Showing posts from July 2, 2006

Darned if I do, Darned if I don't.
Tardiness at the Secretary of State's office and why am I getting chewed on for it?

This morning, As I sat watching my infant entertaining herself climbing on a chair, I was perusing the comments I had received, and under the post on spending in the Latterell/Sutton race, I had this comment:
Anonymous said... PP- Perhaps a report on some averages spent for the primaries held- statewide?And knowing I had a post I was working on, I replied:
PP said... That would be a good idea as soon as everyone gets their reports in. last I knew, there were 40+ tardy.And then it went downhill from there. Immediately, I got a reply back upbraiding me for not having the people drawn and quartered:
Anonymous said... 40+ tardy? Where is the outrage from the Lance Russell group? These reckless lawbreakers need to be stopped!

PP, why aren't you righting a post on this? You jumped all over Fuller when it might help your buddy...did you forget?Which caused me to remind Mr. Anonymous of one fact in the matter on why I was not "righting" a post:
PP said... No,…

SDGOP Website makes a few updates.
Take a moment to give a SD Blog some love.

The South Dakota GOP made a few updates on it's website yesterday, adding several articles, events, rearranging things, etc. But as they have moved their notation of the Dakota Alliance of Blogs to a prominent position at the top of the page, they're still only listing 2 (Sibby, SDP).

This leaves off several noteworthy blogs including such thoughtful websites such as Jay Reding, and the Drudge Report styled Jim River Report. Not to mention weblogs being written by former party officials such as RadioActive Chief, being written by a former GOP county chair, and SD Straight Talk being written by former SDGOP Chair Joel Rosenthal.

Looking for a more complete list of South Dakota GOP Bloggers? As noted on the SDP website:
Sibby OnlineRyne McClarenJay RedingRadioActive ChiefJim River ReportSD War CollegeSD Straight TalkProgressive Republican There are a few others, such as the Dakota Voice (Blog) which is ancillary to the Dakota Voice newspaper, but the list above are stand alone cent…

Abrahamson: Republicans Too Ideological
(So Join the Democratic Party where we have no ideology)

In today's Mitchell Daily Republic, Democratic Lt. Governor candidate Eric Abrahamson says he's on a mission to recruit Republicans:
Eric Abrahamson, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, thinks some Republicans have “lost their party” and are ready to change the political landscape of South Dakota. The 49-year-old Rapid City man said Friday during an interview with The Daily Republic that he plans to focus on bringing frustrated Republicans into the Democratic fold. He thinks some Republicans feel “strong-armed” by their party leadership’s unyielding stance on issues such as abortion.“Moderate Republicans are at a loss at this moment as to where to go,” Abrahamson said. “They feel like they’ve been pushed out of the inner circle of the Republican Party.”Abrahamson thinks Republicans are becoming too ideological, and he said ideologues make unsuccessful leaders. He stopped short, though, of calling Republican Gov. Mike Rounds an ideologue.


Primary campaign reports - Latterell versus Sutton

One of the biggest unexpected victories of this past primary was Isaac Latterell over Duane Sutton. I've been anticipating these reports, and I wasn't disappointed. These reports were intriguing. And they very simply told a compelling story by looking at the last page.

Between personal monetary input, and donations, Isaac raised and spent roughly $3375 with a little left over. In other words, he raised all he could, and spent it on the his pursuit of the seat.

Contrast that with Duane Sutton:

With $1238 already in the kitty at the start of the campaign, Duane raised another $12,000. But when you look at what he spent, he spent little more than half of what he raised for the primary.

He lost his race with nearly $6200 sitting in the bank after election day, while Isaac spent most everything he had.

I think this is an important lesson for candidates. Focus on the election at hand, and put all your resources and drive into that race. Because Isaac taught Duane the lesson that anyone …

National Journal - People not focusing on Herseth record.

