Monday, June 6, 2011

A One Party State: Is This A Good Idea?

PUC Commissioner Steve Kolbeck's decision to resign and take private sector job has dominated the South Dakota blogosphere.  South Dakota War College titters like the stereotypical school girl.  David Montgomery and Bob Mercer argue about the Democrats' PUC success or lack thereof.  The Madville Tibmes sees the Democrats in total retreat.  I don't want to put words in Cory's keyboard, but I think he's implying that the Dems don't have a political Chief Joseph leading this withdrawal.

Kolbeck's resignation leaves Senator Tim Johnson as the only incumbent Democrat who has won statewide office.  Further, the Democrats lack a bench.  For example, only five Democrats hold seats in the state senate.

I suppose South Dakota may have two wings of the Republican party.  Joel Rosenthal draws some distinctions between a Daugaard/Janklow wing of the party and a Miller/Rounds wing.
Governor’s Leadership – Governor Daugaard is providing proactive and steady leadership. He has been thoughtful, shown resolve, and been out ahead of the problem. Unlike Governors Miller’s reaction to the 1994 flooding and generally Governor Rounds’ wait and see reactions, our current Governor’s proactive approach is welcome.

It will be no surprise to those who know me, that I am a fan of former Governor Bill Janklow. Like Governor Daugaard, Governor Janklow dealt with problems before they got bigger (pro active), was a problem solver, and almost no one disagrees a great communicator. You would only have to remember Fireman Bill fighting forest fires or being driving into the ditch in the storm on I90 being one of the first to arrive at Spencer when they had the tornado. Like Patton in the movie, directing traffic, I envision Bill Janklow standing of the levees taunting the River to Bring It On!
I know.  Those paragraphs don't point to much of a split.  Rosenthal is just looking for an excuse to bow down before a Wild Bill idol in a rather hyperbolic, ridiculous way.

The fact remains; South Dakota is a de facto one party state, a fact that prompts a simple question:  what good will come of this situation?  This is a blog not a research paper, so there may be other positive examples; my point of reference for one party states is something like 1950s Mississippi or Alabama.  I really don't want to go there.


yanktonirishred said...

If we feed the snake it's own tail will it eat itself?

Sylvia said...

I also like Daugaard. He needed by law to balance the SD budget and did so fairly and boldly with a 10% across the board cut. This affected many entities across the state and I am sure they complained and bitched, but they sucked it up, did what they needed to do to balance their budgets and moved on. Some of the state's school districts chose, instead of cutting expenses, to seek more revenue through opt-outs. One in particular, Yankton, had their opt-out voted down by the voters. The voters elected officials, the school board, apparently is ignoring their constituents (I call it thumbing their noses at them) and are going to go forward and pursue another opt-out. I say to them, please do not put the community through another divisive, painful and costly election. Respect the will of the majority, honor the election process, suck it up and move on.

LK said...


Let's look at the substance of the post. It had nothing to do with the opt out in Yankton.

I will try to restate the key points. First, in order for the majority to be effective, it has to have a minority capable of challenging it and threatening its hold on power. The SD Dems pose no threat right now.

Second, If the majority doesn't fear losing power, it will produce bad policy. Right now,the South Dakota Republicans don't have to worry about losing power.

Before you ask, I would feel the same way if the parties in power were switched.

Sylvia said...

True, SD is a Republican, conservative state, and for a reason--people tend to want to live and raise their families in places where others share their ideology, morals, work ethic, etc. If I wanted to live amongst liberal democrats, I would not live here. I do not want that. I live here, I am a conservative Republican and vote that way. I'm guessing SD will remain Republican as the life style, politics and conservative morals here are not going to attract a large number of Democrats.