The first tuesday in June is primary election day in South Dakota, and 10 years ago today a special election to fill the congressional seat of disgraced and resigned Bill Janklow was on the ticket too. Near a thousand of us progressives from all over the country flooded into South Dakota to campaign for democratic candidate Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin the preceding Memorial Day weekend, knocking on thousands of South Dakota doors. On that election day 10 years ago, Stephanie won by a mere 3000 votes. Yup, each of us thousand volunteers probably won over at least a voter a day for 3 days, and that was Stephanie's margin of victory.
Ten years later, South Dakota ain't even on the beltway democrat's map. Yup, wander over to dscc.ord and look at their map of races around the country... South Dakota ain't even highlighted! Neither are the races in Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming- All states where democrats have won statewide races in recent memory. In fact, Stephanie's election in 2004 gave the democrats control of South Dakota's lone senate seat as well as both senate seats! But today, the beltway dem party bosses don't want to be bothered by races in little rural states like South Dakota, the other Dakota, and a slew of other rural sparsely populated states.
Those same beltway dem party bosses who decide where the campaign dollars and workers will go are probably wondering why, despite leading in the generic congressional ballot, they can't seem to win a majority of seats in congress. And the senate? A filibuster proof 60 seat supermajority is a forgotten dream, and they'll be lucky to hold on to a majority this fall.
Why? Because the beltway dem party bosses have transformed their party into an urban party. And try as they might, you can't win enough seats in urban districts to win a congressional majority. Even more so in the senate, where all those little rural states with small populations get just as many votes as the big populous states. The republicans know this, and play to the rural states and districts... The beltway dem party bosses aren't as clever.
So in the pagent of teabagger wackyness preceding the republican side of today's primary, real live bulls with Obama stickers have been paraded before us and adults only press conferneces held. The only candidate managing some semblance of normalcy is ex-governor Rounds... He has too, what with over a hundred million dollars worth of now bankrupt green card "EB-3" funded failed "economic development" occuring on his watch. Rounds is the assumed winner, but with voter turnout at noon only running 3-4% and only 250,000 odd registered republicans in the state, assuming a 10% turnout a mere 10,000 voters could pick the winner. Even a wacko teabagger can round up that many other wacko teabaggers in South Dakota! And the republican winner will face no easy ride to victory in the general election, what with retired senator Larry Pressler running as an independent and bleeding off votes.
About now some defender of the beltway dems will pop up and say "but we have no viable candidate". Well, actually, we do... His name is Rick Weiland, and you can read all about him over at www.rickweiland.com . He's a Wellstone style candidate who's already campaigned in every town in South Dakota, and with a little money (South Dakota is about the cheapest media market around), he can sprint right through this broken republican field and win.
So please talk up Rick Weiland, make him go viral on social media, and make a donation to his campaign if you're able. And if you're in or near South Dakota, volunteer... The republicans always outspend us, so we have to outwork 'em to win!