An avid reader sent this on to me from an article in today's National Journal regarding Democratic Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth:
As the youngest woman in a Congress dominated by older men, however, Herseth finds that the media aren't always interested in focusing on her speeches and her legislative record. The Web site named Herseth as the "hottest woman in politics" in 2004, and her switch to a new hairstyle, including blond highlights, prompted one observer to tell The Hill newspaper in May that she'd gone "from bookworm to bombshell."


The publicity that Herseth attracts has some Republicans grumbling.

South Dakota GOP Chairman Randy Frederick noted that while the state's press corps regularly scrutinizes Johnson and Republican Sen. John Thune, Herseth has enjoyed a "free ride" in coverage. "Rarely do I see anything from the press that seems critical of her or takes her to task," Frederick said, adding that …

Does Judy Olson wear pearls when she goes dumpster diving?

This election year keeps getting weirder and weirder.

On primary night, the anticipated night of incumbents election ended up being the night of conservatives (Yeahhh!!). Shortly thereafter, we have the Argus Leader derailing a strong Republican incumbent on the PUC who was being looked at for higher office by talking about an investigation against "someone for something."

The latest? Shortly after the Democrats fill fewer constitutional offices than the Libertarian party, their chairman openly talks about going dumpster diving for Republicans who were defeated in the primary.

Check this out from today's recap in the Rapid City Journal of the Democrats going after Stan Adelstein rather agressively:
Judy Olson Duhamel thought she had a new recruit for the South Dakota Democratic Party Thursday afternoon. But Republican state Sen. Stan Adelstein wasn’t ready to make the switch — at least, not yet.

Olson Duhamel — the state chairwoman of the Democratic Party — said it was all bu…

Mmmmmm. Beef.
Straight from Kota Story Meats courtesy of Jarrod Johnson

I'm sitting here enjoying the greater part of a leftover ribeye steak, and I'm noticing that I have yet to give credit where credit is due. Because this steak is good. Not just a little good - but really good.

What does this have to do with politics? Well, let me tell you...

In one of my post-convention blogposts, I was lamenting the fact that I was not the winner of the beef raffle in School and Lands candidate Jarrod Johnson's hospitality room. That lucky soul was Chad Heinrich, Deputy Secretary of State and Hughes County GOP Chair.

So one night last week, my wife called and explained that there was a visitor at the house. Jarrod Johnson had read the post, and during one of his many campaign trips across the state stopped at my Brookings residence and dropped off a "care package" of steaks for us to enjoy for the 4th of July.

When he's not campaigning for the office of School and Public Lands, Jarrod is president and part owner of Kota Story Meats, a value add…

Just a note in postscript to a prior posting.

If you recall, a while back I had been grumbling about helping my wife set up some congressional visits for her trip she's taking out there for work. I had commented postiviely about the experience in contacting Thune's and Herseth's office, and then lamented the FAX requirement of Johnson's office.

I'm happy to report that all three turned out very well, and even though they asked for a FAX with a laundry list for the request, Senator Johnson's office quickly and efficiently honored her request. They only took an extra hour or so to respond after both Thune's staff and Herseth's staff arranged appointments for my wife, MP (who will be accompanied by #2 daughter mP).

I'm jealous. It sounds like Thune's office has them set up with a tour, and was just top notch in taking care of them. Actually, all around it seems all three are providing exceptional constituent service.

Or maybe I'm just jealous because I have the rest of the kids here in Pierr…

He had me at "I don't know that I'm ready to change parties." But then he had to keep running his mouth.

It looks like the Stan Adelstein story is the BIG political news today, quickly garnering coverage by the Associated Press and picked up by the Argus, KELO, and The Rapid City Journal.

I would note that this article starts out with the soon-to-be-former Senator actually sounding reasonable as he states:
"I don't know. I've had some people talk to me, and that's about as far as I am on it," Adelstein said Thursday. "I have been thinking about it."

