Who is the most popular Governor in the nation? You know it’s Dennis Daugaard.

Who is the most popular Governor in the nation? You know it’s Dennis Daugaard.

From the Inside Gov Website:

Before those elections take place, though, InsideGov, a political research site powered by Graphiq, decided to identify the most popular U.S. governors. To do this, the analysts used polling data from MorningConsult, a nonpartisan digital media research company.

MorningConsult surveyed more than 71,900 voters in all 50 states between May and September 2016. Governors are ranked in ascending order by their net approval rating.* In the case of ties, governors are sorted by their approval rating. Approval ratings are only one metric to evaluate a governor, but they can be a useful indicator of a governor’s success.

and…

Read it all here.

And who shall lead the Dems?  Possible contenders to take over the South Dakota Democrat Party after this weekend’s vote.

With all the rumors swirling around the implosion of the South Dakota Democrat Party this weekend and the coup being staged against Ann Tornberg’s chairmanship, one of the things that keeps getting brought up is that no one really seems to be angling for the job.

That’s the problem with a revolt.  If you put the queen to the guillotine, no one wants to be the next ruler in case the peasants decide to revolt again.  And trust me. As much as they lose in South Dakota, Democrats can be pretty revolting.

So, if they are able to change the party bylaws from a 4 year term to a 2 year term accompanied by an immediate election, who do we see as possibility for taking on the chairmanship of the South Dakota Democrat Party?

Possible New Chairs of the SDDP:

Paula Hawks (Odds 3-1) If the party bylaws are changed, we give a 3-1 chance that Paula Hawks, who has been one of the Democrats most critical of Ann Tornberg’s less than benevolent rule, might emerge as the new party ruler.

The Hawks for Congress campaign arguably suffered the most from the party’s lack of fundraising, disorganization, etcetera.  Hawks has been the most vocal critic of the Party and has been calling for change.   Being the agent of change may put Hawks in a position to run for office again someday, and believe me, the Democrat party has nowhere to go but up.

Slick Rick Weiland (Odds 10-1) Slick Rick Weiland, the political snake oil salesman who tried several times this past election to sell South Dakotans on initiated measures, had washed his hands of the Democrat Party previously after his crushing loss to Mike Rounds for US Senate.

But, as any good opportunist, he may view the Democrat Party’s implosion as an opening to bamboozle the Democrats who rule the party that he can lead them to prosperity through initiated measures.  (Because that’s worked so well for them).  It might also give him some face time with the press.  But the problem here would be that he’d have to produce something besides music videos – he’d have to produce results.

Cory Heidelberger (Odds 5-1) Interestingly, while Cory has been a vociferous Tornberg supporter in the past, he’s been one of the parties most responsible in loudly publicizing the grievances of the Democrat organization mutineers, and making sure that everyone knows that they want to throw Ann Tornberg out of office for “severe lack of management ability that has led to low fundraising, dropping voter registration numbers, a nearly invisible message, and at the center, zero of anything resembling a strategic action plan for the State Party.”

In other words, if Cory had not been promoting it and making sure as many Democrats saw it as possible, there might not be much of a revolt.  Sure, others had expressed dissatisfaction in the past. But no one had really undercut Tornberg until the article Heidelberger published on his blog came out. Giving voice to the dissidents made a lot of ugly family secrets open to the world. And now, interestingly, Cory is back riding the fence trying to claim the high road while dispensing advice as to what Democrats should be doing…. Which sounds a little too much like he wants the job.

The downside for Democrats is that Cory rarely follows through, and has a tendency to turn people off, much like he’s helped Aberdeen move more strongly into the GOP Column as part of his ill-fated run for State Senate.  The more he campaigned, the more ground he lost to Al Novstrup.  If we think Ann Tornberg’s current implosion is spectacular, I imagine Cory’s would put it to shame should he get the nod.

Frank Kloucek (Odds 25-1) Frank has been critical of the chair for months, and not behind closed doors. The former Senator was openly attacking her in Democrat party “listening tour” sessions where Tornberg went across the state and tried to make excuses for the Democrat party’s dismal performance.

The problem with Frank, is well… Frank. While he’d actually be the closest leader that Democrats could come up with resembling a moderate South Dakotan as opposed to the party of liberal Social Justice Warriors which Democrats have styled themselves as, Frank also has a tendency to come off as a bit of a buffoon, and they may not have a lot of confidence in his ability to lead or raise the money that Democrats need to keep the lights on.

“Effective” Ann Tornberg. (Odds 2-1)  Let’s face it. South Dakota Democrat Party chair is an awful position, and no one wants it.  Ann claims she’s been effective, despite evidence to the contrary.   If there’s a revolution and no one wants to lead in its wake, there becomes a great question of who will fill the void.

