Messages from the Chair

Where is Kristi?

Congresswoman Kristi Noem has returned to South Dakota for five weeks, but she has scheduled ONLY ONE public event with South Dakota voters!

Our farmers and ranchers are anxiously waiting for Kristi Noem to pass a Farm Bill, among other significant legislation that affects South Dakotans. Noem needs to explain her positions on the big issues in communities across our state. She has an obligation to host public events, including debates and town halls, which she herself declared is “an important part of the job.”

So, we’re launching the five week long #WhereIsKristi campaign where, during each week of her congressional vacation, we’ll creatively showcase the big issues Noem avoids by refusing to schedule public events.

Here’s how you can help us make this campaign a success:

Let’s give Noem the nudge she needs. After all, the voters deserve to hear from their representative.


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Noem’s Vacation

Congress went on vacation last week, leaving little hope that South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers will see a Farm Bill extension from Congress.

Kristi Noem says she went to bat for the Farm Bill – and the results are in:

  • The House leadership refuses to even hold a vote on the Farm Bill.
  • After toying with the idea of a one-year extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, the House scrapped that idea too.
  • The stop-gap disaster relief bill passed by the House on Thursday addressed only a portion of the industries that need support.

Since Congress won’t return to Washington until September–at which point they have about three weeks to finish their business before the election–Kristi will probably be back in South Dakota soon, walking in parades, attending rodeos, hosting taxpayer-funded tele town halls, and, if we’re lucky, a few debates with Matt Varilek.

If you see Kristi in your community, be sure to ask her:

“What are you doing right now to pass a farm bill for South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers?”

We’d love to hear her response, too. So, If you have a camera or video-capable cell phone on hand, please record her answer and send us a video!

It’s time Kristi start taking responsibility for a Congress that keeps wasting time and taxpayer money while not addressing concerns during the worst drought in 50 years.

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No Vision for Agriculture from Noem

The U.S. House of Representatives takes up the Farm Bill tomorrow. Agriculture is our state’s largest industry, so this legislation affects every South Dakota family – directly or indirectly.

Given the powerful impact of federal agriculture policy, I visited Kristi Noem’s campaign website to learn about her positions on these issues. What I found – or didn’t find- appalled me. There’s not a single word about agriculture among the ‘Issues’ she chooses to spotlight.

Think South Dakotans need a representative in Washington
who understands our policy priorities?

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As Congress considers one of the most important bills for our state, Noem doesn’t even tell us where she stands on these issues. And this isn’t the first time. She attended only four of twenty agriculture committee hearings, did not make a single statement of substance during those she actually did attend, refused to explain why, then proclaimed she didn’t “go to DC to talk.”

Yet curiously, in her “Vision for Congress” Noem writes that she “will go to our nation’s capital and be South Dakota’s lone voice in the people’s House. We need a voice that speaks for the people of South Dakota and is not focused on currying favor… It’s time our voice was heard.”

Congresswoman Noem isn’t making your voice heard in the halls of Congress. And now, she says that’s not even what she went to DC to do. What’s that mean for us?

It’s time we made our voices heard back home.

Will you write a letter to the editor? Sign up here! »

South Dakota can no longer afford Noem’s silence.


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Be There Thursday!

South Dakota Democrat? Want to make a difference? Not really sure how to begin, but want to get active? I’ve got the answer!

Join me and other fellow Democrats from across the state in Aberdeen this weekend for our state convention!

If you’ve never been to one before, don’t worry. We’ll have many friends there to welcome you. What’s more, we need as many Democrats as possible to participate, both veteran convention attendees and newcomers, if we are to make real progress in our state this year.

South Dakota Democratic Party State Convention
June 14th – 16th
Best Western Ramkota

1400 8th Avenue Northwest
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Here’s a glimpse of just some of the opportunities at the convention. You’ll be able to:

They’ll be breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and mixers in between! Download the full Convention Schedule »

We’ve lined up a special guest for the banquet on Friday evening, Secretary of the Democratic National Committee, Alice Germond. Don’t forget to grab your ticket!

There’s truly something for everyone!

I hope that I’ll see you Thursday in Aberdeen. It won’t be the same without you!

– Ben
Chairman, SDDP

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We Have a Winner: Matt Varilek!

Matt Varilek.

Get used to seeing that name a lot more often because he’s going to be South Dakota’s Democratic candidate facing off against Congresswoman Kristi Noem in November.

Matt campaigned tirelessly through June to win the Party’s nomination. Take this opportunity to congratulate Matt by joining his campaign.

Let’s take back Congress! Get on board with Matt Varilek! »

A heartfelt congratulations to Jeff Barth on a well-run campaign. Who can forget the incredible YouTube video that helped put this race on the map and the issues that Democrats are fighting for to hold Congresswoman Noem accountable? Instant classic. This isn’t the last we’ve heard of Jeff Barth. Thank you for stepping up to the plate for the people of South Dakota.

The November election starts today. We must close ranks behind the South Dakotan that will put our children, our teachers, our family farmers, our senior citizens, and the needs of middle class and working people first. This morning Matt had one clear message to share: it’s time to send Noem home.

