The Roundup - January 3, 2006

It's a new year, and there are a ton of topics that I want to note, but far too little time.... So, it's time for a quick roundup..

Todd Epp starts another weblog

Todd Epp formerly of KSFY, formerly of SD Public Broadcasting, formerly of the South Dakota Democratic Party, is living up to his unofficial title as South Dakota's recordholder for starting the most blogs has started another blog. From his announcement:
We need public officials at every level of government in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties who can remember that they work for us, the citizens and taxpayers, and that government is OUR government. They need to remember that "Of the People, by the People, and for the People" still means something to many of us, whether we are Republicans, Democrats or Independents.

Therefore, some of us have decided to do something and to take action. In this day and age of technological advances, a small group of people can make a big difference, particularly at the local level. Sheldon Osborne of Sioux Falls and Todd Epp of Harrisburg have just started Citizens for Open Government in the Sioux Empire (COGSe) . (The web site is still under construction but is usable.)

Our website and blog will help educate fellow citizens about the actions of public officials. We will carry on a dialogue with others who care about having open, honest, and transparent governments in our area. We will support those candidates of whatever political stripe who also believe in open government. We will be a force for more openness in government in the Sioux Empire at the city, county, state, and school board levels.

Many people in the Sioux Empire area are frustrated by what they've seen and read in the past year regarding the wasting and mismanagement of tax dollars and the secret deals that benefit the few but get paid for by the many.

If you are frustrated too, and you want to make a difference – you can! We can be reached by mail at COGSe, 5012 S. Cliff Ave. #110, Sioux Falls, SD 57108 or by email at
This is pretty intriguing, as from his yearrs in journalism and politics, Todd knows where the skeletons are buried, or at least where to dig. Good luck, and the RSS feed is already in the digest.

District 24 legislators willing to go for the full monty. (or at least 3%)
From Tony Mangan at KCCR News:
Believe it or not, there was actually a time when the legislature gave 7 and 8% raises to state employees.

It's just Alito all over the place. The Clerks of Alito think he's Neat-o

The former law clerks of Judge Alito will be in Sioux Falls tomorrow to promote his nomination. From my invitation :
On behalf of Progress for America-South Dakota, you are invited to join former Judge Samuel Alito law clerks John and Hanna Smith for a reception on Wednesday, January 4 from 11:45 AM-1 PM. The reception will take place at the Sheraton Hotel’s Fontenelle I room in Sioux Falls.

John and Hannah Smith served as law clerks for Judge Alito in 2001-2002. Hannah Smith also served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

John and Hannah Smith will talk about their personal and professional relationship with Judge Alito, discuss the qualifications that make him a great choice to be the next associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, directly address unfair attacks and mischaracterizations from his critics, and provide valuable insight on the Alito nomination hearings that begin on Monday, January 9. Several local attorneys will also be on hand to provide a South Dakota perspective to the Alito nomination. The “Coffee with the Clerks” reception is free of charge. Please feel
free to invite your friends and colleagues to this event. Coffee and cookies will be served.

What: Progress for America-SD “Coffee with the Clerks” Reception
When: Wednesday, January 4 from 11:45 AM- 1 PM
Where: Sheraton Hotel’s Fontanelle I room in Sioux Falls
Please Contact Todd Schlekeway at (605) 310-8600 or
I can't make it, but they did remember the sage advice from famed party planner Eric Cartman ("Say you have punch and pie, more people will show up.")

What's with that?

(From SD Politics) Next time the College Dems are invited to help bash Republicans, they should probably not post the details of the request on thier website:
Nathan Peterson sent me two more letters on Governor Rounds. Kristina, if you and the folks at DWU would like to take the Rounds letter I have listed, feel free to do so. Also, I have attached a listing of all the e-mails to the newspapers for their letters to the editor. If anyone else would like to get a few more pre-drafted letters please e-mail me. Again, feel free to use that listing of newspaper e-mails I sent you as a resource. Also, if you want to stagger out these letters to the editor, feel free. I know we are blitzing the papers with this stuff, so if you want to wait until next week to get this in to the papers, also feel free to do so.
I'm not going to get riled up over this, because having worked in political organizations going on 18 years now, I have to say, "Yes. It not outside the realm of possibility that someone else ghost wrote letters to the editor." But it's not like you are supposed to blab about it. What were the College Dems thinking, as this comes on the heels of a nice write up on them in the Rapid City Journal.

No S***, Dick Tracy. Congresswoman Herseth is going to run again.

From deep in Keloland, a no-brainer is announced tonight:
The South Dakota primary election is just over six months away. In the US House race, incumbent Democrat Stephanie Herseth says she's running for a second two-year term.

She says it will take more than one term to accomplish her goals. And Herseth says she has kept her promise to work with members of both parties on agriculture and other issues.

State GOP Chairman Randy Frederick says business and family issues are keeping some Republicans from challenging Herseth.

He says three or four people are thinking about a run, though it will likely be some time before someone announces.
Three or four people are thinking about it? More power to Randy for holding the party banner, but I thought when someone was thinking about it, the person is usually coy, and informs the press they're thinking about it?

At this point? I might just have make a few phone calls and get someone to do it. (At least then I could break the news).

Casey is really at bat

According to Dave Kranz at the Argus Leader (Which apparently doesn't link Kranz articles on their website anymore) Republican Legislator Casey Murschel has filed papers announcing her intent to run for Mayor of Sioux Falls.

Now, this is interesting. A current Republican legislator, this Sioux Falls Homemaker is going to give up a relatively safe legislative seat in District 12 to take on Republican Mayor (and former legislator) Dave Munson.

With two GOP names in the race, could this split the GOP enough to get a Democrat in? We shall see.

ROADTRIP! The South Dakota War College is going on the road to Rapid City tomorrow night.

Here's the ad that recently appeared for tomorrow night's legislative forum in Rapid City. Weather allowing, I think I'm going to attempt to go to this. I think I've got someone (actually an elected official) to ride shotgun, and I've taken a little time off from work so I can get there before it begins.

I'm going to take a laptop, just on the off chance there's a wireless connection, and it can be liveblogged (but I'm not getting my hopes up). I will bring my video camera for some clips. I expect this to be lively, to the point, and well attended, at least by the media.

Why is this worth driving for 2 1/2 - 3 hours? Well for starters, you've got two of the most quotable people in the legislature putting this on. And secondly, two of the three legislators in District 35 are sponsoring this. Alice McCoy (who isn't included) is going to be challenging Bill Napooli in a primary - I can't imagine she isn't going to be there trying to campaign and gain attention.

That, and I'm already hearing this is going to draw Republican notables from a wide area across the Hills if weather allows. Quotable notables and intra-party competition.

And no punch and pie needed.


Anonymous said…
RE: District 24 legislators and state salaries.
Yes, the state employees should receive a COLA. But this should also be the time to end the silly subsidy for state employees who work in Sioux Falls and Rapid City. Presently state employees in those towns receive a "cost of living" increase. Give me a break. The reality of this subsidy to live in our most comfortable towns is that good employees cannot be enticed to promotional jobs outside of those towns since those employees would lose the subsidy. Even though the management promotion would move the employee up the payscale - the reality is either a pay cut or, at best, a net no-change in pay. Thus it is virtually impossible to convince an outstanding employee to move into a management position outside of Sioux Falls or Rapid. How can this be best for our state?

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