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Barth Campaigning for State Democratic Chair Job

Last updated on 2014.11.27

Jeff Barth, the man to rebuild the South Dakota Democratic Party?
Jeff Barth, the man to rebuild the South Dakota Democratic Party?

Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth is the only Democrat so far to say he wants the job of state party chair. Barth isn't waiting for Rick Weiland to decide whether the chair would suit him; Barth has issued a hefty press release listing his qualifications and plans for the job.

I yield the floor to Barth's pitch for the job:

Jeff Barth a Democrat for State Chair

The position of State Party Chair has never been done perfectly. It has been done successfully. In seeking the position I plan for and expect success.

I bring to the position a number of important qualities.

Working for 31 years at the “Bell” telephone company climbing poles and digging holes I served my fellow workers as a steward, an officer and then as President of the Sioux Falls Trades & Labor Assembly.

As a faithful Democrat I have stuffed envelopes, made phone calls, gone door to door, collected signatures, run for public office and served in multiple Party positions. Twice I attended our State Convention as Minnehaha Chair, both times with a full slate of Delegates and Alternates.

  • Elected three times I am one of few Democrats to win in the 2010 and 2014, Republican Wave years.
  • I was the leading Democratic vote getter in Minnehaha County in 2014. Obama won Minnehaha in 2008 and our statewide candidates need to do well in Minnehaha to be elected.
  • The first candidate to appear on YouTube (in my 2006 campaign).
  • The first South Dakota candidate to have a campaign video to go viral.
  • I was the first statewide Democratic candidate to support gender equality in marriage and am a longtime supporter of Choice.

As a County Commissioner for eight years I have shared responsibility for administrating a $70M+ budget with a staff of over 500. Working as the only Democrat on the Board I have fought hard and been a sensible voice for all the people of my county. Pipelines, criminal justice, drainage, CAFOs, Ag property taxes, an aggressive “Big City” Mayor along with rapid growth are among the issues regularly addressed.

Of me David Montgomery with the Argus leader says “Barth is notably outspoken. In just recent months, he filed a lawsuit against Mike Rounds and others about EB-5 and has excoriated the county auditor for vote-counting delays.”

As your State Party Chair I will work with Staff to:

  • Continue the fight for Party funding within the State and elsewhere. I have already reached out to the DNC and others.
  • Travel across the State building local parties and recruiting activists, young and old. From personal contact to Farmer Union meetings to Union Halls, from conferences to conventions from Pow Wows to Rodeos, I’ll go to where the people are. And, I will make it a priority for the Party staff to spend most of its time helping County parties do their job. We can't have a healthy State party without well organized and robust County parties.
  • Engage minorities into leadership and as candidates for election. Our Party is too White.
  • Engage young people into leadership and as candidates and continue the Yell program. Our party is too old.
  • Hold regular Party meetings and clean up wording in our Constitution.

In asking for your vote I would remind everyone that, “Individuals can’t win. Factions don’t win. Teams win”. I can do the job. Join the team.

Thank you,

Jeff Barth [e-mail, 2014.11.25]

South Dakota Democrats, is that the man and the plan for you?


  1. 96Tears 2014.11.25

    Republicans hate it, but Jeff Barth works against crooks.

  2. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.25

    I loved his campaign video. I love his willingness to speak up regarding EB5, Jackley and other critical issues. His plans sound well thought out and what SD Dems need. I'm on Jeff Barth's side.

    Could Jeff and Rick co-chair? Or find two positions/job descriptions/titles that fit their strengths and SD Democrats needs. SDDP needs them both. All hands on deck!

  3. grudznick 2014.11.25

    I am a Republican, and in fact am the first Past President of the Conservatives with Common Sense since back in the days of the 50s when some of my best friends were mauled and such.

    Nevertheless, I am for Mr. Barth. What I want to see is a video of him hiking up the hill, ranting nonsense. Anybody can walk down the hill and rant nonsense. Mr. Barth needs to walk up the hill.

  4. grudznick 2014.11.26

    Also, since there are only like 12 of the legislatures these days to decide this it should be easy. Mr. H, everybody knows you are in the mix. And our common friend Mr. kurtz is pushing hard. That's at least 3 people to be chair. I would guess that all 3 of you are sharp enough and have cell phones to be lobbying those legislatures. The key will be who Mr. Sutton supports. He is probably going to go with a more level headed fellow than most.

  5. Union Co 2014.11.26

    Barth was for the proposed XL pipeline earlier. In my opinion this is not the side of that issue that a Democrat leader should be taking.

