Sabotage is not an acceptable nor is it an ethical campaign tool.

In the Sunday, June 25, 2006 Argus Leader article, “Many at GOP convention ask where did Sahr rumors start?” Senator John Koskan was quoted -- “The rumors about Sahr’s conduct didn’t surface overnight … I don’t know where they came from … That’s the beauty of a rumor.” Waited a minute, did he say “beauty of rumor”, didn’t he mean to say that is the tragedy of a rumor?

Call it a rumor, don’t think so. I personally call it political sabotage. Sabotage is not an acceptable nor is it an ethical campaign tool. This is low rent campaigning on the part of the instigators. To win at any cost is totally and completely unethical in every sense of the word. It is just plain wrong. It is totally dishonest to employ such tactics.

I have no idea who Mr. Sahr is, but I do know that he has a wife and children. What right did these people have in creating mayhem in the personal lives of the Sahr family? Did the saboteurs give any considerations to them? I find this whole situation of attacking a fellow Republican over an alleged issue that has nothing to do with his elected position or his job performance totally absurd.

This leads me to only real question that needs an answer -- who started the rumors in the first place? Who is behind all of this and what personal gain would this person be hoping for.

Bill Peterson serving as a delegate from Minnehaha Country at the GOP convention was quoted in the same Argus Leader article, (Sahr) “could almost write his own ticket”, with regard to his political future. Mr. Peterson you know better than that. This campaign against Mr. Sahr used the scorch and burn tactic. This is not to imply that Mr. Peterson had anything to do with this issue, only that Mr. Peterson is a seasoned political person who knows what he said was total bull.

“A saboteur is anyone who consciously or unconsciously undermines or destroys another's personal or professional integrity; creates mayhem in another's personal or professional life; damages another's personal or professional credibility; or causes a reduction or destruction of someone's self-worth and self-esteem. A saboteur can act intentionally or unintentionally and can be overt or covert in the action delivery.”
-- Dr. Judith Briles
Author of “Woman to Woman 2000-Becoming Sabotage Savvy in the New Millennium”

One More Time -- Campaign Code of Ethics

This is an idea that I found a number of years ago and on several occasions I have presented this idea to several South Dakota Republican candidates, who very politely handed it back to me with the explanation that no one would accept such an idea. So here it is one more time, certainly not for the last time.

In the past “let’s be nice agreements” were employed as a silly little campaign tricks to offer it up to the Democrats, if you sign it I’ll sign it. Of course this never happen for a number of reasons. After recent events in the Republican Party I am challenging the Republican candidates to sign this agreement. We owe it to the voters of South Dakota.

Republican Campaign Code of Election Ethics for the 2006 Elections

To provide the public with truthful, fair and clean campaigns for public office, and to decrease cynicism, alienation, and declining participation in civil society among South Dakota voters.

I understand the importance of free, open, sincere and intense debate in maintaining an exemplary representative democracy.

I believe that electoral campaigns are subject to unacceptable levels of negativism, attack advertising, and other practices which demean civil society.

I understand that each candidate is fully responsible for fair and ethical practices by or on behalf of his or her campaign.

Five core values are fundamental to our society and are widely shared throughout South Dakota: honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, and compassion.

Principles of Fair Campaign Practices
My campaign will be committed to the principles of honesty, fairness, respect for my opponent(s), responsibility, and compassion.

Honesty and Fairness
I shall emphasize my views, beliefs and experiences. I am committed to an open and public discussion of issues and presenting my record with sincerity and frankness.

I shall not use or agree to let outside parties use subtle deceptions, half-truths, falsifications, or such practices as push polling. If such practices are used by outside parties without my approval, I shall repudiate it immediately and publicly upon my knowledge of its occurrence.

Factual claims made by my campaign, about myself and about my opponent(s), will be supported by publicly available, factual documents provided by my campaign office.

I will disclose all contributions made to my campaign and will supply my campaign finance reports for publication via the Internet.

