A friend of mine who happens to be a Republican Rep in Pierre told me that maybe the Democrats should think about their message if they want more than six seats in the State Senate.
I think he meant... act more like Republicans.
Not so much.
South Dakota Dems can be trusted to be here and be on the side of working people. It's that simple. We did have a bad year in 2010, but we will never forget why we are Democrats... because we know that Reagan was wrong. Government is not the problem; government done wrong is the problem -- and government done wrong is what we've been getting from Republicans for 30 years now. We also know that we need everyone, and "when everyone does better, everyone does better." We are the party of vision, the party of possibility, and the real big tent.
The other guys in contrast, are all about what we can't afford, what we don't deserve, and why we should shut up. Watch them carefully the next two years, both in Pierre and Washington, and you'll see what I mean.
This is a time to saddle up. My friend Ben Nesselhuf seems to have the right idea:
VERMILLION – A Democratic state senator and former secretary of state candidate Ben Nesselhuf, Vermillion, said he’s got a “back-to-basics” strategy to rebuild the S.D. Democratic Party from the ashes of its 2010 election disaster.
“To rebuild successfully, Democrats in South Dakota need to get back to basics of raising enough money to compete in 2012. My goal is to create a more successful fundraising and messaging machine,” Nesselhuf said. “We’ll start by re-engaging people, cutting back on expenses and sticking to what we need to win. No frills. Just clear focus on what works and think creatively to win back the seats we lost in 2010.”
Nesselhuf set a state Democratic Party record for raising money as a constitutional candidate when he ran for Secretary of State. He raised more than $200,000 for his race. Nesselhuf served five terms in the S.D. Legislature in both the House and the Senate. During the 2008 campaign, he headed the party’s Majority Project which was successful in recruiting a record number of legislative candidates and raising money.
Nesselhuf said he made the decision to seek the chair position after listening to key Democratic activists around the state. He said the activists are anxious to rebuild and capitalize on the political tide turning against Republicans in the next election.
“I know Democrats can be winners. We have the courage of our convictions to move America and South Dakota forward. We are not afraid to fight for the middle class and to fix the mess in Pierre and in Washington that shortchanges the workplace and our schools. We just need to go back to the basics to raise the money, recruit the candidates, rebuild local organizations and stay committed to winning,” Nesselhuf said
Nesselhuf said he wants the state party to be prepared in 2012 to take full advantage of the next electoral opportunity.
“Our party suffered historic setbacks that we haven’t seen since the 1960s,” he said. “This state organization founded by George McGovern has seen worse times. We have always found it within ourselves and in each other to build back up. We can do better and better in the next four years and I will do my part as chair to reach this achievable goal.”