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Blog Spat: Kurtz Creates “SDDP Affiliated” Blog, Powers Shouts “Hate Speech”

Last updated on 2014.11.30

Pat Powers really doesn't like looking in the mirror.

Larry Kurtz announces a new blogging venture, the Dakota Progressive, a forum "affiliated" with the South Dakota Democratic Party and intended to "compete with the SDGOP blog, Dakota War College."

I'm not clear what either of those phrases mean. If they mean doing what Dakota War College does but for Democrats, expect a regular stream of party press releases shortly.

Whatever the mission, Powers evidently feels threatened, since he immediately turns up his tired "I hate Larry" rhetoric, accusing Kurtz of hate speech and bigotry. Ah, yes, whenever South Dakota Republicans start complaining about "hate speech" and "bigotry," you can bet they aren't defending other groups; they are defending themselves. Powers pans and bans Kurtz because Kurtz insults Powers and his fellow Catholics.

Powers's attack on Kurtz isn't much different from his attack on blogger Scott Ehrisman, whom Powers loathes because Ehrisman exposed the conflict of interest that pushed Powers out of his cushy patronage job in Secretary of State Jason Gant's office in 2012. Powers's attack isn't much different from the baseless insults he throws at me. Kurtz, Ehrisman, and I all disagree with and effectively challenge the party line Powers fawningly regurgitates. Rather than offering good faith rebuttals, Powers plays at personal destruction... which sounds at least as hateful and bigoted as anything Kurtz writes.

I will monitor Dakota Progressive's progress. I'll link to and expand on readworthy posts, and, as with other blogs, if Kurtz can sustain the effort, I'll consider adding it to the sidebar blog feed. But if it really just is a left-wing version of Dakota War College, a mouthpiece for party propaganda, why would I bother?


  1. Tim 2014.11.24

    Cory, I agree we shouldn't drop to Powers level in any blog, however, it seems to be the only thing SD voters relate too. As long as the stuff produced was based in fact, and the blatant bigotry was left out, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

  2. Lynn 2014.11.24

    Just feeling the love! Oh my the hypocrisy! Maybe the best thing to do is just ignore sites like DWC or at the very least take it with a grain of salt knowing it is very toxic, put our heads down and just focus on what we can do to improve common goals offline. Odds are that personal face to face interaction is far different in a positive way than what happens online.

  3. mike from iowa 2014.11.24

    and this makes Powers Maybe he should place chemical resistant faux fur around the single seat in the "chemical toilet" to lighten up on the butt-hurt. Send him a fresh supply of corn cobs,too. One white one for every third red one.

  4. mike from iowa 2014.11.24

    Looks like today is the day everyone should disappear. No names are showing up on posts. Are we all gone missing?

  5. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Curious that most of the comments on PP's post are complaints about the new format over there.

  6. Testor15 2014.11.24

    Will he be selling bumper stickers out of a government office?

  7. Taunia 2014.11.24

    Wtf Kurtz. An announcement in the caliber of a church bombing in Selma?

    You should fire your PR team.

  8. mike from iowa 2014.11.24

    Cory,about an hour ago the names on the comments disappeared. Then the names on the recent comment section disappeared. Then comments and names disappeared and all that was left were the times and dates of comments and nothing else. Now everything looks normal.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    mike, what? Taunia: huh?

  10. Nick Nemec 2014.11.24

    It sounds as though you have a bug mike.

  11. 96Tears 2014.11.24

    Cory, I agree with Bill that you made the right choice staying in your position offering the best political blog in South Dakota. Larry’s Dakota Progressive should be an asset to the choices readers have when they go online looking for information. Perhaps Powers’ mewling has more to do with how badly he’s marginalized his own blog having abandoned it while he took government money while masquerading as Bill Clay and wiping off his previous nasty content to hide evidence. His blog has become a dull archive for press releases from the various GOP offices and his occasional poisonous (and all too predictable) rants. Having an official Democratic counterweight on the blogosphere further marginalizes Powers as the old party mouthpiece that had its day long ago.

  12. Steve Sibson 2014.11.24

    Based on Kurtz's recent hate-filled and mean spirited comments directed at Steve Hickey, I will have to agree with Pat Powers on this one. My position is the both parties foster hatred toward members of the other party. It is by design to keep us distracted from what is really going on. I think that also explains the increased popularity of going independent.

  13. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Thank you, Sibby: that's exactly the response i wanted to hear from you.

  14. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Sibby: that you acknowledge there are only two political parties in South Dakota suggests you are clearly outside the loop.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.24

    96: "official"? Larry, I await the press release from SDDP acknowledging your official status.

  16. tara volesky 2014.11.24

    Larry, I really like your blog Interested Party and I think it's good you are questioning and challenging Pat Powers. I hope you will give women who are politically involved a chance to express themselves. Good luck and don't get to personal and be nice to Sibby. Thanks

  17. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Thank you, Tara: The Dakota Progressive is little more than a test pattern at this stage as content is loaded but it is not intended to reflect my personal biases like DWC does.