  6. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Union, Cory, really? If Barth is pro-KXL he should come on Madville and tell everyone why. Especially if he wants to create more inroads into our Lakota brothers' and sisters' communities. Seems like that could be a dealbreaker.

  7. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Can't tell from Kurtz's report where Barth stands on capital punishment, but I want to bring it up first because it's an important issue to me, and second, because it's a human rights issue, and I believe human rights, more than any other category, represents an opportunity for bipartisan agreement and political action.

  8. South DaCola 2014.11.26

    Well fighting the 'big city mayor' isn't an easy task, especially when you are TOO WHITE and TOO OLD. I can guarantee, Mr. Huether will be lobbying on the sidelines to NOT vote for Barth.

  9. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Bill, Jeff isn't active on twitter and i don't have his number. It might be up to FB users to get answers on those questions.

  10. Mike B 2014.11.26

    The Dems must have someone who can go out and recruit strong candidates for each and every race. It does not matter if he has been against Rounds or that he has stuffed envelopes.

  11. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Bill, my interview in Rapid with Barth revealed he sees capital punishment as a necessary function of the state. Recruiting county officers is at least as important as any other function our chair must undertake.

  12. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Well, if he's pro-KXL and capital punishment, I can't support him. Too bad too, I think he's an interesting, hardworking, and funny guy. A happy warrior. But it looks like he's not gonna fight my fight with me. Next?

  13. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    The media rue a South Dakota where the Democratic Party is without an effective spokesman on issues don Juan Thune uses for his aphrodisiac: Rick Weiland may be the logical pick for chair.

  14. sheldon osborn 2014.11.26

    Ed Schultz of MSNBC was for the pipeline before he opposed it. I assume Jeff's position has evolved as well, as it has for many people. Whether it has evolved to absolute, unfettered, lay in-front-of-the-bulldozer opposition I wouldn't know. Unions support the project. Do you want to reject their money and spend them packing. 70% of South Dakota voters unfortunately still support the pipeline last I looked. Many of them are Democrats. It is probably good for someone who wants to speak for everyone in the party to at least be measured in his thoughts about pipelines in general. If your ultimate goal is to build a coalition that can win elections so Democratic officials can work toward solving issues that we all care about like the environment then loosen up. But if you have a different goal then by all means make opposition a litmus test.

  15. John 2014.11.26

    Mr Osborn is right. Our one and only goal is to elect Democrats. Our goal now is to get a leader who has a track record of leading/ fighting the Republicans. Barth has gotten more votes in Minnehaha county than any other Democrat. He wins elections! He has been vocal on EB-5. He's the best choice in the race for Chair of the SDDP.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.26

    Hey, South Dacola! Who's Huether's dog in this fight?

    Larry, does Barth equal Weiland in spokesman skills?

    Bill, are we electing a chair on policy positions or on leadership and organization skills? Do we have a rubric for weighting categories?

  17. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Sheldon, I have a couple of goals that don't have anything to do with winning elections, and they are non-negotiable. Whether that translates into the platform of a political party in our state, or in my not belonging to one is a good existential question, and I'm comfortable either way.

  18. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Cory, Jeff has showed clarity in his races on all the issues Rick drove in the Senate campaign. Bill's point on core essentials is valid but its chair should really reflect the Party's platform and not personal views so much.

    Rick has experience on the res and Jeff is more driven by the details.

  19. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Has Kathy Tyler shown interest in running for chair?

  20. Amanda 2014.11.26

    I received a letter from Ann Tornberg yesterday announcing her candidacy for SDDP Chair.

  21. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.26

    Well holy cow, Amanda—send me a copy! :-)

  22. Bob Klein 2014.11.26

    Not sure jeff's personality is right for this job. Not that I have a vote.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.26

    Tell me what you're looking for in chair personality, Bob.

  24. 96Tears 2014.11.26

    “ One man in each century is given the power to control time. The man chosen to receive this power is carefully selected. He must be kind. He must be fair. He must be brave. You have fulfilled these requirements; and, we of the Outer Galaxies designate to you the wisdom of Solomon and the strength of Atlas. You are Captain 11! ”

    This may be the job description some may have. For my money, how about someone who can keep the trains running on time?

  25. Monty 2014.11.26

    Tornburg's pro-life cred helps with the Democrats for Life crowd. Not sure where she is on marriage equality but she campaigned on "pro-family values" which is usually a dog whistle for the anti-equality folks.

  26. judy judy 2014.11.26

    Bob, that is a very personal comment. Outside of your own personality, whose do think would be better for the job.

