Home > SD 2014 Ballot, South Dakota > The SD US Senate Republican Primary is over, no choices left for some of us

The SD US Senate Republican Primary is over, no choices left for some of us

June 5, 2014

The US Senate Republican Primary race is now over in South Dakota. In my last post on this race I said I was getting a headache, now the headache is gone and I can look at how the race ended. I will also look at where the US Senate race headed. Spoiler, none of the paths ahead in the South Dakota are good from a libertarian standpoint in the SD US Senate race.

Final thoughts on the Republican Primary results:

SD Republican US Senate Primary 2014 Election Results

SD Republican US Senate Primary 2014 Election Results

I’m not going to go into a long drawn-out analysis of the election results. Instead I’ll just do a short bullet point on each candidate and move on.

  • Mike Rounds – I don’t think anyone is surprised that Mike Rounds won the Republican ticket. It is hard to compete with his name recognition, in-place establishment support, and fundraising abilities. Plus avoiding public forums/debates helped by not allowing people to actually understand who he is as a candidate.
  • Larry Rhoden – I was mildly surprised Rhoden was able to get second place. His bull commercial was good for a slight smile. Other than that I’m not sure why the average voter would even know who he is. I’m guessing most of Rhoden’s votes were from conservatives that would not vote for Rounds in the primary, but thought Stace was too Tea Partyish.
  • Stace Nelson – Nelson had some great grassroots support and he was my candidate of choice. I have to agree with Pat Power on this one, he really should have hired a campaign manager last year and added true fundraising to his campaign efforts. Unfortunately money on hand is more important than principles in a US Senate race.
  • Annette Bosworth – Part of me wonders how many votes she got just because she has “Dr” at the front of her name. Anyone who did even a cursory Google search before voting would have seen multiple issues with Bosworth. Her being charged with felonies the day after the election is no surprise (future post forthcoming on that).
  • Jason Ravnsborg – His name was on the ballot, that is probably all most people will remember about him (if they remember his at all).

Initial thoughts on the South Dakota US Senate race going forward:

With the primaries complete there are now four candidates in the SD US Senate race. All of them are bad from a libertarian standpoint. Here are some brief thoughts on each of these candidates going forward:

Mike Rounds – Rounds was able to get 55% of the votes in a very low turnout. I actually think it likely he will get about the same percentage points during the fall election. Rounds has the money to keep his face plastered on the television and internet. He will refuse to attend all but one or two forums/debates. Like most establishment politicians he believes it is more important to project the image he is trying to portray; rather than actually interacting with constituents or other candidates. His growth of state government and use of economic development programs crony capitalism during his time as Governor make him a non-starter for any libertarian; or for anyone that care about things such as open government and getting rid of corporate welfare. A vote for Rounds is a vote for the status-quo big spenders in DC.

Rick Weiland – Weiland is about as bad of a choice as the Democrats could have gone with. This former Daschle staffer and DC lobbyist is the very type of person he campaigns against during his “Take It Back” campaign. Add to that his disdain of free speech and his support of Reid suppressing minority opinions in the US Senate; it is quite obvious Weiland is about anti equal rights as they come in a politician. He is taking the populist approach of pushing for equal outcomes. Equal outcomes enforced by the government is as far from libertarianism as you can get. A vote for Weiland is a vote for the status-quo big spenders in DC.

Larry Pressler – Pressler has already served over twenty years in DC as an elected official. He then remained in DC as a high-paid lobbyist. For this election he dropped the Republican label and entered the race as an Independent. To me it looks like he is trying to retain his DC insider status as an elected official again, I guess being a lobbyist is becoming too much work for  him. Or maybe he is just reminding people he is still alive in hopes he will get appointed a diplomat somewhere. No matter what there is no reason to believe he won’t be anything but a big-government politician like he was during his first run as a US Senator. A vote for Pressler is a vote for the status-quo big spenders in DC.

Gordon Howie – Howie is an interesting entry in this race. He entered as a contingency plan in case Stace Nelson did not win the Republican Primary. He will possibly get most of Stace Nelson supporters to vote for him. Yet he is unlikely to get much (if any) support from the libertarian wing that cares just as much about social issues as fiscal issues. On fiscal issues Howie is spot on. He is against cronyism and I believe if sent to DC he would actually work with other liberty candidates to reduce taxes and regulations. However Howie is also a very strong social conservative. The problem with outspoken social conservatives is they love to reduce liberty in the name of religion. Above I derided Weiland for supporting an anti-liberty forced-equality stance. Social conservatives have a variation of anti-liberty stances on the social side. The social conservatives are OK with reducing civil liberties as long as it aligns with their religious beliefs. From a libertarian standpoint there are few substantial differences between the ‘government forced equality’ of a Weiland and the ‘government forced religious dogma’ of a Howie. That doesn’t mean I am against religion, I am just against religion being used to reduce civil liberties via the coercive power of the government. At this point I cannot see voting for Howie due to his potential of working with other social conservative in DC to reduce civil liberties. Maybe Howie will prove me wrong over the next few months and I will support him. That is a BIG maybe.

