Showing posts from July 24, 2005

Todd Epp in the news. (not the novak article)

Todd Epp of SD Watch fame made the national news for the second time today. In addition to a mention in the Bob Novak column, I just caught this article on the top of yahoo news this afternoon:

from Man Wants to Create Town for the Deaf:
Todd Epp, a lawyer representing a group of opponents, puts it more bluntly: "They want to put a town in the middle of a bunch of cows and pigs, and cows and pigs stink." Epp also says he's concerned because The Laurent Company has no track record for development — Miller's previous jobs include running a national newspaper for the deaf — and won't identify their investors. I think we might be seeing his 15 minutes starting.. First, mentions in national news. Next, a co starring role in a movie with Lindsay Lohan, where she plays a plucky young legal assistant to Todd, who reprises his real life role in "SD Watch - the Movie"

My Trip to lil' Ol' Brookings
hat tip to my furniture store

Well I got my house bought yesterday, and I'm in the process of moving my stuff over there this weekend. The first day's moving entailed bringing clothes and personal items over for seven people (Mine are staying here since I'm still working in Pierre for the forseeable future).

I'm back in Pierre for the day to get dressers and cabinets, etc. But yesterday afternoon, I spent doing one of my most hated things - shopping. I'm terribly, terribly cheap. Which isn't always a bad thing - it causes me to come up with creative solutions, like the scrap lumber sign holder as noted below.

But I have to say I found a real gem of a store. Rude's Home Furnishings in Brookings.

I was dreading going to the big box furniture store that is in many communities in the state. You know the one. Where the salesmen follow you around like a zombie from a George Romero flick . Where you order your furniture, and get it 3 weeks later. And most things are made out of particle board …

UPDATES - No one left without an rss feed...
A reader opinion poll

I've tracked down the last couple stragglers who didn't have a readily obvious RSS feed - and they're fired up into the system. So, I have the most complete RSS system monitoring in the SD Blogosphere - keeping watch over 35 SD related blogs. Don't see one you know is posting? Drop me a note.

Otherwise, what I've done is aggregated ALL of the RSS feeds into one big feed. Everything in the SD blogosphere will be displayed on the left as it's posted. My question is, would you, the reader, prefer that they all be displayed together like that, or would you prefer them broken out by category (GOP, DEM, and Non-Partisan?).

I want to make it easy to read, and complete, so tell me what you would prefer.

Have I got a ten questions coming up for you!!

Since Jerry Hinkle at the Holabird Advocate is plagarising my schtick with the SD BlogWatch Man (damn, I should have thought of that), I better get back on track with it. And Jerry, I'm jealous because it was extremely interesting, and thoughtful. I can't wait to see SDBWM come back.

I just sent off ten questions to a gentleman who might be my best interview to date.

I might tend to hype, but I think this is going to be one that's linked to across the SDBlogOsphere. I'm really pumped up about this one. Not only do I personally respect this person, but they've been in the media a lot lately.

Since he's a pretty busy guy, it might be a week or so. But when I get it, I think you'll love it.

I got me a redneck pickup truck
An ACTUAL lesson you can use from the SD War College

When Todd Epp had lunch with me the other day, he saw my truck, and must have thought I was some sort of redneck. Yup! I'm a redneck with two ree-publican bumper stickers on my pickup truck, and I'm married to my cousin, livin' in Ft. Pierre in a trailer with 6 kids and ten huntin' dogs. You kin find me in my bib overalls, with my shotgun across my lap..

Actually, my wife is of no prior familial relation before our marriage. And while I have 6 kids, I only have a Welsh Corgi who isn't worth a darn for hunting. Also, I live on the civilized side of the river. So why the big hunk of wood across the front of my pickup?

I'm going to let you in on one of my closely held secrets. I'm going to illustrate for you how to construct the "SD War College pickup truck sign holder."

Does this sound totally stupid? Yeah, it probably is. But how else can you put a single 4x8 sign in the back of your pickup, make it mobile, and able to sustain highway speeds? I have…

Senator Napoli is in the news again.

