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.