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Some big news for U.S. Senate candidate Rick Weiland (D. SD) this past week:

http://thehill.com/...

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has endorsed his former staffer, Democrat Rick Weiland, for Senate in South Dakota, following former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin's announcement that she won't run in 2014.

"I am going to do everything I can to help Rick.  I hope you will too," he says in a fundraising email sent to supporters by the campaign on Monday.

Daschle writes that he spoke with Weiland about Herseth-Sandlin's decision not to run, and that Weiland "told me, and he is right, that her decision puts an even heavier burden on him to be a strong, effective voice for our state, and our values, in the Senate election next year."

Daschle had previously encouraged Weiland to run, and expressed enthusiasm for his candidacy, but until the email, he hadn't outright endorsed the candidate.

Daschle, who is still well-liked and well-known in South Dakota, could help boost Weiland by campaigning and fundraising for him.

Weiland does not yet have the backing of national Democrats, however — the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hasn't endorsed him, and declined to comment when he announced his candidacy, an indication he's not their first choice. - The Hill, 5/14/13

And Daschle's endorsement is just what Weiland needs:

http://www.rollcall.com/...

“Having known Rick for many years, I am confident he will be a candidate with the passion, the energy and the drive to fight for what he believes will help the people of South Dakota,” Daschle said in a statement to CQ Roll Call.

South Dakota’s relatively small Democratic donor base means Weiland will need to fundraise nationally. Asked whether he hopes Daschle will help with that, Weiland said, “I’m counting on it.”

For now, Weiland’s operation is just getting started. He termed his house “Grand Central” and said he counted seven laptop computers splashed around his living-room-turned-campaign-headquarters the other day. He’s hired Mike Lux, a partner at a liberal consulting firm, but he was not ready to announce any other staffing additions. - Roll Call, 5/15/13

Daschle gave quite an endorsement of Weiland:
   Dear fellow South Dakotan,

    I want Rick Weiland to be our next United States Senator for two simple reasons — because of who he is and what he stands for.

    I’ve known the Weiland family from Madison for over four decades.  I’ve watched Rick grow up and get married to a wonderful woman.  I’ve watched Stacy and Rick raise five terrific children and start two successful small businesses.  I’ve seen him move up from handing out bumper stickers for my first campaign to directing a $50 million dollar national trade association, with lots of very challenging stops in between.

    Today Rick Weiland is a capable and accomplished man, fully qualified to give our state a strong, hard-working voice in the United States Senate.

    But what stands out most to me about this man is not how he changed as he became successful, but rather how he has not changed.

    The Rick Weiland I met as a student and the Rick Weiland I know today are one and the same, committed to a fair shake for ordinary folks and fiercely opposed to the hostile takeover of our government by powerful special interests.

    That’s why I will be supporting Rick Weiland.  Not because he is my friend, but because he is a friend of the things I fought for my entire time in Congress, the things Tim Johnson is still fighting for, and the things all three of us deeply believe will help the ordinary people of South Dakota.

    As you and I know painfully well, though, that fight is a hard one.  Rick cannot possibly win it without our help.  So please, join me in becoming an early supporter of his campaign by clicking on this link and joining the most important campaign South Dakota progressives will wage in a generation.

    Rick Weiland will fight with the President to preserve our hard won access to health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions.   He stands with small business and ordinary South Dakota families in our fight to take government back from millionaire political donors and huge special interests.  And he is a lifetime fighter for a woman’s right to choose, and for equal opportunity and equal pay in the workplace.

    I also know that Rick will be a candidate with the passion, the energy and the drive to take on the establishment and demonstrate to people that we really can take government back from Tea Party extremists.

    Please take a stand with Rick and me today by accessing this link and making an investment in a truly, progressive campaign.  It is our government and together we can take it back.

    I spoke with Rick this morning about Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin’s decision not to run for the United States Senate.  He told me, and he is right, that her decision puts an even heavier burden on him to be a strong, effective voice for our state, and our values, in the Senate election next year.

    Rick Weiland can be that voice.  He is going to win that race the same way Tim Johnson and George McGovern won theirs, the same way Jim Abourezk Dick Kneip, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin and I did, with hard work, high energy, no apology for our true convictions, and by giving voice to the hopes and dreams of ordinary South Dakotans.

     I am going to do everything I can to help Rick.  I hope you will too.

    Your friend,

    Tom Daschle

Emphasis mine.

