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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Munsterman Campaign: We'll Answer Your Question After You Ask Us Several More

For the record:

Subject: Interview opportunities with the Munsterman for Governor campaign.
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 08:26:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Pat Powers
To: Cory Heidelberger [and several other members of the South Dakota Blogosphere]

Greetings Fellow SD Political Blogger:

In response to a question that Cory Heidelberger had of SDGOP Gubernatorial Candidate Scott Munsterman a short time ago, the campaign extended an offer of making Scott available to Cory for some Q&A time. I'm terribly remiss in not extending the same offer to all South Dakota Bloggers for a similar opportunity.

As I related to Cory, If you have a number of questions for Scott, PLEASE feel free to call the campaign at (605) 695.3926 and arrange an interview with him. He's on the road quite a bit, so he's got plenty of time to talk. All I'd ask is that you have more than one question. In fact, several questions would be great.

I can assure you that Scott is extremely accessible, and as you might guess from his book which you can download for free at ( http://www.munstermanforgovernor.com ) he's not afraid to talk about his ideas for making South Dakota a better place. The book is about starting a conversation with South Dakota - and everyone is invited to ask questions, and join in the discussion.

If you're not comfortable making the call directly, any of you are welcome to drop me a note at dakotawarcollege@yahoo.com, and I'd be glad to facilitate it.

As always, if I can answer any questions, or assist you with any information on behalf of the campaign, please do not hesitate to ask.


Pat Powers
Munsterman for Govenror

My response:

Subject: Re: Interview opportunities with the Munsterman for Governor campaign.
Date: Sun, 30 Aug 2009 10:46:52 -0600
From: Cory Allen Heidelberger
To: Pat Powers
Cc: [Fellow members of the South Dakota Blogopshere]

Thank you for the kind invitation and contact information for Candidate Munsterman. When I care to fulfill the condition you set that callers come with a prepared list of several questions for the candidate, I will avail myself of the opportunity.

In the meantime, Candidate Munsterman has my question about what practical steps he would take to back up his lofty rhetoric about the budget self-sufficiency he wishes to achieve for South Dakota. Where would he have found the $71 million dollars to plug this year's state budget shortfall without accepting federal stimulus dollars? How does he suggest we reduce the state budget so we can send our share of spirit-sapping federal stimulus dollars back in FY2011? And what actions does Candidate Munsterman propose to fill the fiscal chasm that will yawn open again during the first year of the next gubernatorial administration when the stimulus runs out?

There, 3 is more than 1, right? If not, fellow bloggers, feel free to append my questions to your own lists when you call the Munsterman campaign.

Candidate Munsterman has had my original question available online on my blog and his blog since Monday, August 24. His campaign has been aware of said question since then as well, as evidenced by his campaign manager's comment on my blog on that same day. This is why I prefer written communication, since it is obviously taking Candidate Munsterman a heck of a long time to come up with an answer... and I hate to put people on the spot on the phone.

I look forward to hearing practical responses on the campaign trail from the "extremely accessible" Candidate Munsterman.


Cory Allen Heidelberger -- Madville Times
1883 Cottonwood Cove Trail
Lake Herman, SD 57042

We're working on a phone call, but jeepers, that means synchronizing schedules, making the candidate take time away from hitting the road and lining up speaking events and donors. Whip out the laptop, bang out a response before breakfast—simple!


  1. Wait, you're complaining about being offered a no-holds-barred interview with a gubernatorial candidate?

  2. No, I'm complaining about not getting an answer to the question I posed.

  3. Cory -

    If you wrote a question on your blog that you might like an answer on from Herseth Sandlin or Johnson, would you expect a response just because you wrote it on your website?


    Even further, would you anticipate that someone from their office would read it, and offer you unfettered interview time with the candidate or officeholder where you could ask that question?

    That's also highly unlikely.

    But you know what? At the Munsterman campaign, we're a little different.

    We're saying that if you sincerely want answers to your question - the door is open, and we're game. The only condition is that you come with a few questions.

    There certainly has to be more than just one question you have about the current state of our state or how we can chart a course for the future.

    If you prefer that it be in writing, we can do that. But that's just a monologue from one person receiving a monologue from another in reply.

    We're inviting you and anyone else in the SD blogosphere to take the time and have that conversation - a true dialogue - with Scott.


    Pat Powers
    Munsterman for Governor Campaign

  4. Kelly Fuller8/30/2009 8:16 PM


    I've heard from a usually reliable source that there is going to be a really big state budget deficit next year and that folks are going to be shocked by how big it is. If said source is correct, questions about priorities for budget cutting are more important than ever, totally aside from any issue of whether to accept federal funds.

  5. Cory, you say, "When I care to fulfill the condition you set that callers come with a prepared list of several questions for the candidate, I will avail myself of the opportunity."

    Why not just do it? I did. It took me twenty seconds to write down two questions. When I called Scott's campaign office, he was right there to speak with me, and he spent the better part of an hour with me.

    I've related this experience in another post on this blog. (You'll have to scroll down; I wrote three different comments in the post.)

  6. Cory, you say, "I hate to put people on the spot on the phone."

    Aha, I love to do that! I risk getting real-time egg on my face that way, but so what?

  7. Stan, that was great work on your part! Keep up those questions -- and feel free to report any answers here!

    I genuinely have fallen out of love with the phone over the past few years. I've realized how Pavlovianly silly it is to drop everything at the sound of the telephone ringing. I much prefer the asynchronous nature of the Web: you send me a message, and I can choose to respond to it immediately, or after I finish this blog post, or after breakfast, or not until tomorrow, when I've had time to think through a complete answer and dig up some sources.

    On matters of public policy, the written word on the Web is an especially good medium. Now, when Mr. Munsterman comes up with an answer, he can write it himself, on his own schedule, on his blog, my blog, wherever. Then everyone can have the answer right away, and everyone will know it is coming from him. If he calls me (and he did yesterday, while I was out), I'm sitting on the message until I feel like posting on the blog. When I post, there's always the chance I'll misrepresent it, spin it, or just get it wrong (I might mistype "My plan will not reduce education funding" by forgetting the not).

    And let's not forget one of the main purposes here. I'm not blogging just to inform my vote. I'm blogging to inform everyone's vote. When I post a question for a candidate or an elected official, I certainly hope that individual will take time to respond (although SHS has no more obligation respond to my blog posts than she does to respond to PP's or Bob Ellis's). But I hope even more that I will get other voters to ask similar questions before they vote. If more people like Stan pick up the phone or go to public fora to ask questions, then mission accomplished.


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