Showing posts from July 16, 2006

Forgot this picture. Wife and Daughter at Herseth's office

When I was doing the pictures from my wife and daughter's DC trip this last weekend, I ran out of time to post the one of them visiting Herseth's office.

I was reminded of it because as my wife and I were going to pick up Papa Murphy's pizza last night, we had to drive by Stephanie's house (a few blocks up the street from us on the way to the pizza place).

It's just a run of the mill residence, from what I've seen on the side. I've never driven by the front. It just happens to be on the main drag if you're going drop the kids off at school, to the pool, Papa Murphy's, etc.

Suprisingly she was out in the yard weeding her flower bed and doing other mundane yard work. I think it's the first time I've seen her wearing something besides a pants suit. (t-shirt and cut-offs jeans).

I think that's part of the aura we place around our high elected officials once they achieve that position. It's a sort of odd rock-star status, where it seems almos…

South Dakota's Hal Wick named ALEC Legislator of the year

From a press release:
Representative Hal Wick of South Dakota Named Legislator of the Year
by the American Legislative Exchange Council

(Washington, DC) The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) honored South Dakota State Representative Hal Wick as Legislator of the Year in an award ceremony on July 20th at the organization's 33rd Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.

"I am proud to present Representative Hal Wick our Legislator of the Year Award," said ALEC's 2006 National Chairman, Kansas State Senator Susan Wagle. "As ALEC's State Chairman, he has invigorated both legislator and private sector participation in South Dakota."

"Representative Wick's legislative experience and leadership qualities have been a tremendous asset in the pursuit of Jeffersonian principles. His dedication to the advancement of free markets, limited government, and individual liberty for the people of the Mount Rushmore State is admirable."

The ALEC Ann…

On the road again

I'm getting packed up for another fun fulled trip back to home in Brookings, so it should be light posting through the end of the day... Possibly into Sunday, depending on what's going on.

And just a glimpse into my world of weirdness - You're not likely to see another truck this weekend hauling a concrete mixer with a Magic Kitchen strapped to it going down highway 14.

Still trying to get all my stuff over to Brookings, the home of South Dakota's only D1 school.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

More Candidate Websites

I came across a couple of more candidate websites recently.

The first, District 30 Democrat Senate Candidate Catherine Ratliff, came to my attention when I noticed she had come to Gary Loudner's Defenseafter my post on how Gary's sole campaign donation was reimbursement for a magnetic sign eaten by a car wash.

It's not bad, although it tends at times to get a little verbose. You start looking at it, and among several pages where some of the content is blank, you get a few pages where there are large blocks of text.

I'm not saying the content is bad for what she's trying to accomplish, but political advertising is the equivalent of short-attention span theatre. If I was doing it, I'd use pictures to break up the text from time to time to make for an easier read.

The other thing that concerns me about this is the domain name: I'd have any other form of domain name. Inserting the "C" after her name is confusing for a retur…

Nothing like a suggestion of a murder charge to turn the heat up on the abortion issue

Tonight, Kevin Woster in the Rapid City Journal notes that the State Medical Association is bringing up the "M" word in reference to the "A" issue:
Doctors who perform illegal abortions under the terms of HB1215 could face a first-degree murder charge under revised homicide provisions in South Dakota law, a lawyer for the South Dakota State Medical Association says. Pierre lawyer Dave Gerdes said in a legal memo written for the association that if HB1215 survives challenges at the ballot and, possibly, in court, it could combine with a revised state homicide statute to pose an ominous legal threat to doctors charged with violating the law.

"It is at least possible that a prosecutor or a court will decide that a physician performing a procedure qualifying as an abortion under the language of the new statute can be prosecuted for first-degree murder," Gerdes wrote in the memo.

In response, the prime sponsor of HB1215 said Thursday that violating the law …

That Was Quick. Billion Campaign responds to Pelly Concerns

I literally hadn't had much time since I posted the story on the Democrats and the Rapid City Library to do more than eat and respond to a few e-mails, and as I get back to it, I see that my friend Todd Epp over at the Billion campaign has provided an initial response:

Please find below and attached Eric Abrahamson's responses to Mike Pelly regarding the RC Library Foundation. You'll note that Eric's responses are very reasonable and in a cooperative and non-partisan vein. He was and is looking for consensus with board members to solve the issue.

