Dave Kranz: Pumping up the profile of a nearly dead organization

Dave Kranz's column in the Argus Leader this morning has him tooting the horn of the Mainstream coalition. An organization relevant only to... Well, no one anymore. I thought it might have already shut down...
From those differences came formation of the Mainstream Coalition. That group organized several months ago - made up largely of moderate Republican senators who were branded by some as unholy renegades that didn't always agree with conservatives on issues like abortion and other social issues.

Those differences resulted in primary challenges leading to the ouster of veteran Republicans like Stan Adelstein, J.P. Duniphan and Duane Sutton. It carried over to the general election, when voters did some retaliating, ushering out Republican incumbents like Dick Kelly and Bill Earley. Voters also trumped some decisions made in the primary, turning down those who defeated Adelstein and Sutton.


Former Sen. J.P. Duniphan of Rapid City realized personally the impact of the conservative-moderate divisions in the Republican Party. She now looks at legislative business from the outside, one of the Mainstream members who lost her job in a heated primary she says was filled with untruths about her record. She likes what she sees and credits the coalition with making an impact.

"I think what the Mainstream Coalition did - it kind of triggered people thinking that you can be somewhat conservative and still hold true to your views, have an appreciation for people with other views," she said.
Read all of this bulls... article here.

"it kind of triggered people thinking that you can be somewhat conservative and still hold true to your views"? Is anyone buying that?

What she should have said is that for a couple of months, we patted each other on the back for staking out moderate positions on issues. But then the people who elected us tossed us out.

And sorry. If you read the article, I'd like to know what stands of JP's that Schmidt supposedly misrepresented. Because when I looked many months ago, I think he had it spot on.

The Mainstream coalition. A bad idea whose time has passed.


Anonymous said…
At one point, when things got tough, Duniphan was going around telling people she was NOT a member of Mainstream Coalition. So which was it??? We need to know in case she decides to run again. So, J.P, were you or weren't you???
DakotaDemocrat said…
Thus, the death of the centrist has begun.

In these days of 24-hour news and blogs and winger radio, the only noise you hear is the loudest and the only debate people will hear will be the loudest, even if it isn't the most factual nor even the most passionate.

Loud and extreme is the norm. No need to reach for middle ground, becuase you'd be accused of not being loyal to the party.

These days its Party, then Country. It's amazing that we even had the Mainstream Coalition for as long as we did, because the first thing I said when I heard about the Coalition was that the wingers would have wanted them out of their party completely.

It's really too bad that 65% of the country do not have a party to call their own.
Anonymous said…
PP - The funny party is, the general election results exonerated the Mainstream Coalition - if the GOP is smart, it will go back to the reasonable, and electable, memebers of its party.
Anonymous said…
does anyone really care what a Democratic hack and washed-up has-been like Kranz thinks? all he can do is write about supposed GOP divisions and George McGovern
Anonymous said…
Schmidt didn't have to lie, and he didn't. JP's record in and of itself beat her. So, now she thinks she is somewhat of a conservative??
Anonymous said…
Pat Powers you are part of the problem. Moderate leaning Republicans are fed up with the way right-wingers treat us for our stance on social issues. I'm sick and tired of the bible-thumping radicals on the right telling me I'm not a good Republican because I'm pro-choice. The S.D. Republican Party deserves everything it gets in the coming years. My party has abandoned me, reason and realism. I'm sad the Mainstream Coalition has lost traction.
PP said…
Really? Guess I was wrong.

I thought I was part of the solution because I believe in discourse.

That, and the grassroots openly expressing what they believe, as harsh and unvarnished as it may be at times.

I guess I didn't realize it was a bad thing to say what I and others like and don't like in intra-party issues instead of just sitting and doing what we're told.

A pox on me for expressing an opinion instead of following blindly. I should be cursed for believing that less government was better and that "if you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything."

Yes, yes. Just darn me to heck.
GOP Come Home said…

Your party has not abandoned you. Even before the Regean Revolution the Moderan Republican Party has been against abortion.

