if he expected to be chairman
Anonymous said…
go back and read the original Pat Powers post.

once again, he nailed it. and this is not PP posting anon.

some of PP's stuff, or candidates, are too funky-right for me. but he has a grasp on how the Rs run this game show, or should run it.
Anonymous said…
Yes 3:58 is mixed up. Abdnor beat McGovern, then 6 years later lost to Congressman Daschle. Janklow lost to Jim in that primary, and he and Rosenthal had sour grapes and were pro-daschle ever since.
Anonymous said…
In order for the party to move forward, we've got to get past this Janklow VS Abdnor BS from the dark ages.

Abnor's gone, Jankow's gone and Daschle is gone and none of the three are likely to return to the SD political scene.

Come on, we're Republicans because we believe in conservative principals. We might not always agree to the same degree on all issues, but isn't it better to fight the Dems rather than each other?

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