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South Dakota Progress Names Steering Committee, Plans PAC, Dem Outreach

South Dakota Progress is off and running. Following an initial brainstorm meeting last month following the disappointing midterm election, sixteen activists interested in electing Democrats to local and legislative offices gathered Saturday, December 6, in Rapid City (and by phone) to formally select their leaders and approve their plans for educating and supporting future Democratic candidates.

South Dakota Progress named the following officers:

  • Chair: Tasiyagnunpa Livermont
  • Vice-Chair: Katrina Wilke
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Darlene Langan
  • Communications Director: David Hubbard
  • Parliamentarian (the coolest job in any meeting): Curt Pochardt

After some recruiting, South Dakota Progress will elect a nine-member board in 2015. That board will have two East River seats, two West River seats, two Indian Country seats, and three at-large seats. One at-large seat will be reserved for a registered tribal member.

In its initial conversations, South Dakota Progress considered creating four PACs dedicated to different regions: statewide, East River, West River, and Indian Country. Simplicity took over Saturday, and members decided one PAC for all campaign finance activities is plenty for now, until the group starts rolling in big dough.

SDP members agreed to send a delegation to the Central Committee meeting of the state Democratic Party this coming Friday and Saturday at Oacoma. The group will caucus Friday night and invites all Democratic Party officials to participate. SDP will also seek five minutes on the formal party meeting agenda to report on its activities.

The meeting also produced SDP's first contribution, $100 from the original facilitator of the discussions that led to SDP's formation, Bajun Mavalwalla.

Members will set a firm date for their next meeting after they see what comes out of the state Democratic Party meeting this weekend. The group tentatively plans to meet in Sioux Falls the weekend of January 3.


  1. Tim 2014.12.08

    Hopefully they will set it up soon so we can do monthly contributions similar to campaigns during elections. It must start at the local level. I don't have piles of money but am willing to do my part.

  2. Tasiyagnunpa Livermont 2014.12.08

    Yes, Tim. We are passing the hat now, but won't formally fundraise (or deposit those hat proceeds) until after the first of the year. Our website will have all pertinent details on how to give online or where to send checks in when it launches in the first part of the year.

  3. judy judy 2014.12.08

    So what is the purpose of this organization? I understand the desire to run your own show and control your own checkbook, but they claim they want to help the Democrats. But the Democratic Party lies moribund, in the middle of the road, begging for help. A quick count of their party organizations shows 48 of its 64 county organizations have vacancies (or duplicate members) in their leadership. Only a few have any precinct organization at all and those that do have vacancies in most of these positions. Everyone bemoans the lack of interest by young adults in the Party. Almost all would welcome people with vision and energy and make room for them to lead. And county parties can accept contributions up to $10,000.00 (and remember there are 64 of Counties, plus a state party) so I doubt if this cap would handicap any likely donor and justify setting up a separate financial vehicle. In addition county parties have the power to create additional leadership offices if it is desirable. So why form a separate organization to help an organization you say you want to help when the organization you want to help is all but begging (with a mild exception or two---Ann Tornberg claims everything is hunky dory and we just need more of her and Zack Crago claims he did a wonderful job) for help.

  4. Darleen Langan 2014.12.08


    South Dakota Progress is a highly focused organization. We will identify viable candidates for local offices across the state, resource their campaigns, and provide mentorship to these candidates and their Campaign Managers.

    We will laser in on local elections including, but not limited to, school boards, water boards, and city council, up to state legislature. In this way we can help to build a pool of experienced candidates for higher office for South Dakota. That's it. That's what makes us different.

    As far as the "moribund" status of the state party is concerned, I personally am actively engaged in discussing with anyone interested in how I can be most useful. I am most interested in helping to build up our voter base so that when our candidates make it on the ballet, they are not fighting such difficult odds. I have a couple of ideas and hope to find an outlet for them in the near future. If you are interested in discussing that with me, my email is

  5. John 2014.12.08

    Tasi- I am confused about what you want to accomplish. I read your fb tirate about party politics and the good old boys making you pay your dues. Normally people want to reform the organization or leave and start a new one. It appears that you want to make your own rules inside the party you are angry with. And at the same time do nothing to fix the Party. At some point you are going to have to pick a side.

  6. I believe the Democratic Party has some internal work to do to create a more candidate-friendly culture. While I had the ear of one of our candidates for Chair of the party I wanted to share my thoughts on my observation. I'm not in any position to make rules in the party.

    I think SD Progress is in an unique position to find out what barriers candidates and would be candidates are facing and work however we can to help smooth their path. All the things Darlene mentioned above. For myself, I also will critique the party as long as I feel it is constructive to overall goal of getting Democratic candidates elected. Like Darlene I'm looking to work as a Meade County Democrat and serve where needed including precinct or other jobs as assigned by my fellows.

    We are all on the same side. But we can't ignore the serious issues facing our candidates.

    How SD Progress will handle this going forward is yet to be determined. We may decide that we won't address any issues within the party.

    However when the party or those seeking office in the party ask for endorsement, I think it is a good time to discuss the things we see as barriers.

    I honestly fear that we will train candidates that the party will reject if this culture continues. I refuse to set people up for failure, especially when a third of our work will be Indian Country. I won't send tribally enrolled candidates off to slaughter.

    With that I won't be making any more public comments on the issue at this time. You may email me at if you have further questions or ideas.

