Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Senate Candidate The DSCC Is Ignoring


Patty Murray (D-WA) made running the DSCC look like apiece of cake. She and her team practically swept the field last year, winning nearly every impossible race the pundits had already awarded to the GOP-- replacing Wall Street fave Scott Brown with Elizabeth Warren, beating back popular Wisconsin ex-Governor Tommy Thompson with an openly progressive lesbian from Madison, Tammy Baldwin, and winning in red states like Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and purple Ohio, Florida and Virginia. The only close contest the DSCC lost was in Nevada where the Democrats were saddled with a fatally flawed candidate, a corrupt New Dem that grassroots Democratic voters just did not want to come and to vote for. (Obama took 528,801 votes in Nevada and won handily; almost 85,000 of them refused to pull the lever for Shelley Berkley. Who could blame them?

Anyway, running the DSCC looked so easy that this year they gave the job to ConservaDem Michael Bennet (CO). He's failing already and Democrats are wishing Murray would have taken the task on for a second cycle. Bennet had his tiny conservative heart set on recruiting former-- like in defeated by voters who couldn't stand her-- Blue Dog Stephanie Herseth Sandlin to run for the South Dakota Senate seat Tim Johnson is giving up. She agreed to run, but only if Bennet could guarantee her no primary. Bennet was responsible for then driving Johnson's son out of the race. All that work came to naught when independent-minded Democrat Rick Weiland jumped in in his place. Herseth Sandlin, fully realizing how disliked she is by grassroots Democrats, announced she wouldn't run. So what does Bennet do? Angrily ignores Weiland, playing as though he's willing to discount the seat. The Democrats can't afford to discount any viable seats; not one. Reid should have replaced Bennet immediately. But he didn't... and the DSCC still hasn't gotten behind Weiland. Benent could cost them control of the Senate. This is the lame message about the South Dakota Senate race on the DSCC website:
Senator Tim Johnson recently announced his decision to retire from the Senate at the end of his term in 2014. Senator Johnson has been a strong advocate for South Dakotans and America’s farm families. Democrats and the DSCC are committed to holding Senator Johnson’s seat next year and will devote all of the resources necessary to elect a new Democratic senator in South Dakota. Recent polls have shown that Democrats are in a strong position to hold the seat. This is another state where a likely divisive Republican primary could force the eventual nominee to the far right. A Tea Party group, the Senate Conservatives Fund, has already pledged to support a Tea Party candidate to take on the GOP establishment candidate, former Governor Mike Rounds.

This week Sen. Johnson, politely reminded South Dakota voters to ignore a corporate-oriented Beltway jackass and get behind Weiland.
It was almost 28 years ago that I announced my candidacy for South Dakota's only seat in the U.S House of Representatives. One year away from completing my third term in the US Senate, there remains one piece of unfinished business-- who will replace me.

I am proud to support Rick Weiland for Senate.

Most pundits believe that former Republican Governor Mike Rounds is a virtual cinch. Just like my first opponent Dale Bell was in 1986, just as Senator Larry Pressler was in 1996, just as Congressman John Thune was in 2002. But the pundits were wrong in all three of those races, and I believe they will be wrong in 2014 once again.

I've known Rick Weiland and his family for decades, starting when he was a student at USD, and got to know him better during the fifteen years that he spent working as a top aide to Tom Daschle. He is smart, hard-working, and perhaps most important, unafraid to take on the powerful special interests that have far too much influence in Washington, D.C.

I believe that folks are ready for a new direction in this country, one that places a much higher priority on addressing the needs of everyday people, rather than the greed of special interests.

Trust me, we can win this race. We MUST win this race. And with your help, we will.
Sounds like he was aiming that right at the tone-deaf Bennet. Meanwhile, Weiland hasn't been losing any sleep over Beltway machinations. He's been taking it to the people of South Dakota directly, working to visit every one of South Dakota's 311 communities over this year. Earlier this summer I found an article by Emily Niebrugge in the Yankton News about his visit there.
Weiland visited Yankton Thursday afternoon at Yesterday’s Cafe as part of a day-long listening tour.

