Friday, June 9, 2006

There's something happening here

(Note: this post has been corrected on some details about the SD Freedom Fund. We value truth around here.)

There's been talk on Mount Blogmore (the scrappy Rapid City Journal political blog) about what the results of the June 6 primary election mean for November. Bill Harlan said on the Mount that all incumbent Repubs who voted against HB1215 with a challenger lost, but the results were split for Democrats. Rep. Julie Bartling (D) (the Dem co-sponsor of 1215) prevailed in her primary, running against two other Dems whose combined votes would have solidly defeated her. (!)

Enquiring minds query the tea leaves: will anyone else lose elected office because of the bravery / cowardice / arrogance / ignorance / passon of their actions in the Lege session? Some "conservatives" sound overjoyed, interpreting one race in particular, the Schwiesow/Adelstein State Senate Republican primary in District 32, as a strong grass-roots endorsement of HB1215.

It seems to me that the District 32 story wasn't so much a resounding "values" victory, but more the result of Schwiesow staying on her (one) message, and fiercely mobilizing her local base through lots of hard work and volunteer phone calls.

Or not. Schwiesow did get a little last-minute help from out-of-district friends Bob and Rita Fischer, and more of her East River and Westside friends (aka the "SD Freedom Fund") who quickly came up with the $11K needed when Fischer's flagrant breaking of the political contribution rules was exposed by the Adelstein campaign. (Here's who stepped in to fill the gap.) Although Schwiesow clearly has some grass-roots support in her District, let's please knock it off on the home-town political David and Goliath/Underdog/Cinderella story. But I digress.)

Since three of these closely-followed Repub State Senate primaries were right here in town, I thought it would be fun to do a very rough likely-voter analysis, on the assumption that as many people will vote in the 11/06 State Senate races as voted in 11/04 (who knows, this a WEIRD year). So I took the number of people that voted in 11/04 in these races and subtracted out the Repub primary voters from June 6, and this is what I got (data from the Pennington County Auditor):

pie charts

What will happen? Assuming the fire-engine red, 'true-believer' Repubs stick by their candidates, what will the moderates (rose color) do? Vote the party line? Sit on their hands? Vote for (or work for) one of the excellent Dem candidates in their District? And what about the non-true believers, those that aren't active in party politics, do not vote in primaries, and are at best ambivalent toward politics? And what about unlikely voters, that didn't vote in '04? There's a lot in play here.

All I know is 1) a lot is at stake 2) there are real opportunities for Dems with a good organization and a compelling message and image.


  1. Anonymous10:09


    As long as we're talking about who bought Frau Elli's election, here is an interesting entry from the Mount:

    "I?d have to vote Doug Hamilton off the island. Hamilton was recently tagged with a $4.1 million verdict because he derives pleasure from the abuse of women who work for him. Enter the Strawberry Shortcake of South Dakota politics, Elli Schwiesow, and you?ve got a match made in GOP Hell, though it?s not the kind of match even an inveterate watcher of the depredations of the GOP might anticipate.

    "Hamilton, as the Argus Leader reported on Saturday, started a PAC. Here in South Dakota, there are no caps on PAC contributions. So the PornMeister threw $12,000 into his PAC, then rolled $10,000 out to the apparently-not-so-naive-as-she-seems Elli Schwiesow.

    "Elli, you should be deeply ashamed of yourself."

    The discussion was about who bloggers would throw off the virtual island on Mount Blogmore. The Uberconservative Republicans ran a huge blitz blasting Stan and his ability to bankroll campaigns. A good question to ask voters in Frau Elli's district is if they approve of who owns access to Elli with his fat contributions.

    Think and talk amongst yourselves.

  2. Anonymous10:28

    I'd vote Doug off the island too - I'd vote him out of this universe if I could. He is the biggest slim bucket I have ever heard of and have nothing but disgust and hate for him.