Northern Valley Beacon
Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Kicking poverty up a notch
According to the Kids Count report, 1 million more children lived in poverty by 2004 than did in the year 2000.
South Dakota, however, ranked 14 in the nation for the well being of children in the report sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. Fifteen percent of the state's children live in poverty, accord to the report.
North Dakota ranked number 9 in the nation for the well being of children. The number 1 state was New Hampshire, with Mississippi coming in last.
Monday, June 26, 2006
Firing Ward Churchill
A lot of folks could not care less that the Chancellor at the University of Colorado has recommended that Prof. Ward Churchill be fired. His name is not familiar to most people, and is of interest largely to other professors and members of the ultra-regressive movement who wish some extreme vengeance on him. They do so because he called the victims of 9/11 "little Eichmanns" as participants in a culture that, in his mind, systematically implements racial repression and genocide.
My interest in Churchill stems from the fact that I engaged in research on Native American literature and culture when no courses were offered on it in prominent universities, and I had the privilege of introducing and teaching courses on the subject. Churchill is a professor of ethnic studies and has written extensively on Native American issues.
While I may take some exception to Churchill's "little Eichmanns" comments, I also acknowledge that they have some merit as cultural criticism, but that Churchill certainly had the right to make them. They provide the motive behind the raging call to vaporize Churchill.
The reasons that the Chancellor has for recommending Churchill's dismissal arise from charges of misconduct in research: plagiarism, fabrication, scholarly slovenliness, and general dishonesty. While the charges were clearly promoted by those engaged in a political vendetta against Churchill, a committee was assigned the task of investigating the charges on their own merits. It was called the Investigative Committee of the Standing Committee on Research Misconduct of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
This committee did an exhaustive job of examining the truth and accuracy of representations Churchill did in his scholarship. Their findings concluded that Churchills had committed what amounts to academic fraud in the way he represented historical and scholarly documents.
Academic dishonesty is the charge on which Churchill's dismissal is based.
He has the right to appeal and argue his side. He gets the benefit of academic due process.
The sad thing is that Ward Churchill's transgressions are not unique. There are professors who routinely misrepresent what other people write and say, who draw conclusions that are based on no systematic assemblage of facts or rigorous critical reasoning, who constantly violate the protections of academic free speech.
I hope that Professor Churchill's appeals process will be long and meticulous. However, I hope the occasion puts universities in general on notice that they, like the University of Colorado, should be more responsive to matters of honesty, integrity, and competence issuing from their campuses. I can easily make up a list of professors I have encountered who violate the standards of academic honesty and competence more flagrantly that Professor Churchill did.
I wish him the best. I can't wish the same for some others I have encountered. The universities and the country would be vastly improved if they did not hold academic positions. It is a matter of honesty and competence. Not free speech.
You want to know the truth? Of course not.
The playground bullies I recall were also possessed of the dimmest wits in school. But they had an instinctive understanding of how dog packs and chicken flocks work. They knew that they could always count on a sufficient number of fellow dimwits to cower behind them as they carried out their assaults on those they targeted for their predations . Their targets were usually the kids with gifted brains who were more interested in the higher laws of humankind than in exercises of brute strength and domination.
The bullies and their dimwit coalition had a favorite tactic. They ridiculed, belittled, taunted, called names, and put on great displays of peevishness, resentment, and disrespect for the kids with greater endowments of mind, good will, and grace than they had.
This technique has become the official doctrine of the Republican Party. The motto seems to be: Deception, meanness, and personal belittlement can always triumph over issues and character. And among the bully-backers, it works.
When Eric Abrahamson was announced as Jack Billion's choice as a candidate for S.D. lieutenant governor, the sullen and spiteful bully-backers spewed forth their usual repertoire of personal belittlement.
Immediately, they focused on Eric Abrahamson's office as chair of the state library board and tried to belittle his stand on an incident involving the board's web site.
The incident involved the Governor removing a link to the Planned Parenthood web page ostensibly because it contained information "inappropriate" for children of a certain age. This, of course, comes from a leader of the political party so hellbent on making Newspeak the official language of the country. With the announcement of Eric Abrahamson's candidacy, the bully-backers misrepresented the issue and tried to paint it as a matter of seamy fatuity when, in fact, it was a matter of democratic principle.
Here is the story as told at the SDDP conventioin.
When a parent viewed the State Library Website, the person made an objection to the inclusion of the Planned Parenthood link. The person received a hearing from the board, and it voted unanimously to keep the link along with the others that it provided.