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‘Don’t confuse me with facts.’  That’s what I imagined Representative Kristi Noem was thinking when she claimed the War on Women is a ‘myth.’

Noem recently went on the record to oppose the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA is important legislation put in place to protect women – like Native American women, 45% of whom are subject to rape, physical violence, or stalking by a domestic partner during their lifetimes.

Let’s be clear. This issue isn’t about politics. This is about doing what’s right for women who are victims of domestic violence – no matter who they are.

This can be accomplished – with your help. Continue Reading »

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The Heat is On!

Get this. The North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party has laid down a challenge for South Dakotans. They think they can collect more new Facebook fans in the next week than the South Dakota Democratic Party can.

Ha. We don’t think so.

We’ve confidently accepted their challenge! Starting today at 9AM the great Facebook Fan race began, and it will run for one full week, concluding on Tuesday, February 14th, Valentine’s Day.

Our pride is on the line! We can’t let the North Dakota Democratic Party beat us for bragging rights to the “Better Democratic Party of the Dakotas.”

‘Like’ the SDDP on Facebook! »

Need a little incentive? Well, here’s my list of 10 reasons for you to “Like” the South Dakota Democratic Party on Facebook:

10.  To help us beat North Dakota!
9.  For up to the minute news and analysis of the issues of the day.
8.  George McGovern. Enough said.
7.  For reports on the ludicrous things Republicans say in the SD legislature.
6.  For [deservedly] snarky posts about Congresswoman Kristi Noem.
5.  Sometimes, we share pictures of our cats. Ok, we don’t often share pictures of our cats, but we would if you wanted us to! [We’d refer to them as Demo-cats]
4.  For cool infographics comparing President Obama to President Bush.
3.  For the interaction with fellow Democrats from across the state.
2.  For the opportunity to offer your comments about South Dakota policy and politics.
1.  You’ll have an online Democratic home to come to, no matter how Republican your relatives are!

Please ‘Like us’, and spread the word! »

Already on Facebook? Share our Badge »

Let’s stand up for the South Dakota! Our pride is at stake!


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ACTION ALERT: Oppose Governor’s Education “Deform” Bill

Governor Daugaard just released his education “reform” bill. It offers monumental – and potentially destructive – changes for our schools. Daugaard wants to:

  • End teacher tenure
  • Impose testing-based rankings of teachers, and
  • Institute merit pay for only the top 20% of our educators.

As you can imagine, many Democratic and Republican leaders are deeply concerned about the proposal, and are wondering how we’ll decide who gets bonuses; how we expect to foster collaboration among teachers if we pit them against each other for bonuses; how we recruit and retain teachers for ALL subjects of critical need.

They’re demanding an answer to one important question: How do we fulfill our obligation to fund our schools if our focus is on attacking teachers?

Take action today to put a stop to this legislation. Remind Governor Daugaard that attacking teachers is not a substitute for funding our schools. Remind Governor Daugaard that adequately preparing our workforce starts by adequately funding their education. Remind Governor Daugaard that you stand with our students and educators, and you won’t stand for his questionable education agenda.

Here’s what you can do right now to help:

Email Your Legislator »
Write a Letter to Your Local Paper »

Our students are counting on us. Please take action today.


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Our New Year’s Resolutions

Dear Friend,

With the new year upon us, we’ve made a few resolutions for 2012:

At the core of all our resolutions is a simple belief: Putting People First. Whether it’s retiring Noem to protect Medicare for our seniors, recruiting the best candidates to return sane, two-party government back to South Dakota, or defeating a proposed law that stops Governor Daugaard from robbing our general fund to pay for more corporate welfare, our vision is clear, our resolution is strong, and our purpose is right.

If your resolve matches our own, stand with us with a contribution today of $50, $25, $10, or whatever you can afford.

South Dakota Democrats will beat Congresswoman Kristi Noem. We will recruit top candidates across South Dakota. And we will defeat ‘Money for Millionaires’. But we will not be able to do it without your support.

Make our New Year’s Resolutions your own. Make a commitment of $50, $25, $10, or whatever you can afford to our common cause today.


Ben Nesselhuf
South Dakota Democratic Party

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You asked for it, You got it!

We recently asked how the SDDP could best provide you with policy information and breaking news during the 2012 legislative session. You overwhelmed us – and our inbox – with feedback on your preferences and great new ideas. Thank you!

After a review of all input received, South Dakota Democrats were most excited about two new communication tools:

  • Bill Status Update. A weekly email message will spotlight what bills are being pushed in Pierre and where the legislation is in the process.
  • Legislative Alerts. The SDDP mail notify you before a significant vote on the issue(s) you’ve identifed as most important to you.

Well, you asked for it, you got it! Starting in January, we’ll launch SDDP Newswire: Legislative Edition, to keep you up to date on session action in Pierre each week. What’s more, we’ll not only closely monitor legislative activity, but promptly send you a brief email alert when there’s important activity related to your issue area.

Make sure you’re in the loop! Update your email preferences to identify your top issues »

There are 11 categories to choose from. Select as many as interest you.


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