  27. Les 2014.11.26

    2 issues knock Barth from support here? Maddvillians still get angered when I say they bear responsibility for our single party system in SD. Howling at the moon.

  28. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Les makes a good point here: Dems need to run as Democrats.

  29. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Les, 4 or 5 issues define which (if any) party I want to belong to. That's not the same as saying who should run the party or what issues should be on the platform.

    My position is if those issues aren't on the platform, and party leadership doesn't stand behind them, I'm not in the party. Like I said, no problem either way for me except to say if there's no fundamental diff between parties, why have them? I'm totally okay being agnostic.

    Besides, it's a heavy lift to be a Dem in SD. If it doesn't mean anything, why beat yourself up over it? Life's too short.

  30. Jenny 2014.11.26

    Barth is very smart and hardworking. The guy has a nice resume and some name recognition. Probably a fair and sensible vote to give him a try.

  31. Jenny 2014.11.26

    Is it really true, SD is only represented by12 Dems in both state houses? :(

  32. tara volesky 2014.11.26

    The Democrats are the pro-life party and doesn't even know it. They can win calling out the Republican Party on their phony pro-life position.

  33. 96Tears 2014.11.26

    For years we've seen the SDGOP become shrinkwrapped by the extreme right, kicking out RINOs, liberals, moderates and those who will kick back when someone wants to box them in the corner to take extreme positions.

    The SDGOP has the luxury to kick people to the curb. Democrats, last time I looked, don't have that luxury in South Dakota.

    For the office of party chair, we are looking for someone who will not be on the payroll, but is charged with making sure the office(s) is managed well and goals are set and met. We want someone to run things, not to go out on dates and move in together.

    And Bill, I love you but you're coming close to violating the spirit of the Larry Pressler Clause. Barth has been elected and re-elected in a county where Republicans have run the county commission since the 80s. Maybe he's doing something right that is transferrable to developing a winning tradition for Democrats in all counties. Getting behind a Barthurian state party is more noble to the cause than sitting it out and letting the Republicans win unchallenged. Again.

    If Jeff Barth has that capacity, I hope the central committee elects him. If not or there's someone better, don't elect him.

    If others are in competition with good management and leadership skills (and don't have significant scandals in their closets), please come forward if you want the job and state your case to the central committee.

  34. Jeff Barth 2014.11.26

    Look, I’m running for this position to do a job. We need to manage our resources, build local parties, recruit candidates and win elections. When a pipe breaks do we ask a plumber his view on Choice before we let them in? When facing surgery do we quiz the doctor about the Ukraine before he cuts you? No. We just want a plumber or a doctor that can do the job. I can do this job.
    It is a Democratic Party tradition in this state to set up circular firing squads at times like this. Then next election we lose again and again and again. We need every Democrat to get involved, to push, to run, to vote. If we want to win an election we can’t afford to dismiss any Democrat because of some Litmus Test. Union workers, gun owners, business owners, men, women… everyone! We need those people. We need THE people. Those people need us. But until we win some election we don’t have a seat at the table we don’t matter to the decision makers.
    I am a Big Tent Democrat. We can’t win as Individuals, we can’t win as Factions, we can only win as a Team.

  35. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    96T, I agree, and no problem with that. The party needs a good leader more than it needs to have me in it. As I said above, Jeff has a lot of positive things going on, not the least of which are courage and good humor. I certainly would have voted for him over Kristi had he won the nomination.

  36. John 2014.11.26

    I like Ann but I think pro-life and "pro-family values" will not attract young voters to the Party. Equality is one of the key issues for those under 35. Our future as a Party rests with attracting young voters.

  37. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Has everybody read this? Jeff Barth? Read it? My question to the Madville group and to SD Dems at large: To what degree do South Dakota Democrats feel a need to deviate from their Party's national platform? Thanks for your insights and thoughts in advance.

  38. tara volesky 2014.11.26

    The Democrat Party is the party of pro-life and family values. I would love to hear a Republican try and prove me wrong.

  39. Bob Klein 2014.11.26

    I agree with Jeff's comments above. Particularly the part about positions on the issues.

    My observation (based on limited experience) is that Jeff doesn't work a room as well as others I've watched. That's what I mean by personality - gregarious, outgoing, wanting to meet and visit with everyone in the room.

    I don't suggest that I have those qualities.

