Jon Hunter says most of what you read on the Internet is rumor and opinion, and that you have to turn to newspapermen like him for the facts.
Thus, when newspaperman Jonathan Ellis suggests Ryan Casey's departure from Raven Industries may have something to do with pressure from Washington to nominate Raven general counsel Stephanie Herseth Sandlin for Senate and not Casey's pal U.S. attorney Brendan Johnson, there must be some there there, right Jon?
Potentially, there’s a lot going on here. And the conspiracies are bound to get revved up. Casey told my colleague, David Montgomery, last month that he never talked to Stephanie Herseth Sandlin before launching the Draft Brendan movement. Herseth Sandlin has been general council there for several months. And, given her status as the senior Democrat in the state, it might have been nice to consult her first.
There had to have been some awkwardness there at Raven, and maybe that led to Casey’s departure.
Or, there’s a chance that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee got involved. The DSCC is ruthless at instilling order in its races, something the Republicans fail to do, which is why the GOP nominates so many kooks and ghouls. Herseth Sandlin was, and is, the DSCC’s preferred candidate. Meanwhile, Casey was the public face whipping up support for Johnson, a “progressive” for progressive Democrats. At the same time this was happening, the progressives were scorning Herseth Sandlin.
Raven gets a lot of revenue from federal contracts. It’s conceivable that Casey angered some powerful people in Washington. I’ll let your imagination roam from there.
Or, maybe all of this is a coincidence, and the job was a drag, so Casey decided to move on [Jonathan Ellis, "Casey out at Raven," thatSiouxFallspaperPoliBlog, 2013.05.03].
A couple of quibbles on that top paragraph: Is it accurate to label SHS as "the senior Democrat"? Senior Senator Tim Johnson has been in statewide office for 26 years; SHS was in for six and hasn't been engaging too deeply, at least not beyond writing a few checks to 2012 Dem campaigns, in political organizing and campaigning.
And is any Democrat required to check in with any prominent Democrat before launching some political activism? I certainly don't check my blog posts with Stephanie or Ben Nesselhuf before going to press. Ryan's a smart dude; he probably doesn't even need his office's general counsel's opinion to determine whether his political activity outside of work has anything to do with whatever political activity statements Raven may have written into its policy manual.
Ellis restricts his text to speculation... but I'm going to speculate that he wouldn't fabricate such pointed speculation from whole cloth. And if there is a shred of truth to the notion that the DSCC would put out a hit on South Dakotans who'd prefer to be left to their own devices in the primary, Casey should keep the documents that prove it handy for Primary 2014. A lot of Dems would consider such documents a voting issue.