Showing posts from March 5, 2006

I hadn't heard this one... Is a Republican changing her stripes?

UNCONFIRMED RUMOR: I had a note that former Republican legislator Rebecca Cradduck is switching parties and going to run against State Senator Gant as a Democrat. Has anyone else heard that one?

I certainly hope not. I'd prefer her in the GOP. I had met her some time ago, and she was an awfully nice person. I believe on occasion, she would do a little antiquing with my mom many years back.

Rep. Cutler in the news discussing cult activity in SD

With polygamists being a hot feature in the news this weekend, KELO is out talking to people who used to be involved in cults. One former victim is State Representative Joni Cutler, who is in the news today at discussing the end-time ministries:
Once End Time member Joni Cutler is now a South Dakota lawmaker. It's a journey that's taken years, and she says when she heard the news of a polygamist sect in South Dakota...her heart went out to the women involved because her membership in end time ministries took away something she can never get back.


In late 1980s, End Time Ministries thrived in Sioux Falls. Cutler came to the church shortly after getting married. She says it was almost like she was brainwashed as she spent 13 years strictly following her leaders orders.

She says they told her, " how high the heels on my shoes could curly my hair could be."

But when she saw how the group wanted her to bring up her family, she knew she had to leave.


Stan Adelstein in Argus Leader: SD Contribution Limits are too small.

Interesting article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader today on the effects of PAC's in the Sioux Falls City Elections. And lots of talk on how State Senator Stan Adelstein from Rapid City is spreading money around to affect Sioux Falls Races:
Political action committees operating in South Dakota are on the rise, state officials say, and their influence is felt even at the local level.

In Sioux Falls, PACs reported giving at least $20,000 to candidates in city races through Feb. 28. More than 20 percent of money raised by mayoral candidates came from PAC contributions, or $1 out of every $5 raised.

Much of that money came not from associations but from a small number of wealthy individuals who use PACs to funnel large contributions to political candidates.

State officials say they are seeing a lot more of that.

"The area that we've seen the greatest increase are PACs that aren't affiliated with an association," South Dakota Secretary of State Chris Nelson said Friday.


Jarrod Johnson Addresses the Hughes Co GOP.

PRESS RELEASEThe GOP Candidate for the Office of School and Public Lands is going to address the Hughes County Republicans this next week. Check it out here:
Contact: Chad Heinrich, 280-0053
chad.heinrich@gmail.comCandidate for Commissioner of School & Public Lands
to Speak in Pierre
PIERRE--Jarrod Johnson, Republican candidate for Commissioner of School & Public Lands, will speak at this month's Hughes County Repubican Monthly Meeting at noon on Tuesday, March 14 at the Ramkota in Pierre. "We are delighted to have Jarrod Johnson join our meeting and share his vision.", said Chad Heinrich, Hughes County Party Chairman.For more information on the Hughes County Republican Party and to link to Jarrod Johnson's campaign website go to:
(Chad - thanks for the release - pp)

Like Todd Epp, I too have changed my voter registration.

I saw Todd Epp's example and I just couldn't live with myself anymore. As you can see by this snippet from his blog, Todd decided to realign his politics with those of the SDDP.:
I made the drive to Canton today and changed my voter registration back from Independent to Democrat....
The only hope of changing the situation in our state is through the state and local Democratic Parties. And believe me, I know how screwed up they are.And following his example, I had to change my voter registration myself. No more stifiling under the yoke of oppressive policies. No more standing around in the back of rooms taking a lot of crap. NO MORE!! So I went and did something I've been thinking about doing for a long time. I went and changed my voter registration.

Actually, it wasn't quite that severe. I just mailed in my change in voter registration so I could be registered where I own a home, over in Brookings. And I proudly put "Republican" on my voter registration c…

Hot Springs Has a Polygamist in it
(to the tune of "Texas has a whorehouse in it")

"Hot Springs has a Polygamist in it."
"Lord have mercy on our souls."

Okay, It's too early in the AM to start making up songs to the tune of famous broadway productions. But I just had to. The report of a dangerous polygamist sect of roofers just struck me as funny. From the Argus Leader:
A 100-acre property in Pringle appears to be home to followers of Warren Jeffs, a fugitive and the leader of a polygamist sect, the FBI said Thursday.