  7. larry kurtz 2014.12.08

    Counties that deliver the most Democratic votes enjoy the power in roll call votes at the convention: West River f###ed up by not sending enough delegates to counter Minnehaha's strength.

  8. larry kurtz 2014.12.08

    Tasi wasn't at the convention and i don't recall seeing any Meade County delegates there.

  9. John 2014.12.08

    I'm not sure I would admit that I was fundraising and not reporting it. Not depositing it isn't an excuse.

    I'm still confused as to what they are trying to do. It seems they want the perks of being a Democrat but aren't willing to put the work into making the party better. It's easy to complain and take your ball and go home.

  10. ronald fuchs 2014.12.08

    please keep me in contact with SD Progress---- would love to go to an East River gathering

  11. Darleen Langan 2014.12.08

    Ronald, thank you for your interest! I have sent you a friend request on facebook and will add you to our email list if you would like to provide that information.

  12. Yes. I should have said we are taking pledges now but won't be making any deposits until after the first of the year. Thank you for the clarification.

    John, I would enjoy visiting with you more in person about this. Email me and we can set up a time.

    Thank you everyone for your interest and opinions. This group is in its infancy, and we welcome critique and feedback.

  13. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.08

    From Darleen, " South Dakota Progress is a highly focused organization. We will identify viable candidates for local offices across the state, resource their campaigns, and provide mentorship to these candidates and their Campaign Managers."

    So whats different about what you will do?

    " We will laser in on local elections including, but not limited to, school boards, water boards, and city council, up to state legislature. In this way we can help to build a pool of experienced candidates for higher office for South Dakota. That's it. That's what makes us different."

    Read that again and tell me what the difference is between SDP and SDDP.

    " I am most interested in helping to build up our voter base so that when our candidates make it on the ballet, they are not fighting such difficult odds. I have a couple of ideas and hope to find an outlet for them in the near future."

    RIGHT FREAKING HERE! Are your ideas so good you have to keep them a secret from other dems? Whenever I hear these kinds of statements I wonder, is there or isnt there.

    Then from Tasi, " I believe the Democratic Party has some internal work to do to create a more candidate-friendly culture."

    Aint that the truth. Now at least throw us a tidbit in the form of an idea so we can get a feel as to sending a cash donation or not?

    " How SD Progress will handle this going forward is yet to be determined. We may decide that we won't address any issues within the party."

    Say what? An organization that wants someones money but might not do anything to affect change. Come on your better then that.

    " I honestly fear that we will train candidates that the party will reject if this culture continues. I refuse to set people up for failure, especially when a third of our work will be Indian Country. I won't send tribally enrolled candidates off to slaughter."

    "With that I won't be making any more public comments on the issue at this time. You may email me at if you have further questions or ideas."

    You really just said what I just read? " I won't send tribally enrolled candidates off to slaughter." Why treat natives any different then the rest of the state? What in the world are you affraid of? You talk like your the only native with enough common sense to make an informed decision for the rest.

    PSD sounds like an organization that would like to have more power then it has in demacratic politics in South Dakota. If they have any ideas they would just as soon keep em a secret for now because one on one communications through email is so much better then this public forum for spreading the word.

    This is just another Mickey and Judy moment in SD. They just want to put a show on in the back yard because they know their so good everyone will want to see em.

    So far all it is, is "words," no road map for success, and no ideas that they want to share at this time. But they want money. You have to give me a reason to give, not just more words.

    Who knows, this might turn out to be the best thing sense sliced bread. If it is I will be the first to admit it. But if you think that for some reason getting donations for a splinter group is somehow going to help the demacratic party in SD you have just come up with a new way tp rob Peter to pay Paul.

    In closing, either you are a demarcate or something else. It would help if we knew what that is.

    The Blindman

  14. Darleen Langan 2014.12.08


    Speaking as a young democrat and not an SDP rep, or as someone who has been involved for a long time, my question is,

    How do young people learn where and when these events are held? They are not posted on the state website. The facebook page has a convention listed for June of 2013. I understand and sympathize with the argument hat we can pick up a newspaper or other conventional source of information, but I think if truly we as South Dakota Democrats want more youth involved we have to engage 35 and under through social media and websites, and I think we have dropped the ball somewhere. I'll help pick it up!

  15. larry kurtz 2014.12.08

    It would be fascinating to know how the party was involved with the creation of SDP: anyone?

  16. Darleen Langan 2014.12.08


    I am working on an interview project that I hope to present to the SDDP and have contacted several people who have been involved for a long time to help with the planning.

    Additionally, I am putting together some ideas for a very inexpensive plan to establish a West River Area Coordinator that would focus on base development- registering democrats, holding events for the several counties on campuses and in public places, community service projects, etc. I will be in Chamberlain and hope to discuss these ideas with some of the party folks while I'm there to see if they will support. I'm happy to do all fundraising on my own. I have heard that this idea has been kicked around for some time, and I'd like to be the place where the buck stops on that one.

    Just looking for advice and I'd like to say I'm doing things on behalf of the party, not on behalf of some random Democrat. I'd love to discuss the at length with you. I just want to help Bill.

  17. Darleen Langan 2014.12.08


    Several members of the Pennington County Dems have attended our first couple of meetings including, Curt Pochardt (who we elected parliamentarian), George Rokusek (who worked on Rochelle Hagel's campaign), former senator Tom Katus, Richie Nordstrom, a Rapid City Councilman, and Jay Davis, a local public defender and long time active democrat. We hope to include more folks.