  18. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    Good luck, Mr. Kurtz. As I recall, you volunteered to take my place when I left the Decorum Forum. I think running a blog takes more patience than I have. Hopefully your new foray will have a clearly defined vision and mission and you will find a way to stick to both. Do you remember the spoof site somebody did on Sibby a few years back? At first I thought maybe that's what you had in mind with DWC, but I see here signs of a perhaps more noble, communal intent. Here's hoping you can make a go of it. And remember the sign of great leaders is having a lot of people following them. ;-)

  19. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Bill: ip got 1525 hits day before yesterday while Madville likely gets ten times that daily.

  20. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    What exactly do you mean by "hits" Larry? The number advertisers usually want to see are "unique visitors," "page views," and "bounce rate." Drive the first two up and the last one down and you've got a thing media buyers will consider paying for. :-)

  21. Taunia 2014.11.24

    Kurtz: I think the what you wrote in your announcement sucks. It sounds like you aren't confident enough in your own endeavor so you flamed this blog to give yours credibility.

    I hate negative campaigns.

  22. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Thanks, Mr. Fleming.

    Taunia, your point is completely valid: that's why sometimes you have to just have to throw the grenade into the bunker. Expect the Party to embrace all our efforts.

  23. Taunia 2014.11.24

    How does flaming this blog cause The Party to embrace all your efforts? Wismer obviously isn't the voice of a majority of South Dakota's people and I don't see anyone encouraging her to lead SDDP.

  24. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Taunia, I'd rather be blogging under the Party banner. Cory and i have wrestled with tactics since Madville's blogspot days. As a teacher or public servant he can't tackle cannabis and other sensitive issues important to our diverse voter base like i can nor is he as progressive. He knows how angry i am and Madville is part of the reason.

  25. tara volesky 2014.11.24

    I think it's great Larry is willing to throw grenades and defend positions of progressives and I hope Independents. I don't call him negative, I call him courageous and truthful. We need an army of people like LK. The election is over but the battle has just begun.

  26. Joseph g thompson 2014.11.24

    I have book marked your new endeavor, behave yourself.

  27. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    For better or worse, I think Kurtz is either guided by Saul Alinsky's rules for organizing, or he comes by them naturally as a function of his own unique persona.

    Stacey Nelson and others on the far-right have been interesting in this regard. Even as they bemoan and vilify these principles in their rhetoric, they have clearly adopted them and use them to great effect, especially in offline "whisper" campaigns. (Stace appears to have recently changed his tactics, at least for the time being ;-)

    Here are the "rules" for review. See if you can tell who uses them the most in SD, the Dems, or the Repubs.

    Just an interesting academic exercise. Later, I will share (perhaps just privately) a set of different approaches that I think may be even more effective. To me, Alinsky is kind of "old school" and perhaps not really sophisticated enough for today's online audience:

    Alinsky's Rules for Radicals:

    1.“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

    2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

    3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

    4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

    5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

    7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.

    8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

    9.. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

    10. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

    11. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

    12. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions

  28. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    ...back in the days when I was actively doing this kind of work, for a boss who was trained by Fred Ross, we use to call guys like Larry Kurtz "street fighters."

  29. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Cory, Bill, Bill, Taunia, Tara, Madvillians: it's time for us to take over the asylum.

  30. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.24

    Larry says I cannot take on cannabis because of my status as a teacher and public servant. Incorrect: other issues I've blogged on—Common Core, guns, socialism, atheism—probably put me in a far more risky position as a public school teacher than any commentary I might offer on cannabis. I could go full bore on cannabis if I wanted to. I just don't want to.

    Larry and I hold different enthusiasms, certainly. But the question here is what official position Dakota Progressive will take on behalf of the SDDP.

  31. John 2014.11.24

    How does a group become affiliated with the SDDP? Can they say no? Does the Executive Board or Central Committee take a vote? Nick help me out.

  32. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Cory, how has or how will your content reflect on Erin's vocation or her assignment?

  33. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    To be clear, Cory is a far better blogger than i am: my effort is just another voice in the choir he really started in South Dakota. Same with Tasi and Bajun's South Dakota Progress: my hope is put pressure on the state party's site to link to our pages because things are pretty darned slow there now.

  34. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    Sounds like Kurtz will take a pro-cannabis position for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that it will probably attract young voters, Indys, Libertarians, and sick people suffering and in need of relief, and those who love them.

    Not a bad match between policy and politics, I'd say.

    But I for one hope he takes a softer sell approach than have others before him in SD. You can't argue for compassion and loving kindness very effectively when you're constantly beating someone mercilessly about the head and shoulders. ;-)

  35. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.24

    Larry, my wife and I lead separate professional lives. But I see bigger rocks than cannabis near that shore, too.

    I agree that we need more regular, passionate voices in the choir. A mix of basses, tenors, and altos always sounds better than a soloist.

    But we already have your voice in Interested Party, Larry. Are you planning to adopt two online personas? What's the plan? What's the new value you plan to add?

  36. larry kurtz 2014.11.24

    Cory, just like you i don't want to clutter ip with DWC-like propaganda but separate content, even propaganda, has significant impact. Mr. Tsitrian just put up a post describing what some Rapid City young people want to here and last cycle they just didn't hear it.