A protest was sent to the Governor about the link, who referred the matter to the State Library Board. Again, the Board voted unanimously to retain all the links provided.
Then the Catholic Bishop from the Sioux Falls diocese wrote the governor a letter criticizing the inclusion of the Planned Parenthood link on the state website. The Governor ordered it removed. This time the State Library Board, except for Eric Abrahamson, voted to remove it.
The term "bully pulpit" has taken on a new meaning. State government has a direct line to the Vatican through the Sioux Falls Bishopric. And in this case that is where the governing gets done. And, by golly, the folks in those offices know how to manipulate the dog pack.
George Orwell drops in on the SDDP convention
During the debate on resolutions regarding HB 1215, the abortion ban, and other threats to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, at the South Dakota Democratic Convention, the recurrence of a certain term revealed how deeply brain-washing techniques have penetrated our culture.
The term "pro-life" kept popping out of the mouth of hapless speakers. The term is a phony coinage. It came about when anti-abortion people realized that there were two problems with being called anti-abortion advocates. The first is that "anti-abortion" is a term of negativism, and politically it appears more advantageous to be for something. The second problem is that the anti-abortion forces were being recognized as obsessed with a single issue. So, some people contrived the term "pro-life" to attempt evade the more precise label of "anti-abortion" and to disguise that the anti-abortion program extends to gaining jackboot control over medical decisions, personal decisions, and who can control the information involved in such decisions.The term "pro-life" was coined to project a false implication. The opposite of pro-life is anti-life or pro-death. The idea behind the coined term is to suggest that those who do not adhere to the doctrines of the anti-abortionists are against life itself. Most people recognize the stupidly malicious implication and the crude motives behind use of the term. However, constant repetition has made it common usage to the unwary. (Note: This passage was deleted for some technical reason from the original post, and an alert colleague picked it up.)
Of course, as is so painfully obvious in the process through which HB 1215 was signed into law, the anti-abortion forces are anything but pro-life. They have contrived to criminalize anyone who does not accept their intrusion and domination into personal life, who does not accept their primitive superstition and phony science, and who does not accept the dictation of public policy by officials of the totalitarian churches.
The Republicans must have read George Orwell at some time, because they have been successful at getting the false term "pro-life" used by journalists and ordinary people. Orwell recognized early on how eletronic media could be manipulated as a device of operant conditioning by
saturating the culture with terms that the totalitarian forces wanted substituted for the more accurate and truthful terms. Like animals that learn to bark and roll over for a treat or for relief from negative conditioining--punishment--people have absorbed this false term into the language.
I suggested to some voting delegates at the convention that they should get up and admonish speakers when they used the term "pro-life" instead of "anti-abortion." People have the right to be anti-abortion, but they do not have the right to use a deceptive and dishonest term to hide their true motives.
If you substituted the term "anti-abortion" for every time "pro-life" was used on the convention floor, you would have quite a different debate.
As the 2006 campaign progresses, we need communications watchdogs to point out whenever counterfeit terms such as "pro-life" are used and to check the facts of everything said.
We got a late start with Factcheck.org and the upper midwest Press Project in the 2004 campaign. This time we need to get it right.
It's "anti-abortion," stupid, not "pro-life."
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
New candidate for District 3 Senate
Al Hoerth has consented to run as the Democrat candidate for the District 3 Senate seat.
Other realignments may be announced after the party's state convention this weekend.
Duane Sutton's aborted run as a Democrat
The story is out. I can now give an expanded version.
Duane Sutton lost his District 3 seat in the South Dakota Senate by 17 votes in the primary. He was beat out by Isaac Latterell who became a challenger because Sutton voted against the abortion ban.
In Brown County, Latterell launched a sign campaign. His supporters put his signs up almost invariably next to those green "Vote Pro-life" signs. Signs were about all the campaigning that was done. But Brown County preferred Sutton by 47 votes. Sutton received 530 votes to Latterell's 483. Sutton received some support from Democrats in Brown County.
The "pro-life" label is beginning to wear thin in Brown County. As one Sutton supporter put it, "Who in the hell are they implying is pro-death?" The anti-abortion forces are being identified as such, and their angry accusations and constant use of the term "baby-killer" against those who do not believe as they do contradicts their claims as guardians of humanity and life. However, that tactic still works in McPherson C0unty, which a campaigner from the last election says is a hotbed of intolerance and repression. Latterell won the election by 64 votes in McPherson County, getting 130 votes to Sutton's 66. A slightly better voter turnout in Brown County would probably have swung the election in Sutton's favor.