    Assuming he has the support of his county organization, he needs to round up a few more large counties, or a whole bunch of smaller ones. Last time I was in a position to vote, (when Jack Billion was elected) some candidates were interested in Brookings County's votes, others not so much. He'll also carry the baggage of being from Minnehaha Co. That's no problem for me, but I suspect I can find some who do think it's a problem.

  40. larry kurtz 2014.11.26

    Jeff, thank you for coming by and sharing your views.

  41. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Will Republicans seat someone as chair of the Republican State Party that does not support Keystone XL or does not support the death penalty?

  42. grudznick 2014.11.26

    The new kinder and gentler Lar, serving as the mouthpiece of the SDDP, probably wears more flannel to show his South Dakotanism.

  43. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Larry's doing a good job, isn't he, grud? Must be a buzzkill for you.

  44. Bob Klein 2014.11.26

    Taunia, who cares what the GOP does when the conversation is about a Democratic Party Chair? No Democrat should care.

  45. grudznick 2014.11.26

    It is, Taunia. He seems even more dapper than usual and really has put himself back together in a way I haven't seen for years.

    But I'm actually quite happy for him in his new undertaking, and look forward to it all during the legislatures meeting this winter. I think his news views will be an interesting contrast to Mr. PP's and the SDGOP. We should always read both sides of a coin before putting it in the gumball machine.

  46. 96Tears 2014.11.26

    Speaking of party platforms and South Dakota common sense, now that the SDGOP have all three members of South Dakota's congressional delegation as Tea Bagger Republicans, when will they initiate the Articles of Impeachment to remove President Barrack Obama? If Rounds has an ounce of integrity with his Republican base, he should be leading the fray to oust that black man from the White House!!!

  47. Connie Mogen 2014.11.26

    I think we need the best coalition we can possibly put together. Rick and Jeff both have skills and abilities that can help us rebuild a strong and successful party. Find a way to utilize the talents of both.

  48. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Oh, it matters, Bob. Democrat's "big tent" is a fun idea until you check election results and see that settling for whatever happens keeps kicking you in the teeth.

    The militant way the GOP handles things - especially towing the party line - works for them; they're kicking your ass.

  49. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Extremists would rather lose with their principles than compromise but they don't represent the average electorate. They're just noisy and often irreverent. Be moderate and in demand and they'll have no one else to vote for anyway.

  50. Lynn 2014.11.26

    John why not just start a new political party?

  51. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Let the extremists do so.

  52. Lynn 2014.11.26

    So we have a choice of Republican lite as an alternative to the current Republican Party here in South Dakota or a Progressive party then?

  53. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Probably so, but that's realism rather than denial.

  54. Lynn 2014.11.26

    John what do feel are extremist stances within the current SDDP?

  55. Sam 2 2014.11.26

    Jeff would be a breath of fresh air for the Dems. We need to change the way we do things. Bottom line what the Dems are selling the voters are not buying. Look at the last election.

    Jeff has demonstrated the ability to think outside the building box. A den that likes guns, and economic progress has my vote.

  56. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    "The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  57. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Oh, I can't say specifically but the electorate has spoken, don't you think? But the ideas expressed by Cory, Larry and the regular posters on this blog are way beyond the average electorate of this state.

  58. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    I'm sorry but Mr. Hess is completely clueless.

  59. John Hess 2014.11.26

    I'm just not rooted in my own opinions. I'm probably more left than you, but the electorate did not vote for Weiland. Figure it out.

  60. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    You're not more anything than I am, John.

  61. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Well, maybe I do believe in my own rooted opinions, but I have been forced to accept other people have their own ideas which are the majority.

  62. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Barbara Streisand is singing at this moment. She could have had a life with Robert Redford (The Way We Were) but her causes were more important.

  63. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.26

    I think the Big Tent concept is important. That's not only for winning elections, but also as a statement of Democratic values. There are specific political positions that are important to me and when it comes time to vote, those positions will be my guide.

    In the meantime, I don't think every Democrat must agree with me to be a Real Democrat. A party of Deb Clones would be very, very small.

    BTW, I agree with Jeff Barth's description of what a party leader needs to be. She or he does not have to be doctrinally pure. She needs to be the party CEO.

  64. grudznick 2014.11.26

    It would be nice if they made a movie about a vacation place you could go to and have gunfights with Yul Brynner or Bill Fleming robots, or be served by a gaggle of young women who all looked like clones of Ms. Geelsdottir. Libworld. Things would probably go haywire.

  65. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Other people have their own ideas and they are also relevant. It takes a majority to win. That's the way it works. Do you want to win some day???

  66. Lynn 2014.11.26

    Win at all costs?

