Brendan Johnson lining up for Hillary; Where are other politicos at?

I caught this on facebook yesterday, that former US Attorney Brendan Johnson is announcing early that he’s all in for Hillary Clinton:


Brendan is one of a few South Dakota Democrats who have publicly jumped on board a Democratic Candidate’s team. (Or maybe I should cut that off at “one of a few South Dakota Democrats.”).

Republicans are also largely hedging their bets this far out with notable exceptions such as House Assistant Majority Leader Steve Westra, who is heading up the Jeb Bush campaign along with eight other notable South Dakota supporters.

So legislators, and other politicos – Anyone else want to come out and declare their favorite candidate they’re actively supporting for President?

Carly Fiorina announces for President. Is there something specific that she’s bringing to the table that I’m missing?


And…. is there something specific that she’s bringing to the table that I’m missing? I’m have no idea what her raison d’être is for running.

Anyone out there in the SD Blogosphere care that Carly Fiorina has now announced for President?

(She did do a Demon Sheep ad when she was running for US Senate.)

Vets group fronted by South Dakota Attorney Joel Arends suing State Department over Hillary Clinton e-mails

Maybe Annette Bosworth shouldn’t have rolled Joel Arends under the bus so hard when she was arrested & charged for illegal petition signatures. He’s getting far more attention than her goofy surrogates have been able to gin up with hit pieces and fake press conferences.

Why is Joel a media darling this week, and appearing on “the Blaze” and other national media? His group – Veterans for a Strong America – are suing the State Deparment for ignoring a Freedom of Information request for Hillary Clinton’s email and telephone log:

Joel Arends, chairman of Veterans for a Strong America, said his group specifically requested Clinton’s personal emails from a specific time period before and after the Benghazi terror attack in case Clinton had also sent some relevant emails using her personal account during that time.

Arends said he was unaware at the time of the request that Clinton had relied exclusively on a private email account using a server located at her New York private residence.

“At this point in time, I think we’re the only ones that specifically asked for both her personal and government email and phone logs,” Arends said of his group’s Benghazi-related request.

Veterans for a Strong America filed the FOIA request in the course of writing a book, “The Difference it Makes,” about the government’s handling of the Benghazi attack.

Read it all here.

Because of national GOP rule changes, SDGOP forced to adopt “winner take all” delegate selection process.

Someone sent me the report of the State Republican Central Committee this morning on how the selection of presidential delegates would now be taking place, as a result of the party being in violation of national bylaws, and needing to change the rules to conform.

The result after studying the issue?

NDS Committee Report

“The committee determined that if we elect the actual delegates and alternates at the State National Delegate Selection meeting held in March, instead of nominating slates of delegates, then those delegates and alternates will have been “elected or selected” at least 45 days prior to the national convention. This would bring us into compliance. The national rules allow for the binding of delegates separately from the election of those delegates. So our national delegates could still be bound to support the winner of the Primary Election, which can be held at its normal date.

Accordingly, the committee has concluded that the best resolution is to elect our delegates and alternates at the statewide meeting provided for in our current system and then bind those delegates and alternates to support the presidential candidate who receives the most votes at the Primary Election.”

As I’m reading this, it appears that there will be no more “slates of delegates” based on each presidential candidate. There will be just “the slate of SDGOP delegates.”   And they will be “bound to support the winner of the primary election.”

So, if I’m reading this correctly, it doesn’t matter if you support Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie or Rand Paul. Every delegate is thrown into the same big pot, and whoever comes up with the most votes at the State National Delegate Selection meeting held in March wins a delegate or alternate position, and they’re bound to vote for the sole winner of the South Dakota primary, even if the vote is split 30-25-25-20.

What are your thoughts on it?

I’d expressly note that we shouldn’t be critical of those who tried to make the best of a bad situation. This was a process change forced upon the SDGOP by the National Republican Party.

