Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Humble Advice to the SD Democratic Party

EB-5 scandal is not a winning issue.  It is not an issue that the average South Dakota family cares about.  It is an issue that deserves scrutiny.  It is an issue that should be ignored.  I am glad that many of the South Dakota papers are talking about it the lack a true investigation into the matter, but lets not allow this to become the Democrat's Benghazi.  (Although difference between Benghazi and EB-5 is that Benghazi was fully investigated.)

District candidates need to hyper-focus on the issues like the teacher shortage that was ignored by the GOP and increasing the minimum wage.  Those are two issues that each and every citizen (Democratic, Independent, and yes, even Republican) can understand.  When students return to school in a week or so and have no teacher or are struggling to get classes because the school can find or afford enough staff, they are going to want to blame someone.  

Parents in Aberdeen are going to want answers, parents in Rapid City are going to want answers,  parents in Alcester-Hudson are going to want answers.  Parents in Tripp-Delmont, Baltic, Yankton, and everywhere are going to want answers.  The SD GOP has been clear on their position about supporting education and now it has come to roost.

The other issue must be the minimum wage initiative.  The GOP is clearly opposed to this, but independents are significantly for it.  As the most recent survey showed, 62.2% of independents support  the minimum wage increase.  That is huge and if the democrats can connect themselves to the minimum wage, they can make some headway.

I am not naive.  The Democrats have a lot of work, but to make a gain, they will need to play it smart and focus beyond the small base in this state.  Education and minimum wage must be the focus, not EB-5.  


  1. Mike - economic issues are #1. Teacher pay. Minimum wage. Medicaid expansion. EB-5 is ALSO at base an economic issue. It is representative of the GOP's preference for BIG business programs - with HUGE sums of $$ that they can skim a little off of, vs. focusing on how NMOST SD'ns earn their living - in SMALL businesses. EB-5 isn't just all about "scandal" - it's about HOW that scandalous corrupt behavior - habitually scandalous corrupt behavior BTW - on the part of the GOP HURTS the average SDn. In that sense it fits right in with the other issues - low pay, poor education funding, lack of access to health care. ALL of the GOP policy positions on all of those issues are part and parcel of the bias for the BIG money @ the GOP.

  2. I understand what you are saying Richard, but the EB-5 for most people are not part of their daily struggle. I don't think that we should ignore it or anything else. Before you can start to get them to focus on those issues, they must connect with a person on something they have a ground area of knowledge. Talk to people from their interests and you can hook them long enough to focus on the other issues. I want to hear Susan Wismer going after Daugaard on the education crises he has created. I want to hear Rick Weiland talk about how Mike Rounds supported the Common Core and Rick would side against Obama and Arne Duncan to stand for South Dakota schools and students.

    I am glad to see the details of his farm planks. That will connect well during the debates in Mitchell. I think if you did a push poll on EB-5 to see if independents would consider not voting for Rounds or Daugaard if evidence came to light of favoritism in EB-5, many would shrug and say that is typical of anyone in Pierre. Ask them if they are worried if their child will not have a teacher this year because of Rounds or Daugaard treatment of education, you would get a much more vitriolic response.

  3. Today at Dakota Fest, both Daugaard and Rounds got hit hard from all candidates with the EB-5 scandals. Covering up these scandals are going to put doubts in the voters minds. People are starting to understand that over 40 years of a one party rule SD has become a culture of corruption.

  4. That is good to hear, Tara. I have not had a chance to watch the debates, but plan to do so today. I am glad to hear them go after Rounds on EB-5, but I still think that it is the paycheck issues that will drive voters to the polls. I hope they continue the hitting on EB-5 and bring in focus on medicare, minimum wage, and education.