  67. Taunia 2014.11.26

    The GOP, in all its current glory, is the extreme party. They kicked all their moderates to the curb. Ted Green Eggs and Ham Cruz is the leader. Two years ago it was Rush Limbaugh. You cannot say with any credibility that either of them are not extremists.

  68. John Hess 2014.11.26

    So that's good news then, isn't it Taunia? It will position the Democrats to be the moderates.

  69. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Exactly what 'majority' are you talking about, John. Voter turnout in SD was the worst it's been in decades. Nationwide it was even worse, under 40%. That means that everybody elected was elected by a minority, not a majority, John, and in some cases by an extreme minority. This middle of the road 'majority' you're talking about doesn't exist. Or, if it does, it consists of people who don't vote.

  70. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Democrats run as moderates, even run as Republicans, and get the shit kicked out of themselves for it. Happens nearly every midterm election.

    Democrats magically grow nuts and win in presidential election years.

  71. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Cory pointed out a few days ago how Republican office holders are already moving to the left for 2016.

  72. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Cory pointed out the winning Democrat President Obama is a Republican.

  73. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Right. Immigration reform, ACA, net neutrality, and telling TransCanada to take a hike are Republican plans.

  74. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Then tell Cory to take a hike. It was his post.

  75. Taunia 2014.11.26

    BF. We'll get our Elizabeth Warren - or better - someday, and all federal, state, county and municipal electeds will have frayed, graying pictures of current day events hanging on their walls as a reminder what life was like before 2016, also know as the Second Dark Ages.

  76. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Some day. Way after you're gone.

  77. John Hess 2014.11.26

    In the end all Barbara had were some fliers from her latest lost cause and some other woman had Robert Redford.

  78. grudznick 2014.11.26

    Maybe Mr. Sibby has it right. Parties of political convenience are forever changing. Tories and Whigs. Mr. Fleming's New Age Polyprogressives. These parties are forever changing and melding and shifting. It is human tendency to create these cults yet it is human tendency to hate the cult of others. Whatcha gonna do?

  79. Taunia 2014.11.26

    You'll be a minority before I'm gone, John.

    Welcome to your impending doom.

  80. John Hess 2014.11.26

    I didn't think I would see a black President. He's not particularly likable as I've got to know him other than his Democratic brand. We can look at others and try to understand.

  81. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Taunai can't.

  82. Taunia 2014.11.26

    "A cult is a religion with no political power." (Tom Wolfe)

    People change. Parties change. Majority statuses change. The more a majority becomes a minority, the harder they cling to failing systems that are their undoing.

    Hang on as tight as you can. Or progress.

  83. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    I hope you're right, Taunia.

    Personally, I've been watching what 'Anonymous' has been up to lately, and remembering how the 99% demonstrations came out, pretty much just to let everyone know they're there. 'Hello, people.'

    And the spontaneous solidarity demonstrations the last few days in resonance with Ferguson, MO (your neck of the woods.) 'We're hee-ere.'

    And okay, yeah, maybe I got a little too jacked up at the Mockingjay movie last Friday. ;-)

    Man, I'm gettin' too old for this stuff. LOL

  84. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.26

    Grudz dear, I think you just blew your cover as a simple gravy n taters buffoon. That was a thoughtful and challenging comment.

    Hmmm. "forever changing and melding and shifting." Yet, in that course, isn't there a base essence that remains? Liberalism and conservatism? Democrats have not always been liberal and Republicans have not always been conservative, but somebody always has been.

    Yet, what about all the nation's that have multiple parties? There lies the options for greater doctrinal purity.

  85. grudznick 2014.11.26

    Ms. Geelsdottir, fully half my comments get deleted after I enrage people so you may not have seen a passel of good ones. Tomorrow is one of the best days of the year, when they deliver me my afternoon snack, and I will raise a large dollop of dripping mashed taters in your honor, ma'am, as you are a pretty swell egg yourself.

  86. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.26

    Speaking of Ferguson, there were several solidarity marches and other events in the MN metro. I was struck by all the white faces I saw. At one protest, a marcher was struck! A white woman was in a crowd blocking the street. Some guy got ticked that he couldn't get through, so he drove in and hit her! I don't mean that he was deliberately aiming for her. He knocked her down and she was injured, but he didn't run a tire over her and her injuries were not severe.

    Running someone down because you can't get through? That's a fully nutty driver.

  87. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.26

    Mashed is the best way to eat spuds. With bird gravy. I make a very tasty gravy, BTW.

