Showing posts from March 12, 2006

Another candidate in District 32: Brian Dreyer

Brian Dreyer of District 32 has decided to take on the race for the open House seat vacated by current State Representative Tom Hennies. Tom, who is term limited out this year, is also a former Rapid City Police Chief, a recent Legionnaires disease victim, and current Rapid City City Commission candidate. (whew! that's a long list).

But this isn't about Tom, this is about the new guy:
Brian Dreyer has announced that he is a Republican candidate for state House of Representatives in District 32. District 32 includes includes West Boulevard, U.S. Highway 16 and areas east of Sheridan Lake Road. Dreyer graduated from Rapid City Stevens High School in 1994 and enlisted in the United States Army as an infantryman. He later graduated from the University of Oklahoma. Upon receiving his commission in the Air Force, he was selected for the pilot-training program. Dreyer went on to fly F-16 fighter aircraft. He served in numerous leadership positions around the world, including the M…

Elli Schwiesow officially pulls the trigger on the District 32 Senate race.

From today's Rapid City Journal:
Elli Schwiesow of Rapid City has announced her candidacy for South Dakota Senate, District 32. In her campaign announcement, Schwiesow quoted Ronald Reagan, stating that, like him, she is "an ordinary citizen with a deep-seated belief that much of what troubles us has been brought about by politicians, and it's high time that more ordinary citizens brought the fresh air of common-sense thinking to bear on these problems.

"My campaign is about ideas, honest, common sense, conservative, ethical and compassionate ideas," she said. "I am a conservative Republican. I embrace the principle of lower taxes and less government."

Schwiesow said, "I believe it is possible to improve education by directing more of the existing education dollars into the classroom. If we move from 58.6 percent of our dollars going directly into the classroom to 65 percent, we will put an additional $54 million a year into South Dakota's c…

That's one way to win friends and supporters.

In today's Argus Leader, Sioux Falls Mayoral Candidate and former State Legislator Mitch Richter took a couple of roundhouse swings at the mayoral candidate field to try to connect to something:
Richter was blunt in his assessment of other candidates in the race, saying they wouldn't do as good a job managing the city's $265 million budget.

"Do you want a former television reporter in charge of the city budget? Do you want the retired Augustana president to be in charge of a budget that size?" he said, referring to candidates Vernon Brown, a former television reporter, and Bruce Halverson, who is retiring as president of Augustana College this summer.

Both Brown and Halverson dismissed Richter.

"It doesn't deserve a response," Halverson said.

Brown said he was too busy campaigning on his platform to worry about other candidates.

"I'm not out here to talk about other candidates," he said. "I'm out here to talk about my vision for Sio…

Somebody's kidding, right?

Check out this comment left under one of my very recent posts:
"let's call a truce, no more JAIL stuff on here, PLEASE?"Somebody is kidding, right? Because this has to be a joke. Does someone seriously think a few comments a month on a snarky weblog like mine is going to derail this constitutional initiative driven by the will of the people? If someone believes this, then that measure has bigger problems than I could ever muster up.

And they really must be kidding if they think I'm going to back off or "call a truce." "Call a truce?" If anything, there's times I wish I could really let the fur fly. But I try to have at least a little common sense. There are many times I sleep on a post and decide not to put it out there because it might be taken as mean and malicious, as opposed to making the art of politics in South Dakota better.

That's what this blog is all about. The personalities, the issues, the mechanics, the candidates, their adver…

Former Belle Fourche Mayor Todd Keller
He's in the Jailhouse now

I'm jaded as hell. And at 39 years of age, 18 of which I've spent involved in politics, it's not often I read something that physically repulses me. But this did it. From
The arrest of former Belle Fourche Mayor Todd Keller might have saved his wife’s life, Judge John Bastian said at Tuesday afternoon’s sentencing at the Butte County Courthouse after about two hours of testimony.

Bastian said “nothing prepared me for what I read” in reports alleging Keller’s abuse of his wife Jill. “It was torture… it was gratuitous.”

The judge said that he had spent more time reading the record and documents in the case than in almost any other sentencing.


Truth in the case, he said, probably was revealed best by 23 handwritten pages by Jill Keller “simply to document the abuse.”

