Mitchell Daily Republic jumps to conclusions

I knew there was more to the story then Tom Lawrence had given us in his article about the division in the SD GOP. Lawrence painted much more division in our party than actually exists.

Dusty Johnson, a Mitchell resident, was the featured speaker, and a member of the traditional GOP. He drew loud applause before and after his typically wry, graceful speech.

State Rep. Stace Nelson is very different from Johnson, and not just in size.

 Nelson is a huge man, over 6-5 and broad of beam, while Johnson fittingly compared himself to Barney Fife during his speech.

 Nelson runs hot, his passion always on display, while Johnson is cool as a spring morning.

 That was clear during Johnson?s speech. Nelson stood up and walked to the back of the room, chatting with a couple people and pointedly ignoring Johnson?s words.

 At one point, Nelson left the room, only to return and sit down as Johnson finished his speech.

 But don?t think Nelson is an outsider here. He spoke for only a few minutes, but he received a louder ovation than Johnson did.

Stace has since cleared up the controversy by posting this comment.

The Daily Republic concocted an OPINION piece drama to jump on the stir that the Argus Leader article caused two days previous and almost a week after the event in question. I simply got up to ask Phil Carlson to turn up the AC because the place was getting too hot, and stepped out of the room to the bathroom. I wrote Dusty yesterday and apologized that my ants in the pants was portrayed as a perceived intentional snub to him. I assured him there was no such intent.

All of those reporters who would like to see the SD GOP blow itself up in controversy need to realize that the Democrats are so pathetic and worthless across this state they have set the miserly goal of getting back to double digits in the Senate. 10 out of 35. Meaning they need to double their current numbers. Pathetic.

And when the Dems choose to run candidates like the two Matt’s (Varilek and McGovern-Rowen), they run the risk of being trounced no matter what the SD GOP does.  They choose candidates who disregard common sense centrist policies in favor of left wing ideology all while lacking personal qualities that resonate with the average South Dakota voter.

Our party could be in an all-out civil war, and we still might not notice the Democratic party until they are fortunate enough to not have the weight of Obama, Pelosi and Ried around their necks.

If the Democrats want to start winning elections in red states and moderate places across this country again, the best thing they could do is turn on President Obama. His policies create the single biggest vulnerability to Democrats who do not represent liberal population bases.

Lawrence continues:

In some ways, it?s hard to believe the South Dakota GOP can continue to thrive with its house divided, to borrow a line from its most revered figure, Abraham Lincoln.

It’s not actually that hard to see how the party thrives. Look at the GOP bench (I’d need more than two hands to count the up and comers – the Dem’s don’t even need two fingers). Look at our law makers. For the most part, they get along. Noem, Daugaard and Thune have great working relationships.

There might be divisions, but they aren’t that deep or nearly as broad as some would like to believe.

57 Replies to “Mitchell Daily Republic jumps to conclusions”

  1. Anonymous

    The MDR is a decent paper and I’m glad they cover politics unlike some across this state.

    But Nelson got a bigger applause than Dusty huh? That’s not cool.

    1. Agot

      Is it true that Sibson’s speech was edited?

      Who is the Davison County GOP Chair? How about some answers here?

  2. grudznick

    My friend Mr. Sibby emailed some people about the unfairness of this event, and Mr. Sibby is often correct. If the Mitchell district elects both Messrs. Nelson and Sibby they will have a formidable representation in the legislatures.

  3. Job Creator

    You’re right about the pathetic nature of the Democratic party in South Dakota. It’s in the same awkward position as the Republican party is in some of the liberal states.

    Your post demonstrates the ultimate Republican top-down mentality. The legislators get along. The leaders are doing a great job! Blah, blah, blah.

    The people out in the counties are not agreeing with you. Why do think some of these nut cases are not only getting some undeserved attention, but actually gaining a lot of traction inside the Republican party?

    Why do you think so many once-faithful Republicans have left the fold in the last decade? Oh yeah, that’s not a problem, because they were RINOs anyway, right? A lot of those people (great donors) I know who left the party weren’t RINOs – they were NARLYs (Not A Republican Like You).

    Advice: Just keep not listening. Just keep ignoring the groundswell of malcontent with the “leaders who are doing a great job” and the “legislators who are getting along.” The unrest is real. And it is prevalent and growing. That dynamic, combined with the rapidly-changing demographics in the Sioux Falls area may some day in the not-too-distant future have some Democratic “pundit” blogging away about the worthlessness of the South Dakota Republican party! Wouldn’t THAT be a hoot!