Considered a prophet by his thousands of followers, Jeffs, 51, is wanted in Arizona on charges of sexual assault against a minor. He also is wanted on a federal unlawful flight charge for fleeing prosecution.

Jeffs is the leader of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints, according to the FBI. The church teaches that a man must marry at least three women to enter heaven and has been labeled a hate group because of racist teachings. It has been linked to land purchases in Utah, Arizona, Texas, Colorado and British Columbia.and...
The FBI …

Now how did that happen...

I had a reader drop me a note today noting some publicity on my blog that I had missed. Apparently, for the listing for South Dakota, they have a link up for the South Dakota War College, considering it a "Conservative Republican blog, but a source of useful info." I'm assuming it's because I cover all the goofy stuff no one else cares about such as the ballot initiatives and the legislature. At least I'm about the only one who seems to pay attention when they're not talking about abortion.

I was a bit intrigued to see that "the other party" finds it useful. While it's not an endorsement, it's a modicum of respect for what I do here. And maybe I'm not just a puff of smoke in the wind.

And actually as I discuss "the other side", it bring up a good point that people should be reminded of now that the state and country are up in a furor over South Dakota passing the ban on abortion and people are drawing …

Trash Talkin' Senator

Over on Mt Blogmore, there's been a pretty good thread going at

Of course, since it's on abortion, the arguments are getting pretty heated. But in looking under comments, there was something that was a bit unusual and out of character for even a politician. Under comment #91, someone writing as "Sen. Stan" makes a point of absolutely trash-talking his opponent in the anticipated upcoming primary:
.... hence a candidate for Senate in my primary who never had a real job, never wore a uniform, never hired (or fired) anyone, never participated in any community leadership, has nothing at stake in our town!
Wow. If this is actually "Sen. Stan" a.k.a. Senator Adelstein, this is a departure. Aside from it being a lot of garbage, for someone who tries to portray himself as a moderate voice of reason, here's another example of him being just another trash talkin' politician seeming... well, seeming a little de…

A note from Senator Kloucek. Better late than never.

Senator Kloucek had apparently tried to send this to me Sunday, but Yahoo Mail had not let it through from his hotmail account until last night.

I told him I'd be a nice guy and put up his words of encouragement for the Governor in signing HB 1215. It's very belated, and it's appeared elsewhere in print by now, but what the heck:
May 5th, 2006

Governor M. Michael Rounds
500 East Capitol
Pierre South Dakota 57059

Dear Governor Rounds:

We stand on the edge of history. As you know, the State Legislature has taken extraordinary steps to end abortion, allowing for an exception only where the life of the mother is threatened.

Two years ago, we thought we’d gotten the job done. We sent HB1181 to you for your signature – but you sent it back.

You presented us with the option of making technical corrections, but the Senate was unable to agree.

Last year, I went back to the drawing board, working with our LRC staff, put the bill in the exact form you said you would sign. The product was int…

New Old Candidate in District 22

Quinten Burg has announced in his local papers that he's running for the legislature again, this time for the District 22 House seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Pat Haley.

Burg had previously spent 6 years in the House from 1999 to 2004, and served as Assistant Minority Leader from 2001-2004.

Speaking of new old candidates, Democratic Blogger Theron McChesney is cheering on Republican Carpetbagger and former Turner County Legislator Jim Holbeck over at SD Progressive. Jim decided to take on Brock Greenfield for the Senate in the primary after he had previously announced for the House.

Glad we Republicans know who the Dems want.

It failed in the big city. So, let's try it here.

In today's edition of, they note that as of today, the Argus Leader has brought forth a concept that the L.A. Times canned - A Wikistyle Editorial. Since their political blog failed in 2004, the Argus has been trying to expand their on-line offerings and interactivity.

So, taking a page from a failed experiment is just a natural next step.

Here's a snippet of what had to say:
Beginning today, the newspaper has launched its own, somewhat altered version of the Times' failed Wikitorial-type approach directed by Michael Kinsley. Unlike the Southern California attempt, the Argus Leader program will have a bit more oversight, Baldwin contends.

"What made this fail in Los Angeles…readers started using profanity and making unsubstantiated and even libelous charges," Baldwin wrote in an editor's note announcing the new approach. "We'll check your editorials before we post them. But we won't edit them - that would…

How'd you like to run this gauntlet?