From this point on I will only cover the US Senate race as political geek:

Since I have nobody in the race that I like I think it will allow me more flexibility when blogging about the SD US Senate race. I’ll continue to attend events and blog about the candidates. However when it comes time to mark the ballot this fall I will likely leave the US Senate race blank. Unless I see something in one of the candidates that is hiding, there simply is no candidate in this race that looks even mildly appealing from a libertarian standpoint.

  1. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 5, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    Well, Ken, if you want to make a difference you will have to venture out where the bullets are flying. Sitting at a computer typing out things that make no difference is a waste of time. Mow the lawn and do the dishes instead.

    When I took on the FBI, Jankow, DCI, and every corrupt person I know, I didn’t do it by typing on my blog. I ended up in handcuffs, and in jail, and in the Yankton nut house. (Janklow tried to have me destroyed there but it destroyed him instead.) The FBI and DCI and Janklow were put on the run by one man who was willing to put it all on the line for liberty and justice for all. I had to bleed a lot, but it was only the honorable thing to do.

    If you want to make a difference, step up to the plate and I will tell you where the ball will be coming from. If not, the washing needs to be done.

    P.S. Will you get rid of that confirm message? It’s a waste of my precious time.

  2. Ann
    June 5, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Ken, to counter Merlyn’s rude comment I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your blog. Your attention to detail is impressive and you do a great deal of good informing readers on candidates and issues. I’m sure you know this already but what you are doing definitely makes a difference and is worthwhile.

    • June 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      I don’t see Merlyn’s comments as rude. He has good reasons for feeling as he does. I appreciate hearing some find this site worthwhile. There were times I thought about stopping blogging, but then I feel an alternative veiwpoint would be lost in SD blogosphere.

  3. Individualist
    June 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I suggest thinking about it this way. We are at a point where there are some very good libertarian leaning Senators in office. They have great ideas and those ideas are not debated or voted on because Harry Reid is in the majority leader role. A vote for Mike Rounds is a vote to get rid of Harry Reid and give Rand Paul a megaphone and his ideas a chance.

    Majority rules in the US Senate. It’s simple math. We need 51 votes.

    This is as important as it gets for the future of the Republic.

  4. Lynn
    June 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Ken, I’m with Ann and was going to comment a while back during the debates. I really appreciate the time you have spent going to the events across the state, keeping us informed via tweets and your assessment of what happened at debates and of the candidates. Your pretty close to spot on from what I am able to see.

    There are parts of being a Libertarian that appeal to me one being my dislike of pushing social conservatism in public policy. I feel that can be a slippery slope and is against what the founders intended. Your blog has helped educate me on Libertarianism.

    Thank you again Ken!

    • June 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Libertarianism is an interesting way to walk. It is highly misunderstood (especially by many that call themselves libertarian). I don’t expect anyone to agree with my viewpoints here, I just want to get information out to people and add a viewpoint I think sometimes doesn’t get heard. Thanks!

  5. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Individualist, you do not see things clearly, You bought into a certain philosophy. Your brain is in a box. You have been indoctrinated into a certain way of thinking- which is really not your own. It isn’t liberal vs conservative. They are both wrong.

    Ann, it isn’t that Ken is not interesting to read, but it doesn’t really change things. Just listen to the choir and you will feel good. It’s like reading the comic strips. It is fun, but it doesn’t really change anything.

    I look for blood and guts people to hang out with. We who have the courage to really change things. If Ken wants to really have an impact, I will show him how. He has to be willing to suffer the consequences.

    • Individualist
      June 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      How have you changed anything? It’s important for us to have our philosophy but it’s also important for us to live in reality.

      I want things to change in the direction I want. You want to complain. I will choose to move the world incrementally in my direction any chance I am given.

      Our country has two parties. SD has basically one. Politics and life are all about relationships and having the respect for one another that we are willing to listen.

      • June 6, 2014 at 3:34 pm

        I really wish we could change the one party system in SD. But the SDDP has to do a complete change in how it approaches building itself!

  6. Ann
    June 5, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    I have no idea what you are referring to Merlyn but all kinds of roles are needed in life and political movements. This blog is very important because objective reporting is hard to come by, especially in politics. Information and knowledge are key!