  18. larry kurtz 2014.12.08

    Tom and Ritchie had conversation with the chair and/or the exec prior to this meeting, then?

  19. Which meeting are you asking about Larry?

    Blindman, I think everyone who wants to step up into leadership by running for office faces the same issues. I just think it is more visable when we see how few tribal members attempt to run. I see many upstanding white guys who havent been supported like they should be because of internal whatever the problem is. My question to the party and SDP then is: what hope do Indians have? I'm nobody special for God's sake, but I guess I'm crazy enough to attempt this conversation.

    And to every candidate who has felt fully supported, I just want every candidate to feel that way. The primary and general elections is where we pick the winners. Not behind closed party doors.

    And I'm speaking as myself here. I hope SDP agrees with me.

  20. Darleen Langan 2014.12.08


    We are not tied directly to the SDDP. I am unclear as to what your goal is in this directed line of conversation. Any remarks I made about my personal projects are unrelated to SDP. My reply only suggests that we have sought input from a number of folks. We have one mission, as stated. If you want to discuss further please contact me or Tasi via email or the SDP line: 605-496-9738,

  21. tara volesky 2014.12.08

    I think it's great Darleen, Tasi, and some Democratic political activists want to get involved. Look at the Republican party...Dale Bartcher who heads the Family Heritage Alliance is a lobbyist for the Republican party who speaks all over SD to entice Christians into voting for the party establishment machine. He's got offices in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and now Aberdeen. Roger Hunt is another one that makes big money off prolife propaganda. The difference between these girls and the phony establishment Republicans is, I believe their motives are right.

  22. larry kurtz 2014.12.08

    jesus effing christ.

  23. mikeyc, that's me! 2014.12.08

    Watch out, Kurtz.
    The Family Heritage Alliance will be especially offended.

  24. larry kurtz 2014.12.08

    Nick Nemec: what's your read on SDP's brand of outreach?

  25. John 2014.12.08

    Darlene that's a very good point about the South Dakota Democratic Party website its horrible none of the information is updated and it just doesn't have to do with people under the age of 35 many of us get our information from the web and social media I think that's why after the election on Saturday the staff at the party office will be updating their resumes and looking for a new job

  26. Roger Cornelius 2014.12.08

    It is encouraging that SDP is possibly developing into a strong PAC, it is badly needed and could serve a variety of tasks as stated.
    The South Dakota Democratic Party should welcome SDP's existence and work with them to develop many of the suggestions posted on Madville threads since the election.
    I would caution the founders of SDP about exposing too much of their goals and strategies in public media, they can be easily sabotaged or misrepresented. If Democrats would like to know more about the internal workings of the SDP they should join the organization.
    It does sound like SDP is in its in developmental stages and should serve as a useful tool for SDDP.
    As a South Dakota Democrat, I recognize the need for all the help we can get, it does not sound to me like there is any power struggle with the two organizations, just a need to work together.
    Ms. Livermont, I have some ideas I'd like to share with you before your next meeting, you can contact me through Cory.

  27. jerry 2014.12.08

    I hope someone has some ideas about GOTV to get people the proper identification to be able to vote. Why wait until October of 2016 to register?

  28. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.08

    " I would caution the founders of SDP about exposing too much of their goals and strategies in public media, they can be easily sabotaged or misrepresented. If Democrats would like to know more about the internal workings of the SDP they should join the organization."

    There's nothing better than a secret political organization. Especially if its got secret goals and strategies. And its that kind of thinking that helps the party in power sleep good at night.

    This calls for high visibility, not need to know only. If you want to get attention, and money Podcast every meeting. But then again maybe doing it the other way would be best if you dont want anybody to know what your goals are.

    What next secret handshakes?

    The Blindman

  29. grudznick 2014.12.08

    It sounds to me like this SDP is trying usurp the SDDP. I wouldn't be surprised if at their next meeting they find they have an interloper already in their midst, who stands and points with a trembling bony finger, shouting "Usurpers!"

    It's probably a long shot but it still wouldn't surprise me. Between the SDP annexation of the party and Mr. kurtz calls for naming of party candidates at the SDDP convention I would vote for Lar's idea, if I had a vote.

  30. Bajun Mavalwalla 2014.12.08

    I think that Darleen and Tasi have been doing a fine job answering questions about South Dakota Progress and how SDP's grassroots, local-level mission focus makes it an asset to the SDDP.

    The SDDP has limited resources and has a great deal of work to do for many years to rebuild. Nobody disputes that. Consider the scope and scale of operations that a handful of dedicated employees and volunteers are expected to do: Ballot initiatives, track legislation at the local, state and federal levels, work with the DCCC and DNC, build the dozens of vacant county committees, deal with the media, represent Democrats across South Dakota, party platforms, internal SDDP politics, current events, and their REQUIREMENT under Section VI Article VII of the SDDP Constitution for them to focus on the statewide offices. How can anyone reasonably expect them to be able to put the required effort and resources into local offices, too?

    The point I'd like to make is that Democrats from the rank and file to activists, party officers and elected officials need to recognize that this is not a zero-sum game: The growth and success of SDP does not come at the expense of the SDDP. In fact, similar organizations in Colorado greatly increased the number of Democrats elected there, and the PACs and think tanks created there enhanced the Party… And won elections.