I had a note on this topic waiting for me when I got home from work tonight. A friend and reader wanted to make sure I was aware of all of this. Just like Godzilla versus Mothra, two big groups on either side of the Abortion Issue are planning on showing their spirit tomorrow in Sioux Falls. First the Pro-Life Group:
(Note the event Thursday, March 9 from 12:00-1:00 PM at the Federal Court House on Phillips Ave to thank Gov. Rounds for signing the abortion bill. )

I received a telemarketer style phone call yesterday letting me know about this event in Sioux Falls. Planned Parenthood would like folks to rally on the steps of the Federal Courthouse on Philips Ave. on Thursday, March 9 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm to show their opposition to the bill that Gov. Rounds just signed.

Since we do not have a permit, we cannot formally organize something to counter this. But anyone can show up and stand on the sidewalk across the street to show their support for this new legislation! If everyone shows…

Do you have to use a Kryptonite ballot to stop them?

In an AP article in yesterday's Aberdeen American News and today's Rapid City Journal, Governor Rounds laments the SDPB cuts, and the small group of super-beings controlling the appropriations process:
Gov. Mike Rounds said it was wrong for a small group of legislators to cut $500,000 from the South Dakota Public Broadcasting budget without public discussion last week. Rounds won’t say whether he will try to get the money restored during the session’s last day on March 20. He said his office will see what public broadcasting programs and services will be hurt by the cut.

The Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee cut the funding as it was finalizing the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The governor said he is disappointed that the Legislature allowed the committee to “get away with that particular activity.”

“They cannot let a small group of legislators dictate to them that their word is the final word on the appropriations process,” Rounds said.



Are they STILL going at it? Penn Co Comm is still crabby.

It looks like Scott Aust of the Rapid City Journal had to sit through yet another Pennington County Commission meeting where they bitched at each other over pizza and lobbying. (Still with no completed liquor tax petition in sight):
On Tuesday, the commission began discussing simply revising the policy governing how the petty-cash fund should be used. But as it has for the past two meetings, the discussion turned into an argument between Davis and Holbrook.

Holbrook said if his use of the petty-cash fund was being scrutinized, the lobbying expenditures Davis incurs should also be scrutinized.

“The petty-cash issue came up because I was accused of misusing county money. That issue of going to Pierre should be a concern to people who are concerned about using taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Davis said the five commissioners talked about and agreed that he and administrative assistant Ron Buskerud would go to Pierre to lobby legislators during the session, as they had done for the previous four …

Long Division on the Abortion Issue

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve generally refrained from commenting on HB1215. Why? Because even the mere mention of it brings out a firestorm of opinion. And there are a lot of angry opinions attached to it within both the Republican and Democratic parties.

But more than anything it has taken center stage as the defining issue of this next election. And it’s an issue that’s just so divisive. Why did we have to take this all up during an election year? It’s just going to make the business of electing candidates all that much harder.

Now, before you readers get started ripping me to shreds on the issue, I’m pro-life, but I favor the standard rape, incest and life of the mother exceptions. I have some conservative friends who don’t agree those exceptions should be allowed. But I also have to contrast that with other “very conservative” friends who claim that their brand of laissez faire politics mandate that it’s none of government’s business. So, I guess I’m somewhere in the vast middle lea…

The final post in a flurry of posting madness. Another Legislator bites the dust

Dave Kranz reports in today’s Argus Leader that yet another legislator isn’t going to run again:
Court vacancies

Those Circuit Court judicial vacancies are bringing some interesting situations.

That's now the case in the Third Circuit Court Slot B, where three lawyers seek to replace Judge Rodney Steele, who is not seeking re-election.

Ron Aho, a Brookings lawyer, already has filed for the bench. Vince Foley of Watertown, second-term Codington County state's attorney, said Monday that he will run. So will state Rep. Sean O'Brien of Brookings, also a lawyer in that community. O'Brien will not seek re-election to a third legislative term.Read it all here.

Democrats are coming out of the woodwork for Celeste Calvitto

Celeste Calvitto at the Rapid City Journal must have carpal tunnel after all of the articles she had in the paper today. Going back to her column, (as referred to below), she notes several people looking at running for Governor on the DEM ticket, including SDWC reader Nick Nemec:
A Rapid City Central High School graduate currently attending Northern State University in Aberdeen is circulating petitions to become a Democratic candidate for governor.

