As reported here first over the weekend, Tea Party organizer Ken Crow said he was leaving the Jason Ravnsborg campaign and endorsing Stace Nelson for South Dakota's GOP Senate nomination.

Ravnsborg appears to have responded via Twitter that he actually fired Crow last week. (Whether Ravnsborg himself tweeted that tidbit is in question, as someone besides Jason appears to have posting access.)

Crow rejects that claim in a comment here this morning and in a new press release. Crow says he has e-mails that show Ravnsborg welcomed Crow's further participation in the campaign. Crow says he left because he saw a candidate who does not want to win.

And why doesn't Ravnsborg want to win? Based six weeks on the trail with the candidate, Crow concludes that Ravnsborg is running to do a favor for his friends Dan Lederman and Joel Arends:

...After several conversations late at night while driving back from Lincoln Day Dinners, he had mentioned this fellow named Lederman at several different times. It had never registered with me for I was not familiar with the inner workings of South Dakota politics.

Of course now I am being told that it was Lederman who had convinced Jason Ravnsborg to run in the first place. In retrospect, Ravnsborg had mentioned to me on several occasions that he had been talked into running by several State Legislators and Lederman’s name was in the same breath when this was said to me. To be candid I cannot recall if he explicitly stated that Lederman was the only one, but I can state categorically that Lederman was mentioned several times in these conversations along with a fellow by the name of Joel Arends and several other state officials. Again; it did not mean much to me at the time because I did not understand the gravity of what he was saying. But the fact is that he did admit that it was his old college friends that are now in the Legislature that had convinced him to run. Of course I have subsequently learned that Arends is the Attorney for Annette Bosworth [Ken Crow, press release, 2014.05.27].

Crow's mention of Joel Arends deserves attention. Arends has been Bosworth's attorney since at 2012. He's been helping her with her Senate campaign. She started campaigning in June 2013. After taking a pounding on this blog, she began to face mainstream media scrutiny in November 2013, when KDLT picked up the story about her raffle scam and forced her to spout nonsense on the evening news. Ravnsborg entered the race in mid-December 2013.

The possible Arends connection to Ravnsborg becomes all the more discussion-worthy when Crow tells us what Ravnsborg proposed doing with the Rounds-EB-5 ad that Ravnsborg felt was too strong for him to run:

Jason had sent me an email on Monday after this altercation and I am in possession of these emails. I was offered 3 different options in which one involved selling the advertisement (Mike Rounds EB-5 video) to the Dr. Annette Bosworth campaign [Crow, 2014.05.27].

Logic spins:

  1. If the ad is really bad, you don't let it see the light of day.
  2. If the ad is a lemon, only a used-car salesman would think of selling it to someone else
  3. If the ad hits a mark that you don't want to hit, you hand it to a poor marksman who can make everyone else think, "Don't use that gun; only crazy people pick up that gun."

The immediate story here is that Jason Ravnsborg's campaign staff has issued a vote of no confidence in their candidate. Ken Crow, the campaigner who spent six weeks at Ravnsborg's side, says that Ravnsborg doesn't want to win. Crow says that Stace Nelson is the serious conservative alternative to Mike Rounds.

The bigger story we need to get at is why Jason Ravnsborg doesn't want to win, and why (and when, and how much) Dan Lederman and Joel Arends encouraged Ravnsborg to nominally wage a losing battle.Ravnsborg

28 comments

Republican Senate candidate Jason Ravnsborg has lost a key member of his campaign team. Tea Party organizer Ken Crow announced Sunday that he has left the Ravnsborg campaign and is endorsing GOP challenger Rep. Stace Nelson.

This defection and endorsement appear to revoke the support that Crow's Tea Party Tribune declared for Ravnsborg in March. While Crow was initially impressed with Ravnsborg's answers to an e-mail questionnaire, Crow's six weeks of traveling around South Dakota with Ravnsborg left Crow with an impression of a weak candidate running to run and not to win. Crow cannot figure out why a Ravnsborg interested in winning would not take the very logical step of running a hard-hitting ad on EB-5 against GOP frontrunner Mike Rounds. Crow was also unsettled by Ravnsborg's regular mentions of Dan Lederman and other supporters of GOP frontrunner Mike Rounds. Crow thus gets the impression that Ravnsborg is more interested in hitching his star to those already ascendant in the GOP than ascending by his own merits and promotion of Tea Party conservatism.

