Dems reconfirm they’re in the doldrums. GOP’s responsibility is to lead, and remember how far we’ve come

The Associated Press has an article today about how far South Dakota Democrats are in the hole. And includes a few thoughts from Republican party leaders on maintaining the mandate the voters have given us:

daugaard2Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who was sworn in along with state legislators Saturday, advised Republicans to “act with courage and to do things that may be risky politically” because South Dakota residents respect politicians who vote in keeping with their values. 


“The things that we’ve done in the past did not work in this election, and I don’t think they’re going to,” Barth said. “The party is so, so feeble that now we fight harder than ever with each other as opposed to fighting to win together.”


John-Thune-at-State-Fair“Sometimes you catch the wind, and sometimes the wind is in your face,” Thune said, remembering his 524-vote defeat in 2002 and the tough race that brought him to the Senate in 2004. “It feels good to be part of a movement.”

He said if Republican candidates listen to their constituents and, at least at the federal level, remember their roots, the eye-popping margins could be sustained.

Read it here.

“Act with courage” and “Listen to constituents.”  Pretty good advice.

Minnehaha GOP holds elections, elects strong slate to lead county’s efforts.

The Minnehaha County GOP elected officers last night, and it sounds like they’re once again returning a strong slate to run Republican afffairs in the state’s largest county.  Elected were…

Chair: Dave Roetman
Vice-chair: Elizabeth Reiss
Secretary: Dane Bloch
Treasurer: Tony Reiss
Committeeman: Hal Wick
Committeewoman: Nancy Neff

My correspondent tells me that the Chair, Vice-chair, Secretary and Treasurer all were unopposedm abd that the board represents a fairly good cross-section of Minnehaha county and the Republicans that live there. A number of them have a strong grassroots and campaign past.   I’m also told that the committeeman race was suspected to be between Gary Dykstra and TJ Nelson. There was a bit of surprise nomination of Hal Wick from the floor which turned the committeeman race into a three-way race.

A great team in Minnehaha County to lead us through the 2016 elections!

Proposed election changes coming this legislative session

Bob Mercer notes this morning what the specific changes being proposed for the 2015 Legislative session are, and how that could impact the way candidates do business:

Their proposal calls for checking the validity of a random sample of 5 percent of the signatures on a petition.

A would-be candidate found to have insufficient valid signatures after the spot check could appeal that adverse finding to circuit court.

Currently the secretary of state doesn’t have authority to check whether the signatures come from actual registered voters from the counties they show on the petitions.

Read it here.

The current laundry list of changes being proposed include…

  1. SOS checks the validity of a random sample of 5 percent of the signatures on a statewide candidate’s petition, but not for State Legislators.
  2. Eliminating “last day” registered mail requirement for petitions, and requiring all petitions be in the office by the deadline.
  3. Nomination petitions start circulating one month earlier, starting on Dec. 1.
  4. A new deadline of the second Tuesday in March to challenge petitions.

I don’t like the inconsistency in item #1, and I think #2 creates an unlevel playing field based on geography. It’s easy to get a petition in under the wire if you live in Pierre, but not so easy if you’re out in Harding county.   #3 and #4 – Yes. Full speed ahead.

Other items I’d like to see? In particular, I’d love to see a petitioning process instituted for people to run for the other constitutional offices (excepting Lt. Gov), such as SOS, AG, School & Lands, etc. I think that opens up the process to candidates who might not otherwise consider it. But that might be just me.

What do you think about the proposed changes to election law? And what would you like to see that we don’t currently have?

Ring in the New Year! What should we expect in politics? Peace and Quiet.

As we all try to remember that it’s actually 2015 as we write a check, the year to come is brand new, and full of possibilities. At dakotawarcollege, it leaves us thinking about what to expect in the realm of politics over the course of the coming months, as we count down the new election cycle to 2016.

And actually, I think it’s going to be fairly quiet. There will be moments here and there, hints of races to come, and we can always expect the unexpected. But nothing like 2014, where a US Senate race dominated the tapestry.

So, gazing into the void, what do I think is coming?

During the legislative session: Highway improvements and the funding thereof are going to receive a large part of the discussion during session. I think we’ll see a minor divide between those who want to raise taxes, and those who have foresworn against any notion of it.  But with gas tax revenues taking a hit due to a greater supply lowering prices, it’s going to be difficult to argue that the status quo will get us through another fiscal year.

As I noted in my top 10 list, I think we’ll see a freedom-of-religion act return for debate given the same-sex marriage lawsuit pending.

With even further reduced numbers in the House of Representatives, Democrats will have even less of an impact in what happens in Pierre. Speaking of which…

HouseSeatingChartSenateSeatingChart58-12 and 27-8? Representing fewer than 20% of the legislature, Dems are not going to see much of anything in terms of their legislation moving forward.

On the US Senate Front:  John Thune is arguably the most popular politician in the state. He has $9 or $10 million in the bank. Democrats have no bench, period. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  I don’t anticipate that we will see a Democrat challenger emerge to the Senator in 2015, if we see one at all.

While there is an independent talking about running in the form of Kurt Evans, who we featured here recently for what some would consider bigoted statements about Catholics, I don’t anticipate we’ll hear anything unless he withdraws from the race in 2015 as opposed to withdrawing in 2016.  Basically, that dog isn’t going to hunt.

February will bring us some leftovers from the 2014 US Senate race as Annette Bosworth goes to court, but I don’t anticipate that’s going to be much more than getting through it, and getting the final results. The only surprise would be if she would be able to successfully avoid conviction.

I’m more curious to see if her husband will face similar charges once Annette’s are resolved one way or another.

Congressionally: I predict that Congresswoman Kristi Noem is going to run again in 2016, and Dems will largely leave her alone in the year leading up to it. They may attempt a challenger in 2016, but considering the shellacking she delivered to them in November, they’re in no hurry to deliver a lamb to the slaughter.

I know there’s more out there, and I don’t want to let this post get too long. What do you anticipate in the world of politics for 2015?  Give us your predictions under the comment section.