Showing posts from 2006

The Legislature might consider a little vetting for their employees' sake

I've been so restless this early morning. Up at 3:30, haven't been able to sleep since.

It could be the boneless buffalo wings I ate last night, as my wife and I went out for a couple of hours. Or it could be the fact as I got up, I couldn't come up with a decent topic to blog on to put my mind at ease.

Got a couple of irons in the fire, but nothing that's ripe yet. GOP Chair has progress, but still isn't set in stone. Waiting on a few campaign finance reports to be filed before I can confirm whether or not someone fudged a report. There isn't anything in the papers that's worth an early morning effort. I need something that's good.

I tried to go back to sleep, as I tossed and turned. And then it hit me. Something I don't think I'd commented much before on. And it's somewhat timely, given the Sutton hearing coming up the second week of session.

Anyway... Here's a good one for you.

We've heard much ado about the Senate revisiting rules reg…

25,000 visitors for the THIRD month running

I figured my October numbers were because of the election, and while I might experience a decent first week, they'd drop off in November. But they didn't.

And now for December, while I've had a slight dip, I'm still running at 25,000 visitors monthly.

That's teriffic. Thanks for your continued support and patronage.

There will be tons of good stuff coming up as we approach session. I need to drop a few pounds anyway, so I plan to use my lunch hours to haunt the 3rd and 4th floor of the State Capitol during session.

And if you have a hot tip for me, don't hesitate to drop me a note at

If you get the Sundance Channel, you HAVE to watch this.

I just caught the documentary by British filmmaker James Rogan titled "Blog Wars." If you get this channel, set your TIVO, or else find someone who has it. It's worth your while to watch it.

It's a great look at how blogs can still embody the wild west of the internet, but can also shape political coverage. My favorite quote? "Someday, someone with their video camera is going to be at the right place at the right time, and they'll change the course of an election."

Clearly this was filmed earlier. Because all I could think of was the George Allen "Macacca" comment. And how I need to get a little video camera that I schlep around with me. I have to start hitting the events and toting it along. And try not to feel so darn dorky when I do so.

Focusing on the Connecticut Senate race, it was amazing to see how just plain jane bloggers like myself were taken seriously, and how candidates in races to come need to engage bloggers as a potent political f…

Dale Hargens seems to have a slight case of Pot/Kettle blackness.

Dale Hargens is in the Argus today noting that he wants to sanction Roger Hunt for not filing campaign finance forms he believes should be filed (despite the law's ambiguity). Of course, Roger claims that he's within the law because of loopholes in it:

The Democratic leader in the South Dakota House says lawmakers should discuss whether state Rep. Roger Hunt should be reprimanded.At issue: Hunt, a Brandon Republican, failed to identify the person who gave $750,00 to a corporation that contributed it to the unsuccessful abortion ban.

House leader Dale Hargens of Miller said earlier this week he intended to challenge whether Hunt should be able to serve as a state representative next session.

On Friday, though, he said he doesn't think he can do that legally."It looks like here's no way I can stop him from being seated," Hargens said. "But at the very least, he ought to be censured in some way for the campaign report."

Hargens said he is investigating way…

No.. This measure won't be controversial. Not at all.

The AP is reporting in the Rapid City Journal that a plan is circulating and will come forth as legislation to close most school districts with fewer that 200 students.
A group of lawmakers who served on a state task force will propose a measure that would require many school districts with fewer than 200 students to consolidate by July 2009, Senate Republican Leader Dave Knudson of Sioux Falls said. The state would put together a merger plan for any of those schools that do not consolidate by that deadline, he said Friday.

The consolidation plan would not apply to sparsely populated school districts, mostly in western South Dakota, that cannot consolidate because distances between schools are too great, Knudson said.


Of South Dakota's 168 school districts, 48 have fewer than 200 students, according to the task-force report. But nine of those districts are considered to be sparsely populated, meaning distances to nearby schools are so great that consolidation would be difficult…

If a protest was held and a reporter hadn't been called.....