I shall avoid demeaning references to my opponent and demeaning visual images of my opponent(s).
I shall respect my opponent(s). I shall not use, or allow to be used, personal attacks, innuendo, or stereotyping.

I will debate my opponent(s) in a public, non-partisan setting. I will insist that the organizers of such debates give equal input to my opponent(s) concerning the arrangements of such debates.

I shall present my record and that of my opponent(s) accurately. I shall focus on issues relating to the office I seek and will avoid personal attacks on my opponent(s).

I shall ensure that my campaign staff and campaign supporters will observe these principles of fair campaign practices. I take full responsibility for all advertising or other statements created or used on my behalf by staff and supporters.

I shall conduct my campaign openly and publicly, discussing the issues as I see them, presenting my record and policies with intensity, sincerity and frankness, and criticizing without fear and without malice the record and policies of my opponents and their political parties that merit such criticism.

I will not condone or allow outside party advertising which does not meet the principles contained in this document. If such practices are used by outside parties without my approval, I shall repudiate it immediately and publicly upon my knowledge of its occurrence.

In the conduct of my candidacy, I shall show compassion at all times for my opponent(s). I shall remember that the campaign process is fundamental to representative democracy and that my behavior in the campaign affects the integrity of our society.

Signed June 25, 2006

Note: Checking to see where the original idea came from and to what extent it has be rewritten. Numerous states have adopted candidate code of ethics.


A little present for everyone who is going crazy studying for the bar.

From the blog of A Girl Walks Into a Bar (Exam)
Nifty little Java applet that's a virtual set of 900+ Bar flashcards

This is to ease your mind – it’s okay that your studying 12 hours a day – your not stupid. Your doing the right thing. excerpt from this site:
It's Just Like Law School
From Tab and Brandy
The word around BarBri is that certain people are lying about their study habits in order to either 1) freak people out, or 2) convince people they shouldn't study. So people who've been observed partying claim to study 12 hours every day, and people who claim to never study are actually members of the psychotic Nazi study group.

So in the end the truth is being told by lies? It's almost as confusing as Property. Wait... I take that back, nothing is as confusing as Property.

Tuesday, June 13
Is A Four Hour Time Good Enough To Pass The Bar?
Everyone says it's a marathon, not a sprint and therefore you should pace yourself. But what exactly does that mean? I understand that means you shouldn't go so fast that you burn yourself out but doesn't it also mean that you have to be at the pace where you're not going too slow? And isn't that the bigger fear, the fear that you're going too slow, not that you're going too fast. How do I know that I'm going at a 1o minute a mile pace when I should be going at an 8 minute a mile pace? Is the right pace simply the one where you're completing all the tasks of your bar prep program right on schedule? Not doing less than scheduled because that would be too slow and not doing more than scheduled because that would be too fast? Or is there something more to it?Anyway, the following is a post over at P.A.S.S. The Bar Exam regarding burn out.

I see how some people have just had it. Others want even more time to pull it all together. Either way, it's cool. Give yourself a break. It's normal. It's very personal. And, bottom line, either way, you have no choice. You are taking this exam on July 25, 26, and 27, and YOU are going to pass! Done deal. No options. No way around it. You'll go in then, and do your best.So, how do you get through until then? A couple of thoughts. 1) Exercise. Most people are stressed, quite normally so. The best way to burn off the excess stress is to burn it out, with exercise. 2) Pace yourself. Take breaks. Remember even during the bar, you get close to a 2 hour lunch break between the morning and afternoon sessions. So, feel free to take long lunches now, each day. Stop fully and relax. Then get back into it. And, when you've put in a full day of studying, take off at night to relax before you get a good night's sleep. And, make sure to get a good night's sleep, each and every night. 3) Last, but not least, get comfortable with "practice test days." One way of coping with the actual exam is to walk in with a "been there, done that" --attitude.

