Weiland preparing to file measure to create jungle primaries in South Dakota, and seeks to hide party affiliation on the ballot.

I’d heard that RIck Weiland had submitted a measure for AG review, and thinking it was going to be the latest form of his group’s 44 page monstrosity which will likely never print on a single page, I’ve been pursuing a copy of it for the last 2-3 days.

And tonight, I got my hands on a copy….. at least 2 proposed versions of it. And the measure submitted wasn’t the 44 page monstrosity being floated among lobbyists. What has been submitted was what Slick Rick had quietly alluded to in an interview yesterday with Greg Belfrage.  From KELO-AM Radio:

The liberal TakeItBack.Org group wants the South Dakota State Legislature to become officially non-partisan. All the lawmakers would serve as individuals rather than as Republicans or Democrats.

The group, co-founded by former Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Rick Weiland, will try to get a proposed state constitutional amendment initiative on the ballot next year.

Read it here.

And here you can read the two versions submitted for review, one of which could show up on a petition near you:

Weiland Jungle Primary Proposal

What Weiland is proposing is a constitutional measure to change South Dakota’s party primary systems from a political party primary based system to what’s commonly referred to as a “jungle primary,” where the top 2 vote getters from the June primary fight it out at the general election. So, in the fall, it could be a Republican or Democrat running. Or 2 Democrats running for one seat.

Or, in the most likely scenario given the crippling weakness of the Democratic Party in the state, 2 Republicans battling it out. And it’s at every level there’s a political office.

Note a specific part of the measure – it bans the candidate’s party affiliation from appearing on the ballot. As if it’s something they need to run from or be ashamed of. Personally, I think it’s an awful idea, and it seems like Weiland is plotting revenge against the Democrats for abandoning him in his ill-fated run for office, because that’s who it’s going to hurt the most.

But if I were Weiland in the last election, I’d want to hide being a Democrat as well.

What do you think? How do you think this measure would affect state elections?

19 thoughts on “Weiland preparing to file measure to create jungle primaries in South Dakota, and seeks to hide party affiliation on the ballot.”

  1. Just Rick trying to figure out how to win an election, something that has eluded him so far.

  2. I see how this serves his partisan agenda, but how does it improve participation and public policy. Diluting ideology to nothing, doesn’t make better policy – it’s kind of a karma chant for the disaffected

    1. if this wasn’t calculated to help democrats, weiland wouldn’t waste time on it. a lack of party designation on the ballot would help a number of democrats at the polls, and having their party affiliation suppressed as in a city or school race would absolutely help them with district and statewide voters. no doubt about it. there are a number of city officeholders in the state who would see their term end if they were on a city ballot that labeled candidates by “R” and “D” designations.

  3. “karma chant”? The rainbow family lives in Codington? Nice touch, Mr, Schoenbeck.

  4. The branding indicates financial support. If you run for the U.S. congress and the national party doesn’t support you, why should you want to carry the brand?

  5. Ok. We have always know Weiland is a narcissist, deceptive and conniving, has little man syndrome, power-hungry and can’t stand being insignificant but now we know he is stupid.

    This would get slaughtered on the ballot. 85% of voters are affiliated with one of the two parties. He is basically saying their self-identification is somehow a bad thing and must be hidden.

    1. Troy Jones labeling someone a narcissist. Now that is funny! And a little bit ironic.

  6. Sore loser they name is Rick. This why you don’t sell in SD. Quit proving you are smarter than us all, take back you 700K DC job and go away.

  7. I think that this raises and interesting issue. In this country, should we base our vote on the party label or on the person’s position on policy issues. In parliamentarian based governments the party is the key to the voting process, but in the United States, the individual candidate should be the main focus.

    1. unfortunately, power is expressed and applied at the party level, with power in the hands of the party that beats the opposing parties at the polls. the democrats have gamed out how to win nationally over and over, and south dakota is so unconnected to the federal teat that it doesn’t work here. so HERE the party names should be suppressed so everyone can advocate electable values on the stump, but then follow the party line they worked to hide once they’re elected. a lot of people in here blather about how some self-identified republicans are actually democrats already; this would make it all ten times more confusing.

