Showing posts from February 5, 2006

When Balloons go Bad in Brown County

I was trying to do some early morning research to see if there was something I could write on for my lunch hour post, and then it hit me like a ton of bricks. As I scanned the news this AM before work, I cam across a little article in the Aberdeen American News (in the print version only):
Deflated: Helium Balloons outlawed.

The Brown county Fair Board has voted to prohibit helium-filled balloons at this year’s county fair.

Fair manager Larry Gerlach said in the past balloons have gotten away from fairgoers sometimes end up in ventilation fans in barns and other buildings, creating problems during the hot august days.My first reaction immediately? “You have got to be kidding me.” Somehow, in the decades upon decades that this and other fairs have been in existence, everyone has managed to cope until this point. They've managed to hold the line on unruly balloons – until now.

Making a bold statement against getting balloons down or popping them, the Brown County fair is now putting it…

Check it out if you're in RC this weekend

Per the Rapid City Journal:
Sen. Jim Lintz, R-Hermosa, and Reps. Tom Hennies, Elizabeth Kraus and Gordon Howie, all R-Rapid City, will be featured speakers Saturday at the last Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce legislative crackerbarrel for the 2006 session.This is hosted in Tech's New Classroom Building from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and is always worth the free price of admission.

A little shuffle over at the SDDP

SDDP ED Jason Schulte announced in their "News from the Blues" e-mail report tonight that Elesha Peterson Carr has accepted the position as the SDDP Finance Director, shifting over from her position as communications director.

Business Incentives and Disincentives in Madison, South Dakota

Madison, South Dakota is like any mid-sized city in the state where they are desperately trying to attract business to the community to keep it vibrant and growing. I had interviewed for a position in the community a while back during "the great job hunt" and found the community pretty darn nice. I could easily see myself sitting on a porch by the lake sipping a drink during the summer evenings. Alas, it wasn't to be. Anyway, getting back to point of all of this..

In the Madison newspaper from February 7th, there is an article in noting the city commission has passed an ordinance for an "incentive fund" to offer cash incentives to businesses that move into the community. And this is in addition to any low-interest loans the city or other entity would provide. Five or more jobs? That could bring the business up to $1500 per job if the position meets salary and other requirements.

Clearly, this is a community that wants businesses to come to town. And they want the…

A couple more candidates enter the fray

Lance Carson who resigned from the State Fair Commission with notice that he intended to run for the legislative seat being vacated by Lou Sebert, proved he is as good as his word. Lance filed papers today to run as a Republican for the District 20 House Seat.

And I'm told the Tim Rounds re-election watch is officially over. Apparently Representative Rounds stopped leaning today, and finally tipped over. Well, at the very least, he announced to KCCR News that he is running for office again and ended the days of speculation that gripped the district.

Stay tuned for more candidate stuff!!

Official Press Release on Congressional Announcement
From Bruce Whalen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bruce Whalen (605) 867-5221

February 9, 2006

Whalen announces intention to seek U.S. House seat

PINE RIDGE, S.D. - Bruce Whalen of Pine Ridge announced Tuesday that he intends to seek South Dakota's lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Whalen, who serves as the Shannon County Republican Party chairman, said he wants to bring his unique South Dakota perspective to the U.S. House. "South Dakota is a great place to live and work, but I believe that it can be even better," Whalen said. "As a member of Congress, I would be able to work with President Bush and with the Republican majorities in both houses to get things done for South Dakota."

Whalen said increasing entrepreneurial opportunities, ensuring students get a quality education and giving our farmers and ranchers the tools they need to succeed are just some of the important issues on which he will focus.

"We have much to be proud of in South Dakota, but …

They'll sell anything on eBay


Too Little Information + too many unanswered questions=a conspiracy in the making

Todd Epp has an interesting post on the now "supposedly solved" murder case that occurred up on the NSU campus. Basically, it entails some thoughts from a reader he has up in that neck of the woods, and a couple of news articles on the whole thing. From his post:
It is my understanding the the firearm used in the death was discovered in a dumpster several feet from the body. (Readers, please correct me if I am wrong.) I suppose it is possible that someone came along and put the gun in the trash after the suicide, but that seems unlikely. Why would someone do that? And it doesn't seem likely, though, I suppose not impossible, that the professor shot himself, threw the gun in the trash, then wandered off and died. But not very likely.