    And that’s what SDP is going to do in South Dakota.

    There is nothing sinister at SDP, Grudznick. The SDP Steering Committee as well as several members will be at the SDDP Central Committee in Chamberlain this coming weekend to answer any questions or concerns anyone may have. Transparency is one of SDPs tenants. If you, or anyone has questions contact any of us, come to our meetings, or join the conversation on our Facebook page.

  31. grudznick 2014.12.08

    OK, Mr. Mavalwalla. I look forward to hearing of your progresses.

  32. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.08

    I'm am mystified by the hostility to SDProgress here. For pete's sake people! An organization created to help Democrats is a very good thing!

    Politics is peppered with independent organizations that are politically involved and work closely with one of the parties. This is a good thing! Drop the horribilizing and open arms to more help for South Dakota.

    (Paranoia Runs Rampant on the Times!)

  33. grudznick 2014.12.08

    You are another pea in my pod, Ms. Geelsdottir, as I too think this SDP outfit is a good thing. I hug them to my virtual bosom.

  34. leslie 2014.12.08

    grudz, you are a republican, right, and you voted for pressler, too.

  35. Connie Mogen 2014.12.08

    This seems to be getting rather hostile. Let's at least give SDP a chance to get organized and get their feet on the ground before everyone rips them apart.And as far as not laying all our strategy out publically, let's wait until the strategy is fully developed before we put it out to the general public! Putting out a strategy prematurely is a good way to shoot ourselves in the foot. Just breath everyone and give it them time.

  36. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.09

    Why Grudz! I didn't know you have a Virtual Bosom! Can I have a peek?

  37. Jenny 2014.12.09

    When you look at the dysfunctionalism and lack of organization in the SDDP, I can see why Tasiya is taking charge and formed the SDP. Some SD dems are asking why, I say why not! You go girl!

  38. David Hubbard 2014.12.09

    I believe there are many people who want to help the South Dakota Democratic Party (SDDP) and Democratic candidates. South Dakota Progress (SDP) is just another channel to do just that.

    Personally, I was surprised at the number of positions in the November election that had no Democratic candidates. I was equally surprised of the GOP wins when so many of my friends and family said they voted Democratic. Especially when we consider the approval rating of the current Legislative Branch of our government.

    I believe that the GOP does two things well when it comes to elections; organizing and raising money. It is the goal of SDP to buttress the efforts of the SDDP and help them find electable candidates to run for public offices at every level of South Dakota government, especially those areas where candidates and communities have felt underserved.

    I was invigorated by the enthusiasm of the SDP attendees at our first meeting. These people brought fresh perspectives, tremendous enthusiasm, and passion to South Dakota politics. For the first time in a very long time I was genuinely enthusiastic about a Democratic meeting.

    We have only had two days to get our bearings since being voted into our current roles. We (the Steering Committee board and I) met this evening to solidify our near-term goals. Of course, one of our those goals is to get this organization up and running as soon as possible in order to move forward.

    As I sat listening to our officers I was reminded how fortunate I am to work with passionate people dedicated to the success of the Democratic Party. Let's face it, a little enthusiasm certainly cannot hurt. If we can invigorate the party by introducing new people -- and hopefully, new money -- into South Dakota Democratic Party we will all win.

    Again, it has only been two days since the election of myself and the Steering Committee. We are all excited to be part of an organization willing to help elect Democratic politicians to local and state offices. As for my role, I am honored to do whatever I can to help serve the Democratic Party of my beloved home state.


    David A. Hubbard

  39. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    Coup underway?

  40. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    Nick Nemec: you're on the executive committee. What's going on here?

  41. jerry 2014.12.09

    I hope that this all works out. David is correct in that there are to many seats unchallenged so the status quo is allowed to continue. Change, any change is a good thing, lets all hope it has success and work towards that goal!

  42. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    This looks like a massive diversion of resources from an already-starved party.

  43. judy judy 2014.12.09

    I don't know what barriers to candidates Tasi refers to here. She must have something specific in mind. My quick review of the Sec or State's list of 2014 candidates shows that Democrats contested only 7 of 14 Senate seats and 12 of 28 house races west of Hyway 281. Either those barriers she refers to are pretty damn effective or there is an unwillingness in Democrats out west to enter the fray. You can't win if you don't play. And, you can't change minds if you don't give yourself a platform.

  44. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.09

    Larry, I think you're seeing a rival to the SDDP where none exists. I haven't read anything that sounds like opposition to the SDDP. However, we won't know for sure except with time. I say let's give SDP some of that.

  45. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    Deb, since i don't do FB there might be a discussion happening that i know nothing about. Judy is a former chair voicing concern about some fringe group sapping resources. I'm not going to give any money to SDP when my party needs it far worse.

  46. Tasiyagnunpa Livermont 2014.12.09

    Larry, all,

    While I am not entirely anti-coup, personally, this is not a coup. The young/new people involved in SDP want to dovetail efforts and resources.

    Larry, if you are not comfortable giving to SD Progress, don't give money to us. Don't. We are well aware that the SD Democratic Party must fundraise to do the policy and state-wide races we are counting on them to do.

    The details of the 'how' of our mission are not yet set. The mission itself is barely dry, but I think the opportunity to work together is tremendous.

    Democrats in South Dakota are our own worst enemies. And our greatest solutions. In permaculture, we learn that the problem is also the answer.

