My Predictions for 2007

As we wind down the remaining days in 2006 and dust off the party hats for New Years Eve, the time is coming upon us to think about the future. The time has arrived to dig the dusty magic 8-ball out from the toy box

Were my predictions worth a darn last year? I've got to think about that. What were my predictions for 2006?
1. A Republican Congressional Candidate will be recruited.
(got that right)
2. Ron Volesky is the Democrat's man for the Gubernatorial race. And that's
(Close, but that was tough. Ron had a track record of running. Not
3. Medical Marijuana is NOT something we'll be voting on this year. Neither
will the Alcohol Tax.
(half right)
4. Dems forgo fielding a lot of constitutional level candidates in favor of
legislative ones.
(dead on)
5. Mainstream Coalition runs some election ads, but otherwise lays low.
(They didn't get to the level of running ads, and instead issued position
papers, so I'll call this close)
6. Blogging continues to march onward.
(dead on)
7. Abortion and Education will be a big fight during the legislative
(dead on, and continued for long after that)

So really, I didn't do as badly as I had thought. So I might be worth at least paying nominal attention to this year. What do I think is on the political horizon as we cruise through the next twelve months?

1. Legislative Democrats are not going to have as good a year as they might think.

Democrats ran for office on the premise that it was time to get back to work. And to their credit, they won seats. However, with greater numbers in the Senate comes a stronger flavor of politics. You have an ambitious new Senate Democratic leader who is an old school Republican with a different colored nametag. And his old allies are not apt to give him an inch.

Senate Dems will also have a different relationship with the person in the big office on the second floor. The old Democratic Leader, Garry Moore, was not viewed as someone who was using the office as a stepping stone to Governor or Congress as Heidepreim is often viewed, so there was no impetus to throw roadblocks in his path. It's a different story now.

2. The Moderate/Conservative Rift in the GOP will still be there.

I think that rift is still going to be in place with conservatives feeling that they got the shaft in the general elections. Why? With moderate Republicans rejecting several of the candidates duly elected by a majority in the primary, those conservatives are wondering why the moderates weren't loyal to the cause.

If there's any hope in maintaining party cohesion, the new chair will have to set forth from the beginning that all Republicans coming out of the primary will be supported,
regardless of ideology. If he (or she) starts speaking that mantra everytime they talk to the party loyal, it might begin to sink in by 2008, and both sides may lay down arms and work together. And there's good reason to do this.

3. The Death Penalty debate in South Dakota could reach an ugly head.

Session will bring some debate, but no serious movement to rid South Dakota of the Death Penalty. A bill to give the warden discretion over the manner of executions will prevail. And once all that comes about, we will move to put someone to death.

And here's the part where people who complained about the bishop's stance on abortion get their turn. Because I'm pretty confident he will come out against the death penalty. And that's a pretty powerful ally as the two sides start hollering back and forth.

When might it get really bad? Depending on how activist a bishop he is, he might
start throwing out edicts about the conduct of lawmakers and officeholders.

If that starts, it could make the abortion issue look tame by comparison.

4. Upheaval concerning South Dakota's federal level of representation.

Tim Johnson's medical status has had many in the media scrambling trying to
predict what will happen. As we pass the two week mark of the Senator remaining
in critical condition, it's evident that the only thing that is certain is a long recovery.

Do I anticipate he will resign? No, and calls to that effect are unwelcome and anathema to South Dakota voters. But depending on the nature and length of his convalescence and rehabilitation, a more likely scenario is that the Senator might decline to seek another term of office. If that's the case, look for that announcement in late 2007.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't think there's a single South Dakotan (myself included) who doesn't wish he could just get up tomorrow and be ok. But the fact is that recovery could be tough.

If Johnson decides to walk away from the Senate in 2008, our boring 2008 elections will explode in a flurry of activity. I anticipate Herseth would make a move to upgrade her seat, despite the risk of jumping from a safe seat to a 50-50 bet. Whereas Johnson might not have faced Rounds, if Herseth makes the attempt, I anticipate she'll face the heaviest hitters the GOP has to offer. And it won't be a cakewalk race where she can get away with debate ducking. She'll have to prove her mettle.

And there will be that open congressional seat. Expect a free for all in the GOP, whereas the Dems might scrape up one or two candidates. You might see a Matt McCaulley or Dusty Johnson, or a Larry Russell give it a run. Look for at least a couple of legislators in it. And you might even see a Leslee Unruh in there as well.

5. Campaign Finance/Election reform will arrive.

In with more reporting. Out with the ridiculously low donation limits. In with more PAC and association restrictions. Out with paid petition circulators. In with late filing penalties.