Duane Sutton called up the head of the Brown County Democrats and inquired about switching parties and running as a Democrat. This would require one of the candidates running for the legislature this fall to withdraw, and a reorganized ballot to be submittted to the Secretary of State by the county executive committee by the last Tuesday in August.
Sutton's inquiry sent pro-choice people from both parties to buzzing like crazy. Many assumed his Democratic candidacy was a done deal, and were already celebrating his defection. He is a popular candidate in District 3 and is a member of the Mainstream Coalition that has bunched up the panties of so many Republicans. His partisanship is temperate and he has expressed discomfort with the hardline tactics that take place in Pierre. He had support from Democrats and Republicans who think that the abortion issue is a diversion away from the many issues that confront the state. If there is a bi-partsan element in Brown County, it is based upon recognizing the many issues that are ignored while so many people fret and rage over abortion and kuchen. Sutton could have been a contender.
Clearly, Sutton felt betrayed by the Republican Party, which mounted a single-issue candidate and appeared to ignore how Sutton represented it in the past.
However, before he had a scheduled meeting with the Brown County Democratic Central Committee, Sutton called and said he had changed his mind. While he had the serious consideration of members of the Central Committee and the Democrat state delegation from District 2, his candidacy would not have been a slam dunk. Sutton did meet with the Central Committee to review the recruiting of new candidates in light of the changed circumstance for the general election.
The labor factor in the party has serious reservations about Sutton's position on wages, collective bargaining, and workplace issues. When the possibility of his candidacy became known, veterans expressed fierce opposition. Some educators do not think he has a realistic grasp on educational funding and teacher pay.
Had Sutton run as a Democrat, he would have risked alienating the 52 percent of Republicans in Brown County who voted for him. A few may have voted for him, but the hard political fact in South Dakota is that party label means one hell of a lot more than stance on issues or legislative competence. Many would resent the party switch.
There is an element of irony. District 3 is one of the most grotesque gerry-manders in the nation. It would do Tom Delay proud. In the redistricting squabble, an amendment sponsored by Duane Sutton is what put a slice of McPherson County in the District.
Monday, June 19, 2006
South Dakota proposes plan to keep teachers out of the state
The latest scheme to do something about South Dakota's ranking as the lowest in teacher pay harks back to the ante-bellum south. Gov. Rounds and his resident educational suck, Melmer, propose to categorize teachers as house niggers, field niggers, and all-around niggers and create a pay differential on how well ol' massa likes them. Currently, pay differentials are based upon upgraded education, years of service, and in some cases evaluations by peers and adminstrators. If the new plan, covered today in the Argus Leader and posted on the Kremlin home page from Pierre, goes into effect, why would anyone want to teach in South Dakota? Why would knowledgeable parents send their kids to school there?Here is a piece on merit pay we did last November:
Governor Rounds is proposing to do something about South Dakota's perennial ranking as paying its teachers the lowest in the nation by raising the spectre of merit pay. In the last 20 years, there is an abundance of data to show that merit pay does not work and precisely why it does not work.
I once believed in it. Merit pay seems so logical and so fair. People who do the best work should get the highest pay. As a faculty negotiator, I helped design and implement a merit system. I was proud of it. I had put immense amounts of work into it. Consequently, I was one of the last people to admit to the fact that there is no way merit pay can work. I was often called upon as a consultant and adjudicator for other systems that were trying to implement the concept. It took years of trying to fine-tune the concept, until I was forced to look at the data and the havoc it created at schools throughout the nation.
The first premise of merit pay that is wrong is that a faculty (or any other group of workers) can be ranked from the best performers to the worst. While there are a few people with natural gifts that make them appear very good at their jobs and while there are a few who are miserable, 95 percent of the teachers on a faculty work hard, are effective, and produce equal results. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but intelligent, mature teachers learn to use their strengths and improve their weak areas. In deciding merit pay, people are forced to compare apples with oranges with avocados with tomatoes with potatoes with orchids, and on and on. Merit is not as easy to determine as we like to think. Every teacher thinks he/she is doing a superior job and deserves merit. Ninety-five percent of them, usually more, are right.
Here are the points on which merit fails, as noted in experiences of the last 20 years:
- Adminstrators reward their favorites and punish those they feel threatened by or take issue with. Invariably. The range of subjectivity in the awarding of merit varies, but personal preference and prejudice are always present.