    In South Dakota, Democrats are consistently outspent and the seed money and other resources for candidates to run is not well organized. This is a simple fact that we hope to address, and we also hope that by doing so, our SD Democratic Party can have perhaps a breather to gather themselves and focus their resources as the party leadership thinks is best.

    Support the party, Larry. Nobody is asking you not to.

    However, many hands make light work.

  47. Lynn 2014.12.09

    I see SDP as complimenting the SDDP and not competing with it for resources. If the SDP can attract and energize young activists, new blood and voters into the party where the SDDP might miss then it's a huge win for all of us. Young activists are our future and especially here in South Dakota are the ones who are most likely to bolt from this state if they see no hope in regards to our state's priorities in public policy. SDP could be a very focused yet nimble organization within the greater effort.

    Besides attracting, grooming and supporting candidates the idea of providing a safe and well supported launching pad for Native and other candidates of color here in South Dakota is something I would personally like to see.

    Regarding disclosure please keep in mind that this organization is young and just getting started. I don't get the sense of exclusivity or the need for secret handshakes. Give SDP a little time.

  48. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    Is there a SDGOP analog to SDP?

  49. leslie 2014.12.09

    are the young dems meeting weekly or monthly in rc as sylvia organized last summer? are they a part of SDP, Tasi? just wondering. keep up the good organizing work!

  50. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    If SDP was an effective counter to SDGOP PP would be bashing it.

  51. Jenny 2014.12.09

    Knowing Nick, I'm sure he wouldn't be alarmed at all by SDP. He would be happy that young people like Tasi want to become involved in building the party back up.

  52. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.09

    As for the question of draining resources, I appreciate the point that Bajun and Lynn make that this need not be a zero-sum game. If there's a big fire and Truck #1 isn't putting it out, they should be happy to see Truck #2 show up with a bunch of new firemen ready to help. Now if they end up fighting over the only hydrant, that's a problem. But is there only one hydrant? Can SDDP and SDP tap different donors and talent?

    For now, I'm willing to dismiss the scarcity mentality and see if there is room for two games in town. SDDP and SDP working together could end up generating more energy and opportunities for each other. And if they don't synergize, if one can't win without making the other lose, we'll see that pretty quickly, and we'll all come to an amicable agreement as to who steps aside and who takes care of business, right?

  53. larry kurtz 2014.12.09

    Cory: coordination between a PAC or organization with a party is forbidden. Tom Katus and Ritchie Nordstrom are delegates who violated the law by sitting in on SDP's meeting.

  54. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.09

    Larry, if what you are saying is legally accurate, no PAC exists yet, so there is no coordination.

    Remind me: are you thinking of federal rules prohibiting coordination between candidates and super-PACs? Can you point me toward the specific state statute of concern here?

    I'm not at the planning sessions; I'm just spitballing on how SDDP and SDP could mutually co-exist. They need not have formal meetings. Good people of good conscience in both organizations simply keep their eyes open and watch for signs that their respective efforts are hurting the other organization.

  55. Tasiyagnunpa Livermont 2014.12.09

    Thank you, Cory. I also think we generate more energy together so long as we avoid scarcity mentality.

    Larry, We haven't even formed our legal entity at this point for South Dakota Progress. In fact, our main organization is a 501c4 with the PAC to follow.

    I think you have raised a good point that a bright line must be drawn eventually, but for right now, I think we are well in line with what we need to be doing at this point.

    This is also another reason why the party really shouldn't worry about us much. We are organizing and training and launching candidates and campaign managers into the fray. Our PAC won't be able to legally coordinate campaigns or do anything directly with those campaigns after launch as my understanding is. The mission of our 501c4 won't be to do so either. That's why we train and launch campaign managers alongside. Then we will be as hands off as the law needs us to be and so that our primaries can truly be primaries. No more of this not running candidates or being upset when two candidates stand up against each other in the primary. Competition, as all our high school athletics lovers would attest to, is healthy for vibrant living.

    Us newbies are receiving mentoring and education on how the SD Democratic Party works from folks like Tom and Ritchie so that we newbies can form said SDP in a way that complements and doesn't detract from the party nor violate any laws. Who better to school us, and they have schooled us, on these intricacies than those who have been in the ring a long time.

    You can be sure upon our SDP secretary/treasurer filings of our legal organizing paperwork, all T's will be crossed and I's dotted.

  56. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.09

    Thanks, Larry, and my apologies—I can lose track of where threads have been.

    Now, the SOS page you cite summarizes SDCL 12-27, the campaign finance chapter. Your comment above about how an "organization" may not contribute to a candidate or political party refers to "organization" as defined in SDCL 12-27-1(16). That definition explicitly excludes political committees. SDCL 12-27-18 says organizations can't contribute to candidates or parties, but that definition does not include PACs. The line you cite thus does not prevent SDP from contributing to candidates or the Democratic Party.

    PACs can take max donations of $10K per donor (SDCL 12-27-9), just like the state and county parties (SDCL 12-27-10).

    If PACs can contribute, I'll bet they can coordinate. Is there any state statutory language to the contrary?

  57. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.09

    But SDP doesn't need me to tell them that. As Tasi notes, they have Tom Katus in the room, and I get the impression he knows his stuff.

  58. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.12.09

    Larry, I don't do FB either. I launched a page several years ago, then decided it was a big enough pain in the butt that I let it go. If I could figure out how to delete it, I'd do so.

