Yankton paper covering SDDP convention

The Yankton paper is covering the funeral taking place in their town this weekend. AKA the South Dakota Democrat Party state convention:

Candidates acknowledged time and again at the South Dakota Democratic State Convention Friday night that it’s not easy to be a Democrat in a Republican state — but added that wouldn’t stop them from winning elections in November.


On a lighter note, outgoing Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson started off his speech with a joke: “It is an honor to be here tonight with some of the sharpest minds in the South Dakota Democratic Party — as well as (former Scotland state legislator) Frank Kloucek.”

Read that here.

Not running candidates would seem to represent a significant hurdle to winning, don’t you think? (Although Johnson did nail it there.)

As dawn breaks on the final day of SD Dem convention, still missing a lot of candidates.

As dawn breaks on the final day of SD Dem convention, the Democrats find themselves able to keep the lights on for another couple of months, but without candidates for most of their statewide races.

The news Dems were clucking about last night was outgoing Senator Tim Johnson giving the SDDP $200,000, which the financially beleaguered party desperately needs to keep afloat. I brought that up last night via twitter, and Democrat apologist David Montgomery was quick to note that Kristi Noem moved $300k to the SDGOP last election, as he was busy ignoring the fact Dems have no candidates.

Trust me, there’s a huge difference between moving money to a political party for coordinated campaign efforts in the middle of an election you’re running in, and giving money to a party that can barely keep the lights on before the fall election kicks off.

But aside from paying SDDP ED Zach Crago for a couple more months, the far bigger news is that going into day 3, the final day of convention, Democrats have NO ONE running for Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor, School & Lands, and Public Utilities Commission.

Right now, the third party “Constitution party” has more candidates than the mainstream Democrat Party at the Statewide level (SOS & PUC). That has never happened before, and represents a new depth to which the Democrat party appears to have sunk.

It’s a good thing the convention isn’t in Mitchell, otherwise Democrats could hear George McGovern rolling in his grave.

Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: A Founding Principle to Remember

A Founding Principle to Remember
By Rep. Kristi Noem

June 27, 2014

kristi noem headshot May 21 2014A few summers back, I took the kids to visit the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  Here, America’s most treasured historical documents, including original copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, are on display.

Each is in a high-tech case where everything from humidity to temperature is closely controlled, but despite the preservation efforts, I was struck by how time has deteriorated these documents – particularly the Declaration of Independence.  The parchment is yellowed and the once jet-black ink is so faded that it becomes difficult to read our Founding Fathers’ declaration that we’re all entitled to “certain unalienable rights.”

When looking at the Declaration of Independence in this condition, it’s hard not feel a bit of loss.  After all, this national treasure is disappearing before our eyes and there’s little that can be done about it.  But while the ink may fade, the values of liberty and independence captured in that document are as alive and evident today as they were on July 4, 1776, the day the Declaration of Independence was signed.

Today, we are free to have public debates about the role of government, how much it collects and how much it spends.  People still speak passionately about how much or how little the government says about the way we work, the way we live, the way we pursue happiness.  And despite all the problems and disagreements and political divisions, we’re proud to stand and say that we are Americans and we truly believe there is no other country where we’d want to make a living, raise a family, or call home.

I believe President Ronald Reagan said it best on July 4, 1986:  “[T]he things that unite us – America’s past of which we’re so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country – these things far outweigh what little divides us.”

The little divisions are what make the evening news, but it’s our unity that will be written in the history books.

Even our Founding Fathers found divisions among themselves. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, for instance, saw the role of government very differently.  Adams, a Federalist, believed in a larger federal government while Jefferson, a Democratic-Republican, believed in a minimalist federal government.  They were political rivals – even running against each other in the 1800 presidential election.  But despite their differences, they were united on the idea of an independent America – and that’s where their debate started.  To this day, you can read both their names in faded ink at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence.

If we are going to overcome political division today, we must also start from a place of unity.  We can all agree that we want our kids to have more opportunities than we had.  We can agree that we want our economy and the Middle Class to grow.  We can agree that higher-paying jobs and a better working health care system would be good for America.  Of course, there will be many debates about how we accomplish these goals – and the freedom to have these debates is what makes our Republic strong.  But if we don’t start the conversation at a point of unity, the discussion will go nowhere.  This Independence Day, I hope we can all be reminded of what united our Founding Fathers, what binds us together still today and what makes us uniquely American.

