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Showing posts from January 1, 2006

Is it coincidence, or are many local governments LESS open since the Open Meetings Commission?

Check out this from the Belle Fourche Post and Bee:
WHEREAS, the council has no intention of initiating a mass layoff; and WHEREAS, there are policies in place to handle dismissal of employees and the council will follow said policies; and WHEREAS, whoever resorted to starting these rumors seems to have a political motive, and should be cautioned to stop; and WHEREAS, there have been divisions of the council before, bitter divisions, and the City Employees were not dragged into it but continued to perform their jobs without taking sides with either faction; and WHEREAS, if the employees will help identify the person or persons spreading these rumors, the council will take any action possible to put a stop to such harmful behavior. THEREFORE, if a Council Member, or the Mayor, or a City Employee is the one spreading harmful rumors, that would be cause for disciplinary action. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that overall, the council believes that all City Employees are performing their jobs an…

It's official. DTSD Secretary Jim Hagen has gone Crazy

Not Crazy-nuts. Crazy Horse. At least according to the article in today's Rapid City Journal:

Hagen to raise funds for memorialCRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL - Crazy Horse Memorial’s first nationwide fund drive will be headed by Jim Hagen, who announced last week that he is resigning as secretary of the South Dakota Department of Tourism and Economic Development.

Hagen will leave his state job Jan. 17 to join Crazy Horse Memorial as national campaign manager in mid-February, a news release from Crazy Horse said.

“Jim Hagen has been a longtime friend and supporter of the Crazy Horse dream,” Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation chief executive and president Ruth Ziolkowski said. “He tells the Crazy Horse story with passion and conviction and will do a wonderful job in leading our national fundraising campaign efforts. We are very excited about what his involvement will mean for helping to bring the Crazy Horse dream closer to reality.” Read it all here. And congratulations Jim. That sounds like a pre…

J-Ro at SD Straight talk wants Napoli to join the herd.

Former State Republican Chairman Joel Rosenthal blogs over at Straight Talk that he thinks Bill Napoli should not be governing.

While I agree with Senator Napoli’ proclivities on limited government, government can be and is necessary and useful. The problem is that Napoli just hates government. Consequently he should not be governing. While that is my opinion, he is duly elected and that is the decision his electorate makes not me.

I guess we know which side of the Napoli/McCoy battle he's going to be sending a check to.

And I'm not sure with which parts of his argument I disagree more with. It's as if at the same time they were both laying a wreath Ronald Reagan's grave, and Joel turns to spit on Bill's because it's not the same as his.

It's a big stretch to assume Napoli hates government. And so what if he's a maverick? Innumerable historians describe Teddy Roosevelt with the same word. And despite angering his peers and his party, he's remembered lo…

Paper Tigers
After talking fiercely, Penn Co Commission Joins SDACC Anyway

From the Rapid City Journal:
Despite consternation about lack of support for a new alcohol tax, Pennington County commissioners reluctantly decided Tuesday to remain in the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners.

But Pennington County will pay only the first three months of $10,242 in annual membership dues and will then re-evaluate whether to make another payment or leave the association.

And...

The county has had trouble finding people willing to circulate petitions to put the initiated measure on the November ballot that would ask voters to approve a 1 percent consumption fee on the gross retail sales of alcoholic beverages.

If approved, revenue would be shared among participating counties according to a formula based on population and the value of property in a given county. Pennington County would stand to gain about $1.2 million per year.

But the liquor tax has not received support from the SDACC.Read it all here. I'm not sure what to make of this. They have made a …

Sophia's Identity Crisis

Anyone who reads Mt. Blogmore is sure to have come across the postings of commenter "Sophia." In fact recently, she's been posting in a flurry on the abortion topic over there. For example:
Friday was the final day of the task force’s life, and the day to create the final report. The right-wing Regressives had the majority of votes from the moment the task force was created, so they never had to consider science they didn’t agree with. Those Reegressives who were present included Benson, a twitchy little bug-eyed suit; Duenwald, senator from Hoven; Greenfield, about as bright as a white glow stick in a blizzard; Kraus, who has all the dullness of a butter knife. She can cut through soft butter, but nothing of substance. I swear there is not an ounce of creativity or energy or imagination in her entire body; Miles, who only spoke once, but was always sure to vote with her fellow men; Stransky, whose odd remarks you’ll read later; Unruh, from whom a scent of ill-defined but…

More on the 1/4 Appropriations Forum in Rapid City

Part 2 of the discussion, picking up from the first post...