Given that Democrats aren’t entirely convinced yet that there should be a revolution in the first place, I think there’s a 50/50 chance or better that they’ll just leave “Effective Ann” in place, and revisit the whole mess in December of 2018 like they’re scheduled to do anyway, and just cancel the revolution (at least for a while).

They’ll bumble along, lose the 2018 election, and go home to lick their wounds for the next cycle.  I’m guessing that’s probably the best bet to place if you’re playing the odds for this weekend’s Democrat meeting.

Otherwise, anyone have any suggestions as to who the next chair for the SDDP should be? Sound off in the comment section. (You might want to encourage them.)

Gov. Daugaard Orders State Capitol Flags At Half-Staff For Former State Senator Richard Gregerson

Gov. Daugaard Orders State Capitol Flags At Half-Staff For Former State Senator Richard Gregerson

PIERRE, S.D. – Flags at the State Capitol will fly at half-staff on Monday, May 1, to honor the life of former legislator Richard “Dick” Gregerson of Sioux Falls, who passed away on Tuesday, April 25.

Gregerson, 84, represented a Minnehaha County district in the state Senate from 1979 to 1982, and also served 16 years on the state Transportation Commission.

-30-

“There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart.” (St. Augustine)

Background and context: In 1980, I was the intern for State Senators Dick Gregerson & Dick Flynn. In roughly 1983, Dick Gregerson took a sabbatical from Woods Fuller and spent roughly three months as an “intern” for US Senator Jim Abdnor, where one of my duties was Intern Coordinator. In other words, I once worked for Dick Gregerson and he once “worked” for me. I think maybe the best tribute I can do is tell stories about Gregerson.

Story #1- Played to win: Gregerson and Flynn were polar opposites with regard to style and personality but they were close personal friends. As their intern, I can’t remember ever working “for” a bill but know I spent a lot of time helping them kill bills. One morning I get to the Capitol and they tell me to go to Lyndell Peterson’s committee and take down the names of every person who comes to the committee and what they say on what bill. If I don’t know their name, I am to ask for their name. No other direction than this. Part way into the hearing, Peterson cant’ stand it any more, looks at me and asks “What are Frick and Frack up to?” In all honesty, I tell him I’m here to take names and notes. But, I can tell Peterson is bewildered and maybe a bit rattled.

After the hearing, I type up the list of attendees and notes. When I give it to them, they don’t care about my notes but ask about it and I tell them what Peterson said and his reaction. They laugh and tell me they just want to get in his head because he has been messing with some pro-Sioux Falls legislation.

Story #2- Preacher’s Kid: That session, five of us from Augie were interns (three guys and two gals). Since I was from Pierre, I was charged with finding a place to live. I end up finding an empty house which was big enough for all of us. Well, Gregerson had a visceral reaction to gals and guys living under one roof so he told me it was MY RESPONSIBLITY to protect the gals reputation by stomping out any rumors and not giving cause for any rumors with regard to hanky-panky.

Story #3- Confident and could be made fun of: As I said above, my bosses were polar opposites and the moniker “Frick and Frack” was perfect. Flynn was boisterous and aggressive. Gregerson was always the gentleman. Flynn always teased Gregerson of being too nice. Anyway, one morning I’m instructed to go to the men’s clothing store and pick up a mannequin, get it up into an office without Gregerson seeing it, and then when Gregerson is stuck in Governor Janklow’s office at the start of session to get it into the chamber in Gregerson’s spot.

When Gregerson came into the Chamber, Flynn was crouched down at another desk and asked to speak. The Lt. Governor Lowell Hansen as President of the Senate recognized “Senator Gregerson” where Flynn mimicked Gregerson’s style which included “speaking on the bill” by saying something nice about each of the sponsors (attire, haircut, spouse, etc.) to only conclude with “Thank you for your great work on this bill but I’m sorry to tell you I’m voting against it.” The place couldn’t stop laughing.

Story #4- Trustworthy: While they didn’t know each other well at the start, when Gregerson spent his sabbatical with Senator Abdnor, as an unpaid intern, his “job” was basically to go everywhere with Senator Abdnor. He was in every meeting, sat in the lobby outside the Senate Chamber when Senate was in session, and went to every social engagement with the Senator. It wasn’t long before Senator Abdnor asked that every memo be also given to Gregerson. In short, Dick became wholly trusted by Abdnor in literally days.

Story #5- Humble: Every morning when he came to the office, he first came to my desk and asked if I (as Intern Coordinator) had anything for him. Part of it was for us to laugh of the “role reversal” since I worked for him in Pierre. Part of it was to express a willingness to do something besides be Senator Abdnor’s “boy Friday.” But, after awhile I came to appreciate it was Dick just being respectful to the office and every person who worked there.

I could tell more stories but want to end with the last time I saw Dick. It was at Kaladi’s where he was meeting friends/peers for coffee. I had stopped by myself to eat breakfast and answer some emails. I hadn’t even seen Dick when he stopped by to say hello. We quickly got updated in a cursory way and said to each other “we have to have lunch.” It never happened.