I read that yesterday the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center held a protest outside Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth's office. And one is left to ponder the ethereal question: If a protest was held and a reporter hadn't been called..... Would anyone have noticed?
In Rapid City, about a dozen people (my emphasis - pp) read the names of some of the 2,984 U.S. military deaths to date in Iraq in front of the congressional offices of Rep. Stephanie Herseth, D-S.D., before moving to the offices of Sens. John Thune, R-S.D., and Tim Johnson, D-S.D., to do the same.


"As many have remarked in recent months, there are no good options left in Iraq." Herseth said. "What is clear is that we need to do more to train and equip Iraqi security forces so that we can turn over a stable democratic Iraq to its leaders. Like all South Dakotans, I am extremely proud of the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces, and I share concerns regarding the safety of our soldi…

The Prefiles are here for 2007

The prefiled bills are starting to arrive in the hopper. And a couple of them have very political implications.

HB 1004 revises and amends sections of the law on state vehicle use to just apply to state airplanes.

Senate Bill 3 mandates that constitutional amendments and referred measures have to have petition circulators who are county residents of the county they are circulating petitions in.
What else.... Oh yes, there's also these...

BillTitleSJR 1To propose a constitutional amendment to revise certain provisions regarding the legislative process.SJR 2To propose a constitutional amendment to require certain meetings of the Legislature to be open to the public.SJR 3To propose a constitutional amendment to repeal certain voided provisions regarding term limits for United States senators and representatives.SJR 4To propose a constitutional amendment to revise certain provisions regarding private and special laws.SJR 5To propose a constitutional amendment regarding certain restriction…

Senate seating arrangement is on-line.

I see the Senate Seating arrangement is out..

While they didn't put Frank Kloucek directly next to BJ Nesselhuf or Dan Sutton (per Frank's very public request), they did put Frank in a position where he will have to stare at the back of Dan's head. That is, at least until the rule violations are heard.

It looks like Dan will be in the Senate for a little while. I'm told that last Friday was the deadline given to him by his caucus mates to resign. With yet another ultimatum deadline having come and gone, Dan is dead set to put the Senate on a collision course with history.

What else? According to the chart, Frank's new seat mate is Democrat Tom Katus. And Sutton's seat mate? None other than Republican Senator Brock Greenfield.

(I'll have to ask Brock if this is intended as punishment for he or Sutton.)

Senator Johnson turns 60. Still under sedation as South Dakota holds their nightly vigil. What's going on here?

It has almost disturbingly become habit among South Dakotans to check the news in the evenings to check for signs of improvement for Senator Johnson.

It's not like we stand at the precipice waiting for nuggets of information to fall like the national media, to eat them up and regurgitate them with the commentary of our favorite tele-doctor. On either side of the aisle, we care about the guy. He might be our neighbor, or the man our candidate ran against for mayor (or in this case, U.S. Senator). For gosh's sake, as noted on this website, my wife and kid were taking pictures with him this summer.

So we're genuinely concerned.

And we take strong note and pay attention when the Associated Press tries to play our emotions like a roller coaster as in the latest from the AP/MSNBC:
Dr. Vivek Deshmukh, head of Johnson's surgical team, said in a statement that the South Dakota senator's overall condition has improved and he is gradually being weaned off sedation to help his br…

CCK: Hargens to challenge seating of Rep. Roger Hunt

Chad over at the Democratic Clean Cut Kid website did a post on Friday that I finally caught today. Apparently, Democratic Minority Leader Dale Hargens plans on challenging Republican Representative Roger Hunt's being seated as a member of the new legislature:
State Represenatative Dale Hargens (D-22), last night on South Dakota
Focus, was asked how he intends to deal with Representative Roger Hunt (R-10)
who blatantly broke campaign finance laws this past election by hiding the
identity of an individual who spent $750,000 in a failed attempt to influence
the voters of South Dakota.

Hargens' response:I might as well let the cat out of the bag right now.My intention is to challenge the fact of whether or not he can be seated or not as a state representative.We do have somebody who has taken an oath. Not once but twice. Once as an attorney and once as a state representative to uphold the constitution of South Dakota and the laws of the state of South Dakota. And he thumbs his nose at …

Support the SDWC

I wanted to take a moment to say "Thank you very much" to a few of you who have been willing to click on the "beg button" or otherwise support the SDWC.

