Politics

Delegating Denver #46 of 56: South Dakota

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South Dakota

Total Number of Delegates: 23 Pledged: 15 Unpledged: 8

How to Recognize a South Dakota Delegate: Students at Sturgis High School are known as "Scoopers," and their mascot is always pictured with a shovel. The nickname dates back to the 1880s and was coined by the cavalry serving at nearby Fort Meade. It seems that even then, before the advent of the motorcycle, Sturgis was a party town. The residents knew when the soldiers got paid, and would "scoop" money from them as they rallied and drank. Perhaps this is where Philip Van Cise learned about tourism and graft. The Deadwood native became Denver district attorney in 1921 and single-handedly fought the con men who preyed on Denver tourists, along with the corrupt city officials who were in on the take. The Colonel, as he was known, was able to stand up to Denver's infamous Blonger Gang (and later the state's Ku Klux Klan) because he possessed the unique South Dakota characteristic of inflexible self-righteousness. From Hubert H. Humphrey and George McGovern to Russell Means and Cecilia Fire-Thunder, South Dakotans are a people who have a clear vision of all that is wrong with the world, and the lifelong single-mindedness it takes to make it right. In Denver, South Dakotans will be the delegates demanding that the 2008 convention be used to rewrite party rules and end the nonsense of super delegate corruption once and for all. Females will wear bright-red or blue blazers with unmatched slacks, accessorized with scarves tied around their necks. Males will wear odd combinations of polyester slacks and leather shirts or vice-versa. All will sport home-cut, windblown hairstyles with over-long bangs.

Famous South Dakotans: Lakota leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, Lakota cheerleader Russell Means; USA Today founder Allen Neuharth; TV news readers Tom Brokaw, Mary Hart and Gary Owens; cheesecake actresses Mamie Van Doren, Cheryl Ladd and January Jones; singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin; corn palace mural artist Oscar Howe; canvas sphere artist Dick Termes; body-modification artist Fakir Musafar.

Famous South Dakota Democrats: 1968 Democratic presidential candidate and 38th United States vice president Hubert H. Humphrey; 1972 Democratic presidential candidate and former United States senator George McGovern; former United States Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle; Florida Democratic Party chairman Karen Thurman; 34th Nebraska governor James Exon; executive director of Stonewall Democrats Jon Hoadley.

Famous South Dakotans With Denver Connections: Rocky Mountain News political reporter Lynn Bartels; 40th District representative Debbie Stafford; corruption-busting district attorney Philip S. Van Cise; pro-assault-weapons lobbyist Dudley Brown; Metro Economic Development Corporation marketing director Janet Fritz; monotype artist Sharon Strasburg.

State Nickname: The Mount Rushmore State, the Coyote State, the Blizzard State (official); The Land of Infinite Variety, Pheasant Plucker's Paradise, the Everyone's Your Cousin State (unofficial) Population: 781,919 Racial Distribution: 87% white, 1% black, 9% Native American, 1% Asian, 2% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $29,234 Unemployment: 4%

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Sean Cronin