Showing posts from January 8, 2006

Hot tips on a sunny Saturday Afternoon - updated

One SDWC reader was nice enough to let us know this afternoon that they've heard that former state Representative Kent Juhnke is circulating a petition for the NEW District 21 House Seat. They also note that they expect Cooper Garnos to announce for the Senate Seat in that district.

On a sad note, I hear that about they time I'm typing this that there will be a news conference reagarding a plane accident in Pierre - I'm hearing this second hand, but it allegedly is involving fatal injuries to an 11 year old who was out flying as part of a birthday party. I'll be watching this closely, and my prayers are with the family this evening.

Update - details released by KELO on this tragic accident in my home town.

Now why can't South Dakota have fun political candidates like this?


MINNEAPOLIS — One gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota is giving a whole new meaning to the "dark side" of politics. A man who calls himself a satanic priest plans to run for governor on a 13-point platform that includes the public impaling of terrorists at the state Capitol building.

Jonathon Sharkey, also known as "The Impaler", plans to launch his gubernatorial campaign on — when else? — Friday the 13th. He'll make the announcement in Princeton.

"I'm going to be totally open and honest," said the 41-year-old leader of the "Vampyres, Witches and Pagans Party."

"Unlike other candidates, I'm not going to hide my evil side," he said. Read it all here (if you dare...)

Don't forget the RSS feeds.

Don't forget that under the RSS Blog Feeds on the Right, and under the box of links are my RSS feeds for the state legislative proceedings. They work just great, and it's a quick and easy way to catch up on the current topic in the legislature.

Eureka! I found it! Maybe.
Has the Educational Alliance found the state's pot o' gold? Or just some Lucky Charms?

Don Young, unsuccessful GOP Primary candidate against Senator Jim Lintz was apparently at the cracker barrel session in New Underwood this last weekend (featuring District 30 legislators Lintz, Howie and Pederson).

According to the New Underwood Post, Young was representing the “Educational Alliance” and Young claims that the Alliance is confident that they have found additional stores of money that could be used for education. According to the newspaper, Young claims that the group will introduce a bill that will increase educational funding without raising property taxes, but will utilize what is already squirreled away.

He was seeking the legislator's support for such a bill. And the legislators apparently didn't think much of it.

I can't say I blame them. It doesn't sound like much in the way of specifics were offered by Young. And for all we know, it could just be a bag of magic beans. Besides, a lesson in state budgeting and spending from the guy who (in his prim…

Behold My Psychic Powers. It looks like one of my predictions is already holding true.

It was literally just a week or so ago when I predicted that the South Dakota Mainstream Coalition was going to keep a generally low profile this year and work on membership before they did anything controversial.

And what do my eyes see in today’s Mitchell Daily Republic? An article by Seth Tupper interviewing the Olson duo of the Mainstream Coalition (Ed and Mel) about their activities this session. In the article, Senator Ed Olson notes that:
“He does not expect the coalition to have much impact on the Legislature this year. He indicated though, that he might watch for signs of inner party controversy."He was specifically referring to watching if his or Senator Stan Adelstein’s name appears on legislation, who votes against it and who votes for it.

If I were asked, I would say to Senator Olson, “Don’t worry about your legislation.” I might give Ed the business about the Mainstream coalition because I don’t see how it makes the GOP stronger, but seriously, Ed’s a genuinely likeabl…

Congrats from the SDWC

According to the Onida Watchman, Emily Sovell has been named the new Sully County State’s Attorney in place of her retiring father, Merlin Voorhees. Emily will have to run for the position at the next election, but I’m assuming she won’t have any trouble. She’s had her law office in Onida, and her husband Joe is also well known in that community for having AAA Auction Service.

(I met them this past year when I stood all day in the sun to bid against people who had more money than I did )

Congrats on the new job from the SDWC.

Also - I must be slipping. Did I forget to mention a little while back that Senator Bob Gray and his wife Kara are proud parents? The baby arrived a little early but it sounds like everyone is doing ok.

Congrats to Mother and Child (and to the Senator as well), and read about it here at the Pierre Capitol Journal.

Do you ever get that feeling that you're being watched?
Great Plains Public Policy Institute begins their Tax and and Spending Report

From today's e-mail box:
The Great Plains Public Policy Institute is pleased to announce a new email program to assist and inform the taxpayers of South Dakota. This email will describe the day-to-day activities of the Joint Appropriations Committee of the South Dakota Legislature, which is responsible for the fiscal allocations of the entire State government.

The Good Morning Taxpayer - TAS Report will be emailed and contain a brief summary of each day's activities, expenditures, and increases and decreases in the budgets of various State Departments, slated for the FY 2007 Budget. We hope this information will provide you, the taxpayer, with an informative description of where and how much of your hard earned tax dollars will be spent by the 2006 South Dakota Legislature.

And so on....
The GPPPI apparently will be monitoring the activities of the Appropriations committee, and sending out daily reports of their activities, and discussing what happened in that day's activities…

Representative Gassman isn't the only District 8 Representative who has a problem choosing his words.

