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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Madville Times Voters Guide: The Candidates!

Regular readers will find no surprises here. For the record, here are the people who will get my vote on Tuesday:

Lake County Commission: Craig Johannsen, Chris Giles, and Dan Bohl. Johannsen has served well on the commission and deserves to continue his good work. Giles and Bohl are the best communicators of the bunch, certainly better than their fellow Republican Roger Hageman, and local government requires people who can communicate. Giles and Bohl also bring good experience and good sense to the table, so they make my list as the only Republicans who will get my vote this year. I might have voted the straight Dem ticket, but Gene Anderson's DUI arrest has embarrassed the party and demonstrated a profound lack of common sense.

District 8 House: Mitch Fargen and Gerry Lange. Fargen and Lange complement each other well: youth and energy, experience and wisdom. They have strong connections to agriculture that GOP candidates Jerry Johnson and Patricia Stricherz lack. Johnson has shown little enthusiasm for the job; Stricherz has not shown a full understanding of the job. Johnson and Stricherz appear more likely to just do what the party leaders tell them to do rather than vigorously and proactively representing the interests of District 8. Fargen and Lange both have shown more clear vision for the changes South Dakota needs.

District 8 Senate: Scott Parsley. Parsley has a better grasp of a wider range of issues. He works in energy and has been involved in wind power development from its beginnings in South Dakota. His wife is a long-time educator. Parsley helped create the American Coalition for Ethanol and our local Habitat for Humanity chapter. GOP opponent Russell Olson is a beneficiary of Republican patronage and big money. Olson also bases far too much of his campaign on specious claims (e.g., touting his role as one of 74 co-sponsors HB 1123, a toothless exercise in paperwork, as evidence of real achievements on alternative energy; using "local control" and patently false interpretations of demographics to dodge taking responsibility for properly funding education). Olson says stuff; Parsley does stuff. Pick actions over words: pick Parsley.

Public Utilities Commission: Matt McLarty. I know, I haven't paid any more attention to this race than you have. But I still have a burr under my saddle over the PUC's dealings with TransCanada. The PUC could have done more to protect South Dakotans against the encroachment of a foriegn oil company on our sovereignty. If I had the chance, I'd advocate throwing all three out. As it is, we only get to pick 'em off one at a time. Fair enough. Toss Gary Hanson out this year, see if the PUC gets the message.

U.S. House of Representatives: Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin. Now is not the time to send another Chamber of Commerce Republican to represent South Dakota in the midst of a Democratic Congress. Now is also not the time to give more power to people who think health insurance is about confidence, not affordability (see Chris Lien's SDPB debate), or who think abortion bans like IM11 actually constitute good public policy.

U.S. Senate: Tim Johnson. I'm still torqued at the Johnson campaign's stalking and smear tactics in March and subsequent attacks on local Dems for questioning those tactics. They didn't need to go there to beat the feckless Joel Dykstra campaign. But is that enough to make me put South Dakota over a barrel by sending another impotent fundagelical Republican to sit in the Senate and do nothing while the Democrats clean up President Bush's mess? I think not. Johnson has shown he can do the job even while recovering from a stroke, and he's only getting better.

U.S. President: Barack Obama. Hope. Change. Citizen engagement. A competent Vice-President. Real family values. Jim Dobson nowhere near the White House. Google for Government. Restoring America's image. Respect for women. History. A campaign built on reality, not Newspeak. Image and substance. Colin Powell said it best: Barack Obama is a transformational figure... and America and her politics need some serious transformation.


  1. So I understand your upset with the decision of the PUC. So throw the scoundrels out!
    Shouldn't you feel the same about our Congress? I've heard they have an approval rating below the President's.
    Or do you make your decision on who to throw out based on party membership?

  2. wow...is it hate on republican day or what?

    i know i'm voting republican, i don't want to go to hell.