“I just started petitions this weekend,” Tyler Smith, 25, said in a telephone conversation Monday. “I need to determine whether I can be a viable candidate.”


“There are several interested parties. I would never discourage anyone,” state Democratic Party chairwoman Judy Olson Duhamel said. “I think it’s exciting that a young man who has been to Afghanistan and who is looking at the world in a serious, contemplative manner says he wants to take a position.”

Duhamel said that Dennis Wiese, former head of the South Dakota Farmers Union; former…

Good Gosh. Are there only two Rapid City Legislators that the Rapid City Journal Covers?

Senator Stan Adelstein is in the news again today. Not for fighting with Brock Greenfield. Not for Fighting with Bill Napoli. Not for the Mainstream Coalition. And not for being challenged by Elli Schwiesow (at least, not in this article).

In this second article by Celeste Calvitto, he’s putting his efforts behind a ballot measure to refer to a public vote the legislature’s ban on Abortion:
Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, opposed HB1215 and supports referring the measure to the November ballot. He said South Dakota voters “should have the chance to put this to bed once and for all.”

“The governor is a very thoughtful person,” Adelstein said. “But this controversy has to have the chance for a vote of the people. Petitions are already being drawn and will be circulated throughout the state.”

Adelstein said the effort will seek to prevent HB1215 from taking effect. Petitions for this type of ballot initiative must be filed within 90 days of the adjournment of the 2006 legislative session …

I love it when I get a scoop. RCJ Confirms 1/2 of the consultants involved in the Adelstein/Schwiesow battle

In her column today, Rapid City Journal Reporter Celeste Calvitto talks about the Schwiesow/Adelstein race, and the very consultants I named a while back are involved:
Adelstein-Schwiesow primary

They say they will be talking about other topics, but abortion is still going to be an issue in a Republican primary between Dist. 32 Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City, and Republican activist Elli Schwiesow.

It’s a replay of the match-up that occurred in 2004. But now, there is HB1215, the abortion-ban legislation that Adelstein opposed and the pro-life Schwiesow supports. And both are getting lots of campaign help.

Schwiesow is going to officially announce her candidacy on March 16, but she held an open house on Monday at her campaign headquarters on East St. Patrick Street in the same building as the Pennington County Republican Party office. She has enlisted the advice of Patrick Davis, a former executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party who is now a consultant.

“I called to just …

Is there a CUGR prowling around again? Quick. Somebody Shoot it!

Yeah, a Video Lottery initiative petition is being circulated in an effort to put it on the ballot. Again. *YAWN*

While CUGR's fingerprints haven't popped up in conjunction with this measure just yet, I'm sure it will at some point. The only person connected with it at the moment is a Daniel Brendtro of Lennox.

The only reference I can find for Mr. Brendtro on the internet is a race he ran for Lincoln County Commission in 2004 where he ran as an independent, and his being named on the 2003 USD Deans List. I do see a reference for a Daniel Brendtro at

The bottom line? It's out there. If you want to see the measure, I'd direct you to the Secretary of State's website where you can view the PDF of the measure.

Another out of stater gets the BS Meter buzzing again

Check out this article by Parker Knox in the Custer County Chronicle:
Park name change gets little support
By: PARKER KNOX 03/02/2006

If there is a groundswell of support for renaming Custer State Park, it wasn't apparent during the 2006 session of the South Dakota Legislature.

Prior to visiting the Capitol in Pierre during the session, Mike Graham, founder of Oklahoma-based United Native America, had said South Dakotans "and people around the world are calling on the South Dakota government to rename Custer State Park to Chief Crazy Horse State Park." Graham had made a similar suggestion prior to the 2005 session but had no success in getting such a measure introduced.

"It is inconceivable that a state government today would use its tax dollars to honor Custer with a state park in his name," Graham said.

He and his wife were in Pierre on Jan. 18, which was Native America Day at the Capitol. He said in a news release after his visit that "senior Republicans aga…

A “Slim Jim” shouldn’t try to take a bite out of a “Big Brock.” It’s flat out more than he can chew.

With two posts to his credit, it seems like I’m a paid shill for Senator Greenfield today. But, unfortunately, no. He was both in the news this weekend, and in the rumor mill.