  8. Rick Weiland again trying to gain some relevance where his ideas and ideology give him none. As has been noted, by hiding that you are a Democrat-generally less of an indicator that you are a socialist radical here than in other states-you are effectively saying that you can’t win if your general ideas about how government should work are known. If your ideas are terrible, why not take a good, hard look at them and maybe see why socialism doesn’t sell so well in South Dakota. If you cannot do that, perhaps a move to the east or west coast is in order?

  9. I can see the logic of it in a heavily partisan state like ours, especially on “off years” in districts like the one Phil Jensen is in where he beat his GOP opponent in the primary by a handful of votes, many of which are suspect “RV” style votes. I know a lot of R’s in that district who really wanted him out of there.

    The upshot, on low turnout years especially when there is no Democrat to run against in the general is that the district ends up with representation from a guy the majority in the district don’t want and most of the time don’t agree with, but too bad, because our current process allows them to get elected IN THE PRIMARY by what amounts to a tiny fraction of the total registered voters in the district.

    1. Troy, I think if you’ll just take your “I hate Rick” hat off for a minute and think it through rationally, you’ll see more sense in the idea.

  10. …come to think of it, SD “Dems” could accomplish something similar by themselves by simply re-registering as “Rs” and running in the primary. Some with Dem voters. Who knows? Maybe that’s already happening. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Just move voting day to June and forget about November. 😉

  11. Bill,

    Considering the Democrat candidates aren’t even getting their registration % in the general against even the most conservative legislative candidates, it appears there are more people registered as Democrat who think like Republicans. Maybe they stay Democrat out of sympathy and nobody knows they don’t vote with you.

    There is something about your comment to just have an election in June and cancel the November election that is ironically prescient. Democrats are losing registration numbers so fast because of the inaneness of stuff like Wieland’s new idea and his Proustian campaign, if the current trend continues, the November election will be truly mute.

    As one who wants a strong two-party system both nationally and in the state, it is ludicrous to think it is helped by destroying the two parties. Crazy with a capital C.

    Without reservation, I hope Wieland pursues this with everything he has if it will have the effect of sending him a message that will penetrate his massive deluded ego.

    1. Looks like we might be saying the same thing different ways, Troy. Let me check by rewording my thought. There comes a point where party registration becomes more about “game theory” than political ideology. When that happens, the quality of the candidate doesn’t make any difference, only the party they belong to. This has already happened in South Dakota, and it has been systematically facilitated by your party, not mine, my friend. If you want to change it you can of course, but don’t blame the effect on Rick. That’s just scapegoating. 🙂

  12. if the clear party i.d. helps you, as it helps republicans in this state, then there’s value in truthfully outlining the differences you have with the minority party, the democrats. you’d want that i.d. to be loud and clear, and republicans have in the past wanted that partisan labeling to be present in city and school races too, as it is in the county and state office races. IF however party i.d. hurts you, as many centrist and well-meaning registered democrats have found out in this state, then you’d want to equivocate, blur the differences between the parties because the difference does in fact hurt you; ultimately you want weiland’s system of expanding the non-partisan approach to city/school elections to all other parts of the state. so, to conclude, NO.

  13. Anyone who wants evidence of how horribly a supposedly nonpartisan legislature works simply has to look at Nebraska’s legislature. The nonpartisan elections result in nearly every potential candidate, including many liberals, registering as a Republican and then the liberals using that as cover when they claim to be conservatives or moderates. The candidates cannot talk about being a Republican during their campaigns, but the liberals know that their surrogates will point it out and that their party identification is a matter of public record, as it is in SD. Thus, many voters are tricked into believing that the liberal candidates are indeed Republicans. The ultimate result is that even though registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats in the NE legislature, the legislature is run by the extreme liberal Democrats and the liberal Democrats disguised as Republicans. Weiland and the SD Democrats want the same thing to happen in SD because they know that longtime Democrats have an extremely difficult time getting elected. If the legislature is nonpartisan, then the state and national Republican parties will be prevented from helping the true Republicans in the various races, which will clearly make it easier for liberal candidates to deceive their way into office. I simply pray that the average South Dakotans are not fooled by this attempt.

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