As you might have read on this blog last night, or this morning, I was noting that Representative Gassman’s comment in the Capitol Journal’s Legislative preview took the award for the "stand out comment." And I didn’t think telling his constituents “he hasn’t done anything to improve their lives” was going to be a ‘helper’ in the next election.

But shortly thereafter, underneath that post, this comment appeared:
Well, being a constituent in the district served by all three that you mentioned (Gassman, Lange, Sutton), I have to agree that the former two haven't accomplished anything for us. Gassman has truly done nothing. Lange at least tries but his unpopular ideas make him ineffective. This district needs better representation, so why do the majority of my fellow constituents keep sending those two back??? Cuz they're nice guys, but that doesn't cut it in the legislature. I am hoping that you are right and Gassman's statements, as well as Lange's that we …

Success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan. Belle Fourche Backs off gag order.

From the Rapid City Journal:
The Belle Fourche City Council will reconsider the controversial ordinance it passed last week to ban city employees from spreading rumors about local government. On Tuesday night, the Legal/Finance Committee of the council discussed the resolution, which critics have labeled a gag order that might be unconstitutional. The committee sent the issue back to the full council for reconsideration during its regular meeting, scheduled for Tuesday next week.

Opponents of the measure, including acting Mayor Sebastian “Bes” Burckhard, hope the council will rescind the resolution.

“I didn’t want it at all. It’s a bad idea,” Burckhard said Tuesday. “I think it’s taking some of your freedom of speech away.”

Even some resolution supporters said the language of the resolution needs to be revised.D'you think? Read it all here. Funny how people didn't want something when it's universally bashed by the left, right and media.

Dammit Delores! For the last time I'm not going to sign your alcohol tax petition!

From the Rapid City Journal's website:
The Pennington County Commission is considering updating its policy governing how petition signatures are gathered at the courthouse and all county-owned buildings. The proposed policy bans collecting signatures within any county-owned building, including the courthouse, and within 50 feet of any door. It also requires that petitioners respect the rights of people to not sign and that petitioners not harass, threaten or intimidate anyone, or mislead signers about the contents or consequences of a petition.

Currently, circulators are asked to sign a code of conduct, but not all of them sign, according to Ron Buskerud, administrative assistant.

K.J. McDonald of the county auditor’s office said people frequently complain about being “pestered” by petition circulators.Read it all here! Now I don't want to infer anything... But at the same time it's tough not to infer anything after this comes literally on the heels of Pennington County Comm…

Post #450 - On behalf of the GOP, Thank you Representative Gassman.

One of my favorite newspaper supplments has now arrived. The 2006 Capitol Journal Legislative Edition supplement.

For some reason, every year some legislator makes a comment that just blasts through the ether of survey blandness and stands out. They stand out either through being brutally honest, or they were just having an off day when they filled out the survey and end up saying something they didn't intend to.

So far, this year's great comment belongs to Representative David Gassman.

In response to the question "What have you done as a legislator that has directly improved the lives of your constituents and the other residents of South Dakota?" He had a great response:
"After three years, to be honest, I don't believe I have greatly improved the lives of my constituents..."
That, and that his solution to South Dakota's ills would be an income tax. Ouch. Those are going to come back on you.

Okay, I understand that several of the commentors and I are mil…

Yup. They're here. The legislature is in town.

How can I tell the legislature is in town?

For starters, there's no parking anywhere in the Capitol Complex. And secondly, I see that Senator Napoli's "BlackJack" Black GMC pickup sporting dual rear tires is in the parking lot.

Speaking of legislator's cars and parking, what gets me going on this is that right next to Napoli's car was the vehicle belonging to Senator Jim Lintz of District 30.

How do I know who's car it is? There's a huge sign on it reading "Lintz Brothers Pizza." I'd call the number on the sign, but I'm not sure they'd deliver out this far east. (Anyone eat there yet that would care to provide a review?)

They were still rolling in as I made my daily sojourn to the Capitol, and scurrying upstairs to get their things in order for the day. Some came in today, but I suspect leadership came in Sunday or last night. Leadership typically has an evening meeting in preparation for the session...

Which reminds me of a story…

Timely topics. Is Dave Kranz Confirming what I was hearing?

From Dave Kranz in today's Argus Leader:
Conversation about the race for mayor of Sioux Falls overshadows most other contests so far in this election year.

Mayor Dave Munson is expected to announce his intentions in the next two weeks, a decision that will help constituents get a better idea of where this election is going.

State Rep. Casey Murschel is the only candidate to formally announce she will seek the job. Munson, City Councilor Darrin Smith and Lora Hubbel previously filed papers indicating they intend to run, but they have not announced.

Mitch Richter became the fifth person indicating his intent to seek the office.

Richter, a Sioux Falls businessman, former state senator and state representative, says it is a “winnable race.”Read the whole thing here. Well, Mitch Richter isn't a current legislator, but he closely fills the mold of a profile Sioux Falls Legislator (he's just a former). Although, it's entirely possible that there will still be more.