Of course, I have regret I didn’t make it happen. But, not as much as you might think. Over 30 years ago, in two 90 day tranches, I got to know Dick and developed a deep fondness and respect that never diminished. I never felt we needed regular contact to keep the bond formed so long ago. Even though he has passed, I have no sense of it diminishing either. Dick Gregerson is just that solid.

Dear Lord, the separation of our friends from us is concurrently a union with Eternal Destiny. By the merits of your Cross and by your Divine Mercy may our friend Dick Gregerson be an oblation to your Father. We praise and thank you for the blessing of Dick Gregerson for we could see glimpses of You in him. Amen.

Argus: Ann Tornberg thinks she’s effective. Ann, seriously. You just keep on being you. Really.

Democrats are killing me with hilarity today, as the slowly rolling coup d’etat against Ann Tornberg continues to grow to a crescendo this weekend with a party bylaw change to force a vote of no confidence against the chair, and rewriting the rules so she’s up for election immediately.

Despite the fact that no candidate for the job has emerged. Yep. No candidates, just people wanting to throw her out.

However, as reported by Argusleader.com, embattled SDDP Chair Ann Tornberg disagrees with her detractors, and thinks she’s been ….. effective.

“We don’t hold Ann Tornberg responsible for all that ails the SDDP. She has tried her best, and for that we thank her,” Norberg wrote. “What we do hold her responsible for is a severe lack of management ability that has led to low fundraising, dropping voter registration numbers, a nearly invisible message, and at the center, zero of anything resembling a strategic action plan for the State Party.”

Tornberg said Tuesday that she wanted to respect the proposals and the democratic process by giving them consideration in committee. She also said she felt she’d effectively managed the party since she was elected in 2014, despite the outcome of the 2016 elections.

“I feel like I worked very hard and there was a lot of indications of effectiveness,” Tornberg said. “I understand the frustration with South Dakota Democrats as there are frustrations all over the country about the election of Donald Trump.”

Read it all here.

If effective means raising no money, not running candidates, scraping up candidates the quality of Jay Williams for US Senate, and diminishing the number of elected Democrats to all time lows…  Then Ann Tornberg is the most effective Democrat Chairman that the Republican Party has ever had the pleasure to have.

You just keep on being you Ann.

With love, the Republican voters of South Dakota. 

Former Dem Senate Candidate advocates Democrat dissidents to be “thrown out”

Well is was an interesting development in the soap opera that is the South Dakota Democrat Party.

Not long after Todd Epp wrote his piece about the “Night of Long Butter Knives,” and shortly after I pointed it out, losing State Senate Candidate Cory Heidelberger of Aberdeen came out swinging against Democrat Party dissidents – and in a shocking example of small-tent mentality, is openly advocating for the dissidents to be “thrown out:”

Epp appears to share my concern that, amidst calls for new leadership in the SDDP, no one has publicly offered names or plans for that new leadership.

and…

The best possible outcome is that everyone meets, speaks, and departs as allies united around a common plan of action. Anyone who talks about anything other than our practical goals and action, anyone who gripes and moans about personal grievances, should be slapped back to reality or, if they keep griping and moaning, thrown out….

…Gripers and moaners add no value to the party; doers do.

Read it here.

Heidelberger is couching his bets on whether Tornberg can survive the vote on Saturday. But either way, he’s openly advocating for dissidents to be “thrown out,” because they “add no value” to the Democrat party.

No wonder they keep on losing. And throwing out “gripers and moaners?” A good reason to continue not to ever elect Cory to anything.

Tornberg’s promises versus her results.

As we count the hours until the impending collapse of the South Dakota Democrat Party this weekend, I thought it would be interesting to look at what Democrat Party Chair was promising to do as chairwoman of the Democrat Party, as she came in with hopes and dreams…. only to find out that South Dakota is not a liberal democrat state:

As reported by WNAX:

Tornberg says she wants to rebuild their financial base from the grassroots.

and…

Tornberg says they will also be hiring more staff for their offices.

Read that here.

As reported by the Rapid City Journal:

Tornberg said she’ll focus on building the party’s county-level organization and fundraising rather than trying to influence policy positions. Nevertheless, she does not think her position on abortion conflicts with the party’s platform, which she said is broad enough to include a spectrum of views on abortion.
and..

Joe Lowe of Piedmont was elected vice chairman of the party and said he’ll focus on beefing up Democrats’ West River operations, possibly including the opening of a West River office.

and..

“You are electing an administrator, not a policymaker,” Heidelberger wrote. “You are electing someone to raise money, organize volunteers, and win elections. Delegates in 2016, not the chair, will determine whether ‘reproductive rights’ remain in the party platform.”

Read it here.