The part I like the most about Daschle's endorsement is how he labeled Weiland as a candidate who would stand up the establishment and the Tea Party.  That couldn't be truer:

http://www.dailykos.com/...

Pat Powers's job is to retool all the artillery he had diligently lined up against a Brendan Johnson or Stephanie Herseth Sandlin Senate run to now rain fire on Rick Weiland. The GOP spin machine thus flogs some meme of Weiland being "less interesting" and then offers the delusional suggestion that the presence of adjectives in a Weiland press release alludes to a meme that does not exist outside the echo chamber of Pat's mind.

Is that the best you can do, Pat? Here, let me put my brain in the wayback machine, turn back into the bloviating conservative of my youth, and do your job for you. Rick Weiland has hired Democracy Partners, a proudly progressive outfit that has campaigned for the AFL-CIO, the Brady Campaign, Carol Moseley Braun, Emily's List, the Democratic Party of Slovakia (!), the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Richard M. Daley, and other purveyors of loathsome liberaldom. They're regular Marxist revolutionaries!

And for the perfect cherry on top of Powers's personality-based, issue-free politics, one of Democracy Partner's campaign boot camp leaders is attorney, author, and activist Christine Pelosi.

Weiland's consulting firm pick and Christine Pelosi's employment therein deserve as little press as the Agenda 21 shouting that will ensue over Weiland's good work on green building codes (and for the record, I mentioned that before Pat). But if we have to take any signals from this fun little connection, we add Democracy Partners' employment to the endorsements and other evidence that Weiland will incline toward the Demcoratic wing of the Democratic Party. - Madville Times, 5/11/13

And here's seven good reasons to get excited about Weiland's campaign:

http://madvilletimes.com/...

1. Rick's from Madison. We all know Madison guys are smart. (For the record, Russ Olson is an Egan guy.)
2. The Republican spin machine moans that Weiland isn't interesting... but that's only because his declaration throws all their diligently hyped Johnson-vs.-Herseth Sandlin  hogwash out the window. Pat Powers is stuck wishing he could just recycle his tired anti-Stephanie propaganda. With nothing prepared to say about Weiland, Powers can only regurgitate Weiland's 2002 post-primary endorsement of the gal to whom he finished second.
3. In further narrative dashing, we can also chuck the kerfuffly stuff about the DSCC trying to boss around the South Dakota grassroots.
4. Rick spent the last ten years working for the International Code Council, where, among other achievements, he helped develop the nation's first green construction code. That practical policy work speaks in Rick's favor. It will also draw the Agenda 21 sustainability-equals-Stalin gooneybirds out of their holes to make the Republicans look crazy and drive Independents to Weiland.
5. An experienced candidate in the Senate slot takes the pressure off Stephanie to serve the party in Washington. She can now focus her deliberations on the campaign and the job that better suits her family ties and moderate politics: a run for Governor!
6. Maybe Rick will inspire his brother Dr. Kevin Weiland to run for office in 2014, too. Hmm... run Rick for Senate, Kevin for House... they could save money on signs! Heck, pull Ted Weiland to run against Russ Olson, and the Weiland brothers could get three times their money's worth with billboards in District 8!
7. With Weiland already drawing cheers from Tom Daschle and Heartland America PACker Mike Chapman, South Dakota Dems may well have a strong progressive candidate who can draw the out-state enthusiasm (i.e., cash) we need to hold that Senate seat. - Madville Times, 5/8/13
Now I've heard some skepticism over Weiland's candidacy both from fellow Kos members and of course the press:

http://www.dailykos.com/...

In 1996 Rick Weiland won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives seat that Johnson was leaving to run against Republican U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler. Johnson won, but things didn’t go as well for Weiland. He did win the nomination in a four-way race, getting 42 percent and using a Tom Daschle postcard that went a long way with the older Democrats, defeating Jim Abbott, Linda Stensland and Dennis Jones in the process. The general election was a different story. While Rick was campaigning deep into the night on election eve, Republican John Thune was preparing to spend election day hunting pheasants. Final result was Thune, in his first run for Congress, winning with about 58 percent in a four-way race. Weiland received 37 percent. That was about six points less than the Clinton-Gore ticket received in South Dakota that day.