  3. Anon 2:18: I think my County Commission endorsements should make clear that is not the case.

  4. Honestly, if everyone would worry less about party affiliations and philosophies and more about the needs of the people elected officials are chosen to represent, we would have a better world. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are always right (I'm not making a pun either). We were given minds to decide what is best and hearts to feel what is right. I've always felt that strict partisan politics is unnecessary in county government and probably one of the greatest obstacles to good overall government at any level. Seriously, Cory, I feel that you and I respect each other, but if two more Democrats had been running for county commission, I wonder if you would have endorsed a Republican.

  5. You're right, Dan: solving problems is more important than party. And at the county level, I don't think party affiliation makes much difference in terms of getting things done. We might do better if County Commission were a non-partisan race, just like school board (and city commission, right?).

    But sometimes, party politics is wrapped up with finding practical solutions. The state and national Republican party have peddled such a bogus, divisive, and destructive politics this year that the party as a whole needs a good whoopin'. I'm not just playing the Democrat mouthpiece. I sincerely believe that a serious defeat for the Republican party up and down the ticket would be the wake-up call it needs to ditch its empty and misleading rhetoric and get back to the kind of practical, positive government you advocate.

    So yes, Dan, as good as you'll be on the County Commission, if another competent Dem had run, I might have picked her or him over you or Chris. A serious trip to the woodshed for the whole GOP might do as much good for the country as sending you to the courthouse to figure out how to get our roads paved.

  6. The Force is strong with you, Cory. Unfortunately, you can't see beyond your eyes and the Dark Side has taken over. Giles, Johannsen and Bohl, in that order, Jerry Johnson and Mitch Fargen ahead of Lange and Stricherz, Russell Olson over Scott Parsley (Parsley should have run for the House) and of course, Herseth and probably Tim Johnson, although he isn't qualified to serve anymore. You'll be surprised at your Obama pick on Tuesday night too. Comeback McCain will pull it out and Independents will help him do it. Sorry, Cory, but if I were a gambler, I think I could take you for a couple of bucks Tuesday night.

  7. Hey, Anon 10:17, I'm a voting man, not a betting man. The above are endorsements, not predictions. The only odds I've offered are on the State House race... and even there, I'm not betting (we've got to save our money to pay for the tax increases we're going to get no matter who wins tomorrow!).

  8. I certainly hope McCain wins.
    Obama is saying he will bankrupt the coal industry!
    Cory, would you care to tell him what BigStone uses for energy to make our electricity?
    Maybe they'll have to convert BigStone to nuclear.
    Oh, I forgot Obama doesn't like that either. What to do?

  9. Anon 8:19: More standard GOP-McCain lies. Obama and McCain have the same position on promoting clean coal. Read this post from the Jed Report for a full explanation of this last desperate lie from McCain:

    "But just three years ago on the floor of the United States Senate, John McCain's Republican colleague George Voinovich of Ohio took to the floor to argue against a proposal by McCain to curb greenhouse gas emissions. McCain's proposal, Voinovich said, would 'put coal out of business' and cost thousands of jobs, an argument that McCain did not contest.

    "In fact, McCain agreed that his plan would require sacrifice, but he also argued (correctly) that in the long-run, America would be better off. In other words, he made the exact same arguments as Barack Obama -- and as you can see above, it was all on video" [Jed Lewison, "Ohio's GOP Senator: McCain 'Will Put Coal out of Business,'" The Jed Report, 2008.11.02].

    Straight Talk Express... right.

  10. chuck ritter11/03/2008 1:03 PM

    Barack Obama - "...if the (coal) industry wants to build coal-fired power plants, then they can go ahead and try, he says. But they can do it only in a way that will bankrupt the coal industry."

    That's wrong no matter who wants it!

    If, Barack wants to substitute a good energy source for coal, I'd support him. Barack hasn't used the word 'substitute.'

    That would conclude he either wants us to suffer or he is ignorant of our needs.

  11. Why are Democrat policies common sense issues and Republican policies partisian?

    Must be those fair minded liberals and those Self-Hating RiNO's!

    There's nothing wrong with liberals promoting their side, but RiNO's beating up on their party's policies over Democrat is pitiful!


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