However, Adelstein said he doesn't know if he wants to change political parties.
And that's ok, I guess. I can accept that someone made the suggestion, and he agreed to give it some honest thought. For a moment, I thought I'd actually be writing a retraction saying "I was wrong, and too quick to judge harshly."

Silly me. Of course I was right. As Adelstein continued to run his mouth, he proved my twinge of regret was completely and utterly misplaced:
"I narrowly lost a campaign based on a s…

Why is Forward SD spending money in a race with no opponent? Goofyness ensues

I had a note where someone was pointing out an anti-Chris Nelson ad running on Rick Knobe's Viewpoint University down at KSOO. It was of concern, because it supposedly lacks a disclaimer.

And today, the Rapid City Journal is running a report on how Forward South Dakota, the anti-video lottery people, are running anti-Chris Nelson ads on TV as well. Read up on why they think it's necessary:
The sponsor of a proposed initiated measure that seeks to repeal video gambling is running radio and television ads that criticize Secretary of State Chris Nelson for refusing to put the measure on the fall ballot. “Who’s pulling the secretary’s strings? Is this another favor to protect special interests, or has our state video lottery addiction become so strong that our current administration will steal our right to vote,” say the ads being run by Forward South Dakota, the group promoting the repeal of video lottery.

The ads say somebody is trying to manipulate the secretary of state, and …

RC Weekly News - Adelstein may run as a Democrat

Tom Lawrence at the Rapid City Weekly news breaks a big story in Rapid City - That Stan Adelstein may run as a Democrat (after blowing 100g's losing to Elli Schwiesow):
Stan Adelstein may get another shot at Elli Schwiesow.The Republican state senator was defeated by Schwiesow in the June 6 primary, but he is now considering switching parties and running in the Nov. 7 general election as a Democrat. For that to happen, Tom Katus, the Democratic nominee for state Senate District 32, would have to step aside.Katus said Monday he would do so if a poll shows Adelstein has a better chance of winning.“Whoever is the stronger candidate,” Katus said. “I would clearly support whichever of us has the better chance of winning.”The RMA Research polling firm of Sioux Falls is conducting a poll in District 32 right now to determine which candidate would run stronger, Katus said. An answer should be reached within the next few days.If it’s Adelstein, the state Democratic Central Committee would h…

One last post on abortion, and then I'll get to something less controversial

I had read through the Campaign for Healthy Families filing tonight, posted on it, and then I was prepared for bed. But then I ran across Doug Wiken's post on how the "No on Six/Take Back South Dakota" Organization was hosting a design the t-shirt contest.

My initial thought? Where in the heck did this group come from? I thought the "Campaign for Healthy Families" group was it. Now there's a new group?

I went to the website at and dug around a little. But, little or no information is available. The only mention was a listing for an organization calling itself "Choice in South Dakota" as part of the copyright notice at the bottom of the page. (Hellooo? political disclaimers anyone?)

So where did this organization come from? In looking, I don't see a political filing, and it looks like they've spent money on a website. In fact, I don't see a corporate or non-profit filing of any sort with the Secretary of …

If it's called the South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families , how come most of their donors are from out of state?

Yes, I'm not so naive to think that the group supporting HB 1215 isn't going to have significant out-of-state support as well. (But I needed a catchy title.)

Either way, this is an interesting look at where this side of the battle is getting their bucks from.

The battle over whether abortion is legal or illegal in South Dakota is already being cited as one of "the" national level races this year. Some have distilled it down to being a basic question of "states rights." Some look at it as an infringement of personal freedom. While others look at it on the basis of life beginning at conception.

Whichever way your opinion goes, the first financials are interesting. Click on the pictures for a larger view of who is coughing up for the battle. Or go here for the .pdf file as was recently filed with the South Dakota Secretary of State's office.

Before the listing of what is itemized, they're claiming over $65k of unitemized donations. The itemized donations a…

Primary campaign reports are starting to trickle in - first up, Stan Adelstein versus Elli Schwiesow

I just rolled into town, and am in the process of quickly unpacking before I head into work. But before I get cracking, I wanted to note that the post-primary reports are starting to come into the Secretary of State's office, prompting lots of discussion and analysis.

