Beadle County Lincoln Day Dinner on Thursday in Huron. With campaign memorabilia

They had me at memorabilia.

Beadle County Lincoln Day Dinner, Thursday, October 10, 5:30 pm at the Plains in Huron. On the auction will be Republican memorabilia from the Carrol and Jacquie Erling Collection. call 352 8184 for tickets.

I’m trying to get more information on what they’re auctioning. As well as information from my wife to see if I can go.

My essay on party switching is up at KSOO

My essay on using party switching against a candidate is up at KSOO:

One of the primary challenges that Craig Lawrence, State Chairman for the South Dakota Republican Party has taken on since becoming Chairman is to explore why many young people are choosing to register as independents, as opposed to affiliating with a political party that aligns with their ideals.

When political purity tests come up, and Rhoden’s voter registration from 35 years ago are splashed into the media so someone can use it to beat him down, ideals are not involved. And I suspect more people were just driven to avoid politics altogether.

Because what was done to Rhoden is the absolute antithesis of the work the SDGOP is doing to attract people to register Republican. It is utterly offensive. And destructive to the work people are trying to do to build the Republican brand in South Dakota.

Go read it here.

Essay for KSOO: When perfect is the enemy of the good. Or the sane.

Sorry for the slow posting this morning. I was working on some exclusive content for KSOO, specifically on the topic of the Rhoden voter registration forms that someone released to Cory Heidelberger this morning.

While I’m waiting for it to go live, here’s a snippet:

One of the primary challenges that Craig Lawrence, State Chairman for the South Dakota Republican Party has taken on since becoming Chairman is to explore why many young people are choosing to register as independents, as opposed to affiliating with a political party that aligns with their ideals.

When political purity tests come up, and Rhoden’s voter registration from 35 years ago are splashed into the media so someone can use it to beat him down, ideals are not involved. And I suspect more people were just driven to avoid politics altogether. Because what was done to Rhoden is the absolute antithesis of the work the SDGOP is doing to attract people to register Republican.  It is utterly offensive. And destructive to the work people are trying to do to build the Republican brand in South Dakota.

 

Run for office? Who? Me?

BLANK-STARE-2Much too often I hear complaints about our elected officials. When I ask, “If you can do a better job, why don’t you run for that office?” That question is often met with a blank stare. If I press the issue, the response is commonly they can’t afford to take time away from their job.

Often the perception is, only members of the ‘ruling class’ can run for office. Only people who have money or at least access to money, can be in public office. Only people who have a position that allows them to take time off from their day job to go work in the legislature or other public office should even think about running. Continue Reading →

What I look for in a new Senator / Representative

I was hoping to get to this a tad later, however, with people starting to look for someone to replace the retiring Tim Johnson. It might be a good time to look at what we need as a Senator and Representative. Instead of throwing names around I look for what we need then find a person to fit that need
It is a given that our congressional delegation represents South Dakotan interests at the federal level, like they are suppose to. There is so much more. They help keep the nation on the straight and narrow, deal with the budget, foreign relations, court and cabinet appointees and helping constituents deal with the alphabet soup of government agencies. the list goes on and on. In Short we want someone who can ‘do’ the job, not just get elected.

Budget-

Everyone from the Radical Right through the Blue Dog Democrats knows our federal government has a serious spending problem. The federal budget is a true monster that few truly understand in it’s entirely. This isn’t your family budget. There many things that need require ‘special’ funding. ‘Fixing’ it is going to take team work and cooperation between the houses and the parties. With everyone in Washington D.C. so deeply entrenched in their positions; getting them to budge on their position might take a bit more than a Williams Big Bud V16-747 Tractor. To say this is a tough job is an understatement. This task I do not envy, nor wish upon my worst enemy.

Foreign Relations-

There are countries that hate ( I do mean HATE.) the United States, and would like nothing more than for us to just vanish, of course they are willing to help us along. The President is the Command-in-Chief and has been charged with the defense of the country, with oversight from congress. A good understanding of what military can and can’t do is very important. There are developing countries that we try to help them help themselves. How to best do that can lead to some debate. Of course, we would like to open markets to fair trade. There is question about illegal immigrants. The executive branch negotiates the treaties, the Senate must ratify them. An understanding of the world political, social and economic situation is vital.

Appointees-

The job interview from hell. I for one would dislike be asked to sit in front of some committee, who have in front of them more information on me than I know, then be asked to answer rapid fire questions about myself and the job. Of course, all this is video taped and photographed. (if I ever show up at one these the tape would end up on ‘American Funniest Videos’) These people must be above reproach and lived a squeaky clean life from the day they were born. These appointments are the people who actually turn the wrenches; who takes the policy and make it happen. They make the government tick. Of course, we want to make sure we have the right person for the job. We need to be asking the right questions of our candidates before they get to Washington. Can they appoint the right person for the job? Can they ask the tough questions, and listen to the answer?

Constituent services-

When dealing with any government agency or company, it is always helpful to have an ‘in’ person. You know, that person you can go to when something just isn’t’ right. To help guide you or point you in the right direction, or get you a meeting with the right person. If nothing else, know where to get the best steak in town. Whatever we need, we want to know that our Senator or Representative is aware of our situation or request and the very least appointed the correct person to deal with it. If we write them a letter or E-mail we expect some kind of response. I especially dislike form letters. If I took the time and effort to write a personal note, I should get something back if appropriate. If I cut and paste a form letter, then I deserve a form letter back.