The bad thin…

Can I be Blue at the Blue Party?

Had this in my e-mail tonight:
2nd Annual Blue Party sponsored by Grassroots South Dakota
State of the Union - Uncensored

Holiday Inn City Center, Sioux Falls
Tuesday, January 31
6:30 - 10:00 P.M.
$10.00 Cover Charge

Tell us what you think! Open Mic $5 for 3 minutes

* Silent Auction
* "True Blue" Pearls
* Cash Bar
* Light Appetizers

Upcoming Events:

In 2005 GRSD used billboards to challenge the conservatives' "ownership" of morality. In 2006 we will promote progressive values in a two prong approach.

Step one: define the message & create a t.v. ad.
Step two: generate free media via action.

Help develop the Grassroots message!

Ideas for Progress is a community forum designed to spark an exchange of ideas and action on progressive issues. The first part is focused on defining galvanizing issues in the community, leading to the creation of a commercial. The second part is mobilizing GRSD volunteers to take action with letters to elected representatives and local newspapers, …

Busy in Pierre tonight. The Capitol Journal is chock full of informative goodness this evening

Lots going on today, and tonight. I've hardly stopped typing since I've been home. And it's all going on in Pierre. A quick Pierre-centric roundup of events as I'm reading in the Pierre Capitol Journal:

City Workers vote for union as city leaders just kind of sit there in non-commenting silence.

From tonight's Capitol Journal:
“I guess it speaks for itself,” said city administrator Rod Liesinger, following the vote tally. He chose not to comment further.

Gil Koetzle, organizer for Local 49 of the International Union of Operating Engineers—the union selected by city employees, said that the employees felt that they weren’t being listened to.Gee, the city workers didn't feel that they were being listened to. (eerily enough, living in Pierre, I know the feeling.) By overwhelming numbers, the city police and civilian workers decided to unionize.

Gee I'm glad the city decided to reorganize.

(Yes, losing by 24 votes still sticks in my craw a little).

Capitol Journal dec…

Bringing the thunder for new candidates

Just got a hot tip today that a friend of mine is going to be announcing for the legislature in March. It will be a challenger race, so it’s right up my alley. We’ve got to do a little talking to see how much involvement he wants on my part (thank God for e-mail, or else I couldn’t do this long-distance).

He asked if I'd be willing to help him. My response to him was "I wouldn't let you prevent me from helping."

This, and the one I’m already working on, are campaigns I’m very pumped about. Demographics look very promising, and I think this person has the fire to go all the way. The only possible handicap would be if Republicans don’t field a second candidate, but since straight ticket voting has gone by the wayside, it’s not that big a deal nowadays.

If there’s something I try to do well, it’s to work with young candidates and help them run credible campaigns that show them as the serious competitors they are.

There was one I worked with this last election that we lost –…

A possible Mayors’ Idle Speculation;
Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em

I’m not sure if people just pimp me on this stuff, because it’s all I care about. Eating, sleeping, bathing… maybe not eating but the rest are all thrown to the wind for politics.

I had mentioned in the previous post about Representative Casey Murschel throwing her hat into the Sioux Falls Mayoral Ring along with Mayor Dave Munson, and the anticipated candidacy of Darrin Smith, along with assorted others.

Not two hours after I wrote that did I hear some more conjecture and speculation about the race. It’s third-hand information, but what I’m told is that there was to be a Republican to enter that mayoral race, but noone expected her. Supposedly, Representative Murshel’s entrance into the fray was unexpected and unplanned. Meaning that there may yet be another high profile Sioux Falls Republican Legislator set to jump in.

If true, this makes it all even wilder. But lets throw something else into the mix - factor in that the April 11th Sioux Falls Mayoral Election is exactly 1 week after t…

Yeeeha! It’s time for a SDWC Roundup for 1/9/06

LOTS of stuff happening. Too much to dwell on any one topic.

And a note to the readers. Yes, I'm also sick of the RSS Feed bar dropping to the bottom whenever someone uses a long URL in the first sentence or tow of their post. I'm going to do a bit of redesign to try to alleviate it.

So let’s give a quick shot as “the legislators pack their gear and head to Pierre.” And that rhymed on purpose.

Bill Napoli starts his campaign against his real opponent.

From the Rapid City Journal’s Sunday Letters to the editor:
Great loss

In 2004 a primary election was held in District 32. The challenger to the incumbent was Ellie Schwiezow, a very intelligent, articulate, beautiful lady, with a strong Republican background.

Ellie was defeated by a very small number of votes, which was a great loss to us all, considering who defeated her, and how he accomplished it.

What bothers me most of all was the way she was defeated. Ellie's opponent, who preaches moderation and tolerance, blasted Ellie with …

Is the Avon Clarion confirming what Republicans have always suspected?

From the 1/4/05 Avon Clarion:

And yes, I realize the headline was a misprint. But it gave me a good chuckle.