As to other aspects of the story, are you saying that public libraries or other public faciliteis cannot provide meeting space for any group connected with politics or public issues? This strikes us as extreme. We also used a Sioux Falls public library to announce Eric's selection as Lt. Gov. later that day. We picked the library because it was free, available, and an easily accessible location. Politicians of var…

From tonight's SDWC mailbox: Billion endorsed by SD Labor Union

SD Watch Blogger and Billion Press Secretary Todd Epp has me on his announcement list, so I get all these.

It must work, I'm printing it.

Tonight, they announce Billion's endorsement by the UFCW Local chapter:
FOR IMMEDIATERELEASE (Issued July 20, 2006)
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT TODD EPP AT (direct) 605.221.6143 (cell) 605.521.5198 (email)


SIOUX FALLS—The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 304A has voted to endorse Jack Billion for governor of South Dakota in the 2006 election.

UFCW Local 304A primarily represents workers at John Morrell and Company as well as the Sioux Falls Stockyards and Sioux Falls public school food service workers.
In its July 11, 2006 endorsement letter, the UFCW noted: "His recognition that unions raise the standard of living for average hard-working South Dakotans and the equal balance between small businesses and working families is very important an…

Is the Rapid City Library the new West River office of the South Dakota Democratic Party?

This is an interesting one that came to my attention recently. Several local and statewide political players involved, accusations of the press dropping the story. Just the kind of thing to set bloggers (like moi) on the trail.

So, what is this tale of political intrigue and woe?

Until recently, There was a gentleman on the Rapid City Library Foundation board by the name of Mr. Mike Pelly. For part of this year, Mr. Pelly apparently had been questioning why this private foundation (acting in conjunction with the public library) had been fawning all over Democrats and shows no sign of letting up.

Why did Mr. Pelly think this was a bad thing? For starters, he's the person in charge of asking for money for the foundation. And he was quick to find that all this partisan activity was making it tough to convince people to donate. It had gotten so bad that on June 21st, Mr. Pelly submitted his resignation to the foundation board.

Although, his name remains on the website with the rest of the…

From Government Info Magazine

I had this sent to me, and I just couldn't resist.

No-on-E campaign finds lots of South Dakotans want to defeat that "weird amendment"

As reported in the Rapid City Journal:
A group formed to oppose a South Dakota ballot measure that would let people sue judges and other government officials has already raised nearly $474,000 for its campaign against the proposed constitutional amendment. The No on E Committee has raised money from lawyers, banks and other business interests because the proposed Amendment E would create chaos in the judicial system and all government boards and commissions, according to Bob Miller of Pierre, the group's treasurer.

"The money will be spent in a typical campaign to try to defeat this weird Amendment E," Miller said.

The organization sponsoring Amendment E appears to have raised much less money, but Secretary of State Chris Nelson has asked South Dakota Judicial Accountability to correct what appear to be errors in its campaign finance report.Read it here. (or serious omissions, if we're splitting hairs) More:
The committee supporting the amendment reported spending nearl…

Working on stuff. What's going on?

After all the activity tonight, I'm going to try something a little different.

As opposed to writing abut the news items of the day, I'm working on an original news item that was brought to my attention, so I'm hoping I can have that out before the weekend. It's a pretty interesting tale that was dropped by the MSM, about how a group of Dems are using a public facility to promote their agenda. It even involves a couple of current statewide names.

What else is happening? I noticed that Representatve Shantel Krebs, in addition to working her shoe store, is now also hawking glasses and contacts for a company in Sioux Falls as reported in the Sioux Falls Business Journal.

John Thune is talking as if he's distancing himself from the White House according to the Argus Leader tonight....

It came out today that Governor Rounds is going to Sioux Falls on August 9th to have Capitol for a day....

Rebekah Cradduck's announcement for the District 11 Senate Seat was at Argusleade…

Politics as a bare-knuckled sport this year. Napoli on Adelstein

I was reading the Rapid City Journal website and noticed a post over at Mt. Blogmore on Bill Napoli. YEOW! It sounds like Bill has had enough, as far as his fellow Senator Stan Adelstein was concerned.

Here I was thinking I wouldn’t have to write about Stan anymore (yes, even I’m sick of the topic), but this one is too good to ignore. As written at Blogmore by Kevin (kevi) Woster:

Republican state Sen. Bill Napoli asked for Sen. Stan Adelstein’s resignation during a news conference called by Napoli this morning.

Napoli said he sent Gov. Mike Rounds a letter demanding that the governor ask Adelstein to resign. If that fails, Napoli said he would ask GOP leaders in the state Legislature and Pennington County Republican Party officials to ask Adelstein to quit.