I might be wrong on some of it, but much of it will pass.

6. If Dan Sutton doesn't resign before his rules violation hearing in the Senate, he will be expelled.

Why? The word is that his new caucus leader has already asked him to resign. They know they don't want him to put them through the unenviable task of trying to defend him on the senate floor. Allegedly groping a young male employee sexually is going to put national level media here to cover it.

Defending him before the hearing is one thing. Defending him after the tale is told is another.

If he puts them through it, I don't think they're going to very nice about it. No matter how good his attorneys are. The Dems know if the story is compelling enough, (which I hear it is) they have no other choice.

7. Watch for some backlash against school boards choosing to sue the state.

When homemade signs are sprouting up on the topic, I think you'll see some anti-lawsuit school board candidates emerge to topple those candidates that chose to spend taxpayer dollars on suing the state to raise taxes. Those types of issues resonate in the rural areas.

and finally, 8. Blogging continues to march onward.

Keep watching. We're continuing to go mainstream every day.

There you have it. A look forward into 2007.


Anonymous said…
"With moderate Republicans rejecting several of the candidates duly elected by a majority in the primary, those conservatives are wondering why the moderates weren't loyal to the cause."

PP, you are sounding like a nutty broken record. You expect the "moderate" republicans who got their heads bashed in, their concerns ridiculed, voices dismissed in a vile ugly manner to just tote the line and support their detractors (sp)? This go along get along mantra isn't going to work as long as your buddy from Watertown and several other W. River Senators continue to have influence in the party. You are watching the party bleed w/self-inflicted wounds.

Other than that, good list. Also, if Herseth runs in 08, it would be a cake walk for anyone on the Rep side other than McCauley or Russell, those who cause the self-inflicted wounds within their own party we loose votes to a reasonable democrat (if one can be found).
Anonymous said…
I'll add a couple of more predictions for you, PP:

1. Come mid-late January, the National Science Foundation will announce that Homestake Mine will NOT be considered for their underground Neutrino lab.

2. Before April 1, DM&E's federal loan application will be rejected due to Minnesota's congressional delegation bring pressure to bear.

3. Most talk of moderates, abortion, and new Democrat state senators will become meaningless after those two come to fruition.
Anonymous said…
“whereas the Dems might scrape up one or two candidates”
Are you kidding me PP? The Democrats have never had a problem putting several credible candidates up for an open congressional seat. Since we went to 1 congressional seat in 1982 the dems have had that seat for 16 ½ years.
Anonymous said…
Heidepriem sticks the knife in was only a matter of time before Heidepriem's political power became more important than decency and due process for a colleague
Anonymous said…
My predictions for 2007:

1. Tim Johnson will recover (at least substantially).

2. Roger Hunt will sweat.

My predictions for 2008 election cycle:

1. Tim Johnson will retire. Stephanie Herseth will easily move to the Senate.

2. A Democrat will win the White House, but not Hillary, Kerry or Gore (Most likely John Edwards).

3. The Democrats will retain Herseth's House seat with one of a number of credible candidates.

4. Democrats will build on their numbers in the legislature, taking over the senate and drawing closer in the House than they have been in 20 years.

5. Roger Hunt will sweat.
Anonymous said…
How did you manage to overlook Roger Hunt? Hmmmm. I guess only Democrats get caught for violating ethics and finance laws in South Dakota. Why is that? Hmmmmmmmmm.

I liked your list as a starting point. Will offer my own when I have a little time to devote, but for now will add that Sen. Kloucek will resign as Democrat and go independent, a little like his soul mate Koistra.

Happy New Year Dr. Powers. You've served the class well in 2006.
Anonymous said…
"Sen. Kloucek will resign as Democrat and go independent"

Will never happen. It would be too good for the democrats.
Anonymous said…
I think your 2008 prediction are good, Scimitar, except for #3. One of my buddies Dusty Johnson or Matt Michels is going to win Herseth's vacant congressional seat. Intelligence and hard work are tough to beat, and neither of those guys have any huge negatives that spring to mind. The are both a bit bookish and wonky, but so is Tim Johnson. Hasn't ever hurt him.
Anonymous said…
We need someone young, energetic, and articulate in the U.S. House. Didn't Republicans learn anything from the nomination of Larry Diedrich? All we have to do is look back at history to understand who is elected to the U.S. House. With the exception of Janklow, SD has historically elected young, energetic, and articulate candidates (Herseth, Thune, Daschle, McGovern, Johnson). Experience is not essential in the U.S. House. Potential and raw talents are much more important. Republicans do not need a gray haired, policy wonk to lead the GOP charge in 2008 or 2014.
Anonymous said…
Schimitar, you like the Breck girl over Osama Obama?
Anonymous said…
I get a kick out of the education establishment complaining that they don't have enough money, but managing to scrape up enough to pay the Heidepriem law firm to fight the battle against the state.
Anonymous said…
12:46 If Republicans are smart enough to nominate Dusty Johnson or Matt Michels, they will have a shot at an open house seat. If they nominate any of their 2007-8 legislators or one of several other aspirants who are frequently mentioned, fat chance.