Did anyone read Dave Kranz's column in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader this morning? The third story down, Dave had this quote from State Senator Bill Napoli:
State Sen. Bill Napoli, R-Rapid City, is encouraging Sen. Eric Bogue, R-Faith, to challenge Rounds in the 2006 primary.

"I think he could give him a tremendous run for his money. He is in a perfect position and has a great Republican following. He would be a tremendous governor. There are a lot of legislators who would like to see that," Napoli said. "The fact that Rounds thinks he is loved by all is not at all a truism."Bill is certainly his own man, and entitled to his own views. And one of those views is pretty explosive, as demonstrated here. Bill is advocating a serious intra-party challenge for a sitting Republican Governor.

The question he needs to ask himself is that "would he rather have a Republican or a Democrat in the office?"

Don't get me wrong. I'm not someone who is afraid of a…

More updates

You should start to see the other sites migrating into aggregated feeds by this weekend. I've already started to do it, but I'm on my way back from lunch.

I'm upgraded, and you should see me getting rid of those little boxes that take so long to load.

On the fast track to the ballot box , the organizational arm of Bill Napoli’s effort to stabilize property tax assessments certainly has an interesting cast of players who are working on the effort behind the scenes. They also seem to have a strong sense of hustle.

In her Rapid City Journal column this week, Celeste Calvitto reported on the petition drive, which only started collecting petition signatures recently.
STOP signatures at 20,000

State Sen. Bill Napoli, R-Rapid City, says he has about 20,000 signatures on petitions to get his property tax assessment initiative on the November 2006 ballot. He needs 35,000 signatures by November to get the proposed constitutional amendment before the voters next year but hopes to get a lot more as a cushion.

"People understand and are willing to sign the petition. It is just a matter of logistics. One signature at a time takes time," Napoli said. "We have an awesome team of volunteers who are working their hearts out."

The Stabilize Taxes On Prop…

Just for fun
The race for Capitol

Just for fun, a couple items out of my collection. I was at home working on a project, and the "Vote for Mitchell" stared at me for hours while I tried to make a video.

Pierre, Huron, Mitchell, Yankton, and another town or two were all involved in the fight to be the next State Capitol. As noted in the State of SD history for kids website:
Pierre was to be the capital for just one year. During that time, voters could think about it. Where did they want to put the permanent seat of government? Some people thought Pierre was the perfect spot. It was in almost the exact center of the state. Other people pointed out that Pierre might be in the center of the state but it was not in the center of population. Most people lived in the eastern one-third of South Dakota.

It would take two more elections to decide what town would be the permanent capital. Many towns wanted to be the capital. Government brought jobs to town. It gave a place prestige. The first election was held in 1890. Hu…

(It's ALIVE!)

Okay, I think I finally found something I like.

You'll note the RSS feeds are aggregated at the side. Right now, I have three Blog Feeds each in 3 separate digests. This product is so new, they don't even have on-line purchasing available yet to upgrade. If you're in the SDBlogOSphere and if you're towards the bottom, fear not. I'm going to integrate everything into two or three large digests as soon as I can get ahold of these guys to upgrade.
If you are:
#1, a blog or website related to SD; and
#2 you have an RSS Feed,I will include you. At this point, I'm only having trouble with the RSS feed for Jay Reding's site, and Joel Rosenthal's SD Straight Talk does not have it's automatic RSS Feed activated (hint, hint - I think you can do that in the template). As soon as things are resolved there, I'll include them.

Why have I done this? To me, it's the natural progression of the SDBlogOSphere. As you might have noticed since I cranked this site up,…

July 30 SD War College Political Report
Audio Blog

Music Courtesy of

I'm going to be busy the next couple days, and after that, I'm moving furniture all weekend. So I'm filing this report early.

Please enjoy, and don't hesitate to tell me how I can improve it.


I'm noticing that not everyone has their screen resolution set as high as mine, and it's causing the bars on the left to bleed over into the right.

I should have that fixed tonight.