Senator Bill Napoli briefly discussed the fact that he’s involved in Amendment D, but he doesn’t want it to be a meeting about amendment D – he wants it to be about the appropriation process.

A question came from the floor about the structural deficit, with Napoli noting he doesn’t believe there is a structural defecit, because it’s really based on estimates. We spend based on projected estimates, and the term structural deficit comes in because we don’t meet our goals.

Haverly noted that also does not believe there is a structural deficit as well, based on his own explanation.

"Special Guest Legislator" Senator Jerry Apa explained the deficit as being akin to spending in a checking account with a ready reserve. You write more than you take in immediately, but you have the ready reserve to cover the shortfall until you can replace it.

He said he doesn't consider that we have a structural deficit, we have a savings ac…

Rapid City gossip and damnable inspiration

I'm back at it after a restless night's (at least all 4 1/2 hours of it) sleep. I'm not going to get into the details of last evenings meeting just yet, as I need time to think and have caffeine pumped into my system.

But there are a few things that had me restlessly tossing and turning from last night. One was that this statement might not be 100% accurate:
“I’m not looking to build primary fights. If I have one, I’ll fight it and win, but I’m not going to worry about somebody else losing in the primary.”Yes, that quote. I got a huge amount of information about the rumored goings-on behind the scenes in that anticipated Napoli-McCoy primary contest. Out of courtesy, I'll have to check with those who spoke with me in reference to how much I can blab about. But let's leave it at that for the moment.

At last night's meeting, it was also noted that petitions are starting to be taken out from county auditors. While the Secretary of State's office will never fess…

Sorry about that - No Wireless reports.
The Napoli-Haverly-Apa Appropriations Review

I just flew in From Rapid City... And boy are my arms tired (ba dum, bum).

I'm just getting in at 1:30 AM, I don't want to mention how much the gas cost, and I drove over 300 miles today. Was it worth all that to cover the Napoli - Haverly - Apa meeting?

You're darn right it was.

No wireless at this thing tonight, dammit. But I showed up and it was like old home evening.

I bribed Senator Brock Greenfield to serve as my wingman and to poke me as I fell asleep on the way home tonight. We showed up, greeted by Peggy Napoli and Senator Apa, with Senator Napoli and Representative Haverly there and ready to roll at the Valley View Elementary School.

Then the dignitaries started to roll in. Representative Buckingham showed up before it was to begin, closely followed by longtime Lawrence County Republican activist “Wild” Bill Trent.

Among the Republican activists it was noted that the Pennington County GOP held it’s Republican Ambassadors meeting today, and this meeting tonight was on t…

Roadtrip Confirmed. Watch this space for a report

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I've got my video camera charged up, my tripod is in the truck, and I'm currently putting a charge on the laptop I'm borrowing. I've got one wingman arranged to go with me, and I'm putting pressure on another to sneak out of town with us.

So, watch this post for updates on the Haverly-Apa-Napoli forum. I have my fingers crossed that there's a wireless connection to allow ongoing posts, but if not, at the very least, I'll file a report as soon as I get back to Pierre later tonight, which will be around Midnight-1am if I'm lucky.

Shortly thereafter, unless my video camera goes on the fritz, there might be video as early as Thursday night.

So, set your bookmarks right here for a report on what I hope is the best show in town.

Now I've heard it all...

From this morning's Sioux Falls Argus Leader:
The Argus Leader has a long record of fighting for the public interest and we will not yield from that position in this instance.Bwaaa ha ha ha ha! Hee hee hee hee... Oh, sorry. Apparently they're not joking. I didn't think they could make a statement like that with a straight face.

Correction and reminder

I had a misprint in an earlier posting occurring this friday, so I'm running it again:

The Fall River County Republicans are holding a pre-legislative session social featuring South Dakota Right to Life Director, and State Senator Brock Greenfield on Friday January 6, 2006, at 5:30 p.m. in Hot Springs. The Hot Springs Star also reported that State Senator Bill Napoli will be there, in addition to the district's legislators; Senator Jim Lintz, Representative Gordon Pederson (affectionately known as "Gordo" among friends), and Gordon Howie.