I don't doubt the evidence but what I have read and heard doesn't add up.I would concur that it's a bit of a hard pill to swallow that this handgun mysteriously ended up in a dumpster some distance from the body.

When the police chi…

Does anyone want to sponsor me? No, not you Sally Struthers.

I need a sponsor. No, I'm not starving in a foreign land, but I have an idea that is probably going to take a little up front money, and I doubt it will have any financial return. But for Republicans it could have a moral return.

In early March, the South Dakota Retailers and the South Dakota REA will be putting on campaign seminars for candidates. Campaign school. I've been to those types of things before, and they can run the gamut in quality. Some are sterile and boring, and others can be quite good. Back in my party days (GOP, not beer), I had been tasked with lining up speakers for the GOP's candidate campaign school. This was being put together separately from the hubbub of convention, and if I recall, it really turned out great.

Fast-forward 18 years later, and I keep thinking I'd like to put on the SDWC campaign school - with real-life South Dakota lessons, and the things I think the students need to hear.

The big difference here is that my campaign school would n…

Update on Betty Olson running for 28B House

Big hat tip to Jennifer Giannonatti, Chairman of the South Dakota College Republicans. I had opined a day or so ago that I didn't know anything about Betty Olson who is running for the Legislature in District 28B. As she was originally a Harding county resident, Jennifer was kind enough to bring me up to speed:
Betty is one of the best & brightest conservatives around. She's known all around the northwestern part of the state for her wit, energy & political savvy--also for her weekly news column in the Nation's Center News.I knew that name sounded familiar. Betty has a regular weekly column in the Nations Center News, and if there's anything that gives a candidate an instant leg up on the competition, it's name ID. Week after week of having her face and name in front of voters probably puts her out front as the race starts. We'll just have to watch and see if she keeps up the early momentum.

A big thanks for the tip to Jennifer, and also a shout out to t…

War College News Roundup 2/8/06

There's just too much to try to get to this lunch hour while I try to eat my hamburger and type at the same time. So, we'll just do a quick roundup of what's happening ...

Pennington County Commission drops out from South Dakota Association of County Commissions

The Penn Co Comm officially pulled out of the state organization after the SDACC refused to accept a partial dues payments while the PCC intended to monitor the State organizations' responsiveness to it's concerns. As reported in today's Rapid City Journal by Scott Aust:
The county commission decided in early January to pay only the first three months of $10,242 in annual membership dues to the South Dakota Association of County Commissioners and that if quarterly payments were not accepted, the county's membership would end.

"As far as I'm concerned, we made the offer. They didn't accept it. I'm not going to change my mind," Commissioner Gale Holbrook said. "It would be nice …

In a hurry this AM, but more on Whalen for Congress

I'll leave out the editorializing this morning, as I'm in a hurry, but here's more on Bruce Whalen from Carson Walker with the associated press writing in today's Rapid City Journal:
Whalen, 43, grew up in Pine Ridge, moved to Utah as a teen and returned to South Dakota in 1999 to raise his family. He works for the Oglala Sioux Tribe as coordinator of its judiciary committee.

Whalen said that when he lived in Utah, he realized the Republican Party closely mirrored his traditional Lakota values with its emphasis on respect for life, limited government, sovereignty and local control.

"There's a lot more people around here that are seeing that point of view," he said.

Whalen lost a bid in 2002 for tribal council and was unsuccessful in 2004 in his campaign for the state House of Representatives. Whalen rallied Indian support for Republican John Thune in his 2004 victory over former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.

Randy Frederick of Hayti, South Dakota GOP cha…

Another New Candidate for District 28B

I don't know a thing about her, but Betty Olson of Prairie City has filed papers to run as a Republican candidate for the District 28B House Seat. This race already has Bob Drown running, so now there's a primary in this single House member district.

From the Secretary of State's Candidate list.