  88. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.11.26

    Cory, give us a post for Thanksgiving wishes, gratitude, etc. It's good for all of us.

  89. Taunia 2014.11.26

    I need a brain purge, BF. Ferguson, Anonymous, white privilege, Democratic governors, organizing, revolution, DEMOCRATS. Let me know when you're game.

  90. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    I guess I'm not getting the Barbara lesson, John. Do you have a thing for Robert Redford or something? Maybe a Neil Diamond fan too? Barry Manilow? What?

    Because i'm talkin' Stevie Wonder over here.

  91. John Hess 2014.11.26

    I find that hard to believe Grudznick. Cory loves to inflame and create thought and not that I know he has has never deleted other than the most respectful differing opinions.

  92. grudznick 2014.11.26

    Not true, Mr. Hess. He deletes me every time I beat him in a debate, which is about 40% of the time.

  93. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Cory must delete a lot then because I cannot recall you, grudznick, attempting anything other than some sort of guttural babble and pot shots, like all of them on this thread.

  94. Taunia 2014.11.26


    (obligatory "keeping on point" post)

  95. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Cory begrudgingly likes the truth as most of us do if we can see it. Most of us like to prefer we're right.

  96. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    What makes South Dakota Democrats extremist, John?

    Is it that we want to hold Mike Rounds accountable for the EB-5 scandal?
    Is it that we call into question the corruption that South Dakota Republicans are so noted for?
    Is it extremist to want to stop the building of Keystone because it will damage our water?
    Are we extremist because we didn't believe the Mike Rounds lies that got him elected?
    Is it that we want Medicaid Expansion and Medicare eligibility for all?
    Just precisely makes us so extremist, John?

  97. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Don't ask me Roger. Ask the majority that didn't vote for your ideals.

  98. Bill Fleming 2014.11.26

    Taunia, okay, for starters let's braid grudz's hair and beard in cornrows and teach him to play crossharp. Maybe a nice daisy on his cheek.

    Happy Turkey Day all. Sing a song, children.

  99. John Hess 2014.11.26

    I don't think Roger and many of you are getting it. I voted for Weiland 3 days early. He lost. Figure out how to compromise and win.

  100. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    That's a cop out answer. I asked you because you repeatedly say we're Democrats are extremist and we should be more moderate, you fail to state or extremism or how we should be more moderate and on what issues.

  101. 90 Schilling 2014.11.26

    Must be something you're missing, Roger. With just those few item you and I are batting .900. How is it I am, not we are, such a bur under the saddle of so many here? Maybe, just maybe we do all bleed red? ;)

  102. John Hess 2014.11.26

    No Roger. I never said Democrats are extremists. I said Cory, Larry, Tanuia, and most that post comments on this blog are extremists. It's just a bell curve for this state.

  103. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    90 Schilling,
    Obviously I'm not getting something that John is saying and doesn't seem capable of pinpointing the issues where we're extremist.
    From where I sit, it seems pretty extreme for Republicans to threaten a government shutdown every time they don't get their way, that's the talk now with President Obama's Executive Order on immigration.
    It also seems pretty extreme for that same party to threaten impeachment of a black president just because he is black.
    It also seems pretty extreme to me for this state's Republicans to continually vote for corrupt politicians and in the case of Mike Rounds, elevate him to higher office.
    It appears that don't get it or understand it, whatever John is trying to say.

  104. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    Add me to your list of extremist John, now what makes us extremists?

  105. John Hess 2014.11.26

    Whether you (and me) like it or not, the middle of the bell curve in this state voted for Rounds. You are stating your opinions why it's wrong he was elected, but not accepting the outcome.

  106. Taunia 2014.11.26

    So Hess mostly enjoys seeing his name in print. He's yet to add anything of value as to what SD Democrats can do to become stronger, after he's been repeatedly asked what to change. He maintains Democrats are weak and cannot win.

    He flames everyone that comes near him, like Roger attempting to lay out some easy, friendly specific points of possible contention.

    What do you gain by coming here? Your flaming is pretty boring and you're dead weight on progressing the party.

    Put up or shut up.

  107. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    Now you're assuming John, I absolutely know why we lost this election, I'm simply trying to find out why you think so many of us this blog are extremist and what we as a party should do to become more moderate.
    One more time, why are we extremist?

  108. John Hess 2014.11.26

    If you prefer Taunia in future I'll go by Mary. In days gone by Cory insisted on full names when things locally got a bit out of hand. I just accept to win things are in the middle even if I'm a big old flamer.