Thank you to all of the men and women in uniform who have fought for this freedom to debate, for our independence, and for the aspirations of this much-loved country.  It was the Declaration of Independence that declared our liberty, but it was you who secured it.  For that, we owe you our deepest gratitude.

And to all South Dakotans, have a safe and happy Independence Day.


One day down. Still nada on candidates from the @sodakdems

Day 1 of the South Dakota Democratic Party State Convention is in the history books and still no candidates.

No candidate for AG.

No candidate for Auditor.

No candidate for Treasurer.

No candidate for School and Lands.

No candidate for PUC.

If you look at their agenda at http://www.sddp.org/convention2014/, oddly, “nomination of candidates” is not an agenda item.

And we wait to see what day 2 produces.

Pressler forceful on need to keep Obamacare, legalize gay marriage

Larry Pressler was quite direct on his opinion over Obamacare and supportive of same sex marriage, despite voting for the Defense of Marriage Act when he was in the U.S. Senate, in an article appearing in the Mitchell Daily Republic:

Pressler said the nation will need to keep the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and work around it to make it better.

“It’s there now,” he said. “I’m a realist in politics. I’m 72 years old and I want to get something done when I’m there.”


Pressler also touched on signing an amicus, or friend of the court, brief supporting gay marriage in South Dakota, as the issue is challenged in U.S. District Court. A Vietnam veteran, Pressler said he comes at the topic from a military standpoint, where gay people are allowed to serve in the military.

“Whatever one believes about gay marriage, gay men and women now serve in the military openly,” he said. “I’m a member of the Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and they’re coming out for equal rights for gays and that includes gay unions, if they’re available. I think we’ve reached an era where that’s a conservative position.”

Read it here.

So, based on this, who do we think Pressler will siphon more votes from – Rounds or Weiland?

Bosworth claims she received bad advice on petitions. But the big question is from who?

If you recall the big emotional news story about a week ago, where Annette Bosworth claimed she received bad advice regarding her petitions:

Former U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth blamed bad legal advice from her former attorney for the 12 election law felonies she is now facing.


“Because of Joel Arends’ advice, Dr. Bosworth was indicted,” said Lee Stranahan, Bosworth’s current spokesman.

Arends did not immediately return a call seeking comment. But Patrick Davis, Bosworth’s former campaign manager, said she was wrong about Arends’ role.

Read it here.

Bosworth claims to have had advice regarding her petitions. But one thing that has yet to come to light in all of this matter, as she was grinding Arends under the wheels of the bus, is where it conclusively came from.

If we parse Pat Davis’ statement, it didn’t necessarily come from Arends, who certified (and notarized) that he witnessed her signing the petitions as circulator.

And maybe, there may have been someone else advising her.

Why do I think this?  Because tonight I’m being told that former Sioux Falls City Council Candidate Emmett Reistroffer, the principal of Jefferson Adams Consulting, a firm which specializes in petition signature collection, did what he does for a living for Annette Bosworth – and he assisted her with petition signature gathering. He also did this for Larry Pressler, and at the time, admitted that he was consulting for several other campaigns.

But supposedly, he was not just sending out people to gather names. I’m told he provided Bosworth professional advice on the signature gathering.  Which somewhat seems to conflict with any claims of innocence and ignorance over the process.

Now, before I start laying this out, understand that there’s no evidence or even a hint of wrongdoing on Reistroffer’s part. From what I emmett-and-lloydcan tell, his people who circulated petitions, including Lloyd Ringrose, who also served as Reistroffer’s treasurer for his City Commission Race, did them by the numbers and by the book.

But, then again, Resitroffer doesn’t seem so eager to claim pride of workmanship or any association with the ill-fated Bosworth campaign.  And he certainly doesn’t seem to have an interest into delving into exactly how much advice on petition circulation he gave.

I specifically asked Pat Davis, who consulted for the Bosworth Campaign “Was Emmett Reistroffer (or his firm) hired by the Bosworth campaign for his expertise in petition circulation?” To which Davis succinctly replied “yes.”   But when I approached Reistroffer about his involvement with the Bosworth campaign, I didn’t exactly get the same sort of direct confirmation.

When I asked him about his work for Bosworth, he noted” I did not work for her or Patrick but I did provide referrals to some known signature gatherers to help her, but I believe they only collected a very minimal amount.”

When I asked Patrick Davis about the contradiction, he was far more direct.

