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Friday, January 30, 2009

Candidate Knuppe: Democracy About Participation

Even with hat and handlebar 'stache, newly declared South Dakota gubernatorial candidate Ken Knuppe (pronounced /k-NOO-pee/ on SDPB this morning) won't get me to trade in my Dems membership and campaign for him. The Buffalo Gap rancher and fellow SDSU grad does, however, have down the talking points that make bloggers smile. At his campaign kick-off in Rapid City yesterday, Knuppe spoke of increasing citizen involvement in government:

Our government is not just for the wealthy or for those families who have been in politics for generations. Our government is for all people. It should be run so that we can all understand it and so that we can all participate in it as well.

Our society has slowly gotten into a mindset that the people in office are the ones with power. This simply isn't true. The most powerful person in a democracy is the voter. I want to empower South Dakotans to take advantage of that [Ken Knuppe, quoted in "Rancher Announces for GOP Gubernatorial Nomination," AP via Mitchell Daily Republic, 2009.01.29].

In other words, the government is us. Knuppe sounds the right note in challenging the established powers. Of course, just like my favorite presidential candidate, he has a long climb ahead to turn that populist ideology into a practical and effective campaign against those established powers who've been fundraising. Keep it interesting, Ken!

p.s.: If one can judge from the first things out of a candidate's mouth, Knuppe's Issues page is encouraging: economy, small business, agriculture, education... and not a word about abortion, gay marriage, or even guns. Can we keep it that way?


  1. His "issues" page is empty fluff. He doesn't even address the state budget debacle.

    While we can't speak for him, he gives us no reason to doubt that he'll parrot the stockgrowners anti-ethanol position, anti-public hunting position, increase criminal trespass position, kill the prairie dogs, ferrets, and mountain lions position, etc.

  2. Call me a cynic, but running government "so we can all understand it" sounds like a recipe for dumbing down. Is this government for the USA Today readership? Lots of colorful pictures and an eighth-grade vocabulary? Shiver me timbers!


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