Monday, August 11, 2014

Ten Questions About South Dakota Politics Prompted Mostly By The Libertarian Convention

First, Libertarians at the convention seemed interested in, if not enamored with, Todd Epp's proposal to eliminate the position of  School and Public Lands Commissioner. Will Republicans who claim to favor small government and Democrats who claim to favor government efficiency seriously take up the proposal in the 2015 legislative session?

Second, can Libertarians take a small step forward and get a bill dealing with industrial hemp passed in the 2015 legislative session?

Third, Libertarians are rightfully rejoicing in their ability to field candidates for six constitutional offices during an election cycle when the Democrats could not. They were, however, suffering from the bigotry of low expectations. Having achieved this victory, what event or achievement will constitute the next win?

Fourth, will  Libertarians begin to build the necessary party structure to recruit competitive candidates for the 2016 legislative races?

Fifth, Kevin Woster's profile of Mike Rounds illustrates that South Dakota politics is proving Herman Cain correct: the Tea Party is winning because it is pushing candidates to the right. How far to the right will South Dakota Republicans go before the remaining moderates and libertarian leaning members abandon the party en masse?

Sixth, if the current polls are proven to be correct and Democrats lose all statewide races and make no gains in the legislature, what can they do to create a win or the appearance of a win? Can they create an upset in a legislative race? (I know the easy answer is the minimum wage initiative, which if it passes, will be a win, so if that's the answer, how do Democrats build on that victory?)

Seventh, if Chad Haber runs an attack incumbent Attorney General Marty Jackley 24/7 campaign, will the Republican legislature pass a statute or begin the process to amend the South Dakota Constitution to require that the attorney general be licensed to practice law in South Dakota?

Eighth, the most interesting thing Haber said at the Libertarian convention was that a Jackley victory in November would be followed by a two-term Jackley governorship. Do Republicans believe Jackley is the chosen one?

Ninth, which independent will have the best showing: Mike Myers for Governor, Larry Pressler for U.S. Senate, Gordon Howie for U.S. Senate, Eric Leggett for South Dakota State House of Representatives?

Tenth, Republicans are on track to dominate South Dakota politics until at least the 2016 elections. Because politics is a fractious enterprise, filled with people firmly convinced of the correctness of their positions, Republicans will have some internal struggles during the next legislative session. Which issue(s) will be the most divisive?


caheidelberger said...

Libertarians are crowing over nominating six candidates. How many candidates did they nominate for Governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and South Dakota Legislature?

Kal Lis said...

Fair question. I didn't get the feeling they expected to fill the 6 when the convention started.

Refer to question 4 as acknowledgement of your question.

I also think question 3 gets to the heart of the matter. What's next? For example if no Libertarian gets about 5% what happens?

As I said in a previous post, the people I think are their two best candidates are in filled races. There are 4 running for SOS and 3 for treasurer so it will be a long haul.

It was a nice day to drive home and these questions kept popping up.