    1. anon

      I like the NARLY label. I’m probably one of them. I support 97% of the Republican Party platform so I guess I’d probably be called a RINO by some. That doesn’t mean my vote doesn’t or shouldn’t count.

  4. Anonymous

    Stace Nelson is the big kahuna when it comes to the SD Tea Party. I really like the guy. He’s a true leader and not afraid to stand up for his values.

    If he were to run statewide he would get more than 10% of the vote and be the first real independent candidate in a long time.

    Trust me the guy is for real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Troy Jones

    My party has room for divegence of thought, attitude, approach and priority. Primaries are good as they vett issues and help set priorities. A family or party that is monolith with regard to everything is not very alive or creative.

    Anybody who fears or can’t handle debate, controversy, or disagreement doesn’t have the demeanor to succeed in a legislative body where every vote is the same.

    1. blah, blah, blah...

      we are not forgetting your past temper tantrums and ugly comments troy jones.

      we still love talking about your obsessive comments about a certain large legislators “weenie” and wanting to kick him in the balls.

      sorry, that kind of ugly vileness and latent desires is the other party.

  6. Electrifying South Dakota

    For the first time since leaving college as a young and devoted CR, I am giving thought to keeping my money this year and not donating to the State Republican Party or to Noem. Last year I actually had breakfast with Noem at Johnny’s Half Shell in D.C. and eagerly handed her two checks (one from me and one from my wife), but I don’t like what I see on the horizon and I think I am going to hold. Gang, we need to get off the ALEC train, we need to divest from the John Birch think tank, we need to embrace common sense and push the pin-striped hucksters who think of us as ‘legislative lab rats’ out the door. If we have a problem in our party it is that we have given up control. We are afraid to think for ourselves, and we cannot seem to get beyond the spoon that feeds us tripe from radicals dressed in Republican clothing. Again, I was an eager CR. I worked the phones in college and as an adult, and I attend Lincoln Day Dinners when I can, so before you push me out the door, stop, think and answer the following questions: Are we on the road to immolation? How credible is the person who is telling us that we are heading to destruction? What exactly is their motive? Is their solution to this alleged problem the only real solution? Anyway, I will step down from my soap box, but close by saying “Peace be with you, and God Bless America!”

  7. Les

    Until this becomes an actual singing competition instead of a popularity contest, the uneducated 8 year olds impressed by the costumes of the impostors will continue to set the standards.

    Patting ourselves on the back in self appraisal while looking into the black hole of unfunded obligations because we are not as bad as California? It’s time to get rid of the Parrots and listen some tough talk while there’s still time.

  8. Tom Lawrence

    Let?s clear the air here.
    Stace claimed he got up in part to prepare his speech. The problem with that is, he had already given it. So, no dice there.
    His ba

  9. Tom Lawrence

    Let?s clear the air here.
    Stace claimed he got up as Dusty started in part to prepare his speech. The problem with that is, Stace had already given his speech. So, no dice there.
    His back and AC problems started exactly when Dusty rose to speak and were cured the second Dusty finished. Amazing.
    I have a copy of Steve’s speech showing the crossed-out sentences he was told not to speak. He gave it to me that night and said twice that he was told he could not refer to certain people or he would not be allowed to speak at the event.
    Now those are facts. Spin them as you wish.
    As far as reports on the Democratic divisions, I wrote a long story in December 2010, quoting McGovern, Daschle, Johnson and everyone else of note on what went wrong with the Democratic Party in SD. It’s a topic we will continue to explore as the party tries to rebound from its current low state.
    But the divide in the SD GOP is real and obvious in the Black Hills, Mitchell and elsewhere. It runs parallel to the Republican uprisings in Utah and other states.
    I am not saying they are good or bad, merely that they exist.
    I am signing my name to this. You are you, anyway, Mr. Clay? Why the need to hide your identity?

      1. M.D.


        Let’s be clear you did exaggerate the strength of the opposition to Noem and forget the fact that Sibby has been a loose cannon for a decade.

    1. Anonymous

      The problem I’ve got with the article is the timing of almost a week after the event and jazz up a situation that may or may not be anything at all–many get up during speakers. It just seems to me to be nothing more than an attempt to sell newspapers on pure speculation of very minor events.

    2. Les

      Speaking of clearing the air Tom, Stace is probably being kind by not disclosing the real reason might have been to pass a little wind. A boy his size probably carries a gallon of gas, about the length of Dusty’s speech, possibly even to the second.