Your support is what helps keep this little political website going. So to the rest of you, if you read me for your daily fix of hard politics and other politically related nonsense, and you haven't done so yet, please consider supporting the War College.

KCCR News reporting that President Pro Tempore Bob Gray finalizing committee assignments

KCCR News is reporting that Senator Bob Gray is finalizing committee assignments. Where do things sit?
One reason for the delay in releasing the assignments was the uncertainly over Flandreau Democrat Dan Sutton, who has been accused of groping a male page. There had been talk that Sutton might resign, but that hasn’t happen. Sutton, who had four committee assignments last session including State Affairs, is only on two this year – Agriculture and Retirement Laws.

Gray says that decision was made after input by others – including Democratic leaders.

Among the chairmen for some of the more notable committees are Assistant Majority Leader Tom Dempster of Sioux Falls, State Affairs, Ed Olson, Mitchell, Education, Gene Abdallah, Judiciary and Jason Gant, Sioux Falls, Government Operations and Audit. Gray will chair the Legislative Procedure Committee and will be vice chairman of both the State Affairs and Commerce Committees.
Read it here.

Legislature might lift cap on liquor licenses?

The Associated Press is reporting this AM in the Rapid City Journal that the legislature might lift the cap on on-sale liquor licenses. Who would oppose it? Those who already have them:
The number of licenses a city or county may have is tied to population.

Dave Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said some consider the issuance of liquor licenses a quality-of-life issue.

“More and more cities are finding the kind of restaurant chains they want to attract won’t come in unless they can offer a full-beverage menu,” Owen said.

and...Caren Assman, executive director of the South Dakota Retail Liquor Dealers Association, said her organization opposes any expansion of the availability of liquor licenses because licenses already in hand are valuable.

“My businesses have invested in that liquor license. To just open up the cap would be like pulling the rug out from underneath their investment,” Assman said.Read it here.I'm tossed on this one. I certa…

The media doesn't get it again....

Dave Kranz was writing yesterday in the Argus Leader regarding some coffeehouse chatter about political consultant David Bokorney, and the value of his house. Supposedly, because David has a nice house, he's been rendered unelectable:
First, consultants, aides and any behind-the-scenes players generally don't run for anything. Significant in public assessments of possible candidates: their real estate holdings.Memory is fresh about how former Sen. Tom Daschle was pounded in advertising by John Thune's campaign for his $1.9 million home in Washington. That home was prominent in the message that he was out of touch with South Dakota voters.

and...His residences in Sioux Falls and elsewhere would make Daschle's home look like a small house in Goodwin. His $3 million house on a Sioux Falls hill for starters would likely be fodder for any Republican primary opponent or a Democrat in a general election.Read all of that (plus a report of Ron Volesky's application fo…

What was with that?

Sorry about the overnight outage. Blogger was doing something that caused the site to crash. I ended up having to republish everything.

My Predictions for 2007

As we wind down the remaining days in 2006 and dust off the party hats for New Years Eve, the time is coming upon us to think about the future. The time has arrived to dig the dusty magic 8-ball out from the toy box

Were my predictions worth a darn last year? I've got to think about that. What were my predictions for 2006?
1. A Republican Congressional Candidate will be recruited.
(got that right)
2. Ron Volesky is the Democrat's man for the Gubernatorial race. And that's
(Close, but that was tough. Ron had a track record of running. Not
3. Medical Marijuana is NOT something we'll be voting on this year. Neither
will the Alcohol Tax.
(half right)
4. Dems forgo fielding a lot of constitutional level candidates in favor of
legislative ones.
(dead on)
5. Mainstream Coalition runs some election ads, but otherwise lays low.
(They didn't get to the level of running ads, and instead issued position
papers, so I'll call this close)
6. Blogging continues to march onward.

R.I.P. President Ford

President Gerald Ford has passed away at the age of 93:

I was 8 years old when Ford became president, and to my young mind was the first person I remember being President. I remember lots of talk about watergate in the few months before, but it was pretty confusing talk for a young kid. I could put my arms around the concept of president, though.

From my impressions watching and reading the media, Ford struck me as a nice guy. A decent human being. I remember him as being mocked on Saturday night live for taking a few tumbles, but it didn't dim my impression of him.