Yay! I suck.
Oh, no. That's bad isn't it?

Todd Epp was commenting on the Lunch Summit we had yesterday over on his website at SD Watch, and he had one of his loyal readers chime in on my mediocrity. I was going to reply on his site, but it started getting long for a comment, so I'm turning it into a post:
Todd: I can only take so much of this. I have no doubt that PP is a great guy. He writes an occasionally interesting blog and has a good writing voice. Maybe your appreciation for him stems from his knowledge of South Dakota political history. But he offers very little in the way of unique insight into campaigns. A three day weekend at any campaign training seminar would provide a world of knowledge beyond anything offered by PP. His ability to define terms like "earned media" do not make him a genius; it doesn't put him ahead of the pack. SDWC is a nice blog, a good experiment, and is run by all accounts a nice guy. I hate to sound bitchy, but the fact that he is a Republican has nothing to do with the elec…

Shilling for birthday gifts - the Day in politics, July 26th

Back about a week ago, I had a reply to the post on the day in politics on July 21 as follows:

Bob Newland said...
A landmark date, indeed.
My birthday is July 26. I'll be 57.Er, ok. Bob Newland was born today, 57 years ago. He's run for nearly every statewide office that's out there, and is the mainstay of the South Dakota Libertarian party.
Him and that Begay guy. Wasn't it Stan Marsh in South Park who said "Good Dog. Sit. Now, don't be gay. Don't be gay." That's all I can think of when I hear that guy's name.
Anyway, happy birthday* to Bob Newland from the SD War College.

*Note, if you intend to drop presents off at this house, I think there's a 'highway patrol safety check' on the way. And they have an officer with a dog. Just keep that in mind when you make your gift choices.

Changes *UPDATED*

Bear with me as I make a few changes to this site to better integrate some of what's being published out there into it.

I would also concur with SD Watch that Blog Watch Man needs to continue. Please encourage him to do so.

I'm going to be doing some more experimenting with my blog in the near future in response to my ongoing frustration with not being one of the chosen few on SD123.

In looking at the software that's out there, I think I can come up with something done in my own style that I can keep automatically updated with the RSS feeds from blogs that are out there. Since 123 hasn't been updated in months, and I inadvertantly sank SDBW, I think something like this would be welcome in the blogosphere to drive traffic to the individual sites.

I think something like this is also very encouraging in getting people to keep their sites fresh and updated. New posts drive traffic, traffic encourages posting.

I've added lots of new sites, including some that are pretty spot…

If I was correct, why do I feel like a jerk?

Well, that sucked.

I earned bragging rights in figuring out one of our little mysteries, regarding SDBWM. He asked for my guess, and confirmed that I was correct. So why do I feel a little empty?

In figuring it out, I didn't earn anything more than just doing it. More than anything I kind of feel diminished. Here's someone who has been nothing but cordial to me, and he's telling me he might back away from things because his identity is known. It's not going to affect his employment, or anything like that, but it might cause some static for some relatives who are going through a tough stretch right now (who I know and respect). I have to say, I feel like a bit of a heel.

That all probably means I'm too thin skinned for success at this political stuff. Or maybe I'm better suited to it now, having feelings like remorse and empathy. Who knows?

In my younger days, I was one of those at the forefront, going "kill, kill" and doing my damndest to chew up the oppo…

Did I say we speculated as to who the Blog Watch Man is?

I figured it out.

At the Bipartisan Blogging Summit luncheon today in Pierre, Todd Epp and I briefly talked about who the Blog Watch Man might be. And, it really piqued my curiosity. Sibby has an APB out on it, others have speculated. Basically, everybody is wondering who SD Blogdom's favorite classroom monitor is. And I think I got it.

I may be a failure in many things - becoming a millionare, my city commission race, birth control, etc. But if there's one thing I'm really good at, I'm a crack researcher. I've prided myself on being able to dig out minor details and build upon the research.

