The New GOP Leadership

Tony Mangan over at KCCR Radio is reporting on Karl Adam, the new GOP Chairman elected this past weekend at the Republican State Central Committee Meeting:Karl Adam and a new group of officers have been elected to lead the state Republican Party.
The Pierre banker as expected, was chosen Saturday as party chairman at the Republican’s Central Committee meeting held here in Pierre. Adam’s roots in the Republican party run deep. His mother, Pat, was a long time party leader while his grandfather, George T. Mickelson, and uncle George S. Mickelson both served as Governor.

Adam’s selected slate of officers also were elected to two year terms.. They are Sue Peterson of Sioux Falls, vice chair; Paul Knecht, Pierre, treasurer; and Kevin Thom, Rapid City and formerly of Pierre, as secretary.


Adam says he has no plans to change the Republican party office staff and he says the party headquarters will remain in Pierre.
Go read it all here at

The slate of candidates was announced in an e-mail that went out late Friday afternoon from GOP headquarters noting the Governor's support for those that ended up being elected.

In speaking with one attendee, he noted that as part of his nomination, Karl expressed to the people in attendance that he has three primary goals over the course of the next two years; an emphasis on the grassroots, fundraising, and 'team building.'

With existing officers such as recent Vice Chair Elli Schwiesow being shut out, It remains to be seen how this new slate of officers is going to play among some of the more conservative elements of the GOP. Are conservatives going to fall in line behind the new leadership after the defeats of this past fall, or are they going to work towards differing goals?

In my opinion, resolving the intra-party schizophrenia we're experiencing right now needs to be goal #1 if we're going to win elections in 2008.

After the summer of 2006, the party is operating under one of it's most conservative platforms ever, because that's what the grassroot Republicans attending the convention wanted. And, moderate lawmakers who openly criticized conservatives were tossed out on their tails by those same people in favor of 'less liberal' candidates. Yet, come the fall elections and January session, some of the people chosen by the grassroots were shut out from campaign funding from the party, and conservative leadership roles in the legislature were harder to find.

Rumors of a "do not help" list seemed awfully close to news reports about Democrats having a litmus test for Daschle backed campaign support based on whether a candidate was pro-choice or not. In any case, these are dangerous things for political parties, because they'll fracture the sometimes tenuous coalitions that put their elected officials in power.

It's come to the point that we need to reacquaint ourselves with the principles that political parties are made up of those who show up and do the work. And those who show up and do the work are equally deserving of a place at the table. Unless we recognize their efforts and contributions, the conservative grassroot Republicans are going to stop showing up to elect everyone who runs under on the GOP ticket in the fall elections.


Anonymous said…
Get over it. Senator Thune recruited and endorsed Mr. Adam and even sent out an endorsement letter to the Committee.

Isn't John Thune a conservative?
Anonymous said…
Adam was a non-controversial choice. However, the way he went about putting together his "leadership team" is not a step in the "team building" and grassroots direction. It is just a new face on the know nothing and do nothing party that is dictated to by the similar second floor in Pierre.

Announcing Friday afternoon who was the slate of candidates was not a good first move. Why? Replacing the most popular and hardest working conservative with a liberal will not sit well--mostly because of the way it was done. Next, an inexperienced Pierre team will not even know what is going on at the grassroots level. Some of these folks have no real relationships within the current organization.

This is just one more dumb move which will not help the GOP. As we continue to lose Federal, State Legislative and Consitutional races in 2008, maybe someone will realize that there needs to truly be grassroots leadership in the state gop. Otherwise, God help us after the 2010 election.
Anonymous said…
PP: Is it true the State GOP only has about $250,000 left after it went through nearly $1,000,000 in 2006 in its losing the Federal election, the PUC seat and seats in both the state house and senate?
Anonymous said…
Team Building? Ha. Can anyone say Majority Leader Heidepreim? Sorry, PP, but you are going to see more of the same.
mjb said…
12:51, I think you missed PP's point.

He wasn't dissing Karl. In fact, I think he praised the choice at an earlier post.

The party is fractured and the first order of business is putting it back together. That's going to be a tough job for anyone, but necessary to get Republicans elected again.
oldguy said…
Karl is a great guy. He IS a team building. Now is the right time for a person like Karl who gets along with all people. Good job GOP
Anonymous said…
The way to put the GOP back together is from the ground up. Not the top down.

Sue may be a great gal but many conservatives don't trust her. She will have to work hard to earn the trust of the majority of GOPers. Not the other way around as some on this blog have postulated.