  37. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    I did a little searching today to see if it would be possible for Kurtz to do a PP kind of thing, scrub all his old stuff off the net, and start over with a kinder, gentler Kurtz. It didn't look very promising.

    One option for him, would be to do a big "mea maxima culpa" and start over (but only if he might be so inclined.)

    Hey, it worked for Jerry Falwell, right? LOL

    p.s. for our friend Les, that translates into "steps 8 & 9" in ye olde 12-step program.

    Here's where Larry's at so far:

    Step one:
    "We admitted we were Powerless over Pat Powers and that our blogs had become unmanageable."

    Step two:
    Came to believe that a blog greater than the one we already have could restore us to sanity.

    Step three:
    Made a decision to turn our words and our ideas over to the Democratic party as we understood it."

    Step four:
    Made a searching and fearless inventory of ourselves in the context of the SD Political Blogosphere

    Okay, now he's at the crossroads (cue the slide guitar Ry Cooder music)

    Step five:
    Admitted to the Party, to ourselves, and to another couple of SD Political blogs the exact nature of our wr--- wr--- wro...

  38. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    "I recon so." LOL

  39. grudznick 2014.11.24

    What's this? Mr. kurtz is going to operate the new blog for the SDDP?!?! I must say I am rather surprised, even though I questioned a lot of the SDDP decisions previously anyway. This one just seems...insaner than most.

    I approve of this idea, and look forward to the Twitters coming with the frequency of a Stace Nelson/RinoMike nature. If Lar takes on Mr. PP directly and in the same propagandist manner with his edge and wit in the name of the SDDP we are all in for a gunny sack full of entertainment. A full gunny sack indeed.

  40. John Hess 2014.11.24

    "Cory, Bill, Bill, Taunia, Tara, Madvillians: it's time for us to take over the asylum."

    You've been in charge for quite some time. The majority are waiting for the intervention.

  41. John Hess 2014.11.24

    Sorry, forgot to specify: The Lunatic Fringe.

  42. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.24

    I visited your new blog Larry. It looks good. I have a question. I wanted to comment but it only allowed me to use one email address, not the one I use for blogging. How can I change that? Can I change that?

    Bill, I never used that version of the 12 Steps. Maybe if I had, I would have stuck with it.

  43. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.24

    What message are Tsitrian's interlocutors/budding activists waiting to hear? Do they need our marching orders, or even our pithy observations? I'm still not clear on just what added value Dakota Progressive is meant to provide. Is some sort of Interested Party confession/conversion required?

  44. grudznick 2014.11.24

    I went to the new SDDP blog too. It seems kinder and gentler than I had envisioned it might be. Hopefully it gets more edge as Lar warms up.

  45. Bill Fleming 2014.11.24

    Deb, as per Les, it's a very flexible program. Be creative. LOL

  46. Les 2014.11.24

    You've come a long way, BF.
    Kind like with our God. If Ya say too much, you've minimized her/him.

  47. larry kurtz 2014.11.25

    Deb, thank you for bringing the comment question: it has been fixed.

    Cory, the added value may not even exist: letting the process unfold can't hurt.

    grud: we Dems need to offer input to the state party and social media is an effective way for voters to do that.

    Les: yer a dork.

  48. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Letting the process unfold: it's your origami paper, Larry. Fold it into whatever swan you want. But when will the SDDP start providing paper?

  49. larry kurtz 2014.11.25

    Fixed now, Cory: thank you. I am shoving on SDDP hard enough right now, thank you for your patience.

  50. leslie 2014.11.25

    pot is kinda like rape. fix alcohol abuse in society which may be a core to rape instigation-maybe not, but we seem to ignore that element, cause,heck we all drink...and thats good right?

    pot might be dangerous, heck we dont know, but its sure fun so...and everybody has been doing it for years and they are all fine right??

    its just those mentally ill people that are the problem, they can't handle substance abuse. and then they get guns and we all have lotsa guns, so that can't be the problem.

    so larry and cory, this cavalier handling of cannabis as a solution to democracy, attracting young inexperienced high power lawyers and such to save SDDP, seems odd. its prolly just me.

  51. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    Leslie, I assume you are addressing me simply because I'm part of the conversation, not because you think I support the cavalier handling of cannabis as a political solution.

  52. larry kurtz 2014.11.25

    Leslie: cannabis is not even close to being kinda like rape.

    Cory, that you have chosen FB as another outlet for your thoughts keeps Madville a going concern the cavalier handling of cannabis as a political solution notwithstanding.

  53. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.25

    For me, FB is mostly a channel for promoting this blog and for emitting little verbal farts that don't muster the stink of a full post. Occasionally I may end up developing further thoughts as I respond to commenters there who take conversations in different directions from what I see here. But is the FB/blog difference one of value, of message, or of audience?

  54. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.25

    Leslie, what Larry said. Rape/cannabis - no correlation. Rape doesn't happen because of booze or weed or any other substances. Rape happens because some stinkin SOB decides he wants to do it. (Rarely a "she.")

Comments are closed.