The Democratic Forum of Sioux Falls (which sponsors this blog—thank you, friends!) hosts what could be a newsworthy program this Friday. Zach Crago, executive director of the South Dakota Democratic Party, will deliver what I believe will be his first extended public remarks since the midterm election. Crago will discuss the recent election and, according to the Democratic Forum, "what the party needs to do to plan for the future."

Democratic Forum is open to the public, and speakers generally do big Q&A, so let's warm up some questions for Crago! Here are the top five that jump to my mind:

  1. What current SDDP projects are working and should continue?
  2. Closely related to #1: What metrics indicate those projects are working?
  3. How much money does the SDDP need to raise to be competitive with the SDGOP?
  4. What does the SDDP do to overcome disillusionment among donors and reach that competitive level?
  5. How long can we keep you as party exec?

Meanwhile, here are the top five things you won't hear Crago say on Friday:

  1. I'm quitting the SDDP and joining the Libertarians to help them capitalize on their role as South Dakota's true opposition party.
  2. Ssshhhh... we're luring the Republicans into overconfidence.
  3. I'll be bringing a proposal to the State Central Committee at its December 13 meeting to amend the SDDP constitution to choose all nominees for statewide office via online polls on the Madville Times.
  4. Now that South Dakota voters have declared that EB-5 is not a political liability, the South Dakota Democratic Party will raise $140 million by forming its own Regional Center to compete with the state in recruiting and managing EB-5 investments. (Hey, wait a minute—that's not a bad idea!)
  5. And now presenting our next Democratic Party chairman, Larry Pressler!

You can hear what Zach Crago really has to say and pitch your own questions about the future of the South Dakota Democratic Party Friday noon, November 21, at the Sioux Falls VFW, 3601 South Minnesota Ave.

At least he won't go hungry... (Lee Schoenbeck and friends, from Schoenbeck Twitter feed, 2014.11.14)

At least he won't go hungry... (Lee Schoenbeck and friends, from Schoenbeck Twitter feed, 2014.11.14)

Not only did the 2014 election deprive us the pleasure of testing Lee Schoenbeck's commitment to disenfranchising District 3 and RV voters, but the legislative caucus has deprived us the pleasure of Lee Schoenbeck's leadership. Despite months of machinating by Watertown's imminently Rotunda-revisiting Representative-Elect, GOP House members and members-elect picked Rep. Steve Westra of Sioux Falls as their assistant majority leader.

Rep.-Elect Schoenbeck has graced these blog pages for years with numerous intelligent, kind, and/or provocative comments. Rep. Westra has yet to contribute any thoughts to our rollicking civic discussion. One can only conclude that Schoenbeck possesses an intellect far superior to Westra's and that the SDGOP has passed up an opportunity to boost its collective IQ and Blog-Q.

We can only hope Schoenbeck will emerge smiling from this defeat and use the extra time left in his hands by his colleagues to post more blog comments... and maybe call some more Republicans S.O.B.'s who have it coming.


The Governor's Office of Economic Development and Madison's Lake Area Improvement Corporation score another coup, bringing Iowa sexy bra manufacturer Best Darn Guns (should a company really force us to swear?) to town:

Best Damn Guns website,, screen cap, 2014.11.13

Best Damn Guns website,, screen cap, 2014.11.13

In a brilliant example of vertical (or is it horizontal, or cross-your-heart?) integration, the LAIC announces it is also bringing the closely associated Wilt Manufacturing, whose subsidiary Wilt Wire and Fabrication does something with Wire EDM, which is obviously connected to the the supporting industry of making underwires.

Or not. Once I get past the crass and gratuitous disembodiment and oversexualization of the female body, I realize Best Darn Guns makes gun parts. But their advertising makes clear the real psychology behind South Dakota's gun nuttery. Carrying guns and now building local economic development makes us real men and gets us action.

Welcome to South Dakota, Best Darn Guns and Wilt Manufacturing! We look forward to your billboards.

Clip from Shantel Krebs campaign banner, Twitter, 2014

Thus riseth the liberal colossus from the corn...

Here comes Shantel Krebs proving she's no conservative. Fresh off her victory in Tuesday's election for Secretary of State, the outgoing Sioux Falls legislator is promising all sorts of new laws (pause right there: that's the definition of liberal, right?) to change the candidate petition process:

Krebs also has ideas to improve the way candidates petition for office following several issues that came up during this year's campaign cycle.