Napoli thinks it’s off-the-chart improper for Adelstein to have publicly pondered a switch to Democratic Party and then come out in support of Democrat Tom Katus, who is facing Elli Schwiesow - the Adelstein nemesis who beat him in th…

Interesting... Minnesota Blog accuses SD Dems as being involved in a Minnesota DFL Money Shuffle

A college friend of mine just sent me a blurb from a Minnesota weblog, Captain's Quarters, which is throwing around an interesting accusation involving the South Dakota Democrats that I don't think has ever come up in South Dakota political conversations before:
The DFL has been sent reeling by the meltdown of party leader Matt Entenza, who withdrew from the Attorney General race after having spent the last week tapdancing about oppo research he'd run on a fellow DFL member and the current Attorney General, Mike Hatch. Both men had already received endorsement for the statewide offices for which they campaigned -- Hatch is the nominee to run against Governor Tim Pawlenty in his bid for re-election -- and the meltdown may kneecap the DFL in both races.

Entenza got out just as another scandal started to heat up in St. Paul. Someone anonymously sent records, including deposits and cancelled checks, that show Entenza and his wife may have shuffled money around to get past…

Now that's a strange donation

From the financial reports at the Secretary of State's office, you can see failed candidate Gary Loudner raised $28.52 in cash. I had almost breezed over it until I saw the footnote at the bottom of the page. In bold type it says:
"PLEASE NOTE: Policky's Big D Oil COmpany #21 Car Wash at 3010 West Main Street, Rapid CIty destroy a magnetic vehicle political signage in late May, 2006."So apparently, his only donation was reimbursement because he didn't take a magnetic sign off of his vehicle in the car wash?

I'm not sure if I'm more amazed that he's counting that as a donation, or that they actually paid him for it.

Note to Gary: Next time take the sign off your car BEFORE you go through the car wash. That's why they're magnetic.

Had this note and picture the other day, and thought I'd share

Got the above picture and note recently from Bill Napoli:
We had this picture sent to us by one of our hundreds of supporters. And since it has both of your favorite West River serious conservative candidates in the picture, (well Lance's sign is there anyway), we thought you might like to see this. Thanks for the picture Bill.

I'd also offer to other candidates, If you've got pictures of you out campaigning, go ahead and drop one on the e-mail to me at

Dang, I kind of like that. New advertiser with a cool Flash animated ad

I got a new advertiser!

Bruce Whalen has placed an ad for his Congressional Campaign, and I have to say it's pretty nice. I wasn't sure that a flash animated ad would work, but I guess it will. I might have to try that myself, because it looks great.

I think that brings me up to about 6 paying advertisers. And I thank you all for your support.

And before you say it (as one of my commenters did), I pimped for Republicans long before any of them had placed an ad. It doesn't flavor my comments. And I will take advertising from Democrats and others as well. In fact, one is a Democratic candidate.

I have another ad I think I'm finally going to 'conditionally allow,' but I need to send it's sponsor a note. It's been one to noodle on, but I don't want to let my personal prejudices get in the way.

If you're thinking about it, I get plenty of traffic from people on both sides of the aisle, so it's not the worst place in the world to advertise. I'm alr…

She's Back. Cecelia Fire Thunder comes back from the political grave more often than Dracula did.
*Update* Dammit I blinked

Pursuant to a court order, Cecelia Fire Thunder is back in office again after a tribal judge restored her job pending a hearing. Bill Harlan of the Rapid City Journal reports on this comeback queen:
"This is about process," Fire Thunder said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon from the president's office at tribal headquarters. "No matter what the issue is, you've got to follow procedure."

The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council suspended Fire Thunder in May, then impeached her in June in a controversy about a proposed abortion clinic on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

In April, after Gov. Mike Rounds signed South Dakota's new abortion ban, Fire Thunder told reporters she wanted to establish a women's clinic on the reservation. The clinic, she said, would be exempt from the state's new abortion ban. (The abortion ban later was referred to a statewide vote in November.)

Abortion opponents on Pine Ridge protested Fire Thunder's proposal, and the trib…

Justice At Stake: JAIL omits 60% of their Donors from finance report

The Internet Website/Newsletter Justice at Stake broke a little bit of a story on their internet Newsletter: Eyes on Justice. They're reporting that the South Dakota Judicial Accountability group is not disclosing all of their donors.
Will J.A.I.L. Cover Its Paper Trail?