In his years out of the presidency, that impression was never tarnished. He still came across as an everyman. A good person who you'd like as your neighbor. (Even Homer Simpson had that pleasure one episode).

An everyman who you'd enjoy as your neighbor. I can't think of a better compliment for someone who ascended to the presidency. He was one of us.

But who will get the coffee?

Here's a tip I got last night. We'll know in short order whether or not the rumors are true.

Normally, the South Dakota State Senate has 4 sessions of different legislative pages. And during each of those sessions the Senate hosts 10 high school kids.

What did I just hear on this? There will not be the same number of kids. In fact, I'm told that the rumor is that numbers are down.

Why? Well, that whole Dan Sutton thing has thrown a bit of a wet blanket on the interest level of kids to come to Pierre to fetch coffee from the cafe' for legislators and to update their bill books.

As a legislator related to me, one future page's dad approached him and very clearly stated "if that Sutton thing is not dealt with, there's no way my kid will ever do that."

I can't blame the dad. Heck, with my oldest child having the name of "Paige," I'm considering calling her by her middle name until this all blows over.

You know, I wouldn't want her to be ex…

Christmas at the SDWC

I was working on my Christmas "themed" message for this year, and I was debating back and forth whether or not to just re-post last years' Christmas message, or to do something new. Last year's message was about tolerance and mutual respect. But it didn't seem to fit as well as another theme this year.

In light of the family of Senator Johnson spending his 60th birthday and Christmas in the hospital as they pray for his recovery, a theme of Christmas tradition and family seems much more timely. We all have our Christmas traditions, but they exist in our minds less as set procedure and more as good memories.

In other words, the things that get engraved in our minds as family traditions are that which reinforce the feelings of togetherness and fellowship. The good stays and the bad goes away.

The things my wife and I have kept from each other's Christmas traditions and turned into our own involve the memories of family and fellowship they invoke.

The advent calenda…

Now THAT'S a Christmas Present - over 1/2 MILLION page views.

I just passed over a half a million page views. WOW.

Who would have ever thought that I could create something that people thought was worth looking at over a half a million times.

Thanks for the nice Christmas present.

The plot thickens.... Flandreau to sue Ridgefield

One of the most convoluted stories in South Dakota history just had another twist added to it. The Argus Leader is reporting that the Flandreau Development Corp is taking legal action against Ridgefield farms to get their $850,000 back:
An attorney for the Flandreau Development Corp. has told the Argus Leader
he will file a lawsuit against Ridgefield Farms, stating the company defaulted
on a promissory note and broke other agreements.

The complaint, to be filed by Madison attorney Wilson Kleibacker, seeks to
recover the $850,000 loan from Flandreau Development Corp. to Ridgefield Farms.
The suit also seeks payment of interest on the loan and the recovery of court

It is unclear how much of the $850,000 has been spent, or what it has been
spent on.“The promissory note was breached and the (Development Corp.) felt
obligation to do what they could to recover the note,” Kleibacker said. “It
appears that some misrepresentations have been made to the board to induce them
to enter the agreement.”


Is smoking coming to an end in South Dakota?

The word on the street is that at a legislative forum in Sioux Falls, one of the major hospitals noted that the American Heart Association is floating a poll that 70% of South Dakotans are supposedly in favor of completely banning smoking in South Dakota.

Is this true? I don't have full confirmation yet, but if it's even remotely the case, this is a major bombshell. They could either bring it to the legislature as a contentious fight, or they could take it to the people as a contentious fight.

Why would they? Right now, they're coming off of a November victory for a huge increase on tobacco taxes in SD. And they might be best in trying to strike while the iron is hot.

Higher sin taxes on everybody's favorite vice to hate are one thing. But will prohibition be going too far? Wait for this next session to see if we start hearing more about this...

SD Watch has breaking news regarding the SDDP

Todd Epp over at SD Watch has some breaking news regarding a shakeup over at the South Dakota Democratic Party. A departure, some restructuring of their offices, and the return of Rick Hauffe.

Go check it out here.

So I'm one of Time's people of the year? Somebody would disagree.

