Showing posts from October 30, 2005

Grrr. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

This one will probably get some discussion going. Under a prior post I did recently on the South Dakota Victory campaign, there were a couple of commentors who noted how highly they thought of the 2002 and 2004 Victory Director Larry Russell, and noted how he's one of the party's future stars.

Then just today, there was Jack. Let's just say Jack didn't agree. You can read it all here, but here's just a snippet:
Larry Russell might be able to beat Maka Duta, but he sure as hell isn't going to beat Stephanie Herseth. As a Democrat, I'd love to see it -- sweet, squeaky clean Herseth versus the guy who was forced out of state to Ohio because of ethical problems.I allow comments on the board, frankly because they make things more interesting. I'm not always right. Heck, I screw up, and I'm not so arrogant I won't admit it. And discourse over political topics is part of what makes it fun.

But let me state flat out that I think what Jack had to say was a …

If this doesn't shock you out of complacency, nothing will

As of this weekend, it will be only 1 year remaining until the 2006 general election.

How many of you have decided if you're running yet?
How many of you have started planning your campaign?
How many of you have sent out a fundraising letter?
How many of you have gotten your campaign photo taken?
How many of you have started developing position papers/press packets?

How much recruiting have you got done for the open seats?

Despite what some people might say, it's not political campaigns that are too long. It's the MEDIA portion of the campaigns that seem to drag out.

Don't want to be really public right now? So don't advertise. But you can sit down and plan. It may make all the difference in the world. And if you don't, you're foolish.

Another notation for legislative/statewide candidates - your maximum donations are based on a calendar year. Have your donors max out now, and they can start over in 2006. (it's a thought, anyway)

To the Counties from the Cities: We don't need no stinking Liquor tax

Aside from grumbling in their own county organization, the Pennington County Commissioners also are going to be facing some opponents to their alcohol tax measure. And not just the obvious ones.

Who else might be taking them to task for trying to increase their revenue base? Check out this statement from the South Dakota Municipal League's statement of policy:
Sales Tax

79. The SDML opposes any legislation that would reduce, remove, repeal or reallocate the municipal sales tax, liquor tax reversion or any other municipal revenues to any other unit of government or that would expand the power to impose a sales or use tax to any other unit of government. (T&R – 2000; 9)This proviso to the Municipal League's Statement of policy has been hanging around since 2000, but it takes on new meaning when viewed in light of the effort to place a drink tax on the Ballot.

Because it very plainly states on it's face "The SDML opposes any legislation... that would expand the power to…

Don't Be Libertarian. Begay
The most ignored story of the day.

From the most ignored news story of November 2, 2005 in the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan. (Registration required, but worth it):
Begay Announces Bid For House Seat

After winning only about 1 percent of the vote in his two previous U.S. House races, Terry Begay might be expected to drop out of politics. Instead, the Volin man said he sees victory straight ahead, even if he is the longest of long shots. "I'm not running just to send a message. I'm running to win," Begay said. "I'm more confident now. I push harder when people say I can't do it."
"I have an insight into everyday people that members of Congress don't see," he said. "The politicians just spend, spend, spend. They are taxing our future generations. If we don't balance the budget, it will be on the backs of our children and grandchildren." Begay counts name recognition among his greatest campaign assets…

There's a 50k Bill to be introduced tomorrow at the State Capitol, and it arrives at 11:30

Get ready boys and girls, because it's-a-comin'.

I had a notice passed to me this afternoon. It got my attention, because while I knew the S.T.O.P. effort was going to be dropping off petitions tomorrow AM at about 11:30, I didn't know they were going to be dropping them off with AUTHORITY:
Committee members of STOP (Stabilize Tax on Property) held a press conference at 9:30 AM Mountain Time in Rapid City at the Howard Johnson Hotel.The purpose of the press conference was to announce the total number of signatures gathered on petitions to place the constitutional amendment on the ballot. At the news conference, the number of signatures that had been turned in stands at 51,141 . The minimum number of signatures required to place this measure on the November 2006 ballot are 33,456. There are still people calling who are bringing petitions to STOP Headquarters, or will send their petitions directly to the Secretary of State's Office. There were a couple dozen volu…

Is the Mitchell Daily Republic saying Volesky can't win?

From today’s Mitchell Daily Republic Editorial:
"To hang your candidacy on a new tax is highly questionable, but Volesky rarely has employed traditional strategies - and consequently has had trouble attracting a statewide following.

"His candidacy against incumbent Gov. Mike Rounds represents the same challenge for Democrats as Republicans face with Rep. Stephanie Herseth. Rounds is highly popular, and with all due respect to Volesky, the Democrats have yet to identify a candidate who could win next year’s gubernatorial race. Similarly, Republicans have yet to come up with a name who could unseat the popular Herseth."To paraphrase Sam Kinison, ….and you thought I was tough on Democrats. Yeesh. It's pretty bad when one of the state's major daily papers tells you to forget it two days before you announce.

But even worse, without pointing out the faults of a GOP candidate's strategy against Herseth, the Mitchell paper is already considering Stephanie Herseth unbea…

Here's a SDWC salute for giving it a shot

Here's a trivia contest for you. The scrolling banner has been completely taken over by former candidates for South Dakota's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Can you name all of them who hover above? AND what year their attempt(s) for the seat failed? Not all of them went to a primary or general election, but they were all officially off and running.

Your prize for successful identification? You will win your choice of one of the political pins pictured below. They also represent a bunch of candidates who gave it the good old college try for electoral office. (there's even a couple of hints in there for the pictures scrolling above).

Got your guesses? E-mail me with your answers. The first one who has it right wins. Remember - Politician, and the year(s) they weren't able to grab the brass congressional ring.