Then in 2002 Weiland tried a comeback. He ran in a four-way Democratic primary for the House nomination against Stephanie Herseth, Denny Pierson and Dick Casey. Good candidates all, and some truly good debates between them, but Herseth won in a runaway with 58 percent, followed by Weiland at 32 percent and the others in single digits. Herseth lost in the November general election to Republican Bill Janklow, then won a pair of contests in 2004 against Republican Larry Diedrich after Janklow’s manslaughter conviction and resignation from the House seat. Herseth went on to victories again in 2006 and 2008 before falling to Republican Kristi Noem in 2010. She’s pondering a candidacy for Senate in 2014.

So it’s hard to see the angle for a Rick Weiland candidacy this time, 12 years later after losing to Herseth (now Herseth Sandlin), unless he’s 1) hoping for a federal appointment out of it or 2 ) has the winning numbers for tonight’s Powerball drawing. But he gets credit for being willing to step forward, when no other Democrat has so far. And who knows if he might beat Herseth Sandlin this time. But so far, even in her worst showings, she received a bigger percentage of the votes in 2002 and 2010 than Weiland did against Thune. - Rapid City Journal, 5/8/13

But it's nothing new for a candidate like Weiland to lose a few races before he can win one:
Weiland might not be considered a “heavyweight,” but observers aren’t writing his chances off.

Wanless said Weiland’s name recognition from past campaigns, his support from prominent Democrats such as Daschle and his backing from liberal Democratic activists upset with Herseth Sandlin could make him formidable.

In 1996 and 2002, Weiland ran for Congress — and lost both times. That has some critics skeptical of his chances on his third try, but Sabato said that could be premature.

“He had two opportunities and it just didn’t work,” Sabato said. “That’s not to say it never will. There are examples in politics of people who ran three, four, five times and then won — but the odds are always against someone coming back from multiple defeats.”

If Weiland became South Dakota’s next senator, Sabato said, “it would be considered a major upset, but not a massive upset.”

But any Democrat winning could be an upset, given the conservative nature of South Dakota and the unpopularity here of President Obama.

“While it’s shocking that Brendan, it sounds like, is not going to run, that doesn’t change the fact that the state is heavily Republican and Democrats face an uphill battle,” Wanless said. - Argus Leader, 5/13/13

But I for one am excited about Weiland's candidacy and the Kos community should too!  We have a shot to help a real Democrat make the case for the Affordable Health Care Act in a state like South Dakota.  Plus if we can help one of our own win in a red state like South Dakota, it would shake up both the party establishment and make the GOP's worst nightmare come true that progressive Democrats can win on their own turf.  I know there are people that are bummed about Former Blue Dog Whip Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D. SD) passing on this race but lets be honest, not a lot of people here were going to get energized about her candidacy.  Especially with retiring Senator Tim Johnson's (D. SD) son, U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson passing on this race.  Hell, even the GOP knew that we would've hated having Herseth Sandlin as our nominee:

I mean would you have honestly donated to Democrat who voted against the Affordable Health Care Act and the Bush Tax Cuts and has pro-gun, anti-gay voting record?  All Herseth Sandlin's candidacy would've done is caused another big pie fight in the community between those who want more Democrats and those who want better Democrats.  With Weiland, we get both.  The only real reason that I would've gotten behind Herseth Sandlin's candidacy was her stance on Native American issues:

Who is your political hero/inspiration?
My grandmother had great influence on me. She was secretary of state in the 1970's, and that's when I was born. She showed me the importance of public service, and she was admired by people regardless of their political party.

What's your go-to political blog?
I would probably say the one that I go to the most is the Argus-Leader [a newspaper in Sioux Falls, S.D.] political blog. ... I feel old by you asking me that question. It's like asking "So what's the song you most recently downloaded onto your iPod?"

If you weren't working in politics, what would you be doing?
Teaching. Before I had decided to get into politics, I was laying the groundwork to have a career in the law, but that was really to lay the foundation to teach, either at the college level or law school level after my federal clerkships. I love the classroom.

What's the most overlooked issue facing America these days?
Pockets of severe poverty in Indian country that exist in our country that a lot of people aren't aware of. I represent nine sovereign Sioux tribes. In South Dakota, some of the tribes are in the most remote, rural areas of the country. They lack essential infrastructure. Some communities don't even have clean drinking water. We have among the highest rates of teen suicide. ... In terms of the nation's consciousness, I just don't think people are aware of the magnitude of the crisis. It's overwhelming.

Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
I hope to continue to be serving South Dakota in Congress. And, personally, keeping up with the little boy who will just be starting school. - Time Magazine's 40 Under 40, 2010

Emphasis mine.

And former Governor Mike Rounds (R. SD) doesn't have a great track record with the Pine Ridge reservation and South Dakota tribes:

For me, his delay in seeking a disaster declaration for aiding the SD reservations devasted by ice-storms and blizzards in Dec. 2009 and Jan. 2010, were especially hard to accept.  After filing the request in March 2010, the Presidential declaration followed and aid was given.  But the delay was tragic. - meralda's diary, 2014 Senate race - SD, 11/29/12
Here's the story meralda is referring to:
Unfortunately, there was a delayed response in the Governors office submitting the disaster declaration, for the Christmas blizzard that immobilized the entire state of South Dakota for several days. FEMA was in the field across South Dakota assessing damages, when the January ice storm and blizzard hit causing a crisis in many areas and devastating Cheyenne River Reservation. - NDN News, 3/10/10
Why would Rounds delay federal disaster relief for South Dakota's Native Americans?
Money.  

That's what this is about:  The state of South Dakota, under the auspices of the Rounds administration, does not want to spend any extra state money to get federal disaster assistance for the reservations.  

And now that private aid is pouring in, thanks in large part to the efforts of Kossacks over the last two weeks, the governor's office has the perfect excuse not to move forward with the federal disaster process.  Inadvertently, we may just have given him exactly what he wanted:  Time to wait out the weather and public sentiment.  (Not that we had a choice in the matter; lives were at risk.  But the fact that some folks are now in a better position thanks to private efforts should in no way excuse the state of South Dakota from its obligations to its citizens.) - Aji's diary, Why is S.D. Gov. Mike Rounds Denying Federal Aid to Indian Reservations in Crisis?, 2/16/10

Lets not kid ourselves, this race was always going to be difficult battle whether Herseth Sandlin was the nominee or not.  Former Governor Mike Rounds (R. SD) jumped into the race towards the end of 2012 and has been fundraising ever since.  Plus he has Governor Dennis Daugaard (R. SD) doing everything he can to help secure this race for Rounds:

http://www.dailykos.com/...

Rob Skjonsberg, Mike Rounds crony
Rob Skjonsberg, Mike Rounds Crony (Right)

PIERRE — Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Thursday appointed an associate of former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds’ to a board that awards state economic development loans, a move the state’s top Democratic Party official called a blatant effort to help Rounds’ campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Daugaard, a Republican, appointed Rob Skjonsberg, of Pierre, to the state Board of Economic Development. Skjonsberg worked eight years in the banking industry before becoming Rounds’ chief of staff in the governor’s office in 2003. He later worked at POET, an ethanol producer, and is currently chief of staff at Rounds’ real estate and insurance company in Pierre. Skjonsberg also is a partner in a political consulting firm that is helping Rounds’ campaign for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, who has said he will announce later whether he will seek re-election. - The Daily Republic, 1/4/13

Plus Rounds is the Super PAC candidate:
Rounds might very well owe his political career to the state's loose campaign finance regulations.

He benefited from large PAC contributions as a fledgling gubernatorial candidate in 2002. Rapid City lawmaker and philanthropist Stan Adelstein funneled $60,000 to Rounds' campaign via two contributions from the Building Rapid City PAC, which was almost entirely funded by Adelstein. Of that $60,000, $25,000 came at a critical point late in a three-way primary race when Rounds was gaining momentum but running out of money.

Candidate Rounds also received more than $200,000 in 2002 in two separate contributions from Adelstein's A Better South Dakota PAC. While that PAC was organized by Adelstein, it was funded by a series of $5,000 contributions from several individuals.

Adelstein's fortune hasn't reached the heights of Sanford's, but he has been actively involved in South Dakota politics on both sides of the aisle since taking over the family construction business as a young man in the 1950s.

Rounds won a Cinderella victory in that three-way GOP primary in 2002, and went on to easily win the general election and serve two terms as a popular governor, from 2003 through 2010. - The Center For Public Integrity, 10/24/12

The fact that Rounds will need the Super PAC cash and Daugaard's help to secure the nominee is just evidence that he's not as strong of a candidate as he appears.  The Tea Party right0wing extremists aren't sold on him:

http://www.dailykos.com/...

