I was in Brookings to meet with a few other debate coaches discussing how to limit the policy debate topic "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth's oceans" so that freshmen don't drown in it. (Sorry for the bad pun.) The young'uns will discuss aquaculture, alternative energy limited to ocean specific options such as tidal or algae, and the exploration of and development of rare earth minerals.
The Weiland campaign could learn from topic limits. Like Weiland, I believe it's dangerous that those with unlimited coffers have more political speech than a poor person with good ideas especially when the former's political utterances likely involve advocating only ideas that will further fill their coffers.
I also think Weiland's visit everywhere in South Dakota twice twice is his only viable strategy against a former Governor Rounds.
That said, novice debaters have to discuss more than one issue. If yesterday's press reports are accurate, Weiland spent most of his time rehashing the evils of money in politics.
One of the main issues Weiland has brought to the table on his cross-state tour is how money has gotten in the way of communicating with the voters.
“I've been talking about how big money has so gotten in the way of talking to the voters versus buying your way,” he said. “Big money has definitely influenced how these campaigns are run these days. I made the boast early on about visiting every town — I did that — and one of my opponents has made the boast that he was going to raise $9 million and most of it was going to come from out of state. I think there’s going to be quite a choice at the end of this campaign between someone who’s actually visited all of these communities and spent the time to sit down and talk to the voters versus someone who’s tried to raise all of this money from out of state who’s dominating the airwaves and print media.”
Weiland said one of his goals is to give people more influence.One could argue Weiland is the only candidate actively campaigning. The music videos and the "talk fast" ads are fun and effective. Weiland is, however, in danger of sounding like one of Herman's Hermits biggest hit, "second verse same as the first."
Everyone who thinks the love affair between money and politics is the root of all evil. is likely in the Weiland camp by now. Weiland has a rural development platform. The plan has several planks but improving broadband and rebuilding infrastructure in rural areas should be especially easy planks to sell. Weiland needs to talk about those plans and get that message out.