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Pressler on Fire. Weiland Firing at Pressler’s Old Record

Larry Pressler sent me the funniest thing I read all day yesterday. His press release celebrating his rising poll numbers quoted campaign chairman Don Frankenfeld thus:

The Pressler campaign is on fire.

Come on, Don! Give us an exclamation point! The press release header exclamation-pointed and all-capsed the declaration that third-place Pressler is IN IT TO WIN IT! A mere period makes it sound like Larry is noting to Harriet that the toast is burning.

Rick Weiland would certainly like to set the Pressler campaign on fire. With Pressler trumping third-party unlikelihood with nostalgia, name recognition, and adult conversation about policy, Weiland is attacking Pressler on his record. Here's the press release Team Weiland sent out right after last night's KSFY Senate debate:

Larry Pressler should be lauded for coming around on his beliefs, which now reflect where a lot of mainstream voters are today. The fact remains however, when Larry stood on the floor 18 years ago, he voted, often on multiple occasions, against the interests of everyday folks.

  • Larry voted against the Minimum Wage (1988)
  • Larry voted multiple times against parental leave (1988, 1992, 1993)
  • Larry voted against limits on campaign finance spending (1992, 1994)
  • Larry voted against greater disclosure requirements for lobbyists (1994)
  • Larry voted against benefits for same sex couples. (1992)
  • Larry voted against banning discrimination based on sexual orientation (1996)
  • Larry voted against a holiday for Dr. King (1988)

Rick Weiland knows where he would have stood on these issues 20 years ago, and they are the same as where he stands today [Weiland campaign press release, 2014.09.10].

Tim Johnson followed a similar tack in 1996, attacking Pressler's record to unseat him from the Senate. Can Weiland do the same 18 years later to keep Pressler from reclaiming that set from Johnson? Is this attack what Weiland must do to pull liberal leaners back from the Pressler precipice? Can Weiland afford to attack Pressler and bank on Rounds to continue sliding on his own as the evidence of Rounds's complicity in the failure of Northern Beef Packers and Bollengate?

Or does fighting on two fronts turn Weiland into another bad guy and open the door for Pressler to ironically restage 2002 and emerge the surprise, clean, positive victor among bickering candidates?


  1. Roger Elgersma 2014.09.11

    In a three way race it is effective to point out the others problems. I want to know the problems before I vote also. But each has to point out their own strong points or voting against bad is not nearly as good as voting for a good.
    Rounds in the past could just slide by when everyone else just bashed eachother. Now he has an angry defensive look on his face because he now has enough of a do nothing above board record that he is not trusted as well as he would like to be.
    It is better to vote for someone than to vote against the other guy. Is politics so corrupt to make this impossible. I think that both Pressler and Weiland have resisted the corrupt money influence enough to have some credibility.

  2. Joseph.Voigt 2014.09.11

    And that is where I'm not sure why Rounds didn't show up, you don't show up, they can attack you without being rebuffed but they can also attack each other more.

  3. larry kurtz 2014.09.11

    There is a straight line connecting Dick Wadhams to Don Frankenfeld.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.11

    Wadhams and Frankenfeld? No way! Larry, please illuminate!

  5. jerry 2014.09.11

    Larry Pressler and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The complete failure of competition regarding what we once had for free. This was a give-a-way to the communications giants that we still get ripped off for. Pressler may sound like he is the people's man, but in reality, he is a corporate stooge.

  6. larry kurtz 2014.09.11

    Cory, you took down a comment yesterday from an anonymous commenter about Pressler leasing an apartment in South Dakota just days before he entered the race: why?

  7. Rorschach 2014.09.11

    It makes sense for the Weiland campaign to point out Pressler's evolution on issues. But they ought to focus on battering Rounds while he's in hiding. They ought to portray Rounds as sneaky - and give examples. There was that time he took $1 million of federal money intended for public transportation (Amtrak money) and used it to buy a plane for himself that he used to fly friends to ballgames till he got caught. Then there was that time 1 month before leaving office that he took $1 million of taxpayer money and gave it away to NBP so that his cabinet secretary Richard Benda could have a golden parachute of $550,000 in the private sector. And who could forget Rounds's secrecy about who was staying in the state's "Valhalla" retreat in the hills and about who was attending the governor's hunt? Throw in a clip of Rounds' first campaign ad with Rounds standing in a park talking in his nice kitty/nice doggy voice. Can we really trust Rounds to change now and look out for the public's best interests when he has a long history of looking out for himself and his cronies?

  8. 96 Tears 2014.09.11

    Larry Pressler is that old style Eisenhower Republican who will very occasionally do the hard right gimmick, and then dance the jig as rigged by corporate overlords. Yes, there are some Democrats who dance that same jig in Congress. The bottom line is Larry has had his three terms in the Senate and got tossed out when he got caught dancing the corporate jig too much over the interests of South Dakota farmers, ranchers, rural communities and working families.

    Since 1996 when he was tossed out, Larry didn't change. The South Dakota Republican Party changed to the hard right. They demand a Tea Party jig to appease the hoople heads as well as a much more aggressive corporate puppet jig to get the donations from the usual suspects.

    I don't think that makes Larry a better man. He's the same old guy who had his turn and got tossed out.

    It's time for somebody new who isn't a crook or a panderer to corporate big money.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.11

    Pressler and Howie both have an I behind their names but are actually Republicans, we know Rounds has an R behind his name.
    Rick is campaigning against three Republicans, he needs to maintain that message.

