Dems are having a retreat this weekend.

Press releases and stuff are flying out from the Democrats for the Spring Senate Democratic Retreat this weekend - hosted by Senators Bartling, Katus, Maher and Two Bulls at the Sylvan Lake Lodge. If I'm correct, they sent out the following press release to the Lakota times:
Democratic Senators to Visit Pine Ridge Friday, May 18th

This year a resurgent minority in the state Senate changed the dynamic of power during the 2007 legislative session. Fifteen Democrats were elected, to share power with 20 Republicans. Though the Democrats remained the minority party in the Senate, the change meant the Democrats had a place at the table for special appropriations, emergency clauses and rules suspensions. The Democratic Senators are coming together this week in Rapid City, after a tour of the Pine Ridge Reservation, and later at Sylvan Lake. They will celebrate their new numbers and consider issues and strategies for the upcoming session. Senators Theresa Two Bulls and Tom Katus will guide the visitors through Pine Ridge.

The tour of the Reservation will include Badlands National Park, greeted by Superintendent Paige Baker; Lakota Trade Center, greeted by Ivan Sorbel, Executive Director, Pine Ridge Area Chamber of Commerce; Oglala Lakota College, greeted by Tom Shortbull, President; Wounded Knee Massacre Site, guided by Senator Two Bulls; Big Bat’s lunch; Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, welcomed by President John Steele; Red Cloud School, welcomed by Tina Merdanian, Director, Public Relations; and a visit to respected elder Gerald One Feather.

Scott Heidepriem, Senate minority leader, announced a fund raiser to be held at Prairie Edge on Friday evening, May 18th, beginning at 7 p.m. The event, sponsored by Western Moderates for Change, will feature no fewer than 11 of the 15 Senate Democrats. Those Senators touring the Reservation will include Heidepriem, Minority Leader (Sioux Falls), Julie Bartling, Whip (Burke), Jim Peterson, Whip (Revillo), B.J. Nesselhuf, Caucus Moderator (Vermillion), Nancy Turbak (Watertown), Sandy Jerstad (Sioux Falls), Theresa Two Bulls (Pine Ridge), Tom Katus (Rapid City), and, weather permitting, Frank Kloucek (Scotland). “We will be missing a couple of our farming members who were late getting at planting after the big rains in the northeast,” Heidepriem said. “We are especially proud of our Rapid City Senator, Tom Katus. He has done a terrific job in only his first year in the Senate,” according to Heidepriem. The public is invited to the event at Prairie Edge.

On Saturday the caucus will meet at Sylvan Lake to discuss the upcoming legislative session. Heidepriem said, “It is important for us to ask the question: when the 2008 session is in our rearview mirror, what is it we want to look back and see?”
What else is going on with this retreat? Aside from putt-putt boats, and getting together at Linda Lea Viken's for brunch on Sunday, they're going over party building plans, and modeling the Katus for Senate grassroot efforts. (Which must mean Stan Adelstein is going to show up with his checkbook.)

Their big fundraiser has a ton of people invited, and Heidepreim's hitting up the PACs. I hear the big beneficiary of the event is the Western Moderates for Change PAC, who funneled money to Tom Katus and the Democratic group "Focus South Dakota."

Apparently, this weekend retreat is also hosting new and potential Democratic legislative candidates. This would go along with the big push that's expected by Democratic Party ED Rick Hauffe to move more legislative numbers their way.

I'm only getting sketchy information, but I'm not hearing where they're inviting any bloggers? Guys, better include the bloggers. Why? Go read The World is flat. We're leveling the playing field.

Hmmm..... Aside from poking around, as Republicans, I think we need to expect more legislative efforts coming from the Democrats this next election.

At least, I'm not taking them for granted.


Anonymous said…
This all built around the massive ego of Scott Heideeprem, the state's biggest phony.
Anonymous said…
I back your last comment PP!
Anonymous said…
Heideeprem might be the state's biggest phony, but he's a motivated phony. Not just anybody will campaign at funerals.
Anonymous said…
For someone who has been a Democrat for ten minutes, Heidepriem sure is committed to party-building. He must be a pretty dedicated Democrat - at least until political convenience dicates otherwise.
nonnie said…
Say, I'm going to be in Pine Ridge Friday too. Wonder if they would notice if I joined the pack?!

I imagine their answer to the problems on Pine Ridge will be to throw more money that-a-way. Look what that philosophy has done so far.
Anonymous said…
Sounds like a well organized event. Another step in their picking up the state senate next year. Republicans start planning for your senate minority days to come.
Anonymous said…
I don't think you could get the republican caucus in the same room without a fight breaking out.

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