Former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds speaks to a crowd Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, in Pierre, S.D., as he announces that will run for the U.S. Senate in 2014.  (AP Photo/Chet Brokaw)
National and local conservative activists are up in arms because former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds (R), a leading contender in the state's open U.S. Senate race next year, declined to give total assurances that he won't raise taxes if he makes it to Capitol Hill.

A story published Sunday in the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D. quoted a number of right-wing leaders who expressed misgivings about the former governor's refusal to sign an anti-tax pledge, as well as his spending record while in office.

Rounds told the Argus Leader that pledges lead to bad governance. - TPM, 4/8/13

The Senate Conservatives Fund, which claims to have raised $16 million for conservative Senate candidates last year, said its review of Rounds’ record found him to be “too liberal” on issues that include taxes, government bureaucracy and the 2009 stimulus bill.

“We’ve looked at his record and surveyed our members in the state and concluded he’s just too liberal for the job,” said Matt Hoskins, executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “We cannot support him, but we’ll be looking for a conservative alternative.”

Hoskins declined to reveal how many members his group has in South Dakota, but said they overwhelmingly opposed Rounds. - Argus Leader, 3/27/13

Plus he has Kristi Noem (R. SD) and Bill Napoli (R. SD) to worry about:

http://thehill.com/...

Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) is discussing the possibility of mounting a Senate campaign in 2014, telling The Hill she's had "some conversations" with groups about running for the seat being vacated by Sen. Tim Johnson (D).

Noem said she doesn't expect to make a decision for "several months" on whether she'd challenge former South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds in the Republican primary.

"We're still watching the race. We haven't made up our minds on what we're going to do at all, and probably won't for several months yet, so we'll still take into consideration a lot of that," she told The Hill.

"We've had some conversations with organizations [about a Senate run]," Noem added. The Republican lawmaker declined to specify which groups she'd been talking to about a campaign. - The Hill, 5/16/13

Meanwhile, another potential candidate, former state senator, Bill Napoli of Rapid City mulls a run of his own.

“I was approached by many people who said, Bill it's time.  It's time for you to represent us in Congress.”  Napoli said.

Like many others, Napoli, says a decision by current Congresswoman Kristi Noem is what everyone is waiting for.

“I honestly believe that if she does not run, it will probably be the biggest political blunder of this century, because the stars are aligned for her to walk into that seat,” Napoli said.  

“You know, she started out a little weak as a candidate, and a little weak in the House, but she's growing into that position, she's growing stronger she's becoming more articulate.”

And a Noem-Herseth Sandlin rematch could be in the works.  If both women decide to run, Napoli says their familiarity from a hard fought congressional race in 2010, combined with large amounts of out of state money tussling over the senate balance of power would make for high grade political theater.

“But this all hinges on Kristi Noem.  If Kristi Noem runs, I'm perfectly satisfied with that, but if she decides she's going to stay in the house, then all cards are on the table and we're going to look at all options.” Napoli said.

Regardless of their final decisions, the interest generated by a Noem, Herseth-Sandlin grudge match makes the prospect of a Mike Rounds, Brendan Johnson race pale by comparison.  With Bill Napoli considering his own run, he says there are a number of reasons why republicans have been lukewarm about a rounds candidacy.

“Here's a guy that just walked out of the governor's chair after 8 years and handed 125-million dollar deficit to Daugaard and said we'll see you, here take care of this.  I honestly believe that they've forgotten who we are and we need to get back to that,” Napoli said. - News Center 1, 4/23/13

So yeah, it's foolish to write this race off, especially since Rounds isn't a sure thing.  I know people are afraid that Weiland's support for same-sex marriage and the Affordable Health Care Act will greatly hurt his chances.  But again, this gives Weiland the chance to make the case for health care reform and I don't believe that gay marriage will kill his chances.  Rounds took a hit in his approvals when he signed the 2006 abortion ban that was overturned by the voters so social issues won't define this race.  Now some people believe that President Obama's rough start to second term caused Democrats like Herseth Sandlin to decline running for the Senate:

http://www.nationaljournal.com/...

Imagine you’re a red-state Democrat contemplating a run for Senate. Here’s what you’ve seen during the opening months of President Obama’s second term: A still-tepid economic recovery, a culturally polarizing agenda on immigration and guns, and fears of the health care law's possibly haphazard implementation.