You've been writing practice exams all summer. Those days, tell yourself, "This is just another practice exam." Do your best. You can handle it. I know you can!Above all, be kind to yourself. This IS one of the hardest times in your life, one of the steepest mountains you will ever have to climb. The good news is, once you get through, it's a lifetime license.


Anonymous said…
There have been plenty of posts on this blog about who would have a motive to push Sahr out. I hope now that "they" got there way, "they" don't get a free pass. Lord knows "they" think they will.

At least Laura Shoen (sp?) had the guts to ask the question in the Argus piece of who in the PUC would benefit from such leaks to the media. That's a good place to start.
Anonymous said…
This post stirs up alot of different feelings. I like the high road, but at the end of the day you have to do what it takes to win I guess. Being a victim of campaigning lies, I am not sure I wont do that in the future if my opponent is asking for it.
Anonymous said…
Good Post! We had seen some mean and dirty tatics since the mainstream has sprung...I like your ideas of clean campaigning...If and When I run...I would sign your campaign pledge!
Anonymous said…
I'm looking forward to hearing more about this Sahr thing. The reactions from his supporters are still amazing to me. Folks, candidates don't quit running when rumors are false. They quit running when rumors are about to morph into something called fact.
Anonymous said…
Or, 2:41, enough back room work was done that someone was already elevated to the position and you are told by the party not to run...I think Sahr should have called there bluff and called them out (named names, as it was once said) but a person can take only so much leaning and veiled threats of dubious rumors being released.

Unless you walk in someone's shoes with that weight, stress, lack of time to consider options, family needs, etc., don't pass judgement. The easiest thing for him to do was walk. People from all over the state, in high places, helped him make that choice. People from Faith, Hayti, Watertown, Sioux Falls, Pierre, the PUC, the State GOP, it was a community sabotage effort that unfortunately appeared to work.

Good for you PP to point it out.
Anonymous said…
Stacey - get real. Mainstream had nothing to do with this assassination. Think 2010 Governor's race and potential candidates that benefit with Sahr's departure. Then ask who could have helped Senator Koskan get in the race before anyone else knew the rumors would break. No one in Mainstream on that list but there are some 1215 advocates.
Anonymous said…
Hmm... it was OK for Apa and Napoli to sabatoge Stan, but, it happens to Bob Sahr, and its all of the sudden dirty pool.

PP - I've read on this blog comments like that give off an "all is fair in politics" air. Where's that?

Also - who is Diane M? Is that Diana Miller - the lobbyist? In any event, her posts are too long.
Anonymous said…
Let's get real. PP knew about this the whole time - he was in on the whole scheme to get Sahr out of office. The guy is an absolute mouth piece for the conservative leadership, and he does what he's told. PP, don't pretend that you didn't knowingly put those rumors out there - you knew the effect it would have.
Anonymous said…
PP, you need to forward your article to Napoli, Shoenbeck and Apa.

They attack and spread half truths all the time.

PP, you really should be more careful who you put your trust in when reporting stories on this blog.

You report it as fact if it comes from one of your favorites, ie Shoenbeck or Napoli, but you demanded a higher level from everyone else.

How about treating everyone on a level playing field?
Anonymous said…
Who is anonymous anyways? A mainstreamer it appears :)
Anonymous said…
my point mr. real as it gets...the infighting is there due to mainstream trying to re-define the party don't you think? If not it just an old boy network and nothing more...elaborate if you will and sign your name?
Anonymous said…
I expect people to start blaming things on the mainstreamers. In fact, the mainstream is a perfect posterboy for the state GOP to pick on.

The uppity ups in the Republican Party didn't like Sahr. They don't like the idea of the Mainstreamers. So, they come up with some backroom dirty politics to swipe at both of them at once.

Announce the Sahr rumors - that gets him out of office.