Disclosure time in South Dakota is turning into a headache for the local “J.A.I.L. 4 Judges” campaign, which wants to create a fourth branch of government to hound judges and other public servants who decide contested cases until they’re not independent or accountable. J.A.I.L.’s backers flouted South Dakota law, submitting an incomplete filing, refusing to disclose where their major donors work, and concealing the addresses of more than half their contributors. Even more curious, the filing makes no mention of more than 60 percent of the donors they claimed earlier this year. Among the omissions: money donated by Ron Branson, J.A.I.L.’s “Five-Star National Commander-in-Chief.” Perhaps J.A.I.L.’s backers are trying …

Ron Whites pulls out of District 6 House Race is reporting tonight that Democrat Ron Whites is pulling out of the District 6 House Race:
Ron Whites of Iroquois said Tuesday he has taken his name off the list of legislative candidates.

Whites said he made the decisions because of concerns about time away from his business. He had filed petitions for one of the two House seats from District 6, which includes Clark, Hamlin and Kingsbury counties, as well as rural Codington County and the eastern part of Beadle County.

Democratic Party central committees from those counties have a chance to choose a ballot replacement for Whites. The deadline for filling the slot is Aug. 8, state Election Supervisor Kea Warne said.Read it all here.

Segue way into more Stan; A little image rehab advice for Stan (amongst us Republicans)

As if the continuing saga that is soon-to-be former Senator Stan Adelstein couldn’t get any weirder, it did. The front page of the Rapid City Journal has the headline “Rounds: Adelstein confirmed support in phone call.”

Governor Rounds is quoted by Kevin Woster in the article as saying

“Stan actually called me and said that he really was supportive of me,” Rounds said. “He said that he did not want to involve the governor’s race in that (legislative) race out there, but that he did not think he had been that non-committal in his answer.”Read it all here.

Towards the end of the story, in an unusual turn, Adelstein declined further comment saying “he would allow the Governor to speak on the issue.”

After deciding to stick with the GOP, this is the second smart thing he’s done.

Far be it from me to say that debate and dissent is a bad thing. I’ve been known to disagree with my party and question things from time to time. And this blog debates many issues.

But Stan’s outright and continual reje…

AP: Herseth is holding a slight monetary advantage at the moment

The Associated Press is reporting tonight that Stephanie Herseth holds a $650,000 lead on what's in the bank over her opponent, Republican Bruce Whalen. From the Aberdeen American News website:
In second-quarter reports filed to the Federal Election Commission, Herseth reports having raised a total of $1.2 million, with about $700,000 in the bank. She raised almost $114,000 from April through June.Whalen has raised a total of $84,000, with about $44,000 of that raised in the second quarter of this year. He has about $50,000 in the bank.Read it all here. And before you all pooh-pooh the figures, keep in mind that Mark Barnett and Steve Kirby each had more of a monetary lead over Governor Mike Rounds in the 2002 Primary.

Scrapping the cartoon, but keeping the dream alive.

After a night of struggling with it, I'm abandoning the "Party Official" cartoon idea for the moment. I don't have the time to learn a new program, as much as I'd like to. Besides, it wasn't storyboarding out very well, and this stuff has to be timely or timeless.

But, I am keeping my dream of multi-media political animation alive with two other cartoons.

Lacking a team of animators, these photo-realistic cartoon parodies are literally going to take a month or two, but as mentioned, they need to be them topical. Which means that ballot initiatives are going to be the best thing to go with. The issues remain fairly static, so if I start on something, I won't have to change mid-stream.

My first one, featuring the spokesman for Amendment E already has the title and I've already got him knocking on the desk and moving his jaw (not that anything intelligent is coming out yet).

I suspect you might see appearances by Jakes Hanes, Ron Branson, black helicopters, …

RCJ's Kevin woster threatened wih assault by Katus supporter at Adelstein announcement

Over at Mt. Blogmore today, Rapid City Journal reporter Kevin Woster relates a tale of weirdness from this last week's Adelstein/Katus anouncement:’s what really happened. I was upset that Katus called the news conference to an end and left after about 15 minutes. I’d only had a chance to ask him one question, among the others from TV and radio crews. I also didn’t get a chance to respond to a playful comment he made about me, personally. There was a lot left to talk about. I followed him and told him I was unhappy that he’d left that jab at me - which was actually humorous - hanging in the air without giving me a chance to respond and explore other issues. Actually, I said “That’s …….,” referring to fecal matter from a chicken. Katus said something like, “Oh, come on, Kevin, it was a joke.” That’ s all he said. And he didn’t make any threatening gestures or statements. He just got in his car and drove off, accompanied by Denise, who rode with him and did a quick podcast f…

Is there a joint caucus of the coalition to reduce caucuses?