      1. TOGA

        I regularly get up and leave the room at Lincoln days during speeches. Like noem’s I’m not anti noem I just don’t want to hear the same old speech again.

        Stace has probably heard dusty tell the same speech and stories 20 times.

    3. duggersd

      Perhaps you can clear the air a little more here. I read your article and I read Stace’s response above in which he said he sent an e-mail apologizing to Dusty Johnson. I did not read anything there in which he said he needed to prepare his speech. Are you referring to another conversation with Nelson or to another post?

      1. Anonymous

        He caught the big goof not remembering the exact sequence of his every movement at a boring dinner party over a week ago.

        My question is, how many liberals and rinos can the big guy have on his back before he throws in the towel.

        Was a time when the SDGOP reflected the average conservative South Dakotan like Nelson. Now? Flip flopping political chameleons and lawyers that will sell their mother for a nickel.

  10. anon2

    so the rinos and libs have gotten so desperate they are claiming the big goof going to the john during a speech is a vast right wing conspiracy to snub dusty?!

    if nelson not being able to properly reaccount a second by second timeline of a boring dinner event a week ago, is a sign of dishonesty, what was lust for power and companys no comments for 6 months last year?

    what are the motives for the daily liar’s goofy story a week after the event? if lawrence was so sure nelson was dissing dusty, why not simply confront nelson. he has shown he will call a spade a spade regardless of who is listening.

  11. Troy Jones Post author


    I assume you equally remember Stace’s temper tantrums.

    But to a larger point, my point is I think primaries are good and differences are healthy. Are you disagreeing with that? I’m confused by your comment.

      1. Room with a View

        Perhaps that is true. I do not know. But it does peak my interest.

        I can’t always keep up with the “Jones’.”

        On this issue the MDR was a little off base in their reporting. I think Lawrence read into a silly issue. There is plenty of controversy around Nelson that we don’t need to worry about looking for it when it isn’t there.

        1. Tom Lawrence

          Did you read the column? Doesn’t appear so.
          The point of it was about the obvious divide, which is evident nationally, during the presidential primaries, in congressional races across the country, and in SD, between “Main Street Republicans” and the new, deeply conservative Tea Party GOP. It is very real and worth keeping an eye on.
          It reminds me of the 1960s and early 1970s, when the long-dominant Democrats were split by the old faithful who wanted to keep going as they had, and the true believers on the left who felt the party hacks were betraying the true faith.
          Sound familiar?
          That had a negative impact on the D’s. Primaries, from the 1974 Kneip-Dougherty battle, 1978’s McKellips-Wollman tussle, the surprising McGovern primary challenge in 1980 and Carter-Kennedy in 1980, show dissent in the ranks.
          It’s simply worth keeping an eye on, and this is occurring in the SD GOP right now. June 5 will tell the tale, at least for now.

          1. Anonymous

            Tom: I’d agree there is a divide and worthy of good reporting, but making a mountain of a mole hill about Stace going to the bathroom during a Lincoln Day Dinner just isn’t up to the standards of the Mitchell Daily Republic.

          2. Les

            Very good on the 60’s Tom, I remember my father a staunch Democrat complaining of those party hacks taking over the party.

            Currently SD is a mystery, or is it? The Democrats have all but disappeared, or have they? The skeleton is there, convincing us they exist and exist they do, but not in plain site. They lie sic in the meat of the GOP welcoming home converts as long lost friends.

            The cover comes off the party of less government with help from liberal blog friends such as Flem congratulating our Rep Noem whilst tearing flesh from a Rep Nelson, and SHS who still wears more convservative votes on protecting our constitutional rights than Rep Noem who continues to destroy with yes votes on CISPA and NDAA.

            Whether we as a party agree with Rep Nelson or not, he has the right to question. Those questions should be answered. If we don’t like the party mess to become public fodder, change them.

            1. Anonymous

              About time people started waking up and realizing the SDGOP has been taken over and shoved to the left by Democrats like Rausch who simply changed his registration because (R) was the majority registered voters in his district.

              Les, is right! The real problem with Russell, Nelson, etc, is they provide stark contrast to the pretenders that claim to be conservatives to get elected, but then vote left!

              1. insomniac

                Well then tell Nelson and Russell (I like both of them by the way) to step up to the plate and primary or challenge Noem to a run as an independent.

                I won’t hold it against anyone who runs against Noem from the right.

                As long as you aren’t running against her from the left…

                  1. Les

                    Reminds me of trying to talk one of my customers into a vote against SHS years ago. It was a futile attempt. “She’s so pretty” was all this old guy could say.