He told Keller, “It was not her choice to have you arrested.”

Bastian said those pages showed that the arrest may have saved her life.

“I simply have never read anything like it,” he said.

He …

We're not Jail-4-Judges anymore.. We're Happy people from South Dakota.. (nothing more here, now move along...)

In the few hours since I blogged on the whole South Dakota Judicial Accountability thing last, there's been more than just a bit going on. I had an e-mail from Bonnie Russell from California who tried to tell me waaaay more than I ever wanted to know about her. And I had a nice e-mail from Tim at Progressive on the Prairie.

First, in the interest of fairness, let's give Bonnie from California her little bit of say:
Dear Red, (for my e-mail -pp)

I'm a little curious as to why bloggers spend so much time writing about people they don't bother attempting to contact. (I dropped about a dozen articles that are too long to reproduce here -pp)

fyi, I was raised in the Air Force and grew up living all over our country. It's how I learned about the state-to-state prejudice your blog appears to support. After all, although the tea party began in Boston, the rest of the country benefited. South Dakotans have the opportunity to lead the entire nation. Wh…

Dave is looking like he's back in.

Fron today's
Sioux Falls Mayor Dave Munson said Thursday that he would re-enter the mayor’s race, provided that he collects enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Mayoral and City Council candidates must submit at least 200 signatures of registered Sioux Falls voters by today at 5 p.m. The election is April 11.

“If I have the correct amount of signatures that are verified, then I will run,” Munson said.

The decision comes a month and a half after he dropped out of the raceRead it all here.

A little St. Patrick's Day Controversy in Rapid City?

As reported in the Rapid City Journal, Bishop Cupich is a bit of a hard case when it comes to giving his Isish parishoners a break during lent:
In Ireland, the day is known more as a church holiday, and corned beef has little to do with it. Cupich issued the following statement in light of the American tradition of eating corned beef and cabbage on the holiday.

“The faithful of our diocese know that abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent is an important way for Catholics throughout the world to join together in solidarity to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday,” Cupich said, noting that Catholics sometimes find themselves in situations that make it difficult for them to observe abstinence from meat on Friday.

“These circumstances should not be taken lightly. In such cases, some other kind of observance of Friday in Lent is appropriate, such as sacrificial almsgiving to the poor or fasting between meals. I have every confidence that adult Catholics and their families…

J.A.I.L. had better start to dread the Judges.

A hot tip from a reader today on the South Dakota Judicial Accountability Act:
Yesterday, the South Dakota judiciary fired a shot across the bow of Amendment E. In a lecture at the law school Judge Arthur Rusch, presiding judge of the 1st Judicial Circuit, said that Amendment E is a, “direct attack on the judiciary,” of South Dakota. Judge Rusch went on to say that, “they [Amendment E supporters] don’t want a court system,” in South Dakota. The Judge could not understand why people would want to undermine the judiciary.

Strong words from the bench. Straight from the Judge’s lips to your blog!Strong words indeed. I've always been of the opinion that even if J.A.I.L. passes, it's legality is going to be challenged in court. And who is going to make the call on it's legality? Well, that would be judges, wouldn't it?

In the case of fighting a hostile Judiciary, now.. where is it that they would seek redress? That would be through a change in laws. Oops. Sorry. You've a…

Jail goes from one out-of-stater to another

If you've been paying attention to the JAIL movement, you may have noticed that their spokesperson has changed from California attorney Mr. Zerman to a person by the name of Bonnie Russell.

Bonnie had commented on behalf of the South Dakota Judicial Accountability movement in the comment section of the Slate article as many in the SD blogosphere had noticed over the past day or so. That wasn't a name I was familiar with, so I did a little snooping, trying to look up somebody by that name in South Dakota. And I really wasn't coming up with anything. But then I looked on the soon to be dormant website.


On the front page of that website is the same information disavowing itself from Mr. Branson, but the difference between the Slate article comment was that it provided a phone number and a web address:
Bonnie Russell
www.1st-pick.comDoing a google search as here brings up quite a bit of information about Bonnie Rus…

I'm about ready to vote to barricade the borders.

