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Monday, October 5, 2009

Wasson: Not Serious, or Just Working for a Living?

Munsterman campaign director Pat Powers dings gubernatorial candidate Dave Knudson and U.S. House candidate Thad Wasson for not attending the first annual Republican Jewish Coalition Great Plains Chapter dinner last night in Dakota Dunes:

Dave Knudson and Thad Wasson were the only major candidates for office who didn’t make the event. Which in at least Dave’s case was surprising – this was a great crowd for candidates to make contacts and to cultivate relationships – there were some real power players there. And Thad, as the darkhorse in the race, if you want to be viewed as a serious candidate, you need to make these types of events [Pat Powers, "Another Quick Hit from Last Night's Republican Jewish Coalition Event," Dakota War College, 2009.10.05].

I love the smell of elitism in the morning. Talk to the voters all you want, but in the eyes of the GOP, if you won't spend $100 to eat dinner at the country club with "power players" and listen to a Bush flack who thinks investigating torture is "disgusting," you're not a serious politician.

Oh well. Maybe folks who have to clock in on Monday morning (Dakota Dunes–Piedmont travel time: six hours) just don't get to play with the GOP big boys.

(You have my sympathy, Thad: I won't spend $100 to take my whole family to dinner.)


  1. Cory -

    This was an event to support a GOP auxiliary group new to SD (like Republican women or Young Republicans). And yes, I think candidates needed to be there.

    I must not be the only one. Democratic State Legislator Mark Feinstein was also in attendance.

    Or do you have some other sort of objection to people attending?

  2. No, Pat, I said exactly and fully what I meant. Your text gives the impression that one must, quite literally, pay for a seat at the table in the Republican Party.

  3. I am after the 70% of registered Republicans that do not bother to vote. My campaign will be focused on them, not to beg for money from the "power players."

  4. Joseph Bryant,
    Corey, I have to agree with Pat on this one as a College Republican it wasn’t too much for me to pay to be with the elite of the Republican Party. I can’t express enough frustrations with the campaigns of Thad Wasson and Dave Knudson. My problem with Thad Wasson’s campaign for the United States Senate, is that he is from Meade County, which is my stomping ground, I for one have never heard of him before his announcement . My problem with him is that even the State Party doesn’t have any contact information for him. So the way I look at it is if you’re going to run the State Party needs to know how they can contact you otherwise in my eyes you’re not even a real candidate, I can understand the travel but if you’re going to use that is a excuse you should have at least made a appearance at the state dinner in Rapid City which would only took him a total of at the most (gasp) fifteen minutes and would cost him $75 saving him $25 dollars plus gas. If you’re going to run for office the time to start was ideally May of this year. So he has been announced but I could come out and say I am running for office and I would get more then my friends and family if I didn’t go and meet the people of my party and state. I have only been to one fair that had information on him, but still no website or contact information, and I was at the booth for large sections of every day and never met him. Now to Dave’s campaign I was shocked to not see big city attorney Dave at the event, but then again the more I think about it maybe his staffer that introduces him couldn’t be there since he can’t do it himself. Every time I have saw Dave he has to have a person introducing him, and that bothers me because it to me shows a lack of confidence. I think it is vital to attend these events because you have a chance to get free publicity, a chance to build your campaign team and get your message out. I was talking to several people about the caliber of candidates that we have this year and at this particular event people only saw five candidates worth looking at for these two races when it comes down to candidates willing to put in the time. One must remember all of these candidates were out in Rapid City (near Piedmont) on Friday.

  5. This has been a campaign built from the ground up. I attended the Meade County GOP picnic, introduced myself and felt very welcome. We were also able to attend the Pennington County GOP picnic, also felt a warm reception from the folks. Both of these events I was able to take my children. I have to take advantage of them, but also need to be considerate to my wife. This is alot of work for her, with her watching the kids while I speak with people.

    The website will be up soon, my campaign manager is in place and I owe the bloggers alot.

    I have found out there is alot of "clicks" even in the grown up world of politics. Sometimes you just have to crash the party to get attention.

  6. Joseph Bryant,
    Thad, here’s the real problem I have is that you claim to be building your campaign from the ground up, but have failed to get your contact information out to the College Republicans, who are more than happy to help, and the State Party who has great people in its office, that are more than happy to assist in obtaining resources. When you say you have to take advantage of your children, it shows me that you have a lack of confidence in your children’s ability to comprehend that their father a man with great courage is running for the United States House of Representatives. I also think that when you say that have to be considerate to your wife it shows that you’re not ready to commit the ultimate sacrifice of serving your state as our soul representative. The fact that this is your first political race shows me that you have no real idea how much time away from a family a politician sacrifices. It seems to me as if that you think that if elected to congress you can commit a couple of hours here and there to serving the people of South Dakota, while still putting in eight hours a day to hold office hours that you can leave if your kids are sick or need something or doing something excited, but that not how Congress works. I wish you the best of luck in your run for the U.S. House of Representatives, but as far are you crashing the party I feel the party is leaving you behind in the dust. I invite you to catch up and make the sacrifice while you still can and make the long trip across the state and up to Brookings, SD for hobo days at SDSU on Oct. 24th, 2009 please email me for further detail josephbryant2007@hotmail.com
    Thank you for throwing your hat into the ring and now is the time to make the sacriface and make the effort to win the party nomination if your truely going to prove that your the leader we need to face a tough general election. Joseph Bryant

  7. Thad,

    Why don't you run as an Independent and crash both parties? The time has never been better.

    I'm sick of having to choose between getting ripped off by the corporations or getting ripped off by the government.

  8. Joseph, I must admit, your exhortation to ditch the wife and kids sounds like a the commentary of a man who doesn't have a family of his own to sacrifice. Now if you do have a family, please clarify, but if you don't, maybe try on the other guy's shoes first, please.

    I also sense an irony hear. In 2008, some right-wingers criticized SHS for running again, saying she should prioritize family over politics. Are you saying, JB, that an effective politician (one whom, I assume, you want to represent family values) must prioritize job over family... even 8 months before the primary? If so, that sounds like one more artificial barrier to entry for good people who also want to serve their community.

  9. Joseph Bryant,

    I never said he should ditch the children and his wife. I just know that as a candidate myself in the past I made tons of sacrifices for time with my family. When I was a candidate I was only eighteen, single, and still had homework to manage in to my schedule. I am happy I don’t have kids, because I believe that children should be planned out and not be accidents. If we look at any politician who has a family: John Thune, Tim Johnson, Mike Rounds, Rich S., Dusty Johnson, and even Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin. All of these politician and their families have made significant sacrifices to serve our country. I know one candidate for governor has spent as many as ten days at a time away from his family. This really shows he is committed to running and will dedicate his time to serving our state if elected.

  10. True, public service calls for sacrifice. But there is an interesting undercurrent here: we believe in family values, we sometimes even make it a central voting issue in a campaign... but are we saying that the standard-bearers of family values are to be excused from valuing their families above everything else?

    And there still is the practical fact that Wasson doesn't have a business he can sell. He is working for a living. I'm not prepared to make the blanket statement that regular working stiffs are to be dismissed as viable candidates because they can't ditch their day jobs.


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