The White House’s uneven start to the second term shows little sign of improving. Questions about what administration and State Department officials knew about the origins of last year’s deadly attack on a consulate in Benghazi have hounded them since last week’s congressional hearing. The explosive revelation Friday that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofit groups seems certain to put Obama officials on the defensive for the foreseeable future.

And Monday, the Associated Press reported that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records from its reporters and editors--in what AP's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion." Each controversy might ultimately prove a dud at the ballot box next year, but they’re hardly the kind of headlines that encourage candidates to jump into a challenging Senate race.

All this doesn’t add up to a welcoming environment for Democrats next year--at least not when the party is already contending with defending seven Senate seats in states Mitt Romney carried, facing a midterm cycle inherently favorable for Republicans. And it could help explain why some of the party’s top recruits in the country’s GOP-heavy quarters have, at least so far, opted against campaigns.

The latest evidence came Monday, when former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, the Democrats’ top target in the open-seat race in South Dakota, announced she would not seek the party’s nomination. Her decision came one week after another top Democratic recruit, Rep. John Barrow of Georgia, decided to run for reelection in the House. And in Kentucky, the party is still scrambling to find a candidate to compete against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a man whom Senate Democratic officials have labeled the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbent. - National Journal, 5/13/13

But I'm not convinced by that.  Herseth Sandlin was going to distance herself from Obama on pretty much everything and run as Republican-lite candidate.  Weiland isn't afraid to stick up for his stances.  Now Weiland will have to do some distancing from the President in this campaign but at least he'll have some great issue to distance himself from Obama on:
“I'm focused on getting out there and talking to the people of our state, having the conversation about their concerns, cares. I really feel that Washington is broken right now,” he said.

Weiland is a Madison, SD-native, and a long-time Daschle staffer who ran unsuccessful Congressional campaigns in 1996 and 2002. He says he only decided weeks ago to run again. Apart from his broken government message, Weiland said senior programs like Medicare and Social Security will be focuses of his campaign.

“The American people like them,” he said. “They've given dignity to people in their retirement years. They've given people access to healthcare at a point in your life where it's hard to get when you get older.”

Weiland was a regional FEMA director, working with national officials in South Dakota following the Spencer Tornado in 1998. He has also worked for the South Dakota AARP and the International Code Council, which he stepped down from that last year. - Keloland, 5/8/13

Rounds will take the "put everything on the table" in terms of deficit talks whereas Weiland will stand up against cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  Plus Weiland can certainly run a winning populist campaign:
Weiland forecast a populist campaign, saying he wanted to fight for working families and against special interests he said “snuck into Washington and stole our government away from us.”

“I really believe that a majority of people in South Dakota, Democrats and Republicans, feel the same way I do,” he said. “We’re not a state of big corporations and billionaires. We’re a state of hard-working, ordinary middle-class families.” - Argus Leader, 5/8/13

But if you're still not convinced, I'll let Mike Lux try and persuade you:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

weiland072501 -- Rick Weiland
I support Rick because he will fight for the middle class and for those young and poor people trying to work their way into it. I support him because I know he will be fearless about fighting Wall Street and other big corporate special interests that control our nation's government. His campaign will be all about taking our country back from those special interests so that it is on the side of everyday people again. We need more fighters like that in the United States Senate. He's not going to agree with me on every issue, but that's okay -- I don't know of any politician who does. But I know he will battle on behalf of the folks I care about every single day.

There are always questions about a candidate like Rick from a red state being able to win. But I don't get into races where I don't think the candidate has a clear path to victory, and I very much believe there is one here. The way Daschle and Johnson won in South Dakota election after election for decades is that they went out to all the rural counties of the state and appealed to the working class folks in those places on economic issues; they maximized turnout in Indian country and in college towns; and they showed South Dakotans that their opponents were owned by their special interest benefactors. The same strategy has worked for other populist campaigns in the region over many years, from Schweitzer and Tester in Montana to Dorgan and Heitkamp in North Dakota to Harkin in Iowa. That same path to victory is absolutely open to Rick Weiland.

I hope other progressives will join me in getting excited about helping this campaign. He is his own man, and won't agree with every single thing we do. But like Schweitzer and Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, he will fight on the side of everyday people, and take on the wealthy and powerful special interests to do it. - Huffington Post, 5/17/13

I for one am all in for Rick Weiland.

Originally posted to pdc on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by South Dakota Kos, In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Pushing back at the Grand Bargain, and Native American Netroots.

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