Now the corn flakes at PETA are poking their nose into South Dakota's business too. From the PETA website:
Hoping that he’ll practice what he preaches in a broader context, PETA has sent a letter to South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds urging him to extend his compassion to animals by going vegetarian. Rounds established a national pro-life reputation after signing legislature to ban almost all abortions in South Dakota, challenging the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision to legalize abortion. PETA wants the governor to embrace a diet that shows a deep respect for all life by making the decision to stop eating eggs, the unborn offspring or deliberately unfertilized ova of hens; the flesh of veal calves, who are taken from their loving mothers shortly after birth; or other young animals who are slaughtered before they reach maturity.

The Honorable Mike Rounds
Governor of South DakotaDear Governor Rounds:On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 1 m…

Okay. Now Knock it off!
Yet ANOTHER ballot issue is circulating

You know, this is really getting ridiculous. Another measure has been filed with the Secretary of State's office. Since they couldn't get it done in the legislature, the cellular telephone are doing it at the ballot box.

The Initiated Measure to repeal the four percent (4%) gross receipts tax imposed by South Dakota Codified Law Chapter 10-33A upon wireless telecommunication services. View full text of petition. (pdf warning.) has been filed with the Secretary of State as circulating.

Maybe I shouldn't have considered it a joke a while back when I asked the question "What comes after Initiated measure Z."

Of J.A.I.L.s, rats and sinking ships
Or "Oh No, these JAIL stars won't wash off"

(Hat tips to Progressive on the Prairie and CCK)

I don’t think anything in South Dakota politics is more entertaining to watch at the moment than the accelerating implosion of the J.A.I.L. ballot initiative effort in South Dakota. One month ago they were fierce in their attacks on South Dakota Legislators, threatening lawsuits over the legislative resolution. But lately they’re acting like the author of the South Dakota measure, National JAIL Commander-in-chief Ron Branson contracted leprosy and anything he had touched before is UNCLEAN.

On top of that, prior mainstream political supporters such as Dr. Allan Unruh are now no longer listed as supprters as they once had been.

I was sent the article in Slate which recently took after the movement, but I hadn’t written on it because others had, and I didn’t think I had much more to add. Then this morning, I noticed where Progressive on the Prairie pointed out that in the space for comments under the article, Bonnie Russell, the campaign coor…

KSFY: Legislators note winners and losers in the budget

From, Republican Jason Gant and Democrat Mary Glenski talk about who won and who lost in this years' legislative budget battle:
Both Democrats and Republicans on the committee that divides up the money say schools were the biggest winners this session, ending with a 4.2% increase over this year. But Sioux Falls Senator Jason Gant also says the state's largest city was one of the big winners."I think the city of Sioux Falls and the citizens of Sioux Falls. We were able to secure 260 acres on the northwest side of Sioux Falls to expand USDSU," he said. Representative Mary Glenski says another group to benefit greatly is the Attorney General's office. Lawmakers made a $4. 5 million bond payment, paying off the agency's new building."And it made it easier for the DCI building to operate without as expensive a budget, " she said. Overall the budget increased from $3.05 billion the year before to $3.2 billion for this coming year. It also includes…

Did Wisconsin pull out of South Dakota before the Abortion effort even starts?

It's not on their website yet, but KDLT news was reporting this AM that after outrage on both sides of the abortion issue about the Wisconsin group forcing it's way into South Dakota politics with a referendum petition on HB 1215, they are backing off of their efforts into South Dakota's reproductive politics.

If I heard this correctly, KDLT was reporting that Democratic organization Focus: South Dakota was going to take over the petition drive.

I'll watch for more on this, just in case this was all heard through the hazy filter of sleep.

Looks like Wiese might be in as well

As SD Watch is reporting this morning, Dennis Wiese also has petitions out to run for Governor as a Democrat.

Go check it out here.

Petitions, circulating and filed

I had a note tonight from one reader who let me know that in Legislative District 9 a Katy Dressen, who operates a pet product manufacturing business with her husband is circulating petitions to run for the House as a Republican Candidate.

State Representative Ryan Olson from District 24 has turned his petitions in for another run at the office.

Ray Hunter of Sturgis is a new candidate to come out of the woodwork in District 29, setting this up as a 4 way Republican House primary.