  59. David Hubbard 2014.12.09

    Larry, you have publicly made a serious accusation and I would like you to disclose any evidence supporting your claim.

    First, there are no PACs at this time created by SDP. So there has been no contravention of the law. Tom Katus and Ritchie Nordstrom provide guidance to SDP in an effort to help us organize. They have made no direct decisions or statements concerning the use of PAC funds or coordination of the same. In fact, they have clearly disclosed on more than one occasion what they can and cannot do regarding the SDP and any related PACs or PAC funds.

    Your public statement is liable and I respectfully request you present evidence to claim or recant your statement.

    Allow me to clarify; I am not a lawyer. However, I have been a compliance officer were it was my duty to safeguard organizations from legal liability. I believe you need to be held accountable for your malicious and potentially slanderous accusation, especially as you claim to be concerned about division within the Party.

  60. tara volesky 2014.12.09

    Hey, SDP, be careful when you put your pac together because the SOS doesn't know all the laws, so what ever you do get it in writing or you could end up like Annette Bosworth.

  61. Bajun Mavalwalla 2014.12.09

    Thanks Tara - that's good advise.

    Like David and Cory have said, we have a lot of talent organic to the organization, but we are moving very deliberately. Like Tasi said, we are crossing our T's and dotting our I's.... SLOW IS SMOOTH, AND SMOOTH IS FAST.

  62. grudznick 2014.12.09

    Yes, Mr. Katus really knows his stuff. I think he will really help this SDP become an invigorating force. If Ms. Livermont and her compatriots keep on their course, true, good things or at least better things will happen. I am sure of this.

  63. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    This is a very exciting movement for SD politics and disenfranchised voters. I am very happy to be part of it. SDP will be very successful because this is an inclusive organization that reaches out to ALL people.

  64. grudznick 2014.12.10

    I feel it reaching out even to people like me, Ms. Volesky, so I am happy for it too. I only hope you don't have all the "Service Unavailable" problems I have if you start a blog site. Or do that 433 banning thing on me. It makes people like me feel unwanted.

  65. David Hubbard 2014.12.10

    Thanks for the reminder Tara. That is just one of the reasons I do not wish to rush into anything. We do need to follow protocol and keep our organization above board. Scrutiny will always follow, but if we are diligent we will avoid self-inflicted difficulties.

  66. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.10

    (Grudz, I apologize for the difficulty. I continue to struggle with tech support in the search for a fix.)

  67. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.10

    Tara, please, there is no analogy between Annette Bosworth and SDP. Bosworth is a charlatan exploiting campaign finance and fleecing the public for her personal gain. Bosworth got in trouble because she violated the law, not because the SOS didn't know the law.

  68. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    It will be interesting to see what happened to all the money Cory. I believe the Head of the Medical School, Dr. Dean, Dr. Aanning, Professor Myers, and who ever else that testified for Bosworth against the AG and the SD Medical board. In fact Dr. Dean thinks she could possibly have a slander suit. Maybe interview some of those guys. One of these Drs. told me we have 2 major parties in SD which are Avera and Sanford. I would have loved to handle her campaign with all that money. Rick Weiland would probably have one. Folks, I read her psychological evaluation. It's unbelievable what they did to her. Remember, she takes care of the poor, works in shelters, goes on mission trips, pays for medication for the poor, and even does house calls. Sorry Cory, but I am going to stick up for the little guy. It's amazing, but through the months, I think I am the only Madville reader that is defending her. Maybe I need a psychological evaluation. lol.

  69. larry kurtz 2014.12.10

    Hey, Mr. Hubbard: go take a flying check of a dictionary.

  70. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    Larry, are you going to be in Chamberlain this weekend?

  71. JeniW 2014.12.10

    Your comment about Annette reminds me of the story of Robin Hood. Based on the story Robin Hood robbed from the rich to give to the poor. He is is given the "hero" status because of the taking from the rich to give to the poor, but he was still a thief.

    I am not saying that Annette is a thief, my point is that even with all of Annette's, or anyone else's efforts to help the poor and etc, that would not justify or excuse violating the law.


  72. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    Go back and read all the posts Jenny, Maybe you ought to read the court documents and her psychological exam. Or maybe you should have talked to the expert witnesses before accusing her of being a criminal. And I am talking about everybody that was part of her demise.

  73. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    Could somebody tell me what Democrats other then Darrell Rashke and Deb Knect is on the central committee?

  74. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    I do understand why these Democratic activists have taken another path because the party brass is way to exclusive.

  75. JeniW 2014.12.10

    Tara, it is not my job or desire to determine if Annette is a criminal or not. I will leave that to the experts. the only thing I know for sure is that she has been accused of violating the law.

    My point is, that regardless of who it is, and all the goods deeds that someone does, it does not mean that it is acceptable to violate the law.

    It seems that you are saying that IF (I repeat, IF)Annette had violated any laws, it is okay because of all the wonderful things that she has done for others. But maybe I am not understanding your message the way that you intended, that is certainly possible.

    If I donate a heap of money to an organization, I help at The Banquet on a daily basis, or sit with someone who is dying, that does not mean that it would be okay for me to drive on 41st Street going 60 miles per hour.

    Your being a champion for Annette is admirable. Loyalty is a good trait to have.

  76. larry kurtz 2014.12.10

    Tara, i'm desperately struggling to give one spit about politics in my home state so a two thousand mile round trip to Oacoma seems quixotically foolhardy.

