Friday, April 4, 2014

A Belated Minor Musing On The Challenge To Annette Bosworth's Nominating Petitions

Anyone who has spent more than a minute skimming the political portions of the South Dakota blogosphere will have noticed that Cory Heidelberger and Pat Powers engage in some pointed exchanges. Given that Cory is a liberal and Powers an establishment conservative, there's plenty of room for disagreement. In many ways, the two writers remind me of As Troy Jones observed in one of his Madville comments, they "'need' each other as foils."

Cory's challenge of Annette Bosworth's nominating petitions, reveals that two men also view the purpose of the blogosphere far differently. Powers uses Dakota War College to project power or, at the very least, the perception of power. He posts press releases from incumbent Republicans United States Senator John Thune, United States Representataive Krisit Noem, and Governor Dennis Daugaard without comment. While he has not officially endorsed anyone in the Republican primary for the South Dakota United States Senate or South Dakota Governor races, he has saved his most pointed barbs for political gadflies like State Representative Stace Nelson and gubernatorial candidate Lora Hubbel.

Cory, however, seems to see the web as a way to diffuse rather than project power. His blog is a tool to tweak and prod the establishment. He admits that the Bosworth challenge was an exercise is crowd sourcing.
Heidelberger also identified a number of other alleged faults in Bosworth's petitions, some broad and others technical.
He filed the challenge after posting Bosworth's petitions on his blog and encouraging readers to comb through them in search of mistakes.
" 'Crowdsourcing' is an interesting part of this," Heidelberger said. "I got good information from people who read the blog. It certainly helped to make that challenge public."
It is this difference that illustrates a core flaw in South Dakota politics: one party can demand and enforce orthodoxy and only the political Don Quixotes will challenge. There are four other Republicans in the race who, given Bosworth's history of questionable financial activities, should have been double checking the petitions and issuing the challenge. But that challenge risks exposing a little dirty laundry, an act that patrician Mike Rounds and the rugged individualists, State Nelson, Larry Rhoden, and Jason Ravnsborg seem to want to avoid or believe is beneath them.

Meanwhile, South Dakota Democrats, who should do everything they can to tarnish the Republican brand, seem to lack the inclination, organization, or political savvy to go after Bosworth's petitions. If I may be permitted the redundancy, the duty of the loyal opposition is to oppose. If that opposing can't be done with a full on assault, it should be done with the political version of guerrilla warfare. Sniping at Bosworth seems a task tailor made for a guerrilla opposition, but it's an opportunity missed.

Even if the establishment wins this one, as Powers opines they will, Cory's challenge exposes some deeper problems that will continue to plague South Dakota politics.


PP at the SDWC said...

Appreciated the thoughts, but, I'm going to disagree on a few of them.

Why would you characterize this as 'a win' or 'a loss' for 'the establishment?'

My observation is how these challenges have traditionally been treated by the courts. That's not taking sides. It's a well documented fact, and they - as in the courts - do it with both Democrat and Republican petitions.

If this were the 60's, I'm guessing you'd be saying "the man" instead of "the establishment."

Aside from that, I would disagree with the comment about "saving my most pointed barbs for Stace & Lora."

My only gripes with Stace surround the negative nature of his campaign. Sure, we've gotten into it a couple of times, but nothing requires me to sit and take it when he's blasting me.

As for Lora, okay, maybe I do save my barbs for her. I shudder at the thought of her being in charge of anything. Go read her facebook page sometime, and tell me if you disagree, after reading the posts on RFID chips and chemicals in jet contrails.

P&R said...

Kind of missing his point, Pat.

As to that point, I suspect that the difference is not merely the personalities of Pat & Cory, but the relative power (in SD) of the political positions they represent.

The GOP, being the overwhelming majority party in SD, is busy trying to hold a rambunctious coalition together. The Democrat party in SD is in the position of encouraging a small remnant of true believers. Crowd sourcing works in this case where it would only enhance the fissures in the other.

Kal Lis said...


Thanks for stopping by. I think PNR summed up the point I was trying to make quite well. You and Cory have different political views and use your blogs for different ends

I'll try to go through you questions. I don't think the challenge of Bosworth's petitions is a win or a loss for establishment Republicans. It is merely a clear snapshot of how SD politics works right now. If I have to ponder about wins and losses, it would seem to be a win. If the challenge is upheld, Bosworth and her associated baggage are eliminated as a concern but none of the other candidates had anything to do with it. If it's denied, then Republicans can use it to show that outside agitators are just trying to screw up a perfectly good system

As for your next point, I will bow to your expertise on how the Secretary of State's office and election disputes have been handled in the past.

I was 12 on January 1, 1970, so I probably was all about "sticking it to the man." I probably should have been more nuanced on my use of "establishment." Sitting outside both parties, I see South Dakota Republicans as having an establishment/business/country club/mainstream wing and wing composed of people who force puzzle pieces together in ways the pieces were never intended to go. You seem to fit with the former group. I believe that Mike Rounds, John Thune, and Dennis Daugaard epitomize that group. (I'll be glad to explain what I mean by the latter if you want.)

As for the "pointed barbs," I agree that @RinoMike deserves to be called out for the spam for "Patriot Stace Nelson" and against everyone else.

I have not seen any Hubbel Facebook posts because I will play on Twitter occasionally but I never saw the appeal of Facebook. Pushing puzzle pieces together in ways they were not intended seems to explain her worldview.

caheidelberger said...

Thanks, Leo! That's the nicest thing I've heard anyone say about my blog this week!

And Pat talks to you but not to me? Now I'm really envious. :-P

Anonymous said...

The great and powerful SD republican party won't soil themselves with a real discussion with SD democrats Cory, after all, to them we don't exist.

David Newquist said...

In South Dakota, even the legacy media does not practice journalism. Which is the verifying, clarifying, and reporting of facts. Cory bases his posts on facts relevant to the public interest. Powers is in the business of obsequious servicing those he regards as his patrons and contriving defamations against opponents with no regard to facts or integrity. His in in total service to the culture of corruption that has come to characterize state government and business. At issue is the difference between intelligence, character, and the way the two blogs regard the basic tenets of literacy.