From Ann herself…

“Our state party has made a lot of progress over the last four years, but we’re still not seeing results at the ballot box. I want to help change that.

I’m running for South Dakota Democratic Party Chair because we need to rebuild our county parties, raise money to expand our outreach, recruit a full slate of candidates at the local, state and federal level, and register new voters among diverse constituencies.

Working together from the bottom up, Democrats across the state can build on the progress we’ve made and fulfill the promise George McGovern instilled in our party to win elections up and down the ballot.

Read it here.

If we were to summarize the promises Team Tornberg made in December of 2014 alongside the results…

Tornberg Promise Tornberg Results
Rebuild Financial base from the grassroots. Failed.   No evidence of change.
Hire more staff for offices Yes. Hired several staff members.
Build County-level organizations Failed.  Did anything happen here?
Beef Up West River Operations (Via Joe Lowe) Failed. (Where’s Joe Lowe in this coup, anyway?)
Recruit a full slate of candidates Failed. And failed again. Back to using placeholders.
Register new voters among diverse constituencies Failed.  Voter registration has dropped.
Win Elections.

Failed.

Democrat office holder numbers are at historic lows. 

If I’m reading this correctly, Ann promised to hire more staff, and was able to deliver on that. Yes, she did hire a pile of staff.  For all the good that did them.

Well, maybe her staff will get to vote, and she’ll be able to hang on to her job this weekend.

KELO AM’s Todd Epp calls the fledgeling coup against Ann Tornberg “The night of the long butter knives”

You know you’re dealing with Democrats when they know they have a problem. They can identify it. They can call for correcting it. And they still manage to screw that up:

If you’re going to stage a coup, and you tell everyone you’re going to stage a coup, you better succeed.

This Saturday’s annual South Dakota Democratic Party’s McGovern Day in Sioux Falls could instead turn into The Night of Long Knives. Ok, maybe more accurately, The Night of Long Butter Knives. These are Democrats, after all.

and..

The goal of all this is to get rid of current chair Ann Tornberg.  As I have noted in the past,  her regime has seen dropping party registrations and fewer and fewer Democratic state legislators and NO Democratic statewide elected officials. It has been an unmitigated disaster for us Democrats.

and..

If the Night of Long Butter Knives actually occurs, it could put the state party in a better position. God knows we can’t do any worse, could we? But as is often the case for South Dakota Democrats, just when you thought it wasn’t possible to go any lower, we sink deeper into the prairie gumbo because we will have no chair and no plan and just a bunch of ticked off Democrats.

Read it here.

Any wonder why they can’t win an election to save their lives? They know they have a chair who has driven the party into the ground. But, they’re not sure they want to, and no one wants to take the wheel.

Democrat Event with radical liberal Keith Ellison closed to the press, GOP Horowitz Event open, and expanding!

I heard something that was more than interesting yesterday about Saturday’s competing Republican/Democrat events at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls.

A story from a reporter was related to me about how the Democrat McGovern Day Dinner event with Keith Ellison is closed to the press. As in they fear that someone who will report it listening to the crazy things he says.

I’m not sure if they want to hide the fact that their keynote speaker Keith Ellison has said that a 63 Percent Tax Rate is “Fair,” and they’re afraid that it could see print in the Argus Leader or Rapid City Journal.

Or that a KELOland reporter might note to the audience that Ellison gave a speech defending Sara Jane Olson, a Domestic Terrorist and attempted Cop Murderer.

Or it could be that Ellison stated that he believes the Democrat Party should come out against the Second Amendment, and Democrats are afraid how that’s going to look for their party in South Dakota when it appears in every weekly newspaper in the state?

(You can read more about Keith Ellison’s stances here, BTW)

Or, it could be that Democrats might be also trying to hide from the media in the face of this week’s call for the ouster of State Democrat Party Chair Ann Tornberg, where board members sent out a letter citing Ann’s “severe lack of management ability that has led to low fundraising, dropping voter registration numbers, a nearly invisible message, and at the center, zero of anything resembling a strategic action plan for the State Party.

Having to respond to questions on that topic might prove to be embarrassing for the Democrat party, and it’s easier for embattled chairwoman Ann Tornburg to close the press off from their events than to respond to pointed questions from reporters about why her board is calling for a vote of no confidence, and to hold elections to choose a new chair at their biggest event of the year.

I compare this to the SDGOP who had a contested race for chair this year, for the first time in decades. They allowed reporters at the event, and it was open.  The candidates competed on the field of ideas with two great candidates, and the majority ruled.

On a night where the Democrats are intentionally trying to hide their message,  the GOP is openly competing on the field of ideas, and offering an alternative view from radical liberal Keith Ellison, and hosting conservative bestselling author David Horowitz as an alternative in an event open to the press.

And the GOP Event is an event that keeps on growing.  Call today to get your tickets for Saturday night!