Weiland resurfaces with new campaign

Pat Bowden News Editor


 As part of his ‘Take it back!’ campaign for South Dakota’s seat in senate, resurfacing politician and recently stepped-down CEO of International Code Council Rick Weiland visited with the Brookings community on Oct. 29. 

As part of his newly designed campaign, Weiland took note of his previous 1996 and 2002 attempts at the senate seat and after more than a decade in the private sector and away from the political limelight, formed a new campaign based on “one voter at a time.” 

“I never thought I would run for public office again; my wife and I have a small business and I just stepped down as CEO of International Code Counsel. I didn’t make the decision to run until late April to early May,” Weiland said. “It’s been an exhilarating entry and reentry into the campaign trail.” 

To fulfill the one voter at a time aspect of his campaign, Weiland plans to visit all 311 towns in the state. This gives him a chance to get to know a good amount of the voters on a personal level, as well as communicate his purpose for running and learn the needs of the state’s people at the same time. 

“The campaign’s good; I enjoy this level of intensity. I enjoy talking to the people of my state 


 and having that connection with the voters. I’ve been to 187 [towns] and I feel this is the campaign I’ve always waned to run, against the big money,” Weiland said. “I’m trying to connect with as many people as I can, one on one.”

At the core of his campaign, Weiland fights against the idea of ‘big money’s influence on federal government, upholding its “big influence on our political system” as the essence of a large portion of our problems. One of the problems discussed deals directly with the recent government shutdown, costing us $24 billion and over 120,000 jobs. It, too, was traced back by Weiland as a product of big money. 

“We’ve seen [the weakening government] after this 16-day shutdown. Washington is broken; seriously broken. Our government doesn’t work like it used to work. Big money special interest has gotten in the way of public policy, and it’s gotten in the way of things. People want their government to be on their side,” Weiland said. “The shutdown was ridiculous: it was irresponsible, reckless and frankly stupid. And [Washington] is threatening to do it again, because they didn’t get what they want.”

Weiland’s large push to amend the Constitution is in terms of the individual people verses by large corporation. His campaign card reads from his amendment proposal: “Section 1: So that the votes of all, rather than the wealth of the few, shall direct the course of this Republic, Congress shall have the power to limit the raising and spending of money with respect to federal elections…”

“I’m trying to get everyone in office to sign my new bill to reform the Constitution. This is a principle we should all agree upon and, publically, I think the polls are on my side for this,” Weiland said. “This is not something that can happen over night, but I’m about doing what works.” 

Being a democrat, Weiland is firmly determined to maintain the political balance in congress, following Senator Tim Johnson, and further the states tradition of “political balance.”

Weiland spoke on job opportunities in South Dakota, and the need to increase opportunity within our boarders. 

“We need to figure out how to create better opportunities here and give people a reason to stay, and a part of that is good wages and benefits,” Weiland said. “It’s a great place to live. I’ve had opportunities in Washington and Colorado, but I always ended up back here. I love this state.”