  7. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 5, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    But, Ann, if it comes to having no change, it is worthless. It only counts if there is a change.

    • Individualist
      June 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Merlyn, there is constant change in the world. Our country is not any different than a house. If it is not consistently taken care of it will decay. These words you type do not mean anything. You are in search of something that does not exist. Expression is one of the most important aspects of change and Ken’s opinion is well respected. I do not always agree with him but I am glad he is brave enough to share his thoughts.

      From my experience knowing ken he has a good impact on politics. He is well respected and we all appreciate his writing. He also works hard to get people elected who agree with his views. He does so in a way that even those who disagree still respect him.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        June 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm

        I don’t think you understand much of what I am saying. Of course, change is constant. However, no matter how much Ken, Tara and I tried, the needed change did not come yet. There is still a chance for change in our favor, but it didn’t come with the election. The result was known from the beginning.

  8. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Individualist:Janklow credits me with bringing him down according to his testimony at his trial..Actually, that is not true. I only provided the opportunity for him to bring himself down. Who knows whether that has changed anything or not, Unfortunately, it cost a man his life. However,that did become a change to his family.

    What have you done that is more significant?

    Accepting a philosophy is dangerous. Catholics, Muslims, Mormons, Republicans and Democrats have all accepted the yoke of some master. I prefer to be the master of my own mind.

    • Individualist
      June 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      I would rather focus on lifting others up and focus on areas of agreement than bringing someone down.

      • Merlyn Schutterle
        June 5, 2014 at 9:21 pm

        Well, Individualist, that is what Herseth said to me when I told her how to take on Janklow. You may have noticed she got her ass kicked royally. It didn’t work. You can’t expect to win a campaign by sticking to the high ground and thinking people will care about it.You may be a nice person, but that isn’t how elections work.

  9. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    Ann. It isn’t that I don’t respect Ken for trying. I do. But the truth is that it didn’t manifest itself in any changes.

  10. Bert
    June 5, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    We need to vote for the candidate who will send Conservative South Dakota common sense to Washington DC!

    • Merlyn Schutterle
      June 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Bert. Conservative and liberal philosophies are based on false belief systems and neither has the corner on common sense. They see with one eye and hear with one ear. so neither have the correct perspective. We all believe we have common sense, but we are often fooling ourselves.

      • June 6, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        That reminds of something I used to tell tech students years ago: “The problem with Common Sense is that people don’t always know when it applies”….

  11. Merlyn Schutterle
    June 6, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Perfectly stated, Ken. In spite of what some may think, I do appreciate your blog and the effort you put into it. Unfortunately, most people don’t get it.

  12. June 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Voting for Rounds is wasting your vote by voting status quo moderate Republican. Congress has an approval rating of 10%. Do we want to send a 10%er to Washington. The only way to fix Washington is to vote out both the Republicans and Democrats.

    • Merlyn Schutterle
      June 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Unless we find a way to get Myers elected, our votes are wasted anyway. Unfortunately, Mike thinks he can win on the known issues. Voters already answered that question. About four of five of us could get together and put Daugaard in a corner. I don’t see that happening, nor do I think even that would be enough. We knew Lora never had a chance, and if Mike doesn’t come up with anything different than what he has been doing, he doesn’t have a chance either.That’s the ugly truth.

      We both supported Lora and we saw what happened.

  13. June 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Ken, I love your very informative blog. I believe you are going to pick up a lot more readership going into the general elections. Thanks.

  14. June 9, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Ken, welcome back to straight-up political geekdom. 🙂

    Merlyn, I have yet to see what change you have effected. Ken is educating voters and promoting conversation. Has any of your civil disobedience done that? My blogging has led to the arrest of a former U.S. Senate candidate. Have your activities led to similar action against any corrupt politician?

    • Merlyn Schutterle
      June 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      I told you. Jankow said I was the one who caused him to have to get tossed out of the US House of Representatives. That allowed Stephie Herseth to represent us. I’m not sure of how much of a change that was

  15. George
    June 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    What a race. Ken, Good article, I don’t know who I am going to vote for in the fall. I am a conservative and want the GOP to retake the Senate, but Rounds disgusts me. He is a RINO if he even qualifies for that much. I don’t think Howie is electable 5-10% MAX. Part of me is thinking Pressler, hoping EB 5 comes out and crushes Rounds and we get Pressler for one term only. I am also wondering if Pressler would caucus with the GOP.

    • Merlyn Schutterle
      June 9, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Don’t worry about it, George. Rounds is going to the senate by virtue of the fact he is a republican in SD. Vote for Myers.

  1. July 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm
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