Pennington County GOP promoting scorecards and special interest groups with fringe views, not Republican candidates.

Grr.. just had someone flag this for my attention, as it seems the Pennington County GOP is committing one of my pet peeves when it comes to what is and what isn’t the job of a county Republican party organization.  

The Pennington County Republican Party was exhibiting that behavior this last weekend at their latest meeting, as they promoted the work of outside groups that aren’t affiliated with, nor support the Republican Party or it’s candidates.

As noted by their agenda, as part of their meeting they’re promoting and seemingly endorsing the SD Freedom Caucus, an outside organization which is certainly not a Republican affiliated group or auxiliary, and they’ve given them floor time as part of their “2024 Legislative Process Overview.”

And it gets even better, as during part of the presentation, they had a big thing to do at the event with “legislators who scored 100% on the 2023 New American Legislative Scorecard.

The “New American Legislative Scorecard?” Nothing at all to do with the Republican Party, and actually related to the John Birch Society.  So, why would the Pennington County GOP be giving them air time?

In fact, if you look at the scorecard the Pennington County GOP is clucking about like proud roosters, Legislators only got 100% if they opposed the budget.  So, if you voted against funding veterans services, state aid to education, state parks, etcetera and so on, you got 100%.

Or even better, if you were recognized as supporting their position 100%, you one of the few who voted in favor of laws to criminally prosecute women who obtained an illegal abortion:

Literally, you could not get a 100% score unless you fought over 92% of the legislature AND Governor Noem who signed their support of House Bill 1220, the measure to provide criminal immunity for women who have abortions. The bill’s sponsors include just about every member of the legislature who sit on the SD Right to Life Board, and was supported in committee by the Governor’s office, South Dakota Right to Life, Concerned Women for America, and the South Dakota Catholic Conference.

Why on earth would the Pennington County Republican Party be featuring and favoring those few legislators who were such jerks that they want to send women who have an abortion to jail, a position in direct opposition to 92% of the legislature and Governor Noem?

The problem that the Pennington County GOP finds itself in is not an uncommon one, and one that more and more county groups face. You might call it mission creep, or prestige theft for lack of a better term. Outside groups are always pushing their agenda onto Republican Party groups and attempting to borrow their name in support of their own goals.  The Republican Party’s mission is to elect Republican candidates to office and to support their continued election. The problem gets to be when these outside groups try to come in and tell Republicans who is the better Republican, and the party. They have no other interest except in promoting themselves and ensuring the growth of their group at the expense of the GOP.

Their parasitic nature doesn’t provide any benefit to the GOP as a whole; it’s one sided, and is ultimately unsustainable. They care about their mission. Not the GOP’s. Which is why it is just crazy for GOP groups to give them the air time.

It actually hurts them as it drives people away, because it tells other Republicans who don’t believe that women who have abortions should be in jail that they aren’t welcome. If the Legislature and Governor Noem are any indication, that would be just about all of them.

Let outside groups do their own thing. GOP groups need to stick to their job – organizing the county for purposes of getting ALL Republicans elected.

Not just the Republicans who outside groups like.

38 thoughts on “Pennington County GOP promoting scorecards and special interest groups with fringe views, not Republican candidates.”

  1. if gordon howie could have held on just another few years, he wouldn’t have had to re-register independent to get party support for high office.

    1. i am done complaining about the distric 33 gerrymander. it is fitting that a district in this county winds around like a snake.

  2. Speaking of promoting and endorsing candidates outside the official GOP organization, now do “South Dakota Strong.”

    1. Where in the name “South Dakota Strong” Do you read: “GOP”, Scott? Follow-Up: Is it more important that a candidate check every box that starts with the letter R, or that they have integrity? I’ll get my liberal cousin to come up from California and register Republican and run for office if you answer this one wrong. Taking a play right out of the FreedomCaucus playbook.

  3. In the past, extreme right-wing legislators like JFM got a favorable mark for a bill if they didn’t vote. Not sure if they use it this year, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  4. Dakota Strong does not claim to be the Republican County organization. The other groups masquerade.

  5. This whole lurch to the FAR FAR RIGHT is like watching a highway crash in slow motion. They will drive out good candidates, replace with morons, and force all the middle of the roaders to vote democrat.

    From the Pumpkinhead Playbook. Eat your young, its fun! The Rise Of the Morons.

    GOP, it was a good run and a great party, til a few years ago.

  6. This kind of self-serving, self-aggrandizing lunacy only pushes more centrist Republicans in Pennington County and the Black Hills to give up on running for office. Total hypocrisy at its finest. I don’t think you have even half a brain when you combine the whole bunch of nimrods!

  7. More of these crazy Birchers are moving to South Dakota every day. What is funny is that they call centrist Republicans RINOs and these Birchers are not even Republicans. They are the wood ticks and tapeworms of the party damaging the host.