For example, there was someone who beat me out for a job I recently applied for. Just because I had no idea who this person was, I did some internet research on them - guess what? It took me about 5 minutes to note that it appears he has a criminal conviction. (Bet he didn't disclose that one at the job interview). The information serves no purpose at this point, but since the job is fairly po…

Lunch with the nutty professor. (me)

I had lunch with Todd Epp today in Pierre, and we had a nice conversation. I suppose it was a little awkward for both of us, since we've just e-mailed back and forth before, and now we're sitting down for lunch in person to shoot the bull, and speculate who Blog Watch Man is.

It must be what internet dating is like.

We talked about a number of topics, and politics in general. One of the things I think we both agreed on is that those in the other party are not the enemy - they are our opponents.

It's ok to be fiercely competitive, but it does everyone a disservice to consider the opposition evil or immoral just because we might disagre with their point of view. And consider it more than a disservice - if you're in the heat of competition, it might just hurt your campaign.

I pick on Frank Kloucek a little in my blog, because politically we're worlds apart. But that doesn't mean I dislike the man. In fact, I've run into Frank at the grocery store during session an…

What is the worth of a man?
More campaign finance fun!

I could go on about this stuff forever. Mainly, because there's a huge disparity between how much is spent on legislative campaigns in South Dakota. You have some candidates who will raise tons of money, and you have those that won't spend a dime.

Think it's us Republicans who always dominate in campaign spending? <BEEP!> Wrong answer. The #1 top spender for the legislative general elections this last year was Democrat Mike Wilson who spent $42,514 in his House race. In that same district, Alan Hanks came in at #5 spending $27, 137 in the general.

Now, I will admit that I don't believe those figures count the primaries. In the primary race for that district's (32) Senate seat, Elli Schwiesow spent $31, 284. And Stan Adelstein spent $110,089.39. You know the Rapid City advertisers must have been loving that stuff. (Is it any wonder why advertising taxes are lobbied against so aggressively?)

Anyway, So who were the top ten legislative spenders for last November…

Thar's Napoli trouble in them Black Hills.

Political Button collector (and reporter) Dave Kranz noted in his column in today's Argus Leader that Bill Napoli may face a challenge at the next primary election from Representative Alice McCoy:
A Republican primary is shaping up in Rapid City's District 35. State Rep. Alice McCoy is term-limited and will run in a 2006 Senate primary against two-term incumbent Sen. Bill Napoli. McCoy says she wants to go to the Senate to continue holding down taxes. Napoli will seek a third term. He is pushing a ballot issue that would cap property tax assessments and stop them from going up.This could shape up to be an interesting race. This last election, there was a similar situation where Lee Schoenbeck was challenged by Claire Konold. Claire wanted to continue in the legislature, but was termed out. Claire was well funded, including $1000 from one of Stan Adelstein's Political Action Committees.

But he was ill prepared for the fundraising juggernaut of Lee Schoenbeck.

Lee raised $18,80…

Another test pattern from the SD War College..

Bear with me, and read the 10 questions. This is another test of what I'd like to do with my weblog.

There is nothing to see here. Nothing to see...

(Is it just me or is this in freaking slow motion?)

10 Questions with....... School and Public Lands Commissioner Bryce Healy

Okay, Republican readers. You're probably wondering why I'm interviewing Bryce for my weblog. Well, why not? #1, it's MY weblog. #2, He is the only Democrat that managed to come through on the state (versus federal) level in a year when Republicans took all the other seats.

To me, that makes him someone to study. Here's an electoral success, when the other candidates (Abbott, Wilson, Looby, Volesky, Butler... and the other ones) took it in the shorts at the ballot box. Besides. Interestingly enough, you don't hear a large outcry from Republicans to pry him out of his office.

When Dick Butler held the Treasurer's spot, us GOPers couldn't wait to be rid of him. I don't know why, but School and Lands seems to skirt on by.

I met Bryce several years back when his girlfriend at the time (now his wife) had him give me a ride home from the legion cabin.

Not that I was teetotaling, but I have a strict rule about 3 beers and I'm walking. It comes from my days as …