                    Noem’s pretty will dissipate like a cloud in the desert when the affects of CISPA and the latest NDAA start hitting home. Until then, the beast wouldn’t have a chance.

          1. Superman

            You make some great points Tom. There is certainly a rift in the SD GOP right now. Problem is that the outside groups don’t know how to take power and the national tide is with anyone but the Democrats.

            So the GOP in SD can get as crazy as it wants and we will still be sitting pretty.

            By the way keep up the great reporting with Denise Ross and Seth Tupper! I appreciate that you guys will grill the occassional politician unlike the Argus.

  12. 73*

    Agree or disagree I really enjoy Lawrence’s articles. So much better than Jonathon Ellis lately. Ellis is afraid of Noem and Lauck I believe. I truly believe that he’s afraid to make them upset.

  13. cowbirds

    We have a left of center reporter ginning up a story and attempting to smear a couple of conservative candidates with the new liberal left tea party boogeyman?

    The article gets even goofier with claims that the smaller government Reagan conservatives are trying to steal the party of conservatives from the rightful pro-government growth ?Republicans?!?

    Someone needs to give Tom a quick lesson on what a Republican actually is! Problem is, he is looking at them through his left colored glasses so he thinks the ones that are left, are right!

    Go out and interview all these pro-government growth Republicans during an election year, Tom. You will find they are all rushing to run right of center in hopes the faded SDGOP conservative umbrella covers their blue rino voting records from conservative South Dakotans? eyes.

    Lawrence, is right, but barking up the wrong tree. With the ever increasing voter registrations going Republican, the party is attracting more and more chameleons that simply claim to be Republican in order to get elected. After they are in, they go after the actual conservative Republicans like a cowbird chick in a warbler nest.

    1. Jack

      Wow!? It explains a lot of what a person reads here and in the papers. What is the deal with this Jones person? Why so ugly with his comments? I have asked some friends and nobody has a clue. As far as we can tell, he is not in office.

      1. Arrowhead

        All I know is that Troy Jones would be less invited to a fringe cook rally than Cory Hiedelberger and that is sad. Especially since Cory is useing Stace and his friends to rip apart the GOP.

        Troy has done more for the SD GOP than most of the people who rip on him.

        He’s a good man.

        1. Rodney DangerJones

          This is the part of DWC that is such a joke. some anonymous poster expounding on how great some unknown establishment flunky is.

          From what we have seen on here, the self-professed savior of the Republican party has an evil temper and likes to go after conservative Republicans. The SDGOP is not political hacks that think they own the party, it is conservative South Dakotans who register Republican because they think Republican = conservative.

          1. Troy Jones

            LOL. First, I don’t think I’m the savior of anything. The party is doing great without me.

            Second, I have views, say them when I feel like it and sign my own name. If you want to criticize someone else for being anonymous, I’d think the honorable thing to do was sign your own name.

            1. Rodney DangerJones

              From what we have seen, not so much of a party for some honest legislators. What do you expect though with some of the former Democrat clowns they were forced to work with.

              Honorable? This coming from the man who obsesses about another man’s “weenie” and kicking it?

              Don’t listen to your lying ego Mr. DangerJones, post anonymously..

  14. Lee Schoenbeck

    The impact of the 1980 primary on Sen McGovern’s demise is grossly over-rated. It was a weatehr vane, pointing to a political reality, but it didn’t cause the wind to blow that way. Troy Jones and I were with Jim Abdnor many weekends leading up to the announcement of the race against McGovern and got to see the information develop first hand. Jim was given a reputable poll by President Reagan’s pollster, showing Jim beating McGovern by 19% the year before, and well before anybody ever heard of the math professor from Texas that came home to challenge Sen McGovern in the primary. The final result was identical to the poll, and in the intervening year Sen McGovern got to within 9% one time – when he ran his full page “oil slick” ads. For people to blame that primary for McGovern’s loss is a revisionist and apologetic view of history. It was a statistical non-event. Jim Abdnor won because he was the candidate who best represented the views of South Dakota.

    1. Anonymous

      Wow! Can we shake your hand? Kiss your ring? Surely they will rename highways after these to peons in the shadows for their courageous work? Nay! Evict the eternal slumber of the Unknown Soldier himself in Arlington! Raze his tomb and erect a massive monument two these courageous political cronies!

      This is the problem in the GOP. Political hacks that think that elected office is some great personal accomplishment vice the public service that it is supposed to be.

      Isn?t Schoenbeck a lawyer? The morale difference between a lawyer and a prostitute? Prostitutes can get into heaven.

