A news round-up for January 23, 2006

Ugh. I just drove in from Brookings with a side trip to Watertown (which I took the day off for) for some personal business. I'm punchy from all the windshield time so I have little coherence left to devote to concentrating deeply into any one topic.

Without further ado, the Roundup for 1/23/06

I'm sure anything I say about this will be inappropriate...

From this afternoon at Argusleader.com:
A bill introduced today would give rebates to South Dakota businesses that provide private lactation rooms for their employees who breastfeed their infants.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jason Gant, R-Sioux Falls, would establish a lactation facility fund and a lactation facility program under the state's Department of Tourism and State Development. The fund would give a rebate of up to $1,000 for up to ten years to any business who invests in a private area for working mothers to lactate.
(Read the whole thing here). Having six kids who have nursed (my wife, not me) I certainly support the idea of a little space for this sort of task.

But instead of coming out of the health department, it's being attached to the tourism budget? Gives a whole new meaning to great places, but how will it look on the tourism brochures?.... (okay, I'll stop there. I warned that anything I said about it would probably be inappropriate).

And I do think it's a good measure. I'm just teasing because that struck me as funny.

Slapping around J.A.I.L.

Check out Celeste Calvitto's article in the Rapid City Journal on the legislature nearly en masse slapping at the Judicial Accountability act. It's a bi-partisan smackdown of the South Dakota act that's designed to hold judges feet to the fire. Except there are just a few more people who are going to be sucked in under this act's umbrella.
"It's one of the most dangerous things on the ballot," House Minority Leader Dale Hargens, D-Miller, said. "You are going to see an effort by the Legislature - not just a few legislators, but the entire Legislature — to educate people on this initiative and make sure it is defeated."

Hargens said the proposal targets more than judges.

"It goes farther than judges being sued by someone who is unhappy with the outcome of his or her lawsuit,” he said. "You can also go after county commissioners, city commissioners, township and school board officials for things that they do in the official capacities."

Hargens said if the amendment is approved, exposure to a "financial quagmire" would discourage people from serving in public office.
Good gosh. I think if you pass this act, after the first time a county commissioner or school board member is hauled into "Special Accountability Court" you're really going to see a mass exodous of people from serving in these positions.

If you're guessing I'm against this mess, you're correct. Good article. (Read it all here).

Did I hear this correctly? Sounds to me that there's a bit of division in the Republican caucus.

It was reported to me that at the South Dakota Right to Life's Hour of Reflection up at the Capitol Yesterday, State Senator Lee Schoenbeck (who I believe was the keynote speaker) stated as part of his comments that:
In Rapid City, one well known individual makes no bones about dipping into his personal fortune to oppose pro-life candidates across the state. Never before have we seen such resources available to the pro-abortionists in the state.
Like it takes a rocket scientist to figure out which "well known individual" he's referring to.

That person fishing for rumors cast a long line.

You know, I heard that State Auditor Rich Sattgast for Congress rumor again this weekend. But this time it was originating from out in the Washington D.C. area. I'm not sure if the whole thing originated from out in that neck of the woods and found it's way here, or vice/versa.

But for those who remember Rich's commercial last election, take that lame goose of a rumor out back and put it out of it's misery. While I was out of town today, I did hear that KCCR Radio News Director Tony Mangan was running the story of Rich officially announcing his re-election efforts.

Awww. I guess that means dinner with John McCain is a no go.

KELO tv is reporting that the early presidential primary was killed
in Senate Committee today:
Senator Dave Knudson of Sioux Falls says South Dakota should again move to an early presidential primary to attract presidential candidates to the state. He says South Dakotans then would have a chance to raise issues important to rural states.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown says only party leaders got to spend time with presidential candidates when South Dakota held an early primary. He says the $450,000 dollar cost of an early presidential primary would be a waste because average voters don't care and never get to meet presidential candidates.
I have mixed feelings on it, because *I* was the beneficiary of meeting a presidential candidate in 1988 when we had that presidential primary.

I was a young legislative intern then, about 40 pounds lighter and no grey hair. A "press op" was arranged for all interns (R's, D's and other) to have lunch with then Vice-President George Bush, and we were supposed to all get photos taken with him at the end. These were to be individual pictures for each of us with the VP.

They had us do a sack lunch up in my old math classroom at Riggs High School. After a short wait, Vice President Bush showed up with a photographer and he answered a few questions (I asked one about our commitment to our military bases overseas). It was pretty darn neat.

OK? Is is now picture time?

No. About that time, "Ace Reporter Intern" who was interning with the Community News Service starts in with a line of questions that had already been done to death in the national media about Bush's supposed role in the Iran/Contra affair. And he went on. And on. And on.

Before you know it, our allotted time for photographs with the VP (and eventually President) was burned up by "Ace." Forget about us Republicans, even among the Democratic Interns there were people looking at this dude like they wanted to kill him. I seem to recall mentioning to another intern at the time (Now State Auditor Rich Sattgast) that if the opportunity was afforded on the way out of the school, I wanted to stuff this person into a trash dumpster.

I didn't get the photo, or the dumpster opportunity. But I did end up with a story about having lunch with the Vice President during the 1988 Presidential Primaries.

Although the picture would have been pretty darn cool.

And there's a pair of odd bedfellows

This weekend the Argus Leader was reporting on Dave Munson holding a fundraiser shortly after his election that he didn't have to report under current Campaign Finance Reporting laws.

What caught my attention was the notation of who two of his consultants were.
Munson said Wednesday that he didn't know how much money the event generated or what happened to it. He directed questions to Georgia Hanson, a consultant who managed his campaign's books.


The fund-raiser took place shortly after June 24, 2002, the final day in which candidates in the 2002 election were required to file campaign-finance reports with the city clerk.

"It was kind of a fund-raiser, congratulate-Dave-type thing," said Kip Scott, one of Munson's campaign consultants.
Read it all here. Now, the article notes one of his consultants as Georgia Hanson, who happens to be a former Executive Director for the South Dakota Republican Party. But curiously enough, I believe the other consultant, Kip Scott, is a former State Party Chairman for the South Dakota Democratic Party.

With all the charges and accusations against Mayor Munson in play, and several candidates popping up from both sides of the aisle, I'll be curious to see if the Hanson/Scott dynamic replays for this years' mayoral challenge.

That's enough for now...


Nicholas Nemec said…
In 1991 in the runup to the early 1992 primary the SDDP sponsored a steak fry in a horse barn north of Sioux Falls with all the Democratic presidental candidates. I don't rember the cost but it wasn't prohibitively expensive. In fact super cheap reduced price tickets were available if you didn't want to eat and didn't mind sitting on some bleachers.

The best part was that after the candidates were done speaking they stayed around and visited with people one on one for a while. Bill Clinton stayed for quite a while and just shook hands and visited with whoever wanted to talk with him. He impressed alot of people that night with his speech and his approachability.

Of course this has its dangers, like getting cornored by some kook like Ron Wizorek (sic?). But I think Clinton was able to avoid that uniquely South Dakota experiance.
Nicholas Nemec said…
I thought that I might be the only one to catch the Georgia Hanson/Kip Scott consulting bedfellows team.

Just one of those things that make you go hummm....

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