Yeah... I'll just bet they're in the wine caucus for the hundreds of South Dakota wineries. (It's for the swag!)

The AP is reporting to night on the ridiculous number of caucuses that Senate and Congressional members belong to. From the AP report in the Aberdeen American News:
Delegation members' caucus affiliations:Johnson: Senate Jewelry Task Force, Senate National Security Working Group, Soybean Caucus, Senate Rural Health Caucus, Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition Caucus, Senate Task Force on Fatherhood Promotion, Senate National Guard Caucus, Sugar Caucus, Bosnia Working Group, Asthma Awareness Week Working Group, Congressional Prevention Coalition, Congressional Coalition on Adoption, Senate Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Caucus, Senate Anti-Meth Caucus, Senate Impact Aid Caucus, Congressional Internet Caucus, Senate Norway Caucus, Congressional Library and Information Resources Caucus, Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus, Congressional Wine Ca…

Hildebrand to Churches: "We're watching what you say on HB 1215"
ADF: "Bring it"

In a couple of different articles today in the Rapid City Journal, abortion opponents are lining up to try to tell churches what they can or cannot say from the pulpit. And it's not necessarily clear if the Churches are going to take it lying down. From the first article:
Steve Hildebrand, a pro-choice political consultant who opposes HB1215, said all nonprofit organizations, including churches, must be careful about their roles in politics and campaigns. That is especially true this year, when watchdogs on both ends of the political spectrum are paying close attention to violations by their opponents.

"We have our eyes wide open. All of us are paying very close attention, and our opponents are watching very carefully, too," he said.

Hildebrand said pastors are free to tell their congregations what their church's position is on abortion, but they might be in violation of IRS rules if they use church funds to tell people how to vote on the referendum.

"If they say, &…

It's a hard knock life for bloggers...

Not that I'm going to say "this stuff is hard work" but tonight is a perfect example of some of the crazyness South Dakota bloggers go through to bring you fresh, quality content.

I got back to Pierre realtively early this evening, and set upon a project I noodled on during my trip and for some time before. I've kind of have it in my head that it would be "neat" to have some animated political cartoons al lajib jab and some of them they have at Cagle Cartoons. I'm a very multi-media oriented person, and I have considerable technical know how, so I thought I'd at least explore it.

Well, that required me to install my graphire tablet which usually sits uninstalled on the world's messiest desk, between my monitor and reference materials running the gamut from news articles to prep books for A+ certification.

Once that was done, I had to find some software, which required a download for the trial version (for Toon Boom) , and then 4 more downloads fo…

Kranz on Mainstream Coalition and Party Switching

Today in his column in the Argus Leader, Dave Kranz writes this morning on the Mainstream Coalition and all the party flipping talk among many of the members who lost elections in the primary.
Mainstream Coalition members breathed a sigh of relief when state Sen. Stan Adelstein announced Friday that he would not seek re-election to the state Senate as a Democrat.


After losing his primary bid for re-election, political guessers began theorizing on a shift of some coalition members to the Democratic Party or independent status. Concern among some coalition members is that the purpose of their group would be compromised if there was a mass defection from Republican to Democrat.


Sutton says he was concerned about the impression it would leave if he switched to the Democratic Party.

"That was a part of my decision. I was one of the supporters and still am a supporter of the Mainstream Coalition. If we had too many defectors, it would take on a different personality. We wanted s…

Representative Don Van Etten in the RCJ on Tobacco

Representative Don Van Etten responds to former Senator Alan Aker's column in the Rapid City Journal on the Tobacco Tax:
It appears that even former South Dakota senators need additional tobacco-prevention and reduction education. One of the goals of the tobacco tax initiative is to raise more money for that kind of education. It has nothing to do with bashing tobacco companies. The bill is as homegrown as Alan Aker's logging and sawmill company. I should know, because I wrote the bill.

South Dakota's portion of the multi-state tobacco settlement agreement with tobacco manufacturers resulted in projected payments totaling more than $650 million to the state of South Dakota between 2001 and 2025. In lieu of receiving annual payments, the Governor and the 2001 Legislature opted to sell the right to the annual settlement payments in return for an upfront, one-time payment of $275.5 million, which was placed in the Education Enhancement Trust Fund.

This fund was supposed to fund …