  109. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    Thank you Taunia, my questions to John are pretty basic, he presents himself as being knowledgeable about politics, but can not talk specifics.
    When he can't answer he deflects his answers as if we don't know what he is doing.
    I'll ask you Taunia, what makes you, Cory, Bill, and all our friends on Madville extremist given the information John has put forth?

  110. Mary 2014.11.26

    Ask those who voted against you.

  111. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    When you get around to it, can you tell us how many times you have deleted grudz's comments because he beat you in a debate?

  112. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Cool. I'll be skipping right on over Mary/Hess' post from now on like I do a few others here.

    Dead weight be gone.

  113. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    Now that is a profound answer Mary, one you have repeatedly said when unable to answer a basic question.

  114. Mary 2014.11.26

    It doesn't matter what Mary thinks, why did your party lose Roger?

  115. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    Mary John Hess's opinion does matter.
    I'll make you a deal, you answer my questions and than I'll tell why we lost the election, fair enough?

  116. Taunia 2014.11.26

    Roger, I have a hard enough time verbalizing all the thoughts in my own head. No fair asking me to explain the failings of others.

    For what it's worth:
    Calling out and prosecuting EB-5 - check
    Ending corruption - check
    Stopping enviro-killing KXL - check
    Single payer - check

    If thinking everyone is entitled to a decent, equal life is extreme, I'm right up there with Howard Hughes.

    Come flyyyyyy with me....

  117. Roger Cornelius 2014.11.26

    I love it Taunia!

  118. Mike Quinlivan 2014.11.26

    John is right, whether we wish to acknowledge it or not. With 33% registered Dems, Rick pulled 28! I thought he did a great job campaigning, but he lost. We don't need a person with "vision", a person with smooth talking skills. We need a relatable person who can sell the party brand. I am anti abortion and anti capital punishment. That won't work in District 12, but it would do better in District 14. I read a Helmut Schmidt quote a few days ago, in which he stated "those who state they have a vision need to go to a doctor, not run for office". This job is years in the making; a plan that works out the next few Decades needs to be thought out. And at the end of the day, we have to realize that the great realignment has basically already happened. Dixie is solid red instead of blue. Not a whole lot of other changes. But if we wish to make the party something that people want to strive to be a part of, people need to join hands with their party members, and play as a team. No one man has ever won a war. Sign me up Jeff; You know me well.

  119. Bill Fleming 2014.11.27

    Don't give up five minutes before the miracle happens. :-)

  120. Tim 2014.11.27

    Bill, I've read similar articles, good thing the GOP, for the most part, is to stupid to believe it. For this democrat trapped behind the "red wall", the next two years can't go by fast enough. The thing that really bothers me, just how much damage can they do over the next two years and how many decades will it take us to fix it. Dark times ahead for sure.

  121. larry kurtz 2014.11.27

    Happy American Nakba everybody!

  122. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.27

    Hey, let's not beat up my friend John Hess or drive him into pseudonymity just because he points out the hard fact that we Democrats still haven't been winning elections and have a lot of work to do to get a majority to get out of their chairs, come to the polls, and vote for the principles and policies we want them to vote for.

    John does not post here just to see his name in print any more than Bill Fleming or I act from such a motivation. He's offering what he views as a solution: temper our liberal urges and play to the middle. Many of us here don't like that solution and will follow a different path. That's fine. We are gambling that we will gain more support than we lose.

  123. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.11.27

    Bill, that red wall/blue wall article is interesting, but it doesn't point toward a strategy for Dems to win in 2016. We don't have the demographic changes driving near-Dem certainty for President in 2016. The perception that the GOP is getting killed nationally may only strengthen the bunker mentality of South Dakota Republicans who are desperate to preserve their Ward-and-June whitopia and have a pretty good chance of doing so for a couple decades longer than anyone else in the country. National inevitability isn't washing over our prison walls. We have to figure out how to knock down those walls, and we have to figure out whether Jeff Barth as SDDP chair is an effective sledgehammer.

  124. Bill Fleming 2014.11.27

    Tim, I've been rereading 'The Two Million Year Old Self,' an overview Jungian archetypes by Anthony Stevens that lays out in very clear language what it is that we are all up to (yes ALL of us) and how the various maladies in our psyche manifest, both individually and collectively. There are also some great guidelines on how we can heal ourselves, not by paying attention to our everyday thoughts, and feelings, but rather, actively NOT paying attention to them... At least not in the usual, everyday way. Good read for when things get crazy. ;-)

  125. Bill Fleming 2014.11.27

    i've already laid out what i think the most rational thing for Democrats to do to have any real effect on local and statewide politics in South Dakota, Cory. Join the Republican party. The problem I have with suggestions like John's and Jeff's is that they are either just half measures, or that they imply some sort of hidden agenda... pretend you're moderate to get elected, then turn back into a real Democrat after.