  77. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    Jeni and Lynn, sorry but you helped destroy this poor woman, who was not convicted of any wrong doing. The machine will try and take her out again, because she made Marty, and Rounds look pretty bad. People who stand by and do nothing are just as guilty as the political machine of SD.

  78. JeniW 2014.12.10

    Fair enough to say that I have destroyed Annette, and I will accept that if you would be willing to say that IF Annette is actually guilty of violating the law, that you have been an "enabler."

  79. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    Well then Jenny, I better go to prison right with her. The hypocrites that are accusing her of perjury....... well it happens every election cycle. You can't tell me that everybody that circulates a petition witnesses every single signature. I am hoping to go testify. It will be interesting to here Joel Arends testimony. I would say her attorney violated the law. You almost have to be a lawyer to understand what you're signing. I had to get so many things in writing from the SOS on Mike's campaign, because you just never know when your number is going to be called. I believe that helped us win the ballot case against the SOS. It was a good thing it was heard in Federal court. I hope the Feds get involved with this. Annette's chances of winning are much greater if some advocacy groups get behind her. That's why corruption continues because people remain silent.

  80. JeniW 2014.12.10

    As I mentioned before Tara, I think your believing and supporting Annette is admirable. I do not think it is so much that you need to try to convince anyone on this forum as needing to use your efforts at additional venues, which you probably are.

    Gant and Jackley, IMO suck. When the Shantel takes office in January, it may get better. I disagree with Shantel on a lot of things, but I know her and have a great deal of respect for her.

  81. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    I still believe if Cory hadn't made charges on Bosworth, Weiland would have won. I plan on using other venues. All I ask for is a fair trial and justice for this woman. I believe there is a war on women in SD. Just got off the phone With Lakota Voice blogger, Ann-Erica White Bird. They are trying to destroy her too. I am on the black list among the good-ole-boys in Mitchell. lol. Cory, I am going to one up you and Sibby when my letter comes out Sat. lol. Hope you will stand for the people and support my letter..........if the paper does the right thing and prints it.

  82. Tim 2014.12.10

    Well it's good to know that what Bosworth is accused of doing had nothing to do with her problems, it's all Cory's fault, unbelievable.

  83. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.10

    I thought my work was done here but Tara had to go and bring up Annette.

    " Annette's chances of winning are much greater if some advocacy groups get behind her."

    What are they going to do, stand up in court and cheer? What would they advocate for, better conditions in prusons. And here I thought the court system relied on evidence to determine guilt, not an advocacy group.

    From beginning to end Annette and Chad controlled their own destinies. Both are crazy smart and just like the Rev Jim Jones they have the ability to fool some of the people they meet into not just believing, but believing fanatically. I think you is one!

    Annette's only chance of winning in a court, with the evidence they have, will be jury nullification. That would mean that 12 people think that the good she did while committing the crime far outways the damage of the crime itself. Good luck with that.

    None of us here in Madville made Annette do what she did. We wrote, we discussed, and yes even obsessed a little. If thats all it takes to make things happen the election we just had would have turned out completely different.

    But if you want to assign blame, I'll take it.

    The Blindman

  84. mike from iowa 2014.12.10

    Fair trial in Taraland- Boz minus judge,jury,charges=exoneration=fair trial.

    Not fair if judge and jury actually weigh evidence against Bosworth and find her guilty.

    Appeals-Boz appeals to Grudz.That should set her free.

    Results-happy smiley faces all around.

  85. larry kurtz 2014.12.10

    Ease off, mike: you don't have a f-----g clue.

  86. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    OK you 2 chauvinists. When guys do that, especially Republicans, they get elected to congress....John Thune. They also get elected to the legislature....speaker of the house, Brian Gosch . There are other examples too. When an outspoken women does it, She could go to jail or get her medical license taken away. I just want to know who paid Cory to take out Bosworth.

  87. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    I am also standing up for Ann-Erica White Bird/ Lakota Voice who also has a target on her back. She is under investigation How F------ Unbelievable.

  88. Lynn 2014.12.10

    Tara what does this thread have to do with Annette Bosworth? Nothing! Zero! Zilch! Bernie Madoff donated to a few charities. Does that make him immune from prosecution or being held accountable for breaking laws and the devastation to people's lives he caused? Let the justice system handle it in regards to Annette and let's get back to the purpose of this thread.

  89. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    I agree Lynn. Sorry I got off track. Can we at least agree to disagree without getting to personal?

  90. larry kurtz 2014.12.10

    Let's not forget that Democrats can contribute to South Dakota First any time.

  91. mike from iowa 2014.12.10

    I don't have a what?

  92. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.10

    Chauvinist, that takes me back a few years to the only other time I was called one.

    We were in Rapid and had just walked into the Dasie Dell. I saw a young woman headed for the door and I opened it, just like I always do for women. She came part way in, turned and said "if I wanted you to open the door for me I would have told you." So I reached over and turned her around and shut the door. When we got seated she walked by our table and leaned way over and said "chauvinist." I was with my mom and when the young woman said that, mom just looked up and and said "imagine that my son that opened the door for a woman is a chauvinist because of it."

    Chauvinist a person who is aggressively and blindly patriotic, especially one devoted to military glory.

    a person who believes one gender is superior to the other, as a male chauvinist or a female chauvinist.