Karl was chosen because Thune didn't want to have to deal with another Rosenthal type when he runs again. Rosenthal exchanged barbs with GOP leaders when Thune was running regarding victory operations and Janklow wanting a volunteer list. That behavior was unnaceptable.

Most of this ticket was chosen to make Rounds and Thune happy not to rebuild the party as some may wish.

The real grassroots workers are going to have rebuild the party themselves like in Brown County and a few other shining spots.

Minnehaha and Lincoln are dying on the vine with good old boys and rinos.

This will have to be an effort from the ground up. I would expect to see a statewide operation when Thune runs again and that may help down ballot candidates. We will see, but I wouldn't count on it.

This ticket tells me that Rounds is running in 08 for Senate and that Thune got what he want. Anything else is premature speculation!
lexrex said…
1:32, i wouldn't necessarily call sue peterson a liberal, would you? i guess i have a different impression. please explain.

though i think elli's absence definitely leaves a hole. she will be missed.
Anonymous said…
Whoever is calling Sue Peterson a liberal must be out to lunch. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are going to call someone names at least get it right.
PP said…
Aside from some of the name calling, I'd like to give them a chance first.

Despite what people may think, I believe if anyone has a shot at pulling the GOP back together, it's Karl. He's good with moderates and conservatives alike.

But make no mistake, we need to put the party back together.
Anonymous said…
What is going on with Elli? I don't see her involved with Republican Women in Pennington County anymore. They just e-mailed a newsletter and she was nowhere to be found.
Anonymous said…
We are waiting for a county meeting in Brown county - or maybe the new leadership called a meeting and didn't let everyone know - can't even find the new chairman's name in the phone book.
Anonymous said…
The problem is they collectively come from the same inbred environment. They collectively have little personal experience inside the party. Their first action is a last minute announcement of a "leadership team", excluding a very popular and conservative person. Frankly, this shows the political savy of Adam, and of course, Rounds. The first move was not intended by the less than conservative members of the party to reach out to the grassroots. Just more of the same bumbling with a new face.
feasant said…
5:27 am You must be new to Brown County. The County Committee meets at Noon every 2nd Tuesday of the Month. This has been this way for over one year.

Karl Adam is a great guy! He has assembled a good mixture of people. I for one will work with him to move the Republican Party forward.

The State Party has cash on hand! The real question is how much debt do the Dem's have?

I think we have a great team and the best available candidates for races in 08. Which Party do you want to put your money on? The answer will be revealed in Nov. 08.
Anonymous said…
Hey anon 4:34 - a couple questions to ponder:

#1 - Did you talk to Joel to see if he was running or did you hear it through the grapevine based on speculation and rumor? (because we all know how accurate that is)

#2 - Do you think is is acceptible for the victory operation to break rules in order to win? Or for Thune (read Larry Russell) to keep a volunteer list that was meant to go back to the party to help all future candidates?

Sorry, but I don't think you have all your facts straight.
Proud Democrat! said…
As a Democrat, let me say that Karl and Sue are a great team, along with Paul, to launch the Mark Mickelson governor campaign. If we can't have a Democrat as governor (since 1974's election), then let's have a moderate regime change in Pierre. It's already started in the State Senate and the House won't stay radically right winged for long.

It's nice to see the two-party system is alive and well and living inside the Republican Party of South Dakota! Go GOPerDems!
Anonymous said…
I just heard the Brown County meeting was held last week and on Thursday - ugh!
Anonymous said…
I can't believe anyone defends Rosenthal and Janklow's abusive and vindictive behavior anymore. These guys destroyed Abdnor, Bell, Roberts, Pressler and even tried to destroy Thune. Karl Adam is a vast improvement over Rosenthal any day of the week and three times on Sunday. The probelm is that Adam's first move in choosing his "leadership team" is exactly the way Joel would have handled the situation. Top down, alienate the grassroots, stack it with cronies in order to stifle other perspectives. Classic Joel. Hopefully Adam can redeem himself. Otherwise, we will continue to lose enthusiam, support and majorities.
Anonymous said…
To all you pundits,

Put up or shut up. No more losing.

The alternative to not supporting our current leadership is more of Herseth and Katus types.

Bruce -
Anonymous said…
Support the current leadership who led to the defeat of Latteral and Schwiesow? The folks in Pierre are the reason we lost seats. Hence, the reference to the "do not help" list that came down from on high--Pierre.

This "leadership" should be questioned! Had Adam not used Joel's tactics, there would be much more diversity of thought(conservatives, people from small counties and folks who truly want a bottom up party) in the leadership of the state gop.

The "leadership" needed to change, but simply putting new faces with the same top-down ideas and tactics will not get the gop anywhere but to minority status.

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