First off on the list - one of the reports from one half of THE primary race of the year - Stan Adelstein's report.

Good gosh. Who puts $99,500 of their own money into a state legislative race? This was followed up by $1175 of PAC money, and $3169 of personal donations of $250 or less.

What did all of this money go towards?

That's a lot of consulting, although I suspect there's some mailing costs that were handled by the consultant and reimbursed.

Compare that to Elli Schwiesow, who reported $54,034 in donations ($31,334 non PAC which came in amounts of $250 or less). Where did Elli's money go?

That $8,600 consulting bill would seem to have associated costs broken out from it. But clearly, much less was spe…

Here's a lesson for the 4th of July

As at least one of the SD blogs has already posted the text of the Declaration of Independence, I would point you to something different.

Here, at US, you can find short biographies on the men who signed this declaration of war against England, the country which (in effect) birthed this nation and was one of the most powerful nations in the world at that time. I would strongly encourage you to read each and every one.

In this modern day and age, it is inconceivable that something like this could occur. It would be as if Hawaii or Alaska declared it's independence and raised an Army to enforce that independence against the inevitable federal troops.

These were scholars, statesmen, and persons of incomparable bravery. Many lost their lives and fortunes in the war. Some were captured and imprisoned. In these shallow times of mass media where we idolize vapid entertainers, and others equally self indulgent, this type of true heroism should give us pause. These were men who r…

If South Dakota faces this one in August, I'll bet ol' sparky could come out of retirement

Here's an interesting development for South Dakota as we face our first criminal execution in decades.

It's been said that the first execution in nearly 60 years will take place in August, and would normally take place via lethal injection. But today, in an AP report, the president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists came out and said that anesthesiologists should not participate in such matters:
Doctors shouldn't help put inmates to death by lethal injection or work with the legal system to ensure condemned inmates feel no pain at execution, the president of the American Society of Anesthesiologists is telling his colleagues. "The legal system has painted itself into this corner and it is not our obligation to get it out,'' Dr. Orin F. Guidry, president of the 40,000-member group, wrote in a message posted Friday on the organization's Web site. Patients could lose trust in their doctors if they see them as executioners, he wrote. He also ci…

The Rapid City Journal talks about the Governor's Hunt. And they aren't filing a lawsuit or anything.

In today's Rapid City Journal, Kevin Woster's column squarely gives the Governor's hunt credit for a $70 million dollar donation from Denny Sanford making the Homestake Lab a reality:
Denny Sanford got his limit last year at the governor's invitational pheasant hunt. And if things go well, South Dakota could get $70 million in return.

OK, OK, it's not quite as simple as three roosters for $70 million. The October shotgun gala was actually just the starting point in discussions between Sanford and Gov. Mike Rounds that led to the big announcement last week that the Sioux Falls banking executive was offering to kick in $70 million to the Homestake underground science laboratory project.

There were some "ifs" of course, the first and biggest being that the National Science Foundation must select the old Homestake mine as the site of the underground lab. And second, the NSF must then provide $10 million for research grants at the lab.

We'll have to wait and …

What ever happened to....... The Argus Leader's new attempt at blogging?

Anyone remember that the Argus Leader was going to make another attempt at blogging? Yes, I had nearly forgotten it as well. Back long ago when they wanted to give it another go, here was their justification:
...the reality is you - our readers - aren't that way. And our readers are getting more technologically savvy by the hour.

So we're going to use technology - the Web - to deal with a couple of niggling issues we've had on the editorial page since there have been editorial pages:

• Immediacy. We want to do things more quickly.