If I wasn't heading to Brookings this weekend, it would be the place to go.

On a sad note. Our Condolences to Senator Julie Bartling

Ann Bruns, a sister to Democratic State Senator Julie Bartling was killed recently in a car accident which also left her husband hospitalized. An article about the accident is available on the Rapid City Journal's website.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family in their time of loss.

(Hat tip to Tripp County South Dakota Democrats for the information.)

The Roundup - January 3, 2006

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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 lev…

SOMEBODY'S a little nervous...
With a noon update on the article
Or "Why you might want to wait for the attack"

I've updated this article after further reflection (and now that I have time to contemplate it while I eat my lunch)
I'm sure I'll be blogging about the rest of this article once I have time to read it all, but the point I wanted to make before I took off for work this AM, is that "Is it just me, or is Gordon Howie a little nervous about what the Democrats are going to hit him with?"

From this morning's Rapid City Journal (read it all here):
Republican state Rep. Gordon Howie of Rapid City has taken an unusual pre-emptive strike against the mud-slinging attacks he expects during his re-election campaign later this year.

Howie, a self- professed conservative, said he expects political foes to exploit past mistakes in his personal life in order to beat him in the campaign. He also sees his battle as part of a larger war between liberal and conservative factions wrestling for power in the Republican Party in South Dakota.First off, In their unusual defense (since I …

Uhh, just shaddup about that.
Deadwood Mayor Gags Commission

I think they are starting to realize that someone committed an oops.


Deadwood Historic Preservation Committee directed to keep mum by Mayor By Marla Loken
Lawrence County Journal Correspondent, Deadwood
Under direction from Deadwood Mayor, Francis Toscana, Deadwood's Historic Preservation Commission members are not making any public comment concerning the city’s probe into the demolition last weekend of two historic Deadwood Main Street buildings.

The two structures located in the 500 block of Main Street were allegedly taken down by the buildings' owner, Gene Johner. A written overview dating back to August 2003 that chronicled the city's dealings with the buildings in question was submitted to Deadwood City Commissions by Jim Wilson, Historic Preservation director.

In the overview it is stated that Johner had obtained permission to remove the building adjacent to the Wing Tsue building, but was repeatedly informed by historic preservation staff “to retain as far as possible t…

Never thought I'd see this alliance.
Tourism Interests and the Farmers Union

I was up early this AM letting my woofing dog out, and checked the Rapid City Journal's website while I'm still in Brookings. And what do I spy but the announcement of this little alliance:

Farmers Union collects signatures

SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Organizers of a petition drive to put a later school start on the November 2006 general election ballot said that the South Dakota Farmers Union will help collect signatures.Read the short little article here.

The very business oriented tourism interests have now allied themselves with the agrarian oriented Farmers Union. If this is the case, we can assume that the petition effort has been floundering and they need an existing organization to put signatures on paper.

Why is it floundering? Well, why wouldn't it be? In effect, they are bucking the trend of South Dakota Schools and the State Board of Education to require MORE education. And this measure wants to limit the amount of time they have to do it in.

I predict it's going to fail…

Post #425 - Happy 2006!

I'll try not to "jump the couch" with my excitement. It's 2006 - Election Year!

A few of the battle lines have are already being drawn. It's anticipated there will be a Rounds/Volesky matchup. The Sahr/Kolbeck contest in November is a foregone conclusion with convention serving as only a formality. Same goes for the Johnson/Healy fight for School and Public Lands.

In Rapid City - THE place to watch primaries next June - we can already assume wthout much fear of contradiction that there will be a Napoli/McCoy fight and a rematch of the 2004 Adelstein/Schwiesow battle.

But there's still a lot of blanks left to be filled, especially in legislative races. Between now and April, a lot of action is going to take place.

And it starts TODAY. According the the Secretary of State's utilitarian and now attractive website (which still gives the widely used firefox browser fits):
January 1 - Earliest day for June primary or independent candidates to circulate
nominating pe…