And my apologies to the WIKI readers. I need to go in and fix the mess for those districts that have changed boundaries. Here and here are the real story on the districts.

An announcement from Dist 3 House candidate David Novstrup:

A couple of day's ago I was fortunate enough to break the news of the Father/Son Team running in the legislature in District 3. This evening, I'm fortunate enough to have one of the Republican House Candidiates for District 3, David Novstrup, e-mail me a statement on his candidacy:
I am running for the legislature to make a difference in South Dakota and contribute to my community. I plan to work hard in this campaign by going door to door meeting constituents and discussing issues that affect them personally.

I believe in limited government and free enterprise. One issue that I plan to address in my campaign is improving South Dakota’s schools to help students be competitive in a global market. Also important to me is economic development that will provide high quality jobs that will enhance the ability of young South Dakotans to stay in South Dakota.

My background includes being a SD House of Representatives page in 2002 and an intern in the 2005 SD House of Representatives. I …

An anonymous tip says that Billion is in.

I got an anonymous tip over the lunch hour that Jack Billion is in the Gubernatorial race as a Democratic Candidate.

Supposedly, he would have announced last Friday, but I'm told the Tim Johnson people were pushing for Wiese. The word is that Billion, supported by the Daschle/Hildebrand camp, is looked at as the candidate who would run a harder hitting campaign.

(I'm assuming that harder-hitting is code for "will go negative quicker.")

Let's sit back and see if this proves true with an announcement by Billion in the next week or so.

Stay Tuned.

On a very sad note...

On a very sad note, Pierre attorney and lobbyist Brent Wilbur passed away this morning. As noted in a breaking news report in the Argus Leader:
Brent A. Wilbur, a lawyer and lobbyist from Pierre who was well-known in South Dakota for representing former Gov. Bill Janklow, died Wednesday in Sioux Falls. He was 56.

Wilbur had been hospitalized for two weeks after an illness.

Wilbur represented state government and was an attorney for several governors in private and public cases.


Born in Sioux City, Iowa, on May 17, 1949, Wilbur received a bachelor’s degree in 1971 and a juris doctor in 1976 from the University of South Dakota.

Wilbur’s wife, Lori Wilbur, is a circuit court judge in Fort Pierre.Read it all here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family in their time of loss.

Would you say "We're getting a Plethora of Candidates?"

I got a report last night of another candidate emerging. One SDWC reader noted that Eldon Nygaard will run as a Democrat in the Clay/Turner house district (thanks, D).

And after the report of Lust in Celeste Calvitto's column yesterday, the Rapid City Journal has the official announcement of David Lust running in the newspaper today:
David Lust, a Rapid City lawyer, has announced that he is a Republican candidate for state House of Representatives in District 34. District 34 encompasses most of the west side of Rapid City. "I am excited about the opportunity to tackle some of the issues about which I am passionate, such as economic development and education. I bring a new perspective with fresh ideas on these and other issues," Lust said in a written news release.

"Working with a wide variety of businesses and individuals on a daily basis keeps me connected to issues and concerns that everyday citizens care about," Lust said. "The importance of economic d…

WIKI Updated, Kraus outs herself in favor of Lust

I noticed how incredibly far behind I've gotten on keeping the WIKI up when I looked at it tonight. So, I've gone in and done quite a bit of editing on it. Click here, read, and update at your leisure.

And a big thanks to those that have been updating it - I did notice that Democratic PUC Candidate Steve Kolbeck has a website up now, so I'll have to go over and see what he has out there.

What prompted this was that I noticed that Representative Elizabeth Kraus has unexpectedly pulled out of the legislative races. Check out this snippet from Celeste Calvitto's Column in today's Rapid City Journal:
Even before the 2006 session of the South Dakota Legislature began - and before she became a local lightning rod for HB1215 - Rep. Elizabeth Kraus, R-Rapid City, had been thinking about not running for re-election. On Monday, citing "other priorities in my family and personal life," Kraus confirmed her decision not to seek a third term as a District 34 repres…

Jarrod Johnson Addresses Hughes Co. GOP

I decided to be a good Republican today (as opposed to throwing those I disagree with under the bus) and I took in the monthly Hughes County Republican Luncheon. Lots of officials there today, including PUC Commissioners Bob Sahr and Dusty Johnson. Secretary of State Chris Nelson was there, as well as State Representative Tim Rounds.

