SD Dems are officially throwing in the towel today. They can’t win as Democrats so they want to remove party affiliation from the ballot.
— South Dakota GOP (@sdgop) November 9, 2015
It might be funnier if it wasn’t true. Today, a ballot measure backed by snake oil salesman ‘Slick’ Rick Weiland was turned into the Secretary of State, as noted by a press release that went out today:
Rick Knobe, Sioux Falls radio talk show host, former Mayor of Sioux Falls, and a registered Independent serving as chair of the coalition, announced that 39,182 –10,000 more than the required 27,741–were hand-delivered to Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs, today at 2:00pm.
The proposed constitutional amendment would establish an open, nonpartisan primary where voters choose individual legislative and statewide candidates based on their ideas and merit, regardless of political party. The top two candidates receiving the most votes would then compete in the general election.
“An increasing number of South Dakotans are convinced that the political status quo in Pierre and in Washington is no longer viable,” Knobe said, “and our initiative will make several positive changes, including:
1) allowing every South Dakotan to vote in primary elections, regardless of partisan registration
2) changing the South Dakota Legislature into a nonpartisan body, just as the nonpartisan initiative passed in Nebraska in 1934 has effectively done there
3) dispensing with the need for partisan caucuses, as it has in Nebraska, thus ensuring that public policy will no longer be made behind closed doors
4) allowing members of both political parties to chair legislative committees; and
5) sending a message to Washington, DC that South Dakotans are not happy with the partisan division and gridlock that has undermined our system of government.”
Of course, today’s press release conveniently didn’t have mention of Knobe’s partners, and the originators of the measure, who were quite eager to claim authorship credit as noted in a prior piece:
A Plan to Promote Nonpartisan Democracy
By Rick Weiland and Drey Samuelson
.. We believe that most voters are more than ready to try something new, and our organization, TakeItBack.Org, is gathering signatures to put the South Dakota Nonpartisan Democracy Amendment on the 2016 South Dakota general election ballot. If a majority votes for the initiative, as we expect, it’s likely that other states—especially those in which ballot initiatives are allowed—will follow.
Could Congress eventually follow suit? Yes, it could, and it’s now time for the states to show the way.
Rick Weiland is a businessman in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and former candidate for the U.S. Senate; Drey Samuelson was Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Tim Johnson for his 28 year congressional career. They are the co-founders of TakeitBack.org.
Very simply put, Rick Weiland found it impossible to win as a Democrat, so he wants to eliminate party affiliation. He wants to put an eraser to the term “Democrat,” because he knows in it’s current form. no one has any interest in putting them in office. So, it’s far easier to eliminate party affiliation from the ballot than it is for them to transform their political party into one that reflects the views of South Dakotans.
Yep, long-time Democrats Slick Rick Weiland and Drey Samuelson. But, what does Slick Rick hope to accomplish if he can get more Democrats in? That’s easy. He wrote about it on July 8th of this year:
Political party barely matters in the Nebraska Legislature.
* Nebraska has a substantially more progressive taxation system than many other “red” states–while our home state of South Dakota ranks a dismal 4th on the Institute on Tax and Economic Policy “Tax Inequality Index,” Nebraska ranks 28th, substantially better than blue states like Washington, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Ohio, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
* The Nebraska Legislature just passed a repeal of the death penalty, a 6 cent increase in gas taxes (which will fund desperately needed infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges), and issuance of drivers licenses to the children of undocumented immigrants, the so-called “Dreamers.”
Rick Weiland wants “more progressive taxation,” a.k.a. Democrat-speak for a state income tax. Rick Weiland wants to repeal the death penalty. Rick Weiland wants even higher gas taxes. And Rick Weiland wants to give drivers licenses to the children of illegal aliens.
And I suspect that’s only the tip of the iceberg of what they intend to do to South Dakotans.