Dreaming of Victory

I was called by phone. They had a political job for me to do some consulting and it paid well, but I had to be on the scene within hours.

I hopped on a plane, and flew to the job site. As I walked in the doors to the campaign’s “war room” the first thing I said to the staff was that “there was no organizational structure in place,” and we needed to “fill the gaps so we had workers whenever and wherever we hit the ground….”

And then the alarm buzzer went off. I woke up this morning right when it was getting to the good part.

Yes, I’m afraid politics has made me that mentally ill - campaigning intrudes on my sleep time. But, the message my subconscious had for me this A.M. is valid, and pretty darn timely with statewide races being announced.

I think I’ve grumbled at least once or twice that many campaigns pay more attention to their stupid logo than they do their organizational structure. And they do so at their peril. If you have a strong organization in place, it can help forgive many s…

Well deserved applause, indeed.
The GOP County Chairman who could

I imagine being the Republican County Chairman in Shannon County would be as thankless a task as being the Republican Legislative Recruiter for Legislative District 15 in Sioux Falls. In both places, Republicans historically just don't win.

But rather than view it as a mountain that couldn't be climbed, GOP County Chairman Bruce Whalen decided to be an optimist. Instead of thinking of the huge imbalance of party registration as an obstacle that couldn't be passed, he decided to make it an effort where he'd get over that mountain by building a road - one pebble at a time.

Celest Calvitto has an excellent article today in the Rapid City Journal profiling Bruce and his efforts. Here's just a snippet:
Whalen traveled many miles and attended 22 events, signing up a total of 56 Republicans, 18 Democrats and 3 independents in Shannon, Todd and Bennett counties.

“There’s one thing I am convinced of,” Whalen said. “Even though some people registered as Democrats, they lean towa…

God is P.O.'d at a politician
Or at least one of his representatives on earth is a little miffed

Check out the post (and hat tip to) Ruminations quoting Monsignor Charles Mangan as he implies a lack of pentinence on the part of an unnamed politician who sounds awfully familar. Monsignor Mangan gives his take on the whole thing on
Once when he was running for office, he declared: “As a citizen and lifelong member of the Catholic faith, I will do everything in my power to persuade others that abortion is wrong because I am firmly convinced that persuasion, not legal action, is the only proper and the only effective way to limit abortion.”

In a communiqué during another bid, he asserted that he was “unalterably opposed to abortion on demand.”

Later, after he lost a bruising battle to retain his seat, some anticipated that the official would rethink his unfortunate position. Perhaps, the logic went, the man really was sincere in claiming his repugnance for abortion. Now that he was no longer trying to please both sides of the spectrum, he would ponder carefully his stance…

The Weekly roundup - October 31, 2005

I’ve been ignoring this feature a little, but there’s lots of political happenings last week and this week to pay attention to:

Pierre Electrical Utility Takeover

The word I’m getting is that within the Co-op world, the impending effort of the Oahe Electrical Coop attempting to take over Pierre’s Electrical Utility is THE topic of discussion. Certainly it’s major statewide, and I hear the takeover is getting national buzz within the coop world, too.

SDWC thoughts?Yes, I keep talking about it. It’s not personal (or at least not too personal). This is probably the most understated & underreported news story around. Usually government takes over things from private enterprises. When was the last time you heard about the public doing a hostile takeover from government?

S.T.O.P. Now, pass Go.

The word is that there are petitions on their way to Pierre to be turned in this week. And the winner IS… As if you didn’t know by the title. Bill Napoli’s S.T.O.P. petition effort to roll back proper…

Happy Halloween!
A few items from the room in the War College that the faculty won't go in after dark

This has nothing to do with politics, but it's in the spirit of Halloween.

I think I might have admitted when I first started this weblog, if there's one thing I enjoy besides politics, it's "true" ghost stories. At least, they are as true as the reader cares to allow them to be.

Along those lines, I think those shows where they get a team of people out ghost hunting are an absolute hoot. The Scariest Places on Earth, Ghost Hunters and my personal favorite, Most Haunted (on the travel channel) all provide me with a worthwhile couple of hours of entertainment weekly for what little television I watch.

Ghostly figures, objects moving inexplicably, things that go bump in the night, a distinct lack of hollywood actors, and a bunch of goofy people running in terror. What more do you need in television? They're generally pretty safe to watch with the kids, and it's hard to get bored with them because you never know what's going to happen next.

Ghost stories ha…

More on the congressional campaign from the western half of the state.

From today's Rapid City Journal, in an article by Alan Aker:
I'm disgusted that so many of my fellow Republicans have turned into surrender-monkeys when it comes to Herseth.

We can win this one. We're the plurality of South Dakota voters, and we win the vast majority of all elections all over the state. Some of us are so star-struck with John Thune that we can't see the next good candidates right under our noses. Just when we should be capitalizing on the momentum from the Thune victory, we're giving up.

If leaders in the Republican party can't get excited about thumping Herseth, they should give the reins to someone who is. They have no right to ask for our money, our loyalty or our volunteer work if they can't imagine a way to win.Chastisement for allegedly being surrender-monkeys? Ouch. Who does he think we are? The French? Between the monkey comment and the last paragraph, sounds like this isn't the last we're going to hear about this from the con…

Gee, I wonder where they heard that?

From today's Argus Leader:
Interest in House seat

Thomas Bixler, a Yankton health nutrient salesman, says he plans to challenge Democratic Rep. Stephanie Herseth.Read the Argus story that I scooped them out of by about a week here (and without any credit to the SDWC, I might add).

To Dave Kranz's credit, in his column today, he notes Terry Begay is casting off the shackles of his libertarian party and running as an independent. And he also reminds us that Ron Volesky is announcing his candidacy for Governor in Sioux Falls on Friday.

(And I gave credit where it was due...)