The grassroots of the GOP have come together at the local, state and national conventions time after time after time and have determined that being a pro life shall be part of the GOP platform.

So, it is you who has left the party. Regean preached the big tent analogy meaning that you don't have to agree with 100% of the platform in order to belong.

So you don't agree with 100% of the platform yet you say that the party left you. Your statement is confounding at the least. (That means confusing!)

If you don't want the "radical right wing" to take over the party you should recruit more people like you to do the heavy lifting and attend the conventions AND most importantly show up on election day.

Bottom line is that folks like you just don't show up on primary day and yet you still complain during the general election when a moderate D beats a conservative republican.

You know why that happens? Because you and other moderates fail to embrace the big tent philosphy of Reagan by spiting the conservative and sitting home on election day.

Folks like you would rather complain and sit on your votes than either do something about it, i.e. more moderates to the polls on primary day, or; hold your nose while voting for, gasp, a conservative: who by the way beleives in 80% of what you do.

In this state, you and your moderate buddies are the problem not the solution. So switch parties or start holding your noses.
Elephant's Memory said…
To GOP Come Home:

Here's the train wreck in your arguement. The palace coup last spring was not an ambush by the extreme center (like that one?) of our party against the extreme right. It was a statewide expulsion of centrists who were incument legislators. So much for the big tent baloney.

When the chief architects of the Janklow and Mickelson eras, Joe Rosenthal and Frank Brost, tell the press that the extreme right has shrunk our former big tent, think of it as a big fat warning. Except for moderates gaining control of our Senate caucus in Pierre, that warning has been ignored. Our party will keep paying the price with the loss of more seats as long as those drunken with ambition and blind with arrogance continue to ram the car off of the road.
Anonymous said…
To GOP Come Home and PP
You are right in a way. My party hasn't abandoned me... the right-wing has virtually kicked me out.

The big tent is extinct not because I think I have to agree with my party 100% of the time. Rather, it's because people like John Thune, Roger Hunt, Robert Regier, Leslee Unruh and Eli Schwiesow think I have to.

Because I don't blindly drink the conservative Kool-Aid, I'm not welcome and they certainly don't want my opinions.

Just to clarify, I have voted in every election in which I was eligible to vote since the day I turned 18. That means every municipal, school, primary and general election for more than 20 years now. GOP Come Home, do you have that kind of voting record? I have volunteered on campaigns, held fundraisers, written checks, served as a precint committeewoman, and yes even ran for office. Don't preach to me about getting involved.

And Pat, you are part of the problem because you can be included in the aforementioned list of people who use social issues as the litmus test for loyalty to the party. It's people like you two who don't want me in the GOP.
GOP Come Home said…
The statewide expulsion that you speak of never happened. There are two main reasons why the GOP lost, lack of a coherent campaign operation and poor grassroots development.

More to the point, it was the lack of a coherent campaign operation on the part of Mike Rounds and crew.

First, 40k was spent on one of Rounds' friends: Dick Kelley. A guy who before the primary was even over was already a dead man walking. He had health problems, he was overweight and many GOPers in Sioux Falls wanted to shit can him before the primary, but he was the incumbent and more importantly he was Rounds' buddy.

Secondly, Rounds withheld Governor's Club money from guys like Early and Lattral. Maybe a few others as well.

Third, why was there no campaign operation set up in the largest city in the state? The GOP could have tapped into the vast citywide pool of volunteers and activists who love to work for the Republicans. They sat at because the leader of the GOP exhibited no leadership.

Fourth, how many campaign events did Rounds hold for Klaudt, Lattral, Earley, Schwiesow and Arnold in their districts?

This so called "expulsion" consisted of how many votes in how many districts?

Let's look at that statewide expulsion in detail. Because I don't think it was an expulsion.

Further let's take a look in detail at this so called appocolyptic "expuslion" that only Rosenthal can allegedly stop.

(BTW if Rosenthal is such a great leader, why do most of the county party activists hate him?)