"Is there a way that the Secretary of State has more authority in reviewing those signatures?" Krebs said [Ben Dunsmoor, "New SD Sec. Of State Addresses Low Turnout & Petitions,", 2014.11.06].

More authority for government: that's liberal, right?

Krebs says one of her top priorities is working with the bipartisan Board of Elections to give the Secretary of State more authority in reviewing nomination petitions for candidates who are trying to get on the ballot.

..."So it'd be similar wording as the statute for initiated measures and referendums, where we actually can review by a random sampling of five percent is a number we use," Krebs said [Dunsmoor, 2014.11.06].

Now I like the idea of more Secretarial oversight of nominating petitions. But I'm liberal, and I like it, so that means if Krebs likes it, she's liberal! Aaaaaaahh!

Krebs also wants to increase voter turnout through the classic liberal tactic of infiltrating public education with her devious schemes:

Krebs says she'll work to promote the Kid's Voting program more in schools.

Krebs says if students are talking about the issues in class, they'll also be talking with their parents about the process at home and encouraging them to vote.

"I'm going to make a concerted effort to get back and re-engage in the school systems and be there for the encouragement, and the enthusiasm, and the excitement of the process," Krebs said [Dunsmoor, 2014.11.06].

Everyone knows my teaching French is really a cover for turning kids into socialists. And everyone knows that increasing voter turnout is a surefire way to promote liberal policies, because non-voters, like reality, have a well-researched liberal bias.

More laws, more government authority, more liberal policies—that's Shantel Krebs! Who says liberals can't win South Dakota elections... and end up in charge of those elections?


Mike Rounds posts some photos of campaign call center volunteers begging Republicans not to vote their conscience and declare Rounds unfit for office. Among the snaps, we find this image of who inspires Team Rounds:

Rounds for Senate call center, posted to Facebook, 2014.11.04

Rounds for Senate call center, posted to Facebook, 2014.11.04

That's Poppy Bush on the left, George W. on the right, and lurking behind them... isn't that Dick Cheney?


Here's our Sunday syllogism, courtesy of word salad gourmet and Republican candidate for District 35 House Lynne Hix-DiSanto:

  1. Hix-DiSanto tells the Rapid City Journal that "Government is out of touch with its people."
  2. South Dakota government, including the Legislative branch in which Hix-DiSanto seeks a seat, is dominated by Republicans and has been for decades.
  3. Hix-DiSanto must believes that her South Dakota Republican Party is out of touch with South Dakotans.
  4. Ergo, Hix-DiSanto is telling voters to vote for Democrats.

Thank you for that endorsement, Lynne! Carry on!


In good news, here's a great photo of South Dakota's next Senator:

screen cap, Rick Weiland campaign ad, 2014.10.17

screen cap, Rick Weiland campaign ad, 2014.10.17 (click to embiggen!)

No, it's not your hunting buddy in the cap. I get the feeling he wouldn't trade his grungy sweatshirt and workshop for a necktie and Washington office for all the corn in Canton. (But watch for Adidas to sponsor next year's Tractor Olympics at the Leola Threshing Bee.)

It's Rick Weiland, who's willing to represent that tractor jockey and the rest of us in Washington D.C. That image comes from his latest campaign ad:

Note the black-and-white image of Mike Rounds and Larry Pressler sitting together at the Dakotafest debate as Weiland warns us of those who just want to help the "corporations and billionaires" at our expense. Maybe the Republicans will threaten to sue the TV stations for saying Rounds is a billionaire.

Keep those strong ads coming, Rick!


Governor Dennis Daugaard has declared October "Archives Month" in South Dakota:

“Archival institutions have a responsibility to collect, organize, preserve and make available records that document the history of the state of South Dakota and the plains region for the education and appreciation of present and future generations,” Gov. Daugaard noted in the proclamation.

“October is a chance for South Dakotans to recognize the importance of archives and historical records,” noted Chelle Somsen, state archivist for the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “There are county, municipal, university and private archives as well as the State Archives and each of these organizations contain historical records that document the rich history of our state” [State of South Dakota, press release, 2014.10.01].

However, the state will delete all record of Archives Month 30 days after its conclusion.


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