    Really Tara, you want to call us chauvinist because of our dislike for one woman? Learn some new words. Better yet learn the meanings od the ones you are already useing.

    The Blindman

  93. mike from iowa 2014.12.10

    Kurtz,I'm calling you out. Nobody insinuates I'm a virgin and gets away with it! High noon. Be there.

  94. tara volesky 2014.12.10

    Bill, you are not a chauvinist by opening a door for a woman. You are a chauvinist by demeaning a woman without knowing all the facts or reading the legal documents first. Maybe you should read National Enquirer instead.

  95. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.10

    Tara you do realize that you are talking about one woman and not all women?

    You need to give me a reason to believe in her before I will ever cut her any slack. From the years they lived in Utah until today trouble has followed them around like a counterfeit cow dog. That cant all be bad luck, or someone elses fault.

    Chauvinist is an old word that seems to have a new meaning, go figure.

    Am I to assume that you have access to all the legal documents of which you speak?

    I didnt think so.

    The Blindman

  96. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.10

    I hope SDP can stay on target better than we can. :-D

    Tara, for the umpteenth time, no one paid me to "take out Bosworth." Annette and Chad are the charlatans here. She never intended to win the Senate race; she and Chad simply intended to cash in on Base Connect. I'm all about truth; they're all about money.

    Reaching hard for the original topic, SDP and we Dems need both truth and money to win.

  97. Jana 2014.12.10

    Here's a good project for the group.

    Expose the GOP and especially our national, state and local elected GOP leaders for their hypocrisy and cronyism. The GOP has become a bad habit that no one has questioned and thus they are free to continue to rule without consequence.

    How about we start with exposing the joke that is the 1600 page Cromnimbus bill or bull that is being touted by KRisti and John.

    What you will read in tomorrows Argus is that the Lewis & Clark will get money and the sage grouse will still be available to hunt in spite of the bird bordering on being an endangered species. What's not to like.

    Ask the AARP on the bill. Heck, it's just a few pages short of the ACA act that brought the shrieks out of the GOP faithful because it had Obama's name on know that Kenya Muslim they swore to obstruct before he ever took the oath of office.

    Ask the voters how they feel about using their hard earned taxpayer money to guarantee the risky investments that greedy banks can make with no know...the derivatives that tanked the global economy and cost the middle class trillions of dollars. That's in the bill.

    Heck, ask John Thune about turning over sacred Native American land to a mining company that is partnered with Iran to mine for copper in Arizona...yep, that's in there too.

    Think about how working families would feel about money being taken from Pell Grants for college being given to businesses who service those loans with no risk on their part.

    Point out that the GOP is looking to totally gut campaign finance laws meant to protect the one person-one vote democracy and allow billionaires to buy elections even more than they do today.

    Or maybe you like that John and Kristi are voting to subsidize financing coal fired plants in other know we get none of the money and all of the pollution...what's not to like.

    So SDP and up the LTE's, make calls to Washington and local media. Shake South Dakota out of it's bad GOP habit.

    Here's the link to the Argus story that is all Unicorns farting rainbows for South Dakota written just for South Dakota by Christopher Doering of USA Today. Gotta love the headline...what a joke.

  98. grudznick 2014.12.10

    What is a cromnibus and why should it choose to collapse upon South Dakota?

  99. caheidelberger Post author | 2014.12.11

    Excellent points, Jana. The SDP could serve as a rapid-response team to Republican propaganda. But would that function be redundant to the state Democratic Party? Didn't Crago and friends work hard to expose EB-5 this August, September, and October? Doesn't the party put out press releases on such topics?

    If there is more in that area to be done—more press releases, public events, a Chautauqua-like speakers' tour educating voters about Republican hypocrisy, debates between prominent political figures—SDP could do it... but from what I've read and the conversations I've had, that would be mission creep for a group focused on local and legislative candidate support. Maybe that job is better done by the state party... or maybe we could get Larry Pressler's Indy foundation to do it?

  100. Lynn 2014.12.11

    Jana excellent comment and summarization of what is happening. It's just another motivator for us to act and help educate others. Whether someone is a member of SDDP, SDP or another organization or group within the greater effort I don't see why those rank and file members can't help volunteer and help more than just one organization if they have the time, drive and resources to do so. They way I look at it all of these entities can contribute.

    Rapid response team I like that!

  101. larry kurtz 2014.12.11

    high noon east river, mike.

  102. Bajun Mavalwalla 2014.12.11

    Jana - I'm simply a member of SDP, but I'm certain the Steering Committee will agree with me that the things you mentioned are far from the scope of SDPs mission to identify viable Democratic candidates for public offices at the local level, to mentor and train them, and to provide them with funding.

    Full Stop. Our success hinges on our mission focus of electing Democrats.

    If SDP were to start doing the job of the SDDP we would be working to cross purposes, and as Cory points out, the SDDP already does these things and I for one would encourage anyone who wants to address those topics to work with the SDDP.

    If you want to help put more Democrats into the state House and Senate, and get Democrats elected to local offices, then get involved with SDP, help us find the best candidates for office, and contribute towards our PAC.

  103. Bill Dithmer 2014.12.11

    Say it in public Tara

    The Blindman

  104. grudznick 2014.12.11

    Mr. Mavalwalla, I am not a Democrat and don't really want to see too many more of them elected. Maybe a couple of the sweller fellows, but generally no. So I approve of your new outfit. I like it a lot. What can I do to help?

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