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Keeping the Name Out There: Daugaard and Thune Advertise Early

I am happy to have three current sponsors in the Madville Times sidebar. Mike Knudson of District 12 and Charlie Johnson of District 8 are advertising here because they are running for Legislature this fall. Rutland School is advertising here to trumpet their students' successes and inform parents of an educational choice available in the Lake-Brookings-Moody agriplex.

Dakota War College screen capture, August 21, 2012Now let's look at who's advertising on GOP mouthpiece blog Dakota War College. At the top is Rushmore PAC, one of the part-time employers of DWC author Pat Powers. Then comes SD Tweets, a Twitter aggregator bought by the SDGOP and built by Sioux Falls web marketer Click Rain. That company also buys ad space for its political web division, Click Rain Elect. Perhaps worth noting: Click Rain also appears to host Dakota War College.

But the ads that catch my attention most are the ads for Senator John Thune and Governor Dennis Daugaard. Thune won't be on the ballot until 2016. Daugaard won't be on the ballot until 2014. Thune's ad at least as an action pitch, encouraging people to follow him on Facebook. Daugaard's ad sends us to his mostly scrubbed and suspended website. One can access nothing but the splash page, which thanks the people of South Dakota for their votes and promises that Dennis will be, future tense, honored to serve as Governor. The only functionality is a sign-up for e-mail updates and a link to the 2010 governor's office transition webpage. If you're going to advertise, Dennis, hook us up immediately with some new information!

But I wonder: why advertise this soon? Does spending campaign dollars two or four years ahead of the campaign return more on the investment than simply sticking the money in the bank to earn interest? Or are these ads simply a convenient way for the GOP leaders to cover the fact that they are paying Pat Powers to blog for them, as Thune paid Jon Lauck to blog for him in the 2004 campaign against Tom Daschle?

Interestingly absent from the DWC ad roll is Rep. Kristi Noem, who is in this year's ballot. DWC's Powers runs other people's text about Noem, but has trouble coming up with anything good of his own to say about Noem. I pity Pat the uneviable task of trying to make Noem look like an effective and engaged Congresswoman.

Update 20:06 MDT: Within a workday of my posting, DWC adds an ad for Kristi Noem... complete with recycled photo with 2010 hair and outfit. Come on, kids: with $1.5 million in cash on hand, you can afford new graphics.


  1. Justin 2012.08.21

    It's a nice way to say thanks for taking the fall for the party. (Or "our side" of the party?)

    I'm looking forward to more news on Ed Randazzo's petition fraud suit. What's happening in Michigan is scary considering who is still responsible for petitions in Pierre.

  2. mike 2012.08.21

    So does click rain own the blog? or does the SD GOP?

    If Powers doesn't own it but Click Rain hosts it and the SD GOP, Noem and Thune use click rain for everything else - then I have to come to the conclusion it's owned by one of the above.

  3. larry kurtz 2012.08.21

    Max Baucus has begun running ads in Montana's media upstaging Sen. Tester's race against earth hater challenger, Dennybriated Rehberg.

    That South Dakota's professional politicians are doing this is wholly unsurprising, CAH.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.08.21

    Justin, has Randazzo filed that lawsuit yet? Or are he and Team Howie saving that for an October surprise?

  5. Justin 2012.08.21

    I'm not sure I just have the info from Montgomery's article, I assume the same as you. Since the goal is to remove him from the ballot, though, I don't think waiting until October would be prudent. If he is only trying to raise $2,500 that doesn't seem like it would take much time. I will Google around but not sure if we have electronic dockets.

  6. Douglas Wiken 2012.08.27

    With reference to update, someone who has met Noem and is not at all impressed, said she showed how amazingly far boobs and hairspray can take a Republican.

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