Let's look at five Senate races where we lost an incumbent:

1) Bill Earley lost by 18 votes.

(Is 18 votes a statewide expulsion? I don't think so.)

Besides, the GOP will take that district back in the next election with a good solid conservative by the name of Hal Wick. Jerstad should quit now and save herself the humiliation.

2) Isaac Latterel lost by 32 votes. And, just last week he kicked ass in the race for GOP county chair. The base loves him up there.

So now that statewide expulsion is up to how many votes? Oh yeah: 18 + 32 = 50, that's an ass kicking alright.

3) Ted Klaudt lost by 500+ votes and got beat by Maher, who said that he didn't change his registration in time so he ran as a D. I don't beleive that but...Maher is pro-life. So the guy will be voting with the GOP on the social issues that you say are the downfall of the party.

So our expulsion tally so far is 550 votes over three districts. One of which exchanged one pro-life R for a pro-life D.

I don't know if I should finish yet because that so called "expulsion" when looked at in detail is starting to look like bad GOTV, or more precisely no GOTV efforts on the part of the party, but I digress.

4) Elli! She lost by 479 votes. Two words: Stan Adelstien. Who can compete against Stan's hundreds of thousands of dollar campaign contributions when the GOP is blowing 40 k on Dick Kelley?

So number of voters constituting an expulsion is up to 1029. That's like what .01% of the state's population?

5) Dick Kelley...well he did get expelled! By 857 votes. Serves him right...he was a lazy campaigner anyway.

So bottom line is that a 1,887 votes constitutes an expulsion. Well you sure proved me wrong!

In an election where 341,019 voters went to the polls it only took 1887 voters to expel those nasty right wing nutjobs.

Most campaign operatives, other than the Rounds' crew would call this loss bad GOTV, not an expulsion.

The so called sea change in South Dakota politics never materialized. It was bad campaigning in inidividual districts along with some retribution from the Rounds' crew thrown in.

Registration totals and historic voting patterns show that conservative Republicans can continue to win in a supermajority of Senate seats if the right campaign strategy is employed.
Anonymous said…
This has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with bad campaigning.

Some want to paint the last election as one of out of whack ideology. It's not.

I never got called by a campaign volunteer here in Sioux FAlls asking me if I voted.

What the hell is up with that? We are in the largest city in the state and there is no turnout machine? What in the hell was the Minnehaha county party doing? Drinking wine and eating cheese at the country club?

Most voters don't pay attention to this big tent shit anyway.

They vote for the person who they think can win, looks good, looks like them, believes in the same things they do, comes to their house, is asked to vote for the candidate personally, etc...

The SDGOP is not in any danger of being marginalized by it's pro life stance. Yeah it doesn't play well in some urban districts but that's about it.

The GOP loses when it starts to cave in to the weak kneed handrwringers.

GO GOP or Go home!
PP said…
3:48, when have I EVER said social issues are a litmus test for being considered Republican? I have my own views and talk about them, but I've NEVER uttered those words.

What I do talk about is too much government in our lives.

Yes, I'm generally conservative in my views, but the only place I've ever drawn the line is when Republicans pound on other Republicans or the party. Hence, why mainstreamers and PACaSTAN get both barrels leveled at them from time to time.

Not for being moderate, but for working against other Republicans.
Anonymous said…
A turnout machine in Lincoln county would have been able to round up 30 or 40 votes for Earley.

Where was that turnout machine?
Anonymous said…
All this tedius discussion about what wing of the GOP you ascribe to, mainstream, social conservative, family values, etc.. Other than yourselves, who gives a rats a__?
Anonymous said…
The next GOP Chair needs to be both thunder and lightning with GOTV.

GOP Come Home, why Johnson but not Koskan too?
Anonymous said…
we live in a republican heavy state that does do some cross over voting at the federal level.

Voters have a greater propensity to vote by party on down ballot races.

This means that if we had a kick ass GOTV we could really bring the heat to these legislaive races.

We need a grassroots turnout machine in this state and at the county level.

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