2006 SDWC predictions - the leaky 8-ball says...

This is the third in a series of posts designed to allow me maximum family time over the holidays, meaning I'm emphasizing quality over quantity of postings. It's meant to generate discussion, comments and general buzz.

Anyway, now that we've visited the ghosts of the year's political past, what is the future year going to hold? We're electing our Congressional seat, our Constututional offices, a Public Utilities Commissioner, the entire legislature, and a whole bunch of county and local offices.

As an election year, it's going to be a big one. Election time is Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years' Eve and my birthday all rolled into one. That's how pumped I get about this stuff. So what does my leaky magic 8 ball predict we'll see in the coming year?
1. A Republican Congressional Candidate will be recruited.

Nothing against Mr. Bixler, but a lack of activity on his part increases the likelihood that another will be recruited. Republicans aren't looking for a complete unknown, they're looking for someone with experience and exposure to the voters to give it a good run - if but for anything, just to keep Congresswoman Herseth occupied, so she isn't out campaigning for other Democrats.

My best guess? A legislator who will be term-limited out this year, or someone who left the legislature within the past five years will be recruited to give it a good effort.

2. Ron Volesky is the Democrat's man for the Gubernatorial race. And that's it.

Ron is going to be the lone ranger on the opposite side of the aisle. Because when it comes down to brass tacks, everyone else interested is going to wait four years until the seat is open.

At the Democratic State Convention, I'd expect him to pick someone from Sioux Falls as his running mate. Minnehaha County Official Pam Nelson comes to mind, given her previous statewide exposure.

3. Medical Marijuana is NOT something we'll be voting on this year. Neither will the Alcohol Tax.

As of December 5, they're reporting 5593 signatures. In less time, JAIL and STOP garnered over 30,000. It's a quioxtic cause the proponents believe in, and they certainly care for their cause. But in South Dakota people don't support legalizing drugs.

And Pennington County Commissior Delores Coffing is seemingly already rolling over and conceding defeat. With enthusiasm like that, why would anybody support it?

4. Dems forgo fielding a lot of constitutional level candidates in favor of legislative ones.

Recognizing that instead of taking it in the shorts in two elective areas it’s better to cut your losses in one, Democrats are going to spend time, money and focus on legislative races. They know that at the statewide level, they have Bryce Healy as an incumbent, and at least the appearance of logic in arguing that the PUC should be more balanced

Whether anyone believes that or not, especially since the argument wasn't effective against Dusty Johnson.

But as far as the other constitutional races go, there’s not even a glimmer of issues arising. They might put someone up for AG, and they’ve got Volesky for Governor, but don’t look for them to blow a lot of money on either one.

With their numbers continuing to dwindle dangerously low, they are going to put some effort into rebuilding legislative numbers. And if the redistricting gift by Judge Schreier stands, they’re going to pick up a couple of seats, guaranteed.

5. Mainstream Coalition runs some election ads, but otherwise lays low.

I’m predicting this because they’re still in a building phase, and their director is going to stand election himself. With a lot of Republicans watching, they’re going to keep a low profile – if but for anything to prevent a lot of grief for their founders.

I look at the type of things they are going to do as being; mail surveys and full-page ads talking about what most South Dakotans think.

Pretty tame stuff, and they’re not going to be as head on as the Kansas counterpart they’re modeled after.

6. Blogging continues to march onward.

As we approach the election season, there are going to be more people talking about politics, and as such, more people blogging about politics.

The SDGOP noted in my interview with Director Max Wetz that they’re going to have a blog in the near future (remember the RSS feed, guys). And I anticipate candidates may shift from traditional websites to more blog-oriented fare, with links for the other stuff.

It’s folksy, it’s more personal, and in most instances, it’s free. As one State Official noted to me recently, “why wouldn’t I do a blog instead of a website?”

Not only candidates, I’m looking for a few more new bloggers, and a couple who dropped out of it to reappear. Plus, we may also see a few more media outlets try blogging after the success of the Rapid City Journal’s Mt. Blogmore.

And – the number of people using blogs for political information will increase. I’m expecting my 4500 unique monthly visitors will jump to 7500 by November. (I can hope).

7. Abortion and Education will be a big fight during the legislative session.
Like anyone needs a magic 8 ball to see that one coming.


Anonymous said…
Nothing on funding education? Leaving the burden on the property taxpayers via opt outs, or finding another source to fund education? Dump the formula and just give aid to the districts on a per head basis? This is a biggie, and will get bigger if nothing is done and the legislature thinks property taxpayers will continue to sit back and see their contributions rise, and rise, and rise while the state's contributions fall, fall, and fall.

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