If Rick Weiland beats Mike Rounds for the South Dakota Senate seat in November, we'll probably be able to expect a lot more from him than your garden variety Democratic senator. That's because he will be 100% independent of the corrupted Establishment party leaders in DC. His campaign has gotten no help whatsoever from the DSCC and it's one of the most grassroots campaigns I've ever seen. He won't owe Reid or any other party leaders a thing. And he can win.
Even without DSCC help, he's within a few points of corrupt former Governor Mike Rounds. Rounds is enmeshed in an ugly visas-for-sale scandal. We put together a new version of Percy Mayfield's classic song "Hit the Road Jack," which was a smash hit exactly 43 years ago, a version by Ray Charles hitting number 1 the first week of October, 1961.
The version up top was sung by a shy friend with a lot of talent, his contribution to exposing the worst scandal in South Dakota politics in decades-- and a hell of a log more of a contribution than Harry Reid has made. Heck, even Republicans who are sick of Rounds' corruption and hate Reid, should vote for Weiland... just to watch him make Reid's life miserable next year! Listen to the song and see if it makes the scandal clearer than I've been trying to do by writing about it here.
There was one little problem with the song that people in Pierre are complaining about. The pronounciation of "Joop" actually rhymes with "dope" and our shy friend took a bit of artists license to pronounce it as though it rhymes with "dupe." Besides, what matters more, that "Joop" rhymes with "dope" or that "Bollen" rhymes with "stolen?"
Don't let that stop you from contributing to Weiland's campaign. After all, who can be sure how to pronounce his name until he takes oath to give truthful testimony? Will Mike Rounds' cover story be that he or Joop is a "dope" rather than a "dupe"? Does that make a difference?
South Dakota voters are wondering how much of the $3,716,986 Rounds has scooped up so far comes from Vegas mobster Sheldon Adelson’s China casinos and their climate of money-laundering, prostitution and blackmail, how much of it comes from the Koch Bros’ billions devoted to tar sands-burning, pipeline-promotion and climate-muddying and how much of it comes from Joop Bollen and his serial frauds.
We don’t know, and we may never will know, if Mike Rounds manages to get into the US Senate, where he has every intention of helping the GOP drive the final nails into the coffin of political contribution transparency.