- Merit pay turns colleagues into rivals, often enemies, as people compete for pay. As they contend against each other, people stop cooperating and working together for mutual goals. It is not unusual for an incredibly effective teaching team to be turned into a seething vipers nest.
- The damage done to people who are effective and valuable teachers is irrevocable when they are compared as inferior to colleagues. They are lost to the system they are in, whether they stay in it or move on. The indignity of having their colleagues ranked as their superiors is fatal to the sense of professional responsibility teachers have.
- Merit pay can almost work, when it is based upon performance objectives that teachers work out with their administrators. Those plans fail, however, when any form of ranking is used. And because of the money required for such a plan, rankings generally ensue.
- Merit pay is based upon an assumed set of inequalities. It undercuts any notions of equality and fair play and affects morale very negatively. It is a tacit refutation of our American ideal of equality.
- The rivalries and animosities that arise from merit competitions are generally permanent. Personal relationships affected by any hint of superiority and inferiority are damaged forever.
I can tell a multitude of tales about my observations. One of the most telling involves a school that was unsually successful in getting students to write at a very high level of performance. The Dakota Writing Project, of which I was a co-director at the time, obtained a grant to refine the school's writing program and use it as a model that other schools could observe and borrow ideas from. The school board, with the concurrence of the faculty, introduced merit. Within a semester, the teachers in the program stopped sharing information. Faculty meetings which had once been a mother lode of useful information turned into silent, resentful ordeals. Within a year, many of the teachers who had been friends tended to avoid any personal or professional contact with each other. When the first merit awards came out, the faculty had such little interest in the program that we had to withdraw the grant funding. At the end of the second year, half of the teachers in the program had found other jobs, mostly outside of teaching. The other half stayed on and did their jobs by avoiding each other. The student writers dropped from being some of the best performing in the state to being among the worst.
Merit pay seems like a great idea. But because it involves designating some people as better than others, it is one of the most destructive programs that can be put into place. Especially in education.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Bush wrote the book on how to make Iraq the worst possible situation
George Bush flew to Iraq last week to create one of those photo-opportunities that flatters the press into obsequious sucking. In a follow up press conference, he commented that an untimely withdrawal of troops would create the worst possible situation in Iraq. He should know. He wrote the book on creating the worst possible situation in that country.
His trip to Iraq was to shift attention away from the many troubles the military is facing there by focusing on the installation of an Iraqi government. The administration managed to get both houses of Congress to put forth initiatives on which the members voted concerning Iraq. This is the technique of misdirection.
In the ensuing debate, administration supporters have accused war critics of not wanting to win, of failing to support the troops, of being soft in the war on terror. These must be either the most dishonest or stupid--or both--people in the country. The Bush war on Iraq set up 2,500 American troops for slaughter. A slaughter that would not be necessary if false information was not used to manipulate the country into war. For those who had doubts about the original reasons for war on Iraq, such as Hans Blix, the Bush administration set up a campaign of malignity that ranks right up there with Nazi-Germany and the Soviet Union for slandering people it wants to portray as enemies of the state.
Now the justification for the war on Iraq is that it removed Saddam Hussein. No doubt, Hussein is one of the leading criminals against humanity, but he shares the billing with dozens of leaders throughout the world. The question is if we intend to take out those others who commit crimes against humanity, also. It is insulting to people of intelligence and good will to be inflicted with rhetoric so stupid and so dishonest.
But it does seem to divert attention away from some hard facts about Iraq. We have compiled quite a record of misconduct in this war with the handling of interrogations that are considered illegal by our own military rules and with the killing of civilians, such as the 24 in Haditha.
Dr. Silas, who was in Viet Nam and became a drill sergeant, and I had an exchange of e-mails on the responsibility of the commands over their soldiers. We recalled that as military instructors, we were told that we would be held responsible for any misconduct of personnel while they were under our direction. That made us hard-asses, to use the military nomenclature. When we were delegated responsibility for the behavior of troops under our supervision, we were told very clearly that we were acting in behalf of the command all the way up to the commander-in-chief. The rule was, "If you fuck up, the whole country fucks up." And so it was.