Breaking News: Shannon County GOP Chair Bruce Whalen to take on Herseth

The hat tip on this one goes to Theron McChesney of SD Progressive for picking up on the breaking news from "The Hill" first:
Carol Pitts, the Republican Party's top recruit to challenge Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D) in South Dakota, announced yesterday that she will not run.Instead, Bruce Whalen, the Republican chairman of Shannon County, will make a bid to unseat Herseth, said South Dakota Republican Party Executive Director Max Wetz.Whalen is now considered the front-runner to win the GOP nomination. Thomas Bixler of Yankton is also vying to challenge Herseth.Read all of this breaking news story here. (Scroll down for South Dakota)
If the party is announcing it, we can assume Bruce is being annointed as the party's mainstream candidate over Tom Bixler.

As many Republicans know, Bruce was the South Dakota GOP's man on South Dakota's reservations as the GOP tried during the last election to break a decades old stranglehold that the South Dakota Democrats hold on t…

Fighting Fire with Fire. SDGOP might be recruiting two female GOP'rs to take on Herseth

(Hat tip to sibby) Dave Kranz's column in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader today manages to scoop the blogosphere and point out that someone is polling Representative Shantel Krebs against Stephanie Herseth:
Republicans are crossing their fingers, again. This time two of their relatively new state legislators say they will consider a bid to run against Rep. Stephanie Herseth.

District 10 Rep. Shantel Krebs is the most enthusiastic about it. She has been the subject in recent days of a head-to-head poll with Herseth. She is not sure who is behind it, but says, "I'm the only name on the poll (with Herseth) and that was significant and interesting," she said.

Would she run the race?

"I am not ruling it out. I want to get through this legislative session, and I want to make sure I get my District 10 constituents taken care of," she said. "I do plan to file for re-election."Read it all here. It also sounds like Representative Deb Peters is also being recruited…

Maybe I was a bit premature in referring to him as "Soon to be Senator" Klaudt

I got word this afternoon that State Representative Ted Klaudt might not be walking into the State Senate seat that will be vacated by Senate Majority Leader Eric Bogue. I thought he had it in the bag and would be walking in to an easy victory. - not so fast, PP

Supposedly there's another person with their eye on the Senate prize - Former State Representative Ken Wetz, father of State GOP Executive Director Max Wetz. Ken, a Butte County Republican from Newell, spent four years in the House and now it is rumored that he has his eye on that Senate Seat as well, setting the stage for a primary battle.

I don't have a confirmed petition circulation just yet, but it's on relatively good authority.

Having Ted and Ken battling in the primary is really interesting when you throw in the fact that the party has to be neutral in primary races - meaning that Max is going to have to avoid that whole thing like the plague, if it is in fact correct.

I can't say I paid much attention to h…

Does Pierre Centrism exist?

I'm asking this because I'm wondering about the impression of those outside the area. A commentor under the post I just did on the 2 campaign websites let us Pierre Residents just have it with both barrels. Reproduced in part:
Why does the Pierre crowd have to build up thier puppets while attacking anyone who is outside of Pierre and is trying to make a difference? Pierre crowd: the best ideas in this state are not originating from Pierre. Tax and spending increases, nepotism, cronyism, government buildings and programs, and unopen government are not the virtues of the party of Reagan. But when you are raised on the government and lobbyist dole, you start thinking ethnocentricly and begin believing you are entitled, even though you aren't! Sometimes it takes a newspaper to bring some individuals down to earth and to assist them in developing a conscience.OUCH. That's pretty harsh, but is that an accurate assessment? Is that how regular South Dakotans think of those who …

District 24 is mostly in for the next election. Mostly

(I'm assuming this was reported on by Tony Mangan over at KCCR News)

KCCR's "today's look at news for 2/6/06 is reporting that District 24 State Senator Bob Gray and State Representative Ryan Olson have said that they will be running for the legislature once again.

But Representative Tim Rounds coyly said:
..that he hasn't made a final decision yet on whether to run for a third term. But the Pierre Republican says he is leaning that way.


Rounds says he hasn't made a final decision.
Amazingly enough, nobody cared. Are we supposed to be on the edge of our seats? Are we supposed to write in and beg? Please. Let's just get it over with and save the drama for the Pierre Players.