The prior post you read was what was in the newspaper. But what I heard through the grapevine is equally as good (and maybe a bit better). What I have heard from no fewer than three (3) sources over the weekend was that Brock is going to face a primary against Clark School Superintendent Jim Holbeck.

You might be asking “Wasn’t Holbeck running for the House?” Well, yes. Supposedly. At least that’s what all the newspapers said when they printed his release. But now I’m hearing that he’s going to forego the House race and take on the big man himself.

As I’m told, the story is that (supposedly) Holbeck went to Representative Nelson and informed him that he was going to take on Brock instead because he didn’t want to knock him (Nelson) out.

If the grapevine is true, I’m thinking it’s more of a case that Holbeck didn’t w…

The Libertarians Speak

Or they at least have a candidate. The first Libertarian candidate of the year has filed petitions, and it's in the District 19 House Race.

Libertarian Alexander Martin of Scotland has filed his petitions with requisite number of signatures with the Secretary of State's office. (Was that one or two signatures he needed for that one?)

In 2002, Alex was the Libertarian Candidate for the Secretary of State, as evidenced by his webpage here. At least back then, Alex was the owner of a web design company.

Alex, good luck and welcome (back) to election season.


Now, before anyone gets their underwear in a bunch, I'm not picking on the LIBS for their small signature requirements. As you can see from their website here, it's their own marketing tool. Frankly, while the SDGOP is my home, I think it's a clever way to get candidates to go on the ballot.

Senator Adelstein attacks Senator Greenfield, but Napoli does a run-out to the ring.

If you’ve never watched or experienced professional wrestling before, let me explain a bit of what goes on, and some terminology. I’ve watched this stuff for years, and is a guilty pleasure of mine. Just like politics.

When two combatants go at it, they’re in the wrestling ring (sometimes known as the square circle). And from time to time, when one wrestler, say Wrestler "A" starts beating on Wrestler B improperly, say using brass knuckles or another foreign object, Wrestler B may have a buddy (Wrestler C) in the back who comes to his defense. When this occurs, Wrestler C is doing a run-out.

How is this applicable to politics? Well it’s pretty close to what happened in the Rapid City Journal on Friday, March 3rd. Check out these snippets from the article on the cuts in public broadcasting which got the battle started by Senator Brock Greenfield's proposed cuts which were approved by the legislature:
Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, brought the funding cut to the Appropriatio…

Traitorous Legislators, Threats of Arrest, And a Cease and Desist demand. Just another day in the JAIL debate

Got an interesting report in my e-mail from a reader on J.A.I.L. tonight. And it was good enough to make me break my watching the Academy Awards with the family. Check this out from the Jail4Judges yahoo group at (The Emphasis is mine.)
Ron Branson focused his comments on all one-hundred and five South Dakota State Legislators who were part of the crew. These Legislators, he said, "are traitors to their offices of legislation, and traitors to everyone in South Dakota government, and most importantly, traitors to the public."

Most of you are uninformed that a formal NOTICE has already been sent via U.S. Mail to all one-hundred and five State Legislators throughout South Dakota asking them to cease and desist from their unlawful acts, and to apologize to everyone in South Dakota. We could not send that U.S. Mail via internet to everyone on this list because it is fourteen pages in length, and would require an attachment, …

Dave Kranz reports - more possible legislative candidates

In his column in today's Argus Leader, Dave Kranz reports on several new legislative candidates popping out of the woodwork:
Nancy Turbak, one of South Dakota’s most successful trial lawyers, says she will seek the Democratic Party nomination for the District 5 Senate seat in Watertown. Republican Lee Schoenbeck is vacating the seat.

Scott Heidepriem, a Sioux Falls lawyer, is leaning toward a challenge of District 13 Republican state Sen. Dick Kelly. Heidepriem, a Democrat, served eight years in the state House and Senate as a Republican.

“I think our district needs a more progressive agenda than we have seen in the last couple of sessions. The focus should be on grade schools, safe streets, local control and less on the morality agenda,” Heidepriem said.

A Republican primary is brewing in District 10. Frank Alvine plans to run on the Republican ticket against state Sen. Gene Abdallah.

Alvine, a semi-retired orthopedic surgeon, is running because there is no medical voice in the Senate…