As I'm recently reading about TIME magazine naming bloggers and youtube denizens as the person of the year, I recently had a note from a detractor to knock me off of my heady Man of the Year perch that wonderfully summed up all sorts of ignorance and and abject stupidity when it comes to politics (and blogging):
All you bloggers are is a bunch of ignorant self-important asses who spend your time
tearing down people. You are what make people hate politics, as you sit in your
underwear and talk about nothing positive. I think the world would be better off if you all just went away.
Well, there's the epitome of someone who doesn't "get it."

First off, I don't sit around in my underwear. (It's not a pretty sight). I finally wore out my spongebob jammies, and my wife bought me a "corona beer" pair for my birthday.

Second, and more to the point, while this anonymous person spends their time watching "entertainment tonight" and other television vap…

Betty Olson confirms what had been discussed earlier - a landowner privacy act is coming to shut out game wardens

Representative Elect Betty Olson conforms to the Associated Press this morning that she's coming with a bill to require a permission slip for game wardens as had been previously mentioned in other places. Check out this story via the Rapid City Journal:
A newly elected lawmaker said she will offer a bill in the 2007 South Dakota Legislature that would require game wardens to ask for permission before going on private land. Rep.-elect Betty Olson, R-Prairie City, said officers could still enter private property if they have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing or get a tip about it.

But she says game wardens should not be allowed to simply drive onto someone’s land to look for hunters who may or may not be doing something illegal.

The right of game wardens to go onto private land comes from a policy called the open-fields doctrine. Legislators have tried to repeal it twice in recent years.

“I’m hoping that ... both houses will decide that Game, Fish & Parks (should) show the com…

No.. No.. Notorious. At least living together in North Dakota

The Aberdeen American news has a story on our neighbors to the north who live in that Artic wasteland known as North Dakota. Apparently it's illegal to "openly and notoriously" live together, despite the need to huddle together for warmth:

Legislators are again being asked to do away with a state law that forbids unmarried couples to "openly and notoriously" live together as if they were married.
Freshman state Sen. Tracy Potter, D-Bismarck, said he will sponsor a bill in the 2007 Legislature to repeal the cohabitation law, which officials say is rarely enforced.

Efforts to repeal the law have failed in the last two sessions. Before that, the most recent effort to abolish it was in 1991, when the House voted down a repeal measure by almost a 3-to-1 margin.


"I just don't understand - if nobody's going to enforce it, why do we have it on the books?" he said. "It clearly steps on the toes of freedom of association. We should be able to lea…

Steele is in - White Plume is out. At least as far as the BIA is concerned.

The Rapid City Journal has the story on how the Bureau of Indian Affairs is recognizing president elect John Yellow Bird Steele over Alex White Plume who's been a bit pokey in giving up the office:
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is recognizing President John Yellow Bird Steele as the official president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, according to a letter sent to Steele on Tuesday by BIA regional director William Benjamin . “Congratulations to you and other newly elected tribal council members, as indicated by the certified election results forwarded to us from the Oglala Sioux Tribe,” the letter said.

The BIA now considers Steele, vice president William “Shorty” Brewer and tribal representatives elected in the Oct. 3 primary and Nov. 7 general election the rightful owners of their respective tribal offices.

Benjamin said he wrote the letter to acknowledge that his office had received the OST’s Dec. 5 resolution that certifying the primary and general election results.

“We in the Gre…

Just a comment... Traffic is still high after the election season

As of today, My post-election December 20th has higher traffic than the entire pre-election month of September did, right at about 18,000 or more.

I'm not sure, but I think I might actually keep pace with October and November hitting above 25,000 visitors. (yeah!)

I'm also noticing my slowest days (Sundays) keep trending higher and higher. This actually leads me to believe that my readership continues to grow. That's really surprising, since most websites like this tend to drop off after the election cycle.

Thanks for your continued support.

Rounds sounds off on new "airplane law" at Rapid City Journal

I almost missed this - today at the Rapid City Journal, Governor Rounds sounded off on the new "Airplane law." You know - the one that attached civil penalties to state employees on business trips that stop off at Wal Mart to buy a book to pass their evenings, or get a toothbrush because they forgot it at home.
This law goes far beyond restricting the use of a state airplane by a governor because it adds significant new penalties, and those penalties also apply to all state vehicles and all state employees, not just the state airplane and the governor.


