Just a day after I noted that the Oglala Sioux Nation suspended her President for pushing pro-abortion views at the expense of the Tribe, the South Dakota Democratic Party has fired two contractors (including one prominent blogger) for similar reasons
The Democratic leader in the South Dakota Senate says a Sioux Falls consultant under contract with the party is advancing a pro-choice philosophy on abortion at the expense of Democratic candidates for the state Legislature who oppose abortion.
Sen. Garry Moore of Yankton said consultant Steve Hildebrand, a former executive director for the state Democratic Party and past campaign manager for Tom Daschle, is working to defeat Democratic legislators who voted for HB1215, the controversial near-total ban on abortion approved by the Legislature this year.
Moore said Hildebrand has made it clear that electing pro-choice candidates is more important than electing Democratic candidates. Hildebrand and his employee Chad Schuldt have also issued critical and â€” in Shuldtâ€™s case â€” profane statements about Democrats who supported HB1215.
During the past legislative session, Schuldt referred to some Democrats who voted for HB1215 as â€œ(expletive) idiotsâ€ and â€œsickosâ€ on an Internet political blog he maintains. Schuldt also called Moore â€œa jokeâ€ as a legislative leader and encouraged his defeat, along with others who voted for the abortion bill.
Chad Shultd of Clean Cut Kid, whose front page at present discusses George Bush’s desire for a draft and establishing the fact that Northern State University political science professor Jon Schaff [of South Dakota Politics is an idiot, has been mentioned on tdaxp before.
For more excerpts from the article, read on:
Critics of Hildebrand and Schuldt have taken the issue to Judy Olson Duhamel of Rapid City, the state chairwoman of the South Dakota Democratic Party. Former state Sen. Jim Hutmacher of Oacoma, a current member of the partyâ€™s Central Committee who once was Democratic leader in the Senate, has asked Olson Duhamel and the partyâ€™s executive board to sever business relationships with Hildebrand. Hutmacher also wants Hildebrand removed from his unpaid position as coordinator of the campaign fund named in honor of Daschle.
They are particularly irked by Hildebrandâ€™s statements in a Washington, D.C., political publication that he would work for a pro-choice majority in the Legislature.
â€œAs a former Democratic Senate Leader, I am very offended at Steve Hildebrandâ€™s â€˜goalâ€™ of a â€˜pro-choice majority,â€™â€ when it comes at the expense of current members of the Democratic Caucus,â€ Hutmacher wrote to Olson Duhamel. â€œSteve Hildebrand is one of those people who would see our party divided and some of our legislators defeated.â€
In a letter soliciting donations to his PAC, Common Sense South Dakota, Hildebrand said Bartling had â€œcrawled in bed with the likes or Roger Hunt [the prime sponsor of HB1215, which outlawed abortion in the state], Rob Regier and Alan and Leslie Unruh â€” people who worked their tails off to defeat Tom Daschle in 2004 and make abortion an issue in his political campaign.â€
There is a Tom Daschle connection too:
Abortion became a troublesome issue for Daschle during his 2004 re-election campaign against successful challenger John Thune. Daschle maintained that he opposed abortion personally but also supported abortion rights affirmed in the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision.
That put Daschle in a difficult position as Thune, his campaign staff and anti-abortion activists hammered at the abortion issue. Hildebrand ran Daschleâ€™s campaign two years ago. And even though Daschle received about 30,000 more votes than Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson captured in defeating Thune in 2002, Thune topped Daschle in 2004.
Obviously angered by Hildebrandâ€™s actions regarding HB1215 supporters, Moore recalled the 2004 election last week.
â€œMaybe we can blame Hildebrand for Daschleâ€™s defeat,â€ Moore said. â€œQuite frankly, he isnâ€™t the smartest individual.â€
For those interested in networked warfare, this amounts to a defensive strike by the Democratic network against an ideological network.