Because of the way military orders and tasks were established, I have never been able to understand what was going on at Abu Ghraib. I understand some things about what might have happened at Haditha. But I also understand that not all people who wear the uniforms of their country are models of good will, meticulous conduct, and lofty character. There are those who live to satisfy a blood lust. There are those totally devoted to self-gratification. And there are those who live with a driving resentment and schemes of revenge against someone for some reason. If they fuck up, the whole country fucks up. In Iraq, they fucked up.
In Iraq, George Bush fucked up. Royally. His trip to Baghdad and his "stay the course" song should not divert attention away from the misperformance that has got us into and kept us in this war.
Yes, something needed to be done about Iraq. But making it the worst possible situation our troops and our country could be in was not what needed to be done.
We support our troops who loyally and bravely do what they are ordered by the command. We do not support a command devoted to fucking up and covering up.
America needs to be a model of humane decency, not a model of perfidy and moral incompetence. That's what our founders wanted it to be. That ideal is what the Bush administration tries so hard to destroy.Check out this analysis in the Chicago Tribune
Friday, June 16, 2006
Alito: Another little nail in the coffin of liberty
The Supreme Court changed the rules yesterday. It has been a rule that when police charge into a place to conduct a search for criminal evidence, they must first knock and announce who they are. In the past, courts have barred any evidenced gathered if the rule was not follow from admission to criminal trials. It was called the "exclusionary rule." The Supreme Court yesterday decided that evidence gathered without knocking and announcing could be admitted into trial. New Justice Alito along with new Chief Justice Roberts were among those who gutted the exclusionary rule.
The argument made by Justice Scalia was, essentially, that criminals got off when the police did not precisely follow the rules and that the social costs are too high.
This is one rule that was never intended to give comfort to the criminals. They have little chance to hide evidence in the few seconds between a knock and announcement of who is about to enter and the actual entrance of the police. The rule was one in a phalanx of rules designed to prevent the violation of Constitutional rights of citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. It made the police take a methodical approach to insure that any evidence gathered was done so in a manner that established the credibility of the evidence and gave the subjects of searches a chance at due process of law. It was a rule that grew out of police-state tactics in which Constitional rights and due process of law were flouted by police departments.
O. J. Simpson was acquitted on the basis of reasonable doubt raised by the possibility that the police had planted evidence. People in Honkeyland have never understood the case. Simpson's lawyers got the case moved from a suburban jurisdiction to an inner city one. They knew that people in that jurisdiction, whether black, white, or Latino, were well indoctrinated into police tactics of beatings, framings, and planted evidence. The legal team knew that if they could establish a credible possibility that the police planted evidenced, their client would most likely be acquitted. Bad police tactics were something people in that neighborhood witnessed all the time.
And so, now that police do not have to knock and announce who they are, we have taken another step into the police state that is the dear aspiration of so many who call themselves conservatives today.
However, Nathan Newman at TPM Cafe points out a possible conflict. The same conservatives who love the idea that police do not need to follow any rules for certain types of people are fond of the "Castle Doctrine." That doctrine is one in which if you believe someone has intruded in your home to do you harm, you have the right to blast the person away. Nathan Newman raises the issue of whether the Castle Doctrine can be invoked if some police who fail to knock and announce get blown away.
We have a strong hunch that the Castle Doctrine will apply only to people of certain ethnic strains and creeds.
Friday, June 09, 2006
Snarks, and other lower-life forms
We have a rather comprehensive posting in process on why we, among other people, have greatly reduced our blogging activity. In a few words, the reason is simple: blogs are not credible sources of information and informed opinion. They have as much credibility to the discerning intelligence as the graffitti in roadside outhouses.
Blogs are the habitat of the marginal. When the Press Project released its compilation of news stories and blog postings from the election of 2004 and its aftermath, it became apparent that the people who dismissed weblogs as the precinct of floundering adolescents were right.
A good example of what characterizes the sulking, mean, and not-terribly-intelligent fare of blogs occurred on Mt. Blogmore when a former legislator presumed to give a definitive assessment of the upcoming election:
"Whoever thought a retired surgeon from Sioux Falls is going to be elected governor is a bit deluded," he wrote. This was touted by a Republican blog as astute.
It contains all the requirements of the regressive repertoire of rhetoric. It finds being a retired surgeon an occasion to be dismissive about a candidates intellect and ability. And it has the requisite suggestion that anyone who supports the retired surgeon has mental debilities. In South Dakota blogdome of regression, this kind of witless insult is considered "witty repartee."
