Showing posts from April 23, 2006

Paul Valandra - Stan is this Democrat's type of man

In today's letter to the editor in the Rapid City Journal, Democratic State Representative Paul Valandra endorses Stan Adelstein for Senate:
Worthy opponent

After 16 years as a Democratic member of the South Dakota House of Representatives, I usually like it when Republicans fight among themselves. But lies are lies on either side of the aisle.

It is ironic that Sen. Stan Adelstein is being mischaracterized by his opponent in the Republican Senate primary as a "liberal." The (unsolicited) truth is that he has opposed most of the liberal initiatives introduced by me and my Democratic colleagues in the South Dakota Legislature over the years.

But he has been a worthy and honorable opponent and a man I have come to deeply respect for the way in which he tirelessly represents his constituents. Sen. Adelstein works hard and tirelessly for his constituents. Will anyone argue with that? He follows up on constituent issues, every single time.

He has more energy and patienc…

Get your hand out of that cookie jar right now!

In today's Rapid City Journal, the Constitutional Revision Commission debates whether or not to reduce the conflict of interest provisions in the State Constitution:
A commission examining laws and constitutional provisions that deal with the Legislature is struggling with whether to recommend easing conflict-of-interest restraints on state lawmakers. Some commission members believe that constitutional provisions unfairly prevent some people from serving in the Legislature. Others believe that relaxing the restraints would lead to trouble.

“People will not support a loosening of these things,” Pierre lawyer Ron Olinger, who has been involved in previous constitutional revisions, told other members of the Constitutional Revision Commission. He said he also would be hesitant.

Any recommended change must be easy to understand, another commission member, University of South Dakota political science professor Don Dahlin, said. “I think whatever we do, we have to be very clear,” …

Another record month

From my stats showing page visitors by month (visitors, not hits) it looks like I'm on track for another record month. Thanks, ladies and gentlemen.

(and buy those ads - $20, $30, and $50/month) The rotating ones at the top can be hot linked and can use text with your pictures. At the top, they just have to be that size. On the sides, as long as they fit across, I'm pretty flexible on height.

When Legislative Districts Divorce

From an Associated Press report this morning, apparently the Constitutional Revision Commission is looking at making them all single member House Districts:
South Dakota should move to single-member House districts, a big change from the current setup that elects two at-large House members from every Senate district, a special state commission recommended Thursday.The Constitutional Revision Commission, which is studying possible changes in the parts of the state constitution dealing with the Legislature, voted to submit the proposed change to the Legislature. If lawmakers agree to put the proposed constitutional amendment on the 2008 ballot, voters statewide would decide whether to put the new language in the constitution.Supporters said the smaller, single-member districts would lead to a closer relationship between constituents and House members. Opponents said the change might make it more difficult for political parties to recruit candidates. Actually, I think it will make Senate …

Check here to increase taxes on yourself.

The anti-smoking forces of South Dakota have succeeded in getting thier measure on the ballot as they turned in over 25000 signatures today with Secretary of State Chris Nelson. Read about it here at the Aberdeen American News:

Smoking tax signatures submitted
By Scott Waltman, American News Writer

More than 25,000 signatures have been turned into the state in an attempt to put a tobacco tax measure on the ballot.


If enough are authenticated, residents will vote in November whether to increase the state's tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products. Just more than 16,700 signatures must be approved to force the vote. This brings up a point that should be made - This coming Tuesday is the deadline for initiated measures to be filed with the Secretary of State. And there's a lot of them still out there:
Initiated Measure to provide safe access to medical marijuana for certain qualified persons. View full text of petition.Initiated Measure to revise certain provisions rel…

Ma, are you diggin in my stuff again?

(Hat tip to SD Progressive) In one of the goofiest stories of the political season, Governor Mike Rounds name has been drug into a California race as an electronic filing with the IRS for Governor Rounds has the name of a California Democratic Assembly Candidate on it as treasurer. From the
Just days before a critical endorsement by the state Democratic Party, an allegedly phony document has surfaced linking a Democratic Assembly candidate to the Republican, anti-abortion governor of South Dakota.

