Dem Chairmanship race on Saturday. Weiland out, but is he still against Big Ag?

Democrats are going to pick their next chairman on Saturday in Oacoma to preside over the anticipated drubbing they’ll take again in 2016, as South Dakota, one of the reddest states, continues trending in that direction.

After earlier flirting with running for chair, defeated Senatorial Candidate Rick Weiland waved off calls for him to run for the chairmanship, leaving Minnehaha County Democratic Chairman Jeff Barth in the race as well as Union County Democrat Chair Ann Tornberg.

In 2012, Barth was defeated in the US Congressional primary by Democrat Matt Varilek, who later lost to Congresswoman Kristi Noem.  Tornberg’s claim to fame was to run for the legislature three times, losing each time for the office.

Anntornberg_ownerIn addition to serving as 2014 Democrat Convention co-chair, and President for the Sioux Falls Education Association Labor Union, Tornberg lists as her occupation “Owner, Tornberg Farms” in the professional web site “LinkedIn.”

Interestingly enough, if you do a search of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) database, “Tornberg Farms, Inc.” seems to have done quite well as far as commodity payments are concerned:

Crop Summary for Tornberg Farms Inc
Crop Payments 1995-2012
Corn Subsidies** $325,565
Dairy Program Subsidies $166,896
Soybean Subsidies** $80,525
Oat Subsidies** $4,517
Livestock Subsidies $3,387
Sorghum Subsidies** $106

Read that all here.  What’s even more interesting is in light of the fact that the man who turned down the chairmanship, Rick Weiland, had devoted his campaign this year to rail against subsidies for “Big Ag” corporations:

If Weiland is elected, one of the first things he promises to do is reform the farm bill to make it more equitable for smaller farmers, removing subsidies for big agriculture corporations.
So, who is Rick Weiland going to support in the race for Democrat Chairman, and does receiving these kinds of subsidies classify Dem Chair Candidate Tornberg as part of the “Big Ag” problem that Weiland was campaigning against?
Stay tuned.

7 Replies to “Dem Chairmanship race on Saturday. Weiland out, but is he still against Big Ag?”

  1. grudznick

    If this Tornberg lady, who seems nice is elected then the Dems have a very week voice in charge of their party. If that Mr. Barth fellow is elected, he will be boisterous and obnoxious but very funny.

    I am unsure whom I should root for.

  2. Cheryl

    To make the choice easier for Pat and the readers of this sight, Ann Tornberg is also Pro-life and a member of Democrats for Life, the national group that works for Anti-abortion legislation.

    1. Anonymous

      She’s pro-life, but supported Obama, and chaired the Democrat state convention? I think the commitment is very superficial.

  3. Anonymous

    I would recommend Democrats choose Tornberg. They need someone who can raise money. raising money is the parties number one problem. I’m sure there are better people out there than tornberg but they aren’t stepping up and Barth shouldn’t be the chair because he says too many crazy things.

  4. Anonymous

    The end of the liberal left in SD?

    Barth supports Keystone and Tornberg is pro-life. Where are the purists who pushed Stephanie out?

  5. Anonymous

    I agree with Weiland’s statement on the farm bill. I have my doubts that he would go in a smaller government direction which means he would lose me at some point.

  6. Anonymous

    Democrats might want to cozy up to Huether. He’s all they have left and he’s kind of a big deal. Can’t Daren Smith organize the party for a while?


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