But, personally, I think we’ve lost something because of the change. I always liked to see who supported each presidential candidate on the primary ballot, even those who were uncommitted. Not that we’ll be allowed uncommitted delegates anymore.

And seeing people like my daughter Meredith, who was an 18 year old Santorum delegate 4 years ago, will become a relic of the past. Because now there will be far greater competition for far fewer National Convention positions.

State Representative Steve Westra Announces South Dakotan’s for Jeb Bush Group

From a release:
IMG_1254.PNGState Representative Steve Westra Announces South Dakotan’s for Jeb Bush Group

PIERRE, South Dakota – (January 20, 2015) – Today State Representative Steve Westra (R-SD), announced the formation of the South Dakotans for Jeb Bush group. “South Dakota has the opportunity to create one of the first grassroots efforts to encourage Jeb Bush to seek and win the Presidency of the United States,” said Westra. “Jeb Bush is as conservative as South Dakota. His views align with the majority of South Dakota voters who want limited government, balanced budgets, and a strong America.”

Rep. Westra today unveiled a Facebook site that will collect the names and contact information of South Dakota voters who want to be counted as early Jeb Bush backers. The group is encouraging those who want to send a signal of support to Jeb Bush to visit . Supporters who visit the Facebook page like the page and enter their name on the petition will be submitted to Jeb Bush at the end of February.

Bush announced in December of 2014 that he was creating a Presidential exploratory committee. “We want to send a clear message to Jeb Bush, that just as South Dakotans stood with his Dad and his brother, we will stand with him,” said Westra. “Jeb Bush shares South Dakota values on guns, protection of the unborn, a strong defense, and conservative fiscal policy. Now is the time for South Dakota voters to play an early role in the upcoming 2016 Presidential election, by registering your support for Jeb Bush.”

“This is an all-volunteer effort by South Dakotans to show Jeb Bush that we will strongly support him and his message of positive conservativism to help restore opportunity to South Dakota and America,” said Westra. “At the end of this push we will send to Jeb Bush the names of his early South Dakota supporters, and hope that this send the early message that we need Jeb Bush to run and win the Presidency of the United States.”

Representative Steve Westra was recently elected to the position of the Assistant House Majority Leader by his fellow South Dakota Republican legislators. Representative Westra serves District 13 in South Dakota which includes parts of Minnehaha and Lincoln County. He is the Chief Operating Officer at Hegg Companies, Inc.

Steve Westra,
South Dakota State Representative for District 13
[email protected]

Adam Timmerman,
Coordinator for South Dakotan’s for Jeb Bush
[email protected]


Is there anyone you’re holding a candle for in the presidential sweepstakes? Who is the next Reagan?

The New York Times has an article today noting how the GOP is torn in giving a third chance for Mitt Romney:

“People say he is a very fine man, but he had his chance,” said Frank Keating, the former Oklahoma governor. “I think they’re looking over his shoulder at the next attractive candidates.”

Mr. Romney’s indication in New York last week that he may run in 2016 has set off excitement among his loyalists in the Republican donor class and assurances from his consultants that he can bring a different dimension to the campaign this time.

But interviews with more than two dozen Republican activists, elected officials and contributors around the country reveal little appetite for another Romney candidacy. Beyond his enthusiasts — a formidable constituency given that many are donors — opinions range from indifference to open hostility.

Read it here.

I don’t have anything against Romney, but I guess I’m looking for a Republican candidate who is inspirational and aspirational. That’s kind of the same problem I had last go around in the Republican presidential sweepstakes. I’m looking for someone with a clear vision as well as a blueprint, of where they want our country to go.

And that might be the very reason Republicans keep struggling at the Presidential level. Hands down, Obama is the worst president of my lifetime. Even worse than Jimmy Carter. At least Carter attempted to lead.

But without a Republican alternative for voters who can articulate a vision and a path to achieve it, it could be a rough row to hoe.

So, you tell me. Which Republican candidate should we be paying more attention to in the months to come? And what is their vision?