The revelation has thrown into chaos what was a fairly quiet race for the Democratic nomination in the 12th Assembly District between Supervisor Fiona Ma and Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District board member Janet Reilly. The candidates are vying to replace Assemblyman Leland Yee.

On Tuesday, Reilly’s campaign revealed to reporters an electronic tax filing on the IRS Web site that listed Ma as a treasurer for Michael Rounds in his successful 2002 campaign for gov…

New J.A.I.L. Stuff

Both Tim from Progressive on the Prairie and I have new posts over on the No-on-E blog. Go check them out.

Much a-doo about nothing

Congresswoman Herseth's new hairstyle was noticed in Roll Call in an article they did on Congresswomen being recognized after changing hairstyles.
Uh-oh, Capitol Police: Beware a couple of Members of Congress who have very different new hairstyles. But at least one of them promises that there will be no assaulting an officer if they aren’t recognized and get stopped at a security checkpoint.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who until Tuesday was a curly haired brunette, is now barely recognizable, sporting perfectly straight blonde hair. Regardless of whether she intended to, she’s turning heads left and right — from the left and the right, as both Democratic and GOP aides buzzed about Schultz’s new ’do Wednesday. ...

Also sporting a new sophisticated look is Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-S.D.) who, as one Democratic aide surmised, “definitely didn’t get it done in Sioux Falls.”There are moments when I seriously question my love affair with politics. This is one of them. Never le…

Pennington County Commission to J.A.I.L.: You Stink

From the Rapid City Journal:
The commission agreed with a recommendation from Rep. Tom Hennies, R-Rapid City, that voters should be educated about the proposed constitutional amendment’s ramifications. State legislators passed a concurrent resolution in February urging voters to vote against the amendment.

Commissioners are concerned that the law would affect not only judges but also citizen boards, school boards, county commissions, city councils, township boards, professional licensing boards and others who could be pulled in front of a non-elected special grand jury.Read it all here. And another board rejects the amendment.

South Dakota hates University Presidents. At least as political candidates.

Dave Kranz has a good one in the Argus today as he opines whether or not South Dakotans have a thing against University Presidents serving in elective office after Bruce Halverson lost the mayoral race:
You can diagnose political races in a number of ways, but after Bruce Halverson's loss Tuesday night to Mayor Dave Munson, it raised one question about voters and their decision-making process.

Do they have a hard time voting for college presidents?

Some of Halverson's supporters mentioned along the way that it might be a hurdle but doubted it would be a factor in the Augustana president's first political competition.
But there is some history to support that notion that voters might not be warm to the idea in this state.

In 2002, Jim Abbott, president of the University of South Dakota, lost his gubernatorial bid to Mike Rounds. And there was the 1994 gubernatorial race when Jim Beddow, Dakota Wesleyan University president, lost to Gov. Bill Janklow.I'd also add the loss o…

Brookings County Lincoln Day Dinner photos.

The lighting was slightly better than what I had at the Hughes County Lincoln Day Dinner, so I managed to snap a few photos of our elected officials as they spoke. Vern Larson, Rich Sattgast, Bob Sahr, Chris Nelson, Larry Long, Lt. Governor Daugaard, Bruce Whalen and Governor Rounds gave the keynote.

It was a good time. I got to see a few people I know from this neck of the woods. And since I'm going to the SDGOP convention this year as a Brookings County Delegate, I'd better participate as an active menmer of the local party.

Other than watching speeches, and meeting candidates, I spent some time chatting with my old boss during college, Keith Corbett, who just got a nice bump up as now #2 at the SDNG, as well as a few others. And my wife and I got to enjoy dinner with State Auditor Rich Sattgast and PUC Commissioner Bob Sahr. (It's like I never left Pierre).