    My proposal is more straightforward. If the problem in SD is the way the ruling party behaves, join them and change it. Change what it means to be Republican. Or, as per Gandhi 'Be the change you wish to see...'

  126. larry kurtz 2014.11.27

    Hidden agendas are par for the course, Bill: Larry Pressler didn't break SD law by accepting a quid pro quo from Dick Wadhams, et al. to enter the Senate race as a liberal but violating federal election law would have to be tried in federal court.

    That Cory has chosen to accept Pressler's bid as legitimate and hosting a Republican bent on spending his personal fortune on GOP wins looks just like a hidden agenda.

  127. John Hess 2014.11.27

    Yeah, quit pickin on me! I'm gonna repeat a story: A liberal Republican friend, so liberal he believes in gay marriage, stopped to talk to the Democrats. We grew up with this big Weiland family around us so if ever there was a swing voter: But their anger alienated him. Anger doesn't fly with moderates, so these people need training or shouldn't be involved. I'm not suggesting candidates who are not authentic. People in the middle are authentic. This seems like the right time to find out why voters didn't go for Weiland. I could see the party being shaped from the top if someone like Huethers would take the chance. The money would pour in. It wouldn't be liberal but more moderate then the tea party types. People support winners. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic.

  128. Les 2014.11.27

    ""People support winners. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic.""" That sounds like SHS. It'll never happen, John. Sorry for the beating you're taking here and though I agree with you, I'm "thankful" its not me. ;) Your pub friend sounds like me and these folks here would rather eat spam today than have my element on board.
    BF brings an interesting point with his mention of a book, and "not paying attention to our thoughts". That was my fathers advice in those years I always knew much better than he. "watch your thoughts son, they define the person you are and will become". The Dem party is obviously characterized by great thinkers but not great winners. Is it a problem with their thoughts?

  129. Jenny 2014.11.27

    I'm hearing you, John. I agree, the SDDP needs people like Huether and SHS, and I think a couple people are being downright rude to you on here. Well I'm here to tell we are not all mad here on Madville. Your theory may be correct that, for right now at the moment anyway, SD Dems will just not be able to win with liberal candidates like Weiland. Maybe in the future, but not now. We need to welcome everyone, even if we can't stand them in person. We need to sell our brand and be in business again.

  130. Jenny 2014.11.27

    I've been involved in campaigns and dysfunctional losing political parties before and believe me, it is not fun. It gets downright nasty and worse than a high school clique. I vowed never again to volunteer my time in such cat fights. What I'm seeing here with the SDDP is nothing new. We all feel defeated and are blaming each other, all very typical human behavior. John H is speaking some good advice and we need to hear it. Most voters in this country all actually in the middle, and I believe it's the media that like to think play up the partisan branding. SDDP need to welcome moderates, independents and social conservative with open arms. I just don't see the 'bleeding heart' liberals in SD. Maybe there are a few left, but I reckon you're going to have to hunt hard and long.

  131. tara volesky 2014.11.27

    How about getting rid of labels and focus on issues.

  132. Tim 2014.11.27

    Everytime we try to meet the GOP in the middle, they go farther to the right, which drags us farther to the right just to stay in the middle. At some point we have to say enough, I think we have reached that point. I used to consider myself an in the middle moderate republican, I haven't changed my outlook at all but am now considered by most a raving lib. That's one reason why I made the switch this year, figured since they have gone so far right I don't relate anymore, might as well join the people I do relate too.

  133. Taunia 2014.11.27

    "My party left me" - the one unifying statement uttered across the spectrum.

  134. Taunia 2014.11.27

    My apologies, Cory, for blowing up your blog last night.

  135. Les 2014.11.27

    ""Everytime we try to meet the GOP in the middle, they go farther to the right"" Interesting coming from a former pub a year into the Dem experience. I was a Dem longer than you've been alive and Ive yet to meet a Dem in my pub time that has tried to meet me in the middle. In fact many of my close Dem allies deserted me even as a friend when I left the party. Cool if it sorts out your real friends.

  136. Tim 2014.11.27

    Les, if you are trying to pick a fight with me, it won't work. Have a nice Thanksgiving. I'm glad you have found your friends.

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