Unfortunately, the biggest impact is not on me. It will be on any state employee who uses any kind of state vehicle.

If a state employee does something of a personal nature on a trip, even if it is unintentional, they are in violation of the new law. If they stop at a drug store for aspirin, that is a violation. If they missed lunch and stop at a grocery store for a late snack, that is a violation.

This law is flawed. In ma…

It's starting already. The road to 2008 has hit South Dakota's shores

I got this article, and in a lightning strike of weirdness, apparently there's 2008 presidential ads running in Rapid City.
Rep. Duncan Hunter appears to have scooped other presidential hopefuls in both parties by becoming the first potential candidate to air television commercials aimed at smoothing a path to the White House.

Hunter, an Alpine, WA Republican, started airing two 30-second ads over the weekend in South Carolina , North Carolina and South Dakota . Both ads focus on Hunter's assertion that China is stealing U.S. jobs and threatening its security by “cheating” at trade. The ads will air for two weeks.

Joel Rivlin, deputy director of the Wisconsin Advertising Project, said Hunter's commercials appear to be the first of the 2008 presidential campaign with the possible exception of ads aired recently in New Hampshire urging that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama be drafted as the Democratic nominee. The commercials were prepared and financed independently of Obama.



The South Dakota War College's top 10 political personalities of 2006!

Just like the top ten political stories, I've given it some thought, and quickly, before I change my mind, here's who I've chosen as my top ten political personalities for the year, along with a few honorable mentions.

Saddle up, read them, and let me know if you disagree.

10. Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Eric Abrahamson
Who would have ever thought the State Library Board would be a launching pad for Statewide political office? As the Democrat’s Lt. Governor Candidate, Eric came across as introspective and thoughtful. After he got his feet under him, it seemed like Democrats might have preferred him as the gubernatorial candidate.

9. State Senator Bill Napoli - Never say "die." Or "virgin raped and sodomized in the worst possible way."

Don't forget that in addition to his verbal faux pas with a national reporter, and having a target drawn on his head by Stan Adelstein, who spent plenty of money on his general election opponent, Bill also authored …

Flashback - top 10 political personalities of 2005

In preparation of doing another one of my "top ten of 2006" posts in coming days, I wanted to at least point out another one of them I'd done around this time last year:

SDWC's top 10 political personalities of 2005
10. State Senator and Mainstream Coalition Executive Director Ed Olson9. Kate Looby, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood.8. State Senator Jerry Apa7. State Senator Brock Greenfield, Executive Director South Dakota Right to Life6. State Senator and President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck5. Governor Mike Rounds4. Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth3. U.S. Senator John Thune2. State Senator Stan Adelstein1. State Senator Bill NapoliRead why I named them as such here.

A lot of it had to do with who was hot in the political news and why. Already on this list, I see a few who will be back (albeit in different positions) and a few who won't.

Adelstein will likely make it back as he's absolutely dominated political news (whether I like it or not) in Rapid City. M…

Havin' a bad day. Might there be light at the end of the tunnel?

I hate short people
I hate tall people
I hate all people today

Cuz, I'm havin' a bad day
Havin' a bad day
Get out of my way
cuz, I'm havin' a bad day
- "Bad day" by Blue FlannelUgh. What a day. It's days like this one that make me want to just leave the key to the office on my desk, go pack up my computer at home and drive to Brookings, never to return. (or at least not to return until I need to get something from the house).

People won't call me back at work, too much on my plate in Brookings that needs my personal attention, etcetera, and so on.... and on top of everything else I got a rejection from a job interview I had last week.

I have to say it was the nicest rejection I've had to date. They told me they wished they had two positions to fill, because they were pleasantly surprised how much they liked me, and it was between me and one other person. Supposedly they agonized over which one of us to pick, and the other person had more …

Is that still news? Argus limps in at the tail end of the Kloucek story, despite being one of the first to have it.

Dave Kranz writes in his column today about the Frank Kloucek e-mail. Despite the fact it went out about a week ago. And it was sent directly to Peter Harriman who had the story in his e-mail box.

But you know, I think the thing that slightly irks me is the way it utterly soft pedals the Kloucek comments, and neuters any and all statements. I mean, isn't this the Argus Leader that's supposed to be fierce about seeking the truth?