Local digitaries were present, such as University President Peggy Miller, Al Kurtenbach, and former SD GOP Chair Dw…

I don't think we have to bother sticking a fork in him

Current Mainstream coalition member and former State Treasurer Dave Volk says he's done. According to the Sioux Falls City Council candidate, Dave claims he's done with elective office for good.
As for his future in elected office, Volk, a former state treasurer, said:

"Done, and done. You know how some people say, 'I'll never say never?' I'm saying never."

But he said he will get involved in the November statewide election, and mentioned the abortion ban the Legislature passed earlier this year.

"I love politics. I'll help people in this coming election that will hopefully change the direction this state's going in."Read the sidebar here in the Argus Leader.

What caught my attention even more than the article, was a picture of Pat Costello speaking with his campaign manager, former SD GOP Executive Director Georgia Hanson. (not on-line)

As chronicled in the Argus, Georgia served in a similar role for Dave Munson's first campaign. And…

I'm failing to see how letting them flourish benefits South Dakotans

From today's Argus:
A Ramona boy said he encountered a mountain lion in his yard in northwest Lake County, officials said Tuesday.

Kurt Clark, 16, was playing fetch with his yellow lab, Bo, Sunday night when he said he saw a mountain lion in nearby trees. Clark said he went into his house, got his deer rifle and fired a warning shot outside.

"When I turned around, that's when it knocked me down," Clark said.Bees pollinate. Mice and other things are food for slightly larger predators, etc. And then we get to mountain lions.

In South Dakota, they compete with people for food, such as deer and domestic livestock. And now they're starting to look at us as food. Sorry, Snagglepuss. Time for eradication efforts to begin, and advocating for that hunting season to be blown wide open.

(This message brought to you by a person who has an unreasonable fear of mountain lions. And flying. And Spiders.)

Just a quick post on the Brookings County Lincoln Day Dinner

I just got back from the Brookings County Lincoln Day Dinner, and wanted to do a couple of quick posts before I went to bed. I'm heading back to Pierre in the AM, and I'll get to a more thorough report tomorrow afternoon.

Otherwise, here's master of ceremonies Ryan Brunner as he introduces a guest.

The hit of the evening for me? Check out this business card size campaign card by Mary Nosbush. While it breaks a lot of rules about campaign pieces I've internalized over the years - DAMN, is this a good looking piece.

Printed on a double sided glossy coated card stock, it's harder to read here than it actually is, this is first class all the way. I think I like it so much because it is "outside of the box." The message isn't cluttered and it isn't trying to tell all.

It's basically name, office, and her slogan that she's a conservative voice. Maybe it's not so outside of the box after all, but it does it effectively, and in a way that's…

The results are in. It's Munson by a nose.

Just under 900 votes separate the winner from the loser in Sioux Falls runoff election for mayor.

And current mayor Dave Munson has won re-election with 51.7 percent of the votes.

Challenger Bruce Halverson finished with 48. 3 percent. All night, the totals were close, which made for a tense wait for the candidates.

When the first votes came in, Dave Munson was trailing Bruce Halverson. But as the nail-biter of a night went on, the mayor's support started adding up and he says he couldn't be happier.

There was a time Dave Munson didn't think his political career would end like this.

Munson says, "It's been exciting, it's been great."Read it all here.

Today's the big day in Sioux Falls

Today's the big day in Sioux Falls for the runoff between Munson and Master Thesp... er, Halverson.

Also on deck is the runoff between Dave Volk and Pat Costello. Although I was hoping Bud Abbott would have made it this far as well.

Now in Brookings, there's no runoff tonight, but I'm heading over there for the Lincoln Day Dinner. Sounds like it will be a good time, and if I remember my Daughter's camera, I might even get a few photos.

So, light posting today as I take off over the Lunch hour, when I usually do several posts.

Have a nice day - and I'll be posting tonight.