  10. jerry 2014.09.11

    The splitting of the votes is what got Rounds to be the governor in the first place. It certainly was not because he was the best man for the job, he just held their coats and watched the other two bozo's beat the hell out of one another. Roger is correct in that all in this race with the exception of Weiland are dyed in the wool Republicans. No matter what, this is a fact and none of them have said a word to denounce their party affiliation.

  11. JeniW 2014.09.11

    "Fooled me once, shame on you, fooled me twice, shame on me." That fits the Rounds campaign and election.

    If Rounds is elected, it will be the people who vote for him to say "shame on me."

  12. Don Frankenfeld 2014.09.11

    Cory, I am really sorry to have forgotten the exclamation point! But I am glad you read the Pressler releases so carefully! It makes me, a lifelong Republican, whoop, holler, and slap my knee! Even though when Jonathan Ellis used that phrase to describe Republicans recently, I told him that owing to his/her gene pool (okay, his—remember, I am a Republican), a Republican never whoops! Guess the joke is on me! What an irony! Help! My finger is stuck to the exclamation key!

  13. Bill Fleming 2014.09.11

    Nice. Frankenfeld on Madville. Love that guy.

    Just went back and reread Cory's quote of your headline, DF.

    Here's what I'm wondering.

    Did Cory make the typo?

    Or did you?


  14. Don Frankenfeld 2014.09.11

    Usually when I talk, I don't actually punctuate my words, except for "air quotes," of course.

    Might have been a junior typographer/graphic artist ensconced in Pressler's vast and lavish campaign headquarters. You know how careless those graphics people can be.

  15. Bill Fleming 2014.09.11

    Okay. But the punctuation isn't the typo I'm talking about, brother Don. Go back up there to the top of the post and look at what Cory said you wrote. Read. Each. Word. :-)

    p.s. Go easy on your grafix peeps. They have hidden magic that shows up at the darndest times. Like Yoda.

  16. Steve Sibson 2014.09.11

    "Pressler and Howie both have an I behind their names but are actually Republicans"

    Pressler is not a conservative. He is a liberal Republican, just like Frankenfeld.

  17. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.11


    Do Republicans pay any attention at how you label them?
    Or do they chuckle like the rest of us?

  18. 96 Tears 2014.09.11

    Disagree, Steve. They are regular, respectable, old fashioned Republicans. They don't belong in the liberal column. And that's just great. Wish there were more like them and they'd take back their Party.

  19. owen reitzel 2014.09.11

    actually Pressler is a conservative. just not as crazy as the far right-wing crazies

  20. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.11

    Larry, I took down that comment because the commenter did not trust me enough to communicate privately with him/her/it. jerks want to throw mud, they can tell me who they are... and establish that they aren't paid campaign operatives.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.11

    Heck and darn! That was my typo, Bill. Mr. Frankenfeld's words deserve better than my sloppy typing.

    But Pressler's fire deserves an exclamation point. Maybe two!!

    Mr. Frankenfeld's witty response more than makes up for that initial oversight. Thank you, sir!

  22. Bill Fleming 2014.09.11

    Ha ha. Okay. That's kind of what I thought. Now that it's fixed, Cory, feel free to remove my dumb comments. They don't make any sense for sure now, and perhaps never did. Just havin' a little fun with you guys. :-)

  23. Roger Cornelius 2014.09.11

    In last night's debate, Larry mentioned Native American a couple of times, obviously appealing for their vote.
    Every time I hear Larry talk about Native Americans I remember the years when Ronald Reagan declared a fiscal war on tribes. During Reagan's years, tribal government and many of their programs were seriously cut back or eliminated entirely.
    It was an economic disaster during those years of Reagan economics, it took many tribes to recover and the loss of jobs was at the of the list.
    Larry turned a blind eye to what was happening on the reservation and dutifully supported his Republican leader.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.11

    Oh, Bill, I thank you for the fun and the proofreading. I gladly leave up the trailings of my errors as evidence of my fallibility. Carry on (and keep bringing this Frankenfeld character with you!).

  25. Kevin Weiland 2014.09.11

    "Proof Read". Everyone needs a good editor, last paragraph of the blog, change Pressler to Rounds.

  26. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.09.12

    Just to be clear, I'm suggesting that if Rounds keeps sending Wadhams out to throw mud at Weiland, if Weiland follows this path of attacking Pressler, and if Pressler just keeps moseying around the state talking about being Independent and promoting bipartisanship, Pressler could gain votes the way Rounds did in the 2002 primary.

  27. Steve Sibson 2014.09.12

    The Mitchell paper is reporting this morning that Rounds declined a debate scheduled Sept 30 at Dakota Wesleyan University. The other 3 accepted.

  28. jerry 2014.09.12

    Good news for Weiland, Howie and Pressler then. They should use the time they have at Dakota Wesleyan to bring the EB-5 and the rest of the corruption and skulduggery to the discussion and only speak of that and what they will do to rid our state and country of it. Who needs the little twerp anyway, he speaks nothing of substance.

  29. lesliengland 2014.09.12

    the dems need to come as a team ready for bear at this or another function soon to SLAM rounds and daugaard and their appointed republican committees and staff and good ole' boy network for evasion of, and participation in cover-up of EB5, with a press release numbered 1-100 laying out every specific failure and the consequences.

    no other issues should be covered except by the handout with standard dem responses. take questions afterward if non-EB5 questions need answers.

  30. Kevin Weiland 2014.09.12

    Thanks Cory for the clarification. My bad

  31. jerry 2014.09.12

    I hope they listen to you lesliengland as that makes sense to me. The way to smoke this little weasel out is to make his non showing the debate. South Dakota does not take kindly to cowards and thieves. There are way to many questions about corruption in his regime to let this lie. As long as they do not pull a Clint Eastwood with his empty chair nonsense, all will be good.

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