The Rapid City Journal writes again on the poor fortunes of the SDDP, and what they’re doing to forestall extinction. And it looks like one group formed to improve their electoral showing is already starting to dribble off members:
Many of the founders of South Dakota Progress were involved in Page’s campaign, according to an initial news release from the group issued 16 days after the election. The release said Page’s campaign “provided a place for the energy of young Democrats leading up to the election.”
The group’s first meeting Nov. 15 drew 16 people, the release said, including the Sioux Falls consultant who developed Page’s strategy, Bajun Mavalwalla, plus “long-time members of the Democratic Party, members of the local LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community and tribal members.”
The woman who distributed the initial news release and who was identified in that release as the chairwoman of the group’s steering committee, Tasiyagnunpa Livermont, has already left the group. She and Hubbard both said she underestimated the time commitment and was pulled away by other matters.
Perhaps the group’s biggest challenge will be sustaining its early energy, unlike similar groups which formed in the past. For example, Democratic activists frustrated by the 2010 election formed the South Dakota Alliance for Progress in 2011 and published a number of issues of a newsletter called the Antidote before folding in 2012.
Was that about 30 days, and people are already leaving? Interesting thing in the story about the Dem’s recent bad fortunes is that we’re not hearing about the biggest part of the South Dakota Democrat party’s problem, as illustrated by Zach Crago’s letter to activists as he quietly slipped out the door:
We lost Senator Tim Johnson’s US Senate seat and all other statewide races. And while we gained one seat in the State Senate, we lost five seats in the State House.
Some are saying the South Dakota Democratic Party is broken, but fact of the matter is nothing could be further from the truth. While the Party exists to win elections, we must also be good stewards who protect our Party’s viability beyond any single election cycle. Despite a dismal election here and across the country, the South Dakota Democratic Party has made enormous progress this election cycle in fundraising, field organizing, and our future leadership to build a party that lasts.
At the same time they’ve been working on social issues, they’ve been working on ballot issues. And while they’ve been partnering with labor on labor issues, they’ve been holding webinars, and now they’re working on seeing if their “investments made an impact.”
Did any of them notice the results this past November?
The biggest problem that the Democrat Party in this state suffers from is readily identifiable from the “while” qualifier to Crago’s statement “While the Party exists to win elections,……” And it’s been their problem for several cycles now.
“While the party exists to win elections? Political parties first and foremost exist to win elections.
I look forward to them continuing to not “get it.”