Whalen for Congress website up and running

Coinciding with his congressional announcement tour, Bruce Whalen's website is up and running. And I have to compliment him, it's pretty good. There's even an "on the campaign trail blog."

GO check him out here at and make a donation.

Epp's going to work for the man

*sniff* Alas, we hardly knew ye.

What ever happened to the blogosphere's independent who was fed up with the Democratic party?

Within just the last few months, he goes back to the D's and now he's working as press secretary for Jack Billion.

Read it here over on Todd's blog at SD Watch, and congratulations.

(Not that I'm rooting for Billion, mind you. Just glad to see a friend get a position he had an interest in.)

Alice is a little confused out there in Wonderland

I'm sure truer words could not be said about Representative Alice McCoy's attempts to unseat Seantor Bill Napoli. Actually, this comes from an article in the Rapid City Weekly News from April 20th.

Read it as it appears in it's proper context in the full article.

If this is the kind of campaign help she has (where her representatives told the GOP to just distribute the old stuff), I think if I were her, I'd have some words with my volunteers.

All it did was make her look bad. And Alice adding the "confused" comment isn't helping her dispel an image of an addled candidate incapable of taking on Bill Napoli.

SOMEBODY didn't like what was written about them

Got my hot little hands on this one tonight.

The setup - Last Thursday in the Rapid City Journal, State Senator Jerry Apa wrote a letter to the editor. (I blogged on it here.) And as you can see, while supporting his fellow Senator Bill Napoli, he has a bone to pick with Senator Adelstein:
Re-elect Napoli

Stan Adelstein, during the 2004 Republican primaries, gave Senator Jim Lintz's opponent $6,906, Senator Bob Gray's opponent $1,000, Senator Lee Schoenbeck's opponent $1,000, and Senator Jason Gant's opponent $1,000. Adelstein tried to defeat conservative candidates in order to stack the Republican Senate with people supportive of his tax and spend agenda. All of Adelstein's candidates lost. Adelstein has served six years in the South Dakota Legislature and has sponsored or cosponsored 13 bills to increase the tax burden on South Dakota citizens.

This election cycle Adelstein is trying to unseat a conservative Republican, my friend and colleague Senator Bill Napoli. M…

Political signs I saw on my trip back to Pierre.

I thought I'd do something a little more personal and share with you the images I drive by every weekend as I go back and forth between Pierre and Brookings. Since I care about literally nothing but politics, here's my travelogue in political signs.

As far as political signs go along the route, the part of Legislative District 6 that Highway 14 cuts through has been the only one with signs as of yet. Samantha Stormo has led the pack for a few weeks now, and I've noticed that she has the best coverage so far. I see her signs starting between Iriquois and Cavour, all the way to Brookings. But as you see below, Paul Nelson has now entered the political sign fray. Here he has his sign by Samantha's in Desmet:

And here's his sign that sits outside of Arlington:

To his credit, Paul has decent coverage. If only his signs didn't look like a train wreck. It's like they said Nelson for House, and he wanted to add re-elect. Except now FOR was covered, and they had to…

Stan versus Elli just went to defcon 1

Wow - the District 32 primary contest between Stan Adelstein and Elli Schwiesow has quit simmering and is now boiling over in Rapid City. Check out this morning's article in the Rapid City Journal by Kevin Woster. I have to give him credit - this is one of the most insightful articles I've seen to date on this race:
Don’t expect them to be friends when it’s over. They aren’t friends now, after all, despite — or maybe because of — their party affiliation.

And the District 32 primary battle — the second in two years — between incumbent state Sen. Stan Adelstein and challenger Elli Schwiesow threatens to expand the already spacious divide between the two prominent Republicans.

The Stan-and-Elli story is marked by profound differences in religion, personal style and philosophical beliefs weighty enough to send riffles across the normally calm waters of Republican unity in Rapid City. They might also reflect the larger chasm in the state Legislature and South Dakota society ab…