      The one place you will never hear ?there?s too many lawyers here?? Hell?

    2. Anonymous

      I remember heartily the day I canvased in Stubenville for President McKinnley 19′ ought! T’was a wonderous time, as we pulled trickery on that oaf Bryant’s forces. Why, I went all around on my horse making sure that the local Stubenville area (which was known by friend Winthrop Cannamaker very well; he later became a lawyer for Algamated Hay) was well informed that Bryant was a bolshevik, but that he also wanted all of the blacks to have the right to vote! Ho-Ho!!! We did wonders in our 1900 campaign…..Wait…What is that? It was over 112 years ago and no one really cares who I spoke to? Well, sir!!! I bid you good day.

  15. Troy Jones


    Two other items that are of note.

    1) Those early polls showed surprising strength NE SD (traditional Democrat area) but there was a fear it was soft. Lee Schoenback was assigned this area (his home region) during the campaign. Because of his superb organization skills, Abdnor solidified what was thought to be soft and exceeded expectations in that area.

    2) McGovern was the darling of the national youth but Abdnor took great pride in how much youth support he had and didn’t want people to think he couldn’t compete with voters under 24. Lee Schoenbeck also recruited 24 college students to go door-to-door across the entire state (the famous “Abdnor Team”) which gave a defintely youthful campaign image. Ever parade Abdnor was in not only had at least 8 of those young people but all their friends in their area were given t-shirts and invited to walk the parade. In the end, Abdnor carried every college town much to the chagrin of McGovern’s campaign.

    I tell this story as both Abdnor and McGovern (who I respect also) ran good campaigns but McGovern’s strategy was very traditional. However, I think McGovern under-estimated Abdnor as a campaigner, thinking Jim’s speech impediment would be his undoing. Jim’s willingness to take the fight to McGovern’s strength caught them off-guard and they never found a way to generate real traction.

    I knew the race was over when I went down to USD one weekend and looked in the windows of the tower dorms. I counted not only significantly more Abdnor signs but the most impressive were six rooms in row that spelled A-B-D-N-O-R. When I got back to Augie, I ran into a friend who was head of Young Democrats and told him what I saw. His response: I know. When we canvassed the USD dorms, everyone had already been registered. What he didn’t know is all the campuses had already been done.

    The net effect of them getting to their strength and finding out they had lost was devastating. On election day, in Sioux Falls, we forty college kids going door to door to get out the vote. We never ran across a single McGovern walker. Ever.

    1. Troy Jones

      One part I should have added. Part of the reason every detail was done, including going door to door up until the polls closed. Abdnor led by acting as if he was 10 votes behind every hour. He kept working to get 11 votes and it rubbed off on everyone. Nobody wanted to say to themself, “Jim lost by two votes and I didn’t do something today.”

      Jim had that approach because in 1970 he lost a Congressional primary as the incumbent Lt. Governor that was considered unlosable. Not a single day did Abdnor believe he had the race won, until on election day. I saw him that afternoon at the downtown Holiday Inn where the election party was to be held and he had a look in his eyes of total relaxation and calm. But when he saw us he said “What are you doing here? (pointedly saying and not going door-to-door).” We said we were hungry and hoping there was something to eat (we were poor college students). Jim softened and said, “I think there are donuts in there pointing to a meeting room.” We grabbed our donuts and made sure we didn’t show our faces there again until after the polls closed.

  16. Anonymous

    It’s all about you two girlfriends, you go!

    Somebody get me a waste basket, I think I am gonna … <H&^%E$#A@V!*(&?E too late!

  17. Anonymous

    Isn’t that cute, the rinos and liberals are mixed in together again. Like sugar and salt, the eye can’t tell the difference.

    Anonymous? Because unlike the big oaf Nelson, we ARE afraid of Jones kicking us in our gender parts. :-O

  18. Troy Jones

    Lee, you are right. I just remember that is significant to have so many in a row willing to be for Jim, with nary a McGovern-items between as GM was and remains a significant force and presence.

    Bill, I’m oblivious to what you refer. 🙂 While never a marine, I was once a farm hand and learned to ignore the bugs.

  19. Gomer

    Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

    You were in the political trenches though! That is so much more important! 😉

    Sorry, Mr. Jones, you have more “fans” than just the elephant sized legislator.

  20. Troy


    I say my views hoping for agreement from some but do not adjust my words in an attempt to gain agreement from all or with regard to who might disagree or agree with my thoughts. In fact, if everyone agreed with me, I would be concerned.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.