I have no doubt that if it was a Republican who had blundered and written the e-mail, it would be printed verbatim. But a Democrat? It's so watered down that a disinterested and new observer would wonder what all the hubbub is about.

From the original e-mail to the Kranz article - Here's what we get:
"Another issue that is very important to me was the fact that sutton continually redirected interns away from helping me for the last 4 years and consistently ordered them not to help me with research constituent replies phone calls help with com…

David Zucker takes on the Iraq Study Group

Funny, but really, really biting political humor.

LDRDSD: Christmas Wishes from the left and right

Todd Epp and I take a few minutes out of our busy lives to present Christmas wishes over at the bi-partisan Left Dakota - Right Dakota - South Dakota weblog, as evidenced by one of my gifts:
Gift #3 - Righteous indignation

For the Argus Leader. Because after going after the Governor, Roger Hunt, and any number of assorted topics (State airplanes, the Governor's Hunt, pistol permits, health records, etcetera...) in an overblown and overhyped manner this year, I think they used up everything they had.

Unless Santa brings them more to restock their supply, they'll be stuck running pictures of people's cats....

Oops. too late.

Argus getting pounded for their Herseth coverage

Check out the Argus' gaggy article on the Herseth engagement:
Rep. Stephanie Herseth, 36, is engaged and plans to be married in South Dakota in the first half of 2007, her spokesman Russ Levsen confirmed Saturday.

Herseth made a surprise announcement of her engagement to former Rep. Max Sandlin, D-Texas, at a birthday party in her honor Friday in Rapid City.

"We had an update on Senator Johnson's condition, which is first in our hearts and minds. Then she said she had some exciting news she wanted to share with her friends out here."She was real excited. It was real fun. It was an added feature to the birthday celebration," said Judy Olson Duhamel, former chairman of the South Dakota Democratic Party.
and...Herseth rode with Sandlin in the annual Mayor's Ride at the 2005 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and he was with her in Sioux Falls in November when she celebrated her re-election.

He was not with Herseth in Rapid City, but Duhamel said Herseth's announcement br…

Nothing to do with politics, but I just wanted to prove to everyone that I do manage to attend my kids' events once in a while...

Yes, as opposed to singing like an angel in the concert for the St. Thomas More Church pre-school, my son's major accomplishment was standing (relatively) still for the ten minutes or so of the concert.

And like any proud dad, I was snapping away like I had a camera and spotted Britney out on a bender.

(Oh my god, I sent my e-mail to who......!?!)

The top South Dakota political stories of 2006

Okay. I've thought long and hard on this one. And I think I've come up with my list for what I believe to be the top political stories of 2006.

Unlike KELO or the Argus when they get around to their top ten stories, no lame zip feeds mill here. Just SD political stuff.

I've reviewed and revised this list. Things have gone on and off of it, and I'm trying to put it to paper, so I'll be over and done with it. So, here it is. I can't change anymore, so it's yours to argue and debate.

The top ten political stories of 2006

10. Dang, is that ballot long.
Some view it as activism, some view it as due to the in-activism in the legislature. Either way, people were signing a lot of petitions this year. Medical Marijuana, JAIL, Smoking, School Start date, abortion, and the list goes on. I can’t recall when we’ve had so much to consider.

And the challenges! Many of those ballot issues were in court at least once in these hard fought tooth and nail battles. Maybe, just may…

Christmas at the College!

It's Christmas at the SD War College! And I've got the cards to prove it. (and you can click on any of the images to enlarge them).

Here's just a sampling of a few of them I've gotten. First, Governor Mike Rounds' entry into the political Christmas Card soiree':

The Governor's card has a message from the new testament, as well as noting "May the Holiday season bring you joy, peace and hope for the New Year."

Next up... Vice President Dick Cheney's card with a view of the north entrance of the Vice President's House.

This card notes "Our best wishes to you in this holiday season and throughout the year ahead." This one was a real plus for me, because it not only recognized my gender (My Bush card was addressed Ms.) it's a hallmark card, just like the President's:

And the President's card (which Dave Kranz says is selling for $26.01, I'm assuming on eBay), notes "May the light of the season shine bright in your hear…