His company was under contract with my company to gather signatures for Boz.” Davis noted. “He has had several conversations with Bosworth and Chad about signature gathering in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Lloyd Ringrose works for Emmett and he collected for Boz. Chad and Annette even talked about putting Emmett in an ad.


So, Reistroffer claims to have just provided referrals, but Pat Davis noted he under contract, consulted with Boz and her husband, and was almost in a Bosworth ad? That would seems to represent a significant difference of opinion.

I went back to Emmett armed with the Davis statement, informing him that I was being told that he was hired for his expertise in petition circulation. And I noted that I was just trying to figure out the nature of his work for the Bosworth effort.  Given that he’s a petition guy, it seems that it’s a pretty important distinction.

When Emmett got back to me this evening, he doubled down on his statement, noting “I did not work for Bosworth and I did not provide any advice (unfortunately) because if I were hired in that capacity I certainly would have advised against signing any affidavits that didn’t belong to her.

He also added “Generally, candidates or groups hire me to help train gatherers stay in line with the law. It can be tedious and confusing and I believe good people make mistakes in the process.

So, Patrick Davis noted Emmett was under contract, and Emmett’s opinion was a bit divergent.  I have the feeling this isn’t the last we’re going to hear about this.

In the meantime, it brings into question exactly what advice Bosworth was forearmed with before she signed the petitions that she is accused of signing in violation of State Law.  And it also brings into question her accusations of bad petition advice by Joel Arends.

Because in this case, who knows what advice she received. And from whom?  As Davis quipped in the original article in the Argus Leader

“Anybody who knows Dr. Bosworth for even five minutes would know she takes advice from no one,” said Davis. “She did not get advice from anyone about signing those petitions.””

Which could very much be true.

Sometimes people have all the advice they’d ever want in the world. And they might choose to ignore it.

Slick Rick Weiland: JP Morgan Critic. JP Morgan investor.

I found this to be quite hilarious…. and not just a little damning of “Slick” Rick Weiland as a hypocrite of the highest order. Here’s an interview from this past December:

“If you ever wondered whether your Congress is owned by you or by the big money donors who elect its members, consider this.  Under current law, as written by Congress, Wall Street giant JP Morgan could be about to get a multi-billion dollar tax break for breaking Federal law,” Weiland said.

“Try writing off your latest speeding ticket and see what happens.  You will go to jail for tax evasion if you write off a $100 traffic ticket.  JP Morgan will go to the bank and deposit billions under the agreement it has just been handed for bilking the American people during the financial crisis.

Weiland pledges his support to legislation introduced by Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley and Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed to eliminate the tax deductibility of settlements like the one just agreed to by JP Morgan.

Read it all here.

So Weiland doesn’t like JP Morgan and Wall Street firms? That’s kind of funny. Because just months before this interview, he’d invested his money in a whole bunch of Wall Street Firms.:

Rick-Weiland-Finances_Page_06(Click to enlarge)

Yep. Slick Rick Weiland telling us one thing on the campaign trail, while at the same time investing all of his pennies into JP Morgan on 1/18/13 and 4/23/13. And Blackrock Equity. And T. Rowe Price, and Janus….   And well, heck. Here’s the full list:

Weiland’s disclosed assets in Wall Street firms:

  • JP Morgan Large Cap Growth [$1,001-$15,000]
  • Goldman Small Cap Value 401K [$1,001-$15,000]
  • Wells Fargo Short-Term Muni [$1,001-$15,000]
  • Prudential Annuity [$50,001-$100,000]
  • T. Rowe Price Blue Chip 401K [$15,001-$50,000]
  • Blackrock Equity Div 401K [$15,001-$50,000]
  • Blackrock Equity Dividend Fund [$1,001-$15,000]
  • Thornburg Ltd. Term Income [$1,001-$15,000]
  • Pimco Total Return 401K [50,001-$100,000]
  • Pimco All Asset All Authority [$1,001-$15,000]
  • First Eagle Fund of America [$1,001-$15,000]
  • First Eagle Global [$1,001-$15,000]
  • MFS Muni High Income [$1,001-$15,000]
  • Janus Triton Fund 401K [$1,001-$15,000]

(U.S. Senate, Rick Weiland’s Personal Financial Disclosure, Filed August 5, 2013)

At the same time he’s bashing Wall Street Firms, he’s got practically all his money invested with them.

Another episode of the many faces of Rick Weiland.

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