“If there’s one thing we could do to take our country back, it would be to drive big money into the black hole that it crawled out of when it took our country away from us,” he told those in attendance.

Weiland said his message is not a Democratic or Republican message, but an honest message that he has seen people respond to during his campaign.

“I’m still talking about big money, and I’m going to keep talking about big money throughout this entire campaign,” he said. “Big money writes our energy policy in this country, it writes our farm policy in this country, it writes our healthcare policy in this country and it’s got a grip on our government and it’s ruining our country.”

The message is fueling Weiland’s “Take it Back” outreach program, which is taking him to the South Dakota communities.

“I’ve decided to spend 80 percent of my time on the road talking to people,” Weiland said.

During the next few months, Weiland is hoping to travel to more than 100 communities and hold more 57 meetings like the one held in Yankton. Earlier on Thursday, Weiland visited Irene, Centerville, Beresford, Canton and Alcester.

“A lot of this work is walking up and down the main streets and talking to shoppers and storefront owners, and then we’re having our meetings,” Weiland said. “When people run for government, run for Congress, run for the United States Senate, because of these extensive campaigns, they have to raise millions of dollars. ... Where’s the money coming from? Why does General Electric pay very little in taxes and have 600 tax attorneys on its payroll working the halls of Capitol Hill?”

During Thursday’s meeting, Weiland also addressed the issues of healthcare, maintaining a highway program in South Dakota, alternative energy and a national energy policy, ethanol and Big Oil, student loans and reforming the tax code.

Weiland said he is receiving push-back on the Affordable Care Act and knows it’s not perfect. But he said he does like the fact that young adults can stay on their family’s health insurance policy until they are age 26.

He also likes the fact that pre-existing conditions can no longer be used to deny health insurance coverage, along with the fact that lifetime caps have been lifted on medical expenses.

His main concern, he said, lies in the number of people who do not have insurance.

“At times, we’ve had anywhere between 40 and 50 million people in this country without healthcare,” Weiland said. “They still get sick, and when they get sick they end up going to the emergency room.

“When you go to the emergency room, that’s the most expensive healthcare you can use and not pay for. When you are going into the emergency room because you don’t have any insurance, and you’re getting healthcare and you’re not paying for it, what’s the hospital going to do? They’re going to pass it on.

“That’s really unfair to all of us who have private insurance. That happens all the time. We have to figure out how to take care of those folks in the middle.” Weiland also suggested allowing more people to buy into the Medicare program to aid with the nation’s healthcare problems.

“You’re going to pay with Obamacare, you’re going to have to pay an insurance company a premium, or you could have it taken out of your check and have the same healthcare that 65-70 of the people in this room have. What would be so bad about that?” he asked the Yankton audience.

“Big insurance didn’t want that to happen. There’s no money in that. They want to insure young people, because they don’t get sick, and that’s how the Affordable Care Act works. You have to get everybody into the system."

...Ultimately, Weiland said his devotion will be to the people of South Dakota and not to big business or special interests.

“I need to be accountable to the people of South Dakota,” he said. “If the people who come to me fall into the category of big business or special interest, there’s the door. If we can get big money out of politics, they aren’t going to have that access.

“That’s why this grass roots campaign is so important at this time in our political system. We need to get back to the grass roots. We need to have more meetings like this. This will make a difference.”
Meanwhile, the NRSC recruit, former Governor Mike Rounds, has been rejected by the Tea Party and will have at least two primary opponents, including far right extremist Stace Nelson, a state Rep who famously described himself as "probably the most conservative elected official in the state of South Dakota." Rounds is conservative. Nelson is a hard core reactionary or, less politely, a neo-fascist. Even the South Dakota GOP tossed him out of the party for a spell! That's going to be a fun primary to watch!

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At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happening to as well. DSCC will not back, support, or otherwise even acknowledge the canidate


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