The parties –

A candidate’s or elected representative’s first reasonability is to the people.

Their second is to the Constitution. While they are serving, they may happen upon others who hold similar principals. They work together to pass legislation to benefit both states. They may even formalize their relationship by joining a political party. The party offers to help them with their election, get bills sponsored and passed, in exchange the party expects them to help other lawmakers get their bills passed. Their platform may consist of principles and values that the candidate supports. Working within the party is great way to get things done.

Every once in a while, there will be an issue that comes up that the people in the representatives area (district or state) opinions or attitude may go against the principals of the party’s platform. That representative must have the courage to stand up to the party and party bosses. At the same time the party must understand the representative’s primary focus must be people they represent and the Constitution they have sworn to defend.

We all know there are party purists out there, those who believe the platform is the be all and end all of all humanity. Anyone not toeing the line should be publicly flogged. That shouldn’t be case. The representative is held accountable by the people who elected him; not the party. The party may provide funding and additional support for a campaign; however it is the people who cast the votes in the election. I would like some who can work across the party lines, not just their own party.

A candidate’s or elected representative’s first reasonability is to the people.

The most important – Listen to us.

We fully expect and deserve to be heard. They are our collective voice in Washington D.C. they are not Washington’s voice to South Dakota. If we want passenger rail service to and from South Dakota’s largest cities, we expect them to hear us and take our message to Amtrak, the Department of Transportation, and maybe approach private businesses to make it happen. If we have concern about a law or bill they shouldn’t defend it in the name of the party, or scoring political points. They should listen to us then voice those concerns on the floor of their respective chamber. If they are not listening to us when they are on the campaign trail, are they going to listen to us when they are in office? If they are not listening to us, who are they listening to? The party bosses? The donors wth deep pockets? The voices in their heads?

You already know most of the names. As time goes on, names will be added, and names will be removed from the list. Here in South Dakota, we really care very little about the ‘R’ or the ‘D’ We want someone who will serve us, not sell us out.

SD GOP needs to ramp up digital media

I’ve been hearing that the SD GOP is getting a new website. Problem is that I’ve been hearing about it for about 4 months. So when is the site launch date?

Wasn’t Tony Post hired partly because of his tech skills, social media experience and prowess?

I’m sure he’s talented in the area, but I’m waiting for that to come to fruition. I still don’t see digital media replacing boots on the ground and personal relationships in South Dakota politics anytime soon, but since I’ve been hearing about the new site for a long time I thought I’d ask. What’s the delay?

The other reason I want to know what’s taking so long is that the Democrats are doing a great job utilizing social media and sending out weekly email updates called the “Newswire” with links to the news stories they want to push from the week. They also have a blog on their site.

I can’t remember the last time I recieved an email from the SD GOP about what is going on in South Dakota. Don’t we have a convention coming up in June?

Justin Rollins named Political Director

A big announcement from the SD GOP today on the future direction of the state party.

Justin Rollins Named Political Director

PIERRE–

Today the South Dakota Republican Party announced that Justin Rollins will be joining the SDGOP as Political Director.

“We are extremely excited to have Justin on the team,” said Chairman Tim Rave. “He has an exemplary track record and has demonstrated his willingness to do what it takes to win in 2012.”

Rollins grew up in Black Hawk and attended Sturgis Brown High School. Upon graduation, he competed as a member of the football and track teams at Black Hills State University in Spearfish. After his freshman year, Justin transferred to the University of South Dakota where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a minor in Contemporary Media and Journalism.

After completing his degree, Rollins accepted a position working with inner-city youth in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the summer of 2010, Justin returned to South Dakota as campaign manager for Jason Gant for Secretary of State. Since the election, he has served as State Election Coordinator in the Secretary of State’s office, serving as the office’s point-of-contact for campaign finance issues, as well as school and municipalities election law.

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Justin Rollins will be a great asset to the SD GOP. He was a workhorse during the 2010 election for Secretary of State Jason Gant’s campaign. One thing I like about this hire is that Rollins campaigned across the state last election and had the opportunity to meet with activists and county party officers and develop relationships in every corner of the state. Rollins has a great personality and will bring a strong work ethic to the position. Congratulations Justin!

SD GOP straw poll foreshadows national polling

Gingrich, Romney and Cain

Last weekend the South Dakota Republican Party held a straw poll at the annual state dinner. By now most of you are aware of the results, but to me the interesting part is how South Dakotans seem to be ahead of the curve when considering the presidential race.

SD GOP 2011 Straw Poll Results

  1. Herman Cain, 35%
  2. Newt Gingrich, 23%
  3. Mitt Romney, 20%
  4. Rick Perry, 7%
  5. Ron Paul, 5%
  6. Michele Bachmann, 4%
  7. Jon Huntsman, 3%
  8. Rick Santorum, 3%

My guess is everyone pretty much expected Herman Cain to come out on top of the straw poll because of the “IT” factor his campaign has possessed the last few weeks. Most of us also likely assumed Romney would be in the upper tier, but it was a surprise to many that Gingrich had surged into second.

If you look at this straw poll the numbers aren’t all that different from new scientific polling being conducted in early primary states. In new polls from Florida, Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina and Pennsylvania show Cain maintaining, Romney maintaining and Gingrich surging. Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney as the top three in the SD GOP straw poll accurately reflects the developing mood across the country.