Democrats may or may not make big inroads into the statehouse this year. In a culture which tolerates and even reveres political rhetoric of the kind displayed above, quality of mind and character are not considered attributes. But at least the Democrats can refrain from joining in petty, snarky belittlement as a form of political discourse.
It is rhetoric such as this that makes bright, educated people long for other places. More than children are being left behind. It is also why progressive blogs have greatly reduced their activity.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The divide broadens. So does ignorance.
If you drove around Aberdeen before the primary, you would notice that Isaac Latterell, the Republican winner of the primary for the District 3 Senate seat, had quite a few signs out. They were nearly always paired with a green “Vote Pro-Life” sign. Latterell’s anti-abortion stance is the only thing we know about his politics. If he is like most of the anti-abortion fanatics, it is probably the only issue he really cares about.
Not too many years ago, the term “pro-life” would have been derided into oblivion by educated people. People with educations had been given enough knowledge about rhetoric to know that the term “pro-life” is contrived on a false implication. And they know that “pro-life” is meant to avoid the negative connotations of being anti-abortion. The term is meant to avoid the message that anti-abortionists are against anything and to suggest that they are for something.
The false implication in “pro-life” is that the people who do not so identify themselves are pro-death. The only pro-death people we are aware of are a few serial killers and Al Qaida. They are members of cults that literally live to bring death to other people. The anti-abortion people are not content to state their opposition to abortion. They want to suggest that anyone who does not fully endorse their position is pro-death.
When the Democratic Party had students canvassing neighborhoods in Sioux Falls during the 2002 election to see if anyone needed a ride to the polls, they were followed by other young people who yelled “baby-killers” at them. The scene was recorded by a national news organization. That is the point when we realized that the anti-abortion people had crossed the line from rational debate and objection to mindless name-calling. The contradiction is that people who claim to protect life have a malicious and destructive attitude toward the living.
Most people do not approve of abortion, but think it is a medical procedure that is sometimes necessary and needs to be kept a personal matter between patients and their doctors. The anti-abortion people further reveal their despotic ambitions by their stances on contraception and sexual orientation. They unabashedly wish to dictate how private citizens should conduct themselves in their bedrooms. And the statements and attitudes they display reveal that they have totalitarian ambitions, and that abortion is a stalking horse for a larger program of repression and discrimination.
“Pro-life” is a phony euphemism for anti-choice, anti-liberty, and anti-self determination. The antis won an election in District 3 when their anti candidate, Isaac Latterell, won the primary over long-time Republican legislator Duane Sutton. Duane Sutton was part of the Main Stream Coalition, a group of lawmakers who wanted to break the mindless, lockstep march into extremism of the Republican Party, and therefore, the state legislature, and address the real issues of the state: taxes, education, health care, open government, and economic opportunity. The Republican anti forces vilified them. Members of the Mainstream Coalition lost to the anti forces in the Republican primary.
This loss has caused the regressive bloggers and commentators to announce that South Dakota is undergoing a conservative take-over. We say no. The election shows that the Republican Party is undergoing a takeover by its regressive faction. Nothing lights up the regressive eye like the prospect of imposing their will on and controlling even the most intimate aspects of life of other people. They have a dream. It is a dream of a totalitarian society.
A deep look into Duane Sutton’s loss to Isaac Latterell provides evidence that the regressive movement did a good job of getting out the vote and wagging the Republican Party. Here are the hard statistics on the primary race:
Duane Sutton won in Brown County by 17 votes. He had 500 votes to Latterell’s 483.
Duane Sutton lost in the three precincts of McPherson County. He had 66 votes to Laterell’s 130.
McPherson County, a center of regressive antis, won the election for Latterell. The total for District 3 was Sutton 566 votes, Latterell 613 votes, a difference of 47.
Brown County turned out only 11 percent of its registered voters. McPherson County turned out 20 percent. Democrats in both counties turned out 16 percent of their voters.
The evidence indicates that the anti-forces in McPherson County successfully rallied and determined the Republican primary in District 3.
Does this mean that a regressive take-over is imminent? Duane Sutton had 566 Republicans vote for him. But 1,632 Brown County Democrats went to the polls on Tuesday. McPherson got out 59 of its 364 registered Democrats.
With half the Republicans siding with the Mainstream Coalition candidate and three times that many Democrats voting, a takeover by the regressive anti faction does not seem like a very logical projection.
It seems like a good chance for the Democrats and the cross-party allies they can cultivate to become very serious players in state government.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Reading "Lolita" in Pierre, South Dakota