I believe the 2008 national and state dynamics will favor Democrats. Bush does not learn from his mistakes, and the pendulum continues to swing left.
Anonymous said…
I agree Anon 1:33. Add Larry Pressler to that group who were elected to the U.S. House without any prior elected office experience. I see the GOP bench for the 2010 Governor's seat to be pretty heavy with talented aspirants, but I am very concerned about the GOP's bench for a U.S. House seat in 2008 or 2014. Matt Michels is only appealing in a Governor's race, and I don't think very many Republicans are interested in the rotten lifestyle of a U.S. Congressman. Why do you think Thune passed up a slam dunk U.S. House race in 2004 for a brutal U.S. Senate race against Daschle? The U.S. House is not a lot of fun when you're from a small state.
Anonymous said…
Family law and Shared Parenting will boil into the main stream
Anonymous said…
I predict that Apa, Greenfield, Klaudt, Napoli, and Schwiesow will be vindicated and honored as Great Moderate Republicans.

I predict that the majority of the Mainstreamers, including a few in leadership will have a final revelation and join the Democrat party, dragging the Democrats to a new low.

I predict that a rising star named Rich Sattgast will unite the Republican Party into a strong moderate group and be elevated to the rank of Governor in 2010.

I predict that if Dempster makes one more attempt to kiss Apa, legislation will be introduced to make assault and battery legal.

I predict once again, Adelstein will spend record amounts of cash in the upcoming elections, giving a whole new meaning to the words, "Economic Development".

I predict because of the split in the Republican Senate caucus, the senators will spend most of their time playing Twister, and pin the tail on Abdallah. We'll probably draw the line if Dempster wants to play spin the bottle.

Happy New Year!
Anonymous said…
Bill N,

If that's you I've changed my opinion. You are one funny man. Sattgast Governor. Hilarious. You now have my support.

Anonymous said…
SD will send Bruce Whalen to Congress.
Anonymous said…
Is that you again Bill? Stop it, you are killing me.
Anonymous said…
Moderate-conservative rift. Do you really expect sane people to embrace the Sibby-Unruh wing of the GOP?
The Bishop needs to STFU. His opinion is only relevant to his followers. He can shoot his mouth off to them in church all he wants. Beyond that his opinion is no more than that of the average citzen. I think the feds will put a hold on executions before we execute anyone.
Campaign finance reform, I hope the outlaw paid circulators and a ten year mandatory prison sentence for certain violations of campaign finance should be created cough*Roger Hunt*cough.
Anonymous said…
A-8:34, Hate to tell you this, but a US Supreme Court case involving a Colorado initiative stated that paying petition circulators was perfectly legal.

Given your attitude about prison time for alleged campaign finance violators (hello, ever hear of the First Amendment?), it is my great hope that Roger Hunt wins in court against whatever the state throws at him. It's about time someone on the right played by the same rules as the 527 lefties do.
Anonymous said…
The court just said that it was constitutional. It did not preclude the state from placing reasonable restrictions on signature gatherers.

Also, it always possible to implement a system whereby signature are due sooner so that more time is available to do a more thorough registered voter validation process.

Ultimately a system where more registered voter names are checked and validated is more effective at weeding out ballot measures than what prohibiting pay is. You could structure a system whereby compensation is deffered until after all signature are gathered or have gatherers working multiple states etc... in order to evade the proposed law anyway.


so roger hunt should be put in prison for 10 year for allegedly violating campaign finance laws but its OK for Dan Sutton to do what he did without facing his accuser and the SD Senate as a whole?
Anonymous said…
Everyone screams about Roger Hunt, but whatever became of all the shell games, late reporting, non-reporting, dishonest reporting, and money shifting by the democrats. They were poor at math, too. There were several suspicious PACS, associated with Jim Endres, Curt Johnson, Billion, etc.
Anonymous said…
8:34 AM “Do you really expect sane people to embrace the Sibby-Unruh wing of the GOP?”

More people than you realize support the Sibby-Unruh wing.

You shall see!

Popular posts from this blog

Breaking News: Frederick not in SDGOP Chair Race

A strategic move by Sutton. Good for him, bad for Dems.