• Interaction. We want communication to be a two-way street.We've got new features that will allow readers to get involved in the editorial page and also allow us to get information out more quickly - specifically during the legislative session in Pierre, when events move so quickly they often can overtake the printed page
Immediacy and interaction. Well, they had one of them right. Blogs do offer interaction. But for immediacy, well..... Let&#…

Argus Headline: "Planet hinges on PUC"
Planet: "I'm so screwed"

(Sorry, I couldn't resist that one. heh.)

The Argus Leader reports today that several groups are making the claim that the PUC should disapprove of the Big Stone II plant because of Carbon Dioxide emissions and their effect on climate:
The PUC is known to many South Dakotans for its five televised safety tips, such as, "Never put a ladder near a power line." But the panel also must protect the environment from "serious injury" caused by new plants.

It already is facing a big moment in its history. It has never considered a permit application for a coal plant, or any power plant close to Big Stone II's size.

But the environmental groups are asking for something even bigger - for the PUC to become perhaps the first state commission anywhere to reject a permit based on carbon dioxide emissions.

Commissioner Dusty Johnson, for one, is not sure that's his job.

"Those are things that are most effectively done on a national and international level," he sai…

SD Dems still trying to make money off of Daschle

Now that Senator Daschle isn't there to help generate funds for the South Dakota Democratic party anymore, they're still managing to squeeze a few bucks out of his name.

The South Dakota Democratic Party is offering for sale on their website "Thanks Tom - 26 Years of Proud Service" t-shirts for sale at $15 each.

(Personally, I'd recommend the SDWC T-Shirts at $10 each)

Dang! My best month ever

Over 16,000 visits, and over 40,000 page views. June has proven to be the SDWC's best month ever. Thank you very much for your patronage.

I thought he was dead....... John Timmer back talking about term limits to the Constitutional Revision Commission

This was kind of an "Abe Vigoda" moment in South Dakota politics. Just like the Hollywood actor that many thought had passed away, but remained alive, just not very active; former congressional candidate John Timmer appeared before the constitutional revision commission to argue against removing term limits in this AP article appearing in the Rapid City Journal.
The man who led the charge to impose term limits on state lawmakers and other state elected officials says that despite rumors, he still believes those limits are worthwhile.

John Timmer of Sioux Falls appeared before a special state commission this past week to argue against any effort to repeal term limits. Timmer, a former lawmaker, led the campaign that passed a 1992 state constitutional amendment imposing term limits on legislators and other officials.

Timmer said there have been rumors that he now opposes term limits. Those rumors are false, he said.

"I still strongly believe in term limits," Timmer told…

I was remiss this past Thursday, but congratulations "Dorf."

I was remiss in not mentioning this on Thursday, but GOP activist and all around good guy Eric Fahrendorf (or "Dorf" to his friends) had a mention in Dave Kranz's column this past Thursday for his new job:
Eric Fahrendorf of Sioux Falls is joining the American Road & Transportation Builders Association as a field representative.

Fahrendorf, active in Republican Party politics, is working the Sioux Falls regional office. His primary responsibilities are membership development, grassroots development and fundraising in the central United States.

Prior to joining ARTBA, Fahrendorf helped lead ground operations for the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio. A graduate of Augustana College, he also worked for John Thune's 2004 Senate campaign.Read it all here. I had the chance to spend some time with Eric at the State GOP convention a week ago, as well as meet his fiance'. Again, Eric, congrats on the new job.

Former Senator to receive award from NEA

As reported in today's Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Former Democratic State Senator John McIntyre from Sioux Falls is being awarded a national award from the National Education Association:
John McIntyre, a former Axtell Park Middle School guidance counselor, state senator and South Dakota Air National Guard soldier, will receive the H. Councill Trenholm Award from the National Education Association during its Human and Civil Rights Award Dinner in Orlando, Fla., on Monday.

McIntyre, a member of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Committee, will be honored for his work with Sioux Falls' Native American community. McIntyre helped to create the SuAnne Big Crow Memorial Award, given annually to a student whose academic achievements helped other students develop their own sense of worth and dignity.Read it all here. Congratulations to former Senator McIntyre from the SDWC.