  8. I have been attending the South Dakota Strong events. South Dakota Strong is a safe alternative for conservatives who don’t wish to align with the extreme right wing activists. Thank goodness it was formed so commonsense republicans and conservatives have somewhere to go. Their mixers and events are quickly growing with many old time republicans showing up who I haven’t seen in years. No surprise there.

  9. grudznick supports the Conservatives with Common Sense, whose scorecard of scorecards scores this scorecard as a zero, and who have swell breakfasting events.

    Those in the legislatures in the pictures above are insaner than most and nearly as bad as the original overgodder, Mr. Howie, hisownself. It is a public shame to all who live in Colonial Pine Hills that Mr. Jensen represents them with his fake leather jacket, and a real gut-buster to all who live near the Hart Ranch that Ms. Frye-Mueller is but a belly dancer for nutjobbery for their region.

    1. Scorecards are highly subjective and unneeded. One can score highly on one and very low on another depending on the group’s agenda. Wouldn’t it be more productive to just follow the votes of the legislators of one’s area to see if the lawmaker aligns with one’s beliefs. To look at a bunch of silly percentages to “get” a certain legislator or to prove who is more or less conservative seems rather childish.

  10. Come to think of it the crazier the better! It could help voters look elsewhere in regards to candidate outside the Q party.

  11. I’m a Pennington GOP Precinct Committeeman and they never invited myself and a handful of others.

  12. Why post this article when we’ll be hearing it from the pile of trash they’re about to dump in our mailboxes?

  13. I look for these folks to get busy and lead a secessionist movement to break the Black Hills away from the rest of south Dakota to form an independent theological state…they will align with the USA only for National Defense, Highway Maintenance, and Agricultural subsidies.

    1. they’ll just keep pretending they’re speaking for all republicans while they keep longtime party regulars outside of the room and fill leadership with more of themselves. they’re jealous of the major attention wyoming got for burning liz cheney at the stake, and wondering which of our delegation would make the best bonfire. they’re running our state gop just the way trump needs them to.

    2. Everyone else looks for these folks to hand our state over to Democrats on a silver-platter. Common-sense made us the greatest state in the Nation, these people will guarantee we become a purple state. They’d cut off all our noses just to spite their own reflection.

  14. Too many Ravnsborg, Haugaard and Whalen fruit jobs in activist positions. We need more Noem Trump people.

  15. It is time to Organize behind Political Action led by We the People to Save the Republic. We must organize the Counties one by one, and precinct by precinct to maintain our authority over the government. We must take an oath to the 14 Articles of Freedom.

    1. when you advocate “election integrity” you’re really saying “trump actually won” which leads to agreeing with trump’s decision to launch a wave of angry “patriots” at congress to get revenge on mike pence.
      trump didn’t win, because our election system is secure. it survived every cheat and lie trump threw at it. read the Jan 6 report if you dare.

      1. i mean no offense to our fine governor. but every self-activated political patriot does norm no favors by keeping her path firmly welded to donald trump’s path. no favors at all.

  16. The establishment republicans have failed and we have failing economy, uncontrolled immigration and invasion, increasing crime, decreased moral standards, etc..America first movement is ascending in the Republican party and is the only hope for America.

    1. you all have rediscovered alinsky’s rules for radicals. you’ll rehash bill ayers and bernadine dohrn’s theories at some point. i want to see whether i end up in a gulag or worse.

  17. I say this is good, I’ve been saying it nationally for a while, give these autocrats what they want, and once freedom’s are removed from society, they will get it back democratically. I think we can clearly see this with the abortion issue, and it will be proven again in 24′. Let them get all worked up and have them ban everything that annoys them, at that point maybe (and that is a big maybe because we are in SD which is full of people eager to give up every freedom except their firearms), we can rid ourselves of this notion to criminalize everything that annoys us. This “boomer logic” is expanding government at a rate that requires a new $400M taxpayer funded prison in the state, and a steady stream of “new criminals” to fill it. How many prisoners is enough to make these police-state, big government, people happy?

    1. I think we need to break away from the ‘boomer’ speak. There will always be “boomers”.

      1. The term “boomers” is a generational stereotype, these generational stereotypes were frequently used by the boomers against millennials. As the boomers are getting old and caught up in Facebook scams, it is nice to see them offended by a taste of their own medicine. Good luck with your “getting hacked” boomers, don’t be calling a millennial for any help, they are lazy, expecting to get your job without “paying their dues”. Have fun in the old folks home in a few years, your millennial kids will surely spend their inheritance wisely on paying off their student loan debt (your legacy).

      2. I prefer to call Boomers by their original title, “The ME generation”. Perfectly described them in the 70s and 80s, and still does today.

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