Not to burst anyone's bubble, but in this district potential politicians will stream out of the woodwork like termites whenever there is an open seat. The only thing that's going to happen by Tim not coming out and saying "I'm running" is that he's going to off…

Reader correction. As Homer Simpson would say "Doh!"

Just a note from a reader. Apparently I goofed when I discussed the rumor that Cooper Garnos might be looking at a Senate Seat. I had noted him as taking on Julie Bartling, but I failed to take into consideration that her district is reshuffled as well.
A correction - the District 21 does not include Gregory County. As you know it is based on the Boneshirt map and that is the petitions County Auditors and the State are operating on at this point. So Cooper would be running for an open seat. There is no Senator currently serving from the area covered by the NEW District 21. The map is available here. for the heads up! (Dang it. I knew better too, since I wrote on the whole topic before).

Petition to change the school starting date almost there

As reported by the Rapid City Journal this evening, the petitioners for the measure to change the school starting date are almost in possession of enough signatures to file their measure:
According to VIA president John Brockelsby of Reptile Gardens, the group expected to collect about 2,000 new signatures during the stock show. "This is the best venue we've had so far," he said.

The signature drive has been going on at both sides of the state, from the Brown County Fair in Aberdeen to this week's stock show in Rapid City.

To get the measure on the November ballot, they must collect 16,800 signatures by the first week in May. Brockelsby said the VIA's goal is to collect 20,000 signatures by the end of April.

Brockelsby estimated that organizers of the petition drive will have about 14,000 signatures by today. "We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we know we have a lot of work ahead of us," he said.
These guys had rented a booth at the Black Hil…

Please RSS Feed the Blogs

I was noting on my left sidebar that High Plains Drifter (f.k.a. Tokala Resistance) was not happy that SD123 had dropped them. I feel your pain guys.

I had tried to get listed on SD123 a while back because it used to be the best single source for finding out the latest on what the SDblogosphere was doing. But, after a few e-mails, I gave up, and found my own little aggregator which I use. It's not perfect, and I still can't get Radioactive Chief to list, but it's ok.

Speaking of feeds, I've added the Dakota Blues Podcast and The Blue Note RSS feeds from the South Dakota Democratic Party. Not that I want to support them or anything, but if there's a SD political related feed, I want it indexed. As soon as the SDGOP has their blog up (as ED Max Wetz spoke of in the video interview I did with him) if it has RSS, it will be here as well.

Campaign websites - Jarrod Johnson and Bob Sahr

Jarrod Johnson, Republican Candidate for the Commissioner of School and Public Lands had his website go live today. I had been waiting for it for a while, as I knew he had the domain registered and had a web person working on it.

I took a few minutes to check it out tonight, and it's not bad. Not bad at all. You can see it for yourself at

And Jarrod isn't the only one with his mug on the web. Bob Sahr also has a campaign website out there at It's another good website with a clean design and easy navigation.

On Bob's site, just like Jarrod's, you can make an on-line donation. Bob's uses a click and pledge system which allows for donations via credit cards. Jarrod relies on Pay Pal, another on-line payment system owned by eBay.

What did catch my notice on Bob's website is that an upcoming feature, Bob's Blog is noted, where I'm assuming we will be able to read about his travels on the campaign trail. …

Somebody spilled candidates all over the place

I had an e-mail this weekend from one of my legislative readers. And it was an e-mail with a demand:
Update us on who's running for what - and what the rumors are - in the legislative racesSorry Senator. I regret to inform you that things have settled down quite a bit. Since my prior postings on who was circulating legislative petitions a week or so back, people have stopped crawling out of the woodwork. There just hasn't been much new intelligence. It's not for lack of my hunting.

I monitor the state's media very closely, so if there's an announcement made, I know about it. The problem is that nobody's announcing yet.

I was told that the call has gone out from the GOP that they want to know who is running and who isn't, but as I had mentioned in a prior post, nothing is for sure until the filing deadline passes.

Just to recap who I've noted out there running so far, with a couple of additions:
Former Congressional Candidate Larry Diedrich is rumored to be…