Insert Koskan. Why? Because he's a good legislator. But, this good legislator is up against a Dem that is likely to beat Koskan out. So, move him into PUC, let him continue his political career, and allow a all out fight for Majority Leader in the Senate next year - let someone who is considered to be more "blindly" conservative vie for the top spot.

Oh, and when its all done - blame the Mainstreamers for leaking the info and causing the stir. Only a few people know what really happened, so, lets keep it that way. Just work this angle against the mainstreamers and get them out of office.
Anonymous said…
on bar exams

I've passed a couple of 'em. One of them, from the old days, used to involve a whole lot of writing and my advice was: Get a comfortable pen, which is still good advice. The other was the multi-state.
I studied some for the first, not much for the second. Law students obsess about the bar exam for a couple of reasons: law students are obsessive, law students are competitive, and they suddenly realize that after three years of law school, it all comes down to one exam. It's a lot of pressure. For those of you studying/freaking out, here are the three things to remember. Pass rates are pretty high (especially if you factor out the non-law school grads in states that allow non-grads to take the bar). SD rates for the last four years range from 74% to 90+%. If you did well on the SAT, ACT and the LSAT (say, better test scores than your grades show), you are likely to be the kind of test taker who will do very well on the bar, even without huge amounts of studying. And finally, Cousin Vinny did not pass the bar on his first or second time ("third time the charm?" "not for me"), but took six shots and still did okay as a lawyer. You can still be a good lawyer even if you have to take the test multiple times.
Anonymous said…
I think some would say that it is the "far right" like Napoli and Greenfield who are seeking to redefine the GOP.

The fact is that the GOP is a "big tent" that has existed for years with different factions and points of view. The far right complains so bitterly about the Mainstream Coalition, but the fact is that it was created to defend against the far right "Peanut Caucus."

Squabbling among different viewpoints is just part of politics. I don't think a formal "code of ethics" is necessary, because it only leads to fights about what is or is not ethical. We should simply expect our politicians to act ethically, and to understand that the ends never justify the means.

And I agree - PP does a nice job with this blog, but his viewpoint obviously comes through. But that OK, because that's what blogging is all about. It's not OK when its, for example, a large daily newspaper who has such trasparent bias in its reporting.
Anonymous said…
I like the previous anon's post, which conveys some subtext to why the mainstream was created.

The anon writer talks about how it was created to cater to moderate South Dakotans - to "protect" republicans from the Far Right's peanut caucus.

I think that makes sense - and is certainly evidenced by the growing division in the republican party.

What you have is a handful of moderates and a handful of hard core conservatives. Representatives from each are posturing for position for 2010.

There's also another group of republican - those that are not power hungry and don't get into the hierarchy of politics - to the absolute elitism.

Schoenbeck and Knudson beat each other up in the next Gov.'s race, and Michaels slips by just like Mike.
Anonymous said…
I don't think anyone in the near future will throw stones in a three legged race.

I hope for their sake anyway. Or we will send them packing.
Anonymous said…
This to me looks like a plot hatched by Gary Hanson. Gary sees Bob as his biggest threat in '10 and it also would explain why Gary made the cryptic comments in the Argus that ultimately led to a firestorm.
Anonymous said…
9:23--Greenield and Napoli aren't "seeking to redefine" the GOP, they've already done it. The GOP is no longer the "big tent" party--I think the primary and the convention this last weekend put an end to any possible notion along those lines.

War College--the two of you repeatedly posting about these rumors has done more to fuel them than anything else, and I'm pretty sure you are smart enough to figure that out. The things I've heard about the Sahr saga are worse than anything that's been in the papers so far. You've helped torpedo one of your own. There's a real split in the Republican Party as the SD Dems seek to bring more people in and be inclusive. You might be able to keep this up for a few cycles but it's not sustainable.
Anonymous said…
"The Ostrich Society" as established by anon 10:59:

Let's all just stick our heads in the ground and pretend things aren't happening.

By ignoring things, we can make South Dakota even better.

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