Sunday, October 26, 2014

Polls Are Bustin' Out All Over . . . All Over The Meadows And The Hills . . .

     If Mssrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein  were Republicans they'd be giddy about the numbers showing up in a flurry of polls that just came out.  I know, I know, it ain't over 'til it's over, but just the same it looks to me like a Republican sweep is about to happen in South Dakota's statewide races. Rounds has finally cleared the 40% hurdle in what's likely to be a plurality-determined senate race, his two major opponents having faded fast in the last week or so.  NBC just came out with one on the governor's race showing Daugaard crushing Wismer by 40%.  As they materialize over the next few days, I'm sure polls of all the races will confirm the big leads that Pubs have been maintaining for months now.
     Like probably a lot of my fellow Pubs, I'm feeling somewhere between okay to somewhat resigned about the situation--and I'm uncomfortably ambivalent about the likelihood that Mike Rounds will be our newest U.S. Senator.  On the state level, it would be nice if Governor Daugaard's caretaking nature could be goosed up with some leadership and vision. And Attorney General Jackley's reluctance to come forward with a forceful "we'll get to the bottom of this" approach to the EB-5 fiasco only adds to a general sense that lethargy will remain the ongoing style among the top managers in South Dakota.
      As to the House race, much as I've disdained Kristi Noem since she stabbed her U.S. Government-dependent constituents in the back last year by voting to shut down the federal government, she will at least bring some experience and a long-time resident's knowledge of South Dakota-specific issues to the House of Representatives. Those are qualities lacking in her earnest but unprepared opponent Corinna Robinson.  My hope for Noem is that she develops some sensitivity to South Dakotans and their needs before jumping on an ideological bandwagon like the one that almost wrecked the economy last year.
     As to Rounds, the final chapter on the EB-5 story has yet to be written.  Obviously, he has a fair number of South Dakotans believing that it's a mere distraction--enough, anyway, to carry him to a likely victory by plurality next week. But he's told conflicting stories, along with mis-statements aplenty. Given that the FBI is "actively" investigating the matter, and given that Rounds' office was closely connected to the sizable (more than $100 million seems to be a commonly accepted and unchallenged estimate) ripoff of money that should have been South Dakota's, the federal investigation remains an unknown component of this story.  Beyond that, there's the possibility that ethics reviews by the U.S. Senate itself may create some political and functional problems for Rounds.  Tainted from the get-go, Rounds leaves much to be desired as our next Senator-elect.  Most South Dakotans understand that, considering that if his plurality holds, 60% of us would rather have someone other than Mike Rounds representing us in the U. S. Senate.


  1. Continued republican control in a single party state, my wife asked me yesterday why we stay here, republican business friendly low wages, no benefits, have forced my kids to get out, no real reason for us to stay here either. John, you are a businessman here, any idea what the housing market is these days?

    1. Yeah, the one-party rut is getting monotonous, but South Dakota has more than its share of charms, at least for an older guy like me. The part about kids skeedaddling is depressing, for sure, as I've seen so many outstanding young people move out as soon as they could. Here in Rapid I think the housing market is pretty decent, at least liquid enough to get in and out at going prices.

    2. The worst part of single party rule, there are a lot of really good ideas from "the other side" that go completely ignored. Any true republican lawmaker will tell you, nothing good ever comes from the libs.

    3. Also, from a practical political standpoint it seems like a good idea to have at least 1 Dem in Congress so that SD has a voice when Dems caucus.

  2. Do you really believe that Noem appreciates the legislative process and will bring experience into her third term? Many sincerely doubt such, and she has publically stated that she will not seek a leadership position during her third term because in her first term it was too difficult to generate compromise. Why would she, whose family has received over 3.1 million dollars in subsidies, and personally received full pay during the government shutdown feel compelled to sincerely care for South Dakotans? Recall she voted against the Violence Against Women's and Paycheck Fairness Acts too. Noem does not deserve another term and we should support someone who will defend all our interest regardless of party. Robinson, although new to South Dakota politics, has led in the most demanding of complex situations around the world, and would well surpass Noem in her first term. Robinson also completed several advanced degrees on her own time while Noem competed her first degree during her initial Congressional term. Robinson has been quoted in stating, "that upon election I would offer 1/2 my salary to non-profit organizations across our great state." All Robinson lacks is name recognition, and if not elected she will certainly gain it on her second run.