Interestingly enough, Tim Rounds mentioned that he had heard that Kathy Lucas supposedly changed her mind and is not going to run in a primary against he and Ryan Olson now. I'll check the magic 8 ball and see if that still holds true in another couple of weeks.

The Luncheon's speaker today was Commissioner of School and Lands hopeful Jarrod Johnson, who gave a talk on his background, and why he should be commissioner. Among other things, Jarrod mentioned that he wants to take the lessons he's learned in business and apply them to the Office of School and Lands.

I'd encourage you to check out Jarrod's website at http://www.jarrodjohnson.…

Here we go again... Another ballot measure

It looks like it's time to add yet another page to the Ballot. The pro-choice advocates have added yet another ballot initiative to our plate (as if anyone thought they wouldn't).

Notwithstanding Planned Parenthood Director Kate Looby's promise to decide by next week, a measure to refer HB 1215 has now been filed with the Secretary of State as a measure circulating in South Dakota.

Click here for the text of the ballot measure (.pdf alert)

Noah Beck Hahn-Walter, in addition to having a long name, represents the Basic Abortion Rights Network out of Waukesha, Wisconsin. He filed the notification of circulation today. Whomever is circulating it needs 16,728 signatures turned in within 90 days after adjournment of legislature.

And the election rolls on....

More candidates

Dave Kranz in his column today in the Argus Leader reports on a couple of legislative candidates I've already mentioned such as Rebekah Cradduck and Carol Pitts. And he picks up on a couple I didn't have yet:
Former Democratic state Rep. Rich Engels says he will run again for a District 9 seat.


Ken Albers, former Lincoln County sheriff and Republican state senator, is seeking a return to the Legislature, too. He will run for the District 16 seat. Incumbent Sen. Mike Broderick is not expected to seek re-election.Read it all here. I had heard that Broderick was done as well, but I hadn't heard that Albers was going to make a comeback.

Stay tuned.

BREAKING NEWS - You heard it here first!! Father/Son Team running in District 3

This hasn't hit the news yet, but the petitions are in and on the Secreary of State's website, so I consider it fair game.

In District 3, State Representative Al Novstrup has filed petitions to run for the State House once again. But what makes this interesting is that his son, David Novstrup, has also filed to run for a House seat in District 3. Representative Frost has decided to forgo another run for the legislature, leaving the seat wide open. And being interested in politics himself, I'm told David has decided to make a bid for the office.

I did a little research on this, and it's the only instance I can find of a father-son election team running for 2 legislative seats in the same legislative district. It has happened where they were from different districts, as close by as in Iowa, but both in the same district is very rare, indeed.

Congratulation to David and welcome to the election game from the SDWC. And good luck to both he and his father Al in the upcoming el…

There's a feast day coming up at the end of the week. And it has nothing to do with Green Beer.

(In case you are wondering what this has to do with politics, this is one of those posts that would fall under a bunch of rambling)

As we're already halfway into March, I'd point out that this is Irish-American Heritage Month, and we're approaching the celebration of St. Patrick's Day this Friday night. In honor of this commemeration, I'd encourage you to learn about the contribution of the Irish to the American cultural experience.

While originally the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick's Day generally has nothing to do with injecting green dye into a keg. In case you're interested (or your child has to do a report) I'm providing a few links for that purpose:
The Irish American Cultural Institute:

The American Irish Historical Society:

The Ancient Order of Hiberians:

Island Ireland:

And the Ireland Tourism Board:…

15 things you need to do in an election.

A friend of mine wanted a quick and dirty list of ten things a person should do in an election. This is for an acquaintance of his in Wisconsin. Well, I struggled getting to ten and then five more thoughts just flowed out.

So, here's my quick and dirty list compiled over the Lunch hour of 15 things that all campaigns should do.:
1. Write a campaign plan. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than “Spend $1000 on yard signs, $2000 on media, etc.” What is does is force you to do at least a nominal amount of planning, and put a minimum of thought into the campaign.