Crow says the "minor" issues that originally kept him from endorsing Nelson are far outweighed by Ravnsborg's failure as a candidate:

...Mr. Ravnsborg either isn’t hungry enough for victory or there are hidden agendas that I am unaware of. But his refusal to try and win this campaign is enough reason for me personally to withdraw my support of Jason Ravnsborg for U. S. Senate. Being a national Tea Party figure as I am, I am compelled to only support people that I know are conservative by nature, have a moral compass and are willing to fight for the Constitution.

In light of the afflictions currently facing America, we as a nation are in desperate need of strong and bold leadership to guide our nation at this time in our history. While Stace Nelson might still be a little tougher than we are used to viewing our Senators as, he is exactly what we need in Washington, D. C. We need an outspoken advocate for the citizens of this great nation and the great state of South Dakota. We need someone that is unafraid to stand firm just as he did in Pierre.

I have subsequently learned that Nelson was given several bad raps simply because he dared to stand in the face of “career politicians and the status quo” and of course they did not like that very much. To me, that is true leadership and representation [Ken Crow, press release, 2014.05.25].

When Crow's Tea Party folks lined up behind Ravnsborg, pro-Rounds blog Dakota War College eagerly printed both press releases, without commentary or criticism. Now that experience and face-to-face contact with the candidates have made Crow realize Stace Nelson is the truest Tea Party conservative in South Dakota's Senate race, it will be interesting to see if DWC treats this news with similar gentleness or if DWC will now brand Crow an out-of-state interloper who has no business endorsing candidates in a South Dakota race.

51 comments

Support Your Local Blogger!

  • Click the Tip Jar to send your donation to the Madville Times via PayPal, and support local alternative news and commentary!

South Dakota Political Blogs

Greater SD Blogosphere

SD Mostly Political Mix

Greater SD Blogosphere

  • Idle Hands Dep't
    Geography Div (Gimme Shelter subsection): I think we knew this already (save one orange-hued individual who has no idea whatsoever).…
    2020.08.10

  • SleuthSayers
    The Writer Diaries: Joseph Pittmanintroducing… Joseph Pittman is a friend from about the time we opened bookstore in Austin, called Mysteries and More. I was writing a column for Mystery Scene magazine called Southwest S…
    2020.08.09

  • Native Hope Blog
    July Hope Report: July brought sounds of happiness and sights of joy for our team, volunteers, and communities. We spent the past 18 weeks making new friendships and establishing valuable bonds—bonds that will extend w…
    2020.08.09

  • Rant-a-Bit by Scott Hudson
    The Ledge #439: New Releases (Pt. 1): It's another super-busy month of new music. In fact, once again the new release series has to be split into a two-part extravaganza.Part one features previews of new records by Ledge favorites su…
    2020.08.07

  • Mark Haugen
    Bears, ballots and nut-burgers: I'm not sure why, but I find this story and the response to it very funny: Animal rights group offers $5,000 reward for information on who put 'Trump 2020' sticker on a bearBlack bears…
    2020.08.04

  • The Poetry of Barry G. Wick
    Bat Shit: Bat ShitI'm certain this isn't some crazy notionof why the world has used this phraseto denote one kind of sanityLet us reviewInsanityInsaneCrazyBizarreOddLoonyOff the rockerLost the marbles…
    2020.08.03

  • Notes from a Western Life
    Library Secrets: The July/August issue of Poets & Writers, one of the best resources for writers I know, features an intriguing article, “Secrets Hidden in the Stacks” that is going to send me prowling through my…
    2020.07.06

  • OMG Center » Blog
    Naming the Nine, and Calling a Thing What It Is: REPENT. Christians (Lutherans perhaps especially) like to talk all the time about forgiveness. We love love love forgiveness. And as an extra bonus, we can even talk about forgiveness in polite compan…
    2020.06.17

  • Minister to the Heart
    There is no going back (a reflection): After years of self reflection in the world of academia that earned me two master’s degrees and sitting in countless chairs at multiple therapists office, I understand why I feel comfortable in crisis…
    2020.06.11

  • Teaching and Inspiring Math Educators (TIME)
    Silent No More: I have watched the events of the last week unfold and I have been silent; as a white privileged female what can I possibly say? I will never understand what BIPOC endure on a daily basis. However, I a…
    2020.06.01

Madville Monthly

Meta