2. Fundraising should be done early. You don’t need your money during the last week of the election. You need it at the beginning. Hold your events and send your letters early. If your funds come in at the end, you’ll find you have trouble spending it.

3. Target those who vote. If they haven’t voted in 5 years, why are you wasting your time with them? Get a list with voter history and find out who voted in the last schoo…

Cute Hillary Clinton Flash animation

Click here for a funny flash animation lampooning Hillary Clinton in '08.

Hopefully the Democrats won't crawl back into their den after seeing their shadow. It would mean six more weeks of rhetoric.

Kevin Woster over at the Rapid City Journal reports on the efforts of Democratic Activist Steve Hildebrand to recruit pro-choice candidates for the Democratic party. (Never minding that a majority of Democratic Lawmakers voted for HB1215). The article details three DEM candidates who are emerging from the controversy :
Opponents of the controversial ban of almost all abortions that was approved by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Mike Rounds have started recruiting candidates to challenge lawmakers who voted for the bill. Steve Hildebrand, a Sioux Falls political consultant and organizer of the public-issues group Common Sense South Dakota, said the goal of the candidate-recruitment effort was to challenge incumbents whom the group considers to be conservative extremists. But the focus is on HB1215, which would allow abortions only when needed to save the pregnant woman’s life.

“Legislative candidates are now emerging as a result of 1215 and extremist positions by the Legislat…

$3 per Signature? 3 Initiated Measures. Who Could it be?

Is this for currently circulated measures, or are these new ones we can expect on the Ballot? (From today's Rapid City Journal Classifieds) Enquiring minds want to know.

Dumb things that JIm Holbeck had to say

My BS Meter has been buzzing since this last week when Jim Holbeck announced that he was dropping out of the House race in Legislative District 6 in favor of taking on State Senator Brock Greenfield. I read the short articles in the Clark Co. paper and the extended interview in the Arlington Sun.

(Click to enlarge)

When I picked up the newspaper off of my driveway in Brookings this morning, I read Dave Kranz’s article in the Argus as well.

By way of disclosure, Brock is a friend of mine. We agree on some issues, and we differ on others. Putting my friendship with him aside, it’s my firm belief that he is going to walk all over Jim Holbeck in the GOP Primary. Why do I believe this? Well, that’s the subject of my little post this evening.

As mentioned, I got thinking of this at the beginning of the week with the advent of the announcements. The small announcement in the Clark County newspaper wasn’t much. But the one in the Arlington Sun by Frank Crisler went more in depth. I think it’s the…

A political outing for Sunday, March 12, 2006

I just rolled back into town and wanted to do a quick update on political issues before I started writing my piece on Jim Holbeck and why his candidacy is doomed to failure. So, without further ado, here's the scoop for Sunday March 12 -

Straight from the lady herself, Rebekah Cradduck writes under a previous post that she has changed her party to D and is going to take on State Senator Jason Gant in the District 11 Senate Race. As was written:
Pat, thank you for your kind words. I did do some antiquing with your Mom, many years ago. The rumor is true, I have changed my party affiliation and I have taken out petitions to run for the Senate in District 11. The decision was challenging, but it is the right one for me. I tried to sign up as a blogger but the system did let me. So sending this under anonymous. Rebekah Cradduck.
I'm not going to chomp on her tail for her decision to change parties, but I will say it's unfortunate. The GOP is a big tent with room for everyone.


On the road today - analysis to come.

I'm going to be getting on the road back to Pierre this afternoon, and I have a bunch of stuff on my agenda once I return.

What's on my plate? I've got e-mails to reply to for a few state legislators dating back to last weekend (sorry guys, I've been scrambling all week) and a campaign brochure I want to get designed tonight. On top of that, another friend wants me to come up with a top ten list of hints for a school board candidate in Wisconsin. (What the hell do I know about Wisconsin? #10 Put a wedge of cheese in your logo).

Until I get out of town, I'm not going to do anymore blogging today, because I want to use it on some quality time with the family.

One of the things I do want to write on when I get back before it's stale is Dave Kranz's column in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader today on the Greenfield/Holbeck Race. I read it with quite a bit of interest because I broke that story (Sorry Theron, I think I beat you by about an hour or so). back on Mar…